Couple of Noob questions about VFR flight takeoff procedures


When flying out of a class B airport, if I am given instructions when flying VFR to

  1. maintain at or below 3000
  2. turn left XXX heading then stay on course

How long do I have to adhere to those commands? Is it just until I exit the class B airspace or until a controller tells me something different?

For example, what if I want to do a little sight seeing between my 2 destinations, at what point am I free to fly around at my discretion?

Hello Michael,

When inside the Class B, you would follow the last instruction given by the controller. Unless you requested flight following, once you are clear of the Bravo airspace, you will generally hear something along the lines of, β€œ[aircraft call sign] you are clear of the Bravo airspace, radar services terminated, squawk VFR, frequency change approved.”

If you want to do something specific inside the Bravo airspace, such as sightseeing, then just ask the controller. Based on traffic load, the controller may or may not be able to support your request.



In class Bravo, all aircraft are positively separated. This means that a VFR aircraft will receive instructions such as squawk codes, assigned headings, and altitudes to maintain. It is incumbent upon the VFR pilot to maintain visibility and cloud clearance minimums. If unable to comply with the ATC clearance the pilot should advise ATC.

As far as free to fly around, this will probably not happen in Bravo airspace. You will probably have to get below Bravo (Bravo is usually like an upside down cake) to do that. I used to fly in the Miami area. One of my favorite trips was to fly down Miami beach. But I had to stay below 1000 to do that. They did work me through Bravo many times though. Just stay alert and do what they tell you. Don’t make them call you several times. Bravo airspace is usually busy.

(retired ZMA controller and private pilot)