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cytoxin
09-02-2006, 10:03 PM
me shaw approach n16110 cessna type 150 with you at 3000 (heading 270)
them,cessna 16110 climb and maintain at or above 3500 moa active at 3200 and below(clouds at 3800 and closing) shooter, caution traffic 1 oclock 3000 ft and climbing.

what do you respond with when they are boxing you in? moa 5-10miles off the right wing, their airspace off the left wing 5 miles or so,clouds above at 3800.shooters below at 3200and less. what if i didnt have flight following.. do i just buzz through?. i now see the beauty of ifr. :rolleyes:

Bob Axsom
09-03-2006, 07:43 AM
I never give control to someone else if I can avoid it. If I am planning to fly through a MOA (not a Restricted Area, etc.) I know that the requirement for safe passage is on me and I accept the responsibility. I have as much uncontrolled access right to that airspace as the military - that's why there are different classes of airspace defined for military and private usage. MOAs are higher risk areas but there are no "shooters" in there. I once encountered a flight of westbound A4s at 7500 ft on an airway west of El Centro, CA. that required full down pitch ot avoid - the risk is everywhere. If you do not accept the risk of flying in a MOA on your own and ask for flight following, you are placing yourself in an awkward situation. If the controller starts vectoring you or assigning altitudes there are several responses available but you have to start cutting some fine lines, real time. In the situation you describe I would climb to 3500 as long as I was clear of clouds as the immediate response. Then I would continue there as long as I could remain clear of clouds and I would advise the controller of the cloud situation. I am not saying what is right or wrong - just what I would do in the theoretical situation.

Bob Axsom

JordanGrant
09-03-2006, 08:04 AM
As a military guy that uses MOAs a lot, here's my perspective. I think VFR flight following is the best of all worlds. When you get flight following services, you get free Situational Awareness about the traffic around you, without the hassles of changing your "clearance" every time you want to alter your heading by 10 degrees.

To address this specific situation: The "Shooters" were using 3200 feet and below because they have to be VFR to use the MOA, as well. (Was this by any chance one of the Gamecock MOAs?) Since you are VFR as well, it stands to reason that you need to be in the same airspace. So, the right answer to me would be: "Shaw, I need to stay at 3200 feet due to weather". Now, everybody has the SA that they need. The fighters know that you are there (at 3200 feet) so they can stay clear, you know that the fighters are there, and Shaw knows that you guys are deconflicted. And as an extra bonus, Shaw doesn't have to vector you around. VFR flight following is great.

Bob: Next time, just give the controlling agency a call before you get to the MOA. You don't even have to ask permission, just tell him/her what you're going to do. If you can give a fighter guy 5 minutes of notice that you'll be coming through the airspace, that helps a lot in planning our training and keeps us all safer. Besides, most of the time when I do that, the airspace is not being used anyway and now you don't have to worry about flying through the middle of somebody's fight.

Fly safe and check six.

cytoxin
09-03-2006, 07:41 PM
yes it was the gamecock I moa. and i wasnt even in it by several miles.iwas btween it ans shaw.i wasnt sure what to tell them so i climbed to 4500 till the clouds made me drop.(looked thick ahead and i didnt want to get stuck on top) then i realized i wasnt 500 below them and wasnt sure of my options. i know i am the final authority(as far as safety goes with respect to emergencies) and all that but i dodnt want an escort to shaw either (guess they could circle me :p or shoot me down :eek: ) even though i love to watch the 16's and 10's come and go

http://img212.imageshack.us/img212/623/cloudsyy4.th.jpg (http://img212.imageshack.us/my.php?image=cloudsyy4.jpg)

cytoxin
09-03-2006, 07:49 PM
MOAs are higher risk areas but there are no "shooters" in there. Bob Axsom at the risk of showing my ignorance, then where do they shoot? i always thought the range was near shaw. at least thats what the old retired guy i work with tells me. thanks for the info guys.. next time will be a lot less stress. :D i do like the flight followwing but it seems half of the state is moa.
would the controlling agency be shaw or fss

Bob Axsom
09-03-2006, 08:44 PM
I was stationed at Shaw AFB in 1957 after returning from Korea. At that time it was a TAC Recon base and all they shot were photos. RB-57s were being replaced by RB-66s and RF-84s were being replaced by RF-101s. I was in the 2020th AACS Squadron maintaining the ground to air communication systems and all of the navigational aids for the base. Live ordinance areas are Restricted or better and will be identified with an R-(number), etc. Military Operations Areas are not live fire areas and it is legal to use the airspace for travel without a clearance. I avoid them just because of the airplane mix but some places (especially the deserts of California and Arizona) they occupy so much space they are not practically avoidable.

Bob Axsom

JordanGrant
09-03-2006, 09:19 PM
cytoxin:
Most MOAs are higher-altitude and you can just fly underneath them. Gamecock I is an exception, its a "Low MOA" used for low-altitude training. I think it only goes up to 5000' or so - easy to overfly it. We have another, Farmville MOA in Virginia, that's a low MOA, as well. Usually, the controlling agencies are Centers, not Approach Controls. I know Washington Center owns the high altitude Gamecocks, but I don't remember off the top of my head who owns Gamecock I. Shaw might own that, since its low. And FSS's don't control anything, they are information passers only.
The military guys are always going to defer to VFR traffic in MOA airspace. We can get in trouble, but you really can't. Because of that, we really appreciate it if you talk to the controlling agency or avoid the airspace, because VFR traffic can seriously affect our training when we're using it. Now, Restricted airspace is another matter. Like Bob said, that is where the bomb dropping and shooting occurs. There is a bombing range (Poinsett, denoted as R-6002) located just south of Shaw. That is where the F-16 guys do their bombing, as well as some A-10s and F-15Es on occasion. You can fly into these areas as well, with permission. Don't be afraid to ask about it if you need to go there, since they are often not active (especially on weekends), but also don't wander in there without talking to somebody.

