Is the Class C Control Zone at Langley Airport Dysfunctional?

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stabilizedapproach
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Re: Is the Class C Control Zone at Langley Airport Dysfunctional?

Post by stabilizedapproach »

Panama Jack wrote: Tue Jun 30, 2020 10:26 am That's my understanding of it, but I would love to hear a controller's view of this topic.
The role of the tower is to separate aircraft in their control zone, not just on the runway, but this is kind of where it gets tricky by definition.

We are only required to provide conflict resolution to VFR aircraft in Class C upon request but they will always be provided traffic information to assist in achieving visual separation. The whole "upon request" thing is silly though. We're not crazy enough to let a situation deteriorate to no return and not say anything about it. We don't have to provide conflict resolution but how can we, in good conscience, let two planes come so close and not do anything about it?

Above the zone is Class E, so no conflict resolution and traffic is workload permitting but everyone wants to call and expect service. We technically don't have to provide any kind of service in Class E, but again... in good conscience, how can we let two planes come that close and not say anything? Our focus and priority is always aircraft in our control zone, so airplanes in the Class E sometimes get ignored
linecrew wrote: Tue Jun 30, 2020 7:39 am They are bound by very strict procedures and phrase-ology guidelines. If they stray from these they get penalized for it, even if it's minor.
That's a very harsh way to describe it :wink: Phraseology is a set standard, but we are allowed to communicate using plain English... and definitely no punishment handed out, otherwise I'd be out of a job already.
AirFrame wrote: Wed Jul 01, 2020 5:08 pm Of course there's also the problem of people who assume that because they're now talking to the tower, they will be passed other traffic, and get annoyed when the tower doesn't do that. Can't please anyone these days...
Those annoyed pilots need to review their airspace classifications! :D
jakeandelwood wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 2:33 pm I heard one terminal controller deny 2 VFR planes higher because he said he couldn't understand them.
It's all about workload and how more airplanes on your frequency will inevitably take up a controller's time and attention away from their primary role - very similar to airplanes calling up requesting service in Class E airspace. Terminal controllers are all about providing IFR service first and foremost. Vancouver won't entertain most requests because they are busy working airplanes within a very confined Terminal airspace. Pilots aren't expected to know our procedures so while being told to remain clear sounds harsh, it's probably because your request may bring you nose to nose or into the wake of a 747 joining the downwind for Vancouver.
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Re: Is the Class C Control Zone at Langley Airport Dysfunctional?

Post by rookiepilot »

stabilizedapproach wrote: Thu Jul 02, 2020 10:00 pm

It's all about workload and how more airplanes on your frequency will inevitably take up a controller's time and attention away from their primary role - very similar to airplanes calling up requesting service in Class E airspace. Terminal controllers are all about providing IFR service first and foremost. Vancouver won't entertain most requests because they are busy working airplanes within a very confined Terminal airspace. Pilots aren't expected to know our procedures so while being told to remain clear sounds harsh, it's probably because your request may bring you nose to nose or into the wake of a 747 joining the downwind for Vancouver.
Whenever I hear "workload" and "YVR" terminal in the same sentence, I raise my eyebrows as a GA pilot.

Why is it that I've heard Winnipeg also denies VFR's, and I've been denied by....Ottawa terminal, of all places.
I don't mean denied as into the class C, but traffic service near the class C shelf.

I thought the point of an ATC facility was to enhance safety, not argue about required service in a class of airspace.

As most of my experience is in the Toronto area, and having flown enough in NYC and DC's airspace, I wonder if the problem is really an overwhelming level of traffic.

YYZ always provides service, and 99% of the time it's in class E airspace.
They work hard and are appreciated, and I'm sure by the multiple towers as much as anyone.

So YVR is congested. So are lots of places. Fix it. Staff it. And don't let people fly, FTU's, who cant communicate.

Terminal doesn't want the work , and so Langley tower gets traffic calls they shouldn't. Or that's how it seems.

Maybe it's Terminal that's dysfunctional.
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Re: Is the Class C Control Zone at Langley Airport Dysfunctional?

Post by stabilizedapproach »

rookiepilot wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:36 am Whenever I hear "workload" and "YVR" terminal in the same sentence, I raise my eyebrows as a GA pilot.

...

