View Full Version : Say who I am? Or keep quiet...?
24th Jul 2002, 13:24
I spend quite a bit of my time meandering around at a fairly low level (1500ft) around East Anglia, either en-route somewhere or just joyriding. Often work Wattisham (Great service!), sometimes Cambridge, though just an FIS from them is probably more useful to them to know I'm around that for me.
Question is, If I'm passing close to (say) Stanstead, and under airspace which comes down to 1500ft, I'm often aware that I'll be a blip on the radar which is apparently crossing their approach track. I don't have Mode C. I know the area like the back of my hand, so I don't need RIS, and FIS from Stanstead probably won't give me much. So, is my 'blip' crossing their path at unknown altitude going to give someone the willies, and if so is it better to call up and tell 'em I'm below 1500ft then go away again, or will you guys manage to figure that our for yourselves?
24th Jul 2002, 14:27
I can only speak for the London Control Zone... if you absolutely promise to stay outside we're not interested but the moment you cross that dotted line and you're not talking to anyone you become a "wildy" and we start getting all excited.. and if we find you, you end up in front of the Beak. I'm not a pilot but would have thought it good airmanship to communicate with an ATC Unit whose airspace you were going to be getting close to, especially if you're crossing a final approach?
24th Jul 2002, 16:21
You - and many others, transit beneath these areas low level. If you're just squawking 7000 ATC are allowed to 'deem' you to be outside CAS unless your behaviour or any other indications suggest otherwise. So - no need to speak, so long as you stay below.
24th Jul 2002, 22:45
To change the subject just slightly in my favour (face still blushing from the Wattisham compliment !!). As a radar controller working outside CAS I tend to like to know about anything that's bimbling through my area of cover, It makes life a whole lot easier when I'm providing a RIS or (heaven forbid !!) a RAS to my own traffic. I try to actively encourage anyone transiting around Wattisham to give us a call, can't promise anything other than a FIS but at least I get to know what that 7000 with no Mode C is doing and you get to know about any fast and pointy's heading your way (not that I get that many of those !!)
Having said that, I can't imagine Stansted want to know about everything flying around their area below CAS and I'm sure they would have completely different opinions as to whether you call them or not.
25th Jul 2002, 16:32
Thanks for the replies, guys.
Hmmm... pretty much as I thought it would be. One reply that says "If you're squawking 7000 we'll assume you're not IN our airspace" (unless you WANT to be in front of the beak ;-) , and one that says "I'd rather KNOW who you are/ what height etc.".
Once again, common sense, and the situation of the day dictates what one should do and I have no problem with that. Just thought I'd ask how it looks like from "the other side".
Don't be embarrassed. I always get a good service from Wattisham. (I'm the R44 that breezed through your overhead yesterday afternoon at 1500ft). Thanks for the hand-off to Lakeheath too. (If you guys are ever open for a visit, I'd be interested - Hint!)
25th Jul 2002, 21:07
Two different replies because of two different types of airspace. You stipulated under CAS in your original post, hence you got the answer for that.
However, as Bob said, If you're in an area of Class 'G' which can be busy (both Bob and I work in similar environments) then by all means call. It helps turn the unknown traffic environment into a semi-known one.
25th Jul 2002, 21:44
Well, yes, I kind of see your point. I can see that there's a significant difference between the two airspaces I cited as examples that I often fly near. Granted that Wattisham's traffic is more often out 'n' about in the surrounding area outside the MATZ, and likely to be interested in me so I always call for RIS if I can. (I heard the Wattisham controller telling another aircraft - the SAR, I think - about me at 'unknown altitude' before I got a chance to make my initial call).
I still feel, though, that a 'blip' like me crossing Stanstead's approach track would make me uneasy if I were a controller and I'd prefer to *know* that the pilot really was *under* the CAS, and not blissfully straying into places they shouldn't.
Probably looks very different from the other side of that screen....