ATC personnel trying to contact you past thirty miles out

You mods can move this post if necessary…
This has become a pet peeve of mine recently…in that I am at a loss to answer why some tower and approach controllers usually on TS1 but not always… have an obsession of sorts with trying to contact a pilot… 30 …50 …or in some cases over a hundred miles out…as if they were within visual range and they could see them clearly from the tower…l wish l could see a plane 100 miles away…but then l have no supernatural powers …and not just once but several times ad nauseum… if you do not answer them back…do they not know that just because they can still locate me anywhere in the sector on their screen… that does not change the fact that for all intensive purposes…l am off their radar for any contact that far out…l guess in some cases they must just be lonely without any other aircraft near them to irritate…surely their must be some way of installing an algorithm in the program code that can determine you are out of contact range… and thus prevent them from even trying to reach you…l welcome any comments or similar experiences from other pilots…


I’m sorry but it’s really hard to read your posts because of all the “…” you put in. Can you please separate the sentences so we can understand better?


This is a problem on TS1 with ‘new’ ATC looking for business and not understanding that pilots can’t answere back unless within range. You will not find this issue on Expert server.

A solution would be if range rings where implemented on ATC maps so they could see which aircraft ARE within range.


I suggest voting in this topic.

It’s ludicrous tower has the ability to send guard messages to aircraft so far outside their airspace.


Is it not accurate that for all intensive purposes… once you are past around thirty miles… you are considered out of contact range…so until you intercept the next tower airspace… their should be no attempt at contacting a pilot…is that not the rule on the expert server?

TS1 expect to be spammed no matter what! Fly on the Expert Server and this won’t happen to you. If it does happen on ES, record the name of the IFATC controller and contact them via IFC. Problem solved 👍🏻

1 Like

The solution to everything isn’t just ‘fly on the expert server’ as everyone seems to think.

Get rid of TS1 then if that’s your solution, or otherwise let’s discuss fixing the problem, rather than the classic response of ‘oh just fly on expert’


What’s TS1 stand for? “training server”. So expect atc to make a lot of mistakes? that’s the whole point of training…

1 Like

It was an ‘off the cuff comment’ to your solution to the problem being discussed.

Your solution is ‘fly expert’ … hot tip, that’s NOT a solution to the problem.

The issue of being able to ‘guard’ anyone on the map is just facilitating a problem that exists, a problem that occurs when beginners or trolls use tower.

The thread is talking about (and so is the feature request I linked) the issue that is being able to ‘guard’ people outside your space. Your comment provided absolutely zero to the discussion nor the issue at hand. We all know expert controllers don’t do it. That’s not the point.

You have no authority as tower to control people 50 NM from your airspace, so why does IF give you the option to ‘demand they contact you’…?

I don’t think I can make myself any clearer…

1 Like

@MJames there are a lot of ATC commands that could do with ‘adjusting’…
If you want a feature request, move this to “Features”. Or comment on the feature link above!

Other then that, there is nothing you can do at this stage.

post:1, topic:112480”]
usually on TS1 but not always

He mentioned how this happens on both servers so I answered to that giving him a solution.

I recommend closing this post.

1 Like

I assume that you are an IFATC by your responses…therefore two other queries come to mind…what are the IF parameters for tower and approach contact…since a towered airport only appears in the display list at 27 to 30 miles… l figure that is the accurate distance for interaction …but about the apr/dep and center min and max for contact…and how does IF compare to irl Atc distances for contact…


Something similar happened to me yesterday evening in the SoCal region. I
was on approach to a non-towered airport and someone comes on and instructs
me to contact Palm Springs tower and I wasn’t even anywhere near the outer
tier of their airspace! Not only that, I wasn’t even within the normal 25nm
limit, so when I double checked to make sure, the controller hasn’t popped
up on my in-range contract list. Usually this isn’t a huge issue, but I was
ghosted once for not following a similar instruction, BUT I had the
presence of mind to take a screen shot of the radio log and the available
contact list and it clearly showed that the tower they wanted me to contact
was currently on Unicom and colored white, not green like it would have
been if it were manned. They of course they immediately rescinded the ghost
and restored my status. Others unfortunately haven’t been so lucky and
I’ve found it to be all too common on the training server.

1 Like

Whilst I am not IFATC myself so not sure if it’s a rule or not for those guys, however the fact of being an IFATC controller on Expert means that they know when to contact an aircraft and when it’s not in their airspace.

On TS1 you do get experienced controllers who do know the restrictions but also you get a lot who don’t know, still new, can’t be bothered to find out etc and so this happens.

As mentioned on this post by @MJames as well as by self on several recently the answer is not just “FLY ON EXPERT” as that does not solve anything. Adding of range rings to help controllers, limiting when they can contact, use of graded approach for using TWR/APR frequencies are all solutions.


@David_Lockwood incase you didn’t read my reply to @MJames

So the only solution by posting on this category “ATC” is “FLY EXPERT”.

1 Like

Thanks Sam,

Had read your reply, and thank you for posting the diagram as that was very useful and interesting.

However mine and also I think @MJames point is that whilst flying on Expert will stop those issues, in long term it isn’t help to resolve or train new ATC / pilots and what they should do. TS1 currently provides the experience to people but not necessarily the skills to develop.

We all seem to agree that there needs to be changes to not only improve the experience on TS but also importantly provide the right tools so people can learn and be more effective when they can move to Expert Server.


Not a problem David.

Yes I do agree, a lot of changes to assist train TS1 ATC would be great.