So YVR is congested. So are lots of places. Fix it. Staff it. And don't let people fly, FTU's, who cant communicate.

Terminal doesn't want the work , and so Langley tower gets traffic calls they shouldn't. Or that's how it seems.

Maybe it's Terminal that's dysfunctional.
You can't always "staff" a problem away. Having more cooks in the kitchen doesn't necessarily make the food taste any better.

Pilots never see what controllers see, and sometimes they don't hear what controllers hear either, so it's very easy to get mad at terminal (or any unit for that matter) and say they're providing crap service. It is not fair to say a controller is lazy or the terminal is dysfunctional because you don't know the big picture. Vancouver Terminal airspace happens to be incredibly complex and confined in part due to some very big unmovable rocks to the north. While it's so easy to say "fix it", short of moving mountains, there is only so much fixing NAV Canada can do to allow GA and heavier commercial traffic to co-exist in a very confined area. There are efforts underway to try and make the airspace better for everyone though, but to see any results would be years down the road. I'm sure Toronto is great, but I'm more sure you'll also be told to remain clear if the request interferes with their traffic as well.

YNJ happens to be on a long final to YVR - perfectly in line if you look on the VTA and when the 26's are active, planes could be given vectors and descents to join final right over YNJ. The approach controller is most interested in giving airplanes a stabilized approach, and me in my flight school's 152 is most interested in not getting flipped over by the wake of an A380 overhead. The VTA also says no contact above 19 to 25 in Class E so there is a corridor for people to get to and from the practice area without having to talk to anyone, but people do it anyway hence YNJ's frequency congestion.

Whether people can fly is up to Transport, not NAV, and of note, we don't "deny" service - that's up to the Minister of Transport. We are trained, permitted and even encouraged to restrict it to a level that we can work safely and whatever level that may be varies from controller to controller. And yeah, I'll be the first to tell you that some people aren't good on the radio, but how can they improve if we don't let them talk to controllers? You can only simulate so much radio-work on the ground with your instructor. Some of us are graced with perfect English so it's easy for us to speak on and listen to the radio, but you have to give props to the ESL pilot who has maybe 10 hours under their belt to be brave enough to make their own transmission. And frankly, even if you have perfect English, think back to your first few hours in a plane making a radio call and how shaky that must've been. I remember my first radio call as a student pilot and what that was like.
rookiepilot wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:36 am I thought the point of an ATC facility was to enhance safety, not argue about required service in a class of airspace.
Yes, it is definitely to enhance safety but within my area of control. If I have lots of planes in my Class C airspace, my priority is to ensure they all receive control service and information first. If I'm busy, providing any kind of service to airplanes in the Class E is very low on my priority list. The whole point about airspace classification is for pilots to know what they can expect out of ATC in whatever airspace they are flying in, otherwise there is no point in delineating classifications at all.
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Re: Is the Class C Control Zone at Langley Airport Dysfunctional?

Post by rookiepilot »

Thanks for the response. I've visited terminal to have a better view of their picture, years ago. It is up to pilots to know the airspace, and someone should rap knuckles of those doing dumb stuff.

More Frequencies? I don't know how many YVR terminal uses, but it strikes me it's not enough, from my take while flying there. We have quite a few here....don't think it would work without as many as there is.

I'm well aware of the airspace, I've lived out there. NYC.....ATC is fast and expects everyone else to be too, or get barked at (I've heard that)...they get nasty with those not clear on the radio. So...seems like a training issue....

My home airport in Ontario is right under the approach path for Pearson...I get that too, and I have always have been given service just under the class C shelf.

From my read they prefer that. Like Langley, it's a very narrow slice between an airport's space and the class c in places, I think it lowers their stress knowing folks intentions. I could be mistaken!

When I learned, I was told to practice with apps, and listen to ATC live, I think it is.

Strikes me it's more an proficiency with English issue, and if so that's a non starter in busy airspace. Just cannot have folks struggling with basic language skills up there.

My $0.02. Why does this happen in even quieter airspace, like Winnipeg?
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Re: Is the Class C Control Zone at Langley Airport Dysfunctional?

Post by stabilizedapproach »

All units can cross-couple (combine) frequencies when it is quieter and does not merit splitting off into positions. When it is busy and all positions are open, the Terminal is split up pretty logically and there are enough frequencies to go around to make it work as well.

