Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
April 30, 2016, 11:03:38 AM
Home Help Login Register      
News: Check out: FlightSimCon 2016 June 11-12, 2016


+  LiveATC Discussion Forums
|-+  Aviation
| |-+  Pilot/Controller Forum (Moderators: dave, RonR)
| | |-+  VFR Altitude Situation
« previous next »
Pages: [1] Go Down Print
Author Topic: VFR Altitude Situation  (Read 33852 times)
mielsonwheals
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 34


« on: May 07, 2012, 01:55:17 PM »

During my first long solo cross country when I was a student pilot, I was flying an Easterly magnetic course. I had planned an altitude of 5,500. There was a broken ceiling here though, so I stayed at 4,500 while planning what to do.

I know this is the wrong altitude for my magnetic course. I was receiving flight following. (They had also instructed me to maintain VFR at or below 4,500 if able). I know 3,500 would have worked, both for ATC and VFR flight rules, but it would have put me in the Manchester, NH class C airspace which extends to 4,300 MSL.

So, I stayed at 4,500. Mainly because I was receiving flight following. If I had not been, I would not have been comfortable at this altitude.

If this situation happened to me now, I would simply request to transit the class C airspace at 3,500. I guess before I was hesitant to bother ATC with a clearance through that airspace.

Just looking to confirm that the best course of action here would be to request the clearance. Thanks.
Logged
dave
Site Founder
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4022



WWW
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2012, 02:39:30 PM »

Weren't you already talking to Boston Approach on either 124.9 or 134.75?  If you were, you were implicitly cleared into/through their Class C airspace.

Logged
mielsonwheals
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 34


« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2012, 03:06:38 PM »

If I was on with Manchester tower, or on with appraoch and landing at MHT, I would have known I was cleared, with radio contact and a call sign readback. 

I didn't know that being on with approach clears you to transit their class C airspace as well, even if you don't specify your intention to go through the class C. Thanks, that is valuable information.
Logged
dave
Site Founder
Administrator
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 4022



WWW
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2012, 03:11:33 PM »

If I was on with Manchester tower, or on with appraoch and landing at MHT, I would have known I was cleared, with radio contact and a call sign readback. 

I didn't know that being on with approach clears you to transit their class C airspace as well, even if you don't specify your intention to go through the class C. Thanks, that is valuable information.

Who were you talking to for Flight Following?  While you would have been cleared into Class C airspace, it is always a good idea to state your intentions, which it sounds like you were doing.

Logged
mielsonwheals
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 34


« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2012, 03:23:40 PM »

Definitely Boston Approach, I think on 134.75. I'm not positive of the frequency but think it was 134.75.
Logged
martyj19
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 123


« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2012, 05:46:17 PM »

134.75 is the 4000 and above Manchester Approach, so that would be right.  124.9 is the lower altitude.  Both of which the KMHT scanner has.  Just for amusement, both Boston Approach and what used to be Manchester Approach, now all addressed as Boston Approach, are physically located in Merrimack, NH.

One time I was VFR from Maine back to Nashua, contacted them northeast of Concord and they had me descend from 4500 to 4000 during the transit and then down to 2500 before handing to Nashua Tower, which is of course an IFR altitude.

At the very most, a "confirm cleared through the Class Charlie" is all that it would have taken.  But of course if you are in radio contact with Boston Approach and have an operable transponder, you are implicitly cleared to enter the Class C.  Another time I was coming back from Nantucket and asked for a "confirm cleared through the Class Bravo" since I was getting close to it.  Cape Approach didn't actually hand me to Boston Approach until I was well inside of it.  In that case you do need a clear understanding on both sides as to whether it is okay to enter.

I wouldn't think it is any more work for the controller whether you are being worked at 4500 or 3500 inside the C as opposed to above it, assuming you are already being worked.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2012, 06:27:19 PM by martyj19 » Logged
StuSEL
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 261


« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2012, 02:18:09 AM »

Another time I was coming back from Nantucket and asked for a "confirm cleared through the Class Bravo" since I was getting close to it.  Cape Approach didn't actually hand me to Boston Approach until I was well inside of it.  In that case you do need a clear understanding on both sides as to whether it is okay to enter.
A key difference that is important to state here is that pilots are not implicitly cleared into the Class B airspace, as opposed to the Classes C and D, where the establishment of two-way radio communication is indeed the implied clearance. I'm sure you know that; I'm just pointing it out.

I wouldn't think it is any more work for the controller whether you are being worked at 4500 or 3500 inside the C as opposed to above it, assuming you are already being worked.
The difference would be that a VFR aircraft outside of the Class C would not necessarily (ie. by the book) be required to be separated by the 500-foot minimum between an IFR and a VFR aircraft as would be required if they were both in the Class C. That said, I have yet to encounter a controller at my Class C airport who would not apply that separation anyway.
Logged

CFII
martyj19
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 123


« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2012, 07:56:53 AM »

Yes, thank you, I could have put that more forcefully.

