Bvfr Around El Paso?

bob44zw

Junior Member
Apr 5, 2011
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Planning a no-transponder flight west. Radio is a hand-held, and I am assuming it works. Is it still possible to fly right along the border at El Paso? Big chart shows class Charlie to the ground for about three miles.
 
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Stinger

Epic Member
May 24, 2009
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Yeah it's easy. I'd be shocked if they even cared about a phone call in advance.
Although you may want to check your handheld radio to be sure it works.
 

BeaconSlash

Trusted Member
Aug 19, 2011
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I'm not sure the advice above was exactly positive guidance given your plan.

If you plan on flying through or above Class C without a transponder, you'll need a waiver from ELP ATCT/TRACON.

There's no veil around a Class C, the transponder requirement is in FAR 91.215 (as is the requirements for waivers).

I wouldn't expect it to be an issue at all, just want to make sure you're straight on the reg requirements. They might have advice on exactly how to overfly the airport. You don't want to be skirting the border in the C while ELP is departing 22 (very common), as you're likened to get a 737 to T-Bone you, and no transponder for you means no TCAS RA for the other guy.
 

Stinger

Epic Member
May 24, 2009
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The number of times I've been given a heads up on someone flying into/through Class C's without a transponder is in the neighborhood of 1-5%
Doesn't make it any easier knowing they'll be inbound at some time today (maybe) compared to if they call me when they get into radio coverage.
And for some reason, I'm surprised that Bob would want to fly along the border through the C compared to staying north and bypassing it.
 

BeaconSlash

Trusted Member
Aug 19, 2011
367
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The number of times I've been given a heads up on someone flying into/through Class C's without a transponder is in the neighborhood of 1-5%
Doesn't make it any easier knowing they'll be inbound at some time today (maybe) compared to if they call me when they get into radio coverage.
And for some reason, I'm surprised that Bob would want to fly along the border through the C compared to staying north and bypassing it.
I'm just citing regs because his ticket could be at risk if he doesn't follow them.

Notification is also a safer course of action, especially if the pilot can narrow down the ETA. It's not like ATC can really protect for a VFR flying randomly through their airspace. With advance notification, the tower gets a chance to potentially say unable to the transition, or provide restriction/routing ahead of time. It may well be to directly overfly the airport midfield of 4/22. Just making an educated guess based on ELP traffic flow.

Hopefully its an aircraft type that gives a decent primary target.
 
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bob44zw

Junior Member
Apr 5, 2011
108
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Aeronca Chief with handheld. 65 hp limits how far north I can go. I have been doing the reever since 1966 - always easy. At a thousand feet, it would probably be a single engine 737 that would present a conflict. As I recall, with a full boat and both engines I was well above that and westbound just barely south of that big mountain.

I see no reason to not follow the regs when it is easy to do so. I will give them a call from Van Horn with a +/- 5 minute estimate, and call on the frequency at Fabens. I will let you know how it goes.

I will double-check the reg, but if under the floor of either class B or C, I am not required to do anything. That is changing rapidly, but it will have to be NPRM. EL PASO's class C appears to go to the ground at the border. Locals tell me they do it all the time, but I see no point in not doing it the right way.
 

Stinger

Epic Member
May 24, 2009
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Aeronca Chief with handheld. 65 hp limits how far north I can go. I have been doing the reever since 1966 - always easy. At a thousand feet, it would probably be a single engine 737 that would present a conflict. As I recall, with a full boat and both engines I was well above that and westbound just barely south of that big mountain.

I see no reason to not follow the regs when it is easy to do so. I will give them a call from Van Horn with a +/- 5 minute estimate, and call on the frequency at Fabens. I will let you know how it goes.

I will double-check the reg, but if under the floor of either class B or C, I am not required to do anything. That is changing rapidly, but it will have to be NPRM. EL PASO's class C appears to go to the ground at the border. Locals tell me they do it all the time, but I see no point in not doing it the right way.
I flew west to east through ELP a couple years ago. They asked me which transition I wanted and I would have had no idea what they were talking about if not for the aircraft that called up 5 minutes before I did and requested a "downtown transition." That sounded like what I wanted, so I said the same thing, and luckily I guessed right that downtown was near the border just southeast of the Franklin Mountains.
 

bob44zw

Junior Member
Apr 5, 2011
108
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Called on the ground at Fabens. Tower guy said "absolutely no problem. I'll call radar and let them know." By then, I had figured out how to transmit (and how to get out in a hurry without being snared by millions of black wires). I made a tentative call to approach - they heard me. Absolutely problem free. Thanks for the tips.

I do tell other pilots about you guys. This is a seriously underutilized resource.