English proficiency is important, but I don’t agree with ATC being “nasty” to pilots though because the last thing we need is some ESL being scared to talk to controllers due to some bad prior experience. If the language is hard enough for them already, why make the situation worse by berating them on the radio. The whole safety system starts breaking down when pilots are too afraid to “annoy” ATC to keep them in the picture in case of any issues. LiveATC is a good way to learn the aviation language and apps are probably useful as well, but neither provides any meaningful feedback comparable to talking to live controllers with others on the radio listening in. These tools are great in that they can practice listening to instructions, but the second and equally important part of effective two-way communication is speaking over the radio. We all know practice makes perfect, but practice also builds confidence that students need to develop.

You are very correct in saying it lowers stress knowing pilot intentions, especially if you are cutting through that narrow slice of Class E and skimming the floor of the Class C. And it’s not just intentions - if you’re talking to the appropriate ATC unit, we can verify your Mode C to ensure it’s showing the proper altitude readout. Altitude readouts are especially important in congested airspaces.

Finally, I don’t know anything about Winnipeg or Toronto so I definitely can’t speak to how they manage their airspaces out there, but I definitely encourage this kind of dialogue between pilots and controllers because we work together to ensure safety.
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Re: Is the Class C Control Zone at Langley Airport Dysfunctional?

Post by photofly »

I'm sure Toronto is great, but I'm more sure you'll also be told to remain clear if the request interferes with their traffic as well.
Not with those words. Typically, inbound, one is simply instructed to descend to an altitude below the class C airspace. On departure if you ask for permission to climb you aren’t given it until the altitude you requested is no longer class C airspace.

A radar service has without exception in my experience always been available, so the class of airspace is somewhat irrelevant.
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Re: Is the Class C Control Zone at Langley Airport Dysfunctional?

Post by rookiepilot »

stabilizedapproach wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 4:58 pm
You are very correct in saying it lowers stress knowing pilot intentions, especially if you are cutting through that narrow slice of Class E and skimming the floor of the Class C. And it’s not just intentions - if you’re talking to the appropriate ATC unit, we can verify your Mode C to ensure it’s showing the proper altitude readout. Altitude readouts are especially important in congested airspaces.

How does that work when Terminal simply and only says "Stay clear"?

What then happens is what's happening. Planes transiting will call up Langley tower to cut the risk of an incident, overloading them.

You haven't addressed the issue of terminals refusal of service, offloading the problem onto other facilities.

I don't routinely call up Hamilton or Waterloo tower here, even when very close. If terminal refused to talk to me, I certainly would.
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Re: Is the Class C Control Zone at Langley Airport Dysfunctional?

Post by 7ECA »

I always found that little slice of airspace from the Port Mann to the Alex Fraser (roughly) to be rather funny - especially with the guarantee that you'll never be allowed into Terminal. Still, nice to be able to cut across and out of Boundary Bay if you were heading Northbound anyway...

I do agree that there should be more communication between pilots and ATC; especially in the context of meeting face to face and getting a sense of things. Tower visits were a really interesting insight into things; although I'd imagine nowadays they're more frowned on with COVID.
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Re: Is the Class C Control Zone at Langley Airport Dysfunctional?

Post by stabilizedapproach »

rookiepilot wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:46 pm How does that work when Terminal simply and only says "Stay clear"?

What then happens is what's happening. Planes transiting will call up Langley tower to cut the risk of an incident, overloading them.

You haven't addressed the issue of terminals refusal of service, offloading the problem onto other facilities.  

I don't routinely call up Hamilton or Waterloo tower here, even when very close. If terminal refused to talk to me, I certainly would.
I’m talking about checking in with the various other units underneath Vancouver Terminal airspace so they know you are there so they can verify Mode C and provide some kind of flight following, kind of like what you do with Hamilton and Waterloo if Toronto doesn’t want to talk to you. Like I said before, if the 26s are active at YVR, they are most definitely not interested in accommodating you because any request for higher will conflict with their traffic on final. I’m not a commercial pilot but as I understand it, airliners like to be established on a straight line to the ground. If approach is running their airplanes overhead and they won’t let you climb because it’s unsafe, what do you want them to tell you?

