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I busted the Sydney airspace. Help?


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Hi, just wanted some help/clarification on where I went wrong, as the Sydney controller claimed I was busting airspace. 

Under VFR, squawking 1200, I departed North from Bankstown, and tracked the outbound north VFR route at 1,500. Once I was just north of Pennant Hills, the sydney controller contacted me, and asked if i was just going to continue flying through all of his airspace without clearance. I replied that I was in class G airspace. His response was that its not Class G when Runway 16 is in use. 

Following this, i was given a code and clearance without further incident. 

What am i missing? I'm not too familiar with Sydney, but i was following the current VTC. I tracked the VFR route to Rosehill, then pennant hills. Never above 1,500. I'm unaware of anything stating that the runway in use at Sydney, changes the airspace classes. 

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They may have confused the sectors of the Sydney TMA based off runway configuration with the actual airspace limits. If you didnt hit the Sydney control zone while going north, then you would have been fine. 

Liesel Downes
she/her/hers

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4 hours ago, Andreas Fuchs said:

Those Skyvector maps are not always 100% accurate. Maybe Graham can share a screenshot of the VCT that he was using.

Here's a screenshot of the VTC I was using, I have marked my track, and was contacted at the X. This is the current VTC available from airservices website. 

I haven't been able to locate anything on the VTC, ersa or Sydney general flying guide that would suggest the Sydney active runways would change the airspace in the area. 

 

Screenshot_20220208-064011_Office~2.jpg

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If that was your route at 1500 your fine, the Sydney controller needs a lesson, the CTAs don't change based on runway config, only the airspace ownership between APP, DEP and DIR changes.

You didn't bust any airspace, and the controller shouldn't have spoken to you in that manner.

Leave feedback at http://Helpdesk.vatpac.org

Edited by Kirk Christie
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Kirk Christie - VATPAC C3

VATPAC Undercover ATC Agent

Worldflight Perth 737-800 Crew Member

956763

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Whilst I agree you did nothing wrong, I'm going to play devil's advocate here.

Did the controller actually issue you any control instructions or did they just want you to squawk a code so they could monitor your flight? If the latter, I totally understand it as in the VATSIM world we can't rely on pilots on the approach to 16's to stay above the control steps. 🙂

 

 

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1 hour ago, Tracy Shiffman said:

Whilst I agree you did nothing wrong, I'm going to play devil's advocate here.

Did the controller actually issue you any control instructions or did they just want you to squawk a code so they could monitor your flight? If the latter, I totally understand it as in the VATSIM world we can't rely on pilots on the approach to 16's to stay above the control steps. 🙂

 

 

Kind of. They gave me a code, and cleared me to Victor 1, not above 500 south of the North Head. (Which is what i was doing anyways, as i was OCTA). 

I had no issue with being asked to squawk. I mean, a little bit of flight following never hurt anybody, and that's all fine with me. 

My only issue was the allegations that occured prior. The conversation went a little like this: 

ATC: "BVM are you going to keep flying through all of my airspace without clearance?"
Me: "I'm in class G airspace..." 
ATC: "Not when runway 16 is in use it isn't."

I remained silent for a moment, trying to understand what that even means... 

ATC: "BVM, what are your intentions" (note, that i did file a VFR flightplan covering my entire track)
Me: "From here, I will track to Long Reef, then Victor 1 to Seacliff" 
ATC: "BVM, Squawk xxxx...." (Identified, radar contact etc etc) "Track long reef, then victor 1. Remain below 500ft once you reach north head" 
Me: I give a readback, and then no further substantial communications were made. 

Like I said, i have no problem with getting a code, clearance and some flight following. I just didnt understand the allegations of busting the airspace. And i was concerned that i had missed something on the VTC. Especially considering I am a real world pilot, and the last thing I want is to miss some hidden rule about the 16 approach path and bust the Sydney airspace for real 😛

At this point, I'm confident I didn't do anything wrong. I appreciate all of the assistance from everyone. It's been very welcoming, thanks. 
 

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49 minutes ago, Graham Bain said:

ATC: "Not when runway 16 is in use it isn't."

No such chage exists at YSSY, so this is in fact a false statement. In future ask the controller to support their statement with documentation, I am 100% certian they would not be able to back up that claim.

For your info the Sydney local instructions are here https://drive.google.com/open?id=1NBXAObnOTnIkgBUMpw_iE0Z78OBe8zl_
 

The below diagram shows the airspace splits when 16's are in use, this is the division of airspace between Departures, Approach, and Director should they be online, if only one station is online there is no split. In other words if APP is the only one online they own the whole 45DME Circle from BCTA to FL280
BCTA is Base of CTA also known as the lower level of the controlled airspace. At no point is the Base of the controlled airspace altered from what is published in the VTC or ERSA, regardless of the runway configuration.

684352911_SYTMA.thumb.JPG.c72cf5b948f824a0ca9091e2574dcb4e.JPG

Given that you were to remain in class G for your flight, as the victor 1 is in G airspace at 500ft. The controller cannot give you any instructions, including where to track, or remain below.

Edited by Kirk Christie
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Kirk Christie - VATPAC C3

VATPAC Undercover ATC Agent

Worldflight Perth 737-800 Crew Member

956763

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Still playing devil's advocate.....I'm not convinced it was a mistake, per se. If there were aircraft on the approach and the controller was nervous about you passing underneath them in case they tried the not-unusual-on-vatsim "suicide" approach, I think it was a fair enough request that you simply squawk a code. From your own version of the events, the controller cleared you along your filed route and then left you to your own devices.

In summary, while from a technical airspace perspective, you were in Class G, from an online flying perspective, not a Capital crime.

I'm sure the comment about you zooming through the airspace was tongue-in-cheek, that also happens a lot more on vatsim than it does in real life 😉

 

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21 hours ago, Tracy Shiffman said:

Still playing devil's advocate.....I'm not convinced it was a mistake, per se. If there were aircraft on the approach and the controller was nervous about you passing underneath them in case they tried the not-unusual-on-vatsim "suicide" approach, I think it was a fair enough request that you simply squawk a code. From your own version of the events, the controller cleared you along your filed route and then left you to your own devices.

In summary, while from a technical airspace perspective, you were in Class G, from an online flying perspective, not a Capital crime.

I'm sure the comment about you zooming through the airspace was tongue-in-cheek, that also happens a lot more on vatsim than it does in real life 😉

 

The problem here is that the controller in question explicitly claimed that the airspace vertical boundaries change based off the Sydney runway configuration and used that falsehood to berate a pilot under false pretences. If the call was "I need to make sure you don't bust because of how close you are to 16s arrivals" then that's a different story which aligns with what you're saying. 

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Liesel Downes
she/her/hers

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