Who's Online
Online Controllers

No controllers online

Flights to/from ZLA

Departures (7)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
DAL1340 KLAX KMIA Enroute 2109
AXX1354 KLAX KSEA Enroute 2150
NKS504 KLAX KMSY Enroute 2224
DAL41 KLAX YSSY Arriving
SWA1659 KLAX KAUS Enroute 2346
CPA97 KLAX MMMX Departing
UAL251 KLAX KSFO Departing

Arrivals (9)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
BAW269 EGLL KLAX Enroute 2309
QTR739 OTHH KLAX Enroute 2342
NAX7091 EKCH KLAX Enroute 0207
DAL1737 KSFO KLAX Enroute 2115
AVS001 MMMM KLAX Enroute 0021
PWA6201 KPAE KLAX Enroute 2228
JBU1723 KJFK KLAX Enroute 0205
THY9 LTBA KLAX Enroute 0920
BAW26A EGLL KLAX Arriving

Los Angeles (SoCal) 16

Departures (2)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
UPS141 KONT PANC Enroute 2303
UPS177 KONT PHNL Enroute 0100

Arrivals (1)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
UPS701 KPDX KONT Departing

Empire (SoCal) 3

Departures (1)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
ASA798 KSAN KBOS Enroute 2204

Arrivals (1)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
SWA1 KPDX KSAN Enroute 2146

San Diego (SoCal) 2

Departures (2)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
SWA818 KLAS KPDX Enroute 2206
SWA1669 KLAS KLIT Departing

Arrivals (5)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
UAL1146 KDEN KLAS Enroute 2140
SWA980 KABQ KLAS Enroute 2203
SITKA77 KLSV KLSV Enroute 2127
UAL1032 KABQ KLAS Enroute 2156
AAL536 KDFW KLAS Departing

Las Vegas 7
  • Flights To/From ZLA: 28
  • Flights in ZLA Airspace: 10
  • Quick Chart Search

    Controller Schedule

    April 19th, 2018

    No sessions found for selected date

    VFR Part 2: Patterns, short hop, long hop

    ample Transcripts

    Many of you may be flying VFR for the first time, or are relatively new to VFR. It often helps to have an idea what to expect when you try something new. Here's a transcript of some VFR flights, each one conducting a different operation.

    Flight 1: Pattern work

    Also known as 'circuits' in Europe, pattern work is a series of takeoffs and landings performed at an airport, using a rectangular shaped pattern when viewed from above.


    Let's assume you're at Torrance field (KTOA). You start out at the ramp in your Piper Warrior, N132KT, a General Aviation single engine low wing plane. Your first call will be to the Ground controller. On VATSIM, look for the ground controller. If he's not there, move up the list..looking for TOA_TWR, an approach controller, or a center controller. General Aviation aircraft in the US begin with an 'N' in their callsign. This prefix is DROPPED from radio communications. When making your call, include the type of aircraft, and the callsign.

    The controller may respond with a SHORTENED version of the callsign, including only the type of aircraft and LAST THREE letters/numbers of callsign. Once he/she has done this, you MAY respond with your shortened callsign. Prior to this, you MUST call with your full callsign.

    N132KT: Torrance Tower, Piper 132KT is at the south ramp, request taxi to the active for pattern work, we have the weather

    TOA_TWR: Piper 2KT, Torrance Tower, taxi to rwy 29L

    N132KT: Taxi to rwy 29L, Piper 3KT

    After pulling up to the runway, we make our call...

    N132KT: Tower, Piper 2KT ready for closed traffic, rwy 29L

    TOA_TWR: Piper 2KT, left closed traffic approved, rwy 29L, cleared for takeoff

    We then fly our traffic pattern, as normal. Unless the controller asks you to report 'midfield downwind', or 'turning base', then don't say anything. He knows you're there and will give you your landing clearance when it's apporpriate.

    TOA_TWR: Piper 2KT, traffic on a 1 mile base for 29L is a Cessna 172, report in sight

    N132KT: in sight, Piper 2KT

    TOA_TWR: Piper 2KT,number 2 behind the Cessna, rwy 29L, cleared for the option

    N132KT: cleared for the option behind the Cessna, Piper 2KT

    The 'option' means we can do a low approach, touch and go, stop and go, or full stop landing. We turn base, then land and choose to come to a stop. We clear the runway and hold our position.

    N132KT: Piper 2KT clear of rwy 29L, request taxi back to 29L

    TOA_TWR: Piper 2KT, taxi to rwy 29L

    N132KT: back to 29L we go, Piper 2KT

    Which leads us to....

