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shags_j

ATC Question Thread

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Hey all,

 

Someone asked for it so here it is. We have a few ATC in the house (Myself, Nathanc, Ian0098, Rhys(unsure of username) and perhaps even more.

 

I may have dobbed the others in for this but if you have a question we will see if we can answer it. Admins, if this is in the wrong forum, please feel free to move it.

 

Cheers,

 

Shags

 

 

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Yay, I was planning on starting this. You guys rock, this needs to be stickied. Everyone should love CTA, not be scared of it.

 

 

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I solemnly promise not to unload any RPT gripes here! 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif

 

No, seriously I've witnessed mostly good controlling, some really impressive controlling, and occasionally some where the guy should've stayed in bed that day. Much like what happens in the cockpit!

 

 

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I sure know those I should have stayed in bed days. For example, flying the wrong instrument approach on a military instrument rating test. I think I found 3 seperate ways to fail the test that day.

 

 

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Question number one. I have have visited BNE centre and the tower thanks to the cousin of a good friend of mine (Geoff, who is now retired). I would dearly love to take another look at BNE Centre now I am licensed, and I think it would be great if I could also organise a trip for other club members to take a look. Given what I took from it last time, I think its a huge benefit to all pilots. I am fortunate in that I know a few controllers at BNE centre, so I think I can organise a trip. How could other clubs organise visit/tour of the facility?

 

 

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Question number one. I have have visited BNE centre and the tower thanks to the cousin of a good friend of mine (Geoff, who is now retired). I would dearly love to take another look at BNE Centre now I am licensed, and I think it would be great if I could also organise a trip for other club members to take a look. Given what I took from it last time, I think its a huge benefit to all pilots. I am fortunate in that I know a few controllers at BNE centre, so I think I can organise a trip. How could other clubs organise visit/tour of the facility?

Pearo: for individual visits anyone can Call the centre or tower and organise a visit (i will get the phone number when i am at work next). For bigger groups they do a pilot information night which i have heard good things about and includes visits to the room etc.

 

The bigger groups can't really plug in behind us as it would be hard to organise but certainly of you are coming in on your own you can organise to plug in and listen to what happens.

 

Edit: next pilot information night for Brisbane and Sydney is 5th April. Details here: http://www.airservicesaustralia.com/flight-briefing/pilot-and-airside-safety/ga-pilot-information-nights/

 

 

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Here's a scenario:

 

Archerfield has two tower frequencies, one for departures north and one for departures south. If I am transiting southbound between Archerfield's airspace and Amberley airspace at 2,500', I will overfly at least two VFR lanes and parallel a third one I think.

 

Q: what form should my radio call take?

 

Q: should I make the call on the north or south frequency?

 

Q: where should I make the call?

 

NOTE: I am not transiting through Archerfield airspace, but I will be crossing over their arriving and departing traffic near the ends of their VFR lanes, so I definitely want them to know I'm there.

 

 

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Here's a scenario:Archerfield has two tower frequencies, one for departures north and one for departures south. If I am transiting southbound between Archerfield's airspace and Amberley airspace at 2,500', I will overfly at least two VFR lanes and parallel a third one I think.

 

Q: what form should my radio call take?

 

Q: should I make the call on the north or south frequency?

 

Q: where should I make the call?

 

NOTE: I am not transiting through Archerfield airspace, but I will be crossing over their arriving and departing traffic near the ends of their VFR lanes, so I definitely want them to know I'm there.

To clarify, are you operating only in Class G airspace during the transit? If so you shouldn't be on tower frequency but on the radar sector (sunshine) frequency.

 

If you are in controlled airspace (Class C radar above Archerfield tower airspace) you should be on what ever frequency the controller instructs you to contact, i.e. Departures North (which is approach not tower) will tell you when to switch to Departures south. You don't need to make calls to other aircraft when under "control" of ATC in control airspace, they will give you relevant traffic as required.

 

 

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Can one of the ATC guys here clarify how common/preferred it is for VFR aircraft to request flight following.

 

I have flown quite a lot in the USA and only a little here in OZ. In the US I would request flight following almost all the time when transiting like Scott asked about above and never had the controller refuse. I would just call up about 30 mile out on the appropriate frequency and request it. Some times they would give you a transponder code sometime not but they would hand you off to the next controller at the boundary. The controllers over there tend to encourage it as it means they can pass you as traffic to other IFR aircraft certain in the knowledge that you are listening and talking and they know your intentions. If they know where you are aiming for they can manage the airspace better.

