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I'm looking for a communication pattern to depart and arrive an uncontrolled airport within class D airspace VFR. One example can be F69 which is within KADS. This case looks even trickier because this airspace is right under class B. It seems to me it is possible to go under class B especially if going east. Would it be recommended considering how busy class B can be or it is actually a viable option to go from F69 into class D and then class B? It would be great if somebody could post links to videos. I'd like to know exactly what to tell and what to expect in reply for both cases departing and arriving.

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I fly out of Addison, McKinney, Mesquite, Denton, Rockwall, Sulphur Springs and Aero Country a lot. I am also friends with the A&P located at Airpark. If you would like a safety pilot who knows the local area, maybe we can hook up.

A few things to remember when operating out of airpark:

  • The runway is barely maintained. But, it is not perfectly smooth. Treat it like a soft field.
  • When taxiing anywhere besides the runway, you will be taxiing on turf. Protect your nose wheel.
  • In the daytime watch out for chickens.
  • At night, beware of coyotes.
  • Do not park, walk, or stand under the concrete bikini hangars. They are off-limits due to instability and collapse.
  • The windsock is in disrepair. Do not trust it. Look for other nearby flags and smoke from local bbq restaurants.
  • The runway has non-standard markings
  • The runway is a lot shorter than you think due to displaced thresholds at both ends due to buildings, fences, and trees.
  • Make all of your radio calls on the CTAF while taxiing. Make a few CTAF radio calls while in the pattern and right before taking the runway for takeoff. All of your other radio calls will be on Addison or Fort Worth frequencies. There is very little traffic at Airpark (1-2 aircraft a day). All of the other traffic in the area will be on Addison or Fort Worth frequencies.
  • The runway is aligned with the runway at Addison. You will be on a very similar final and departure leg.
  • Addison is only 3 miles away. You can almost see the Airpark area from the Addison Tower.
  • Because of Addison Tower’s Proximity to Airpark, contacting them as soon as practicable means as soon as you start the engine.
  • Addison Tower does not like hearing from pilots directly as an initial radio call. They prefer pilots to contact Ground first and get transferred to them via a frequency change. At Airpark, it would be best to get Clearance Delivery and/or flight following first through Fort Worth Approach. Then, contact Addison Tower.
  • Inbound to the Addison Class D, you are required to listen to the ATIS first. There will be a frequency given over ATIS to contact Fort Worth Approach. You must contact Fort Worth Approach before contacting Addison Tower. Period! Trust me when I say Addison Tower will not like it if they are your first point of contact.
  • Addison is an extremely busy Class D. It caters to jet and turboprop business aviation. If it did not have DFW and Love Field about 10 miles away, it would probably be a Class C or at least a TRSA.
  • There can be as much as a 15 minute and sometimes up to an hour wait in the run-up area for clearance to takeoff. And, they will sometimes utilize a line up and wait clearance. This can affect your takeoff clearance at Airpark.
  • Good visual reference points for Airpark are the Dallas North Tollway and the President George Bush Tollway. Airpark is located in their Northwest corner.
  • The Airpark area is extremely congested. Climb out to a safe altitude as soon as possible. If you have an engine out upon takeoff you have very few options. None of them good. To the North, you have a green space on the East side of the Dallas North Tollway. To the South, you have Addison Airport.
  • Do not contact the Airpark airport owner, operator, or manager listed as points of contact. They are anti-aviation real estate developers who bought the land as an investment. They will try to steer you clear of Airpark as much as possible. Their acquisition of Airpark is very similar to Meigs Field in Chicago. They bulldozed the operating FBO and fueling area. But, it took a court order to keep them from bulldozing the runway.
  • Most pilots choose to go North and East to practice maneuvers, to practice instrument approaches, and to beat up the traffic pattern at other airports.
  • If you have at least a private pilot certificate, do not worry or be intimidated by the Class B. If you are flying to, from, through, or above the Addison airspace, you will need to be in two-way communication with ATC anyway. Just ask for clearance through the Bravo.
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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for this detailed answer, I'm impressed with the number on nuances about F69. I'm lucky I got an answer from somebody that familiar with the area. All that makes me to rethink my initial intensions. Event though F69 is the closes to my ground target, I might better consider other destination like T31 further from all complexities. $\endgroup$ – Alex K Jun 20 at 21:07
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexK - In which cardinal direction is your ground target? There are better choices for transient traffic than Aero Country. No offense to Aero Country. They are very well maintained. But both them and Airpark are residential, live-in airfield communities. You may be better off at a full service facility like McKinney (KTKI). The city owned and run FBO has crew cars, rental cars, a pilot lounge with a theatre, shower, full kitchen (upstairs), flight planning room, and free ice cream in the summer. It was voted #1 FBO in the country. Plus, it’s close to downtown McKinney. And, there’s KADS. $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Jun 20 at 21:52
  • $\begingroup$ After your description of the traffic at KADS I simply assumed that the situation at KTKI will be similar and named another non-towered airport at the area but if you recommend KTKI I believe it will work, it is not much further. The actual ground target is just about 3 may be 4 miles west of KADS, so location-wise it is the best but my reasoning is this, instead of waiting for 15 or 60 minutes for clearance to take off I better use a smaller airport further away and spend less time than that on the ground to get where I need to. $\endgroup$ – Alex K Jun 20 at 23:15
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexK - TKI does not have nearly as much traffic as ADS. ADS’s traffic can be summed up in the name of its leading FBO, Millionaire. TKI is much more laid back, catering to student as well as corporate traffic. Plus, it is near the start of a major SW tollway. There is no need to contact approach inbound to TKI unless you are IFR. It sits comfortably under the very edge of the Bravo. There are plenty of open fields N & E for emergencies. And, T31 to its W. You can get nearly immediate takeoff clearances at TKI. At its busiest, you may wait 15 minutes. Visit Hutchins BBQ while you are there. $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Jun 21 at 2:44
  • $\begingroup$ Another option is Mesquite (KHQZ). They are close to IH635. It is a major East-West thoroughfare. Denton is near IH35E, the main North-South freeway. They have good crew cars as well. $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Jun 21 at 2:44
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There should be no reason or need to enter the bravo.

