Private airport inside another class D

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Dana, Jun 22, 2020.

  1. Dana

    Dana Cleared for Takeoff

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    I’m not sure what I’m asking here, other than, “Is this normal?” Flying an open cockpit plane from uncontrolled airports I very, very rarely have occasion to talk to ATC… I learned to fly at a tower field (CPS), but that was over forty years ago. Anyway, I was invited to an event at 80NY, which is about 2½ miles inside the HTO class D. The guy that invited me (not the airport owner) said, “you don’t have to talk to the tower, they don’t want to talk to us, just follow the river in at low altitude.”

    Still, flying into class D without establishing communication made me nervous, so I called the tower when I was southbound 5 miles due west of HTO at 1500’ and told them where I was going… I intended stay clear of the class D until I reached the coast, then turn east along the shoreline toward 80NY.

    They couldn’t see me on radar, of course (wood and fabric biplane with no transponder or ADSB), and kept asking me, “exactly where are you?” Then, even though I was still outside the class D, tower told me to stay at or below 1000’ and fly north for several miles as they had a Citation departing on 28. Finally, they told me to head south again and when I was southwest of them they gave me “altitude and direction at your discretion, and thanks for your patience.” So, no real problem, other than lots of “say agains” due to open cockpit noise, just wondering if it’s normal for tower to give instructions like that while an aircraft is still outside of their airspace.
     
  2. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sounds like a ''better safe than sorry'' situation to me. Which I have no problem with.
     
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  3. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    It’s not normal, but considering they couldn’t see you, it seems appropriate.
     
  4. arnoha

    arnoha Cleared for Takeoff

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    If you're talking to them, there'll be instructions coming. I have this experience routinely when flying between the Delta airspaces in the Bay Area, of which there are many. (8 Delta, 2 Charlie, and a Bravo; only 8 Golf, no Echo, at least in the bounds of the TAC.) A couple airports (APC and LVK) will expect you to leave silently, but most others, those generally under the Bravo, expect that you'll wait for a frequency change notification, even if it's fully legal to sign off. Often, they'll request you stay with them a little longer if they know of conflicting traffic. Alternately, they'll pass you off to the next tower as early as possible, sometimes while still in their own Delta. I've often had SQL tower tell me where to be in preparation of the Bravo beyond them while still in PAO's Delta.

    Legally, as I understand it, you must follow instructions from ATC when in communication and able. It is also legal to drop communication in Echo and Golf airspace. Though I avoid it, my instructors have occasionally dropped communication when ATC asked for something unwanted. With the large number of large jets that are (used to be?) in the Echo airspace in the Bay Area, I'm hella nervous about openly flaunting an ATC instruction.

    So, yeah, feels perfectly normal to me. I'd caution that while local practice is to ignore the Delta tower, unless there's an LOA, you legally must contact that tower. Particularly landing. Taking off, you have plausible deniability about it, as legally you only need to talk to the Delta as soon as practicable. At which point you may have already left the Delta.
     
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  5. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Good point about departure, but I wouldn’t go in from outside without talking to them.

    they are only open 14 hours a day, so maybe your local guy flies when they are closed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
  6. kath

    kath Cleared for Takeoff

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    I would've done the same thing you did. Hearing "oh, Tower doesn't care" is not the same as being legal.

    Sounds pretty normal to me. Since they couldn't see you on radar, they wanted to make sure you weren't going to interfere with the Citation. Sounds like he or she was glad you called.
     
  7. arnoha

    arnoha Cleared for Takeoff

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    I still wouldn't do it on take-off, but at least someone who chose to would likely get the benefit of the doubt. Particularly if they're blasting off straight at the Delta wall.

    But...I learned with a tower and am based with a tower, so I'm more comfortable talking than not talking. Not having ATC in my headset feels weird to me. The number of flights I've taken without talking must be minuscule. Someone who talks infrequently may have a different calculus to mine.
     
  8. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Good post.

    I suspect the reason that some Bay Area tower controllers expect pilots to wait for a frequency-change notification is that so many pilots wait for one. Departing Palo Alto (where I'm based) for example, they often give advisories when I'm near but outside their delta, so I stay on frequency for a while. But under VFR when the time comes for me to be on another frequency I don't pester them for permission to change frequencies if I'm outside the delta, unless it's a situation where they will be handing me off to another controller.

