Ep. 45: Departing Class C Airport | Radio ATC Communications

Ep. 45: Departing Class C Airport | Radio ATC Communications

Hi, I’m Jon from fly8MA.com, and I’ll be your
flight instructor today, taking you from the Sarasota International Class Charlie airport
down to the Venice airport which is a Class G, or pilot-controlled airport, about 20 miles
south of here. We’re going to go ahead and get the ATC, call
up clearance delivery, talk to ground control, and eventually talk to the tower, and then
go ahead and talk to departure after we depart the airport and get VFR following back to
Venice. First things first, let’s go ahead and pull
up our taxiway diagram and frequencies on our cellphone here, or tablet. If you have paper charts that works great
too. And so we’re right here at Dolphin off of
taxiway Alpha at Sarasota International. We’re going to go ahead and get the ATC for
Sarasota International. That’s 124.375. We’ll go ahead and write down this information–
everything that’s pertinent to us. Alright, we have information Alpha, we have
our altimeter set, all that information written down on our tablet here, or basically our
cellphone, you could use your tablet, cellphone to write down or copy down that information,
or you could just go ahead and use a pen and paper, that works great too. So information Alpha– that’s important that
we have that. Now we’re going to go ahead and call up Clearance
Delivery and remember, we heard clearance delivery combined on Ground Control 121.9. So, those are all combined on the same frequency. Ground Control and Clearance Delivery on 121.9. Someone is getting their clearance right now,
we’ll wait for that to finish up there. He’s going to go ahead and read it back. So what we’re going to go ahead and do is
call up Clearance Delivery, basically Ground, and we’ll say “Sarasota Ground,” who we’re
calling, who we are, “Cherokee 9907W,” where we are, “at Dolphin with Alpha,” and what
we want to do, “We want to go VFR to Venice at 1,600 feet. We’ll go ahead and make that call and then
they’ll have a clearance for us. “Sarasota Ground, Cherokee 9907W, at Dolphin
with Alpha, VFR to Venice at 1600.” “Cherokee 9907W, Sarasota Ground, after departure,
fly out of runway 240, maintain VFR at or below 1600, after departure frequency is 119.65,
Squawker 0122.” “On departure fly heading 240, maintain VFR
at or below 1600, Tampa Departure on 119.65, 0122 in the box, 07W.” “07W, Readback correct,
Roger to taxi.” We completed our checklist, we’re ready to
taxi so we can go ahead and let them know that we’re ready to taxi and then we’ll get
our taxi clearance. Make sure you got your diagram ready. We’re in
a non-movement area. We could taxi all of the way up to the taxiway
before calling and still move around here without a clearance, but we want to stay where
we are until we get our clearance, and then taxi out to the taxi way.” “Sarasota Ground, 07W is ready to taxi.” “9907W, Sarasota Ground, the current wind
is 010 to 10 gust 114 except runway 32, 5050 feet available. “07W would like a full length on 32.” “07W Roger, Runway 32 full-length taxi via
Alpha, Hold short of Runway 4.” “Runway 32 full length, taxi via Alpha, hold
short of 4, 07W.” And so we were told to taxi via Alpha here,
all the way, full length to runway 32. Why didn’t we take the other departure, that’s
5000 feet, that’s better than what we normally fly out of. We normally fly out of 3000 foot strips and
5000 foot strips, and he said that we have over 5000 feet available. 5500 and change.” “07W Change of plans, we’ve got an opposite
direction coming in runway 14, runway 04, taxi via Alpha Delta.” “Runway 04, taxi via Alpha Delta, 07W.” Alright, he just changed our plans, now he’s
sending us to runway 04. And runway 04 is shorter, it’s only 5000 feet
or so, but why do we want a full length? Because we want to stack the deck in our favor. We don’t want to set ourselves up for failure
when we could just taxi a little further and have all that extra runway in front of us. What if we had an engine failure shortly after
takeoff? Wouldn’t you rather have some runway in front
of you to land on, rather than take that intersection departure and end up in the trees at the end
of the runwsay? Set yourself up for success, and stack the
deck in your favor. Do everything you possibly can do, that’s
in your control, to control it and set it up for a successful flight. Put in a little bit more time, a litle bit
more effort, go the extra mile, and make sure you’re not going to have a problem. So as we come up here, we’re turning right
on Delta as he instructed us. If we were unsure we could stop, as for progressive
taxi instructions, we could check our taxiway diagram, it’s okay to stop when you’re taxiing,
and check your diagram. You don’t want to stop for 10 minutes, but
it’s okay to stop and double check yourself rather than making a wrong turn and having
a runway incursion or cutting off another aircraft. Alright, so as we come down the taxiway here,
we’re veering off to the right, and then we’re going to angle ourselves off to the left. We don’t really have the option of turning
our aircraft into the wind to do a run-up today, but we can turn our aircraft slightly
