Pilot Training Workshop: Scenario-based VFR flight planning and communication (part 2)

This workshop covers two VFR flights between Class D airports. The first flight is a scenario from Montgomery Field (KMYF) to Ramona (KRNM) without flight following. The second is a flight from Palomar (KCRQ) to Torrance (KTOA) with flight following with the possibility of transitioning the John Wayne Class C airspace.

Scenario 1: KMYFKRNM

A recording isn’t available for this workshop, but PilotEdge user Mark Hargrove was kind enough to contribute two companion videos to replicate much of the workshop’s content. The following topics were discussed during the workshop, among others:

  • Distinguishing between movement areas and non-movement areas at Montgomery Field, confirmed with satellite imagery. The point was made that you could taxi from some of the hangers to the fuel farm without contacting ATC since the whole operation would take place within a non-movement area (not controlled by ATC)
  • Hot Spots (labelled “HS”) on the MYF Airport Facility Diagram. These are areas with higher probabilities of runway incursions. They have coded identifiers (ie, HS1, HS2, etc) and are fully described in the Airport Facility Directory under the Hot Spots section.
  • Various routes of flights were considered, eventually settled on this one at 3500ft.
  • How to handle the KSEE Delta airspace after departing KMYF from 28L/R (tops out at 2400ft). Worst case, plan to go through, ideally, go above it. If it looks like a transition through it will be needed (slow climb, max gross on hot day in a rental 172 from the Nixon administration), then request early frequency change from Montgomery tower if one is not furnished with ample time to contact KSEE tower for the transition.
  • Transition instructions KSEE tower might issue based on their operations and the type of aircraft operating in their airspace. Assigned headings are unlikely, but “remain [north/south] of [runway number] extended center line” might be a possibility, or an altitude restriction to keep you above the pattern operations.
  • Routing selected to remain east of the Bravo shelves at the selected altitude of 3500. Discussed the visual reference points such as the lake and San Vicente Island.
  • What to do if Ramona tower is allowing you into the airspace. Discussed merits of circling over the lake (watch the lower Bravo shelf to the west, circle right instead), versus heading to the east side of the Ramona Delta, or circling over the airport, above the airspace. Circling over the lake was the recommended approach as it wouldn’t take us off the planned route, and being stuck directly above the airport above the Delta is an awkward place to enter the pattern when the time comes. Best to remain outside the Delta rather than above it.

Scenario 2: KCRQKTOA

The route planning was simple, follow the coast! We covered how to request flight following while on the ground at KCRQ and discussed how some facilities are better equipped to coordinate that than others. In cases where it can’t be coordinated, simply call approach after exiting the KCRQ Class D to request radar service to the destination with the requested altitude. Once the radar service (flight following) is established, we’ve met the communication requirements for the SNA Class C and it ceases to be an issue at that point.