CAT 10 ATC request confusion

Questions and comments about the PE Pilot Training Program

CAT 10 ATC request confusion

Postby Casimir » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:41 am

So, last night I made my first attempt at the CAT 10, having spent a day or so preparing. And, regardless of the preparation, It was a complete mess. I thought I was all set, but ended up juggling too many things all at once and got way behind the airplane. However, one thing really confused me. As I approached Bravo, I was handed off to LAX Tower. I contacted Tower, and then was told:

"LA Helicopters ident."

I had absolutely no idea what that meant, and it completely confused me. Is this a standard ident request from LAX Tower? Since I wasn't a helicopter and had identified to Tower as a Cessna I wasn't sure what to do. I thought I'd heard the request wrong so asked for it to be repeated. In the end, I hit ident - which was the intent of the Tower request for certain, but I'm still confused as to the reason for "helicopter" in the request.

And whoever was controlling - I apologize for how much of a mess that approach to the miniroute was. Thanks for your patience. Listening to my radio calls on the ATC recordings makes me cringe... lol.
Cessna N5351E (A2A C172 / REP XPlane 11 C172)
Piper N5351A (Carenado Seneca V)
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Re: CAT 10 ATC request confusion

Postby kevin meyers » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:47 am

The name of the position in LA Tower is “Los Angeles Helicopters” as it is a specific frequency that handles helicopter transitions and the mini route. The controller wasn’t calling you a helicopter- he was identifying himself and telling you to ident in the same transmission. In my experience, LA Tower rarely splits this position off and typically has it combined with Local North therefore often times the controllers will just identify themselves as the tower and not as the helicopter controller.
Kevin Meyers
Retired PilotEdge Air Traffic Controller / Instructor
Dallas, Texas
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Re: CAT 10 ATC request confusion

Postby Casimir » Fri Jun 15, 2018 7:59 am

Okay, thanks - I had no idea that was the case with LA Tower. I didn't see anything related to that in the CAT 10 info, and if it's indicated on the VFR and / or LA TAC charts I've missed it apparently.

Thank you very much for that clarification.
Cessna N5351E (A2A C172 / REP XPlane 11 C172)
Piper N5351A (Carenado Seneca V)
Casimir
 
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat May 19, 2018 9:14 pm
Location: KOLV

Re: CAT 10 ATC request confusion

Postby toby23 » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:22 am

The 'helicopters' info wasn't in the normal places that I look when planning a flight either but I did find it on SkyVector under the LA Tower communications section > https://skyvector.com/airport/LAX/Los-Angeles-International-Airport. I am still planning with a mixture of SkyVector and Foreflight, both have their strengths and weaknesses.

Thanks for the heads up about this unexpected callsign, CAT 10 up next for me tonight!
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