And it is worth pointing out that now in the new world we have airspace where the entry requirements are even more severe than Class B, where you could potentially be shot at.

http://www.aopa.org/adiz/adiz.html

And, you must get in the habit of checking for TFRs on every flight the way you check weather.
Logged
ogogog
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 120



« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2012, 10:00:34 AM »

During my first long solo cross country when I was a student pilot, I was flying an Easterly magnetic course. I had planned an altitude of 5,500. There was a broken ceiling here though, so I stayed at 4,500 while planning what to do.

I know this is the wrong altitude for my magnetic course. I was receiving flight following. (They had also instructed me to maintain VFR at or below 4,500 if able). I know 3,500 would have worked, both for ATC and VFR flight rules, but it would have put me in the Manchester, NH class C airspace which extends to 4,300 MSL.

So, I stayed at 4,500. Mainly because I was receiving flight following. If I had not been, I would not have been comfortable at this altitude.

If this situation happened to me now, I would simply request to transit the class C airspace at 3,500. I guess before I was hesitant to bother ATC with a clearance through that airspace.

Just looking to confirm that the best course of action here would be to request the clearance. Thanks.

you do realise that just because ATC dose not care that your violating FARs dose not make it right or leagle and the old " well i didnt want to bother the controller" excuse is getting pretty old and isnt gonna help if the FAA gets you for a FAR violation. controllers are not the FAR police and dont care what you violate as long as it dosent affect there operation.
Logged
mielsonwheals
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 34


« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2012, 11:54:50 AM »



you do realise that just because ATC dose not care that your violating FARs dose not make it right or leagle and the old " well i didnt want to bother the controller" excuse is getting pretty old and isnt gonna help if the FAA gets you for a FAR violation. controllers are not the FAR police and dont care what you violate as long as it dosent affect there operation.

I was a student pilot and I did not think I was violating a FAR. That has since been cleared up. Like I said, I knew I was at the wrong altitude, and in no way am I saying the controller made it right or legal. It's an explanation of the thought process of a learning pilot, not an excuse.
Logged
iskyfly
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 179


« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2012, 09:51:32 AM »



And it is worth pointing out that now in the new world we have airspace where the entry requirements are even more severe than Class B, where you could potentially be shot at.

http://www.aopa.org/adiz/adiz.html

And, you must get in the habit of checking for TFRs on every flight the way you check weather.
Airspace that I fly in weekly. If VFR a DC SFRA flight plan along with discrete squawk code required before every flight. ATC comms required before entry. (exceptions for fringe airport and towered pattern work)
Note- that even with a squawk and ATC comms this does not imply ATC services.
Logged
kumara6
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 10


« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2012, 07:27:10 PM »

Asking for clarification never hurts...especially when dealing with multiple controllers.

One of my flights from W29 -> MTN -> LNS(great restaurant there btw). I departed and climbed to 2000, I got in touch with ATC soon after departure and requested 3000 through Bravo. He told me to stand by, higher will be available shortly. I kept going on my way and he came back "Climb to 3000 approved". At that place the Bravo floor was 2500, so I asked "Am I cleared into Bravo?" to which he replied "Negative." It baffled me that he could approve the climb to 3000 WITHOUT the Bravo clearance.

So I told him I would be staying at 2000 and asked him to advise MTN Airport that I would be transitioning through their airspace, or let me switch freq to do it myself. He never replied to that. As I was approaching the MTN Delta I put it in slow flight to give me more time, and I asked again if he talked to MTN. Now he said "No, stand by...*pause*....Proceed on course". And the frequency was not busy at all that day, at least not busy for what I'm used to hearing in that area.
Logged
gmsteve
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3


« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2012, 12:16:52 PM »

OK, I must clarify something here.  Pilots receiving flight following in class E airspace are NOT implicitly cleared through a higher class of airspace.  Pilots must establish two way radio communication with the ATC facility providing air traffic services for that airspace.  If you are receiving flight following and you come up on tower controlled airspace, you must establish and maintain comms with that control tower, or you can ask approach/center to coordinate your transition through the tower's airspace.  If you do neither of these things, you cannot fly through the airspace.
Logged
sykocus
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 349



« Reply #13 on: July 27, 2012, 02:31:58 AM »

OK, I must clarify something here.  Pilots receiving flight following in class E airspace are NOT implicitly cleared through a higher class of airspace.  Pilots must establish two way radio communication with the ATC facility providing air traffic services for that airspace.  If you are receiving flight following and you come up on tower controlled airspace, you must establish and maintain comms with that control tower, or you can ask approach/center to coordinate your transition through the tower's airspace.  If you do neither of these things, you cannot fly through the airspace.


