Into the FRZ...

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by poadeleted20, Apr 18, 2005.

  1. catmandu

    catmandu Cleared for Takeoff

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    No. Once you go through the (now very streamlined) hoops and get your PIN, no extra hoops to go IFR vs. VFR, it will be seamless during your IFR flight.
     
  2. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don't know whether this has changed, but you do have to file your ifr flight plan with a particular phone number at 'Leesburg FSS' (which is a desk in Fort Worth). Only if it has the appropriate key in the remarks it will create a clearance.
     
  3. catmandu

    catmandu Cleared for Takeoff

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    Exactly. Just like your VFR flight into the FRZ, which would also be seamless if you were on flight following from some distant point.
     
  4. citizen5000

    citizen5000 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Is there any special training? Or do you just need a flight plan and flight following?
     
  5. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    did you read any of this thread?
     
    mscard88 likes this.
  6. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    WARNING: NECROPOST (but for a reason ;))

    I'm also considering doing this to fly to a conference in College Park in a couple of weeks. I've read the beginning and last two pages of this thread, but still am not sure how to go about getting vetted to fly into CGS. As far as the "new, streamlined" procedures, there is a gap of two years before those are mentioned, and I didn't see any description of what they are. So, my questions:

    1. First, can it be done within two weeks remotely (i.e., from Vermont)? The College Park website says the TSA has to approve you and to allow 3-4 weeks. I was under the impression from other posts in this thread that the process was a lot quicker than that.

    2. On the CGS website it still says you need to come in in person. Someone said to get vetted through Hyde instead. Is this correct? Unlike CGS, a google search didn't turn up a website detailing the procedures for Hyde. (It did turn up an AOPA announcement of a seminar that explains everything; seems like this all went into effect last summer, and the seminar was during that time as well.)

    3. The fingerprinting step is a bit confusing to me, specifically the fees. $29.50 vs $64.50, and different procedures for sending the card/control forms to TSA depending on whether the office you use for fingerprinting is able to do the sending. What type of office is preferred? Badgind office? NATACS? Local LEO? Which is cheapest and which is quickest?

    Any other pointers would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  7. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Pattern Altitude

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    In the last year, the folks at W32/W29/AOPA have organized FRZ vetting seminars. I think the turnaround time was on the order of a week. I'd give them a call. While you're at it, might as well do all of the DC 3 and not just CGS.
     
  8. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Erm... I had the impression (from one of the posts in this thread) that vetting for one applied to all of the DC 3. :dunno: Incorrect?
     
  9. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Pattern Altitude

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    On the form, there are (were?) checkboxes for each airport you want access to.
     
  10. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I would do it for all. CGS is a cool little airport to fly into and W29 is good practice if you plan to land on gravel bars in Alaska.
     
  11. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    You should be able to do the whole thing remotely now. They did away with the FSDO visit, and you can get your fingerprints done locally. I know that VKX doesn't require you to come ahead to do the training so you should be able to do the whole process from your hometown. Once you're vetted for one MD-3 airport, you're vetted for them all.
     
  12. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Brad, what do you mean by "come ahead to do the training"? The only in-person step that's still needed seems to be to submit the completed PIN application form. That's according to the College Park Aero website. It's pretty clearly stated and I haven't been able to find any way around that yet. Also, I called AOPA this morning and they said to expect at least two weeks turnaround to actually get the PIN. The College Park site says more like 3-4.

    I'm going to keep trying but it's beginning to seem like a very remote chance to get it done in time. Most likely I'll end up having to fly commercial to the conference (ugh), and stop by the airport there to submit my application for the future.
     
  13. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    I'm not familiar with CGS's process but I do know that VKX doesn't require you to do anything in-person. See the website here (yes the operator of VKX is a bit eccentric if you couldn't tell from the website). The only thing you have to leave your house for is finger prints, and there are multiple options for getting fingerprinted. See here: http://info.natacs.aero/maryland-three-program
     
  14. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    I talked to someone at CGS today and they do require an in-person visit, but if you're as far away as I am they said they can do the interview via Skype or FaceTime.

    I've finished step 2 in the process given on the Maryland Three Program page and am working on step 3...
     
  15. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    Yep, each of the airport's security process is different, but once you're vetted, you're good for all three. Good luck!
     
  16. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes, but because of those differences there is a briefing required for each individual airport. You only have to do the background check and get your PIN once, but you still need to brief for whichever airport you're going to use.

    I did it in the old system (had to visit the DCA SIDA office for prints and IAD FSDO) - it's much simpler now.

    Stan Fetter at W32 is really good with the requirements and might be worth a call there, too.
     
