Contacting an MF/FSS

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Illya Kuryakin
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Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by Illya Kuryakin » Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:34 pm

I admit to not being that bright, but.
The way I read the CARS, an aircraft flying IFR is required to contact the FSS guys on the MF, PRIOR to commencing an approach.
An aircraft operating VFR is required to contact the FSS on the MF five minutes PRIOR to entering the zone?
My question is.....why does almost everybody call 40-60 miles out to announce their impending arrival to FSS (who knows they're coming, and even gives them as traffic) thereby interrupting all communications between FSS and aircraft in the zone, or manoeuvring on their ramp.
I always wait for the hand off from centre, of just before starting an approach to contact FSS.
Am I wrong?
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by 7ECA » Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:32 pm

Just for shits and giggles, call up a random sampling of TC offices over a few different provinces, and ask to speak to an inspector. See how many different answers you can get, and then try and take an average of said answers. Surely you can't be wrong then, right? :rolleyes:

Seems like you are generally alright these days, right up until someone gets bent out of shape and reports you...
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by up on one » Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:46 pm

How I read it is at least 5 minutes prior and when you're grounding 300+ that's around the 40-60nm range
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by Donald » Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:08 pm

up on one wrote:How I read it is at least 5 minutes prior and when you're grounding 300+ that's around the 40-60nm range
300 kts = 5 miles per minute, or 25 back for the call

Calling 40 back means you should be grounding 480 kts

Calling 60 back means you should be grounding 720 kts
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by up on one » Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:14 pm

40nm/300nm=.1333*60=8
60nm/300nm=.2*60=12

So try the math again?
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by up on one » Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:35 pm

Nevermind I see what you did there. What I am saying is I make the call prior to 5 minutes and sometimes depending on how busy it gets that could be around 8-10 minutes prior or 40-50 dme.
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by Donald » Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:33 pm

Illya Kuryakin wrote:I always wait for the hand off from centre, of just before starting an approach to contact FSS.

This technique can, and has, resulted in pilots getting violated. In my neck of the woods, after one company successfully defended themselves, Center will advise pilots to contact FSS prior to the approach clearance just to meet the legal requirement.
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by Illya Kuryakin » Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:25 pm

Donald wrote:
Illya Kuryakin wrote:I always wait for the hand off from centre, of just before starting an approach to contact FSS.

This technique can, and has, resulted in pilots getting violated. In my neck of the woods, after one company successfully defended themselves, Center will advise pilots to contact FSS prior to the approach clearance just to meet the legal requirement.
I've been doing this for a long time. I have NEVER had centre advise me to contact FSS prior to clearing us for an approach. Ever.
I will continue to contact them 5 minutes prior VFR and prior to commencing an approach when IFR.
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by AOW » Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:59 am

Illya Kuryakin wrote: I've been doing this for a long time. I have NEVER had centre advise me to contact FSS prior to clearing us for an approach. Ever.
I will continue to contact them 5 minutes prior VFR and prior to commencing an approach when IFR.
Illya
I too have never heard Winnipeg Centre advise it, but I have heard Toronto Centre many times remind myself and others to "don't forget your mandatory calls".

I am surprised that nobody has quoted the CARs reference yet, so here we go:
CARs 602.104 wrote:602.104 (1) This section applies to persons operating IFR aircraft when approaching or landing at an uncontrolled aerodrome, whether or not the aerodrome lies within an MF area.

(2) The pilot-in-command of an IFR aircraft who intends to conduct an approach to or a landing at an uncontrolled aerodrome shall report

(a) the pilot-in-command’s intentions regarding the operation of the aircraft

(i) five minutes before the estimated time of commencing the approach procedure, stating the estimated time of landing,

(ii) when commencing a circling manoeuvre, and

(iii) as soon as practicable after initiating a missed approach procedure; and

(b) the aircraft’s position

(i) when passing the fix outbound, where the pilot-in-command intends to conduct a procedure turn or, if no procedure turn is intended, when the aircraft first intercepts the final approach course,

(ii) when passing the final approach fix or three minutes before the estimated time of landing where no final approach fix exists, and

(iii) on final approach.
and so VFR doesn't feel left out:
CARs 602.101 wrote:602.101 The pilot-in-command of a VFR aircraft arriving at an uncontrolled aerodrome that lies within an MF area shall report

(a) before entering the MF area and, where circumstances permit, shall do so at least five minutes before entering the area, giving the aircraft’s position, altitude and estimated time of landing and the pilot-in-command’s arrival procedure intentions;

(b) when joining the aerodrome traffic circuit, giving the aircraft’s position in the circuit;

(c) when on the downwind leg, if applicable;

