Cleared in Bravo if I cancel IFR?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Skid, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. Skid

    Skid Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Interesting situation came up today. We were flying at 2000 feet (outside of the Bravo) nearing the FAF for an approach that would enter the next Bravo shelf inbound starting at 1200 just ahead. The controller was slammed with radio traffic and the fact that we were VMC (but on an IFR plan because of some low clouds at 2500) we decided to cancel IFR to help him out. He said great squawk 1200 frequency changed approved, but continuing our approach would lead us to busting the bravo.

    In this situation is it implied that we are basically cleared back into the bravo shelf that we were nearing to continue our approach? Or should we have ducked down below 1200 and continue the approach VFR?

    Thanks
     
  2. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

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    Were you cleared for the approach? Was the approach into a towered airport? Did you have two way communications with the tower if so?
     
  3. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach

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    "nearing the FAF" you did nothing to reduce his workload by asking for the cancelation since they now need to respond to your request, do some updates, and maybe even inform tower that you're now IFR. Seems like the least workload for all would be to continue on.

    @Radar Contact can provide some perspective from both sides of the radio wave.
     
  4. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The controller didn’t clear you for an approach,also did you hear the magic words cleared into the Bravo?
     
  5. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    There is no "implied" clearance. You need an explicit clearance to enter Bravo even if moments before you were IFR on a course into to Bravo.

    If you were not previously cleared to the approach you needed a clearance to enter Bravo since you are now VFR.

    "Confirm cleared into Bravo to continue approach VFR" is all you needed to ask.

    While the controller knew what you were doing and would be a Delta Bravo move to bust you for that, if anything went wrong it would have 100% come back on the pilot for not receiving your Bravo clearance. On the flip side, you are now VFR and able to go on the visual direct to airport so there very well may be no assumption that you are going to continue to the approach unless those intentions were discussed with controller.

    Those two point are irrelevant in regards to being authorized to enter Bravo airspace while VFR.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2020
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  6. Skid

    Skid Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Just to clear some things up: we were going into an uncontrolled field, and yes he cleared us for the approach, and he said he had multiple planes trying to get into our destination so a cancellation asap was appreciated.

    "Confirm cleared into Bravo to continue approach VFR" is all you needed to ask.

    I like that. In the heat of the moment we weren't planning on airspace until we had already cancelled and it was right in front of us. Shame on us, but I'll definitely remember that line for next time.
     
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  7. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    I’m based at Potomac Airfield, one of the MD-3 airports under the approach path to DCA. I’ll often cancel IFR once I get close as it makes the controller’s life easier and doesn’t really affect me. Due to the nature of the airspace step downs, I may descend out of bravo momentarily before reentering it in the next shelf. I had my original clearance, following my expected route, no issues with ATC.

    Since you were cleared for the approach you had a clearance. Had he said “roger squawk VFR frequency change approved remain outside class bravo” it would have been a different story. But as always, if there’s any question in your head, ask for clarification.
     
  8. MrAnderson

    MrAnderson Pre-Flight

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    Where was this? I was trying to find a similar scenario but can’t find many G approaches that conflict with B airspace.
     
  9. Witmo

    Witmo Pattern Altitude

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    Normally, clearance for an approach includes clearance for the missed but if you cancel IFR, I would assume your clearance to go missed is cancelled. Similarly, if you were IFR and inside class B airspace, exited class B and cancelled, you could not reenter class B airspace unless you received a specific clearance. Slightly off topic but pertinent, you must remember that you have to be compliant with VFR cloud clearance and visibility requirements in order to cancel IFR. Pilots have been violated for breaking out of an overcast and immediately cancelling "in order to help out the controller."
     
  10. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Here are two thoughts:
    1. A VFR aircraft requires a direct clearance to fly in Bravo. As @Shawn said, there are no "implied" clearances. At lease none you can rely on.
    2. There are situations in which it is highly likely you are cleared in Bravo. Yours sounds like one of them. You are already there with a known route and it is doubtful ATC expects you to dive bomb under. Another is when you are landing at the Bravo primary. A third is when you are departing from a Bravo primary. Nevertheless, even in that last one, you will hear the magic words. And "highly likely' is no guarantee.
    Bottom line. It takes so little to confirm the clearance. Why not be sure instead of guessing correctly?
     
  11. WDD

    WDD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ditto - I've always been taught must hear the words "Cleared to Enter Bravo" - no matter what else is said or phrased.
     
  12. MrAnderson

    MrAnderson Pre-Flight

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    When VFR yes, however the situation described is a little more complex. I commonly fly into a G underlying a C and I fly directly through and over the top of the primary because its the easiest way to go. There are times i'm still in the surface area and get the ole "frequency change approved have a good day" thus not maintaining radio communications with ATC, but they know what your doing and what your intentions are. If you don't do what you told them it is your responsibility to let them know. On an IFR flight you don't need the verbal "cleared into class bravo" because you get your clearance (presumably) on the ground prior to departure. When on an approach you get an additional clearance for the approach which means you can fly the published procedure but in VFR conditions you are still responsible for separation. I don't see any issue with nicking the B while flying a published approach that I was cleared for after getting a frequency change approved.