 

Here in Oz on a cross country with an instructor doing the conversion I called up and asked for it and was given it too. The instructor had a mild panic as it was something he had never done.

 

Is it common? Is it encouraged?

 

 

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If so you shouldn't be on tower frequency but on the radar sector (sunshine) frequency.

"Radar sector" is a term I haven't heard used before. Is this synonymous with "centre" frequency?

 

 

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Can one of the ATC guys here clarify how common/preferred it is for VFR aircraft to request flight following.

I have a follow up question to this. Haven't requested one before, but I understand it's preferred that you to have a flight plan filed. If not, how easy is it to request a flight following?

 

 

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Can one of the ATC guys here clarify how common/preferred it is for VFR aircraft to request flight following.

I have flown quite a lot in the USA and only a little here in OZ. In the US I would request flight following almost all the time when transiting like Scott asked about above and never had the controller refuse. I would just call up about 30 mile out on the appropriate frequency and request it. Some times they would give you a transponder code sometime not but they would hand you off to the next controller at the boundary. The controllers over there tend to encourage it as it means they can pass you as traffic to other IFR aircraft certain in the knowledge that you are listening and talking and they know your intentions. If they know where you are aiming for they can manage the airspace better.

 

Here in Oz on a cross country with an instructor doing the conversion I called up and asked for it and was given it too. The instructor had a mild panic as it was something he had never done.

 

Is it common? Is it encouraged?

I've not heard of anyone requesting flight following but it's a valid procedure and makes sense to use it. In places like around Brisbane there usually a manned position who is solely looking after class G airspace under the Approach sectors, I'm sure they wouldn't have issues with the providing the service on request. Would help to have a flight plan filed.

 

 

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"Radar sector" is a term I haven't heard used before. Is this synonymous with "centre" frequency?

It's not really a term used these days, but if you called up in Class G under the Approach sectors you used to call Brisbane Radar, now it's reverted to Brisbane Center as the call sign, but it's actually an approach sector/controller you're talking to rather then an Enroute Controller.

 

Sorry if I've added to the confusion

 

 

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Re flight following:

 

Its not uncommon, but its not every day either. In the last month or two I have probably provided a SIS (surveillance information service aka. flight following) maybe a handful of times. Its pretty much a workload thing, if the controller is flat out then you are unlikely to get the service, if not then you will get it if you ask for it. It does make it easier for us to pass traffic on you because we know who you are and what you will be doing. Its easier for us to get it going if you have a flight plan already lodged, however if you dont (and again, subject to ATC workload), we can make one up with the details you provide us, it will just take a bit longer to start providing you the service thats all. Would I encourage it? Sure, its there to be used, but try not to be disappointed if you call up on a clearly busy frequency and get denied.

 

Also worth noting, if you are flying outside the J-Curve (east coast) then you will need ADS-B to receive a service.

 

 

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Many thanks for the a replies. I will continue asking for it when appropriate and if it isnt available then so be it.

 

 

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I have had a couple of flight followings in the last year, but it's not that common. I suspect it may become more common as more aircraft get ADSB. I find the only real workload intensive part of it is the initial setting up, ie getting a track on the screen. If you have a flight plan in the system, this is generally not too hard to do. After that, I find it to be workload reducing. I now have a verified level, the ability to bring up the route and instant communications if I need it. I no longer have to monitor the aircraft for restricted areas, CTA etc and that makes my life easier.

 

I would very strongly encourage using it, especially if you are ADSB equipped and flying in the outback etc, it's good to know someone is watching out for you then. Different controllers may have a different perspective on what they think of the SIS though.

 

 

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I'm all for FF and will use it extensively when I finally get my 40 hours flown off.

 

But I have what is probably a silly question; say I'm enroute Cessnock to Brisbane, under the E LL of 8500. I have a plan in the system, and would like flight following. I understand the process to request it, but what frequency do I call on? I'm not in E, so is it the FlightWatch frequency, or the Area frequency for the overlying Class E?

