Handed off or not?

Discussion in 'Change to my Frequency...' started by skippy101, Jul 2, 2017.

  1. skippy101

    skippy101 Filing Flight Plan

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    I have a question if there are any ATC types on freq.

    I fly out of KSDL. PHX has a class B. There is a VFR corridor just to the east or west of the airport.

    As you come out of the Corridor heading Northbound. your about 5 miles from the border of KSDL's class "D". Sometimes the controller will say. ( Squak VFR radar service terminated) I know this means I know need to make a cold call to Scottsdale Tower.

    Or coming off the corridor you will get " Keep your beacon code, have a good day." I have had them say this, and Assuming there handing me off. I will contact twr. Cessna 123ABC checking in 5 S/W. but come to find out I am not handed off. So I then treat it like a cold call. But then again. Sometimes I am handed off. Anyone in PHX area have this happen?
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
  2. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Never assume you're handed off unless they tell you to contact xxx facility and give you the freq.
     
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  3. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Cleared for Takeoff

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    What @Kritchlow said.

    Hopefully a PHX TRACON controller will chime in and help out. This is specific to the TRACON/Tower's via a letter of agreement. Just because they keep you on the code, doesn't mean they handed you off. They may just do it to help the tower ID you quicly using their DBRITE (tower scope).

    If you are handed off they should say contact xxx facility xxx freq. If you aren't, they should be telling you radar service terminated and squawk 1200/vfr or stay on your current code (if advantageous).
     
  4. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    This happens in in the NY B a lot. Approach will dump us off high and just outside of FRG class D. 90% of the time I need to make a sharp right or left turn so I don't bust FRG's airspace.
     
  5. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Cleared for Takeoff

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    That's an unfortunate way to run traffic. While talking to approach you're allowed to pierce the Delta. If they put you at it and terminate you right before entering and you couldn't turn or call in time, the FSDO should see this when reviewing if violated and give you a pass (rightfully so). Still a pain to have to deal with. Maybe a call to QA at the facility to have them knock that off or calling FRG on the second radio prior, knowing whats about to happen?
     
  6. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Personally I would consider it bad form for a controller to end a transmission with "have a good day" or similar unless he was handing me off, terminating services, etc., however as stated above, never assume. Ask.
     
  7. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Yea and people get violated for busting FRG's airspace like that fairly often. I always try to ask for a frequency change early but they always seem to hang onto us until the last minute. I'd say 8/10 times they drop us like 5.5-6 miles out. Occasionally they'll terminate us like 8 miles out which is a gift.
     
  8. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    In your situation the controller doesn't even have to tell you radar services are terminated. You're receiving basic radar service to a field outside of a B, C, TRSA or where basic radar services (FF) are provided, it's assumed when you switch to tower that you're terminated.

    If and that's a big if, if SDL somehow has a certified tower radar display and they have an LOA from the FAA to provide basic radar service, then you could continue to receive radar services. I don't know of a single D that has that capability. Also, just because a D has a CTRD doesn't mean they can use it for basic radar service as well. They might be able to accept handoffs (transfer of radar ID), but being able to provide ALL basic radar services, most likely not. Uncertified displays are nothing more than an aid for SA, while the certified ones can provide SOME radar services at class Ds. But, like the AIM says, don't assume you're getting that service from a tower.

    Now, B, C, TRSA, most likely you are getting a bonafide handoff with full radar services and not just a simple inbound coordination.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
  9. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Most likely you haven't been handed off but Approach is just making it easier for the Tower to handle you by not requiring them to give you a new a code and start a new track on you. Seems a little unorthodox, and it kinda is, but in the long run it keeps things flowing. Check in or cold call, whatever feels right at the time. They'll figure it out
     
  10. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    How would the code make things easier for the tower if the aircraft hadn't been handed off?
     
  11. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    Just a guess... but I would assume keeping the code is for coming out the other side.
     
  12. skippy101

    skippy101 Filing Flight Plan

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    KSDL doesnt have discreet squawks. Most VFR traffic. is arriving/departing 1200. But it is kind of interesting though.
     
  13. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Denver Approach used to do something like this at Centennial - send you over to Tower without calling them to let them know. It happened so often, I became convinced it was a game they were playing. Not with the pilots (I never heard about a bust the 20 years I was based there) but with the Tower controllers (who got a bit peeved). I finally decided to take command and ask to be switched if they didn't turn me loose by a certain point. I swear at times I heard a,"gee, no one EVER lets me have any fun!" sigh along with "frequency change approved."
     
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  14. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Heck I've had the "contact XXX" and then found out they didn't actually do a handoff.

    They've mellowed on that it seems. Tower seems to know someone is coming but rarely has a full handoff with tail number for VFR practice approaches. DEN TRACON won't have you dump the squawk code and usually turns you loose in a reasonable amount of time to call up.

    I'd be interested in knowing what the LOAs say. I suspect for approaches they're not coordinating at all anymore now that opposite direction approaches are taboo. They're just following an LOA and putting you on the approach and then telling you to contact the Tower. I suspect the LOA gives DEN a few spots they can vector aircraft to without need to call the Tower on the land line.

    I've had DEN dump me into the PUB Delta, ABQ dump me into the Double Eagle Delta after telling me to "remain with me for a minute" and not telling the Delta controller who started yelling about busting the Delta the second they let me go and I called him (I got a little snippy back with my tone and told him ABQ had held on to me on purpose to avoid his departing Citation pointed directly at me -- he mellowed out after that).

    And I've had LAS come close to dumping me into Henderson's Delta.

    It's a pretty common occurrence, and one I watch out for now, and speak up far enough in advance, well before I get there, to hint at the controller he's forgotten about me and the handoff.
     
