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How do I get a IFR clearance at an uncontrolled airport.


Ptolemy Brooks-Johnson
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If there is no controller locally or above the airport that you are departing from then you obviously can't get an IFR clearance from anyone. File your flightplan as usual, announce your taxi and take-off intentions on Unicom (122.800) and depart while keeping an eye out for traffic. Enjoy your flight!

 

Tomas Hansson

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Depends on the situation.

If you're flying out of an airport that doesn't have any ATC coverage at all (i.e., none of the positions above it, up to and including CTR, are staffed), then you're essentially operating in an unrealistic situation, and you have to "play pretend" - that is, you fly as if you had been cleared by ATC, and use UNICOM to announce your intentions and coordinate with other pilots. When you reach controlled airspace, you call up ATC as if you had been handed over.

If you're flying out of an airport for which top-down coverage is staffed, you call the closest controller up the top-down chain. At their discretion, what you will be simulating here is either that the controller also controls all the positions of your departure airfield; in this case, they will clear you before departure, just like a local DEL controller would. Or you're simulating an untowered airport inside/below controlled airspace; in this case, they will ask you to take off on your own, and call them up for your IFR clearance once airborne. Which one it is is up to the controller; some will however explicitly mention in their description which airfields they intend to actively cover.

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35 minutes ago, Tobias Dammers said:

Or you're simulating an untowered airport inside/below controlled airspace; in this case, they will ask you to take off on your own, and call them up for your IFR clearance once airborne.

Departing VFR and then obtaining an IFR clearance is one option, if you're in VMC.  If in IMC, oftentimes you'd actually get your clearance on the ground, but then switch to 122.8 for taxi and takeoff, then fly the instrument departure and recontact the controller once airborne.  In the real world you'd probably get that initial clearance on the ground by phone, but on VATSIM it'd just be over the APP/DEP or Center frequency.

Cheers,

-R.

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There aren't any stupid questions. 

 

All IFR clearances really are the same, but it's the phraseology that differs. 

You'd simply call up the position above you (and if you are in doubt of who it would be just call a position you think it might be) and go "callsign request IFR clearance/airways clearance on the ground at airport name".

This should cover you 🙂 

Tristan Garratt

VATPAC C1

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On 4/16/2020 at 10:14 AM, Tristan Garratt said:

There aren't any stupid questions. 

 

All IFR clearances really are the same, but it's the phraseology that differs. 

You'd simply call up the position above you (and if you are in doubt of who it would be just call a position you think it might be) and go "callsign request IFR clearance/airways clearance on the ground at airport name".

This should cover you 🙂 

This is good advice for IFR departure from untowered airfield. 
 

The proper phraseology in Australia at least (example for Toowoomba, in the real world you would transmit on two frequencies😞

Pilot: Toowoomba Traffic and Brisbane Centre, [callsign for VHTWB] TWB, IFR, Cessna 172, 4 POB, Taxis runway 11. Toowoomba Traffic. 

Brisbane Centre: TWB, [traffic info e.g.] No reported traffic, squawk XXXX

Pilot [center freq only]: No reported traffic, squawk XXXX, TWB

Edited by Joel Richters 891193

Joel Richters

 

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1 hour ago, Joel Richters 891193 said:

This is good advice for IFR departure from untowered airfield. 
 

The proper phraseology in Australia at least (example for Toowoomba, in the real world you would transmit on two frequencies😞

Pilot: Toowoomba Traffic and Brisbane Centre, [callsign for VHTWB] TWB, IFR, Cessna 172, 4 POB, Taxis runway 11. Toowoomba Traffic. 

Brisbane Centre: TWB, [traffic info e.g.] No reported traffic, squawk XXXX

Pilot [center freq only]: No reported traffic, squawk XXXX, TWB

Absolutely, my mistake.

I should have remembered that. I guess it just depends on the situation, If I were to call for IFR out of Bankstown after towerclosed, I'd call sydney centre rather than sydney approach or melbourne centre. 

Tristan Garratt

VATPAC C1

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  • 9 months later...

Newbie follow-up question to check my understanding.  Let's take tonight (according to VatMap) - say I want to fly from Glasgow to Heathrow.  There's no ATC in Glasgow and the nearest active centre appears to be Manchester, but London and Heathrow are staffed.  How would I get my clearance to join controlled airspace?  Do I depart on unicom and call the MAN centre 10 minutes out to request a clearance or is there another way (pseudo phone-call from EGPF)?

Thanks

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41 minutes ago, Geoff Wilson said:

Newbie follow-up question to check my understanding.  Let's take tonight (according to VatMap) - say I want to fly from Glasgow to Heathrow.  There's no ATC in Glasgow and the nearest active centre appears to be Manchester, but London and Heathrow are staffed.  How would I get my clearance to join controlled airspace?  Do I depart on unicom and call the MAN centre 10 minutes out to request a clearance or is there another way (pseudo phone-call from EGPF)?

Thanks

In this situation you don't need any clearance to 'join controlled airspace'. Assuming you're flying an airliner at a sensible flight level, from Glasgow all the way to Heathrow you'll be within what we consider to be controlled airspace (ie not airspace class G, if you're familiar with airspace classes).

 

You'll depart Glasgow announcing your intentions on unicom and climb up to your cruise level at your own discretion. As you approach the sector boundary for MAN_CTR, you'll then check in with the controller on frequency. There's no need to request any form of clearance, but after you've made first contact the controller will probably assign you a squawk code for identification.

 

The same rule applies if there's no en-route ATC but there is an approach controller at your destination. Call them on your descent (I'd recommend once you're on the STAR, in the UK). Alternatively, controllers may send you a PM asking you to contact them.

 

There's a guide to the UK's sectors here: https://www.vatsim.uk/operations/sectors (although granted this doesn't actually show the boundaries of MAN_CTR). VAT-Spy is a useful piece of software for seeing online ATC.

 

If you've checked local info (as above) and you're still unsure about where a controller covers, there's no issue sending them a private message.

 

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