Class C vs Class D airports

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by skidoo, Jul 29, 2010.

  1. skidoo

    skidoo Line Up and Wait

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    Hello All,

    Last week, I made my longest cross country flights yet (6.7 hours hobbs each way). I got some experience with FF and a couple of class D towers. It was great!

    This weekend, I am planning a shorter flight (under 2 hours) to my first class C airport (KBIL). So, I am wondering from a practical standpoint, how much different do I need to prepare for operating there vs a Class D airport? Any tips appreciated!
     
  2. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The only difference between Class D and Class C is the transponder requirement, really.
     
  3. COFlyBoy

    COFlyBoy Line Up and Wait

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    Get your departure clearance from Clearance Delivery before you leave, or ground will scold you.

    Guess how I know.
     
  4. vontresc

    vontresc En-Route

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    Really not much worse than dealing with a class D tower. On arrival get the atis, and call approach at about 20-25 miles out. You will get a squawk, and probably vectors to the airport. They'll then hand you off to tower, and that part will be just like flying at a class D tower.

    On departure, get the atis, call clearance delivery, get your clearance and squawk. From there on out it's just like a class D tower until they hand you off to departure.

    It's really quite simple
     
  5. OtisAir

    OtisAir Line Up and Wait

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    A Class D airport indicates the existance of an operational control tower. An uncontrolled airport may be within the lateral limits of Class C airspace but won't have a contol tower. Entering class C airspace requires 2-way communication with the controllers but they won't "Clear" you to enter Class C airspace as they will Bravo. There are exceptions to have towers at airports for example, a non 24 hour towers (Willow Grove NAS), which returns to class E airspace whenever the tower is closed.
     
  6. OtisAir

    OtisAir Line Up and Wait

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    just looked at the sectionals and KBIL does have CLass D airspace and an operational control tower so not really sure what your question is. Sorry Queen City airport (KXLL) is an airport within Allentown's Class C airspace but it does not have an operational control tower so there is not a Class D ring around the airport. Allentown Airport (KABE) lies within the Class C airspace and does have a tower so it also has a Class D ring around. it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2010
  7. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Might want to look again.
     
  8. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    Some places, you are correct. KLNK (Lincoln, NE) or KACY (Atlantic City, NJ), calling up ground works fine. Unfortunately, only local experience tells you which is correct.
     
  9. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Heading into Class C

    Get ATIS
    Contact Approach/Departure
    Get handed off to tower
    Get handed off to ground. Although when I was there, I talked to tower until I shut down.

    Departing Class C (if you stop and shut down)

    Get ATIS
    Contact Clearance and tell them what you want. (Altitude, destination)
    Contact Ground when ready to taxi
    Switch to Tower at the runway
    Get handed off to Approach/Departure
     
  10. OtisAir

    OtisAir Line Up and Wait

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    Thanks Ed, you're right on the airspace. I zoomed in quickly on Skyvector and saw the single ring and did the "ass/u/me" thing.

    Beer on me in Windwood. :)
     
  11. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Or maybe you saw Bozeman to the west which is a class D. :)
     
  12. jesse

    jesse Administrator Management Council Member

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    In general, my experience has indicated, that Lincoln would prefer you contact ground if you're remaining in the pattern. If you're departing the pattern they'd prefer you contact clearance delivery. Usually its the same person, sometimes it's not.
     
  13. Rob Schaffer

    Rob Schaffer Cleared for Takeoff

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    Write this down and put the frequencies beside each line and take it with you :D Have fun!
     
  14. tonycondon

    tonycondon Gastons CRO (Chief Dinner Reservation Officer)

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    that was the case at Des Moines too
     
  15. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    I stand corrected. Most of my flights are local; the few times I've gone elsewhere, nothing was said to me.
     
  16. vontresc

    vontresc En-Route

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    Heck half the time in Madison I'll taxi on the CD freq instead of the ground freq, cuz the guy will give me the taxi clearance on CD.

    Many moons ago wehn our Cherokee 140 only had 360 channel radios, I had to gontact ground for clearace, beacaue I couldn't tune in the CD freq :)
     
  17. COFlyBoy

    COFlyBoy Line Up and Wait

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    Yeah, don't you love non-standard standard operating procedures.
     
  18. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    ...and the need to be in contact with them somehat farther out, and to call approach first, not tower.
     
  19. skidoo

    skidoo Line Up and Wait

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    Thanks for the input! I'll be trying it in the morning.
     
  20. dmccormack

    dmccormack Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Except for weird Class D's with Approach controls NOT marked on the sectional.

    KRDG
     
  21. Aztec Driver

    Aztec Driver Cleared for Takeoff

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    Sweeeeeet, you're on.
     
  22. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    There are no departure clearances for VFR operations in Class C airspace.

    You don't know, you believe. Why?
     