(d) when on final approach; and

(e) when clear of the surface on which the aircraft has landed.
So if you're shooting an approach from the 10 mile fix, roughly straight in from your inbound course, you need to call at least 5 minutes before crossing that fix. If you cover 25 miles in 5 minutes, that is about 35 miles back from the field. I usually make the call a little earlier, if there's a good moment, just in case things start getting busy 5 minutes out; or if I hear the man from U.N.C.L.E. on the radio, I will do it extra early just because I know it will piss him off, and let's face it, there are few things more entertaining than watching LG go red in the face.
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by Illya Kuryakin » Thu Aug 25, 2016 3:24 pm

The gloves are off now! The MAN from U.N.C.L.E. will start making long and painfully slow recaps of his adventures, including estimated "wheels down" time, number of "nautical miles" at this time, currently back, and on which frequency he may be contacted for updates....you're for it now! LOL
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by Maynard » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:57 am

Illya Kuryakin wrote:
Donald wrote:
Illya Kuryakin wrote:I always wait for the hand off from centre, of just before starting an approach to contact FSS.

This technique can, and has, resulted in pilots getting violated. In my neck of the woods, after one company successfully defended themselves, Center will advise pilots to contact FSS prior to the approach clearance just to meet the legal requirement.
I've been doing this for a long time. I have NEVER had centre advise me to contact FSS prior to clearing us for an approach. Ever.
I will continue to contact them 5 minutes prior VFR and prior to commencing an approach when IFR.
Illya
Do.....er Illya start flying on the other side of the big lake. Flying into YSB,YYB,YTS, they always tell you when you check in "Atis is at B, don't forget your calls". Also I don't speak for everyone, but at 15 minutes out, we get the Wx, call our counter to get loads for next leg, and then call Radio. Sometimes your not cleared the approach/handed over until your intercepting the ILS. If you didn't call certain places (YSB) before you were handed over, you'd most likely have a talking to. Also most of the FSS guys/gals always end in "thanks for the heads up." Yes they know we are coming, but knowing our plan when we get there probably helps with their planning for other IFR and VFR traffic. You continue your way, we (jv) will continue ours. :D
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by PropToFeather » Tue Aug 30, 2016 11:32 am

If it's a relatively quiet MF (ie: YPL, YMO), sure, I could see doing the bare minimum calls. My thinking is that doing the bare minimum at a busy MF (ie: YXL, YTS) isn't a great idea, since, if you're waiting till 5.01 until calling, there's usually a good chance that at 5.20 someone with a minute-long conversation with FSS will chime in. And, if the FSS is having a bad day, there could be your violation, unless you're going to hold until you're talking to them to continue inbound. It's just easier to call 10-12 min out!
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by CpnCrunch » Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:01 am

Maynard wrote:Flying into YSB,YYB,YTS
Those are all in (class E) controlled airspace, so the above CAR doesn't apply (it specifically says "in uncontrolled airspace").

As I understand it, if the FSS+MF is in controlled airspace, you just need to talk to them when you're handed over (which will be before entering their CZ). It might obviously make sense to call earlier if it's a sunny day with lots of traffic so you can fit yourself into the traffic flow, but isn't required by law.
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by AuxBatOn » Wed Aug 31, 2016 7:04 am

CpnCrunch wrote:
Maynard wrote:Flying into YSB,YYB,YTS
Those are all in (class E) controlled airspace, so the above CAR doesn't apply (it specifically says "in uncontrolled airspace").

As I understand it, if the FSS+MF is in controlled airspace, you just need to talk to them when you're handed over (which will be before entering their CZ). It might obviously make sense to call earlier if it's a sunny day with lots of traffic so you can fit yourself into the traffic flow, but isn't required by law.
CpnCrunch wrote:
Maynard wrote:Flying into YSB,YYB,YTS
Those are all in (class E) controlled airspace, so the above CAR doesn't apply (it specifically says "in uncontrolled airspace").

As I understand it, if the FSS+MF is in controlled airspace, you just need to talk to them when you're handed over (which will be before entering their CZ). It might obviously make sense to call earlier if it's a sunny day with lots of traffic so you can fit yourself into the traffic flow, but isn't required by law.
CARs say Uncontrolled Aerodrome. Different from Uncontrolled Airspace. Any class E CZ is controlled airspace but uncontrolled aerodrome...
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by Braun » Wed Aug 31, 2016 8:32 am

AuxBatOn wrote:
CpnCrunch wrote:
Maynard wrote:Flying into YSB,YYB,YTS
Those are all in (class E) controlled airspace, so the above CAR doesn't apply (it specifically says "in uncontrolled airspace").

As I understand it, if the FSS+MF is in controlled airspace, you just need to talk to them when you're handed over (which will be before entering their CZ). It might obviously make sense to call earlier if it's a sunny day with lots of traffic so you can fit yourself into the traffic flow, but isn't required by law.
CpnCrunch wrote:
Maynard wrote:Flying into YSB,YYB,YTS
Those are all in (class E) controlled airspace, so the above CAR doesn't apply (it specifically says "in uncontrolled airspace").

