VFR in a BRAVO

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Mjg2011, Jan 12, 2021.

  1. Mjg2011

    Mjg2011 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2020
    Messages:
    42
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mjg2011
    I have always gone IFR into class Bravo airports but want to go in VFR. I am wondering when I am supposed to descend to pattern altitude from cruise. Will approach descend me or am I expected to when told to enter the pattern? Thanks
     
  2. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Messages:
    2,400
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    chemgeek
    Approach will assign your altitude until turned over to tower or you are given leave to descend to land at an uncontrolled airport. You can always request lower if you don't like being slam-dunked. You may not get what you want when you want it, though, depending on traffic. In the DCA Bravo VFR I nearly always get sent very low pretty far out when flying into GAI. I rarely enter Bravo airspace VFR anymore. It's just easier to get timely service and preferred routing IFR.
     
  3. Mjg2011

    Mjg2011 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2020
    Messages:
    42
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mjg2011
    Thanks for the info. I appreciate the timely response.
     
    AeroLudite likes this.
  4. Rick182

    Rick182 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2019
    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    SNA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rick
    I rarely get "altitude your discretion" when inside the LAX Class Bravo. But I almost always get "clear to climb/descend through Bravo" while in Las Vegas. SFO seems like a "stay clear of Bravo at all times" kind of place.
     
    masloki likes this.
  5. nrm2430

    nrm2430 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2019
    Messages:
    52
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    nrm2430
    It depends on how they want to work you in. I flew to KLAX VFR and the only mention of altitude from approach was when I was to told to hold an altitude while making a 360 for traffic/ spacing. After that, I had a 13 mile straight in. I kinda made my own decision on when I should start my initial descent.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2021
  6. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    12,778
    Location:
    Florida
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Right Seater
    Whatever you do, don't change altitudes without their permission.
    Don't ask me why I say that.
     
  7. woodchucker

    woodchucker Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2014
    Messages:
    1,599
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    woodchucker
    Probably a good idea (unless already familiar) to look at the FLY chart to get an idea on general transition routes for VFR traffic. Also, if not familiar with the general area it would be a good idea to advise approach and tower. Controllers still use local reference points. Here in Salt Lake there are a few roads/highways that are used. Only time I ever heard a pilot get chastised by a controller was when he didn’t know what “Redwood Road” was and didn’t let on to that fact.
     
  8. Rick182

    Rick182 Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2019
    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    SNA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Rick
    I am guilty of that. I was flying to PSP and the controller asked “are you familiar with I-111?” I look down and see a massive freeway. “Affirmative.” “Follow that to join the downwind”

    As it turns out, I-111 is not the big freeway, it’s a tiny feeder route. Didn’t take long for the controller to sort me out. Long story short, a big part of moving to Southern California for me has been learning the freeways, not for driving, but for VFR flying
     
    WannFly likes this.
  9. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    Messages:
    2,031
    Location:
    AG5B BE33 MYF
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    N1120A
    SFO is much more tolerant of Class B clearances on the edges than LAX is, where it is pretty rare to get a clearance when off a normally published route, except in a few circumstances.

    There is no I-111, at least not in Palm Springs. It is highway 111, which is a CA highway and the main drag through Palm Springs that splits off the 10 down into town and goes right by ths airport.
     
  10. farmrjohn

    farmrjohn Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2018
    Messages:
    193
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    farmrjohn
    The "official" title for highways in Cali is The, as in The 111, The 101, etc.
     
  11. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2009
    Messages:
    2,400
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    chemgeek
    Anytime you are in a class B or C airspace, and you are unsure of whether you can start your arrival descent or not, simply ask or inform ATC that you would like to start your descent. I fly through the Syracuse Class C a lot, and although they are not terribly busy, it is always courteous and safe to ask or inform ATC of altitude changes. The main problem with VFR in class B is that they don't have to accommodate you. On a few occasions flying to and from the DC area, I've been shunted around the Philly class B. It's worth it to file IFR if you know you want routing through the Class B.
     
  12. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    18,695
    Location:
    PUDBY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Richard Palm
    VFR transitions are usually routine up and down the San Francisco Peninsula, with "remain south and west of the Bayshore Freeway" being the most common instruction.
     
  13. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    18,695
    Location:
    PUDBY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Richard Palm
    If you hear someone say "the" in Northern California, the speaker is usually from Southern California. :D
     
    Ghery and PeterNSteinmetz like this.
  14. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    18,695
    Location:
    PUDBY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Richard Palm
    I've heard that filing IFR doesn't necessarily prevent being kept out of the bravo if it's the Chicago area.
     
  15. GaryM

    GaryM Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2020
    Messages:
    720
    Location:
    New Jersey (KMMU)
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Gary M
    Probably a custom started by an Ohio State grad.
     
    YKA, Todd82 and Mjg2011 like this.
  16. jimhorner

    jimhorner Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Messages:
    803
    Location:
    Santa Clara
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim Horner
    No, no, no! That’s a SoCal affectation. We here in Northern California definitely don’t do that. We take 880 to Oakland, 680 to Pleasanton, and 101 or 280 to San Francisco. We never, Never, take _the_ something anywhere. Hearing one say they are going to take “The 101” to SFO immediately brands that person as someone from SoCal.
     
