I have a question,
If an airport is extremely busy, and a controller says Frequency is busy, can you make yourself go into a holding pattern and wait for the controller to give you vectors into the airport?
I’m only wondering, as It just came to my mind.
You’d just have to make sure you’re safely away from traffic so you don’t impede the controllers work.
Let’s say you’re tuned into an approach frequency, and want to do this - unless the controller tells you to, I’d say to just pay very close attention to what’s going on around you and continue inbound. The controller will respond to you when they can.
If you notice that the airspace is crowded and can infer that the frequency would be very busy, I’d say you can put yourself in a holding pattern before reaching approach, perhaps?
Moral of the story is that while you’re tuned into ATC, don’t do anything they tell you not to do, and follow all of their directions. Also, be sure to not do anything that you weren’t told to do. That would be an example of not following directions as well because you weren’t told to do it.
Or better… don’t do anything they didn’t tell you to do. Follow all instructions and don’t do anything “extra” which ultimately is not following instructions.
To answer the question, if you see an airport is extremely busy and saturated, why not fly to another airport? I’m sure the controller at the other airport would be delighted 🙂. It’s always good to spread out traffic and that’s a problem there is sometimes with a main hub. If you really want to head to a specific airport, go there, expect delays, but let the controller do his job and sequence you in
Key words… that’s the best way to help controllers. Following instructions, communicating correctly and spreading out traffic is as much as you can do. It’s designed to work and will work. It’s not too hard for the controller either if all those points are met. What’s hard is people that don’t fully understand how to communicate which leads to us wasting time
We service you so don’t worry about us, but work with us. If you want to leave the frequency and hold somewhere, change your flight plan and then request flight following. Due to the current commands and restrictive nature of text based preprogrammed commands, that is the only way currently to convey that you need to divert at this time.
Thanks trio for your answer :) I didn’t know controllers can see a person change their Flight plans. I usually never do that though… I usually Have enough fuel. Unless I’m about to crash, I don’t usually need to divert to another airport
No problem, we can see a straight line from your aircraft to your final destination if we tap on your aircraft. And when someone requests a different airport, your data tag will change and we can see the ICAO of the new airport as well as the message with the different airport name.
Of course, if you are going to hold somewhere then it is best to do it where the STAR you are following allows, at the altitude the STAR specifies. They are designed to be ‘out of the way’ by nature, so you should be relatively safe there.