Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

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Redneck_pilot86
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by Redneck_pilot86 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:09 am

photofly wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 5:43 pm
Redneck_pilot86 wrote:
Mon Apr 02, 2018 3:11 pm
So we're obligated to call in 5 minutes prior to entering the zone (assuming there is no terminal freq we're already on)
We're typically cleared on route 5 miles from the airport on departure.

The "grey" area is that between 5 minutes and 5 miles out - are you on tower, or not? Not all aircraft have multiple comms.
Are you mixing up a couple of different things? You’re not obligated to call anyone any specific number of minutes or miles prior to entering any airspace.

If there’s an MF area then if VFR you must call before entering it stating the required information. And, where practicable, five minutes before entering. (602.101) Talking to ATC on a terminal frequency doesn’t absolve you either of these duties. IFR traffic must report five minutes before commencing an approach at an uncontrolled aerodrome, MF or not (602.104)

If there’s a class C or D control zone your bligation (VFR) is to have a clearance (601.108) or be in radio contact with the controlling agency (601.109) before entering the control zone. There’s no extra five mile or five minute rule.
OK, the 5 minutes prior is not an obligation. But still a potential problem. If you switch to the MF or tower to call up 5 minutes prior to entering, on your only COM radio, do you then switch back to the enrolee frequency and ignore all calls from the tower, or do you stay with tower and ignore all the calls on the on route frequency? Maybe its best to only call tower at 5.1 miles away, 2 minutes from landing and just hope that there isn't anyone 4.9 miles out on departure.
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by photofly » Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:34 pm

Redneck_pilot86 wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:09 am
OK, the 5 minutes prior is not an obligation. But still a potential problem. If you switch to the MF or tower to call up 5 minutes prior to entering, on your only COM radio, do you then switch back to the enrolee frequency and ignore all calls from the tower, or do you stay with tower and ignore all the calls on the on route frequency? Maybe its best to only call tower at 5.1 miles away, 2 minutes from landing and just hope that there isn't anyone 4.9 miles out on departure.
MF frequencies are associated only with uncontrolled aerodromes that don't have a control tower, and controlled airports (which have control towers) have class C or D control zones, not MF areas, so the problem isn't quite as bad as you imagine.

But there was a thread here last year where some pilots of faster aircraft were having to report on the MF frequency sixty miles out, to the chagrin of others. And if I remember right, someone got busted by FSS for not reporting before entering an MF area because ATC refused to release them from a centre frequency in time.
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by rookiepilot » Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:39 pm

photofly wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 5:34 pm

And if I remember right, someone got busted by FSS for not reporting before entering an MF area because ATC refused to release them from a centre frequency in time.
How can that be justified?
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by photofly » Tue Apr 03, 2018 7:18 pm

I probably don't have the details correct; but there was a discussion about why some pilots were calling FSS sixty miles out, and something of that sort came up.
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by ahramin » Tue Apr 03, 2018 8:32 pm

I only have one radio in my plane and I also do a bit of single pilot IFR in other aircraft. In both cases I'm not going to be on 2 frequencies at once. I've never had a problem going off an enroute frequency in order to call FSS or check an ATIS. You ask center if you can go off frequency for 2 minutes, they approve it, and you call them when you are back. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure it's legal, but it sure works fine as long as you plan it ahead.

Getting back to the original question though, with one radio I'm forced to choose between 126.7 and the local center frequency for flight following. I've always picked center. It never occurred to me that this might work with a nearby tower so I'll try it. I have my doubts about how useful it will be, but I'm certainly ready to be proven wrong and I'm definitely going to try it several times. Having someone with a radar watching you is always better than a position report on 126.7.
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by northernexplorer123 » Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:02 pm

As a VFR controller, some of the responses in this thread anger me... :smt021
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by photofly » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:55 pm

Oh you tease, you.
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by Air-Travel » Wed Jul 31, 2019 6:32 am

Does a pilot need to communicate with ATC while flying VFR (during departure, flight or departure) or does it depend on type of flight (like private, commercial, etc.)?

Or is it required for pilot to inform ATC only during arrival and departure for runway clearance and altitudes?

If a pilot does not remain in contact with ATC during the flight, how does ATC know what pilot's intentions are?
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by 5x5 » Fri Aug 02, 2019 9:17 am

northernexplorer123 wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:02 pm
As a VFR controller, some of the responses in this thread anger me... :smt021
Welcome to forums on the internet. :wink:

I think this exchange very much falls in with all the 126.7 threads that have popped up over time. Essentially, people are recommending that more radio calls should be made than are actually required. And it's all in the name of supposed "safety" so how can it be wrong?

Well, it's wrong in a number of ways. Mainly it's wrong since there are no actual rules, so there's no way to know who is and who isn't complying with any rules of thumb or personal guidelines. Therefore there are pilots and controllers operating with personal expectations that may or may not be fulfilled by others in the system with no way of knowing who is or isn't. Any supposed safety measure that doesn't have some sort of reasonable expectation of compliance by all involved doesn't really enhance safety at all.

With 126.7 the sheer volume of calls and the unscripted content (since there are no specific rules governing them) leads to massive congestion, crosstalk, and many times incomprehensible noise. Wide adoption of "rule of thumb" calls near and around control zones could arguably lead to similar problems.

But the real problem I see with both is the assumption/expectation that radio calls are a replacement for effectively looking outside. The most basic safety rule for VFR flight is and always has been "see and be seen".

In congested areas where aircraft tend to come together frequently and "see and be seen" becomes more difficult it is determined that traffic control via radio communication is necessary and the procedures and content of calls is quite clearly defined. Additionally, the extent to which it is geographically necessary is also determined and appropriate area boundaries are defined. Beyond those boundaries there is no need for such protocol so none is defined. Should the defined boundaries not be satisfactory and actual safety conflicts arise (not just inconveniences or personal nervousness or uncertainty) they need to be changed - officially and for everybody.

In the meantime, use and learn the system as it is and everyone will be fine.
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Re: Should VFR traffic near control zones contact ATC?

Post by rookiepilot » Sat Aug 03, 2019 6:43 am

northernexplorer123 wrote:
Thu Apr 12, 2018 2:02 pm
As a VFR controller, some of the responses in this thread anger me... :smt021
I'd actually like to know why.

Anger from a controller isn't a good thing.

We are all here to learn, including from controllers :D
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