Interesting you bring that up as I was just doing some research on the the subject. From a controller's perspective it's my responsibility to coordinate with adjacent facilities for aircraft under my control which may enter their control area. the 7110.65 says as much in 2-1-16
http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/atc/atc0201.html#atc0201.html.7
In fact there is even a note which says:
Quote
"The pilot is not expected to obtain his/her own authorization through each area when in contact with a radar facility."
It's the understanding of every controller I've worked with that you either coordinate for the aircraft or you cut them loose from your frequency and let them talk to the facility themselves.

However I only recently found out that the AIM says in 3-2-1
Quote
"d. VFR Requirements. It is the responsibility of the pilot to insure that ATC clearance or radio communication requirements are met prior to entry
into Class B, Class C, or Class D airspace. The pilot retains this responsibility when receiving ATC radar advisories. (See 14 CFR Part 91.)"
So you are not incorrect either when you say pilots are "NOT implicitly cleared through" controlled airspace.

I'll let everyone's own judgment guide them on how to deal with those seemingly contradictory instructions.
Logged

Yesterday I couldn't spell air traffic controller. Today I R one.
davolijj
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 558


MMAC ARSR OKC


« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2012, 10:58:47 AM »

I think the reason for the confliction is because there is a difference between "airspace of jurisdiction," and class B, C, or D airspace.  The Class C "outer area" is a good example of this difference as indicated here:



In other words, a controller is responsible for coordinating a VFR transition through the clear portion of airspace, but it is incumbent on the pilot to ensure he is cleared into the blue part.
Logged

Regards
JD
sykocus
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 349



« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2012, 12:29:00 PM »

There are a few differences in the two references as the AIM is talking about VFR flights and the .65 doesn't differentiating between VFR and IFR. If you look closely they are not in direct conflict with each other. One says pilots have the responibility to coordinate entry into controlled airspace. The other is saying controller have expectation to do the coordination. The cynic in me says it's typical government double talk. The optimist in me says it worded so that both sides of the mic are vigilant against airspace violations.


In other words, a controller is responsible for coordinating a VFR transition through the clear portion of airspace, but it is incumbent on the pilot to ensure he is cleared into the blue part.

Your example isnt bad but I'm not sure it would apply in practice. If a VFR aircraft is receiving flight following from a radar facility with class C and is going to enter the class c regulatory area, one of two possible scenarios exist as I see it. Either the aircraft will enter the class c regulatory area within the controller's area of jurisdiction and by receiving flight following he has satisfied his requirements for entry into class c. Or he will enter the regulatory area outside the controllers area of jurisdiction and the controller is required to coordinate that. Now in the original post it sounds like the pilot was talking to facililty A while the class c was inside facility B's airspace. Regardless of the type airspace involved I cannot imagine a controller allowing an aircraft receiving services to enter another controllers area of jurisdiction without coordination.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 12:32:14 PM by sykocus » Logged

Yesterday I couldn't spell air traffic controller. Today I R one.
davolijj
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 558


MMAC ARSR OKC


« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2012, 12:47:05 PM »

Sykocus,

You have a point but let's change it up a bit and imagine the same situation with class B airspace involved.  Let's say a center controller is providing VFR flight following and radar advisories to an aircraft which will traverse not only Approach control airspace of jurisdiction, but also Class B airspace.  Let's assume the center controller has performed all of the necessary coordination with the approach control regarding the aircraft to transition the airspace including the class B portion.  Since a clearance is required for the aircraft to enter class B airspace does that mean that the pilot may not enter the airspace without a clearance by the center controller?  I believe the answer is yes, the pilot may not enter class B airspace unless he hears the phrase, "N123, cleared into the XXX class bravo airspace..."
Logged

Regards
JD
sykocus
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 349



« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2012, 01:52:00 PM »

I don't have any experience with class b but I thing you are right. Based on what I'm reading if I were that center controller I would feel obligated to issue that clearance (once the coordination has been accomplished)
« Last Edit: July 27, 2012, 01:55:02 PM by sykocus » Logged

Yesterday I couldn't spell air traffic controller. Today I R one.
gmsteve
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3


« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2012, 10:08:18 AM »

Sykocus,

I'm not sure that the 7110.65 and AIM are really contradictory.  The controller is required to coordinate the transition through a class B, C, or D surface area only if the controller issues a clearance that will require the aircraft to enter that airspace. 

Ref 7110.65:  2-1-16. SURFACE AREAS

a. Coordinate with the appropriate nonapproach control tower on an individual aircraft basis before issuing a clearance which would require flight within a surface area for which the tower has responsibility unless otherwise specified in a letter of agreement.