Cheers,

n250jg
09-04-2006, 07:06 AM
at the risk of showing my ignorance, then where do they shoot? i always thought the range was near shaw. at least thats what the old retired guy i work with tells me. thanks for the info guys.. next time will be a lot less stress. :D i do like the flight followwing but it seems half of the state is moa.
would the controlling agency be shaw or fss

To find out who the controlling agency is just look in your sectional. The Special Use Airspace, altitudes included in the SUA, time of use, controlling agency, and sometimes the frequency of the agency is usually located on the back of the sectional cover (but Charlotte has so many they run across the bottom of the sectional as well). For the Gamecock 1 MOA it looks like JAX Center is the controlling agency. Like others have said, I wouldn't recommend just flying through during the active times because the military guys using that airspace are doing air combat training, formation, and aerobatics and are not subject to the 250kt speed limit below 10,000'. If you're inclined to go without flight following, at least call the FSS to see if the MOA is active first.

Also remember that a controller can't give you instructions that force you to violate the FARs, but at the same time they probably do not know what your conditions are (wx in your example) and that their instructions might be doing just that. If it looks like your assigned altitude will bring you less than 500' below the ceiling, just reply that you're unable to maintain VFR at x,xxx'. You're right, you are the final authority when it comes to the safety of your flight, and the FAA will see it that way too if there is a CFR violation. Be careful!

cytoxin
09-04-2006, 08:07 AM
well i have learned a good bit here. i am cetain it will stick with me. i have spent most of my few flight hours around the local area. only dealing with the local class d. and some kmyr class c. getting tired of seeing the same thing so i am looking to go to kcub to see the palmetto flyer folks.(lots of rvs) as well as to NC and find some there. people talk about auto rough over water i seem to have auto WX when get more than 30 miles from home. :( i feel determined to remove the aprehension simply by doing what causes it. but then i get folks throwing monkey wrenches in my plan.. now i know better how to deal with that situation. i simply thought it was abide or go back. but im here and have been for minutes at 120 mph :o so what to do. now i know :)
i will re read the AIM again now maybe it will mean something. :D
thanks guys

David-aviator
09-04-2006, 08:26 AM
I usually flight plan around MOA's simply because I do not want to mix with whatever might be going on within the airspace - but this summer decided to call the controlling agency to ask if the MOA was active.

In each of 3 cases, the airspace was not being used. In fact, one controller said it had not been active for months. So, it pays to ask. (It seems things are quiet in some of the midwest MOA's but are very active on the east coast and down around Jacksonville, at least that's my experience the past 18 months.)

I don't call FSS as the guy who has first hand information is ATC. The frequencies are listed on the Sectional Chart, not on the map part, but in a MOA chart narritive on a side panel. It also is wise to have a current chart as the information does change now and then.

Flight following is OK any time but it's easy to fall through the cracks if ATC gets busy. I've been involved in a TCAS alert with IFR traffic and have flown right out of sector with no hand off while on a discrete squak and frequency. Flight following is a service that has no priority when things get busy. Sometimes it gets so busy they don't have time to say "service terminated, squak 1200".

David Domeier
RV-7A
Troy, MO

ISBB
09-07-2006, 05:24 PM
I never give control to someone else if I can avoid it. If I am planning to fly through a MOA (not a Restricted Area, etc.) I know that the requirement for safe passage is on me and I accept the responsibility. I have as much uncontrolled access right to that airspace as the military - that's why there are different classes of airspace defined for military and private usage. MOAs are higher risk areas but there are no "shooters" in there. I once encountered a flight of westbound A4s at 7500 ft on an airway west of El Centro, CA. that required full down pitch ot avoid - the risk is everywhere. If you do not accept the risk of flying in a MOA on your own and ask for flight following, you are placing yourself in an awkward situation. If the controller starts vectoring you or assigning altitudes there are several responses available but you have to start cutting some fine lines, real time. In the situation you describe I would climb to 3500 as long as I was clear of clouds as the immediate response. Then I would continue there as long as I could remain clear of clouds and I would advise the controller of the cloud situation. I am not saying what is right or wrong - just what I would do in the theoretical situation.

Bob Axsom



I grew up in that neigborhood.. and im more worried about the blasted crop dusters than i am MOA Traffic.. :D

NASNI Flying Club based out of NAS El Centro is one of the places i learned to fly and got quite a bit of training in dealing w/ those fast buggers... While flying in the MOA just make sure to keep your eyes peeled.. Flight following is nice but what are you going to do when your on a scenic tour of your home town that is surrounded by MOA's.. nothing really... The one thing i did do if i was going to be within 5 miles of NAS El Centro or its vicinity was to give tower a quick call and let them know that hey im in the neighborhood and dont run me over..

El Centro Tower Cessna NXXXXX out of KIPL (or just imperial ) VFR flight for 1hr 5 miles south of you, any traffic advisory's? And i would monitor that channel as well.. just to make sure!