Controller incorrect?

Discussion in 'Change to my Frequency...' started by jordane93, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,015
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jordan
    I’m 99% sure I’m correct but could use some help from the brain trust since I don’t fly GA full time anymore. Flying today FRG-MTP at 1500ft along the south shore with flight following. Got FF with NY approach and there are 2 Class D airports along the route, FOK and HTO. As I approach, FOK at 1500ft, approach asks if I’m going to remain clear because I didn't establish two way radio communication with the tower. I was confused because I’m on FF and it’s his job to coordinate the transition according to 7110.65W section 2-1-16 correct? The controller said no, I either have to steer clear of the airspace or contact tower. I’ve never heard of this. Again, I am on flight following with a beacon code about to go through Class D airspace. As I’ve always understood, approach is supposed to coordinate with the tower for a transition and it should not be my responsibility. I ended up just climbing to get on top of the airspace and didn’t feel like arguing with him. Am I crazy or was the controller mistaken? Here was the route

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
    wayneda40 likes this.
  2. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,015
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jordan
  3. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

    Joined:
    May 8, 2015
    Messages:
    6,648
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Luvflyin
    Probably yes and I haven’t even read the post yet:D
     
    jordane93 likes this.
  4. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    7,202
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pilawt
    You say that like those are mutually exclusive. :p

    But seriously, folks ...
    Does the "unless otherwise specified in a letter of agreement" in section (a) apply here? Many times I've gotten a Class C transition along the north bank of the Columbia River past KPDX at 1500'. Sometimes Portland Approach would tell me to switch to Troutdale Tower for transition through the KTTD Class Delta, and sometimes not. But they never treated it like it was something I was supposed to do on my own initiative.

    Might be worth a phone call to the facility for an explanation.
     
  5. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    9,905
    Location:
    Chapel Hill NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    Recall that flight following itself is a controller workload-based benefit*. With that in mind, paragraph 2-1-16 in the controller handbook does not tell me as a pilot that coordination of Class D transit is guaranteed 100% of the time. At most it tells me that I don't have to worry about contacting a Tower while on flight following, unless the approach controller tells me to.

    (*not sure, but I've heard that NY TRACON can be busy once in a while :D)
     
    write-stuff likes this.
  6. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,015
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jordan
    I do this route pretty often exactly as flown at 1500ft and this is the first I’ve heard to stay clear or ask tower for a transition while on flight following. Maybe the controller was new:dunno:
     
  7. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,015
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jordan
    That makes sense. All my GA Flying has been in Long Island and I’ve never been responsible for my own transition while on FF. Something to think about for sure next time. It was busy today but not the worst I’ve heard.
     
  8. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    10,803
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    Yep, their responsibility to coordinate the transition. If tower is super busy, they might just tell approach to keep you clear though. It’s not an automatic transition approval that approach has. Also, if tower is busy and doesn’t have time to be issuing approach a bunch of traffic for your transition, they could very well tell approach “just put him on me.”

    In your case, sounds like approach just didn’t want to pick up the landline and call tower.
     
    Seanaldinho, wayneda40 and jordane93 like this.
  9. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    9,905
    Location:
    Chapel Hill NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    Even as standardized as ATC is, as soon as you thik the way it's done where you regularly fly is the only way it's done, you are in for a surprise. Just a few examples:
    • There are airports where you do not call Tower when ready at the hold line. You tell Ground instead.
    • There are Class C airports where you do not call CD for departure instructions.
    • OTOH, there is a Class C airport (I think there is only one) where, as a GA pilot, you do call CD, but you do not speak to Ground at all (my favorite variation).
     
    Palmpilot and jordane93 like this.
  10. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Messages:
    3,827
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    write-stuff
    I'm with Mark on this one. You're on flight following and the controller is >supposed< to coordinate. But as a workload permitting process, if the controller indicates that you need to steer clear of some airspace, I take that to mean that he doesn't have time to coordinate. Do what the controller says.
     
    Doug Reid and jordane93 like this.
  11. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2005
    Messages:
    4,943
    Location:
    New York City
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Skip Miller
    Busy for whom? Was the Approach Cab fully staffed, or perhaps a person or two short?

