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Flying near airports

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Gary "Gator" Hill, Jan 4, 2016.

  1. Gary "Gator" Hill

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    We all know the five mile rule, however there is a caveat that allows flight in this airspace. It states contacting the airport control tower to notify them where and altitude and such. Has anyone done this?and can the tower refuse as long as there is no flight risk? I don't mean flying in or around runways and approaches, but still within the five mile radius. Before it gets out of hand, yes this is for commercial reasons and yes we have done the 333 exemption. Just trying to arm ourselves with the facts, no conjecture please.
     
  2. RoyVa

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    I don't know if the end result is worth the risk of even trying. All you can do is call the tower and see. And yes, they can refuse your request. Good luck!
     
  3. Mark The Droner

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    My understanding is that if you're a hobby pilot, once you advise the control tower of your flight plan, you're fine. Maybe the rules are different for commercial use.
     
  4. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    A) The rules for commercial operations are very different. You have to have a Letter of Agreement with the airport prior to the flight and also you still need to notify.

    B) The tower CAN refuse the flight for a hobbyist IF it creates any problems in terms of safety. In reality they shouldn't refuse unless it really does create a problem but there are many cases where it was refused flat out without any reasons other than "We don't allow that." Hopefully with the new "Instructional Memos" that have gone out from the FAA to all airport facilities this will not be the case.

    At the end of the day the hobbyist just "notifies" but be mindful if you're refused and you go anyway you're opening a can of worms that might be very expensive in the long haul.
     
  5. Gary "Gator" Hill

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    Thanks for the input...... Trying to find ones way through these murky waters is cumbersome at best
     
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  6. jdoe

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    Hi Gary,

    I used to fly frequently as a private pilot, and in my experience, the guys and gals in the tower have always been very helpful, but it's going to depend a lot on how busy the airport is. Personally, I wouldn't even try to contact a class B airport (big time commercial airports like Chicago O'Hare or Atlanta Hartsfield). That said, most smaller airports are regional airports that are class D. Those tower operators are usually quite friendly and willing and able to help you if you just call up the tower (again, apply some common sense and try not to bug them during peak times). Just be sure to have at the ready the duration, altitude and direction from the airport that you wish to fly. You can use this website to search for contact numbers of your local airports:

    AOPA Airports is an online database of thousands of public- and private-use airports. Airport listings include airport diagrams, fuel prices, and more.
     
  7. jdoe

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    Hey! I just noticed you're going by Gary "Gator" Hill, any chance that's University of Florida Gators? If so and you're still up that way, I did all of my training at Gainesville Regional (KGNV), and I know for certain those tower operators are excellent and will gladly help you out.
     
  8. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    Wait until you try to coordinate a flight near a hospital with a heliport but the medi-vac heli isn't stationed at this hospital. I've got hours invested in getting this one under control :)
     
  9. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Moderator
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    I've always found it interesting... how does one fly a UAS (hobby or commercial) in Cass-Bravo airspace? The FARs require a transponder and 2-way radio.

    For those wondering we sometimes called Class-B "Busy" airports. These are the ones with the most congestion and craziest patterns known to man. You've not really lived until you've hand your hand at flying into Class-Bravo in a small plane. Talk about bottom of the food chain and small fish in a big pond. I'm puckered up just talking about it LOL!
     
  10. tcope

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    I've flown about 3 miles from an airport. I obtained the number to the tower and called. They asked me to call when I started to fly and when I stopped. When I called they asked where I'd be flying, the altitude and for how long. I gave them this information, flew and then called when I was done. VERY easy.
     
  11. RasterEyes

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    I'm almost positive the simple answer is you do not ever fly a UAS through bravo airspace! :) wasn't genre a UAS spotted near a big bravo last week??


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app
     
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  12. RocketBrew

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  13. jdoe

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    Yeah, I don't believe you'd be allowed to fly in any class Bravo space. Bravo is shaped like an upside-down wedding cake though, and the inner-ring is usually MSL to 70000, but the subsequent ring usually starts at around 1500 ft. I can't remember now if the inner-ring is a fixed distance, but if it's not, it's conceivable that there could be a case where you are closer than 5nm from the airport, but still not in class Bravo space as long as you're following the 400ft limit. This would be only example where you might consider calling up the tower, but as I said in my original post, I'd highly advise against it.
     
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  14. Gary "Gator" Hill

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    Really appreciate the input,most of these flights would be in Savannah/Hilton Head area. Both of which I'm sure would be classed as regional also thanks for the link.
     
  15. Gary "Gator" Hill

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    The name gator isn't related to the Florida Gators,lol though I do get that often,and living in Bulldawg country makes for a lot stares.
     
  16. Gary "Gator" Hill

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    Thanks again for coming out and giving input, happy and safe flying everyonr
     
  17. Gary "Gator" Hill

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    I hope that will be our experience as well
     
  18. normr

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    There is a great free iOS app called Hover that first tells you if it's safe to fly, wind speed and direction and other stuff, plus it shows your location on a map with the airports shown with their 5 mile radius and if you touch the colored radius of the airport,nit shows you the name of the airport and the phone number to call to report


    Sent from my iPad using PhantomPilots mobile app