Commo Question

Danny Rice

  • Members
  • 7
    • View Profile
Commo Question
« on: July 01, 2015, 01:20:00 pm »
I was online at KSNA the other day and have a question concerning expected communications.  The situation was as follows:

KSNA Ground was staffed, no other KSNA ATC position was staffed.

LAX Tower was staffed, no other LAX ATC position was staffed.

I was on the ground at KSNA and contacted KSNA Ground for a VFR flight with flight following to KUDD.  I was given clearance for the flight with heading, altitude, and squawk. 

I did the readback.

KSNA Ground acknowledge the readback then indicated I could depart from the helipad at my own risk and also indicated frequency change was approved (I was flying a helo).

It is the frequency change that I have a question about.  In that there was no other KSNA ATC position staffed other than Ground, what frequency was I expected to change to and who was I expected to contact? 

It is my understanding that staffed ATC positions can cover lower responsibilities (Tower can cover Ground), but, not upwards (Ground can not cover Tower).  Is that wrong? 

Was I expected to change to the CTAF for departure?  LAX Tower wasn't providing Socal App or Departure coverage, so, I didn't think they played into the situation at all.

Comment appreciated.

Danny


Regards,

Danny

Bradley Grafelman

  • Members
  • 71
    • View Profile
Re: Commo Question
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2015, 01:24:57 pm »
In that there was no other KSNA ATC position staffed other than Ground, what frequency was I expected to change to and who was I expected to contact?

In the real world, it would be whatever frequency you desire. CTAF, nearby ATIS, GUARD, Fingers, or some random spin-of-the-dial. Essentially, "frequency change approved" means "our conversation has ended (likely since you exited my area of control and there is no handoff to be made); since we no longer have anything to say to each other, feel free to change your radio to whatever frequency you want."

On VATSIM, the CoC (B7) is a bit more restrictive:

Quote
Pilots flying through uncontrolled airspace should set their VHF radio frequency to 122.80 or other designated "Unicom" frequency and monitor until they come under air traffic control coverage.
Controller (C1)
Los Angeles ARTCC

Danny Rice

  • Members
  • 7
    • View Profile
Re: Commo Question
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2015, 01:36:53 pm »
In that there was no other KSNA ATC position staffed other than Ground, what frequency was I expected to change to and who was I expected to contact?

In the real world, it would be whatever frequency you desire. CTAF, nearby ATIS, GUARD, Fingers, or some random spin-of-the-dial.

On VATSIM, the CoC (B7) is a bit more restrictive:

Quote
Pilots flying through uncontrolled airspace should set their VHF radio frequency to 122.80 or other designated "Unicom" frequency and monitor until they come under air traffic control coverage.

Thanks for the reply.  In the instructions provided by Ground I was told to fly a heading and altitude that would require adjustment at some point after departure to allow me to fly to my destination.   Ground didn't indicated I was to resume my own navigation in the departure instructions.  Was I to assume that I could adjust my heading and altitude at my discretion after departure?

I did do so after departure, remaining clear of the KSNA airspace.

Danny
Regards,

Danny

Bradley Grafelman

  • Members
  • 71
    • View Profile
Re: Commo Question
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2015, 02:05:41 pm »
Ground didn't indicated I was to resume my own navigation in the departure instructions.  Was I to assume that I could adjust my heading and altitude at my discretion after departure?
And normally they wouldn't have to, because you'd probably be with either John Wayne Tower or John Wayne Advisories until you reach the boundaries of the Class C surface area then released on your merry way. It's not realistic for there to be a ground controller in the cab but no local controller, so this is a type of VATSIMism you have to account for as a pilot.

One way to think of it is having any airspace (even a Class C, B, or A) revert to Class E/G airspace when no VATSIM controller is online that would have been providing ATC services. Thus, the heading and altitude restrictions would end once you enter uncontrolled airspace - this happened pretty much as soon as you started climbing away from the airport surface in your scenario above.
Controller (C1)
Los Angeles ARTCC

Danny Rice

  • Members
  • 7
    • View Profile
Re: Commo Question
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2015, 02:09:08 pm »
Ok.  Sounds good.  I just wanted to ensure I did the correct things, and, it appears I did.

Thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions.

Regards,

Danny
Regards,

Danny