Requesting Frequency Change from Tower

Jason spent 24 years as an air traffic controller at Los Angeles Center, and recently moved east to work in DC in the Airspace office as an air traffic subject matter expert. He is a Sport Pilot, owns a Rans S12XL E-LSA, and got his >87 knot endorsement so he can rent a C162. He's here to answer your questions about ATC procedures and rules, in a strictly unofficial capacity.

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Jack Tyler
Posts: 1380
Joined: Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:49 pm
Location: Jacksonville, FL

Re: Requesting Frequency Change from Tower

Postby Jack Tyler » Wed Nov 13, 2013 7:05 am

Carl, as I mentioned a week or two ago, folks in your situation - departing a busy airspace and preferring to get flight following from a busy ATC - can consider the option of filing an IFR flight plan on a VFR altitude. VFR flight plans are seen by FSS but aren't entered into the NAS ATC system. However, IFR flight plans are. In your case, after departing the Delta airspace and after making your initial call to Denver Approach, you would be able to say something like 'You have a flight plan on file for N12345. I'd like to pick that up for VFR flight following, please.' ATC will then know your a/c details & destination are right there in the box for them to use, making their initial workload to pick you up only entering a data block and assigning you a squawk. This isn't for local flights but it might help you pick up FF for cross-country flights. Some Approach facilities actually recommend and prefer this option, but it's legal anywhere. I wrote a short article on this for our EAA Chapter newsletter. Be glad to share it via PM if anyone's interested.
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org

Flocker
Posts: 631
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:16 am
Location: Atlanta GA; Home Airport: PDK

Re: Requesting Frequency Change from Tower

Postby Flocker » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:08 am

newamiga wrote:Not sure how many of you guys fly or have flown in and out of KAPA (Centennial in south Denver). They will not set you up for flight following from the ground, they will not hand you off to Denver approach.. they will give you the frequency but not a hand-off. I use flight following every time I fly in and out of there and just call Denver approach as soon as I get out of their delta. They are busy and don't have much time for folks who don't know their procedures. It frustrates a lot of pilots out this way who don't normally fly in and out of there. One other thing they get a lot of folks on is their ground procedure. On initial call to ground you must let them know if you need a run-up.. they taxi you to the run-up area which you need to know the location of. Once you are run up complete you call and tell them that and they tell you to MONITOR tower.. don't dare call tower. Tower will then call you to clear you to either hold short, line up and wait, or takeoff. I only bring this up to reiterate that some airports have special delta procedures due to the volume of traffic they manage on a normal basis.

Carl


The Class-D I mentioned earlier [KPDK], northeast of Atlanta, has the same procedure in place.

Flocker
Posts: 631
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 10:16 am
Location: Atlanta GA; Home Airport: PDK

Re: Requesting Frequency Change from Tower

Postby Flocker » Wed Nov 13, 2013 8:10 am

Jack Tyler wrote:I wrote a short article on this for our EAA Chapter newsletter. Be glad to share it via PM if anyone's interested.


I'm interested. Thanks!

newamiga
Posts: 138
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:21 pm

Re: Requesting Frequency Change from Tower

Postby newamiga » Wed Nov 13, 2013 3:32 pm

Thanks Jack.. I don't have an issue calling Denver approach for flight following and they are always very accommodating when I call. It would be nice to have the hand off from APA but they say Denver approach doesn't want them to do it. I am a little less comfortable with an IFR clearance as a sport pilot out of there. It is funny because I always get a hand off from Colorado Springs approach who is my home airport controller for FF when I switch to Denver. I have never had them refuse the handoff, nor say they are too busy. They always hand me off to Springs approach heading home too. They also almost always honor my requests for bravo clearance. It is just an APA thing. They are a busy class D. It is funny as they have about twice as many operations a day as KCOS but COS is a class C because it has a fair amount of commercial traffic and shares the airport with the AF base here.

Carl
Private Pilot and RV-12 Builder


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