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squawkvfr

Omnipresent Oakland Center?

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HiI flew IFR from KHWD to KRNO (GPS Direct) in the excellent Doughbree Design L-39C (N39DF "Wild Child"). All in all this was a good flight. However, Oakland Center stayed with me the whole time. Previous to this, I had tried to fly this route in a DC-3 and was handed off to Stockton and Sacramento Approach/Center. On this flight, the only ATC choice I had was Oakland Center, albeit in several different radio codes (128.8 being one of them). Is this a bug, or does Oakland ATC really stretch that far?

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Happens when you fly out toward Hawaii, Japan...etc.....I suppose that is supposed to happen? But good question none the less.

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Both Hayward and Reno are within Oakland Center airspace. Depending on the altitude you are flying at, you could stay with OAK ARTCC (on various frequencies, as you cross center sector boundaries) or talk with one of the approach controls you mentioned. Here's a map of ARTCC's airspace boundaries.http://en.wikipedia....ile:Tfrmap.jpegAnd another - with RW radio frequencies...... most probably more then FS has for ZOA.http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?aid=2236CheersGene

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Both Hayward and Reno are within Oakland Center airspace. Depending on the altitude you are flying at, you could stay with OAK ARTCC (on various frequencies, as you cross center sector boundaries) or talk with one of the approach controls you mentioned. Here's a map of ARTCC's airspace boundaries.http://en.wikipedia....ile:Tfrmap.jpegAnd another - with RW radio frequencies...... most probably more then FS has for ZOA.http://www.radioreference.com/apps/db/?aid=2236CheersGene
Well, for the DC-3 flight I selected 4,000 ft, but ATC pushed me up to 10,000-something, and the airspeed dropped so much (from 140 KIAS to 80) that I had to end the flight. In the L-39 I flew at FL180.

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Well, for the DC-3 flight I selected 4,000 ft, but ATC pushed me up to 10,000-something, and the airspeed dropped so much (from 140 KIAS to 80) that I had to end the flight. In the L-39 I flew at FL180.
Just curious, why didn't you request a lower altitude? It's usually granted. If I'm correct, DC3 usually didn't fly above 10,000 ft. due to oxygen issues as the plane was not pressurized.Jim D.

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Generally if you stay at low altitudes you will be handed to local Approach facilities. Once you get in the area of FL180 you will be with Center the whole way.Hope this helps,

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Also note that for Oakland there are two FIRs: ZOA is Oakland Center and ZAK is Oakland Oceanic and covers much of the Pacific. You can use Plan-G and turn on center airspace to see the boundaries.scott s..

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Just curious, why didn't you request a lower altitude? It's usually granted. If I'm correct, DC3 usually didn't fly above 10,000 ft. due to oxygen issues as the plane was not pressurized.Jim D.
I tried but ATC wouldn't let me. Could it have been to get over the Sierras? :(
Generally if you stay at low altitudes you will be handed to local Approach facilities. Once you get in the area of FL180 you will be with Center the whole way.Hope this helps,
Thanks for the info, but that doesn't explain why I had to tune in so many different frequencies for Center. Good info though :D

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Center uses many frequencies - it's broken into regions. Your trip unfortunately puts you back and forth between boundaries. In real life they know this and keep you on a few frequencies, but FS doesn't and shifts you back and forth.

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I looked at a collection I have of the Low Altitude Enroute Charts and noted that minimum enroute altitudes coming from the west into Reno mostly are at 11,000 feet or above. I also looked at WAC charts of the area. Since you filed IFR radar coverage over the Sierras is also a consideration.Center radar coverage includes the use of remote radar sites at whatever elevation is necessary for published routes. For the limited areas of typical TRACONS (Area Radar) some may use multiple radar sites.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DC-3#Specifications_.28DC-3.29 states the service ceiling is 24,000 feet. (You'd need oxygen masks at 10,000 feet or above for long stretches.) Climb performance at sea level is about 1100 fpm. Getting up to cross the Sierras would be very sluggish.There is a VFR/IFR Low Altitude Planning Chart that covers the US main routes for Victor airways but is not a high resolution chart nor does it show minimum enroute altitudes. It is not expensive but you'd need to use a topographical chart with it. A local pilot shop would have this or it is easily found on line.The information you'd need is on the specific charts covering your area. If you are going to do a lot of low altitude IFR flying you might be interested in this collection in hard copy charts spiral bound:http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B001MXA6EO/ref=dp_olp_0?ie=UTF8&redirect=true&qid=1308685453&sr=1-1&condition=all is an inexpensive used on at $12 plus 4 S&H private seller for 2006, 2007 currency. Mine is 2009-2010 I found for $19 closeout plus S&H but is no longer available from stock where I found it on a closeout. The current collection is $109 list from the publisher. Here is a description:http://airchart.com/products.asp?cat=2The WAC chart collection is described:http://airchart.com/products.asp?cat=3I paid closeout $15 +S&H and it is still available here:http://www.fspilotshop.com/product_info.php?products_id=1550This particular edition is 2009, 2010 and I'd grab it as used book sources have only shown 1996 editions. most at a higher price. The charts are like VFR sectional but at a 16 nm /inch scale instead of 8 nm. I used this type in real VFR cross country flying. Terminal Area Charts (Class B Airspace) are included. The map quadrants show minimum structural altitude.If you use an autoroute planner for low altitude flying then you can use the WAC charts to get minimum altitudes. With a WAC chart you can try and sneak visually through some mountain passes for VFR flying.Personally I think both make a good resource.You'll find in the libraries here some of these same type charts scanned but by the time you get a decent display it becomes difficult in my opinion to navigate with them.

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