Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby zerofay32 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:48 am

spenconk wrote:Struggling with the CAT 10 a bit. Learning TONS at the expense of ATC though. Sorry folks.
For added clarity,"Once you leave the Delta, you can change frequencies on your own." Just when do I know I have left the airspace. It says online:
Class G -0 miles
Class E - 0 miles
Class D - 4 miles
Class C - 10 miles
Class B - 30 miles

It would be great to know the rules about when you are released from original ATC contact for each one.


The short answer is a delta extends 5nm from the airport and by regulation once you pass the lateral (or vertical) boundary you can switch frequencies without asking the tower. You can ask for an early frequency change before you leave the delta and will usually get it.

The long answer is that some further reading may help out a ton here. You should check out the FAA's Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) and the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. Both are FREE from the FAA in PDF format, Printed copies are not free.

Here is the FAA's website with all sorts of free handbooks for pilots: https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/

EDIT: I always fly (RW or Sim) with a copy of the FAR/AIM. You'll never know if you'll need to look something up and (almost) everything can be found in those documents. Happy reading! :D
Andrew Fay
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby jiva602 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:04 am

zerofay32 wrote:
spenconk wrote:Struggling with the CAT 10 a bit. Learning TONS at the expense of ATC though. Sorry folks.
For added clarity,"Once you leave the Delta, you can change frequencies on your own." Just when do I know I have left the airspace. It says online:
Class G -0 miles
Class E - 0 miles
Class D - 4 miles
Class C - 10 miles
Class B - 30 miles

It would be great to know the rules about when you are released from original ATC contact for each one.


The short answer is a delta extends 5nm from the airport and by regulation once you pass the lateral (or vertical) boundary you can switch frequencies without asking the tower. You can ask for an early frequency change before you leave the delta and will usually get it.

The long answer is that some further reading may help out a ton here. You should check out the FAA's Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) and the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. Both are FREE from the FAA in PDF format, Printed copies are not free.

Here is the FAA's website with all sorts of free handbooks for pilots: https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/

EDIT: I always fly (RW or Sim) with a copy of the FAR/AIM. You'll never know if you'll need to look something up and (almost) everything can be found in those documents. Happy reading! :D


Excellent advice here - As a novice I am able to answer many of my own questions with these publications :D
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Socata TBM 850 N852XM
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby HRutila » Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:10 pm

Exact Class D dimensions, for those interested, are listed in FAA Order 7400.11.
Harold Rutila
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby Keith Smith » Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:50 pm

The sectional and terminal area charts depict the exact dimensions of the airspace. Class B, C, TRSA and even many Class D's have unique shapes. You absolutely need to be referencing a chart (or have accurate airspace depictions on a GPS) to determine the type of airspace that you're in. It's a crucial part of VFR flying.

The VFR workshops go into great detail on this topic.
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby zaruthoj » Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:29 pm

I was flying the CAT-8 from Santa Barbara to Burbank in a 172 the other night. Most of the flight was uneventful, if a little stressful due to heavy traffic.

On approach to Burbank I kept waiting for the handoff to tower. I dialed in the tower frequency on com 2 to be ready, but bumped com 1 in the process and quickly changed it back. I kept thinking, "I know they sometimes hold me on approach longer than I expect, but this is getting ridiculous!" Finally, as Burbank was disappearing from my rear window I made the call, "Socal Approach, Cessna 5842 request frequency change to Burbank Tower."

Silence.
Call again.
Silence.

I think, "Maybe I didn't tune com 1 back to approach correctly." Took a look at the sectional, and saw 120.4 listed. I was pretty sure I had been on 120.55, but switched over to 120.4 to give it a shot. Made the call, no response. Thinking, "Ok, this is weird, but I am confident what the frequency is for Burbank Tower." Switched to tower, "Socal Approach, Cessna 5842 on approach, lost comms with approach controller."

Silence.

Finally realized I had some sort of radio failure. Simultaneously, the mountains NW of the airport were coming up fast. It was tempting to diagnose the failure, but I ignored that for the moment and made a left turn to avoid becoming a CFIT statistic. My next realization was, "I'm in class C airspace and don't have two way communication!" The fastest way out of the airspace was to climb, so I added power and got up to 5500 at Vy.

I finally took a breath and relaxed a bit. Started looking for options to get into a smaller airport. Then I saw it. My Ammeter sitting at -60. I had never turned my alternator on. :oops:

Turned the alternator on and got back on the radio. After a bit of flustered confusion where I accidentally called tower instead of approach first, I got instructions back to Burbank and landed without further incident. I had no idea whether that would be a pass or fail on the CAT-8. Turned out it was a pass!

The whole thing was all kinds of stressful, but so full of lessons learned:
1. Fly the plane! It could have been so much worse if I had gone head down to troubleshoot.
2. Always follow the checklist.
- 2a. Always check the checklist against the POH. The checklist I was using didn't have a check for the alternator! :shock:
3. Clearly my engine scan was seriously deficient. I could have easily caught the mistake earlier. I've fully integrated an engine scan into my traffic scan since.
4. I should have changed my squawk to 7600. It wouldn't have made a difference here since I had no power, but I didn't know that at the time.
5. Always write down frequencies assigned by ATC! One bump of the wrong dial can leave you out of coms and the written record is the only sure way to get back.
6. Feel free to add more suggestions!
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby Kyle.Sanders » Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:58 pm

Wow! What a story...
Consider also that Lost Comms can be considered an emergency situation and therefore would allow emergency authority and an option would be to go ahead and land any any field under that authority.
Great advice to write down frequencies but, if your radios are working and can't seem to get ahold of anybody because of no legit frequency- "Guard 121.50"
Best Regards,
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby jiva602 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:10 pm

Kyle.Sanders wrote:Consider also that Lost Comms can be considered an emergency situation and therefore would allow emergency authority and an option would be to go ahead and land any any field under that authority.


So in the case of radio failure and emergency landing at nearest field under that authority, would it also be helpful to squawk 7600?
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby Kyle.Sanders » Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:53 pm

Yes but he already covered that point in his post so I didn't reply with that info :)
Best Regards,
Kyle Sanders

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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby jiva602 » Wed Nov 16, 2016 7:56 pm

Kyle.Sanders wrote:Yes but he already covered that point in his post so I didn't reply with that info :)

Yep, just wanted to make sure that it is indeed helpful to ATC - Thanks!
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Re: Never again on PE - share your mistakes

Postby Kyle.Sanders » Wed Nov 16, 2016 8:23 pm

Very much so... sends off a nice big notification on the radar screen and will therefore tell them what's going on... furthermore, they will try to give you a clear space around you so that you can get down ASAP and safely.
Best Regards,
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