Check your clocks for airspace violations

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by Kevin with a Y, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. The local Class C closes at a certain time. When it does it reverts to E/G (haven't verified which in the green book) and you treat it like an uncontrolled field. So I'm returning from a destination around the time the controllers go home, which will have me transitioning/descending through the Charlie, and I pull up the ATIS when I'm about 50nm out and it broadcasts as expected. "...report you have information Sierra." I stop monitoring ATIS and continue on. I get to about 20-25 out, and the broadcast is now. "[Airport] automated weather observation system [weather info]. The tower is open from [time] local to [time] local. Common Traffic Advisory Frequency and pilot controlled lighting is [tower frequency]." I had the Approach Frequencies dialed in for a while, and heard no one talking at all prior to the ATIS broacast and after the AWOS broadcast.

    OK, I don't need to talk with anyone, they all went home. It's AWOS, not ATIS. I'm just above the Charlie, but right at the outer ring and call up on Tower/CTAF like I would with an uncontrolled field I'd be passing by: "[Airport] [Tail Number] is 10 miles [direction] at [altitude] and will be transitioning and descending the Charlie from [direction] to [direction] crossing just [direction] of the field [Airport]." I get no response on frequency and continue along. I've now descended into the charted airspace and am on an extended center line of one of the runways when I hear a transmission on CTAF: "Charlie Airspace Radar services are terminated, for advisories or flight following contact center on [frequency]."

    Wait. They already announced on ATIS it as AWOS and said the tower/approach was closed. What gives? Well ATIS gets updated 7 minutes before the hour and I was hitting the outer ring and into the airspace about 2 minutes prior to close. They don't update the ATIS for the seven minutes the Class C Services remain open, and flip it to AWOS at hh:53 rather than hh:00. I'm 100% sure that tower heard me on frequency and just said "screw it we are out of here in 2 minutes, no need to provide services when that guy is the only one in the airspace."

    Technically, I violated for about 2 minutes, but it could have been 7 and could have caused a PD if there had been arrivals. There are a couple late flights that do arrive just before and just after closing time. So check your clocks to be sure the Airspace isn't still open.
     
  2. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They were just in a hurry to get to the controller's local bar. :D
     
  3. ollopa

    ollopa Line Up and Wait

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    I think a more general takeaway is to just be prepared for anything in the last 10 minutes before the tower closes.
    I once entered the pattern in class D at night time just a few minutes before closing. Got cleared for landing and as I'm on short final, "Hey Skychicken 1234, lights might flicker while we transfer to pilot control." Lights go out. Lights come back on again. "Attention K-MART shoppers, tower is now closed. Self-report on CTAF and have a good night."

    Floated down to the runway a little stunned and thought "Well that was rude."
     
  4. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Not sure I get the "with a y" part on this guest.
     
  5. Lachlan

    Lachlan Cleared for Takeoff

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    I think his name is Yevin. Like Yix Papa Charly (with a Y, get it now?) Or his name is Keviny. Either way, he’s now really good with clocks and Zulu and piloting.
     
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  6. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Rude? How so?

    It’s more fun to be cleared for take-off when yer at 50 knots. I had talked to ground when I was taxiing out and they told me they didn’t wanna talk yet. Guess they hadn’t finished their coffee...
     
  7. WannFly

    WannFly Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I was at KBIS at 2356, 4 mins before the tower closes. that was my first night landing (during ferry flight with someone else as PIC) and we asked for progressive taxi to the FBO. the reply was : "turn right". thats about it. i believe there were a few left and rights we had to do to actually get to the FBO.
     
  8. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    I was going into a class D (well, ATA back then) right at closing time. The tower gave me clearance to land then announced they are closing.

    I saw a car driving away from the tower as the announcement that they are closed was being broadcast. After he finished I said nice lookin' 'Vette.

    Same voice said thanks, good night...he was not driving slow....
     
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  9. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Pulled into TOP (Topeka, KS) one night, right at closing time. There were 3 or 4 aircraft in their D space. Tower polled all of us, one at a time, "Bugsmasher XYZ, say position and intentions." After he got finished with us all, the next transmission was, "Tower is closed."
     
  10. dans2992

    dans2992 En-Route

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    Was he on a handheld radio in his car?
     
  11. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    I am guessing he was. The 'Vette was the only car in the parking lot.
     
  12. iflyvfr

    iflyvfr Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Was wondering same, that's funny if so.
     
  13. Rushie

    Rushie Cleared for Takeoff

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    That's what I was figuring but not surprised. We always kept a handheld radio in the hangar so we could listen to traffic and in fact still have it and use it and listen to the sparse traffic at the airport the pattern of which we live under.
     
  14. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    ATIS vs. AWOS means nothing with regard to the airspace.

    I feel for you. I used to fly out of a military field and the procedures were drastically different if the tower was open or not. It wasn't always obvious if the tower was open. You'd call dispatch, rang for thirty rings, figured they're closed. Taxi out and get chastised by ground control.
     
  15. mondtster

    mondtster Pattern Altitude

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    They say that even in the middle of the day, when the tower isn't closing. Or at least that's pretty much how it was when I've been in there.
     
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