Got a hand slap from San Carlos tower

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by MAKG1, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    From what I've observed of the airspace design process in the Northwest in recent years (e.g., KSLE, KAUO, KVUO), this ain't bad.
     
  2. MetalCloud

    MetalCloud Line Up and Wait

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    In my experience KSQL tower isn't the most friendly in the world. So who knows what they were thinking. I know you know the airspace well. Maybe an oversight or they had just had someone bust it and had a knee jerk reaction
     
  3. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The radar track supports what they said.

    It doesn't support when they said it (they were late), but that's an understandable issue in busy airspace.

    I haven't had significant issues with KSQL tower. The airport gets periodically slammed, but that's not Tower's fault.
     
  4. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    By the way, thanks for starting the thread. It's probably just luck that I haven't had the same problem.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2017
  5. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No problem. That's the point of the forum, right?

    Given how that airspace is set up, I would think this particular problem is very common. Along with out-of-towners busting the Class B surface area due to a departure procedure that tells them to turn to a landmark that was obliterated years ago.

    You can bet I'll keep my altitude at or below 1400 now until I'm well southwest of 101. Which is of course just the opposite of PAO -- they want 1500 or above southwest of 101 for noise abatement.
     
  6. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I flew that departure today, and noticed that even in an LSA, it would have been very easy to bust the bravo. I was right on the boundary of the 1500-foot shelf, and could have easily exceeded that altitude and drifted to the right just slightly, before reaching the-nearly-indistinguishible-landmark-that-used-to-be-a-race-track.
     
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  7. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Damn... bet you wish you had a moving map as another layer of protection.

    After all, none of us are perfect.
     
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  8. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Who says I didn't?

    Yep, the G1000 told me I was "inside airspace." Which i knew since I was departing Class D.

    Yup, those moving maps sure make mistakes impossible. Sure helps with avoiding inbound traffic, too.
     
  9. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Not impossible.... but as the poster said,"it's another layer".
    Sorry, it's about impossible to argue with that.
    You may not opt for that route and that's fine. Problem is you chastised someone else for exercising their PIC privledges. Why do you care if someone else chooses not to fly without certain equipment?
    Someone could say your decision making is subpar because your choose to fly without it.

    ETA: More importantly, your self proclaimed 100% accurate visual pilotage wasn't so 100%...??
     
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  10. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    No...it is called an "AID" to situational awareness to HELP avoid mistakes and incidents.
     
  11. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It was a layer that I had, and it was not a help.

    You misquoted both me and yourself in one post. That takes talent.

    A moving map is not helpful in this situation. Knowing where the boundary of Class B shelf was was the issue. All VFR charts show this, whether moving or not. I knew exactly where I was, so the "moving" part is irrelevant. Except the G1000 doesn't tell you airspace floors or ceilings unless you ask it, so there is an interface issue that VFR charts don't have.

    The correct solution to this problem was to know the relationship between the Class B shelf edge and Hwy 101 before takeoff. If the lesson to take away is what you said -- that a moving map would help -- you got the wrong lesson. Heads down with inbound traffic (which is why my turn was delayed) in busy Class D is stupid.

    A moving map tells you where you are. If you don't know that in bright VMC with good landmarks, you're not paying attention.

    You might have a point if I was lost. That wasn't the case.

    Have fun with your straw man. Just don't presume it has any relevance.
     
  12. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    You can say it's not helpful all you want, but hey.... it wasn't me that busted the airspace.
     
  13. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So, exactly how should that moving map have helped?

    There was one in the cockpit.

    And I *didn't* have a midair incident. Heads down might have changed that.

    You're solving the wrong problem.
     
  14. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Ahh.... you don't need to be heads down even longer when trying to pinpoint your position on a paper chart?

    Look, I'm not faulting you. The best of us make mistakes. I know I have and I expect to make many more. That said, if I can possibly reduce the number with such an easy backup system, why not?

    What I really don't understand is you belittling someone for doing just that.
     
