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4 Answers

Sightseeing in Class C Airspace

Asked by: 3484 views
Airspace, General Aviation, Private Pilot


Quick Question! I am a new private pilot here! I did my training at an uncontrolled field, and would rarely fly in any controlled airspace (except class E of course). I would like to do some sightseeing around my city in the class C. I am extremely confident in my radio communications. However, I am a little confused of what I would tell the controller if I wanted to fly over my house or my school. What would I tell the controller from a departure standpoint (clearance) and an arrival standpoint? 


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4 Answers

  1. John D Collins on Feb 15, 2014

    Request what you want to do. It will usually be accommodated if traffic permits.

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  2. Mark Kolber on Feb 15, 2014

    Tell him what you want to do. Yes, it sound like it should be more complicated than that but it usually isn’t.

    While Class C TRACON controllers may not know your house or your school, you should be able to identify a general area that is depicted on the chart. Don’t where you are but using the Raleigh Class C as an example (http://skyvector.com/?ll=35.87762680466268,-78.7874450719997&chart=301&zoom=1) suppose you lived and went to school in Cary . You might be able to ask to sightsee around Cary at a or below a certain altitude or say it in terms of a 10-miles radius 8 south of the airport. If what you specifically ask for is not workable, ATC will likely suggest and alternative.

    That’s actually a complicated version. If the school in question were NC State, for example, the chances are a local controller would know exactly where than was and the course distance information not needed.

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  3. Eric Wiles on Feb 15, 2014

    I guess I am over thinking it! I wasn’t sure if there was an “official” phrase. Thanks Gentlemen!

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  4. Fly92020 on Feb 19, 2014

    Just make a “VFR Request” to maneuver at some altitude & location within their airspace… they may restrict you to “at or above”, or “no lower than…” some altitude, etc., but it’s all a negotiation process with ATC, and they will usually comply if your request is somewhat coherent and they’re not overly busy.

    I learned this lesson years ago from a pilot with tons more experience than myself; he called SoCal and requested that we maneuver inside the Class Bravo at NAS Miramar in a Cub at a low altitude. They gave us permission, asking only that we contact them when we were ready to depart the area (the other guy wanted to see if he could spot his wife walking their dog on the trails east of Miramar — we didn’t tell them that part…)

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