First Class B experience, not as scary as I thought.

Vicki and I flew the Lance down to Pittsburgh to pick up Laura from college for the summer. It was my first experience with Class B. I was a little leery of the traffic in and out of KPIT, since it’s US Air’s hub, but Allegheny County Airport (KAGC) isn’t much further from the school and probably is a bit more GA friendly. As a side note, this is my first flight since I got my used Garmin 296.

Down, as FiledI filed a nice airway route that took me around the Class B: KROC GEE v119 MILWO v12 FURIX KAGC.

Down As ClearedBut when I called for my clearance, I guess they figured “hey, it’s a beautiful CAVU (Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited) day and he’s probably got a handheld GPS”, and so they cleared me “KROC GEE KAGC”. Almost direct the whole way. And once I took off and contacted approach, they said “proceed direct KAGC”. With the GPS, it was easy as hell, and quite smooth up at 8,000 feet. The direct route took me into the class B – actually it was while I was on the descent to Allegheny County. The Pittsburgh controller was nice and friendly, and a lot more relaxed sounding than some of the New York area controllers I’ve heard.

To As FiledFor the flight home, I filed pretty much the same thing I’d filed for the way down, but the Allegheny Four departure is a vector procedure, and CIP is one of the fixes in the depature and on v119, so I filed KAGC CIP v119 GEE KROC.

To As ClearedThe clearance I got was quite unexpected. It was KAGC ALLEGHENY FOUR EWC 050 ZORBO BAF v119 GEE KROC. It took me a bit of work to find ZORBO on the en-route chart, because it wasn’t on any airway. But after all the hassle of plotting this route on the en-route chart and putting it into the GPS, as soon as I contacted Pittsburgh departure they put me on a vector and then cleared me direct to BAF then as filed. Once again, it was very smooth up at cruising altitude (9,000 feet) but moderately turbulent down lower, both on the climb up and descent down.

All in all it was a fun trip.