Class B Clearance Question

Discussion in 'Change to my Frequency...' started by Squirrelfury, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. Squirrelfury

    Squirrelfury Filing Flight Plan

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    After landing from a flight earlier this week, I realized that I wasn't totally clear on one aspect of VFR operation within Class B airspace. After poring over Part 91 and the AIM, I still have questions. Maybe you guys can help?

    The situation: I was returning to my home field SW of the DFW metroplex from a breakfast run to a field on the other side of Dallas. A perfectly normal sequence of events transpired as I transited the DFW Class B airspace:
    • I was cleared into the Bravo airspace, assigned a heading, and given an altitude restriction.
    • After a few minutes, the controller said, “I need to keep you a little further up north due to traffic. For now, fly direct Love Field.”
    • I read back, “Direct Love”, punched KDAL into the magic box, and took up that more northerly course.
    • After a few more minutes — before reaching Love Field — the controller radioed, “Traffic has cleared out now … resume own navigation”. So I did, and the rest of the flight home was uneventful.
    Thinking about that exchange later, though, I don’t know what I was required to do had the sequence been interrupted. If instead I had reached Love Field without further instructions, and — for whatever reason (busy frequency, comm jamming, headset unplugged, anything) — couldn’t query Approach Control right away, then what action should I have taken?
    1. Overfly Love Field, and continue on to my destination. I was VFR, after all. Or ...
    2. Hold at KDAL. Did the instruction “fly direct Love Field” — given to a VFR airplane — constitute a clearance limit, like on an IFR flight plan?
    I know what I think. Does anyone know what the FAR's or 7110 procedures actually require?
     
  2. Cooter

    Cooter Pattern Altitude

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    1. Yes
    2. No
     
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  3. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    IF you lost comm, then squawk 7600 so the controller know you lost comm. Alarm bell goes off in the radar room so they'll know, plus your target blossoms on the radar scope (or did when I was ATC). Hard to answer but I think squawking 7600 and continuing on to your destination would be acceptable, land, and then call DFW and explain what you did. I wouldn't think they'd want you circling DAL either. Some will say don't call, and of course that's your choice, but I would just to say your piece. Don't think you would be violated either as they cleared you in, you comply, and once you were at DAL you lost comm.
     
  4. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Even IFR, the correct lost comms behavior is not to hold at Love, unless you were given an EFC time and it has not passed. In the absence of EFC, continue on your flight plan. If in VMC, remain in VMC.
     
  5. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I would add "if possible." Above an undercast, there may or may not be a place where a VFR letdown is possible within fuel range.
     
  6. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    #1. DAL was not a limit to the clearance, but a routing assignment. Controllers will never issue VFRs holding instructions inside class B; they'll ask you to exit (or remain outside if you haven't already entered) instead.
     
  7. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    They have asked me to circle for a bit, to wait for an SFO departure to go by.
     
  8. arnoha

    arnoha Line Up and Wait

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    As @Palmpilot said, it may not be a hold, but circle instructions are pretty common in Bravo. I've gotten them several times. For instance, the two common points to circle in the SFO Bravo are south of the Millbrae BART station and north of Candlestick point. Granted, they can't be holds...there's no such thing as a VFR hold and you're not taught how to hold until your instrument rating.
     
  9. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    You also forgot the other thing that can go wrong....what if you lost the magic box?
     
  10. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Oh but there are VFR holds. Up to you how you fly them is the difference. As a controller I issued instructions to planes to remain outside of Class D before, and Oshkosh has VFR hold areas I believe.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
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  11. arnoha

    arnoha Line Up and Wait

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    Are they actually called that? The instructions I've been issued VFR in Bravo or anywhere else never included the word "hold".
     
  12. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    If they need to remove you from a spot....they will and you will hear em barking at you. You did fine.
     
  13. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This is from FAA 7110.65W, ATC Handbook:

    4−6−5. VISUAL HOLDING POINTS
    You may use as a holding fix a location which the pilot
    can determine by visual reference to the surface if
    he/she is familiar with it.
    PHRASEOLOGY

    HOLD AT (location) UNTIL (time or other condition.)
    REFERENCE

    FAAO JO 7110.65, Para 7

    1

    4, Visual Holding of VFR Aircraft.
     
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  14. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The Oshkosh NOTAM does indeed call them holds, namely the Rush Lake Hold and the Green Lake Hold are published if you are at given points in the procedure, otherwise you are supposed to just pick a spot and make left turns around it.

    Actually, at Oshkosh they'll just tell you the field is closed (or whatever) and tell everybody on the approach to hold.
     
  15. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Used a lot for VFR transition routes through the B but like the .65 reference above, can be used anywhere over a visual point that the pilot is familiar with. Every military helo base I've flown into had corridors that had reporting points that on occasion you could get held at.
     
  16. arnoha

    arnoha Line Up and Wait

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    I stand corrected and I learned something new!
     
  17. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Hey I have a lot of experience flying and controlling but I learn something new and/or different every day here.
     
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  18. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There are definitely VFR holds, just not charted holds. There was a whole set of them in the NOTAM for arrivals into Salinas for the last AOPA fly in. They were named, and very large. If I remember right, 12 miles.

    I think most of us have been told to do a 360 on downwind for spacing, or orbit outside Class D, arriving at a too-busy towered airport.
     
