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Standard/Non-standard altitudes in cross country VFR flying

Peter wrote:

I looks like, in the UK, where Class D is a totally strict clearance and a Radar Control Service, they separate everybody.

“Separation” in the ATC sense means something very specific. ATC is always responsible for avoiding collisions so even in class D they would issue clearances too keep VFR and IFR apart even if they are not separated in the formal sense.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Airborne_Again wrote:

ATC is always responsible for avoiding collisions

My understanding is that they are not. The purpose and meaning of the “very specific meaning of separation” is for/how ATC to/is be able to take responsibility for collision avoidance. Anywhere separation is not provided, responsibility is not with ATC, although they do provide (more or less, depending on country, habits, workload, etc) advice and help to avoid collisions, e.g. traffic information.

Last Edited by lionel at 20 Aug 10:42
ELLX

Well, I did once traffic circuits at Paderborn in their Class D CTR together with an Boeing 737 and the Tower said, we have to separate ourselves from each other. The one who first joined base got the first touch&go clearance.

ATC wouldn’t let us crash of course if we came to close, but it wasn’t necessary to say anything. I was in the right pattern, the B737 in the left and used the entire CTR, while I just needed a standard pattern for a C172. This was quite a good example how class D works: Only IFR-IFR is separated and IFR-VFR and VFR-VFR get’s traffic information. After the first pattern, the B737 from Lufthansa continued VFR as well. Never experienced a B737 flying VFR before, but it was quite fun to do traffic patterns together and hearing the Tower say “Lufthansa XYZ, IFR canceled, Squawk VFR”.

Last Edited by Frans at 20 Aug 10:45
EDKM, EDLA, Germany

I would like to see Lufthansa’s SOP :)

ESME, ESMS

lionel wrote:

My understanding is that they are not. The purpose and meaning of the “very specific meaning of separation” is for/how ATC to/is be able to take responsibility for collision avoidance

It is a highly theoretical point, any ATC will not let you fly anywhere near IFR when you are VFR in class D in clear VMC unless you confirm visual contact, then it is your responsibility

Actually, they may even clear your way when weather is iffy but still VFR…

ESSEX, United Kingdom

I have been cleared for approach as number 2 behind large jets in class C many times. They simply say own separation. You don’t want to get anywhere near behind a large jet.

ESME, ESMS

Dimme wrote:

I have been cleared for approach as number 2 behind large jets in class C many times

Cleared for “route” or “behind”?
I don’t think you get the former without confirming visual contact…

ESSEX, United Kingdom

“Cleared for approach behind XXX as number 2 own separation caution wake turbulence”.

Of course after confirming visual contact.

ESME, ESMS

Peter wrote:

they separate everybody

I think they also rely on you when you are VFR. For instance, when transiting an airport with IFR arrivals (example here with Gatwick, southbound) – They will ask for you to remain north of the north terminal (and often even speficy the runway, just in case you cockup and don’t know where the terminal is), but will issue a crossing clearance (cross behind) immediately after you say you are visual with whoever is landing / on final.
The separation is then maintained by you and not by the controller.

Exactly. I crossed the Frankfurt CTR now a few times, and had to vector each time by myself behind landing or starting airliners. The Tower gave me only traffic information and told me “caution wake turbulence, report in sight”. In Düsseldorf however, the Tower gave me vectors for the entire CTR crossing. Both are class D airspaces, like all CTRs in Germany.

EDKM, EDLA, Germany
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