    You are correct that ATC is supposed to either coordinate the transition or warn you to avoid the airspace.

    File the NASA form! This sort of error needs to get into the system!

    -Skip
     
    jordane93 likes this.
  12. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    10,803
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    Coordination with tower isn’t an optional when receiving basic radar service (FF) though. It’s mandatory if the aircraft is under FF. If the controller cannot provide the service of flight following because of workload, then the aircraft is required to be terminated and issued a freq change.
     
    catmandu, lancie00, Cooter and 2 others like this.
  13. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,015
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jordan
    This is why I’m a little a confused. If they’re too busy, they should terminate me. All I got was, “hey N12345 are you going to stay clear of FOK class D?” Which I then clarified and said, “aren’t you supposed to take care of coordinating with tower?” I never got radar termination. Or maybe they’re not too busy to give me FF but are too busy to call up the tower and coordinate a transition.
     
  14. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,015
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jordan
  15. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    10,803
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    Exactly, and that’s what is supposed to happen. By your description it sounds as if the controller doesn’t think it’s their responsibility to coordinate or even that he’s allowed to work you FF while in a tower’s airspace. Both are wrong.

    You either provide the service and do the required coordination or you terminate because you don’t have time (workload), or because tower wants to communicate with you. In the later, since I don’t think any Ds can provide basic radar service, a termination would be required.
     
  16. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,015
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jordan
    So it’s basically “all or nothing.” FF + coordination or nothing. That’s the way I’ve understood it as well.
     
    Velocity173 likes this.
  17. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Administrator Management Council Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    9,776
    Location:
    Yona (Say Joan ya), Guam
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Greg Bockelman
    Who in the world ever thought Hicksville was a good name for a town?
     
    EppyGA and jordane93 like this.
  18. Fiveslide

    Fiveslide Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2019
    Messages:
    376
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Fiveslide
    Probably everyone that has to live in a city called Manasses.
     
  19. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2015
    Messages:
    13,538
    Location:
    My own special place.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Canis Non Grata
    Someone named Hicks who founded the town.
     
    bflynn and Palmpilot like this.
  20. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

    Joined:
    May 8, 2015
    Messages:
    6,648
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Luvflyin
    Where’s that? The no talk to ground place?
     
  21. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    9,905
    Location:
    Chapel Hill NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    Maui. I had the opportunity to fly with Maui Aviators some years ago. The east (GA) ramp is all non-movement area until you get up to the runway. So you call CD for your departure instructions, taxi to the runway, and call Tower.

    I suspect there are a few Class Ds configured that way. APA in Denver is for one of the runways - non-movement to the hold short line, but there the SOP is the first one I mentioned - call Ground when ready for departure, not Tower.
     
  22. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Messages:
    4,818
    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brad Z
    As you noted from the .65, the controller is obligated to coordinate with the tower. That said, 91.129 obligates you, as the pilot, to establish two-communications with the ATC facility providing air traffic services for that airspace prior to entry. As it is clearly not NY Approach who handles it, you are required to contact the tower. Presumably the regs put the obligation on the pilot to determine who controls the portion of class delta airspace they're about to fly through, since it makes it clear that just talking to ATC in general is not sufficient.

    That said, you'd never get a violation in that situation. It's clear that you were getting flight following and it should have been coordinated.

    I typically ask if the radar controller will be coordinating a delta transition or if I need to make a frequency change. That usually elicits a response that they'll take care it.

    In your case, at least the radar controller asked you if you coordinated with tower, and didn't just let you stumble in, unannounced. I agree that a ASRS report, and perhaps a call to the QA person at the TRACON might be helpful, and address a potential controller training issue.



    §91.129 Operations in Class D airspace.
    (a) General. Unless otherwise authorized or required by the ATC facility having jurisdiction over the Class D airspace area, each person operating an aircraft in Class D airspace must comply with the applicable provisions of this section. In addition, each person must comply with §§91.126 and 91.127. For the purpose of this section, the primary airport is the airport for which the Class D airspace area is designated. A satellite airport is any other airport within the Class D airspace area.