  15. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    I don't make misstakes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
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  16. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Not that we all haven't made mistakes but I have to laugh at the fact that the guy that had had admmitadley a C and now B airspace bust is arguing against the use of moving maps like Forflight that take no more time to look at than a paper chart yet thinks they would not be helpful in this situation.

    Yes, it will give you better situational awareness. No, it does not require any more heads down time than a paper chart nor any more scan time than looking at your altitude or airspeed does.

    You lost situational awareness plain and simple...which happens and will most likely happen again to all of us...yet you have an adversion to a tool that would help prevent that.

    A GPS position moving map pinpoints your exact location in relation to those imaginary lines in the sky. That is the situational awareness you lost regardless of the reason and exactly what a product like Foreflight would have told you at glance with the ceiling information right there in front of you. That is how it would have helped. Should you rely on ONLY that...absolutely not...but that information coupled with everything else we do as pilots helps paint a broader and better picture of what is happening in reality vs what we think should be happening.

    Using all available tools at your disposal including technology does not make you any less of a pilot...it makes you a safer and smarter pilot IMO.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
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  17. Norman

    Norman En-Route Gone West

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    I'm sure you meant miss-steaks. :D I miss them too only hamburger is in the budget. ;)
     
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  18. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I mentioned earlier in the thread that it's only luck that I didn't have the same bust at SQL that MAKG1 did. I can't speak for him, but for me it was really a failure of preflight planning. I have flown in and out of that airport for 26 years, using only a paper chart at times, and a moving map at others, and until this thread, I never noticed the pitfall implicit in the fact that the 1500 foot shelf extends into that little finger of airspace. Until now, I have always been focused on the boundary of the class B surface area, not the boundary of the 1500 foot shelf, when making the left-hand departure. Whether people want to call that a loss of situational awareness or not is of less interest to me than making sure that I do a better job of understanding the implications of what's on whichever type of chart I happen to be using.

    Regardless of what anyone's personal minimums are for what equipment they will take off with, I hope we can all agree that pilots need to be proficient enough at flying without a moving map to be able to cope if it dies in flight, or if the military's frequent interference testing unexpectedly causes loss of location.
     
  19. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    To me that is one of the biggest benefit of a product like Foreflight. I agree it should NEVER be relied on nor on anyones MEL, but it shines best when something is not absolutely 100% perfect or ideal conditions like a lapse in preflight planning, unexpected instructions, an inflight distraction, ect. Just as Flight Following is another set of eyes to help, Foreflight is just another aid to situational awareness.

    Personally I have no problem if someone chooses not to fly with that technology, but to dismiss its value is foolish. I pulled up the map on my iPad and had it open as if I was flying from SQL...for me it would have been hard to miss that 1500 label on the shelf with the map open and would have caught my eye at a glance had I not internalized that during preflight...so that is why I have such a hard time with the dismissal of the notion that it would not have been helpful in this situation.

    I use the information presented on the iPad to confirm what I think I know...and adjust accordingly when I am wrong or unsure.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
  20. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don't know how to explain it. Every flight I've made for the past two years has been behind a glass panel with moving map. Every time I take off from an airport under the mode C veil, I make sure the moving map is configured so that I can see the airspace boundaries. So my unawareness of the pitfall that befell MAKG1 was not caused by lack of a moving map.

    When I have flown the Belmont Slough departure (right crosswind for non-locals), I have always been keenly aware of the need to stay below 1500. Yet when I have flown the Bay Meadows departure (delayed left crosswind for noise abatement), I haven't even thought about the 1500 foot limit until after I saw this thread. Of course, the Belmont Slough departure passes underneath a steady stream of airliners landing at SFO, which makes altitude an obvious priority. The Bay Meadows departure doesn't have that issue, and I have tended to be fixated on trying to spot the location of the former Bay Meadows race track, which is where we're suppose to turn crosswind, and is not at all obvious anymore. The only reason I haven't gotten a bust is probably just luck, plus a Skycatcher is not a terribly fast climber (probably about the same as an older 172).
     