The reason it’s mostly not a problem is because pilots from the Mainland cross overhead YNJ (19 to 25 is Class E) to the practice area without needing to go any higher than 2300-2500’ anyway. Maintaining listening watch to the Langley frequency is definitely nice, a call would be appreciated and traffic information provided if it doesn’t sound too busy, and no contact is just playing by the letter of the VTA. No one would write you up if you’re not even listening to the frequency. I’ve had many skimming the edges and upper limits of my zone without a single check-in and that doesn’t bother me, personally.

And to address your point about off-loading... frankly, I don’t think any controllers even see it as such. We all recognize when Terminal is busy and how that is complicated by our geography to the north. Our radar feeds are surprisingly good so I see the big picture just like any controller in position would. I have never once said “man I wish these planes could go higher with Terminal because I’m overloaded”... If I’m busy, they probably are as well and I can see it. And just because we’re talking a lot on the radio doesn’t necessarily mean we’re feeling busy either. You’ll find that most units are pretty light-hearted and chill. We’re probably laughing at a stupid joke a colleague just told in between transmissions or something so it’s not as stressful as people imagine ATC to be. Part of why training takes so long is because we teach how to recognize when it will get busy so controllers will know how to mitigate and never be too task-saturated to the point of back-breaking stress.

As a point of discussion though (and you may have an idea no one has ever thought of so I am honestly asking and not doing so with hostility), how do you propose solving the issue you see so Langley doesn’t get overloaded? We can’t change the fact that YVR is where it is, so we also can’t change the fact that heavies are routinely descending between 3000-5000 in that very busy area to join final at the appropriate altitude, right above the 152’s chugging along at 2500’.
7ECA wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:57 pm I always found that little slice of airspace from the Port Mann to the Alex Fraser (roughly) to be rather funny - especially with the guarantee that you'll never be allowed into Terminal.  Still, nice to be able to cut across and out of Boundary Bay if you were heading Northbound anyway...

I do agree that there should be more communication between pilots and ATC; especially in the context of meeting face to face and getting a sense of things.  Tower visits were a really interesting insight into things; although I'd imagine nowadays they're more frowned on with COVID.
That airspace you’re talking about actually belongs to Vancouver Tower from 1200’ to 2500’. If the 26’s are active, you’re probably safer just transiting underneath because it provides for wake turbulence separation.

All facility visits are unfortunately stopped now because of COVID, and I don’t envision it being possible until a vaccine is available. The dialogue was nice though and pilots seem to understand much better why things are a certain way if they get to see what we work with.
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Re: Is the Class C Control Zone at Langley Airport Dysfunctional?

Post by patter »

Taxiway C is labeled on different taxiways in the CFS and CAP. According to my Foreflight.

I read with interest the Cadors in Pacific Region every week.
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Re: Is the Class C Control Zone at Langley Airport Dysfunctional?

Post by 7ECA »

stabilizedapproach wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:11 pm That airspace you’re talking about actually belongs to Vancouver Tower from 1200’ to 2500’. If the 26’s are active, you’re probably safer just transiting underneath because it provides for wake turbulence separation.

All facility visits are unfortunately stopped now because of COVID, and I don’t envision it being possible until a vaccine is available. The dialogue was nice though and pilots seem to understand much better why things are a certain way if they get to see what we work with.
I recall a night flight, in which Vancouver was "quiet" where I was denied higher Northbound going to the Harbour; which is fine, because you can skirt around the various zones and pop up as required. But, it would be nice to get higher in that area, someday. :wink:

Makes sense, is what it is. I know I used to drop in to the tower at Pitt back before the new one went up, from time to time. Guys were a riot, as long as it wasn't too busy.
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Re: Is the Class C Control Zone at Langley Airport Dysfunctional?

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7ECA wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 11:06 pm I recall a night flight, in which Vancouver was "quiet" where I was denied higher Northbound going to the Harbour; which is fine, because you can skirt around the various zones and pop up as required. But, it would be nice to get higher in that area, someday. :wink:
Yeah that area is particularly tricky and generally a no-VFR zone because the extension is meant to contain IFR aircraft in controlled airspace. If it's not wake protection on the 26's, it's to protect for the missed approach on the 08's. But I suspect if you try a night flight now, you'd probably get to fulfill your wish of getting higher in that area :lol:

I hope the restrictions on visits are lifted soon. We hear pilots' voices all the time, and it's nice to get to put a face and a name to the voice. It's also nice for pilots to know that we aren't emotionless robots on the other end of the mic as well, even if we sound like it most of the time :wink:
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Re: Is the Class C Control Zone at Langley Airport Dysfunctional?

