Frequency Change Delays

Frequency Change Delays

Postby gscottfuller » Mon Oct 12, 2020 10:20 am

After doing the first 6 CAT Ratings, I have a newbie suggestion for the CAT briefings. In several of my tests, I did not receive a timely hand off to the destination tower and had to circle the Class D airspace while waiting. I think on two occasions, I had to finally request a frequency change to the tower. This is good real world training but is not briefed in the CAT descriptions. One should be prepared for the possibility of a delayed frequency change, or an inability to reach the tower at a busy time. Both lead to circling and if you are not prepared, you might circle in a bad direction. For example, at Mojave, a right turn around the Delta airspace coming from the west immediately busts the Edwards AFB restricted area. In other cases, you might circle into terrain if you are at or near traffic pattern altitude. Might be good to mention these things in the briefing to aid in flight planning.
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Re: Frequency Change Delays

Postby Kevin_atc » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:10 pm

This very topic is discussed in the CAT6 briefing video at 24:06.
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Re: Frequency Change Delays

Postby gscottfuller » Mon Oct 12, 2020 1:24 pm

Kevin - Thanks for reply and yes, this passage addresses the possibility of having to ping ATC for frequency change to tower. But would be helpful to know how/where to circle outside the Class D until you can talk to tower. I've had to do that actually on 3 CAT's and not sure I'm doing it correctly/safely. Many thanks.
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Re: Frequency Change Delays

Postby Kevin_atc » Mon Oct 12, 2020 6:19 pm

There’s really no right or wrong way to circle. Just remember your basic airspace rules. You need to remain outside of A, B, C or D airspace where you’re not talking to the controlling entity and stay outside of restricted areas or prohibited areas. As long as you’re abiding by those restrictions, there’s no wrong way to miss airspace.
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Re: Frequency Change Delays

Postby Keith Smith » Tue Oct 13, 2020 7:57 am

Kevin, you captured that really well. Scott, this is where you lean heavily on the rules/regs of Class E airspace....the end result being that as long as you maintain appropriate clearance from clouds, terrain and obstacles, there really isn't a wrong answer. This might be a case of looking for guidance that doesn't formally exist. In terms of best practices of remaining outside of the lateral bounds vs proceeding inbound above the Delta, I would say use your best judgement. For me, there is little benefit in proceeding towards the airport (above the Delta) knowing that I will effectively be too high to make a normal pattern entry, resulting in some pretty hokey descending over/near the airport when the time comes. For that reason, I'd probably err on just remaining outside of the Delta using whatever circling pattern strikes my fancy.

I'd likely visualize the pattern entry I'm likely to get once I'm allowed into the Delta and will try to keep myself in or near a position where that entry is still viable. None of that is legally required, it's just making my life easy when the time comes.
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