  17. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    Strange this popped up. Last night I was reading the streamlined processes to fly into CGS and noted "take your certificate and medical to ..." Hmmm...which piece of paper do you take for Basic Med? Final certificate printed after course completion?
     
  18. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    I called AOPA about this and was told that you need both the course completion certificate and also the doctor's signature page from the exam.
     
  19. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Not sure what you mean by "brief for the airport". CGS wants an interview, which can be done over Skype. Is that the same thing?

    Since the requirements may differ slightly between airports, I called CGS yesterday and talked with a very helpful gentleman who explained everything. So I probably won't be talking to Mr. Fetter, unless, of course, something changes and I need to go into W32 instead.

    The holdup now is getting the fingerprints taken. I have everything ready to go, but the local sheriff's office needed to set an appointment and their soonest time was late next week. Not good enough! Fortunately the local town police also do fingerprints and they can take care of me tomorrow morning. I only hope they will fill out the paperwork ("Fingerprint Control Form") correctly. I would be surprised if they've ever taken fingerprints for NATACS before.

    Then there is the problem if getting vetted in the remaining time. The fellow at CGS said they might be able to expedite things once I have everything in the system. If it doesn't work out, I may have to fly into somewhere outside the FRZ and drive a rental car the rest of the way to College Park.
     
  20. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Pattern Altitude

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    At the risk of turning this into yet another "which airport in DC" thread, what will you be flying? W00 or FME would be my choices.
     
  21. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    CGS will cover all the material pertinent to them during the interview. If you decide to use one of the other 2 (W32 or VKX), you'll need to get a short brief from whichevre of them you use about the matters specific to their airports... if you don't ever go to VKX or W32, the CGS briefing will suffice.

    It's after the interview that they issue your PIN code.

    The PIN code works for all 3, but there are some minor specific items to each one that differ from the others. No big deal, you'll get that from the specific airport.
     
  22. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Okay, thanks for the detailed explanation!
     
  23. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    "What" as in what kind of airplane? It's a Cardinal RG. From a flying perspective, FME would seem to be a better choice as it has the longer runway, but both it and Freeway have decent looking IAPs and 2400 feet isn't too short. But I don't know how long it would take to drive from either to College Park, where my conference is being held.

    Obviously CGS is the first choice, if I can get vetted in time. If not, thanks for the backup suggestions.
     
  24. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Tipton (KFME) and Gaithersburg (KGAI) are also good options.
     
  25. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Thanks. KGAI seems a little far from College Park though. Any reason why it might be a good choice?

    And just to confirm, if I understood correctly from the online course, the vetting process is only required for the MD3 fields and you only need to have passed the course to fly into the SFRA? Do you need to carry the completion certificate?

    Would there be any reason NOT to do this flight IFR from start to finish? Foreflight gives 1 cleared route that goes around most of the Bravos and doesn't add much distance to my flight, but I have no idea what my odds are of receiving that route. I think I would be flying on Sunday, but I have to check the conference agenda as it might be Monday.

    FTR the route is RUCKY V447 CAM V542 ALB V489 HUO V162 ETX V39 LRP V457 EMI V265 CUTOP - a bit involved, but not too bad on the 480.
     
  26. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    GAI may be a bit further distance wise, but may be close time-wise, it depends on traffic which is better (I95 or I270, plus the beltway). GAI is a fairly short distance to Metro so public transport is an option. You'll pretty much need a car from FME. Both are in the SFRA. Check on pricing and services.

    You only need the course for the SFRA. I carry a copy of the certificate -just print a second copy, maybe shrink it to logbook size.

    With IFR it is easy. If you're on a clearance the SFRA is like any other airspace with ONE exception: stay on you assigned code until on the ground. And on departure get your clearance and code before taking off - never ever squawk 1200 in the SFRA, not in the air, not on the ground.

    The route will depend on altitude. The route you listed should work. From the Boston area it will often be directly over JFK but at something below 8,000 ft. Also look at the TEC routes and preferred routes. TEC routes are in the AFD, there is a spreadsheet/database of the preferred routes somewhere. I will see if I have it.

    Personally, if you're IFR and current, I would recommend flying IFR for your first trip or two down here. It is one less complication
     
  27. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Update: I had my interview today with Lee Sommer, airport manager at KCGS via FaceTime. He was very nice and it all went smoothly, no biggie. I told him I was planning to fly down on Monday and he indicated he would try to expedite my PIN assignment, then called back a few minutes saying they would be issuing new pins on Friday and there was a good chance I would get it. So, fingers crossed...

