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35 votes
Accepted

At a non-towered airport in the US, what should I do if I hear a medevac flight waiting to take off while I'm turning base?

The most obvious thing to me would be to just talk to them: Medevac 123, this is the Diamond on base for 31, do you need to expedite your departure? If they say no, then just continue and land as ...
Pondlife's user avatar
  • 71.8k
30 votes

Could I issue clearances at a private airstrip without being a controller?

NO! An uncontrolled field is just that - uncontrolled. No pilot will accept a clearance in uncontrolled airspace in the first place. Consider the legal consequences if two aircraft were to collide as ...
60levelchange's user avatar
25 votes

Examples of unmanned airports?

Reasons to leave the airfield unmanned The common reason is the cost of providing services. For a small airfield without commercial activity, it makes sense to have no control tower and no controller. ...
mins's user avatar
  • 74.5k
24 votes

How do airports with no ATC operate?

I will answer this for the regulations and general procedures in the USA as laid out by the FAA, operations may vary elsewhere in the world. AOPA publishes a nice guide on how traffic flow at un-...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
24 votes

Did the last US plane to leave Afghanistan have support from the control tower?

Information about Afganistan airspace is published online at www.afgais.com. Last NOTAM published on OAKX (AFGANISTAN FIR) page reads as follows: (G1264/21 NOTAMN Q) OAKX/QAFAM/IV/NBO/E/000/999/ A) ...
Jpe61's user avatar
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21 votes
Accepted

Could I issue clearances at a private airstrip without being a controller?

In the past when airport owners want to control traffic flow, they file a NOTAM that the airport is closed, and contact xxx at 123456789 for exceptions. Then for the takeoff, the airport manager would ...
mongo's user avatar
  • 17.8k
18 votes

What is the difference between CTAF and the Tower frequency? Why does the Chart Supplement list the same frequency twice?

The same frequency is listed twice because the services provided on that frequency are mutually exclusive. When one service is available, the other cannot be. When the airport has an operational ...
randomhead's user avatar
  • 15.5k
18 votes
Accepted

Is it permissible to walk along a taxiway at an uncontrolled airport to reach airport facilities?

Where you can and can't go on an uncontrolled airport is up to the owner, or the manager, beyond common sense things like not walking on the active runway. In any case, if I was told to park on the ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
13 votes
Accepted

How does one deal with a UNICOM operator directing aircraft like at a towered airport?

You're almost certainly talking about a UNICOM operator, who is just an airport (FBO) employee who gives information to pilots on their request. The FAA's Pilot Handbook says: UNICOM is a ...
Pondlife's user avatar
  • 71.8k
13 votes
Accepted

Is "Conflicting Traffic" any better than "All Traffic?"

I've always considered the CTAF-announcement by itself to imply a request for "please advise". You don't have to say what is clearly implied; it just uses up airtime and risks being ...
abelenky's user avatar
  • 30.7k
12 votes

Is it permissible to walk along a taxiway at an uncontrolled airport to reach airport facilities?

A non-towered airport has no movement area, despite any pavement markings or signs you may see. Ditto for a towered airport when the tower is closed. It’s quite common at small airports for taxiways ...
StephenS's user avatar
  • 27.7k
11 votes

Examples of unmanned airports?

Small private airstrips are typically “unmanned”. Many small municipally owned airports are “unmanned”. These small airports often have no lighting. Many do have lighting and it makes sense to have an ...
Mike Sowsun's user avatar
  • 37.8k
10 votes

What should you do when the pattern is crowded?

As PIC if you don't feel comfortable entering congested airspace at a beehive airport, dont enter it. It's that simple. Divert to another airfield and attempt to return to the original airfield when ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
  • 73.9k
10 votes
Accepted

Which frequency to contact when arriving at a Class C airport when the tower is open, and which frequency when it is closed?

It was my understanding that when the airport is in towered operation, we contact the control tower (CTAF) as we do in a lot of class D airspaces. You have the wrong understanding. At a Class D ...
randomhead's user avatar
  • 15.5k
9 votes

How do airports with no ATC operate?

