Flying below Class C

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by orange, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. orange

    orange Line Up and Wait

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    I'm building a house and it sits under the outer ring of the Class C about 7 miles from the airport. Living in NYC, I have never been able to fly over my house due to LGA, so it's something that I will probably do at some point once I move.

    The Charlie begins at 2200' (1800' AGL) up to 4400'. I know that since i'll be at around 1000 AGL, I don't have to contact Approach since I won't be in the Charlie airspace, but being fairly close to the airport, would you recommend contacting them anyway? It seems like a good idea to me just to give them a heads up of what I'll be doing. What would be a good thing to say? "Approach, 12345ab is 7 east of the airport at 1000, looking to do some ground reference for a few minutes, will depart to the east"? Or "I want to fly over my house a couple of times." LOL
     
  2. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Administrator Management Council Member

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    LOL. Either would work.

    Just tell them you want to orbit a point 7 east at 1000. They will give you a code and life will be good. Plain language works wonderfully most of the time. M
     
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  3. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    I often fly under the nearby charlie...the reason I’m flying under is to not talk to them. Now my girlfriend’s parents live within a delta, and the several times I’ve flown around their house I just let the tower know I’m doing it. Usually something like, “request several 360 degree turns at my current position.”
    Both work
     
  4. Ghery

    Ghery Final Approach

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    I did a similar thing a number of years ago when the local ham club had their field day setup on the Washington state capital grounds. That's within the KOLM D space, so I just called the tower and told them that I'd be orbiting the capital campus for a few minutes while we took pictures from the air. It's off the centerline of rwy 17-35, so no problem for them.
     
  5. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    Yup.

    "Approach, Cessna 12345 request orbit 7 east (or over some landmark) at 1000."
    "Cessna 12345, approach, squawk 4321, report on station."
    (when over your house and starting your first 360)
    "Approach, Cessna 12345 on station."
    "Cessna 12345, approach, report leaving station."
    (after a few 360's)
    "Approach, Cessna 12345, leaving station, VFR <home airport>, have ATIS information <letter>."
     
  6. Unit74

    Unit74 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    If it’s class E below, why request anything? It’s not their airspace and they do not control it. Sure, they probably see you painted, but requesting anything opens you up compliance with ATC. Monitoring the freq as a form of situational awareness? Sure, but that’s where I would end it unless I had other plans to enter the airspace.
     
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  7. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Some folks like the extra set of eyes in busy airspace and are willing to accept the horrible imposition of following an ATC instruction vectoring them away from traffic. Many times it's busier below the class C or B shelf than in it.

    If we're talking about the NYC airspace below the KISP Class C, I'd expect that to be true.
     
  8. Stingray Don

    Stingray Don Pattern Altitude

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    I frequently fly under the shelf of the Indy class C. I don’t bother contacting approach. You just need to be vigilant to avoid busting airspace.
     
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  9. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    You might want to double check the airspace type and altitudes. Most floors of the outer ring of Class C airspace are 1200 ft AGL, not 1800 ft AGL.
     
  10. Unit74

    Unit74 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    If he is talking KISP, looks like it’s 1500. Not seeing any 1800 floors anywhere near him.
     
  11. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Video or it never happened!
     
  12. Unit74

    Unit74 Ejection Handle Pulled

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  13. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The TRACON controllers at Detroit say they would rather be talking to you when you are under the class B, but having said that I never talk to them on my **** radio .
     
  14. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    1500 MSL/1200 AGL. I would not fly over that area at 1000 AGL.
     
  15. C-1 PILOT

    C-1 PILOT Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I’m a Queens guy also. I’ve photographed my house in LGA’s airspace. Same rules apply, as mentioned for your new digs in class C. The difference with LGA is, I first checked which way they were landing LGA. Once I knew they weren’t overhead my house (Flushing-Whitestone) I contacted the tower after departing FRG, with the request. Told them my intentions to orbit “On Station” 6 miles east for photos. I requested 1000’ and got it. They cleared me into the Bravo from my position east of the Throggs Neck bridge from the North Shore. Passenger took the pics and called the tower to advise completion and were instructed to leave the way we entered.. LGA tower were very accommodating. Good Luck to you.
     
  16. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've never had a Class C controller turn down random sightseeing inside their airspace. BNA pretty much let us loiter over downtown Nashville for as long as we wanted. In other places I've even had them offer me vectors to the target that I was going to look at.

    While this is outside the Class C, I had an amusing discussion with the then Richmond approach (now it's PCT). I told clearance delivery:
    4FR: Cessna 714FR, VFR to IAD, 3000, but we'll be stopping off to show the kids Kings Dominion on the way.

    On being handed off from tower to departure I got : Climb and Maintain 3000, report Kings Dominion in sight.

    That was a trip down to see the Virginia Aviation Museum. My son (probably about 12 at the time) managed to wrangle us a tour inside the Consolidated Vultee that someone was working on at the time. However, the kid's high point of the trip was the fact that we could get the courtesy car to go to McDonald's during the visit.
     
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  17. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

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    It's weird but I've never flown over my house. I guess it's something that I should do sometime though I normally want to fly somewhere where I don't already spend so much time.
     
  18. Stingray Don

    Stingray Don Pattern Altitude

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    [​IMG]
     
  19. cgrab

    cgrab Cleared for Takeoff

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    I always talk to the controllers and let them know my intentions. I've done similar things around Norfolk, Chattanooga, Tuscaloosa and Huntsville. I tell them I want to take pictures at and below an altitude and so many miles out on a radial or direction from them. They tell me to report on station and when I do the tell me to tell them when I'm done. Sometimes they'll give me an altitude restriction if the location is on the approach.
     