Post by rotorspeed »

Flying in the late 80's 90's in Vancouver. Pitt , BB and Langley were class D as everyone knows. I thought they became class C because they got radar service
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Re: Is the Class C Control Zone at Langley Airport Dysfunctional?

Post by rookiepilot »

photofly wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:20 pm
I'm sure Toronto is great, but I'm more sure you'll also be told to remain clear if the request interferes with their traffic as well.
Not with those words. Typically, inbound, one is simply instructed to descend to an altitude below the class C airspace. On departure if you ask for permission to climb you aren’t given it until the altitude you requested is no longer class C airspace.

A radar service has without exception in my experience always been available, so the class of airspace is somewhat irrelevant.
To answer your last question Stabilized:
As PF says, it's simply nice when Terminal talks to us in busy airspace, we don't need to be any higher and inside the class C.

YYZ operates multiple satellites on different frequencies, so they can do this....I do recognize it's a much bigger airspace.

Flying under VFR or IFR procedures isn't terribly different, either in this area, unless an actual approach needs to be made, at least from our side.
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Re: Is the Class C Control Zone at Langley Airport Dysfunctional?

Post by AirFrame »

stabilizedapproach wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 12:05 pmSome of us are graced with perfect English so it's easy for us to speak on and listen to the radio, but you have to give props to the ESL pilot who has maybe 10 hours under their belt to be brave enough to make their own transmission. And frankly, even if you have perfect English, think back to your first few hours in a plane making a radio call and how shaky that must've been. I remember my first radio call as a student pilot and what that was like.
You may want to give props to the student for being brave enough to try communicating, but at the same time you should be sh*tting heavily, and from a great height, upon the school that sets a student free who has neither the enunciation skills to clearly communicate their request, nor the comprehension skills to understand more than expected, canned responses. I've heard very broken requests, the tower somehow makes it out and starts to respond with "cleared" but then says for them to do something else... The student carries on with what they originally requested because all they heard was "cleared" and they didn't follow the rest. I thought the whole point of the English proficiency testing was to remove these situations.

I know it's not an easy problem to fix, either. To be proficient, you really must speak English at a conversational level, and many foreign students coming here don't have that. It takes months to get to that level, and many of them are only here long enough to get their license and leave.
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Re: Is the Class C Control Zone at Langley Airport Dysfunctional?

Post by AirFrame »

stabilizedapproach wrote: Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:11 pmThat airspace you’re talking about actually belongs to Vancouver Tower from 1200’ to 2500’. If the 26’s are active, you’re probably safer just transiting underneath because it provides for wake turbulence separation.
<pedantic>YVR's space is only from the Patullo bridge to the Alex Fraser, east of the Patullo out to the Port Mann you're Class E to 2500'.</pedantic>

And even with that said, there's almost nowhere in that space you can legally "transit" without climbing into YVR airspace. There are terrain, bridge masts, cable crossings, etc. all over 200' ASL, and legally you need 1000' clear above them in a 4000' circle to pass over top. If you're talking safety, just avoid that airspace altogether.
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Re: Is the Class C Control Zone at Langley Airport Dysfunctional?

Post by lhalliday »

A big issue in Vancouver is the terrain. I've flown in Toronto myself. They have their issues, but terrain isn't one of them...
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...laura
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Re: Is the Class C Control Zone at Langley Airport Dysfunctional?

Post by stabilizedapproach »

rookiepilot wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:04 am To answer your last question Stabilized:
As PF says, it's simply nice when Terminal talks to us in busy airspace, we don't need to be any higher and inside the class C.

YYZ operates multiple satellites on different frequencies, so they can do this....I do recognize it's a much bigger airspace.