so that our prop wash does not hit all the other airplanes behind us, should there be
anyone else lined up behind us waiting for departure. We also make sure we get out of the way of
that guy’s prop wash, so he’s not going to hit us with his. We’re going to go ahead and complete our run-up
checklist. Make sure all of our before takeoff checklist
is completed, and then we’ll go ahead and program our frequencies– we can do that now
actually. 120.1 for our tower frequency, and 119.65
for our departure frequency, so that’s all configured and all set up ready to go for
us right now. We’ve got 120.1 for the tower, 119.65 ready
to go on takeoff, all we’ve got to do is hit this flip-flop key right there and we’ll be
all set. We’re squawked in the right code, 240 on departure
and we’re going to go ahead and complete our run-up and before-takeoff checklist. We’ve double checked everything, we’re all
set, we’ve got one airplane in front of us, so we’re going to go ahead and call up the
tower, let them know we’re ready for departure on runway 4, in sequence. So there’s one aircraft in front of us. We could sneak past them, but let’s not risk
it, we’re not going to try to taxi past them. “Sarasota Tower, Cherokee 9907W, Ready for
departure, Runway 04, in sequence.” “Cherokee9907W, Sarasota Tower, Roger, are
you number 2 with the Skyhawk ahead of you?” “07W Affirmed.” “07W Roger.” And so we let her know that we’re ready to
go so as soon as she can get that Skyhawk out, we’ll be ready to go right behind them,
and we don’t want to wait here forever. Obviously, we need good separation between
aircraft, but the meter’s running, it’s costing us money, so we’d really like to get out of
here sooner rather than later. As we sit here and we’ve got time to waste,
we’re just going to run through our checklist again, make sure we didn’t miss anything. Stack the deck in our favor. Would you rather sit here and do nothing,
or would you rather pull out a checklist and make sure you did everything very thoroughly
and perfectly, and not have an issue on take off, like leaving your fuel pump off or having
the flaps not set to the proper indication, not having your trim set where you want it,
having a door unlatched at the top. Run through it again, take your time, make
use of the time you’ve got to sit here and twiddle your thumbs. Oh and by the way, welcome to a Class Charlie
airport. It’s going to cost you a lot just to taxi
and take off. And if you think that’s a lot, wait until
you come into land and it takes you 15 minutes of getting vectored around to land here. Soon you will appreciate the value of pilot-controlled
airports, where we control the airspace ourselves, and we make it work out a lot better than
Air Traffic Controllers do. We can see this Skyhawk in front of us is
actually doing a run-up now, and they must be a student, they’re taking an extra long
time to finish up, so we can go ahead and call up, and let them know that we can squeeze
by, and get out in front of them if they have a spot available for us to take off. “Sarasota Tower, Cherokee9907W, We do have
room to squeeze by that Skyhawk if you can fit us out.” “Cherokee07W, hold short, on runway 04.” “Holding short, runway 04, 07W.” So, we always read back hold short clearances
even though we’re already holding short ar runway 4 we always read back “hold short runway
4,” just to confirm that we are holding short. That’s really to accentuate runway incursion
avoidance. Special emphasis there on your private pilot
checkride and commercial pilot checkride, and any checkride. Special emphasis there: runway incursion avoidance. How are you going to avoid it? One of those ways is to read back hold short
instructions. “Cherokee 07W, Runway 04, Line up and wait.” “Line up and wait, runway 04, 07W.” Alright, so we’re going to squeeze by this
Skyhawk here. He’s a high wing and we’re a low wing. We could come over here and our wings could
go underneath each other, and we want to be very careful doing this– hand on the brake
ready to stop if we need to. And we’re clear. We’re going to go ahead and line up and wait
on runway 04. That’s our clearance. Taxi out, line up and wait. You’re lining up and waiting for a takeoff
clearance. You’re not clear to take off. And we’re going to go ahead and taxi all the
way to the back here. We’re using all available runway, we’re stacking
the deck in our favor. We want all the available runway in front
of us. “07W Traffic on the upwind departure and making
right close traffic, turn left heading 240, runway 04, clear for takeoff.” “Clear for takeoff left heading 240, 07W.” Alright, we’re clear for takeoff, everything
checked, let’s apply full power here. Everything’s in the green, applying full power. We’ve got our crosswind correction in there,
airspeed’s alive looking good, look down that runway, controlling direction with runway
input, going ahead and easing back our rotation speed. We’re flying, lowering the nose for 85 VOI,
clear all our obstacles, and we’re going to go ahead and retract our flaps once we hit
at least 200 feet– 200 feet or better until we can retract flaps. Looking for traffic here, we’re going to lower
