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| | |-+  "Clear of class delta to the west"
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Author Topic: "Clear of class delta to the west"  (Read 12693 times)
KSYR-pjr
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« on: March 23, 2009, 04:54:43 PM »

Admittedly my communication skills for VFR flight into and out of class delta airspace are by far my weakest link, presumably because this is the lowest percentage of flying I do.   IFR into and out of class C, D, and uncontrolled airports would make up the largest percentage.

My question is this:  Do class D tower controllers want departing pilots to announce when we are clear of the class delta airspace?

All my class D airspace flights over the last year and a half have occurred into and out of White Plains (KHPN), which is really a class C airport hiding behind a class D pay scale.  As this airport is normally very busy, the tower controllers there prefer that VFR pilots do not announce when they are clear most likely because of frequency congestion and the fact that their tower controllers have radar showing them where everyone is.

What about the sleepier class D towers without radar in the tower?  Should pilots announce when we are clear of class D?

Jason and I were chatting about this offline but I am also interested in the opinions of the controllers here.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
atcman23
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2009, 07:34:36 PM »

Typically Class D towers like pilots to announce when they leave their airspace, if possible. Class C airports won't usually ask you to report leaving since they have radar.  This allows the controller to know that the plane is out of their airspace and to tell the pilot that a frequency change is approved.  It also tells the controller the aircraft's position relative to the airport if the controller has other planes departing or arriving the airspace nearby.

Some Class D towers have a radar display and this too helps only if the controller can identify the aircraft.  If the aircraft is VFR with no flight plan, squawking 1200, then the controller will only see a blip.  If they are on a flight plan and requested flight following before takeoff and everything was entered in and coordinated, then the controller will be able to identify the plane because it will be tagged up with it's call sign.

Where I went to school, we operated a tower in Class D airspace with a CTRD (Certified Tower Radar Display) that fed off of Pittsburgh Intl.'s radar feed.

Here's a picture of that display (it's not the best):



There's no targets on the screen but you can see some precipitation in the upper left portion of the screen.
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Mark Spencer
KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2009, 09:08:00 PM »

Thanks, Mark, for the input and the picture.  I thought it might have been a situational awareness aid for a controller, especially one without a scope in the cab.  I will do better to keep that in mind going forward.

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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
davolijj
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2009, 09:58:55 PM »

I worked at the same tower where atcman trained.  Here's a little better screenshot of the Tower Display Monitor (TDM).



I took that picture before STARS was comissioned at PIT which is why it says WKST FAIL in the Status Info Area on the lower left, it's also why there are no targets on there.  We also never ran with the labels up, they were just for educational and tour purposes only.

My preference when I was working in the tower was to assign reporting points to surface area transition aircraft, one of which was usually "...report clear of class Delta."  For itinerant departures I really preferred them not to report clear, especially during a departure push like when Pan Am would empty the ramp every hour and a half.  Extra reports like that would just have added to frequency congestion.

Even after we got the CTRD I would still assign reporting points to all aircraft (except departures), partly because of the non-radar techniques that I learned in my initial training, and partly as sort of a memory-jog.

I think the general rule with VFR towers is, if they want you to report it, they'll ask you to.
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JD
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2009, 08:32:38 AM »

As for HPN, I don't require pilots to tell me they are leaving the D b/c like you said I have you on radar.  However, if traffic is present in your vicinity I am required to issue the traffic prior to you leaving the D workload permitting.
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captray
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« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2009, 11:38:54 AM »

If it's not busy I always try to say that I am leaving your airspace and good night/day. It may help with the tower's situational awareness and it lets them know that I am not listening to them anymore.
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bcrosby
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« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2009, 08:49:12 PM »

I fly in/out of class D airport VFR all the time (its my home airport).

I always let the controller know that I'm clear of the zone. Usually on the initial call up:

"Buttonville tower ABC is cleared to the north at 2400' " (or similar)

They will usually let me know if there is any other traffic I should be aware of or I'm "cleared enroute".

I usually do this just to let them know that Im hopping off their freq and that they are no longer my responsibility. However, I do still maintain a listening watch on the freq to hear position reports for inbound aircraft.

RAC 4.2.9 states:

Quote
Unless otherwise advised by ATC, pilots do not require permission to change from tower frequency once clear of the control zone and should not request release from this frequency or report clear of the zone when there is considerable frequency congestion. When practicable, it is recommended that a pilot of a departing aircraft monitor tower frequency until 10 NM from the control zone.

VFR flights will not normally be released from tower frequency while operating within the control zone. Once outside control zones, or when departing from an uncontrolled aerodrome where an MF has been assigned, beyond the range within which MF procedures apply, pilots should monitor frequency 126.7 MHz.

http://www.tc.gc.ca/CivilAviation/publications/tp14371/RAC/4-0.htm#4-2-9

USA rules might be different.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2009, 08:53:06 PM by bcrosby » Logged

otto_pilot
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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2009, 10:47:39 PM »

hey what tower was that out of i might be fling in and out of there this fall if it is kbvi
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tower: right delta ground point niner
pilot: Uh tower did you mean to say ground point 8 or do you want us to try them on point 9.
tower: Oh yea point 8 would work better, wouldnt it
KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2009, 09:56:39 AM »

I appreciate all of your input, gang. 

Like a lot of scenarios in aviation communications, I think the takeaway here is to use common sense.  If the frequency is really busy and the airport is a known heavy-use class D, most likely the tower controllers have radar and prefer departing VFR to remain silent (unless the controller specifically requests a call), but if the class D is a sleepy one (most likely without radar) then a call helps the controller's situational awareness.

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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
davolijj
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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2009, 04:22:31 PM »

hey what tower was that out of i might be fling in and out of there this fall if it is kbvi

It is KBVI, Beaver Falls, PA
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JD
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« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2009, 10:45:05 PM »

At HPN we have radar so we can tell when you are clear.  If its not too busy I will give you the ole "clear of delta freq change approved" speech.

   
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