    Palmpilot likes this.
  17. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    20,359
    Location:
    Catawba, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    I was taught to call them the Nimitz, the Bayshore, etc...
     
  18. ateamer

    ateamer Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    Messages:
    825
    Location:
    Port St. Lucie, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ateamer
    Not in NorCal. You dodgers fans keep that “the” stuff in SoCal where it belongs.
     
    Ghery and jimhorner like this.
  19. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    18,695
    Location:
    PUDBY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Richard Palm
    When a freeway is referenced by name instead of by number, yes.
     
  20. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    20,359
    Location:
    Catawba, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    My point was that I don't use the numbers.
     
  21. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Messages:
    8,178
    Location:
    FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Salty
    I think "the" is short form for "the traffic jam on"
     
    YKA, DaleB and Sierra_Hotel like this.
  22. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2018
    Messages:
    1,402
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Canuck
    In Canada, we don't use class B below 12,500 ft, but our class C is nearly the same as your class B. Like others have said, it just depends. If you're going to be crossing the arrival path for a runway at a big airport, they're going to be very picky about your altitude. If you're out of the way of arrivals and departures, they might be more flexible. Knowing the runways in use at the big airport(s) will help you make a good guess.

    Usually I like to stay as high as possible for as long as possible to avoid turbulence, because it's no problem losing altitude fast in a PA-28 at the last minute. If I had a slicker plane, then I might be like others in this thread, and want to descend earlier rather than later.
     
    YKA likes this.
  23. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    10,558
    Location:
    Olympia, Washington
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ghery Pettit
    BS

    Indeed. Or from the UK.

    Perhaps, or from the UK (see above)

    4th generation native Northern Californian here (and long time ago escapee from that state of insanity). But, this is absolutely true. Only someone from southern California would use that nonsense.
     
    jimhorner and 23103a like this.
  24. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2018
    Messages:
    1,402
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Canuck
    Language nerd here. To muddy the water even further, in Ontario, we use "the" for 400-series expressways (e.g. "the 401"), but not for most others; the exceptions are named urban expressways, e.g. "the Gardiner" and "the Q.E.W." in Toronto, or "the Queensway" in Ottawa). But otherwise, we use "highway" or "county road", e.g. "highway 2", "highway 11," "county road 16".

    So a native-born Ontarian would say something like "take county road 4 to highway 2, turn left for 20 km, then merge onto the 401 westbound".
     
  25. YKA

    YKA Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2021
    Messages:
    301
    Location:
    Kamloops
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    YKA
    Small cities, towns, and many places so tiny they are villages here. I do my best to avoid the Vancouver area. Here we often hear, follow the valley descending to 3,000', turn right at the river, then descend at your discretion. I usually wait till well past the 5 nm zone away from the airport to call clear of the zone, and inbound call well before the 5 nm, they appreciate it helping to fit me in, just incase there is other traffic. Hardly ever do I fly into a busy airport, and locally 'the' is a very commonly used word. Uncontrolled airports are a common occurrence for me, and if there is other traffic on the radio, they almost all say 'the' as do I. But as for LAX, personally I would be a bit stressed flying into it, because of the amount of traffic. I consider a 152 in the circuit doing touch and goes, a Dash 8 inbound, and a beech 1900 back tracking for take off to depart, a busy day, while I call inbound 11 nm out to the northeast descending out of 4500'.
     
  26. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    18,695
    Location:
    PUDBY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Richard Palm
    Just to be clear, what we're talking about that's different between Southern California and the rest of the state is their practice of using "the" with just a highway number, as in "the 101," or "the 5."
     
    YKA likes this.
  27. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2018
    Messages:
    1,402
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Canuck
    We had been talking about flying VFR in class B airspace ... :)
     
    YKA likes this.
  28. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    18,695
    Location:
    PUDBY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Richard Palm
    What's "different between Southern California and the rest of the state" about flying in class B airspace is that the former is more complex! :)
     
    YKA likes this.
  29. MarkH

    MarkH Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2018
    Messages:
    467
    Location:
    Mojave Desert
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MarkH
    When I lived in Atlanta, I did this going south to Henry County (where my plane was based).

    When I saw the airport I would call ATC with something along the lines of (if ATC had me flying high enough to still be in the bravo):

    "I have the airport in sight, requesting VFR decent out of the bravo, (tailnumber)"
     
    YKA likes this.
  30. Ghery

    Ghery Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    10,558
    Location:
    Olympia, Washington
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ghery Pettit
    And in that case, the only two places I've flown in Class B airspace were both VFR - SEA and HNL.
     
    YKA and David Megginson like this.
  31. David Megginson

    David Megginson Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2018
    Messages:
    1,402
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Canuck
    Back to the original point, I do agree that flying into and around class B is much simpler IFR than VFR. Ditto for presidential TFRs, and what used to be called the "ADIZ" around Washington (it was 12 years ago that I flew into KIAD).
     
    YKA likes this.