our nose a little bit, we could make a little S-turns left and right. Coming up on 500 feet here, we’re going to
go ahead and make our left turn 240. And we’re not touching our flaps just yet. We’ve got our fuel pump on. “07W Flying 240, contact Tampa departure.” “240, over to Tampa departure, 07W.” Alright, we’re wings level, we’re going over
to departure. We’re going to go ahead and set our flaps
to zero, we can go ahead and get rid of our fuel pump at this point. We’re at 1000 feet. And we’re climbing for 1600 on a 240 heading.And
I’ll try to get a word in edgewise here. Checking for traffic. “Tampa departure, Cherokee 9907W, leaving
1,400 for 1,600.” “Number 9907W, Tampa departure, ride in for
me.” “07W.” Alright, leveling off at 1600. That was the altitude restriction that was
given to us on our clearance before we took off. “Number 9907W, radar contact a mile west of
the Sarasota airport, you’re just headed to Venice today?” “That’s affirmative, 07W.” “Number 9907W can turn left on course for
Venice, maintain 1600, I’ll have lower for you shortly.” “Left on course to Venice, maintain 1600,
07W.” And he said he would lower us shortly. We’re turning on course to Venice, “lower
for us shortly” simply means he’s going to have a lower altitude assigned to us shortly,
but he must have some kind of traffic passing below us that he wants to keep us above. So as we’re cruising along here, we have our
landing light turned on. That is another special emphasis area: collision
avoidance technique, or collision avoidance procedures. What are you going to do to avoid a collision
mid-air? Leave your landing light on for the whole
flight. That’s a good answer. As a renter, more than likely you don’t pay
for that light bulb even turned on. Constantly scanning the sky for collision
avoidance. Looking around us, scanning in ten-degree
sections with our eyes, looking for any relative movement in our peripherals. And as we’re flying along here to Venice there
are a couple different things we can do to get over to the Venice CTAF and get ready
to approach, and our flight frequency. We could request, simply, to have a frequency
change. We could just let them know that we have the
Venice airport in sight and that may cue them up to say, “alright, squawk VFR frequency
change approved, see you later.” And that would allow us to put in 1200 in
our squawk code, and change our frequency over to Venice AWOL so we could get the Venice
weather, and then switch over, after we have the weather, to the Venice CTAF. If our radios permitted– if we had the right
kind of radios– we could monitor the Venice CTAF as we fly out here. “07W, VFR descent approved, use discretion,
advise do you have the Venice airport in sight?” “VFR descent approved, my discretion, will
advise the Venice airport in sight, 07W.” And so we’re going to go ahead and descend
down over the water here. VFR descent is approved at our discretion,
and we will advise the Venice airport in sight. And we can go ahead and report that we have
the Venice airport in sight. “Looking for traffic, 07W, we have the Venice
airport in sight.” And so normally he would hand us off at that
point, but because there is traffic that could be a factor for us. He’s going to go ahead and hold onto us for
a little bit longer, just as a courtesy, keeping us advised of that traffic that we don’t see. He said 1 o’clock, 2 miles at 2000 feet, so
slightly above us. We’re looking for that traffic. Still, don’t have them. “9907W, traffic east of you, radar services
are terminated, squawk VFR, the frequency change is approved.” “Radar services terminated, squawk VFR, frequency
change approved, 07W.” We’ll go ahead and get the AWOL so we’re at
Venice now. We’ll also program in 1200 for our squawk
code, so we’re squawking VFR, we’re flying visually, VFR visual flight rules, we’ve got
the Venice CTAF dialed in there, we’ll go ahead and dial the Venice AWOL. Unfortunately today it’s out of service, and
we can’t get the weather, so we plan to fly the field at 1500 feet, 500 feet above traffic
pattern altitude. Look down for the windsock, identify what
it’s doing, maybe talk to the airplanes in the pattern, see what runway they’re using,
and then go ahead and enter the traffic pattern for that. We’ll go ahead and monitor the CTAF from here
on out. And so, the rest of the way into Venice here,
we’re going to go ahead and fly down the coast overfly the field 500 feet above traffic pattern
altitude at 1500, look down, figure out what the windsock’s doing. It looks like it’s going to favor Runway 23
here. And then we’re going to go ahead and depart
the traffic pattern, wrap back around and enter the traffic pattern at left downwind,
and a 45-degree angle, and then go ahead and make our full stop landing. This is what it ultimately looks like. Thanks so much for watching. Leave your questions in the comments below. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and
like this video. Also, check us out on Patreon. That’s how we actually fund all of these videos
here. Thanks so much for watching guys. Hope you fly safe and fly every day. If you can’t fly every day, and if you don’t
fly every day then fly8MA.com. See you all next time.