    By the way, I apologize in advance for this minor nit-pick: A controller with an attitude could conceivably "flaunt" his instructions, but a pilot might "flout" them.
     
  9. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Pattern Altitude

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    Here are the applicable regulations. For arrival, establish two-way communication before entering the airspace. For departure, establish two-way communication as soon as practicable after departing.


    91.129 Operations in Class D airspace.

    (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.​

    (2) Departing flight. Each person -​

    (i) From the primary airport or satellite airport with an operating control tower must establish and maintain two-way radio communications with the control tower, and thereafter as instructed by ATC while operating in the Class D airspace area; or​

    (ii) From a satellite airport without an operating control tower, must establish and maintain two-way radio communications with the ATC facility having jurisdiction over the Class D airspace area as soon as practicable after departing.​
     
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  10. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    In what I guess is just a historic footnote...

    I learned to fly before the current airspace designations came into effect. Back then, airports with towers had “Airport Traffic Areas”. My recollection is that two-way radio communication was required when operating “to, from or on” the principle airport. So, no radio contact was required when operating to airports that might lie with the Airport Traffic Area.

    I actually thought that was still the case, but checking the AIM it doesn’t appear to be. Too bad.
     
  11. Dana

    Dana Cleared for Takeoff

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    That was my take, so I called them. And yeah, I didn't talk to them on the way out, though I was listening to them.

    It's a part time tower, and only operates in the summer, so I get the impression that local pilots don't take it too seriously.
     
  12. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not a private field, but unattended. Hoskins Field (44T) is inside the D space for KOLM. Planes flying in and out of there coordinate their arrivals and departures with the tower at KOLM. Always. I'm not aware of anything in the regulations that would allow them to do otherwise, they're flying in KOLM's airspace.
     
  13. Dana

    Dana Cleared for Takeoff

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    There are sometimes agreements, whether a formal LOA or an informal agreement. A few years back a group of us were flying paramotors and other ultralights from a sod farm about a mile inside another class D. All they wanted was a phone call letting them know we'd be flying that day, and for us to stay over or south of the field we were using. It was a great place to fly and we always behaved. Sadly, it ended when some moron, not of our group, figured he'd fly his powered parachute from our field without permission and without informing the tower, and got close enough to the airport for the tower to see him flying low over the center of town.
     
  14. WDD

    WDD Line Up and Wait

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    Keep things simple. Class D starts at the ground. If a private strip is in that Class D, then you have to go into that Class D to get there. You can't enter Class D without permission from the tower. Leaving, you have to establish contact as soon as possible so that you are talking to tower - as you're in his/her class D airspace. You did good.

    Arnoha is right. This guy -
    The guy that invited me (not the airport owner) said, “you don’t have to talk to the tower, they don’t want to talk to us, just follow the river in at low altitude.”
    was wrong.
     
  15. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

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    D54 (West Fargo) is just inside the Class D for KFAR, but there exists an LOA that allows arrivals from and departues to the west to come and go without contacting KFAR. IIRC, it also allows pattern work on the west side of the airport sans comms with KFAR.
     
  16. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

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    FTFY.
     
  17. Dana

    Dana Cleared for Takeoff

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    Maybe, maybe not. When I told him I talked to the tower his reaction was "did they say they don't want to talk to you?" and was surprised at my reception. But that group of guys comes in from the southwest, not crossing the runway centerline of departing traffic as I did (albeit 5 miles away and outside their class D). It may be they'd gotten an immediate “altitude and direction at your discretion, frequency change approved" in the past and took it as a "don't bother us in the future". Or it's possible the airport owner has an agreement with the tower, the precise details of which didn't filter down to me. Either way, not being certain I played by the rules.

    §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...
    (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.​
     
  18. WDD

    WDD Line Up and Wait

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    Ah. Didn’t know LOA was an option.

    But at least the class Ds I fly in and out of require asking before you enter I doubt if they will ever say “no” - but if you enter without asking they get testy. Now is “Asking” the same as “Establishing Communication”? I suppose.

    And “Asking” is who speak to, who you are, where you are, what you want, and ATTIS. Then tower gets to you what to do. Don’t have to hear “Cleared to enter C”. But you have to do what you’re told.

