ATC question

hello IFC,
I was wonder what should i do if I was on approch to KSEA and I called inbound with ATC and they don’t respond. And i continue inbound and when i was on final I decided to go around rather than land without permition. Is that the right thing I should have done? I didn’t want to get reported (i didn’t) What should I have done if this wasn’t correct?

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What server was this on? KSEA is not active today.

this was last week when it was on. it was on ES.

Did the controller contact you with go around instructions and eventually a landing clearance?

no I decided to go around and then I went back around and landed later.

Ah. As it was a very busy airspace, ATC was highly congested. Yes, I believe it would have been appropriate to initiate that go around. I’m surprised you got that far into the approach without an ATC response.

I could understand why he/she couldn’t respond there were many people there. I was about 5/6 nm away from runway 16R.

You contacted Approach of a busy airport 5 - 6 NM out?

Maybe I misunderstood, but here are some general tips for approaching a busy airport:

  1. check your radar and find the approach line. There is no point in flying straight to the ILS cone when there’s 20 aircrafts before you. Find the end of the queue, forget your flight plan and go ‘stand’ in line.
  2. Contact ATIS before Approach. ATIS can be picked up before Approach. Do ATIS first, so you have the airport info you need.
  3. Pick the correct altitude and speed. Contact Approach when approx 50 - 60 NM out, at an altitude of 16,000 - 18,000 feet. Watch your speed; match it with aircrafts in front of you so you don’t overtake them
  4. Request an ILS approach. When it’s busy with many airliners inbound keep it simple and request an ILS approach. This lowers the need for Approach <> Tower communication and keeps things simple.
  5. Patience. Request your approach, and wait while following the inbound line. Wait at least 4 - 5 minutes before requesting again.
  6. Use NORDO. When communication doesn’t establish between you and the Radar controller either divert to another airport, or change your call sign to NORDO. Radar controller will see this and let you continue; provided you don’t conflict with another aircraft.

Hope this info was of use.


hey thank you so much I contacted Tower when I was about 30nm away ish. Also what does NORDO mean?

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It means “No Radio”. It signifies that you are having trouble with communication :)

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I do find it odd that ATC didn’t respond to your radio call, given how close you were from the runway. As a member has previously mentioned, ATC is quite busy at times, and there is always a chance that they may miss you. You made the right decision in going around (bravo). I know this may be unsolicited, but if you happen to not be able to contact ATC because the option to change to a frequency won’t show up (it does happen from time to time), you can switch your callsign to “NORDO”. If the inbound aerodrome isn’t busy, then you can still try to land and ATC would try their best to accommodate you. Bear in mind you’re still off comms., so do be a hint more cautious. However, if you lost comms. when approaching a relatively busy aerodrome, then divert. If you try to land, you will most likely be ghosted for interfering with traffic, and “NORDO” won’t help because diverting is the right thing to do instead of proceeding. Nonetheless, you still made the right decision, so good job for that.

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