  1. Post

    Excellent videos! Glad I found you. I'm an 85hr pilot that isn't current, but will be after the summer. It's great to watch quality videos like this that really lay everything out for the viewer in an easy to follow manner. It keeps me mentally sharp and prepared to re-enter the cockpit.

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    StevieD and AshleyC

    When you were getting clearance, I noticed you didn't cold call, which I was taught to do. Should I just call up clearance and tell them what I want without a cold call?

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    Capt. Caveman

    Doesn't apply. If you were too fat, or tall, you'd have a valid point. Getting a better shot from your GoPro isn't. Good luck to you.

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    ClarkRobbinsVanTilBahnsen ClarkVanTil

    I have a class D question. Can you request flight following from ground or do you have to wait to go airborne and call center?

    I departed KECP recently and tower gave me the freq for center to get flight following. I'm just curious.

    Thanks for sharing the video!


  13. Post

    Flew out by myself yesterday for the first time at a class c airspace. Trying to get back took so long because of the traffic. It was a nice challenge though.

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    Thanks so much. My 14 y/o son has started flight instruction at 48X, which is where I fly from as well. That said, I'm out of currency and, now that my son is on fire I figure it's time to get back in the saddle as well. He's flown sim all over the area, but this video is exactly what he (and I) need at this time. Great refresher and yeah, Tampa Approach can be quite busy. Thanks very much; you're an excellent instructor.

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    Aj Ch

    excellent video for the newcomers I really appreciate you putting on a very good clear instructions on how to land and tuning to the VOR and take off so thank you

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    Mack R.

    What does the CRAFT acronym stand for? And for VFR flight can you request what elevation you fly at? How does that work?

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    Hi John, Really enjoy your videos! I have a question, if I may? The weather report was wind from 020 at 10 gusting to 17. ATC assigned runway 32 I realize ATC switched you to runway 04. The question is at what point would you have requested runway 04 in order to have a more true upwind take off? Thanks again!

  24. Post
    Bruce The Curmudgeon

    Wait, stack EVERYTHING in your favor for a flight, RIGHT? And you fly right seat and do not use your shoulder harness…..GOT IT. Do as I say….not as I do. Bad things will never happen to me I am a FAA licensed CFI and by God I know it all and you are a mere mortal.

  25. Post
    Kenny Howell

    Good job and great subject. That being said I do wish more YouTube CFI's would teach proper/ more professional communication nomenclature by not encouraging words like ( in the box or here's your flash) I know it sounds cool but it's just not the right thing to teach and there have been miss communications by doing so. I have occasion to speak with controllers on a regular basses and they say it dose not give them the sense that the pilot is a professional; they say the airline pilots never us it.. CHEERS

  26. Post
    Jake Burkhalter

    Decent video except for the part where you said you can control airspace much better than controllers can at 8:30. Feel free to swing by any facility and give it a shot after you learn the endless rules we have to know in the 7110.65, 13-204v1-3, etc etc etc. That's how you get stuck in holding patterns for a while lol.

  27. Post
    Gordon Dean

    After 5000+ hours and 9 ratings I find that talking a bit slower gets the best results.  And a question:  Why is the transponder called "the box" and a radio, which is the same size and shape is not referred to as a "box"….

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    Salomon Beraha

    Excellent teaching, I enjoyed the video it will better my skills. I look forward to watching more.. I subscribed.. thanks..

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    Salomon Beraha

    For the 85 year old man who wants to go back on cockpit , please let me know where you fly from , just to look for traffic..

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    jake gleason

    I enjoyed both arrival and departure video's you did. I fly in SC but mostly class G airspace. I have retired and desire to begin going places and using class C airspace. To get comfortable with all of the procedures, watching and listening to everything you say helps a lot. I will probably ask a friend CFI to go with me one time just to have his advice and backup!

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    Kev F

    you were doing great until you said you could control the airport better than air traffic controllers. There's a Class C because its usually much busier than that airport without a control tower. Thus the controllers. Fly into Winter Haven on a gorgeous Saturday morning and let me know how that works out for you controlling the airport. Otherwise good job on the videos.

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    roy Yung

    Dude, in order for people to inderstand you better, slow tour speech, its not a race. Its better to be understood than to guess. You know may know what you want to say, but the listener has to clearly understand what you are saying.
    In addition refrain from saying "in the box" as that's not the preferred communication.
    Remember to veryify altimeter and compass once you are on runway to male note of any discrepancies. Setting the altimeter to field elevation once you are on the runway will give you any corrections u need to make enroute.
    Otherwise, nice video!

