Startin it up

rewgupko

Junior Member
Sep 11, 2008
91
0
6
America
Well, I guess no other helicopter pilots have posted anything here so I will start it off with a story. Us helipcopter pilots live by a big rule that some other fix wing only guys and controllers alike don't understand all the time. "Stay out of the flow of fixed wing traffic." So more often than not I find myself asking for a present position take off straight from the ramp. Well, this one time in a towered airport to be nameless, I did just that. I told the conroller I was ready to depart VFR from the ramp on a 350 heading, and I was cleared. So, I take off and all of the sudden the same controller that cleared me for the heading I was on was screaming at me for crossing his runways. Needless to say I asked him as politely as possible to mark the tape and if he wants to talk about it he knows where to find me (Of course, I filed a VFR flight plan, don't we all?). I never did hear back from him. I hope he wasn't expecting me to make a down wind departure or something.
 

RMV

Rookie
Jan 30, 2009
30
0
6
First off I am hoping this controller did not "CLEAR" you from the ramp (non-movement area) so if he did unless you were in a designated helipad, the controller was in the wrong. If you said what direction you were going and they did tell you to procede you are 100% in the right unless some restrictions were given. I am sure you know that though.
 

rewgupko

Junior Member
Sep 11, 2008
91
0
6
America
Yeah, should have been more specific. I was cleared from the taxiway adjoining the ramp (of course I talked to ground first). On the other hand, I have been cleared directly from the ramp before when there was not too much traffic.
 

ATC_MacGyver

MacGyver
Dec 19, 2008
609
6
18
with the bears.
Yeah, should have been more specific. I was cleared from the taxiway adjoining the ramp (of course I talked to ground first). On the other hand, I have been cleared directly from the ramp before when there was not too much traffic.

it is still against faa regs to CLEAR anything on a non movement area... landings of take offs.

however, they can tell you proceed as requested, as long as you initiate the request.... he/she just can't use the words cleared for takeoff/cleared to land. and if they do, they are setting themselves up to fail.

about you flying across his runway... that guy is a dumb ass... he either doesn't know what a heading is, or he didnt have the nuts to tell you no...
 

admin

Administrator
Staff member
Jun 11, 2008
4,166
4
38
Hmm...

Usually its' "Cross midfield at 300 feet..." atleast that's what they do here.
What is the 300ft restriction for? If they are letting you cross at 300 they might as well not put a restriction on your altitude at all.
 

rewgupko

Junior Member
Sep 11, 2008
91
0
6
America
Yeah, I can't say I have ever had an altitude restriction like that. As far as I am concerned it's see and avoid. Unless of course there is some type of special helicopter vfr departure procedure where you are. I know many airports that have a high level of rotary wing traffic recommend certain inbound and outbound altitudes through local cooridors and reporting points. However, these "restrictions" (if you would call them that) are usually only practiced by tenant organizations of that airfield through an agreement with the tower. LCK and OZR are perfect examples of these. Of course OZR is a military airfield and operates under slightly different rules. LCK however is a civilian airfield and practices these methods with tenant aircraft.
 

ATCtower

Epic Member
Oct 26, 2008
1,257
26
48
Yeah, I can't say I have ever had an altitude restriction like that. As far as I am concerned it's see and avoid. Unless of course there is some type of special helicopter vfr departure procedure where you are. I know many airports that have a high level of rotary wing traffic recommend certain inbound and outbound altitudes through local cooridors and reporting points. However, these "restrictions" (if you would call them that) are usually only practiced by tenant organizations of that airfield through an agreement with the tower. LCK and OZR are perfect examples of these. Of course OZR is a military airfield and operates under slightly different rules. LCK however is a civilian airfield and practices these methods with tenant aircraft.
There have been a few times leaving APA I have been "cleared" from the Alpha ramp for a west bound departure and they told me to remain under 200 until clear of I25 to stay away from pattern traffic for the 35s. I hear altitude and heading restrictions fairly regularly at APA...
 

HoustonATC

Newcomer
Jun 19, 2008
4
0
1
When I become King of the FAA I am going to fix this absurd helicopter phraseology. I would just like to scream everytime a controller tells me that the landing "will be at my own risk" or the old "use caution"!


Yeah, I know, I'm just a crusty old CW4 retired!
 

HelicopterHB

Newcomer
Aug 16, 2009
4
0
1
Yea, well they can clear you to procede as requested right? Normally when i take off from the ramp, its Cleared as req procede @ own risk...(i understand they have to see this if they are not in complete view of where you are landing or taking off).

But yea I have been to alot of airports where the controls do not really seem to understand the whole helicopter thing....So what saves me, is to use plane english on what i want to do, and be very specific.
 

whegner

Junior Member
Aug 24, 2009
127
1
18
Hell, I wish more chopper pilots would ask for directional departures. Almost everyplace I worked they wanted to insert themselves into the FW flow. So kudos to you for asking for a direct departure.