Blew the CAT 5

Blew the CAT 5

Postby MikeN87 » Sun Dec 30, 2018 7:14 pm

Is there anyway to find out what I did wrong on my CAT 5?

Took off KSMX, picked up Flight following from Santa Barbara 124.15. Everything was fine but I noticed I was never handed off to LA Center. Did I just miss the call? Anyway, I just stayed with SB Appr. until I was 10 miles from Bakersfield so I figured I should contact Bakersfield tower. I called SB Appr (never left them) and canceled Flight following. Got a response from SB Appr. for freq change and squawk 1200. Then I tried to contact Bakersfield tower on 118.1 but got no response. Waited a second or two and call again but no response. checked radios and everything looked good. It all went south after that.

So, long story short, is there a way to find out what you did wrong

Thanks
Mike
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Re: Blew the CAT 5

Postby Keith Smith » Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:49 am

You didn't specify what happened after you tried BFL tower the second time, other than saying "it all went south after that."

If you received a non-passing grade, you should have been told (briefly) why over the radio. If you didn't receive a grade at all before disconnecting, then that part is on you, per the testing guidelines here: https://www.pilotedge.net/pages/taking-the-tests

ATC should've swapped you from SBA approach to LA Center, and then ultimately over to BFL approach. That's not your fault, though. That said, some in-flight research reveals that BFL approach controls the BFL area, so it would not make sense to be talking to SBA approach when you're 10nm from BFL. I would've spoken up sooner on that basis, rather than simply cancelling 10nm from BFL.

I'm not sure why you didn't hear anything from BFL tower. You said you waited 1-2 seconds....that's not nearly enough. The controller might have been fielding a call on an approach or center freq (which you wouldn't be hearing). There's literally no time where waiting 1-2 seconds is a sufficient delay before calling again.
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Re: Blew the CAT 5

Postby MikeN87 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:17 pm

Its no big deal. Im not at all upset about it . I just chalk it up to experience. I Think the controllers were busy at the time with IFR traffic. Not at all unrealistic.

Anyway, I waiting to get handed off from SBA but I didn't hear anything. If I understand correctly there are three outcomes when your getting flight following. Either your handed off to the next sector, or Approach cancels because they are too busy, or you cancel when you have the airport in sight. I didn't know where or when to expect the next handoff, so I simply waited. I didn't want to cancel because I didn't want to fail the CAT.

I knew something wasn't right when I saw I was 10 mile out from BFL and still hadn't heard anything. So I canceled FF with SBA (I did get a response for freq change) and tried to contact BFL tower but got no response, it wasn't exactly two seconds that I waited but It wouldn't have hurt to wait a little longer.

Anyway, lesson learned, I need to be more patient. What I should have done is continue the flight and see what happened. If I still didn't get a response from BFL tower I could have done a 360 before entering the Delta. I gave up too quick and simply logged off of PE. Im sure I'll do better next time.

Thanks for responding to my post. Its all a learning experience and I really appreciate this service.

Mike
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Re: Blew the CAT 5

Postby yycflyer » Tue Jan 01, 2019 3:24 pm

I had an experience recently which may lend to the learning here.

I was flying KCMA to KCNO through the fly ways above LA. Flight following. I was 4 miles out from KCNO and into the Delta when I asked, "Socal approach, Skylane 109MS request permission to go to Chino tower." He then told me to switch over (and let me know I had nicked the KONT Charlie :(.
Anyway, the point here was that I asked approach to switch as I was into Chino airspace and figured he had forgotten me or was distracted with other traffic. I don't know if this would have worked for you, but thought I would share.
Mike T
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Re: Blew the CAT 5

Postby MikeN87 » Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:16 pm

Yeah, appreciate you sharing. I was thinking the same thing (after the fact). I've heard pilots simply ask a question, so I thought, maybe I could have called SBA and asked, "Am I going to be handed off to BFL approach?" Simple enough. Ive heard worse. At the same time I didn't want to come off acting like I was telling him his job or rushing him.

Question. Is there a way to see boundary lines for a given approach area? Its not shown on a sectional, at least not that I know of. Also, I understand controllers get busy, and VFR radar services are optional, but wouldn't he/she WANT to hand you off. For one, because they would want to let the next controller know you're about to come into their airspace, and 2, just to get rid of you, one less thing to worry about.
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Re: Blew the CAT 5

Postby kevin meyers » Tue Jan 01, 2019 7:32 pm

MikeN87 wrote:Yeah, appreciate you sharing. I was thinking the same thing (after the fact). I've heard pilots simply ask a question, so I thought, maybe I could have called SBA and asked, "Am I going to be handed off to BFL approach?" Simple enough. Ive heard worse. At the same time I didn't want to come off acting like I was telling him his job or rushing him.

Question. Is there a way to see boundary lines for a given approach area? Its not shown on a sectional, at least not that I know of. Also, I understand controllers get busy, and VFR radar services are optional, but wouldn't he/she WANT to hand you off. For one, because they would want to let the next controller know you're about to come into their airspace, and 2, just to get rid of you, one less thing to worry about.


Sector boundaries are not made publicly available in an easy way. While controllers want to get rid of you as quickly as possible, sometimes ATC may think they already switched you to the next sector when they never did. This could cause you do just wander outside of their airspace without them thinking anything of it.
Kevin Meyers
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Dallas, Texas
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