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    Flight sim ZM

    The clarity of sound is amazing. How are you connecting your microphone to the camera (I assume it’s a go pro)

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    Matt Adams

    So pretty much same procedures as a delta then? Other than clearance delivery on take off I see no real difference. I fly out of a delta just wanted to see the similarities and differences.

  44. Post

    awesome video, thanks for sharing, however I'd love to get your feedback on this as soon as u can.when travelling to an airport that I'm not familiar with, and I put in the ATIS frequency to get the necessary information regarding that specific airport how can I know where exactly a certain runway is?

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    Dale Church

    You said that it cost to land and takeoff from a controlled airport. How much does it cost and ho2 do they charge you?

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    Dana MacLeod

    Nice video thank you for posting. I am a fairly new pilot who has completed pretty much all of my flying / training at non controlled airports so the video was a nice refresher from when I covered this in ground school.

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    John Anderson

    Great video as always. You state that the fbo/dolphin ramp “is a non-movement area” and the current afid states that only the terminal ramp is uncontrolled. As a student, my guess is that the pavement markings on the fbo ramp is what you saw to know that you could have taxied up to the taxiway before getting clearance to taxi. Is that correct? I know that the video is older than the current afid so maybe previous versions state that both the fbo and terminal ramps were uncontrolled. Finally, is it common that the afid will not state if the fbo ramp is uncontrolled and as a result it on the GA pilots to recognize the non-movement area markings and not rely on the afid for whether an fbo ramp is controlled. Thx.

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    Arghh! Please do not say "in the box". After all, ATC doesn't say to you "clear to brush your tires with terra firma" instead of "clear to land". PLEASE…use standard phraseology. It's not cool to use silly pet phrases.

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    micah lynn

    Just wanted to say thanks! This helped me a lot during my PPL a few years ago and now I’m working on my CPL, it still is refreshing. Your style of teaching is superb, especially how you simplify processes to make them easier to understand!

  59. Post

    I wish I had a class c within local training flight distance. If I want tower practice I must choose between a couple very low volume class Ds while avoiding the class B shelves. My base is a medium size class G.

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    Doulos of Christ Jesus

    John please slow down lol, I have to skip several of your videos for speaking too fast…thanks

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    hey Jon, thanks for taking the time to make these videos, greatly appreciated. however I'm currently training for the instrument rating , do you have any videos that teaches IFR Communications?

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    G S

    I really enjoy the videos and flying adventures. I've been a subscriber going way back to my
    student pilot days..(last summer 🙂 I earned my wings now but have
    always had a question about flying thru Class C airspace. My question:
    I take off at a Class G airport and fly VFR towards my destination
    class G airport which is on the opposite side of a class C. I contact
    approach and they give me a squawk code. I then pass thru the Class C
    enroute to my destination airport which less than five miles outside the
    class C boundry. When I get close to my airport but still in Class C
    airspace and I want to switch over to my destination airport's CTAF. Do I
    first need to contact approach or do I just switch my transponder to
    1200 and switch my radio to the CTAF and then land? Or do I contact
    approach first?

  66. Post
    G S

    I really learn a lot from your videos and have been a subscriber going way back to my
    student pilot days..(last summer 🙂 I earned my wings now but have
    always had a question about flying thru Class C airspace. My question:
    I take off at a Class G airport and fly VFR towards by destination
    class G airport which is on the opposite side of the class C. I contact
    approach and they give me a squawk code. I then pass thru the Class C
    enroute to my destination airport which less than five miles outside the
    class C boundry. When I get close to my airport but still in Class C
    airspace and I want to switch over the my destination airports CTAF Do I
    first need to contact approach or do I just switch my transponder to
    1200 and switch my radio to the CTAF and then land? Or do I contact
    approach first?

  67. Post
    G S

    I really learn a lot from your videos and have been a subscriber going way back to my
    student pilot days..(last summer 🙂 I earned my wings now but have
    always had a question about flying thru Class C airspace. My question:
    I take off at a Class G airport and fly VFR towards by destination
    class G airport which is on the opposite side of the class C. I contact
    approach and they give me a squawk code. I then pass thru the Class C
    enroute to my destination airport which less than five miles outside the
    class C boundry. When I get close to my airport but still in Class C
    airspace and I want to switch over the my destination airports CTAF Do I
    first need to contact approach or do I just switch my transponder to
    1200 and switch my radio to the CTAF and then land? Or do I contact
    approach first?

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