Sunday, October 13, 2013

First Time Departing Class C Airspace (Richmond KRIC) - How to Depart a Class C Airport/Airspace

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So how do you depart a Class C Airport/Airspace? I had the awesome opportunity for my first flight into a Class C Airport/Airspace, Richmond International Airport KRIC. Richmond is the airport I’ve grown up flying into and out of commercially since I was only 2 weeks old. I was excited and nervous about being on the same frequency with pilots from Delta, US Airways, United, etc. Before this flight, I had only been into controlled airspace one time, at Charlottesville Regional Airport (Class D). Even then, I had only spoken with the tower, never speaking with approach.

I made two videos to help other student pilots see what flying into Class C for the first time might be like (one arriving and one departing). I know that I would've loved to see these videos before my flight! More videos like this can be found on my youtube channel, MartinsAviation1. The title of the video below is "First Flight into a Class C Airport/Airspace (RIC) - How to Fly into Class C "

Here is the 1st video (arriving): 

Here is the 2nd video (departing): 

Flying into Class C Airspace for the first time as a student pilot coming from an uncontrolled field can be a little nerve wracking. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous! The night and morning before our flight, I made sure to watch some youtube videos on entering and exiting Class C Airspace/Airports. This helped me get an overall feel for the speed at which Class C communications happen. In the photo below, you'll see the airport I departed from, Hanover KOFP, and see how close the outer rings of Richmond Airspace are: 

Since we were trying to enter and exit quickly, we kept our speed up on final and put in 1 notch of flaps, so that we could make a quick departure with takeoff flaps. The second we touched down, we powered right back up and went into a maximum performance climb (60kts) to get up and away from the wake turbulence from the previous CRJ.

Departing Richmond airspace, we were routed right over downtown Richmond, which was pretty lucky! It was very cool to see the city from the air. 

Once we had Hanover OFP in sight, we let approach know, and went through the normal pattern. On short final, for runway 16, we noticed a fox that was sitting right at the threshold marks. In the photo below (and video above), you can see the fox running away from the runway, out of our path. 

Thanks for reading and watching!
-Swayne Martin
Twitter: @MartinsAviation
Youtube: MartinsAviation1


Motivational Quote of the Day: 


  1. Awesome post Swayne! I've been enjoying reading your recent articles. As a student pilot, your videos are really helpful... pretty impressive! I hope to fly into Class C Airspace sometime soon, I too am training out of an uncontrolled field.

    1. Thanks for the comment! Glad you've been enjoying it. Make sure to stop by soon, more articles and videos to come!

  2. Congratulations for your blog! I really enjoy it!

    1. Thanks Raphael, great to have you on the blog!

  3. Hi Swayne,
    When do you head down to Daytona for the campus visit?

    1. Hey Pete, in a few weeks.. just sent you an email.


  4. This is awesome. I'm thinking you can be my teacher when I start flying GA again! Get some A36 time. :)


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Many Thanks, Happy Flying,
Swayne Martin