REFERENCE-
FAAO JO 7210.3, Para 4-3-1, Letters of Agreement.
14 CFR Section 91.127, Operating on or in the Vicinity of an Airport in Class E Airspace.
P/CG Term- Surface Area.

b. Coordinate with the appropriate control tower for transit authorization when you are providing radar traffic advisory service to an aircraft that will enter another facility's airspace.

NOTE-
The pilot is not expected to obtain his/her own authorization through each area when in contact with a radar facility.
Logged
gmsteve
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3


« Reply #19 on: August 05, 2012, 10:32:56 AM »

Let me clarify "airspace of jurisdiction" and how that relates to you as a pilot receiving flight following. We all know class B airspace requires a specific clearance to enter so I'm going to ignore that.  With class C and D, the surface areas are the airport towers' airspace of jurisdiction. The outer "shelf" of class C airspace and class C outer area would fall into the local approach control airspace of jurisdiction. If you are receiving flight following from a radar facility, the radar controllers will coordinate your transition through the different sectors within approach control/center airspace using normal radar handoff procedures. No action required from the pilot. If the controller specifically clears the pilot to transition the surface area around a towered airport, the controller will either obtain authorization for the pilot to transition through the tower's airspace while remaining on approach frequency, or authorize the pilot to change to the tower frequency. However, if the pilot is maintaining own navigation while receiving flight following, the pilot is responsible for obtaining authorization to transition any surface area and is not implicitly cleared through that airspace just by virtue of receiving flight following. Sorry for the long response. I hope this helps clarify things for you all.
Logged
sykocus
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 349



« Reply #20 on: August 06, 2012, 01:46:05 AM »

Sykocus,

I'm not sure that the 7110.65 and AIM are really contradictory.  The controller is required to coordinate the transition through a class B, C, or D surface area only if the controller issues a clearance that will require the aircraft to enter that airspace. 

Ref 7110.65:  2-1-16. SURFACE AREAS

a. Coordinate with the appropriate nonapproach control tower on an individual aircraft basis before issuing a clearance which would require flight within a surface area for which the tower has responsibility unless otherwise specified in a letter of agreement.

REFERENCE-
FAAO JO 7210.3, Para 4-3-1, Letters of Agreement.
14 CFR Section 91.127, Operating on or in the Vicinity of an Airport in Class E Airspace.
P/CG Term- Surface Area.

b. Coordinate with the appropriate control tower for transit authorization when you are providing radar traffic advisory service to an aircraft that will enter another facility's airspace.

NOTE-
The pilot is not expected to obtain his/her own authorization through each area when in contact with a radar facility.

Well as I said "semantically" (if that's a word) the AIM and .65 do not contradict however in when you try to apply the two is where the problem comes. I'll come back to that.

In your own post you quote paragraph "b" which is the most applicable as I see it because it's the one that the note applies to.

"b. Coordinate with the appropriate control tower for transit authorization when you are providing radar traffic advisory service to  an aircraft that will enter another facility's airspace."

It doesn't say anything about issuing a clearance. Then comes the note to making more clear about what the controller is expected to do.

"NOTE-
The pilot is not expected to obtain his/her own authorization through each area when in contact with a radar facility."

Back to the application of the AIM and .65's instructions. If the ATC handbook is telling controllers that pilots aren't expected to do the coordination, then it would make sense that the controllers are the one who are expected to (they're the other party involved in this exchange). And it's hard to imagine that a controller would be expected to do something without being held somehow responsible for doing it.

On the other side of the the radio is the pilot. If an aircraft is receiving flight following from a radar facility and it's flight path it taking it though the D the AIM states it's their responsibility to meet the requirements of entry into controlled airspace. However that would require them to possibly leave the radar facility's frequency, which you can't do without permission, or be actively monitoring two different ATC facilities at the same time which could be very taxing. Then what if the tower gives the aircraft a restriction or instruction which is on conflict an instruction to the radar facility gives or vice versa. That could lead to one big mess. All around it puts the pilot between a rock and hard place

I'll just add one more thing. I don't think this part of your statement is wrong:

the pilot is responsible for obtaining authorization to transition any surface area and is not implicitly cleared through that airspace just by virtue of receiving flight following.

The AIM is pretty clear on that and while I didn't look up the FAR it referenced I'm guessing it says the same. But I don't think there is any differentiation between in the controller's responsibility in when a clearance as been issued and simple flight following is being given.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2012, 08:17:23 PM by sykocus » Logged

Yesterday I couldn't spell air traffic controller. Today I R one.
Pages: [1] Go Up Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  


Login with username, password and session length

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!