Flying under VFR or IFR procedures isn't terribly different, either in this area, unless an actual approach needs to be made, at least from our side.
If you don't need to be in terminal Class C and just want to talk to someone for flight following, what's wrong with talking to an underlying tower who can provide the exact same service you're looking for? Why not let VFR units work VFR traffic and IFR units work IFR traffic? It sounds pedantic, but there is good reason for such a fine division. Towers are permitted to work with a radar range much less than that of an IFR unit and have significantly better local knowledge. Pilots can call up approaching the warehouse and terminal likely won't have a clue what you're talking about... but a VFR unit definitely will. In a congested airspace in the Mainland, letting the VFR people work VFR traffic is much more efficient and arguably safer. If you need to go higher into Class C, then by all means call up the IFR unit for service and see what happens.

Here's a scenario for you: Three airplanes in close proximity are transiting overhead a control zone (quite often the case in the Mainland). One calls terminal, one calls the tower, and one calls no one at all. Does having three airplanes on three different frequencies in a one mile radius sound safe to you? If terminal starts taking whoever calls them, we will run into that situation. As a controller, if I am talking to a majority of those airplanes, I can help you achieve separation, but I'm handcuffed if I'm not talking to most of them. Locally, it's almost an unspoken rule now that airplanes transiting the Langley zone overhead will be at least listening to that frequency even without a check-in.

Maybe this is just a Vancouver thing, because I am not familiar with Toronto. I don't know how many underlying towers there are or even how busy it can be with GA, but between 3 busy training airports and one pretty busy water aerodrome, Vancouver airspace can get pretty packed. The underlying towers help take that burden off Terminal.
AirFrame wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:14 am You may want to give props to the student for being brave enough to try communicating, but at the same time you should be sh*tting heavily, and from a great height, upon the school that sets a student free who has neither the enunciation skills to clearly communicate their request, nor the comprehension skills to understand more than expected, canned responses. I've heard very broken requests, the tower somehow makes it out and starts to respond with "cleared" but then says for them to do something else... The student carries on with what they originally requested because all they heard was "cleared" and they didn't follow the rest. I thought the whole point of the English proficiency testing was to remove these situations.
Yes it can be frustrating but part of our job is to monitor for compliance. We literally get paid to sit and make sure pilots do what we say - IFR or VFR, and this isn't limited to just ESL pilots. I've seen many typically very reliable pilots make mistakes too - from familiar flight instructors to even professional pilots, but ESL exacerbates the problem a little. I thought the whole English proficiency thing is a pre-solo requirement... but I'm not so sure anymore. It's been a while since I did mine!

When I fly, I pay extra attention to the radio much more than when I work because in a busy airspace, the controller could be rapidly firing off several transmissions to others before they can rapidly acknowledge me, then going back to rapidly firing off more words at others. Low time pilots might barely realize they're being addressed, miss most of the transmission because they're so task saturated and just reply anyway because they think they understood what's being asked of them. But controllers know that just because we issue a clearance doesn't mean it's one and done - we still monitor until the very end regardless of whether the pilot is good at English or not.
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Re: Is the Class C Control Zone at Langley Airport Dysfunctional?

Post by jakeandelwood »

stabilizedapproach wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:46 am
rookiepilot wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 7:04 am To answer your last question Stabilized:
As PF says, it's simply nice when Terminal talks to us in busy airspace, we don't need to be any higher and inside the class C.

YYZ operates multiple satellites on different frequencies, so they can do this....I do recognize it's a much bigger airspace.

Flying under VFR or IFR procedures isn't terribly different, either in this area, unless an actual approach needs to be made, at least from our side.
If you don't need to be in terminal Class C and just want to talk to someone for flight following, what's wrong with talking to an underlying tower who can provide the exact same service you're looking for? Why not let VFR units work VFR traffic and IFR units work IFR traffic? It sounds pedantic, but there is good reason for such a fine division. Towers are permitted to work with a radar range much less than that of an IFR unit and have significantly better local knowledge. Pilots can call up approaching the warehouse and terminal likely won't have a clue what you're talking about... but a VFR unit definitely will. In a congested airspace in the Mainland, letting the VFR people work VFR traffic is much more efficient and arguably safer. If you need to go higher into Class C, then by all means call up the IFR unit for service and see what happens.

Here's a scenario for you: Three airplanes in close proximity are transiting overhead a control zone (quite often the case in the Mainland). One calls terminal, one calls the tower, and one calls no one at all. Does having three airplanes on three different frequencies in a one mile radius sound safe to you? If terminal starts taking whoever calls them, we will run into that situation. As a controller, if I am talking to a majority of those airplanes, I can help you achieve separation, but I'm handcuffed if I'm not talking to most of them. Locally, it's almost an unspoken rule now that airplanes transiting the Langley zone overhead will be at least listening to that frequency even without a check-in.

