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The Finer Points of Flying
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:56 am 

Joined: Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:43 pm
Posts: 1
If you are flying VFR with flight following, what is the procedure if you want to fly thru controlled airport (class D and C). Does the person you are talking to on approach have the power to clear you thru the airspace or do you have to call that airports Tower to obtain clearance? And if you do have to call the tower how would you ask for the freq. change?

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:06 pm 

Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2008 7:41 am
Posts: 5
Location: San Jose, CA
I'm not a CFI but according to FAA order 7110.65S Ch. 2-1-16 Surface Areas [], ATC is required to:

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.

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.

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

c. Transfer communications to the appropriate facility, if required, prior to operation within a surface area for which the tower has responsibility.

It brings up another question, what's the best way to handle the situation where you're approaching your flight planned destination, which requires a transition through a nearby airfield's towered airspace, and you're already on flight following, but ATC is busy or just doesn't realize you need a transition? Should you request freq. change for 1 min to contact tower to request the transition, or just remind ATC you require transition assistance?

An example would be a flight like KRHV;SUNOL/Fix;SAC/VOR;KMCC. Sacramento Executive Class D is in the path of dest. McClellan airfield (KMCC), and assuming you're with NORCAL on flight following, and approaching SAC/VOR, but NORCAL hasn't initiated comm withing the last couple of minutes.

BTW, that whole area has more than a dozen airfields in the same 20mile circle. I'm flying to KMCC at the end of the month. Anyone have tips on what to expect trying to land at that airfield, regarding NORCAL comm and pattern entry?

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 23, 2009 7:53 am 

Joined: Tue Apr 08, 2008 12:50 pm
Posts: 9
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
When on flight following, there is no need to contact each airport's (Class D or E) airspace if you are going to fly through them. The controller you are on flight following will do that. It is seemless for you and you may not even know it is happening.

Class B and Class C airspace is different. When on flight following in Class C airspace.... you will most always be handed off to the approach contol in charge of the Class C airspace. If you establish two way comm with them and that means they read back your Tail Number then you are cleared into the Class C airpsace unless they follow it with specific instructions to remain clear. If they do not read back your tail number but just say stand by then you are not cleared.

In Class B airspace, while on flight following, you will be talking to the controllers in charge of that airpace. You must hear specific authorization into the Class B airspace in order to enter the airspace whether on flight following or not even if you hear your tail number read back to you. If they do not specifically clear you into the Class B then ask for it or they will tell you to remain clear.

I am not an instructor but I do most of my flying in very Busy Class B airspace around DFW (Dallas/ Fort Worth, Texas).

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