  21. noahfong

    noahfong Pre-Flight

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    When I flew the Bay Meadows departure I studied the TAC and had two methods of avoiding going into SFO Bravo:

    1. Fly along the Bayshore Freeway (HWY 101) until turning SWB, staying below 1500 until crossing the freeway. On a VFR day, the freeway is clearly visible.

    2. Set up the VOR on SFO 120 radial, which is the airspace boundary in question and don't climb above 1500 feet until southwest of it. Can even fly along this radial.

    3. Make sure I turn left before reaching HWY 92, which is also hard to miss in VMC.

    This is one of the situations where I always try to find prominent landmarks to provide visual guidance. Also, if I recall, when I flew trafficwatch and had a 430-equipped airplane, the freeways are clearly marked on the moving map (as long as I enabled the feature). So, I have to say that a moving map could have helped.

    The question I have for MAKG is: If you turned left at 1000 feet, how far right of runway centerline did you drift to have climbed to 1800 and still be northeast of the SFO 120 radial?
     
  22. Lindberg

    Lindberg Pattern Altitude

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    I may not be following completely, but isn't the issue that you didn't know where you were? I thought you said the RADAR track showed you in a different place from where you thought you'd been at the time. That seems to be precisely the problem a moving map would solve with a quick glance.
     
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  23. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    This is the simple answer to avoid this issue in the future.
     
  24. apr911

    apr911 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Bear in mind that many Class D airports dont have radar services and are totally visual. Given its location, close proximity to the lower inner rings of the Bravo, over laps of the airspace and the fact that radar coverage is pretty well saturated in the area, San Carlos likely has a read out but then a couple years ago in this thread: https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/community/threads/class-d-airports-and-radar.72201/

    Someone commented about how their local class D airport had a new tower within the last 10 years and a radar array on the field that piped radar data to Salt Lake City 200+ miles away and yet the tower didn't have a radar display in their cab. So it just goes to show what seems like a no brainer to us might not have made it to the FAA.

    Either the controller had radar and could tell you were right of where you should be, got called by one of the bravo controllers about that airplane that just took off and is now in their airspace or judged visually that you appeared too far right. You've since indicated it the radar track did put you in the Bravo so it seems it was one of the first 2 but no matter what, the quick response and compliance, not arguing it was the right response and likely saved you a phone call.


    I'm a bit confused... If you followed US 101 as you indicated, even though it curves inward, the sectional, TAC and fly chart all seem to indicate US 101 doesnt cross into the Bravo until the US-101/I-92 interchange which is after the left turn for Bay Meadows. Its also noteworthy that while the posted noise abatement diagram clearly states its not for navigation and lists the Class B boundaries as approximate locations, it indicates US 101 doesn't cross the bravo until after the interchange which is well after the left turn out for Bay Meadows.

    Something doesn't add up and while you're "downplaying gadgetry" in the cockpit, you seem to be losing awareness in the process. I'd also note that a moving map such as GNS430/530 or the GTN650/750 does show lines for each of the bravo shelves and though they dont print it right on the map like on a sectional, they have the ability to tell you at what altitude a particular shelf is if you dont possess the local knowledge to already know that information.

    Your iPad with GPS would have saved you the bust here. A moving map GNS/GTN moving map display would have saved you the bust here. This is all equipment you say you had available to you but eschewed in an effort to downplay gadgetry. Downplaying the gadgetry is a good thing in my opinion but only as long as you can keep safe. Losing situational awareness and busting an airspace isn't safe and as others pointed out, even eschewing the gadgetry cant be used as an excuse in this case because its dead simple to tune to 115.8 plug in the reciprocal 300-bearing for the 120-radial and ensure you remain left of center the entire time as you climb through 1400
     
  25. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    MAKG is long gone.
     
  26. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    San Carlos Tower does have a radar display.
    Check the TAC again. US-101 deviates to the right prior to CA-92, which takes it underneath the 1500-foot shelf of the bravo, and he may have been keeping 101 to his left. That would explain why the tower complained about his being at 1800 feet.

