Once again, these are simply a few points of reference for future flight operations and are not intended to be all-inclusive.
We had a usual mixture of IFR and VFR traffic tonight, but had some helicopter operations for most of evening doing stop and go's in left traffic 29.
Here are some points:
Related to helicopter airport operations:
- Traffic pattern altitude for helicopters at KSBP (and most airports) is 500' AGL (700' MSL). You may recall that the pattern altitude for light aircraft traffic is 1,000' AGL (1,200' MSL at KSBP), and 1,500' AGL (1,700' MSL for KSBP) for multi-engine and turbine aircraft. If you can picture it, you'll see how each aircraft pattern is "stacked" to help reduce conflicts.
- Stop and go's are permitted if traffic allows. In times where traffic is too high, clearance for stop and go's can be issued for landings on taxiway Alpha in front of the tower (as long as you won't fly over taxiing aircraft) or other "sites" along the taxiway.
VFR ops notes:
- A few words about flight plans. One of you guys filed a VFR flight plan (much appreciated!) prior to the flight. However note that in the real world, the term "flight plan" refers to several different things. First, there's the flight plan used for your own navigation. Everyone not flying to or from the close proximity of KSBP should have a flight plan. The second flight plan is an IFR flight plan that you file with Flight Service. These indicate your routing and are used to obtain/provide IFR clearances. The third type is a VFR flight plan. While these are also filed with Flight Service, they're not automatically sent to ARTCC, so when you contact ARTCC (LA Center for example), they have no idea what your routing or intentions are (even though in our flights we do know where you're going and basically what you want if you sent us a flight plan). Which leads us to our next point.
- VFR Flight Following is a radar service provided by ARTCC or other radar equipped ATC facility when their workload allows (IFR is given priority). When you first contact ARTCC for VFR Flight Following, you need to provide your callsign, position, and request. Vectors are usually not provided to VFR operations other than for traffic avoidance or to assist a lost pilot. We're happy to provide VFR vectors, but thought everyone should know it doesn't follow real world operations.
- When you're receiving flight following, you must never leave/change the frequency without first canceling flight following or requesting a frequency change first.
- ATIS - When first contacting ground control to taxi to the active, or the tower for landing, you should always include the current ATIS information identifier. Because we're only providing ATIS for KSBP, you can use any ATIS ID for other airports.
- Please remember to use your callsigns when making radio calls.
- One flight filed a flight plan that routed from KPRB to MQO to KSBP. If you look at a sectional, this flight path (V113) crosses the departure end of RWY 29 and actually crosses the instrument approach extension (Class E airspace at 700' AGL). If you're high altitude, this isn't much of a problem, however, at lower altitudes, you should avoid crossing the arrival and departure ends of the airport for obvious reasons. It's always best to cross from one side to the other side of an airport directly overhead at a higher altitude of at least 1,000' higher than the highest pattern altitudes.
IFR ops notes:
- You can obtain a pop-up clearance to fly GPS direct. However, GPS usually assumes that you have the ability to navigate yourself (e.g. you won't require vectors). With this type of clearance, you'll receive an IFR clearance, so be prepared to read it back. Also, ATC will usually assume you'll want the full ILS unless you request otherwise.
Other general points:
- Once again, we had an aircraft leave "some debris" on the runway. Everyone was prepared for the go-arounds. One aircraft was instructed to turn to heading 290, over fly the airport at 1,700' and re-enter for right traffic 29 to give the self-destructed aircraft time to depart the active runway. There was some question as to when the aircraft could begin the re-entry for right traffic. If you're on a straight in for the active runway, you'll just continue to fly a normal pattern. However, in this instance, the aircraft was told to fly a heading that would parallel the runway because another aircraft was on final and was told to go around (effectively flying the upwind). In this situation, the aircraft flying the heading can re-enter right traffic once the issued criterions are met (the aircraft is over the airport AND at the cleared altitude). But as always, if there's ever any question about what you're cleared to do, the pilot did the right thing and asked for clarification.
- We still have SKBP scenery for VPC Crew to download. Search the Forums in the Crew Area and you'll find it.
Until next flight!
-= VPC OffLine Reader 2.1 =-
Registered to: Ben Chiu