Couple questions

Xcaliber

El Chupacabra
A little while ago, I was flying a 172 out of a class D airport, taking off from rwy 31. I had advised ground that I was going out for a northern departure. Now, I'm used to flying IFR most of the time, in which case, I can generally takeoff and turn on course, unless given other instructions. So taking off VFR, I got to a safe altitude, and proceeded with a right turn to the north. After I did that, tower came on and gave me a lashing about how standard departures from a traffic pattern are either straight out or a 45 turn to the side of the pattern, and that I needed a clearance to turn the other way. I was surprised by this, not because I didn't know what a "standard" departure is, but because I have never heard of needing a clearance before turning when VFR and have never had any problems from controllers by turning on course after takeoff.

The more I thought about it, the less sense it makes. On one hand, most times when you tell a tower which way you're going to depart, they say "north departure approved" or something like that. In this case, he didn't. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt for that. But then I thought about the regs for entering class D, and all you need for that is to establish two way communications. If you get that, you can come in and do whatever the hell you want, except land, until ATC tells you otherwise (I'm not saying that it's a bright idea to just randomly fly everywhere, but you can). So if I'm VFR, have established two way comms, and tower hasn't given me any restrictions on my departure, can I not start a turn in any direction? I'm a CFI, so I feel like i should know this and it's really been bugging me. I should also add that there was no traffic conflict, as, by taking off, I brought the total number of aircraft within 20 miles of the airport to 2.

On another lighthearted note, is "squawk ident" real phraseology? I've heard it in two different movies (Transformers and Pushing Tin, if you're curious), both of which I chalked up to Hollywood just wanting to be cool by using the word "squawk" in a sentance :D. But I just saw Mr. Dough write it in another thread, and that got me curious. I couldn't find it in the pilot/controller glossary, so am I right, or am I the ignorant one?
 

PilotChip

Air Traffic Controller
You probably got the controller on a bad day or at a bad time. Maybe that second a/c wasn't following instructions...

At most places, including mine, all you would do is make a request or statement of intent/affirmation for a right/left: xwind or downwind, straight out, left standard or right standard.

No controller should be overly picky where you actually turn off the downwind or whatever.

PHRASEOLOGY-

IDENT.
OR
SQUAWK (code) AND IDENT.
(JO7110.65S)
 

DeltaAVL

New Member
If he didn't give you instruction to "maintain runway heading" or turn to a particular heading, I don't see that you did anything wrong.
 

Juliet Lima

New Member
That's odd. If I needed a pilot to fly straight ahead or avoid turning a certain way I tell them so. ie "N123, fly runway heading, runway 30L, cleared for takeoff." Short of some sort of instruction to the contrary I believe a VFR aircraft is allowed to turn on course.

I could possibly see a pilot requesting a right downwind departure to the north, then executing a left downwind departure being a problem. But, based on what you've said I think the controller was wrong for that. He needs to issue you a restriction or allow you to fly as requested.
 

polo708

New Member
single runway... left turns are standard. If you are departing the area with a left turn (or straight out) then you can do it without requesting. If you want a right turn then you need to ask.

parallel runways... left turns are standard off the left runway and right turns are standard off the right runway.

Its in the AIM.
 

TripSix

Well-Known Member
A little while ago, I was flying a 172 out of a class D airport, taking off from rwy 31. I had advised ground that I was going out for a northern departure. Now, I'm used to flying IFR most of the time, in which case, I can generally takeoff and turn on course, unless given other instructions. So taking off VFR, I got to a safe altitude, and proceeded with a right turn to the north. After I did that, tower came on and gave me a lashing about how standard departures from a traffic pattern are either straight out or a 45 turn to the side of the pattern, and that I needed a clearance to turn the other way. I was surprised by this, not because I didn't know what a "standard" departure is, but because I have never heard of needing a clearance before turning when VFR and have never had any problems from controllers by turning on course after takeoff.