  20. iamtheari

    iamtheari Cleared for Takeoff

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    Talking to the Class C controller also means you don’t really need to worry about busting the airspace, unless they tell you to stay out. Two way radio contact is all you need to enter it. But you don’t have to “request” anything. You’ll basically just be on flight following and can do whatever you want. It’s nice to tell them what you are going to do, but you do not need their permission.
     
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  21. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    ISP is dead. They pretty much let you do whatever you want.
     
  22. Polarisguy

    Polarisguy Pre-Flight

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    I learned to fly from Flushing Airport which you probably remember was in close proximity to LGA. But that was prior to the TCA. Long time ago. My instructor was Walter Scharfe who was a tough German and he alone was worth every dime. He insisted that from day one we communicate with LGA departure and arrival religiously and that training paid off ever since because it made me comfortable working within the system. The controllers are 99.999% helpful and friendly. Work with them


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  23. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    In the OP situation, he isn’t requesting anything. I would be telling them what I’m doing and then go do it secure in the knowledge that 1) I have an extra set of eyes for traffic and 2) I’m ‘protected’ from an accidental excursion into their airspace.

    Different perspective but that’s me.


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  24. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Why would you NOT get flight following from Approach?...do you NEED to talk to anyone?...nope...but you will be flying around busy terminal adjacent to Carlie airspace distracted by "looking" for your house with all the other yahoos that are trying to avoid Charlie and not talk to anyone. Getting FF so ATC KNOWS what you are doing vs having to guess your intentions, have a second set of eyes for safety, and essentially have the boundaries of Charlie disappear seems like a freaking no brainer to me.
     
  25. tawood

    tawood Pattern Altitude

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    Why not?
     
  26. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ Final Approach

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    Most likely, that close to the airport and under Class C, Class E would start at 700agl.
     
  27. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Is your new house in a congested area? If so, then 1000 AGL is too low.
     
  28. Unit74

    Unit74 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Ohhh kaaayyyy...... um, what’s the learning point? 700 or 1200, what does it have to do with the Class C and a tower controller?
     
  29. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ Final Approach

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    Because the response was to someone about impact of Class E.

    As to the original post question, sure under Class C and close to the D tower, you could talk to approach.
    If you are too low, you may be below radar coverage, but maybe not ADS-B coverage.
     
  30. SoCal RV Flyer

    SoCal RV Flyer Pattern Altitude

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    I wouldn't talk to the tower...I'd monitor my ADS-B for traffic and keep eyes outside as much as possible. For me, the extra workload of the radio chatter would distract more than help, with ATC pointing out other planes whose altitude, position and direction I already know.
     
  31. danhagan

    danhagan Pattern Altitude

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    I always tell them for "multiple 360's for photos at xxx" when I'm asking for their area.
     
  32. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    I think @Unit74 's point was there isn't any Class E impact.
     
  33. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Controller standpoint:

    Its a WHOLE lot easier keeping other traffic away from you if we know who you are and what you're doing. I have no idea why people think that its such an inconvenience to talk to a controller yet at the same time want to do what they want when they want it. Controllers aren't there to inconvenience you, in fact, they will bend over backwards to accommodate you and your desire to take a picture of your house but most importantly, they are there to keep you and others safe.
     
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  34. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Pilots whine about it all the time.

    I was at a pilot-controller program at RDU. They said the same thing you did. They also specifically asked pilots performing practice approaches at my home base to call them, especially when using the approach which just happens to cross their approach/departure path. I passed on the request to a few pilot groups in the area. In one of the groups, I got an earful about how "the feds" continue to usurp "our" airspace.
     
  35. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Controllers whine a lot too. I see both sides of the issue since I'm both, and I control and fly out of Class C airspace; I'm sure the other controller/pilots here would agree. I just think pilots put themselves in a more dangerous position by NOT talking to a controller ESPECIALLY if they're near congested airspace.
     
  36. iamtheari

    iamtheari Cleared for Takeoff

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    While we are close to the topic, I was wondering this: Does an ADS-B signal from a VFR contact you are not talking to help you any? Do you still have to say, “altitude reports 4,500, unverified,” or can you use the ADS-B altitude to help with separation at all?
     
  37. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    In short, if I can't verify an altitude all I can do is tell others something like, "traffic twelve o'clock, one mile, maneuvering, type and altitude unknown."

    Those at facilities who have updated radar may be able to see other things. Right now the DoD is near the bottom of the list for upgrade. All I can do is tell if an aircraft is equipped with ADS-B or not depicted by a small circle near the data block.
     
  38. rocketflyer84

    rocketflyer84 Line Up and Wait

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    ISP shouldn’t really even be a class C given how quiet it is, but I digress. The general airspace is busy though and others dive below the shelf too so never hurts to call them for advisories.
     
  39. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    There are much quieter class C airports than ISP. I never got into the details, but the FAA uses a combination of passenger numbers (Ie, airline use) at the primary and operation numbers at both the primary and satellites to identify Class C candidates and then adds in an overall safety analysis which includes surrounding airspace (or fudge factor if you prefer).
     
  40. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Line Up and Wait

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    I've never found talking to controllers to be all that distracting so I don't see a downside in having another set of eyes looking for targets for me even if that set of eyes is only looking at the same data I already have.