Dave's answer is good. I would like to provide a shorter and simpler answer here without references to external sources. First, the radio. Get on the radio, and tell everybody three things: Who you ...
kevin's user avatar
  • 39.7k
9 votes

Could I issue clearances at a private airstrip without being a controller?

Without a control tower, the field would be "uncontrolled" in the eyes of the FAA, so no, you couldn't issue clearances per se. The FAA would probably take a dim view of an untrained individual ...
Ralph J's user avatar
  • 51.8k
9 votes

While flying having trouble estimating how far I am from Airport

My GPS tells me the distance. Otherwise, my experience says: 15 miles (and about 3,000 AGL) is where I'm not entirely sure I have the airport picked out. 10 miles is where I can see the airport, ...
abelenky's user avatar
  • 30.7k
9 votes

What should I do if I lose situational awareness while in the pattern?

It is the advice of the FAA that you should be looking out the window quite a bit when VFR in the pattern. According to this AC related to traffic patterns: Collision Avoidance. The pilot in ...
Dave's user avatar
  • 101k
8 votes

What should I do if I lose situational awareness while in the pattern?

If you are confused somehow about your situation over an airport, and there are other aircraft around, head for empty sky away from the airport beyond the pattern/circuit and get reoriented. By empty ...
John K's user avatar
  • 132k
8 votes

Why do so many airports have the same CTAF frequency?

The CTAF frequencies 122.7, 122.8 and 122.9 are called MULTICOM because they are deliberately not specific to one airport. These frequencies are holdovers from the days of 100kHz radios, when we didn’...
StephenS's user avatar
  • 27.7k
7 votes
Accepted

Are taxiways numbered in a predictable order?

Not at all - they'll be built-up in a logical fashion in so much as they're not just randomly assigned but there's no standard beyond the use of letters to denote taxiways and numbers to denote holds. ...
Dan's user avatar
  • 9,308
7 votes

Examples of unmanned airports?

The more correct term here is an 'untowered' airport. As others have mentioned, untowered airports are by far the majority of all airports, with tens of thousands of them in the U.S. alone. Untowered ...
reirab's user avatar
  • 19.5k
6 votes

What class airspace is depicted in the magenta colored area southeast of the Lake Havasu City, Arizona AIrport?

By the legend, that should be "Class E Airspace with floor 700 ft. above surface that laterally abuts 1200ft or higher Class E Airspace"
abelenky's user avatar
  • 30.7k
6 votes

Should landing on a runway that has been closed by NOTAM be a violation of the FARs?

There's no specific rule against it, so whether it should be a violation is a matter of opinion. FWIW, AOPA's legal counsel believes it isn't a violation per se, but the FAA has still pursued action ...
Pondlife's user avatar
  • 71.8k
6 votes
Accepted

Is it legal for a pilot to takeoff/land at an non-towered airport if the pilot controlled runway lights are inoperative?

In VFR conditions, no there is no restriction against landing in an airport where runway edge lighting or other airport lighting is not lit at night. That being said, without any visual references, ...
Romeo_4808N's user avatar
  • 73.9k
5 votes

What is the "one-in one-out" FAA rule for IFR traffic landing or departing at an airport without a tower or at an airport with a closed tower?

Several sections of the AIM give guidance on this. It is explicitly stated that only one aircraft at a time is given a departure clearance. It is implied that there would be no approach clearances ...
JScarry's user avatar
  • 7,464
5 votes

How can I find out if the government paid to build a runway?

The FAA gives funds to airports through the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and that could include runway improvements. It's public money so the information is also public and should be in the Excel ...
Pondlife's user avatar
  • 71.8k
5 votes

Do you need clearance from ATC to switch to a different approach at non-towered airport?

In the Center environment, at a non-towered airport, if you're cleared for a specific approach, that's what is being protected, including circling, and the missed approach. There is no provision for a ...
atc_ceedee's user avatar
  • 1,522

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