 

 

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I don't have the maps near me, but the Cessnock area comes under the jurisdiction of MYALL sector, which joins up with my sector and if I recall correctly the frequency you should call on is 125.7, which is the g frequency listed on the chart (generally in green). If you call on 123.4 while in class g airspace, you are calling the wrong sector.

 

 

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I don't have the maps near me, but the Cessnock area comes under the jurisdiction of MYALL sector, which joins up with my sector and if I recall correctly the frequency you should call on is 125.7, which is the g frequency listed on the chart (generally in green). If you call on 123.4 while in class g airspace, you are calling the wrong sector.

What defines a sector? The areas shown on the vnc/vtc?

 

 

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No the sectors are different from the boundaries shown on the vtc/vnc. For example, it you have erc l3 available, Newell sector consists basically of the area inside frequency boundaries 127.1 and 133.05, and Sandon sector consists of the areas with frequency 124.8 and 125.75, but Sandon and Newell are always combined, so on any of those 4 frequencies you will actually talk to the same controller. From the pilot perspective, which sector your in doesn't really matter, just call on the most appropriate frequency listed on your chart, if it's wrong, the controller will point you in the right direction.

 

 

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Hi.

 

About FLIGHT FOLLOWING.

 

I have used it twice.

 

The first time I was flying back from a cross country in QLD and thought it would be worth trying.

 

the weather wasn't anything special and I don't think I really needed it, but wanted to try it for the sake of learning.

 

I had a transponder and Brissie gave me a number.

 

As I was flying East and was approaching (well sort of) my destination area, and there were clouds in the way, I had to start avoiding them. As they were getting thicker the further east I looked, I had to circle back and descend before the clouds.

 

As I was fairly new/low hours I was concentrating on FLYING and forgot to mention what I was doing before I heard BNE come on the air and ask if I was doing air work.

 

No, I didn't panic, but realised what was going on and why I was being asked. I explained the situation with the clouds and how I was avoiding them.

 

I got below the clouds and resumed the easterly heading.

 

I then was approaching the edge of the training area and so informed BNE that I was entering the area and said I was changing frequencies and to "End flight following".

 

I'm not exactly sure what happened next, but I am sure I didn't just BLINDLY change frequencies.

 

Any way, I landed and all was ok. How ever the CFI mentioned that the lot next door heard BNE "looking for me" and they relayed that I had landed ok.

 

I guess it was my mistake, but as far as I remember, I did tell them to end flight following.

 

The second time I was flying back from...... somewhere (I forget the name of the airport, sorry.) South of Bathurst, North of Wagga. (No not Temora)

 

It was crap weather and I was east bound (again) towards YWOL.

 

MELB was not too busy and so I kindly asked for FF, where I was, and where I was going.

 

MELB came back, no sorry, not now. Or something like that. Alas I didn't get FF.

 

I didn't panic. I just kept flying, but was even more careful about where I went and the choices I made.

 

I got back ok and no hard feelings.

 

I guess at that time FF was not that well "rolled out" and/or they were a bit busy.

 

 

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Flying Dog: Of course can't speak to those specific situations but the only time I would turn down Flight Following would be if I was really busy. Of course the sector Ian and I are on at the moment has seen a large decrease in traffic so we are not particularly busy most of the time and pretty much everyone gets flight following from me.

 

The other reason flight following may not be available is that you are not on radar. You have to be identified for flight following.

 

Definitely a flight plan lodged makes it really easy for us to know what you are doing and we can quickly give you a squawk code etc.

 

 

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Guest Howard Hughes

Why can't we have STAR's that terminate at the runway threshold in Sydney? And why can't departing aircraft have unlimited climb at capital city airports? A climbing aircraft will always out climb an aircraft on a three degree profile!022_wink.gif.2137519eeebfc3acb3315da062b6b1c1.gif

 

 

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Shags,

 

I was meaning YEARS ago for my trip in QLD.

 

I didnt reject FF, I goofed in how to end it. As I was flying from "outback" into a training area, I thought I had to change frequency.

 

As the plane didnt have two radios, I told them I was going to tbe local frequency and thanks for the FF.

 

As far as I knew that was that and I didnt need to contact them when on the ground.

 

Anyway, all said and done, no one "pinged" me for what I did. There are/were no known hard feelings. I learned something.

 

The other one with MLB, well, as I said, I think they were a bit busy, and, hey, I may have been too low for radar contact.

 

 

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