Episode 18: Operations into Shute Harbour and interview with CFI Lee Haskell

If the thought of flying into a busy metropolitan aerodrome is intimidating, you're not alone.

Many pilots avoid flying into places like Bankstown, Moorabbin, Cairns or even Alice Springs for fear of bungling the procedures.

It's common for pilots from regional Australia to lack confidence in dealing with Air Traffic Controllers. Regional and rural pilots may not have a lot of routine flying in and around busy class D or class C airports.

The most important point we’d like to make is that ATC is your friend. They’re here to help you. If you need any assistance whatsoever, use plain English and ask ATC for help.

Even with careful preparation, it's easy to become disoriented or flustered when operating in an unfamiliar territory.

When in doubt, advise ATC with your inbound call that you are 'unfamiliar' and ask for help.

You can also call ATC the day before and tell them you're flying in. Give your callsign and the direction from which you'll be flying. Ask them what instructions you can expect from them for your arrival.

You could ask for a heads-up on which approach points they're likely to nominate. You can then get familiar with where they are on your VTC before you take off.

It is important for all pilots to be familiar with the rules and procedures contained in AIP ENR 1.1 2, 'Operations in Controlled Airspace'.

Resources for operations in and around controlled airspace

You can take advantage of CASA resources to help you understand procedures at class D and C aerodromes around the country.

Stay OnTrack

These booklets help VFR pilots navigate in, out of and around our primary metropolitan aerodromes. Topics covered in the Stay OnTrack guides include:

  • military procedures
  • airspace infringement hotspots
  • ground operations
  • tracking and reporting point images
  • procedures
  • local weather.
Aircraft arriving and parked at an aerodrome
Aircraft arriving and parked at an aerodrome

Pilot Safety Hub

The Pilot Safety Hub is a user-friendly resource for pilots that brings together a range of safety educational tools and resources.

The hub includes webinars, podcasts, videos and events across 4 main safety focus areas:

  • non-controlled aerodromes
  • weather and forecasting
  • fight planning
  • controlled aerodromes.

The controlled aerodromes section has essential tips on:

  • threat and error management
  • runway safety
  • communications with ATC (including readback reminders)
  • controlled airspace tolerances.

The Visual Flight Rules Guide

This guide has a detailed chapter on controlled airspace regulations and procedures, to help pilots prepare, plan and fly safely under visual flight rules (VFR).

Digital or hard copy available through the CASA website.

Posters and wall charts

CASA and Airservices have produced a series of poster-sized wall charts for the use of flying schools around the country.

These charts feature the VTC of the aerodrome, overlaid with tips for:

  • avoiding airspace infringements
  • expected tracks of IFR arrivals and departures
  • location-specific procedures
  • pilot-view images of key Approach Points.
Published date: 18 October 2022
Online version available at: https://www.casa.gov.au//resources-and-education/education-and-training/out-n-back/episode-18-operations-shute-harbour-and-interview-cfi-lee-haskell
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