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Exiting Class D airspace

Posted: Thu May 19, 2022 12:09 pm
by ddrake
I want to be clear on the exit procedures for controlled airspace when flying VFR. If given specific tower instructions it is clear(er) but need some help when the tower instructions are not as specific.

The FAA procedures for exiting a controlled airspace indicate (if I understand them correctly) if given a "cleared to takeoff" without any heading or turn information is to fly straight out. A few questions.
1. Do you fly runway heading until you clear the airspace when not given a turn or heading in the takeoff clearance? If not when is it appropriate to turn towards your flight heading?
2. If on a left pattern runway you are given instructions cleared to takeoff left turn approved does that mean to turn left 45 degrees and exit the airspace on that heading (like you would at a non-controlled tower) or turn left 90 degrees like you are flying the crosswind pattern and then exit the pattern in the direction of your flight plan after the end of the crosswind leg?
3. If given a cleared for takeoff exit left downwind do you exit the downwind in the direction of your flight assuming the flight direction is not the same as the downwind heading or fly out the downwind until clear the airspace?

I want to be sure I am maneuvering correctly within the airspace. Thanks

Re: Exiting Class D airspace

Posted: Mon May 23, 2022 8:10 am
by zerofay32
Sounds like you are combining towered departures with non-towered departures. Towered VFR departures are simpler then you are trying to make them. You really just follow tower's instructions.

1. If not given any specific departure instructions, you turn on course when you reach a safe maneuvering altitude (some make the turn at the same altitude they would make their crosswind turn but there is no set altitude outside of local procedures for noise abatement. You do not stay on runway heading (unless runway heading just happens to coincide with on course). You can always confirm with tower, really they should at least tell you "cleared for takeoff, on course" but won't always.

2. Left or right pattern runways assignments technically don't apply to towered fields and what I mean by that, the standard is left traffic, but the tower can assign either side if operations/obstacles allow, same with runways that are "right traffic". On departure, again you turn left or right as assigned at a safe altitude and unless the tower specifies, you turn on course. The tower may assign something more specific if the situation requires it, but in absence of that, its left/right turn on course. If the turn direction doesn't get you pointed on course, the tower should be more specific with what you need you to do and if they don't, ask for them to clarify.

3. on a left downwind departure, again they tower should be assigning it because it gets you pointed in the right direction, if not ask for clarification. But once you are established on the downwind leg, you can then make any turn necessary to turn on course if no other restrictions have been given by tower.

Re: Exiting Class D airspace

Posted: Thu May 26, 2022 4:13 am
by ddrake
Excellent thank you.