    This is a departure that requires carefully reading and understanding the chart prior to takeoff, whether it's a moving map or a paper chart.
     
  27. apr911

    apr911 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I acknowledged San Carlos likely does have a read out themselves but I didn't know for sure. Still feel it was important to not that not all Class-D towers have a radar display in their cab and the GPS in your plane is likely a lot more accurate than the visual approximation to a landmark. If you're not sure, you should assume they do have radar though, despite it accuracy, I have yet to meet the pilot that wins the argument with the FAA that their radar return signature must be wrong because the GPS said otherwise. OP was still right to clear the airspace and argue it later.

    US 101 does deviate prior to the CA-92 interchange but it does not appear to cross into fully into the Bravo until the interchange based on what I can see on the charts... Granted we're talking maybe a 1/16" difference between being outside and inside the bravo. After a careful read of the available charts, I personally wouldn't have messed around at all with the Bravo being right there and would have used US101 as a fly-over landmark not a fly near/next to and waited untill after I was left of it to start my climb but then I've flown in SoCal where I-5 and I-805 (and several other highways and waterways) play a significant part in staying out of the hodgepodge of B, C and D airspace's in close proximity in the LAX/SAN area, particularly for the VFR Corridors, transition routes and the dual bravo shelf area for Miramar.

    The OP wasn't really clear on what method he was using exactly, if he was keeping US101 left of the airplane than I can see how he would bust but given the lack of maneuvering space right of US-101 and his statement that he followed US-101 for "noise abatement" he was right over top of US101.

    While the chart does require careful reading prior to takeoff to understand, I still maintain that with that understanding, a moving map would have saved him the bust and even without the detailed understanding, it could likely avoided have helped avoid the bust (particularly with Foreflight which is pretty good about warning you're approaching class B). And again, even without all of the gadgets and gizmos, using his VOR Nav appropriately would have also saved him the bust. I would log this under the category of "Pilot's failure to avail themselves of and utilize all available data/resources contributed to the loss of airspace/situational awareness and avoidance." In this case the consequence was a briefly busted airspace and a handslap but its a description I see applied often in crashes that involve CFITS.
     
  28. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I agree that not all class D towers have a radar display. I was just adding the information that San Carlos does, since you said you weren't sure.

    The noise abatement procedure depicts aircraft staying to the right of 101 until reaching the vicinity of the former racetrack. (The OP was apparently mistaken in saying that the procedure doesn't ask for that.)

    The space between 101 and the bravo surface area to the right is almost a mile. Drifting that far to the right in visual conditions is not likely, so staying to the right of the highway does not cause a problem as long as you stay below 1500. He said that the radar track showed that he drifted to the right, and the fact that the tower controller said he was in the bravo tells us that he was to the right of the highway.

    He did have a moving map. As he mentioned in post #48, the plane he was flying had a G1000, which alerted him that he was "inside airspace." That wasn't all that helpful given that he was departing from an airport in class D airspace in the first place. My own most recent flying of that departure was in an airplane that had a moving map (a G300), and as I mentioned earlier, it's just luck that I haven't made the same mistake.
     

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  29. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pre-Flight

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    So much fail here, as the OP goes from: "I'd be happy to correct my procedures if there really was an error on my part. But I'm not seeing any error. WTF?" to an ultra-defensive position as the blood is shown on his hands. The progressive meltdown here is epic!

    I've been in / out of that airport more than once, both VFR and IFR. It's complex airspace, and busy, but the 101 freeway and some simple knowledge of landmarks makes it a bit easier.

    All these cockpit aids and the OP couldn't figure out how to use them to understand Class B? Again, an epic-level failure to use resources.
     
  30. 1RTK1

    1RTK1 Line Up and Wait

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    What ever happened to MAKG1?
     
  31. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think the responses to his thread hurt his feelings. Some deserved.
     
  32. 1RTK1

    1RTK1 Line Up and Wait

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    Well, I guess If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.....Seems he dished it out pretty good sometimes, should in turn be able to take it.
     
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  33. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yup, hence the responses he received. ;)
     
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