As I understand it, if the FSS+MF is in controlled airspace, you just need to talk to them when you're handed over (which will be before entering their CZ). It might obviously make sense to call earlier if it's a sunny day with lots of traffic so you can fit yourself into the traffic flow, but isn't required by law.
CARs say Uncontrolled Aerodrome. Different from Uncontrolled Airspace. Any class E CZ is controlled airspace but uncontrolled aerodrome...
That concept is very hard for a lot of people to understand for some reason.
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by CpnCrunch » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:43 am

AuxBatOn wrote: CARs say Uncontrolled Aerodrome. Different from Uncontrolled Airspace. Any class E CZ is controlled airspace but uncontrolled aerodrome...
Thanks, I've just re-read the CARS, and you're right.

It does, however, seem to be standard practice at many MF FSS airports to not call them until handed over, and every single IFR instructor/examiner that I've come across expects/teaches you to *not* call the FSS before handover. (I do hear FSS sometimes report IFR traffic just outside the circuit who "haven't contacted us yet", but they never seem to get told off for it).
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by A346Dude » Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:10 pm

Can any FSS chime in on this? My understanding is they get a point out from the Center on all inbound IFRs with the ETA and planned approach, well before the handoff. So I don't understand what purpose a call from the pilot would serve.
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by Saxub » Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:36 pm

Illya Kuryakin wrote:I admit to not being that bright, but.
The way I read the CARS, an aircraft flying IFR is required to contact the FSS guys on the MF, PRIOR to commencing an approach.
An aircraft operating VFR is required to contact the FSS on the MF five minutes PRIOR to entering the zone?
My question is.....why does almost everybody call 40-60 miles out to announce their impending arrival to FSS (who knows they're coming, and even gives them as traffic) thereby interrupting all communications between FSS and aircraft in the zone, or manoeuvring on their ramp.
I always wait for the hand off from centre, of just before starting an approach to contact FSS.
Am I wrong?
Illya
I give a call 15 minutes out from landing when IFR, a quick "we're here, we're coming in X min, talk to you in the switch." As for VFR... some days I call 15 out, some days I call 10 out.. it depends on my mood.
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by Saxub » Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:39 pm

Illya Kuryakin wrote: I always wait for the hand off from centre, of just before starting an approach to contact FSS.


Well next time Kenora yells at you if you don't call 5 min prior to commencing the approach because center hands you off after already crossing the t-fix, we'll see if your opinion changes.
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by AuxBatOn » Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:41 pm

I know people that got their IFR ticket suspended for not doing the 5 mins calls. Save yourself some heartache and give them a quick call 5 minutes before the approach. It doesn't really cost you anything, it keeps everybody happy but more importantly, keeps everybody informed on your intentions.
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by Saxub » Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:46 pm

AuxBatOn wrote:I know people that got their IFR ticket suspended for not doing the 5 mins calls. Save yourself some heartache and give them a quick call 5 minutes before the approach. It doesn't really cost you anything, it keeps everybody happy but more importantly, keeps everybody informed on your intentions.

Agreed. Honestly, I've never had a problem getting a call in. I guess when you wait to call at 5 minutes and you can't get a word in you get frustrated like Illya. But if you have the habit to call a bit earlier and get delayed, then if there's some pilot who likes the sound of their voice a little too much you won't be pushing the clock and life is good.
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by Illya Kuryakin » Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:56 pm

Okay, so I guess my real question is WHY?
Every FSS knows you're inbound. They have a strip on you. They even give you as traffic to other aircraft, even BEFORE you inform them of your presence. So why is this "warning, I'm inbound, hide the women and children" call even a requirement?
I suspect this came from some space dork in Ottawa to justify his existence.
Seriously. WTF? It's silly. Adds nothing to safety and ties up frequencies.
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by Saxub » Thu Sep 01, 2016 2:23 pm

I don't ask questions. They ask it to be done this way, so that's the way I do it. Does it not makes sense? To a point. But there are many things to get frustrated over in aviation and I'd say this ranks pretty low on the ladder.
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by AuxBatOn » Thu Sep 01, 2016 3:58 pm

Illya Kuryakin wrote:Okay, so I guess my real question is WHY?
Every FSS knows you're inbound. They have a strip on you. They even give you as traffic to other aircraft, even BEFORE you inform them of your presence. So why is this "warning, I'm inbound, hide the women and children" call even a requirement?
I suspect this came from some space dork in Ottawa to justify his existence.
Seriously. WTF? It's silly. Adds nothing to safety and ties up frequencies.
Illya

Knowing you are inbound is only a single piece of information they need. They also need the approach you'll fly, the transition and the runway you plan on using. 5 mins ahead is not unreasonable to give a heads up to local traffic so they can start adapting their pattern for your approach.

Seriously, get over yourself.
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Re: Contacting an MF/FSS

Post by Donald » Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:31 pm

Illya Kuryakin wrote:Okay, so I guess my real question is WHY?

I'll take a stab at it......Cranbrook?
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