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  15. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    Keeping the code, keeps the tag, keeping the tag is easier for maintaining ID over a 1200 code.
     
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  16. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    Simply put, handoff and inbound coordination either verbally or via scratch pad (radar) are two different things. For class Ds and receiving VFR FF from approach, you really won't know if either has occurred. Do an initial "wake up" prior to penetrating the D and wait for the response. You'll either get "Cessna 12345 Podunk tower, enter right downwind..." or "Cessna 12345, Podunk tower, go ahead."
     
  17. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If there has been no handoff, isn't the tower controller making an initial ID rather than maintaining ID? How does the presence of a discrete code that the tower controller hasn't been told about facilitate making an initial ID?
     
  18. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Cleared for Takeoff

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    Because the towers radar display is remoted from the TRACON. The tower will see exactly where you are as opposed to getting a position report or having you ident. It helps them know exactly where you are for pattern entry. If they are allowed to give radar services (most aren't) they would still have to radar ID you without a handoff.
     
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  19. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Will the aircraft's tail number be visible on the tower's radar display at the time of the pilot's initial call?
     
  20. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Cleared for Takeoff

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    Depends on if the tower is remoted to an overlying TRACON, if so, yes.
     
  21. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    All of the above is correct. It all depends on where you are. It depends on what level of Radar service the Tower provides. For some it is nothing more than an extension of their eyes. They'll be able to see which target you are but won't "officially" identify you, won't say Radar contact. Some Towers have a certain amount of IFR control authority. In between there are other levels of service and Radar capabilities. Some are fully automated, able to make and take automated handoffs. Some don't have much more than just "blips."
     
  22. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    OK, now I understand.
     
  23. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    And Approach can make an automated handoff to the Tower. Approach pushes a button and the Target(data block) starts flashing on the Towers scope. Tower pushes a button and it stops flashing and now Tower has taken the handoff and has control of the Data Block. Its been known to happen that the Tower aint takin the handoff and Approach tells the plane to contact the Tower anyway. This wakes the Tower up, he pushes the button and life goes on. Not to cool to do with IFR traffic but it keeps things flowin with the VFR's sometimes.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
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  24. Dave S.

    Dave S. Pre-takeoff checklist

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    But only if the controller "instructs" you to change to advisory frequency. Not " frequency change approved".

    Sometimes the LOA with a satellite tower requires keeping the aircraft on their current beacon code for display purposes so the tower doesn't lose the data block. However the controller MUST terminate radar service either by "radar service terminated" or "change to advisory frequency" (which does the same thing) to satellite airports without a control tower. With a control tower, if sequencing is provided, (and/or separation) the controller will have the aircraft contact tower and radar service is provided until the aircraft lands.

    In either case the controller was incomplete with his transmission.

    Tex
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2017
  25. danhagan

    danhagan Cleared for Takeoff

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    Double Eagle is horrible. Been there 3 times and have had issues ALL three times:

    1. First time chewed out for calling on wrong freq (according to them). I indicated it's on the sectional and there is no NOTAM showing a
    change. Controller comes back with,"all the locals are aware" ... well gee ... I'm not local.
    2. Second was a trainee that gave me an approach and cleared to land OPPOSITE the other 6 AC in the pattern and approaching. Met with the
    tower supervisor on that one as "trainee" spent the next 10 minutes chastising and putting me into 360's. Supervisor apologized and said
    controller made a mistake.
    3. Flew with a friend there (2 aircraft) controller - got peeved and asked if we were a flight of two. He was in an RV-8 and accelerated 10 miles
    ahead of me while we were still with ABQ center.

    That field and PHX approach are notorious.
     
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  26. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    I remember when that tower opened. It was a problem as folks came right on in using the old CTAF frequency. And yes the tower would get a little riled up at that. And the frequency change was not really advertised very well along with the folks that were still using very expired charts. The tower did use both frequency's for a while.

    ABQ center, Class C and Double Eagle are, or were, used for training controllers. Mistakes are made.

    The fun part was landing Double Eagle II as the tower was complete but not open. People would just freak over landing, then seeing the tower...:lol::lol::lol:
     
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  27. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Flown out of Double Eagle twice and I had positive experiences both times. Controllers were friendly and professional (this was about 2 years ago.) Nice little field. ABQ is a unique city. Green chilies on everything!

    Are you based there?
     
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  28. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    No, I live in Gallup, northwest corner of the state. I used to fly into ABQ a lot.

    And yes, the official state question is.... Red or green..??? :lol::lol:
     
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  29. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Ah yes. I've passed over ya then on the COWBY->GUP transition out of Vegas before.

    I always took green when I visited. ;)
     
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  30. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    Why do you state your position on check in when you assume you've been handed off? What additional information do you provide on check in when you make a cold call?
     
  31. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    "Handoff" is defined as the action taken to transfer the radar identification of an aircraft from one controller to another if the aircraft will enter the receiving controller’s airspace and radio communications with the aircraft will be transferred. Realistically, there's no reason to take that action when the receiver is a non-approach control tower.

    If SDL has a tower radar display, and it sounds like it does or there'd be no reason to ever tell a landing aircraft to keep the code, they probably run with the appropriate approach radar position quicklooked so they see data blocks on all the aircraft that position is working. For traffic landing SDL, the approach controller could just add "SDL" or some other agreed-upon letter to the data block and when about ten miles from the field transfer communications to the tower. Having the aircraft squawk VFR doesn't benefit anyone.
     
  32. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    If the aircraft is coming out the other side I would assume it wouldn't be told to contact the tower.
     
  33. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Always, always, green. ;-)
     
  34. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Yep..!!!!