    (b) Deviations. An operator may deviate from any provision of this section under the provisions of an ATC authorization issued by the ATC facility having jurisdiction over the airspace concerned. ATC may authorize a deviation on a continuing basis or for an individual flight, as appropriate.

    (c) Communications. Each person operating an aircraft in Class D airspace must meet the following two-way radio communications requirements:

    (1) Arrival or through flight. Each person must establish two-way radio communications with the ATC facility (including foreign ATC in the case of foreign airspace designated in the United States) providing air traffic services prior to entering that airspace and thereafter maintain those communications while within that airspace.
     
  23. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    10,803
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    91.129 doesn’t say to contact the tower providing the air traffic services. Tower is only mentioned in 91.129 for departures. The service in question is flight following or basic radar service. The controller providing that service is NY approach.

    No different than the 1,500 + radar approaches that I gave that penetrated a class D. They weren’t up tower, they were up the ATC facility providing ATC services.
     
  24. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Messages:
    4,818
    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brad Z
    See 91.129(c)(1). The tower is the only facility providing ATC services in the OPs case, as confirmed by the N90 controller.

    (1) Arrival or through flight. Each person must establish two-way radio communications with the ATC facility (including foreign ATC in the case of foreign airspace designated in the United States) providing air traffic services prior to entering that airspace
     
  25. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    10,803
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    I did see (C) 1 and it doesn’t mention the tower. There’s a reason why (D) 2 specifically mentions tower and (C) 1 doesn’t. That’s because there are provisions for being up “the ATC facility providing ATC service” vs being up “the tower.” VFR transitions and GCAs being two examples. If you were doing a GCA you wouldn’t ask the RFC if they’ve done their coordination. Same as doing a transition.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2019
  26. Salty

    Salty En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Messages:
    4,034
    Location:
    FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Salty
    Heh. Flew into a D with FF one time right after I got my cert and asked the controller if I was clear to go into the D (as I was getting real close) and he responded “you’re in 2 way communication with me aren’t you?”
     
  27. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    9,905
    Location:
    Chapel Hill NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    I think the key to the Order's ATC coordination statement is in your and @Brad Z's disagreement. With all the LOIs between TRACONs and Towers, we pilots don't really know who "the ATC facility" providing the service is. So, coordination is required.

    When I was teaching in the Denver area I had a good lesson about LOIs for students, based in the opposite scenario. We would head north or south outside the western edge of the Bravo and plan to penetrate the BJC Class D below its ceiling without flight following. The student would call BJC Tower for a transition. Their response? "Contact Denver Approach on xxx.x for transition."
     
  28. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    10,803
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    You should know the ATC facility providing the service. New York approach is listed in the chart sup as the approach facility for FOK. New York approach is the facility that provides basic radar service for that airspace. Not FOK tower.

    BJC makes no sense but it doesn’t matter anyway. If not on FF, contact tower prior to penetration. If they send you to approach, oh well. They’re both facilities that provide ATC services to / thru that airport.

    And again, would you ask the final controller on a GCA if you’re authorized to penetrate a D without comms with the tower? How do I know I’m up the ATC facility providing ATC services to that airport?
     
  29. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    9,905
    Location:
    Chapel Hill NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    Sure it does, if one accepts the concept that differences exist.
     
  30. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    10,803
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    Well unless it’s a SVFR transition, I can’t see them switching you to approach.
     
  31. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    9,905
    Location:
    Chapel Hill NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    There's a LOI between TRACON and Tower giving TRACON control of the BJC airspace above a certain altitude for operational purposes.
     
  32. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

    Joined:
    May 25, 2006
    Messages:
    9,905
    Location:
    Chapel Hill NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mark
    Valentine Hicks.
     
    SkyDog58 likes this.
  33. Jmcmanna

    Jmcmanna Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2014
    Messages:
    197
    Location:
    Southern WI
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jmcmanna
    As someone mentioned, it’s not an automatic transition approval. As an approach controller, if I see 8 VFR targets flying around within the Delta, I will tell you to either stay clear or call the tower...it is rarely a good idea for two controllers to be working airplanes in the same airspace in this situation.
     