The more I thought about it, the less sense it makes. On one hand, most times when you tell a tower which way you're going to depart, they say "north departure approved" or something like that. In this case, he didn't. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt for that. But then I thought about the regs for entering class D, and all you need for that is to establish two way communications. If you get that, you can come in and do whatever the hell you want, except land, until ATC tells you otherwise (I'm not saying that it's a bright idea to just randomly fly everywhere, but you can). So if I'm VFR, have established two way comms, and tower hasn't given me any restrictions on my departure, can I not start a turn in any direction? I'm a CFI, so I feel like i should know this and it's really been bugging me. I should also add that there was no traffic conflict, as, by taking off, I brought the total number of aircraft within 20 miles of the airport to 2.

On another lighthearted note, is "squawk ident" real phraseology? I've heard it in two different movies (Transformers and Pushing Tin, if you're curious), both of which I chalked up to Hollywood just wanting to be cool by using the word "squawk" in a sentance :D. But I just saw Mr. Dough write it in another thread, and that got me curious. I couldn't find it in the pilot/controller glossary, so am I right, or am I the ignorant one?
Interesting question. Unless there is something published (and by published I mean in the AF/D, not some flyer stapled to a telephone pole somewhere), or there is a noise abatement procedure, I really don't see what the issue is.

Without knowing the airport it's hard to give an answer either way. I've worked at some airports that had some non-published "local word of mouth" procedures that I absoluetly hated...exactly for this reason: it causes confusion.

Someone stated the procedures for departing, quoting the AIM. That's good info. If a VFR aircraft called me for a north departure off of RWY 31 and I did nothing but clear him/her for takeoff - I'd probably corkscrew through the ceiling if/when they did a nice huge left 310 degree turn off my departure end to get on course. Personally, if I depart a VFR aircraft and I care which way they are going I'll ask. If I need them to do something aside from turn on course, I'll state it. If I don't ask, I don't care - depart, climb, and go on your merry way.

Honestly, I'd call the tower and ask. You've stated you're a CFI and you're trying to make sure you're trying to figure something out - I wish there were more like you =) Could be some local directive, noise abatement, e some NOTAM for a crane/tower that they are trying to keep you away from, could've been a cranky controller. Impossible to say. Give them a call and discuss.
 

gatorbuc99

Well-Known Member
In the absence of a "turnout northbound approved, on course approved", or other departure instruction along with the takeoff clearance, i don't see how your (non-straight ahead/45 degree) turnout is a problem. He should have specified and I don't see why you couldn't make the turnout otherwise...of course you always want to c.y.a. ...if it's busy, i say just verify w/ him the turnout's approved...
 

polo708

New Member
Again, aside from a local directive, left turnouts are standard.. if you want a non-standard right turnout you need to ask.
 

gatorbuc99

Well-Known Member
Not trying to be combative, i'm learning here...if i'm departing VFR southbound off rwy 9, in the absence of depature instruction, i'd be expected to make left hand traffic and turn south via the base leg? I just don't see how that's prudent
 

Juliet Lima

New Member
Not trying to be combative, i'm learning here...if i'm departing VFR southbound off rwy 9, in the absence of depature instruction, i'd be expected to make left hand traffic and turn south via the base leg? I just don't see how that's prudent
no no no. if the controller already knows your intentions, and they omit any type of restriction or approval (and your VFR) then by all means turn RIGHT and proceed southbound. the very worst thing you can do is make a 270 degree left turn to go southbound, crossing back over the runway no less. most controllers, including myself, assume you will make the turn to your heading via the most direct turn. even though left turns are standard it isn't so rigid that when there's an absence of instruction do you only make left turns. with this thinking, their could be a question about direction of turns if you want to go west off of runway 9.

this is just my personal opinion though, so you could be met with different responses by different controllers.
 

TripSix

Well-Known Member
no no no. if the controller already knows your intentions, and they omit any type of restriction or approval (and your VFR) then by all means turn RIGHT and proceed southbound. the very worst thing you can do is make a 270 degree left turn to go southbound, crossing back over the runway no less. most controllers, including myself, assume you will make the turn to your heading via the most direct turn. even though left turns are standard it isn't so rigid that when there's an absence of instruction do you only make left turns. with this thinking, their could be a question about direction of turns if you want to go west off of runway 9.

this is just my personal opinion though, so you could be met with different responses by different controllers.
I agree 100%. Per the FAR, in Class D operations, left turns are standard for arriving aircraft. There is nothing stating left turns are standard for departing aircraft unless it is an airport procedure (check the A/FD) or for noise abatement). Yes, the AIM has a graphic - but the AIM is not regulatory in nature.

