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3 Answers

VFR: Asking for a class bravo clearance

Asked by: 8687 views Airspace, Private Pilot

What is the proper way to ask to be cleared through a class bravo? I'm taking off east of the bravo and wanting to cross the bravo because i'm otherwise surrounded lots of water (much further off shore then gliding distance). It's a VFR flight and my final destination is NOT necessarily on the other side of the bravo but getting to the final destination without crossing the mass of water requires class bravo flying.

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3 Answers

  1. Matthew Hammer on Oct 03, 2010

    Just contact approach control for the airspace you want to cross. It basically follows the “who, where, what” pattern. Tell them who you are, tell them where you are, and tell them what you want. So, for example: “”New York approach, Cessna N12345 (who) five miles northwest of Broadway VOR at 6000 feet (where), request clearance to transition eastbound across the class bravo airspace. (what)””
    Approach will then either tell you to stay clear, or will give you a clearance into their airspace. Sometimes receiving a clearance will depend upon satisfying certain criteria. For example, they may have you change your routing slightly or require you to enter at and maintain a certain altitude. Either way, do NOT enter the airspace until you hear the words “cleared into the bravo.”

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  2. Brian on Oct 03, 2010

    Hi Ryan,
    Bravo airspace is nothing to be worried about and the request isn’t anything special. In fact, this request follows the same basic structure as all other communications with ATC.
    Example transmission: “New York approach Cessna 123xy is over somerset airport climbing through 4,300 for 7,500 requesting clearance through Bravo and flight following direct Portland Maine.”
    Let’s break down the above transmission to see why each item is included:

    The first bold gives tail number and type (Tells who you are). Of course it doesn’t identify Cessna 172 or Crusader, so ATC might clarify or they might not when they see you never break 120.
    The second bold gives lateral location. (Tells where you are)
    Third gives vertical location and final cruise altitude. (Tells where you are)
    The last bolded statements request your clearance and get you flight following. (Your requests)

    So, as with any request from ATC, you want to tell ATC three things: Who you are (tail & type), where you are (vertically & laterally), and what are your intentions/requests (clearances, special requests, flight following, etc).

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  3. Ryan on Oct 03, 2010

    Thanks guys.  You’re right it wasn’t very nerve racking at all.  I decided to, in addition to asking for the bravo transition, also ask for the skyline transition down the hudson river.  Before I did this though I read all there was about the hudson corridor and the options available. (for those interested. Start here:http://faasafety.gov/files/helpcontent/Courses/NY%20Course/index.html and print this out and have it with you along with a NY TAC https://www.faasafety.gov/files/gslac/courses/content/79/776/kneeboard.pdf).  They even continued flight following for me all the way to KPNE which made it a little easier because I was able to fly direct through the south end of Newark’s airspace.

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