    So now comes a question about filing for the FRZ that wasn't clear in the online course (to me anyway). The course mentions "Washington Hub FSS" as the necessary facility to file your flight plan with, whether IFR or VFR. My plan is to go IFR. Does that mean I cannot file to or from KCGS using Foreflight?

    Also: there is no mention of this facility on the A/FD page for KCGS, and the FSS contacts listed in Foreflight say "Leesburg", not Washington Hub. Is it the same facility, or is this some secret number you can only get by talking to someone at one of the MD3?
     
  28. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    when flying into or out of the FRZ, you file with a briefer, who asks you for your PIN, and when verified, puts special remarks on your flight plan so that controllers will allow you into or out of the FRZ. You cannot file via ForeFlight.

    The number to call flight service is (866) 225-7410, select option #1. When opening the flight plan on departure, you call Potomac tracon at (866) 429-5882.
     
  29. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Thanks Brad. I'm still unclear on one point though: "opening the flight plan" usually refers to a VFR flight plan. I'll be departing IFR. Do I still have to call Potomac by phone? Will I get a clearance from them at that time, and do I have to contact them by radio to get a release, or is the phone call even necessary when IFR? :confused:

    (I see the A/FD gives a phone number for clearance delivery, but it's completely different from the number you gave. So I'm wondering if I have to call the 429-5882 number as well as clnc.)
     
  30. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You always have to call potomac before taking off. Never take off squawking 1200 to get your clearance in the air. They give you the squawk and an initial instruction on the phone.

    Occasionally (or often) it is beneficial for both sides for you to depart VFR and pick up the actual clearance in the air. It still requires you to call and get the squawk. Your instructions will be something along the lines of :

    Comm: Are you able to depart visually
    Bugsmasher: Affirmative.
    Comm: 'Squawk 5535, depart VFR, remain clear of class B and contact departure at xxx.xx' .

    After takeoff, you call potomac. They radar identify you and tell you ' remain clear of Bravo, expect your clearance near XXXX ' .
    You head towards XXXX which may be Nottingham VOR or IRONS intersection. When you get there, you receive a regular IFR clearance.

    Doing so avoids you having to sit on the ground waiting for a clearance and it allows them to get you out under VFR separation.

    Make sure you have pencil and paper ready, the conversation with the communications desk is usually pretty short.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017
  31. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Thanks! :)

    (And yes, I know, the online course says umpteen times that you never squawk 1200 in the SFRA much less the FRZ. I'm going to have to configure my 480 to keep the xpdr on standby until manually switched to ALT after I punch in the assigned code. Normally I have it on ALT all the time, but I don't want any erroneous squawks even on the ground in the FRZ.)
     
  32. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes. That auto-squawk in some GPS linked transponders has tripped up some pilots. Just like the reflex to hit the 'VFR' button as part of your flow after you receive the instruction to change to unicom. Usually the controllers will instruct you to maintain the squawk, but sometimes the fast-talking final controller that handles flights into Potomac after-hours will forget that instruction.
     
  33. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    When you depart IFR from a non-towered airport, you call ATC for a clearance and an IFR release. The IFR release opens the flight plan. Landing at towered airport or cancelling IFR closes the flight plan.

    Otherwise, I see weilke answered your question.
     
  34. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Yes, that's normal IFR procedure. So then, I'm still left with one question: which number to call when departing IFR from CGS? The clearance delivery number in the A/FD? Or (866)429-5882?
     
  35. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You can confirm with the folks at CGS, but the remarks on Airnav indicate Potomac on 866-599-3874
     
  36. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Yep, that is indeed the number in the A/FD. I will ask the folks at CGS then. Thanks.
     
  37. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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  38. wayne

    wayne Line Up and Wait

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    If DCA ever becomes an option (I seriously doubt it) I'll make a trip up there expressly for this.
     
  39. Brad Z

    Brad Z En-Route

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    Hmm, I think I gave you the number for Tipton, which goes to the Baltimore sector phone. No worries if you call the wrong one though, they'll get it straightened out. Here's the kneeboard guide with all of the numbers.
     
  40. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    That's good to know. BTW, I do have the kneeboard guides, downloaded them when I took the course. But they're mostly very VFR-heavy so I wasn't sure how much of what they say applied to IFR. The course, also, was very short on info for IFR ops in the FRZ.

    The clearest document I've seen so far was the one @wsuffa posted, from CGS. But since they say it's unofficial, it's still not clear how much of what is in there is actually correct.

    But since, as you say, they'll figure it out if I call the wrong number, I'm not too worried about it now. Thanks!

    After all this, I just got some bad news from the organization putting together the conference, seems there has been a glitch with my registration, admittedly mostly my fault. They don't have a hotel spot for me, so unless I can figure something out soon I may not be going after all. :(