  19. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    But there are VFR check points on Sectionals identified by a flag if I recall correctly. So a controller could hold you there perhaps.
     
  20. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    Regardless of whether ATC asks you to circle in place, in the case of the OP, unless ATC advised him to do something special over DAL, the expectation was to continue to his destination upon reaching DAL.
     
  21. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Thats not a clearance limit on IFR. Being cleared direct does not make a clearance limit. Being cleared "To" is a clearance limit
     
  22. Squirrelfury

    Squirrelfury Filing Flight Plan

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    Yes, that's why I quoted the controller in my original post. Part of what made this situation less than crystal clear was the non-standard language that was used.


    I know, right? :)

    The reason that I posted in the first place was in hope that someone could point out regulatory or procedural language that unambiguously covered this situation, but no joy so far. I believe that this may be a legitimate "grey area", without explicit rules to follow. One of those cases where we just have to make our best guess as to what ATC's intent might be, and then do our best to satisfy that. The local FAAST team occasionally organizes meet-the-controller events, and these kinds of questions make for fun discussions there.

    Thanks, everybody, for the informative discussion here.
     
  23. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route

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    Ive had "give me two times around right where you are". That was VFR in Class C.
     
  24. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I'm not seeing what the ambiguity is. In the absence of an emergency, you're required by 91.123(b) to follow ATC instructions. On a VFR flight, in the absence of ATC instructions, you're free to choose your own route and altitude. The latter is the situation you would have been in if you had reached DAL without any further instructions.

    The foregoing is true whether you're in class B airspace or outside it. The only thing that's different is that you need clearance to enter, the cloud clearance requirements are reduced, and you're more likely (but not guaranteed) to receive specific route and altitude instructions.
     
  25. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    I wish I could answer your question, but in the three years since I moved nice and close to the ATL Bravo, I have yet to hear the magic words, "cleared into the Bravo." It did happen once or twice in Cincinnati going in and out of Lunken, but not here! I don't remember any details, didn't go over that way very often.

    ATL's favorite words to me, besides updates on altimeter setting and frequency changes, are "remain clear of the Bravo" whether I'm VFR or IFR . . .

    Good luck, and fly safe!
     
  26. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    I use a different one here, but in some other forums, "'I don't understand' doesn't mean it's grey" is my signature tag line.

    But the point still is, it wasn't clear to him. The answer was given a few times, including by you, but once more:

    It's not a "clearance limit" and, as stated, would not be one under IFR either. So once completing the instruction to do a straight line to DAL and, absent further instructions, continue on your way.
     
  27. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I used the word "ambiguity" because he wrote "The reason that I posted in the first place was in hope that someone could point out regulatory or procedural language that unambiguously covered this situation, but no joy so far." [Emphasis added]
     
  28. Ryanb

    Ryanb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Say there's a VFR checkpoint on a chart titled "Dove Lake."

    You're flying under FF and ATC instructs you to hold over "Dove Lake." How would one be expected to execute this instruction? Would orbiting the area suffice or would you treat it as a HP under IFR. I've never been asked to hold while VFR.
     
  29. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yup, just fly circles, ovals, whatever.
     
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  30. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I've had the request to fly direct Love when coming from the East side of the metromess to Meacham or Hicks.

    If it's rapid fire on the radio I respond and punch it in to the thingy jiggy. If it's moderate to low radio traffic I've asked for a HDG or suggested a HDG. Seems to have worked out both ways. They've usually want me to cross midfield, like crossing over DFW they ask that we go "tower to tower" for the crossing.

    For the OP, nope, don't hold there, just maintain the HDG that's been working. They'll turn you or "Own Nav" you when they are ready.

    It's fun. I like going through the DFW B.
     
  31. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I wish I still had the AOPA NOTAM, but the holds included inbound and outbound legs. They were very long -- 12 miles comes to mind -- and they were referenced to visual landmarks.
     
  32. Ryanb

    Ryanb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I'd love to see it if you happen to come across it. That would be one of those things that would catch me off guard while VFR. Never have had it happen.
     
  33. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Whaddaya know. It's still on their web server despite being almost two years out of date.

    https://download.aopa.org/fly-ins/salinas-notam.pdf

    The holding patterns are on the last two pages.
     
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  34. Ryanb

    Ryanb En-Route PoA Supporter

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  35. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Line Up and Wait

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    Working at Fisk as a controller during Oshkosh several years ago with the tracks full of planes we lost the airport suddenly. It is (at the risk of being dramatic) awesome to see planes nose to tail holding at rush lake. Green lake filled up as well but you can't see that from the TRACON (hill with lawn chairs). With both Lakes filled people started holding all over the place waiting for it to reopen. It was one of the few times I was happier being the controller than the pilot but every one did a great job.
     
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  36. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    All they are trying to do is keep you out of the way. Unless the instruction tells you something more specific, the choice is yours.
     
  37. Ryanb

    Ryanb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Understood, thanks Mark!
     
  38. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Yeah. They just had you fly up that way to get you around some other traffic. They did not clear you "TO" DFW. When you get over DFW comply with any instruction they gave you to do after DFW. If no instruction was given you're probably going to want to turn towards wherever you were going before they told you to go direct DFW. DFW became the "knee" of the dogleg.
     
  39. danhagan

    danhagan Cleared for Takeoff

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    Horizontal or vertical?:p