    At least this is how it is where I fly
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2020
  19. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, I used to go into MD50 years ago and they had an agreement with PXT. What's really stupid is that the class D reaches out and grabs MD50 for no apparent reason.
     
  20. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    I think I would have called the tower prior to the flight and gotten confirmation. If you can land in a class-c without a radio, you ought to be able to fly into a class D and stay away from the airport without a problem after prior arrangement.
     
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  21. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've arrived and departed from a class B without a radio. The departure was even in the SFRA at IAD.
     
  22. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

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    Looks like it has been a while since I visited D54... o_O The letter expired 2½ years ago and it does not look like a new one was issued.


    20200629_102426.jpg 20200629_102525.jpg
     
  23. TheFB

    TheFB Pre-takeoff checklist

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    In an attempt at humor, you can call or not call perfectly legally.....as long as neither is posted on YouTube...
     
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  24. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

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    Hahaha.... Turns out there are now plans in play to renew the letter in the next few weeks. I started asking questions of the airport board for D54 and one of them apparently called the FAR tower directly. Tower told him of the plan to renew and that the practice is still in effect, expired letter notwithstanding. My guess is they (KFAR Traffic Manager) dropped the ball, forgot to renew on 01 Jan 2018, and were not aware of it until the phone call today.
     
  25. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

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    I noticed that and thought it was weird too, as I expected an exclusion rather than an inclusion. I think the answer is that a LOA was required either way since you have to pass through R-4007 anyway, so the grab was to ensure that pilots contacted the tower prior to entry. Here's the MD50 LOA in case anyone's interested...
     
  26. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There are a few guys at D54 who make it a point NOT to talk to either tower or approach for anything they do ;-)
     
  27. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Just make a call 'leaving class D' and its all good.
     
  28. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    Aeons ago, I flew from the OLD West Fargo airport...grass strip just down the road from the West Acres shopping mall. Don't know if any formal agreements were in place, but would tell Fargo Tower I was departing southwest and then do my T&Gs at West Fargo.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  29. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Pattern Altitude

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    I believe the rule is if they say your call sign you are then in communication and can enter the delta unless they tell you to remain outside.
     
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  30. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Yup.


    7−8−4. ESTABLISHING TWO-WAY COMMUNICATIONS
    Class C service requires pilots to establish two-way radio communications before entering Class C airspace. If the controller responds to a radio call with, “(a/c call sign) standby,” radio communications have been established and the pilot can enter Class C airspace. If workload or traffic conditions prevent immediate provision of Class C services, inform the pilot to remain outside Class C airspace until conditions permit the services to be provided.
     
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  31. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Yup. This the same for D

    7−8−4. ESTABLISHING TWO-WAY COMMUNICATIONS
    Class C service requires pilots to establish two-way radio communications before entering Class C airspace. If the controller responds to a radio call with, “(a/c call sign) standby,” radio communications have been established and the pilot can enter Class C airspace. If workload or traffic conditions prevent immediate provision of Class C services, inform the pilot to remain outside Class C airspace until conditions permit the services to be provided.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2020 at 10:44 PM
  32. RussR

    RussR Pattern Altitude

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    In a similar situation, one of my local airports has a neighboring Class D just 1/2 nm off the end of the runway. Meaning that almost every traffic pattern (to either runway) enters the Class D on every lap. There is a decently busy flight school at this airport and quite a bit of local traffic. Informal discussion between the flight school manager and the tower manager basically resulted in a "we don't care, we don't want to hear from you, just so long as you're staying in the pattern or exiting to the west please don't call us".

    Legal? Probably not, but if everyone's aware of the situation it certainly isn't unsafe.

    upload_2020-7-1_9-35-45.png
     
  33. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Pattern Altitude

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    I should think it may be in the flight a school manager’s best legal interest to have a formal LOA, but I guess if everyone is chill.
     
  34. Dana

    Dana Cleared for Takeoff

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    Then there's Bayport, which has its own notch in the Class C for all the NORDO antiques based there. All kinds of fun things on Long Island, like Spadaro and Lufker that have parallel runways 600' apart and opposite traffic patterns, and the class C bounded by a highway.

    upload_2020-7-1_16-6-14.png