I am not aware of anything regulatory in nature that states VFR pilots must make left turns on departure unless otherwise instructed/approved. Something else was going on here, if the guy got chomped on for turning right on departure.

Call the tower and ask. Only the controller in question can give you the explaination you're seeking.
 

braunpilot

What day is it?
I agree 100%. Per the FAR, in Class D operations, left turns are standard for arriving aircraft. There is nothing stating left turns are standard for departing aircraft unless it is an airport procedure (check the A/FD) or for noise abatement). Yes, the AIM has a graphic - but the AIM is not regulatory in nature.

I am not aware of anything regulatory in nature that states VFR pilots must make left turns on departure unless otherwise instructed/approved. Something else was going on here, if the guy got chomped on for turning right on departure.
§ 91.126 Operating on or in the vicinity of an airport in Class G airspace.

(a) General. Unless otherwise authorized or required, each person operating an aircraft on or in the vicinity of an airport in a Class G airspace area must comply with the requirements of this section.
(b) Direction of turns. When approaching to land at an airport without an operating control tower in Class G airspace—
(1) Each pilot of an airplane must make all turns of that airplane to the left unless the airport displays approved light signals or visual markings indicating that turns should be made to the right, in which case the pilot must make all turns to the right; and

§ 91.129 Operations in Class D airspace.

(a) General. Unless otherwise authorized or required by the ATC facility having jurisdiction over the Class D airspace area, each person operating an aircraft in Class D airspace must comply with the applicable provisions of this section. In addition, each person must comply with §§91.126 and 91.127. For the purpose of this section, the primary airport is the airport for which the Class D airspace area is designated. A satellite airport is any other airport within the Class D airspace area.
 

TripSix

Well-Known Member
(b) Direction of turns. When approaching to land at an airport without an operating control tower in Class G airspace—

(1) Each pilot of an airplane must make all turns of that airplane to the left unless the airport displays approved light signals or visual markings indicating that turns should be made to the right, in which case the pilot must make all turns to the right; and
I get that, but (1) under (b) specifically references approaching to land? Same as (1) falls under (f) in 91.129, approaching to land?
 

unclenobby

Well-Known Member
I usually tell them what I want, instead of "departure south", I will say "Right X Wind Dep South" or something like that. If I am staying in the pattern I will ask them if they want left or right turns.
 

polo708

New Member
I am not aware of anything regulatory in nature that states VFR pilots must make left turns on departure unless otherwise instructed/approved. Something else was going on here, if the guy got chomped on for turning right on departure.
Again, he is allowed to turn right he just has to request it at standard airports.
 

gatorbuc99

Well-Known Member
no no no. if the controller already knows your intentions, and they omit any type of restriction or approval (and your VFR) then by all means turn RIGHT and proceed southbound. the very worst thing you can do is make a 270 degree left turn to go southbound, crossing back over the runway no less. most controllers, including myself, assume you will make the turn to your heading via the most direct turn. even though left turns are standard it isn't so rigid that when there's an absence of instruction do you only make left turns. with this thinking, their could be a question about direction of turns if you want to go west off of runway 9.

this is just my personal opinion though, so you could be met with different responses by different controllers.
Thank you, that's what i thought. In the absence of further instructions after the takeoff clearance (which shouldn't happen, but things don't always go by the book of course), i don't see why i shouldn't be able to turn on course after takeoff.
 

Barty

Well-Known Member
I just tell them what direction I'm departing, then make my turn when I am at or above pattern altitude unless I'm told to do something different. I've never had a problem with any controller yet.
 

Maurus

The Great Gazoo
I wish some people could tell the people at AKR what a standard pattern is. I am getting to a point where I can't count the times where I ended up in unintentional formation flight because of the morons that after they are ten feet off the ground turn crosswind then downwind at about 600 ft then climb up to traffic pattern altitude where I am currently. All this happening after calling my downwind leg. A certain tail dragger comes into mind...
 
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