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Entering to a controlled area


Alexander Deyneko
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Hi,

I little bit confusing about a situation when I take off from a small airport. I have some questions:

 

Situation 1. I take off (IFR) from a small airport which is located in a big X Center area.

When I taxiing and take off, I use UNICOM.

After take off when I need to contact with X Center controller (time, alt, etc)? Or do I need to contact with him before take off?

 

Situation 2. I took off from a small airport and after 10 mins I enter an approach zone. How I need to contact with a controller? Like this - "X approach, Cessna alpha bravo charlie, heading to airport x " or I need to ask permission? What I need to do?

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It depends on whether the airport you're taking off from is towered or non-towered. And if it's towered but the tower is not 24/7, some ARTCCs/FIRs simulate its actual operating hours, and some just treat it as towered all the time.

 

With that in mind:

 

Situation 1. I take off (IFR) from a small airport which is located in a big X Center area.

When I taxiing and take off, I use UNICOM.

After take off when I need to contact with X Center controller (time, alt, etc)? Or do I need to contact with him before take off?

1.A. If the field has a control tower, you should *already* be in contact with the Center controller, as he is acting as that field's tower controller as well -- although, he's doing so on his own Center frequency and should still be called "{xxxxx} Center."

 

1.B. If the field is non-towered (or towered but the tower is being simulated as closed), and you're IFR, you should contact that Center controller for your IFR clearance before moving. You'll receive your clearance but with a "hold for release" or a "void if not airborne by {xxxx}z". You'll be handed back to UNICOM/CTAF to taxi and depart, and should contact the Center controller once airborne, per the instructions in the clearance.

 

1.C. If the field is non-towered and you're VFR, you can depart via UNICOM/CTAF but then contact Center for a "pop-up IFR" once airborne. Format is: their callsign, your callsign, your location, your altitude, your intentions.

 

Situation 2. I took off from a small airport and after 10 mins I enter an approach zone. How I need to contact with a controller? Like this - "X approach, Cessna alpha bravo charlie, heading to airport x " or I need to ask permission? What I need to do?

Their callsign, your callsign, your location, your altitude, your intentions. If the terminal areas has an ATIS running, fetch that information first and then end your initial call by saying "... with [information] Foxtrot." (or whatever letter was current.)

 

I actually did a tutorial video on this topic, if you want to check that out:

Cheers,
-R.

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To add to that: if you're taking off from an uncontrolled airfield within a controlled CTR (case 2), and you contact the controller for an IFR clearance before moving, they may ask you to take off without clearance and contact them again to pick up your clearance once you're airborne. In this case, you're basically VFR until you receive your clearance.

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Yes, I am talking about "non-towered" small airports or even airfields.

 

As I well understood, I should warned a center controller for my IFR clearance before take off - right?

Additionally I need to use UNICOM also - to warn other local pilots too - right?

For IFR from a small airport which is located in airspace Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] G:

1. I ask a center controller for clearance and he will give me squak code

2. I use UNICOM for taxiing and take off

3. After take off I contact to the center controller and stay in contact with him until he/she will ask to change frequency (UNICOM, approach, tower etc).

Is it right?

4. If I do IFR at 5000 or lower - do I need always contact with control center?

 

P.S. I had a couple situations in VATSIM and frankly speaking felt myself not comfortable. Looks like that controllers really accustomed for standard flights GND -> Tower -> .... Control. When I entered a "controlled area" report who I am etc, the center controller answered kind of, "... and what?". Other controller said, "how can I help you?" Then it was a pause because I tried to understand how he can help me LOL.

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Hi Alexander,

 

It would be helpful if you could elaborate as to where specifically you are referring to because the answer may vary.

 

You have been given some very US specific answers so far. In the UK, for instance, in Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] G airspace there is no requirement for either a flight plan or a clearance for IFR flight and you do not need to speak to anybody unless you are intending to enter controlled airspace (or an aerodrome Air Traffic Zone).

Vice President, Pilot Training

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UPDATE!

I tried to fly yesterday from CSU3 to KMPV and CYUL APP was opened.

According our talking here + my friend (from IVAO) and he is real pilot who flies here, I expected that a controller will ask me to switch UNICOM after the clearance and then switch back to APP frequency after taking off.

But he didn't ask me to use UNICOM we stayed on CYUL APP frequency all the time until I left Canada airspace. Well, I couldn't aware all local pilots in CSU3 (VFR mainly) about my taxiing, take off etc bc I stayed with him on his CYUL APP frequency.

 

This situation confused me more

Any comments?

 

+ the controller, Alexandre Dufresne, demanded to change my flight plan but I will ask about it in other topic.

X-Plane shared cockpit flights and group flights only - Join us!

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You have been given some very US specific answers so far. In the UK, for instance, in Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] G airspace there is no requirement for either a flight plan or a clearance for IFR flight and you do not need to speak to anybody unless you are intending to enter controlled airspace (or an aerodrome Air Traffic Zone).

 

 

Which again is different to Australia, if you are IFR regardless of airspace you need a plan and 2 way comms to ATC at all times. As ATC provides a traffic information service to IFR in G about other IFR and Known VFR.

 

If you are taxiing at an uncontrolled airfield and CTR is online you need to advise CTR of your movements, as they are required to provide that info to any other IFR traffic inbound or outbound of that Aerodrome.

