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Transitioning to VFR while in Class C airspace


I am based at an uncontrolled airport that is on the edge of the outer ring of class C airspace. The shelf begins 400' above pattern altitude. I frequently return to the airport through the Class C airspace with flight following and am in contact with the class C airport. I like to begin to announce to traffic at my airport when I'm 10 miles out, still in Class C space, and will transition to VFR at this point. I've typically descended below the shelf and then transition, but then have to fly the last 10 miles at basically pattern altitude.

My question for ATC is, do I need to be below the shelf before transitioning to VFR? Or, having been in contact with the class C airport and they know where I am and where I'm headed, can I be within Class C when I transition and descend as I would normally do when coming in from a different direction where I'm not in their airspace?


What I have done in that situation is just ask the Approach controller if I can change to the CTAF.  They will generally let me know about any traffic in my path, and then "Radar services terminated, squawk VFR, frequency change approved", even though I am still in their airspace.  I've never needed to dive below the Class C shelf to be turned loose.   I'll be interested to see what the controllers expect, though...


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