Atc question: pickup clearance in air or call.

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by Piper18O, Oct 12, 2019 at 8:41 PM.

  1. Piper18O

    Piper18O Pre-Flight

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    I commonly depart IFR from a non-towered airport. I can reach approach control or Center easily shortly after takeoff. My question is does ATC prefer I call them on the ground for the clearance by phone or do they prefer that i pick up my IFR clearance Airborne. Also, if it's a severe clear VFR day or does it really matter to them? Obviously if it's IFR at the airport you would always call. How severe does the weather conditions play into their preferences? There is no remote radio communication available at the airport.
     
  2. mwagg737

    mwagg737 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It really doesn't matter.
    At my airport, I can't reach them on the ground, so I have to either get a void time from the FSS or remain VFR off the ground. I can reach them about 700 AGL.
    It's really a question about what you are comfortable with. If you take off into marginal VFR conditions, it is your responsibility to remain VFR. All this while trying to write a clearance.
    A short answer to your question is this, what are you most comfortable with?

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  3. Piper18O

    Piper18O Pre-Flight

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    If it is ifr I always call. If I have a good bit of distance along the Route with plenty of cloud clearance for VFR I would prefer to take off and pick up my clearance in the air. That usually saves me 10 or 15 minutes. I don't have a problem writing a clearance in the air, most of the time it is as filed. Once I called approach after takeoff and identified my N number and he immediately came back to me without any prompting and said, "are you looking for your IFR to Sugarland?" That was pretty cool. My question really centers around is it a pain for a atc to give me a clearance in the air and would they prefer me to call on the ground.
     
  4. mwagg737

    mwagg737 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Gotcha...

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  5. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Doesn’t matter at all. As long as you can maintain VFR until ATC issues you an IFR clearance, than you’re fine and dandy.
     
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  6. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Depends on where you’re located. If I tried to pick up my clearance in the air in Long Island, I’d get laughed at. At a non towered airport surrounded by nothing, I’m sure they wouldn’t mind.
     
  7. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    I've chatted with many controllers on this. Provided you're not in incredibly busy airspace where airtime for a clearance is an issue, it doesn't really matter to them. I personally find it easier to pick it up airborne. One thing that I do from my airport (because I can't take off without a squawk code) is get my clearance by telephone on the ground but advise the controller that I intend to depart VFR and pick up the clearance in the air. That way I can get the route before departure but not get hung up with clearance void times (we're right below the approach path to DCA so it's an issue) and waiting for a release.
     
  8. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    As long as you pick it up before you hit the clouds, alls good.

    I prefer to pick it up in the air as its usually faster block time.
     
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  9. Piper18O

    Piper18O Pre-Flight

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    I would not have thought of that method. Does that give you a vfr clearance into Bravo, for example and then the rest of your route? At what point does it transition into an ifr clearance, and do they change routing on you? Do they tell you to maintain vfr until...a fix, or further instruction?
     
  10. Piper18O

    Piper18O Pre-Flight

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    Regardless, I guess it isn't quite as big of a deal calling it in as it used to be. If I am near Wichita, I will usually get the clearance in the air if weather allows. I just don't have the confidence that it will go as smoothly near Dallas, Houston, or KC. (the areas I fly out of the most) I still remember the days when you called on a landline in the fbo, then went out started up the plane, taxied to the runway and did a run-up, all before you took off. At least now we can have a Bluetooth connection to our cell phone through the headset and can be sitting at the end of the runway ready for take off. I remember the old days and trying to "hurry without hurrying" to make your void time, and wishing I would have told them a different takeoff time.
     
  11. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    There are places where something like that has become a formalized procedure and given a name. You find them in the Chart Supplement. In the Southwest US there are two. The Cozy One VFR Departure at Aspen, KASE and the Soledad Departure at Montgomery, KMYF. There are others. They are found in Special Notices in SECTION 3: NOTICES. The two above are on pages 435 and 436. What you do is get your Clearance like usual. Then, when you’re ready to depart you request and get the ‘special’ procedure which says Maintain VFR. Like the two above in the Southwest US, your IFR Clearance becomes ‘active’ when they give you a hard altitude assignment. Last time I looked at all the Supplements there were about 10 or so around the Country.
     
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  12. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    It's not a bravo clearance, but I'm located inside the Washington DC FRZ so I need a squawk code before taking off. I can usually get one if I need it, but usually they'll give me my IFR clearance once I'm radar identified and out of the way of conflicting IFR traffic. I'll know I'm IFR when they say "cleared to..." in the air.
     
  13. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    For a while, my airport was in ZTL controlled airspace. I don't know where the remote for the local sector is but I can easily raise it on the ground. When the rejiggered the CLT class B, we're now in CLT's airspace. I can't reach them on the ground. I tried (and ZTL was willing) to get ZTL to relay me a clearance but no go. Trying to phone them doesn't work much better. I usually just put SVH as my departure point and call ZTL as soon as I'm clear of the ground. I'm usually in their airspace by the time they answer.
     
  14. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    The exception to this is if you have an EDCT / call for release programs are in effect. Then you really need to get it on the ground. Not a problem generally for light Ga pilots unless you’re going into bigger airports or jet routes...


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  15. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yep, a number of places will do the same thing (or something similar). You can get the clearance and depart VFR - and then get the release in the air.

    Last place I got that was near Memphis where approach had someone inbound and asked if I'd rather wait for a release or whether I'd prefer to get the clearance, depart VFR, and get the release once clear of the sanitized airspace for the arrival.
     
  16. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    I’ve done it many times, but I don’t like it. In a P-180 I want to get into the flight levels relatively quickly and not get stuck at 17,500 waiting for ATC to have enough time / space to work me in. Launching VFR I’m just going on blind faith it’ll work out. With that said, it’s always worked out. Worse case I’ve flown 50 or 60 miles to get somewhere that’ll get me into the system.