Kirk Christie - VATPAC C3

VATPAC Undercover ATC Agent

Worldflight Perth 737-800 Crew Member

956763

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Update.

Well I discussed about this not only here.... Well we reached a real pilot, who flies GA often in this region. He said that local traffic must be warned via UNICOM and if it IFR then a pilot should be in contact with Center or Approach. It is logically bc we will use routes.

 

About local traffic it is very important in the real life. I have some experience when I went for paragliding I had two dangerous air proximities with Yak-18s (two, in formation) and L-410. It was my (our) fault in both cases

 

Here, in Montreal area when I flew on a glider we often miss visually GA traffic, usually Cessnas and noticed about them via UNICOM - and only after the warning by the radio we started to search them. Once it was a hanglider with engine which was ~500m exactly above my ASK-21, my instructor and I didn't see it until we received an info from our airfield.

X-Plane shared cockpit flights and group flights only - Join us!

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UPDATE!

I tried to fly yesterday from CSU3 to KMPV and CYUL APP was opened.

According our talking here + my friend (from IVAO) and he is real pilot who flies here, I expected that a controller will ask me to switch UNICOM after the clearance and then switch back to APP frequency after taking off.

But he didn't ask me to use UNICOM we stayed on CYUL APP frequency all the time until I left Canada airspace. Well, I couldn't aware all local pilots in CSU3 (VFR mainly) about my taxiing, take off etc bc I stayed with him on his CYUL APP frequency.

 

This situation confused me more

Any comments?

 

+ the controller, Alexandre Dufresne, demanded to change my flight plan but I will ask about it in other topic.

 

Top-down coverage. Controllers on APP or CTR positions will routinely also cover the positions below them, at least for major airports, but, at their discretion, also for smaller ones.

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  • 2 years later...

Hi there, I could do with some help on an issue I had today. Situation: I spawn into Brussels, no one online, I monitor Unicom and then I announce my taxi route to the runway, along with my Sid. The nearest center online is London center, and my destination is covered by London (egkk), but I depart on squawk 7000. I then set off to gatwick, and using vatspy, when I enter London control airspace, he says I’m not on his radar, and I should monitor Unicom. I acknowledge and return to Unicom. At Gatwick there is an approach controller online which I tune when I enter his little green circle. When I contact him, he says, oh finally, ezy645, maintain heading 245. I don’t know why he said this, but I did hear many little beeps, which I now presume were him trying to call me. So how do I know who is calling me when I hear the beep, and why did London control say I wasn’t on his radar, when I was in his blue sector.( there were 2 London centers on btw) any suggestions?

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Which London Control was online?  If you're using VATSpy to determine when you should call London, then it doesn't show the sectors correctly due to issues surrounding the callsign format.  IIRC, this afternoon when I flew into LHR, LON_N was online only (EGKK_APP was online at that time so maybe was around that time) in which case you wouldn't be in their airspace.  For London sectors, VATSIM UK have put together the following page:

https://www.vatsim.uk/operations/sectors

This should help you (and others) heading into the UK.

In terms of the beeps, what pilot client were you using?  If vPilot, you'll have a PM tab that opens up when you hear the beeps (I'm assuming others will be the same).  When you hear the beeps, look at your pilot client and see what the callsign is that's just messaged you - it will also tell you, when you click on it, the frequency so you don't have to go searching for it.

Trevor Hannant

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12 hours ago, Ben McGuiggan said:

Hi there, I could do with some help on an issue I had today. Situation: I spawn into Brussels, no one online, I monitor Unicom and then I announce my taxi route to the runway, along with my Sid. The nearest center online is London center, and my destination is covered by London (egkk), but I depart on squawk 7000. I then set off to gatwick, and using vatspy, when I enter London control airspace, he says I’m not on his radar, and I should monitor Unicom. I acknowledge and return to Unicom. At Gatwick there is an approach controller online which I tune when I enter his little green circle. When I contact him, he says, oh finally, ezy645, maintain heading 245. I don’t know why he said this, but I did hear many little beeps, which I now presume were him trying to call me. So how do I know who is calling me when I hear the beep, and why did London control say I wasn’t on his radar, when I was in his blue sector.( there were 2 London centers on btw) any suggestions?

The "beeps" were probably contact-me messages. These are private text messages controllers send out when they want you to contact them. Depending on which sim and pilot client you use, you may see the actual messages in-sim for a while when they come in, or you may have to switch to the pilot client to see them. But you should most definitely check when you hear the beep, because you are *required* to respond to them in a timely fashion (plus you'll make controllers sweat quite a bit when they're trying in vain to get you onto their frequency).

Also note that the London area is one of the most complex airspaces in the world, and you can't just go by the Vatspy boundaries to figure out who you should be talking to. The sectors have both vertical and lateral boundaries, and especially over London itself, they overlap a fair bit - e.g., EGLC lies underneath the EGLL approach path, and when approach controllers for both airports are on, the same lateral area around EGLC will be controlled by different people depending on your altitude and destination. The UK sectors diagram helps tons when trying to figure out which centers to contact, but the approach positions aren't charted there - you basically have to rely on a best guess, contact-me messages, or handovers from other stations.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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