I would listen to KADS ATIS to determine winds and direction of landing, then simply give tower a call and tell them you are inbound to F69.

For a specific example: “Addison tower, Skyhawk N123Y 10 miles northeast, information Bravo, inbound for Air Park (F69).” They will probably come back and ask you to report entering 45 for the downwind leg or something.

For additional preflight planning assurance, give tower a call on the land line and ask about any local procedures for F69. They are sure to give you a better answer than I can!

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  • $\begingroup$ Generally, any entry into the Addison Class D would be by radar vectors. You have to contact Fort Worth approach prior to contacting Addison Tower. The ATIS will direct you to do so. Approach usually gets you lined up with final before handing you off to Tower with a freq change. During slow times, approach may hand you off early. If so, Tower May let you go directly into the Airpark traffic pattern. But, it is very rare to find a slow period in daytime VFR in Addison. Night landings at Airpark are sketchy at best. They are very similar to night soft field landings. $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Jun 20 at 20:53
  • $\begingroup$ There are some really excellent answers and comments here from people with first hand knowledge of this specific airport. Very helpful to the OP. But, the question was a general one, using this airport as an example, and generally speaking radar vectors aren't needed to get to a secondary airfield in Class D under VFR. $\endgroup$ – Michael Hall Jun 20 at 22:14
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    $\begingroup$ Granted, that is true of most Class D under the shelf of a Class B. Even the other airports under the DFW Class B don’t have to do this. Addison is a very special situation due to its particular traffic. Though, any pilot approaching an uncontrolled airport this close to the surface area of a Bravo would benefit from local knowledge. As far as the DFW Bravo, in conversations with local TRACON, they would prefer all traffic (VFR included) to be on flight following or at least speaking to them when within the lateral boundaries of the Bravo’s outer ring. There’s no reason not to talk to approach $\endgroup$ – Dean F. Jun 20 at 22:50
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If you are departing an uncontrolled airport within the surface area of a controlled airport, then you are required to contact the latter airport's control tower as soon as practical.

In the particular case of F69 and ADS, since the former is almost directly under the instrument approach path to the latter, you will also want to turn east (i.e. away from the approach) as soon as practical when the winds are from the south, which is the prevailing direction.

Note that this doesn't remove your obligation to make CTAF calls at F69, and be very wary of inbound aircraft not switching from ADS tower to F69 CTAF until short final. Transmit early and often, and once you enter the runway, do not dilly-dally there.

Once you're off the ground, inform ADS tower "Addison Tower, N12345, off Airpark, VFR eastbound." They will probably give you a local squawk code in return. Depending on how busy they are, they may be able to set up Flight Following, or they may tell you to request it from Departure.

When returning, ADS requires you to contact Approach first for sequencing. They will switch you to Addison tower; include "landing Airpark" in your check-in call as a reminder, and they will switch you to CTAF on final. Beware of aircraft already on the runway (because they didn't know you were coming) and be prepared to go around if needed—and as soon as practical, switch back to Addison tower for resequencing.

Working both frequencies at the same time may seem safer, but don't attempt it single-pilot unless you're absolutely sure it won't distract you during a critical phase of flight. It's not worth potentially forgetting to put your gear down or under/overrunning the runway because you came in too slow/fast.

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