Maybe this is just a Vancouver thing, because I am not familiar with Toronto. I don't know how many underlying towers there are or even how busy it can be with GA, but between 3 busy training airports and one pretty busy water aerodrome, Vancouver airspace can get pretty packed. The underlying towers help take that burden off Terminal.
AirFrame wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 8:14 am You may want to give props to the student for being brave enough to try communicating, but at the same time you should be sh*tting heavily, and from a great height, upon the school that sets a student free who has neither the enunciation skills to clearly communicate their request, nor the comprehension skills to understand more than expected, canned responses. I've heard very broken requests, the tower somehow makes it out and starts to respond with "cleared" but then says for them to do something else... The student carries on with what they originally requested because all they heard was "cleared" and they didn't follow the rest. I thought the whole point of the English proficiency testing was to remove these situations.
Yes it can be frustrating but part of our job is to monitor for compliance. We literally get paid to sit and make sure pilots do what we say - IFR or VFR, and this isn't limited to just ESL pilots. I've seen many typically very reliable pilots make mistakes too - from familiar flight instructors to even professional pilots, but ESL exacerbates the problem a little. I thought the whole English proficiency thing is a pre-solo requirement... but I'm not so sure anymore. It's been a while since I did mine!

When I fly, I pay extra attention to the radio much more than when I work because in a busy airspace, the controller could be rapidly firing off several transmissions to others before they can rapidly acknowledge me, then going back to rapidly firing off more words at others. Low time pilots might barely realize they're being addressed, miss most of the transmission because they're so task saturated and just reply anyway because they think they understood what's being asked of them. But controllers know that just because we issue a clearance doesn't mean it's one and done - we still monitor until the very end regardless of whether the pilot is good at English or not.
How is getting a tower controller in Langley to give you flight following practical? The zone is 3 miles, by the time you get a word in edgewise you're long gone. VFR traffic is allowed in class C terminal airspace, it says so right in the AIM. I get tired of this VFR frowned upon in Vancouver terminal airpspace, Why when I fly from YYJ to YKA I never have trouble getting service from terminal, but the other way it's usually a problem? I guess because I'm already in class C out of YYJ? Wouldn't more controllers help? If you look at some of the other forums on AV Canada there is a whole long list of people trying to get in at Nav Canada including myself, ive been trying for 5 years. How do busier airspaces handle more traffic? In the end it comes down to simply more "traffic" whether it's VFR or IFR. I just don't get the difference if I'm flying VFR from A to B or IFR A to B on a clear day why I get shoo'd away VFR but the controllers make it work if I'm IFR, I'm still the same aircraft occupying the same airspace at the same speed.
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Re: Is the Class C Control Zone at Langley Airport Dysfunctional?

Post by photofly »

stabilizedapproach wrote: Sat Jul 04, 2020 10:46 am Maybe this is just a Vancouver thing, because I am not familiar with Toronto. I don't know how many underlying towers there are or even how busy it can be with GA, but between 3 busy training airports and one pretty busy water aerodrome, Vancouver airspace can get pretty packed. The underlying towers help take that burden off Terminal.
Not including Pearson there are eight aerodromes in and around Toronto: Billy Bishop (Class C), Oshawa (Class D), Hamilton (Class D), Buttonville (uncontrolled), Burlington (uncontrolled), Markham (uncontrolled) and Brampton (uncontrolled) - all moderately to very busy training aerodromes. Plus Downsview, immediately adjacent to YYZ, which is fairly quiet. There is also occasional floatplane traffic into Toronto Harbour, and the medevac helicopters into and out of the downtown hospitals.

There is a steady flow of GA traffic trying to transit YYZ all flying a very narrow corridor along the lake shore.

Toronto terminal has two seats dedicated to traffic in an out of and transiting those aerodromes: Satellites East and Satellites West. Neither Oshawa nor Hamilton Tower will provide a radar service other than inside their control zones: Oshawa hands you off to Satellites East and Hamilton to Satellites West.

Like I said, I have never heard of a pilot being denied a radar service due to volume of traffic in the Class E airspace around Toronto.
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