VFR procedures for western expansion airports

VFR procedures for western expansion airports

Postby brianshell » Mon Feb 12, 2018 12:36 pm

I asked this on Facebook but didn't get much clarity.. hoping to get the expert's take on this.

I fly mostly out of SLC.. and it seems like no matter what departure direction I'm headed, I get exactly the same transition every time. (In fact, 80% of the time, it's the wrong transition, and not what I would actually be given in the real world). I've requested a different transition and been told "no".

Is this a limitation of the expansion? (Controllers simply don't know enough about each airport to provide realistic VFR guidance?)...

Here's an example... Departing SLC, VFR to KTVY (That's a departure directly to the west of SLC).. In the real world......

- Runway 35 departure would be told to use the VFR "BARN transition".
- Runway 17 would be told to use the VFR "I-80 transition".

However, in PilotEdge, one of two things happen...

1) I'm given the I-15 transition (incorrect. This is only for north and south traffic).
2) I'm given "own navigation" at or below 8,500 immediately after takeoff. (That would NEVER happen in the real SLC bravo airspace. Ever.)

Same problem on arrivals from the west.. As I enter from the west, the controller basically directs me straight at the field, rather than having me use any of the VFR transitions. (I've NEVER seen this in the real world when flying in the SLC Bravo airspace).

I guess ultimately I'm asking.. if we want a realistic Class-B experience, do we HAVE to be in SoCal?
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Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:21 pm

Re: VFR procedures for western expansion airports

Postby Keith Smith » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:00 pm

We do strive for initial IFR instructions being as accurate as we can get them for a given airport, but I can't promise hyper fidelity of VFR Class Bravos anywhere on PE, partially because of availability of data and also limitations as to how much information the controllers can be expected to process.

If you have complete familiarity with SLC in the r/w, it's unlikely we're going to be providing identical VFR departure/arrival instructions at the moment. You might want to consider another airport where receiving plausible (but not necessarily identical) instructions well be less of an issue for you. Or, swap to IFR.

I happen to know that SQL (my old home airport), they would instruct airport to report the cement plant. I know that if we ever open SQL and a local pilot flies in, they're going to notice the difference. I also know that there's little chance that we'll be able to have controllers become familiar with every VFR procedure at every VFR airport, because whereas r/w controllers work a single field, ZLA and WUS controllers have to work 40+ towered airports each, so something has to give. In our case, it's fidelity of local VFR instructions.

All that said, I do see the r/w SLC SOP has references to the Barn transition. I also see the reference on the SLC TAC chart. I'll see what we can do about increasing the fidelity of the SLC operations since we already do publish an internal SOP for SLC VFR operations, and therefore in this case it would just be a matter of updating that document.

And welcome back, I remember you from 5 years ago. I hope you're still able to enjoy the network! Again, you might want to avoid SLC for the time being if this is a sticking point.
Keith Smith
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:38 pm
Location: Pompton Plains, NJ

Re: VFR procedures for western expansion airports

Postby brianshell » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:24 pm

As always, Keith, thank you for the detailed and well thought out reply!! Yes, I was around 5 years ago and had to put the flight-sim hobby on hold. VR has brought it all back for me, and I'm having a blast again.. wondering why I ever left. But I gotta tell you.. without PilotEdge this whole thing would feel pretty dry to me!!

Yes, the transitions I mentioned are on the charts and the SOP. Certainly not asking for controllers to understand local landmarks, or references that are specific to the area. But it WOULD be nice if the procedures at least.. sort of.. matched up. ;) The I-80 transition, The I-15 transition, and the BARN transition are all integral to SLC VFR airspace.. and hey.. one out of three ain't bad. ;)

THAT SAID... no, it's not a deal killer for me at all. Just wanted to understand of this was a PE error, or if this was just the nature of western expansion and "that's how it is, so deal with it.". I'm fine with either scenario.

You guys are amazing.. thanks for all you do!!!!
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Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:21 pm

Re: VFR procedures for western expansion airports

Postby brianshell » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:30 pm

And can I just say.. THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART for the western U.S. expansion?!?!?!
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Joined: Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:21 pm

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