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3 Answers

Contacting FBO

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General Aviation

I am planning a cross-country flight for my first $100 hamburger (which is gonna be more like $200). It will also be my first solo stop at an airport for tie-down/fuel that I am unfamiliar with. What do I need to know about contacting the FBO at that airport? Do I call them on UNICOM? Will they have their own frequency? Should I call ahead of time? Thanks in advance!


Sorry if this is a repost. I tried posting it once, but I can't tell if it went through properly.

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3 Answers

  1. Christopher Ryan on Sep 17, 2011

    Well i’d tell ya to look them up via the net and get a phone number and ask them what it would cost to park on the ramp with your type of aircraft. plus also ask them how much fuel will be and if they have a car you can use to get to the food places if not at the airport.
    other then that you don’t really need to call them before hand while in the air to tell the truth unless you plan to do a quick turn or need stuff for paxs in the back.
    but keep in mind to always bring an airport diagram so you have freqs for the airport and a lay out of the runway and taxi ways.

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  2. Jim Foley on Sep 18, 2011

    You shouldn’t need to call them, but it’s always a good idea.  Like Christopher said, at least you can get an idea of prices and car availability.  Also, it is a good idea to look up the airport/FBO on AirNav.com.  The user reviews have come in handy many times and is a good way to get a feel for the local operations at that particular airport from people who are familiar with it.  BTW, where are you planning on going?

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  3. Bob Watson on Sep 26, 2011

    I would call them in advance (and I would tell students to call in advance). Starting with my first PPL long X-Ctry, I found out that my planned refueling stop was closed on Sundays. Unfortunately I found this out when I pulled up to the pumps.
    The local operations change much more quickly than the published information and the price of a phone call is cheap insurance. Find out:
    – how you should contact them
    – what their hours are
    – what their gas, parking, hangar, etc. fees are (or whatever services you might need)
    – ask about any specials (like free parking if you buy gas, do they have a “courtesy car,” etc.)
    – where on the field they are (esp. if it’s at a big airport)
    – what they’re called on the field (in case it’s different from what’s published, the number of “nicknames” never ceases to amaze me) and sometimes the tower/ground might send you to their competition on the other side of the field if you’re not specific.
    – if there’s any sort of event that might limit parking or gas, etc. (e.g. you decide to arrive in the middle of a fly-in that uses up all the parking spaces).
    – if there’s anything special about arriving/staying/departing that you as an out-of-towner might need to know (e.g. approach from the south to avoid the unpaved taxiway, or something like that).
    Not knowing this in advance (unless you arrive after hours, hoping to buy gas) isn’t usually critical, but the phone call is probably a lot cheaper than the gas & time you spend taxiing around the airport trying to figure it out as you go. (especially if the ground controller sends you to the competition who’s charging $1/gal more for gas! Don’t ask. 🙂 )

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