    OC59 likes this.
  34. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2016
    Messages:
    1,487
    Location:
    Illinois
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kevin
    As you can see, this is one of those things that seems to be interpreted differently and comes up from time to time.

    I'm with @Velocity173 on this. I think that the approach you are talking to should either A) coordinate your transition with the tower B) tell you they are too busy and switch you to the tower prior to entering C) tell you to remain clear of the airspace.

    If you are talking to me on FF and it's clear your path/altitude will take you through the delta I will coordinate if require with the tower (many people don't realize that the radar facility may own a portion of the charted Delta...i.e. KDPA charted SFC-3300 I own always 3000 and up) and then tell you transition through the XXX delta approved so there is no confusion. At times if the tower has traffic I will tell you to stay on your current code and contract tower...they will switch you back on the other side.

    I've never heard of an instance where a pilot was getting FF and they were violated for flying though a Delta because they didn't get approval from the tower. If that has happened, I would like to hear about it.

    *I am not speaking for ATC, the FAA or anyone other than my opinion and how I operate.
     
  35. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    Messages:
    6,382
    Location:
    Vail, Arizona
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Timbeck2
    I didn't answer because I thought Velocity had it covered.....so I'll throw in one of these: :yeahthat: Posting this just to let you know I saw it.

    However I will add that it is hard to comment on other airspace because I don't know what LOA's (letter of agreement) that facilities have with each other in order to move traffic around in and around their airspace.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2019
    midlifeflyer likes this.
  36. danhagan

    danhagan Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    1,648
    Location:
    El Paso, TX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    danhagan
    Probably from ABQ area or PHX area:eek:

    That's how it should work unless with PHX approaching Glendale KGEU from the south and expecting transition through Goodyear, or inbound to KAEG Double Eagle with a hand off from ABQ center. Everywhere else is as you listed ... these two places expect something unusual.
     
  37. Dave S.

    Dave S. Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2017
    Messages:
    151
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    thetexan
    You do not have to independently establish communications with the tower. If you are on the approach control freq who has jurisdiction over the airspace where the class C,D, or B is then he IS the ATC in charge. He has to coordinate with the tower to enter the airspace.

    The exception is when approach controls the airspace around a VFR only tower (a tower where the controllers do not exercise any IFR radar separation responsibilities, such as RVA) AND there is no LOA between tower and approach for sequencing of VFR aircraft. In that case approach is required to terminate you prior to the airport I. Time for you to contact the tower prior to entering the airspace.

    Example: Cessna 123, radar service terminated. Contact tower 119.9.

    This would be done 7 or 8 Miles from the field.

    There could be several different combinations of other scenarios. The key is this. If he does not terminate you and tells you to contact tower he is providing separation till the threshold and thus you do not Independently need to worry about establishing contact.

    Tex
     
  38. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

    Joined:
    May 6, 2013
    Messages:
    3,616
    Location:
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Shawn
    Except for in Bravo, ATC is never responsible for providing separation services for any VFR aircraft, only traffic advisories. While they will do their darnedest to keep you from bending metal, that is an incorrect and deadly assumption to think THEY are providing separation services for you from other aircraft while on FF.
     
  39. Dave S.

    Dave S. Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2017
    Messages:
    151
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    thetexan
    Incorrect kemo sabe.

    Also in TRSA with participating aircraft AND all the way to the runway in class d airports. Green between is separation. ATC is required to provide that separation. It’s mandatory for ATC and not workload based.

    Tex
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2019
  40. Minshall

    Minshall Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    Messages:
    64
    Location:
    Oregon
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    TedM
    There is another way to interpret the controller's comments ... he may have been asking for your intentions so that he could respond appropriately. From your chart, you were on the edge of D-space. If your intention was to remain to the south (clear of D-space), then he just keeps you on FF and doesn't bother picking up the phone. If you intention was to enter D-space, then he'd have to do something more active (call tower or terminate you). I don't see anything in the regulations that prevents him from asking your intentions so that he can support you as best he can.
    Cheers