    Flight 2: Flight between Torrance and Long Beach, no flight following



    We're at Zamperini/Torrance (KTOA), on the bottom left peninsula on the map. We're heading to Long Beach, about 10 miles to the east. Torrance has Class D airspace from the surface to 2400ft (identified by the [24] on the chart). Long Beach's airspace is Class D, and goes from surface to 2600ft. There's very little room between the two airports, so requesting flight following would not make any sense in this case. A nice reference point is the VNY R-140 radial, identified by the purple line. West of that line, and we're probably inside Torrance's airspace. East of that line, we're in Long Beach's airspace. We need to be in communication with Long Beach tower BEFORE we cross that purple arrow, or above 2600ft. Here goes nothing...

    N132KT: Tower, Piper 2KT, holding short of 29L, request a right crosswind departure

    TOA_TWR: Piper 2KT, right crosswind departure is approved, rwy 29L cleared for takeoff

    We takeoff, fly on rwy hdg until approx 700ft (300ft below traffic pattern altitude), then make our right turn. Our destination is Long Beach (KLGB). We pull up the weather for Long Beach, and adjust our altitmeter accordingly. Shortly after, we hear...

    TOA_TWR: Piper 2KT, freq change approved.

    N132KT: see ya, Piper 2KT

    Torrance tower doesn't know or care that we're going to Long Beach. VFR is a carefree world, indeed. We see LGB_TWR is online, let's call him before we cross that VNY R-140 radial...

    N132KT: Long Beach tower, Piper 132KT 7 west, inbound for landing with the weather.

    LGB_TWR: Piper 2KT, Long Beach tower, enter left downwind rwy 30, report midfield downwind

    N132KT: enter left downwind for 30, we'll call you midfield

    No squawk codes? No radar contact? No! This tower controller hasn't got a radar. This is a slight simplification, but a reasonable one for VATSIM purposes. The procedures themselves are accurate. We proceed to the field and enter a LEFT DOWNWIND for rwy 30. This means we'll be making LEFT turns in the pattern, it's that simple.

    N132KT: Piper 2KT, midfield downwind

    LGB_TWR: Piper 2KT, rwy 30, cleared to land

    N132KT: cleared to land rwy 30, Piper 2KT

    We land, pull off the rwy and hear the following..

    LGB_TWR: Piper 2KT, contact ground point six, good day.

    Ground frequencies typically start with '121'. Controllers often drop the '121'. We tune our radio to 121.60 and make the call..

    N132KT: "Ground, Piper 132KT clear rwy 30 to the left, taxi to GA parking"

    LGB_GND: "Piper 2KT, Long Beach Ground, taxi to parking

    N132KT: to parking, Piper 2KT

    Wasn't so bad, was it? Let's go to the ramp, pick up some gas, and go somewhere further away...

    Why did the controller at Long Beach ask us to report midfield downwind whereas the controller at Torrance didn't? That would be because at Torrance, we started out on the runway, the tower controller could 'see' us the whole time, we remained within visual range of the field. When we arrived at Long Beach, we were arriving from the west, beyond visual range. He'd have no idea to know when/where to look for us...hence the request to report midfield downwind.

    Flight 3: Long Beach to Oxnard, with flight following and Bravo transition

    Flight Following is a service provided by approach and center controllers, on a workload permitting basis. They will provide traffic and terrain pointouts. The responsibility to see and avoid terrain and traffic remains with the pilot at all times, however. On this flight, we will request flight following to our destination, Oxnard (KOXR), and while we're in contact with the controller, we'll request the Shoreline Transition. Long Beach (KLGB) is at the bottom right of the map, Oxnard is at the top left.




    N132KT: Ground, Piper 132KT, request taxi to the active, with the weather

    LGB_GND: Piper 2KT, Long Beach Ground, taxi to rwy 30

    N132KT: Piper 2KT to rwy 30

    Holding short of the runway, we contact the tower...

    N132KT: Long Beach Tower, Piper 132KT, short of rwy 30, request left crosswind departure

    LGB_TWR: Piper 2KT, Long Beach Tower, left crosswind departure approved, rwy 30, cleared for takeoff

    N132KT: Piper 2KT's rolling...

    We maintain runway heading on the climb, and about 300ft below pattern altitude, we make our left turn. We'll want to climb to at least 2500ft before crossing the VNY 140 radial. Recall from the previous flight that this radial is a good way of identifying the transition from Long Beach to Torrance airspace. Since Torrance's airspace goes from the surface to 2400ft, climbing to 2500ft or above allows us to overfly Torrance without needing permission from the tower. As an aside, we certainly COULD fly through Torrance's airspace at a lower altitude if we called Torrance tower prior to crossing the VNY 140 radial and requesting a 'transition to the west'.

    To make our lives easy, and in preparation for the Shoreline Transition, we'll climb to around 3000ft. In just a little while, Long Beach says goodbye to us...

