Question RE: Class D Transition

Question RE: Class D Transition

Postby 302HS » Wed May 26, 2021 8:24 pm

Wondering if someone could help me with a question about transitioning a Class D. I was doing the Focus Fields flight from Brown Field Muni (KSDM) to Long Beach (KLGB) tonight. I think I did fine flying out of KSDM and through the San Diego VFR corridor at 4500'. Once clear of the Bravo, I flew up the coast at 6500' and called SOCAL Approach southwest of Dana Point (VPLDP) to request the Santa Ana Class C transition since I'd be descending through the Charlie. I let him know my destination was Long Beach. He asked me to squawk 5412 and ident, which I did.

I transitioned the Charlie southwest of John Wayne (KSNA) and exited the Charlie at 2700', about 2 nm north of the Huntington Pier (VPLHP) and he told me to keep the squawk code and contact Long Beach tower. Only thing is that I had the Los Alamitos (KSLI) Delta between me and Long Beach's Delta with tops at 2500. To continue on course and fly over the Los Alamitos Delta would have left me at 2500' 3nm southeast of the RWY 30 threshold. At 110 kts, I'd have had to descend at 1500 FPM to make the runway, which is a little too steep for my 172.

I didn't want to enter the Los Alamitos Delta without permission or contact them first after Approach told me to contact Long Beach, so I just called Long Beach who told me to enter a 3-mile final for 30. After leaving the Charlie, I turned left and continued my descent over the ocean, skirting the southwest side of the Los Alamitos Delta. Then I entered the Long Beach Delta almost due south of the Long Beach airport, made a 3 nm base and turned onto final for 30 (see image below).

I know the requirements to enter a Delta. The FAA's Pilot Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge says:
Unless otherwise authorized, each aircraft must establish two-way radio communications with the ATC facility providing air traffic services prior to entering the airspace and thereafter maintain those communications while in the airspace.

But was SOCAL Approach's communication with me "otherwise authorizing" me through the Los Alamitos Delta? I'm pretty sure it wasn't. Long Beach tower wasn't the "ATC facility providing air traffic services" for Los Alamitos, so his hand-off to Long Beach would have left me out of communication with the Los Alamitos Tower while in their Delta. I could have called SOCAL for clarification and probably would have done that in real life, but he seemed pretty busy at the time.

I'm a real-life student pilot just a few days from my checkride, but I fly out of a Delta and the nearest Charlie is a 3-hour flight away, so it's great to practice these more complex airspaces on PilotEdge. Any thoughts about what I could have done better?

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Re: Question RE: Class D Transition

Postby Kevin_atc » Thu May 27, 2021 6:17 am

This is related, but may not completely answer your question. Still worth a watch. https://youtu.be/wJ96aJASRWg
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Re: Question RE: Class D Transition

Postby Marcus Becker » Thu May 27, 2021 8:32 am

If SoCal needed you to stay out of the SLI Delta, they would have told you to do so or had you contact SLI Tower to request it. Since neither was given, you could assume SoCal took care of the transition request for you.

However, on PilotEdge all military only airports are simulated closed. That means the Delta is now Class E. You had nothing to worry about on this flight and could have just flown right through the airspace.
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Re: Question RE: Class D Transition

Postby 302HS » Thu May 27, 2021 2:47 pm

Great! Thank you both for the feedback!
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