Welcome to PhantomPilots.com

Sign up for a weekly email of the latest drone news & information

Communicate with tower

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Idbird, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. Idbird

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    1
  2. crash1sttime

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2014
    Messages:
    928
    Likes Received:
    74
    Location:
    Manchester UK
    seems the link is dead
     
  3. Idbird

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2014
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    1
    Works now. :oops:
     
  4. Suwaneeguy

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2014
    Messages:
    701
    Likes Received:
    22
    content not available.

    I've always been a little puzzled over just what our role as quad pilots is in this matter.
    After all, these guidelines were written at a time when RCM helo's of any type were rare.
    The guidelines that do exist only say we are to contact ATC.
    How do we do this properly?
    I'm flying in a park that is a mile away from a small regional airport. The park is surrounded by trees and is not in the immediate flight path of the airport. So it is highly unlikely my little toy is ever going to encroach on their airspace.
    And those big birds certainly are not going to be in mine.

    So I look in the phone book and can not find any number to call for the tower.
    What do I do now? Who am I supposed to contact exactly?

    I just feel that if the FAA really wants us to follow their guidelines to the letter, then they need to be more precise.
    Would it be a good idea for the FAA to have a list of contact numbers for each and every airport?
    In today's technically minded world, that should be rather easy to do and perhaps make it into an app.
    Just plug in the designator for the airport in question, get a list of numbers and press call.

    What if the airport has no tower?
    Once we do make contact, what do we tell them?
    "I'm going to be flying my quad copter at the city park for the next hour."
    What are they required to do?

    Perhaps a bit on the comical side.....
    "Hi there McClarren tower. I'm gonna be flying my little quad over the Vegas strip for the next hour at about a hundred feet or so. Would you mind advising your jumbo jets not to be doing the same. Thanks for the cooperation."

    Instead of being the big bad schoolyard bullies, the FAA should approach our hobby as being the teacher.
     
  5. SilentAV8R

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    943
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Orange County, CA - USA
    No question that the FAA needs to clarify the Section 336 notification requirement.

    Here's the requirement again:

    So it is either the tower, or the airport operator, depending on the type of airport (tower -vs- non-tower).

    My rule of thumb is to base the decision to contact them on the type of flying that I am planning on doing and how far away I am.

    If I'm 4.9 miles out and plan on being below tree top hight the whole time, probably not going to notify them. Under the traffic pattern or on the approach/departure paths and above the trees/buildings by more than a few feet, probably going to contact them. I use the rule of thumb is to apply common sense, even if the FAA does not.

    You can get the tower/operator contact numbers off several sources. I like to use AirNav:

    https://www.airnav.com/

    Here's an uncontrolled airport in my area:

    https://www.airnav.com/airport/KAJO

    Contact info for the airport manager is on the bottom.

    Here's a controlled airport in my area:

    https://www.airnav.com/airport/KSNA

    Another source is the FAA Airport and Facilities Directory:

    https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/flight_ ... ucts/dafd/

    Here's an example of what that can tell you

    http://aeronav.faa.gov/afd/13NOV2014/sw ... OV2014.pdf
     
  6. Happyflyer

    Joined:
    May 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,805
    Likes Received:
    98
    Location:
    Cold, Cold, Michigan
    The airnav dot com sure has a TON of info.
    Thanks, SilentAV8R
    I bookmarked that site.
     
  7. justin00

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    Messages:
    1,143
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Australia
    Im curious to hear if you folks who fly very very close to airports are pilots yourselves ??

    I had a PPL briefly... and when I am landing (and this 100000% more the case/true when I was a student pilot) if I see something flying or wierd lights below/above/in/on/whatever the tree line for example, I just adds so much extra stress and work load to the task of landing.

    I imagine those who aren't pilots will say "oh you must suck at flying then" but no....... that's not quite the case.

    I just don't understand why some people have to fly so close to airports... if its your local park, drive for an extra 10 minutes ?
     
  8. justin00

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2014
    Messages:
    1,143
    Likes Received:
    25
    Location:
    Australia
    and btw you really don't want to have to go down the path of having to file a flight plan when you want to go down to your local park :/
     
  9. SilentAV8R

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Messages:
    943
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    Orange County, CA - USA
    There is no requirement or mechanism to file a flight plan, thank God!! First off, you need an "N" number, which is something you REALLY do not want to have to get!! :twisted:
     
  10. SteveMann

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,977
    Likes Received:
    653
    Location:
    Westford, MA
    Goodwill Industries is a half mile from the local international airport and they asked me for some aerial shots. I called the tower and told them what I wanted to do and where I would be and how long I would be there. Their only concern was to call back if my plans changed.