    LGB_TWR: Piper 2KT, frequency change approved

    N132KT: Thanks, Piper 2KT

    Studying the LAX Class B map, we see that we will remain clear of the Bravo for now as long as we remain below 5000ft. The Shoreline Transition will take us into the surface based Bravo, so we'll need to call for clearance before we cross that line. Let's do that now. We set our radio to the frequency for LAX_APP...

    N132KT: Socal Approach, Piper 132KT is type Piper Warrior, 5 south of LAX at 3000, request Shoreline Route and flight following to Oxnard

    LAX_APP: Piper 2KT, Socal Approach, reset transponder, squawk 1011 and ident, LAX altimeter 30.05

    N132KT: squawking 1011, 2KT

    LAX_APP: Piper 2KT, radar contact 4 south of LAX at 3000. Cleared into Bravo airspace via the Shoreline Route. Maintain VFR at 3000 while in the Bravo.

    N132KT: cleared into Bravo, shoreline route, maintain VFR at 3000, 2KT

    Recall that the Shoreline Route calls for us to enter the Bravo at the refinery. Your scenery may not have that level of detail, in which case, head west to the shoreline well before LAX. Follow the shoreline unti you can see LAX. Turn left, head out to sea a mile or so, then follow the route as published. As you approach SMO, you'll clear the Bravo airspace. You've flown the Shoreline Route! Ordinarily, the controller would dump us like a hot potato, but since we requested flight following, hopefully he'll let us stay with him...

    LAX_APP: Piper 2KT, clear of the Bravo airspace, maintain appropriate VFR altitudes, resume own navigation, remain clear of Bravo airspace, Oxnard altimeter 30.05

    N132KT: we'll remain clear of the Bravo, 2KT

    Excellent, he didn't kick us off the frequency, or terminate our radar service. That means he's got time to provide flight following to Oxnard. Speaking of...how are we going to get there?

    You can use the GPS if you want, but where's the fun? Looking at the sectional chart above, Oxnard is along the coast, 10 miles west northwest of the CMA VOR. Let's just follow the coastline until we hit the CMA VOR, then track the CMA 280 radial outbound for 5 mins at 120kts (2 miles per minute). That should have us right over the airport.

    Another advantage to having flight following is that we're already talking to the approach controller if we need some help finding the field. The controller can suggest headings for us to fly to help us locate the field

    The phrase "resume appropriate VFR altitudes" cancels any previous altitude restriction. This isn't strictly necessary since the original restriction included the phrase 'while in Bravo airspace', but he's just spelling it out for us. If you're above 3000ft AGL, westbound (mag course 181-360), you should be at an even number thousand feet, plus 500ft, ie. 4500ft, 6500ft, etc. If you're eastbound, it should be an odd number of thousand feet, plus 500ft. This reduces the chance of having an unplanned meeting with oncoming VFR trafic. Since we're crusing at 3000ft today, this doesn't apply.

    Prior to reaching the CMA vor, approach calls us...

    LAX_APP: Piper 132KT, contact Mugu Approach on 124.70, good day

    N132KT: over to Mr Mugu, good day, 2KT

    N132KT: Mugu Approach, Piper 132KT, 3000, with the weather for Oxnard

    NTD_APP: Piper 2KT, Mugu Approach, thank you

    We were given a new frequency because we left the airspace controlled by one approach controller and entered another. Notice our call to the 2nd approach controller was very different to our intial call to LAX_APP. We didn't need to give our position, since there had been no lapse in radar coverage, our position is well understood by the controller. We didn't need to say where we were going. We stated that we had the weather so that the controller wouldn't have to give it to us.

    As we overfly the CMA VOR and join the 280 radial outbound, we spot the field....

    N132KT: Approach, Piper 2KT, cancel flight following

    NTD_APP: Piper 2KT, radar service terminated, squawk VFR, frequency change approved.

    N132KT: squawking VFR, Piper 2KT, good day

    We set our transponder back to 1200, and give Oxnard tower a call

    N132KT: Oxnard tower, Piper 132KT over CMA VOR, landing with the weather

    OXR_TWR: Piper 2KT, Oxnard Tower, make straight in approach rwy xx, report 3 mile final

    N132KT: We'll call you on a 3 mile final

    Notice our initial call to OXR_TWR included a position report. This guy had no idea we were coming, so we give him a fighting chance by telling him where we are. Many pilots will simply report in with a perky "with you", and that's about it. This is rarely appropriate, and certainly insufficient in this case. We continue inbound, set ourselves up for landing and make the call...

    N132KT: Piper 2KT, 3 mile final

    OXR_TWR: Piper 2KT, cleared to land

    N132KT: cleared to land, 2KT

    Touchdown...welcome to Oxnard...once clear of the rwy...

    OXR_TWR: Piper 2KT, taxi to parking, this frequency

    We complete the post-landing checklist, flaps up, fuel pump off, ldg light off, transponder stdby. Taxi to the ramp and shut her down. Fun, no?