  23. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Do you have to be so pedantic about........everything?
     
  24. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    KBIL has Class C airspace, not Class D.

    KXLL is an airport in Class G airspace near Allentown's Class C airspace, not within it.

    KABE has Class C airspace, not Class D.
     
  25. flyersfan31

    flyersfan31 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    OK, so no 'departure clearance' but you have to call clearance delivery, even if you're vfr or you get scolded. I've BTDT too. Maybe the controllers aren't as top notch as you are, but it has happened to me, so I don't know what to tell you. I made that mistake at Raleigh Durham, just wasn't thinking, and at Boston Logan (A Bravo megaplex) because once again just slipped into old habits. Got squawked at -- CALL CLEARANCE DELIVERY YOU IGNORANT MF'R!!!!

    Maybe you need to talk to your brethren and straighten them out.

    At Class D sure, often since it's the same gal on the freq, they'll tell you to just contact ground if you're vfr even if they have a CD freq. Life is more casual once you get away from Bigtown.
     
  26. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well, yeah, on the distance. Call before crossing the colored line. :D

    As for approach, I've screwed myself a few times trying to fly into a Class D, and being told I need to first call Approach. Always seemed odd to me to have a Class D approach. IIRC, KSUX is one of them.
     
  27. flyersfan31

    flyersfan31 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've been to KBIL. Nice folks, as I recall. There are friendly places, and not so friendly places. KBIL is one of the nice ones.
     
  28. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    Not true. There are many fields in Class C airspace where you wont get scolded if you don't call clearance delivery when departing VFR.
     
  29. kevin47881

    kevin47881 Final Approach

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    And many that will if you don't. The point is there is no harm in contacting CD even if VFR.
     
  30. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    Actually, the point is the assertion, "OK, so no 'departure clearance' but you have to call clearance delivery, even if you're vfr or you get scolded", is wrong.
     
  31. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Great synopsis. I would add but one thing for clarification.


    When I was based at KSGF I learned quickly that they never used Clearance Delivery. They wanted you to contact Ground on your initial contact for all flights. When unsure though, it's always better to go by the book.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2010
  32. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Tim,

    Thanks for the add. I might be mistaken, but I *thought* I saw on a sectional somewhere that at least one class C wanted 30 miles out. But I'm too lazy to go try and find it. I usually call about 25-30 out anyway. Depending on how busy they are only 4 minutes might be a bit rude.
     
  33. COFlyBoy

    COFlyBoy Line Up and Wait

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    Let's start a list as a public service to GA pilots.

    Scolded--------Not Scolded
    KCOS
     
  34. SkyHog

    SkyHog Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Scolded--------Not Scolded
    KCOS
    KABQ
    KMHT
    KSRQ
     
  35. kevin47881

    kevin47881 Final Approach

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    Scolded--------Not Scolded
    KCOS
    KABQ
    KMHT
    KSRQ
    KBNA

    5-0 so far.
     
  36. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    Yup -- the ones with only Ground and Tower but no CD freq. But then Ground will give you the same instructions you would have received from CD if there was one.
     
  37. skidoo

    skidoo Line Up and Wait

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    I made it! A few hours later, I went out for a local flight. Apparently, ground and CD are the same frequency. No problem. They were great. Tower even apologized to me for having me divert to a different runway just before turning final, and then having me go around when about 50 feet from touchdown due to conflicting traffic. That's better than me needing to apologize for something I may have screwed up on. Again, thanks for the input. I learned a lot today and it wasn't as bad as anticipated...
     
  38. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    Are you saying there are no airports in Class C airspace that have a CD freq where you will not get scolded if you don't call clearance delivery when departing VFR?
     
  39. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    Scolded--------Not Scolded
    KCOS
    KABQ
    KMHT
    KSRQ
    KBNA
    KLNK------------KLNK

    Jesse got scolded. I didn't get scolded about 2 months back.:dunno:
    I'm not counting my experience at ACY since it was some years back...and things change.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  40. COFlyBoy

    COFlyBoy Line Up and Wait

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    Cool, we've got some in the both column. That makes it much easier to keep straight.

    I don't recall discussing CD during my primary training at all. I was under the impression it only applied to IFR until I got scolded by KCOS ground, who then gave me my clearance anyway.

    Which brings up a related issue. A lot of times CD and ground are the same person. Or Flight service and Flight watch are the same, but they will only do the job associated with the frequency you called them on. I once could not raise flight service in the air, but I could get flight watch and asked them to open my flight plan. He made it sound like that was really hard for him. Later in the same trip I received an inflight weather update from flight watch and an hour later canceled my flight plan on the ground by phone, with the exact same guy (he remembered the callsign).

    I'm thinking if ground and CD are the same person the shouldn't be so picky. Maybe should also ask why they bother with a CD.