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LA VFR Ops Question


Sean Harrison
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Below is the LA West Heli chart from SkyVector, which I hope correctly shows the airspace.

 

N960LA.jpg

 

I flew VFR AS50 "POL5" along the yellow trail. SOCAL contacted me and said I was inside Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] B which I could have been.

 

My question is what airspace am I in below 2000 feet in the Huntington Park/South Gate/Bell Gardens area? It would be good if a knowledgeable person could educate an Ozzie flying VFR in LA.

Sean

C1/O P3

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Depends how low you were, but the likely answer is Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] E. The Long Beach Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] D area starts not too far south of the southern-most tip of your loop. Other than that, if you kept your altitude to at or below 1949 ft MSL, you should've shown up as below 2k and thus outside of Bravo airspace. Get the controller's OIs and file a virtual ASRS report.

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If you were that low, then not only were you not in the Bravo, you weren't even in controlled airspace. Unless I'm missing something, below 700 AGL in that area would be Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] G airspace.

 

The altitude notation on the chart is a "between" relationship, e.g. between 2000 and 10,000 ft MSL (inclusive) is Bravo airspace. Directly above and below would be Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] E airspace.

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  • 1 month later...

I concur; it looks like you were in G up to 700 then E up to at least 1999 (and sometimes higher) throughout your route. The only ATC-related violation might have been failure to have your Mode-C active (a requirement when in Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] E space under a Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] B "shelf").

 

I also got scolded by an Approach controller in another area some time ago for being in his airspace when I thought I was below it. Having not done anything but Ground so far in my brief ATC career, I don't know what the scope looks like from their end, but, can a controller comment on perhaps whether the information on their screen isn't sufficient to see the vertical boundaries well enough? And/or is flying "under the shelf" rare enough that controllers (especially newer ones, who might be working Approach rather than Center) might miss that fact?

Cheers,
-R.

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Given your response that the altitude limits must be memorized (I'm guessing that means they aren't displayed on the scope), I'm surmising that it's more likely that that an inexperienced controller didn't remember to consider the vertical boundaries, in both my case & Sean's.

 

No big deal; we're all human. Nothing a little two-way communication can't fix.

Cheers,
-R.

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Hi Sean,

I'm way late to the party here, but I agree with the other folks -- I don't see any Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] B violation, and your track stays north of Long Beach Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] D, so it looks fine there too.

 

The only thing I see that may have been a problem was your flight track around Dodger Stadium.

 

From the screenshot, it looks like there was a game going on -- (depending on when you flew it vs when you took the screenie). If that was the case, then you would have violated that airspace as the typical NOTAM for those sorts of events prohibit air ops inside the affected area from 0-3000 AGL.

PURSUANT TO 14 CFR SECTION 99.7, SPECIAL SECURITY INSTRUCTIONS, COMMENCING ONE HOUR BEFORE THE SCHEDULED TIME OF THE EVENT UNTIL ONE HOUR AFTER THE END OF THE EVENT. ALL AIRCRAFT OPERATIONS; INCLUDING PARACHUTE JUMPING, UNMANNED AIRCRAFT AND REMOTE CONTROLLED AIRCRAFT, ARE PROHIBITED WITHIN A 1410271420-PERM END PART 1 OF 3 FDC 4/3621 FDC PART 2 OF 3 SPECIAL 3NMR UP TO AND INCLUDING 3000FT AGL OF ANY STADIUM HAVING A SEATING CAPACITY OF 30,000 OR MORE PEOPLE WHERE EITHER A REGULAR OR POST SEASON MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL, NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE, OR NCAA DIVISION ONE FOOTBALL GAME IS OCCURRING.

Based on your OP though, the controller evidently wasn't referring to that (and tbh, I don't know if the usual VATSIM controllers note those NOTAMs when they're controlling - but I'd imagine some might), so it seems to be a simple mistake (probably on the controller's part).

 

Regards,

Jim

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(and tbh, I don't know if the usual VATSIM controllers note those NOTAMs when they're controlling - but I'd imagine some might), so it seems to be a simple mistake (probably on the controller's part).

I doubt TFRs, NOTAMs, etc. are enforced anywhere on VATSIM. If they have been, I'm sure at least one pilot whined to a SUP about it and it was deemed too realistic for VATSIM purposes.

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