Check in

What does the “Check in” command mean? I hear a lot of people using it on departure and approach frequency. Also how do you use it properly?

Basically when you’re on freq it’s your first communication letting them know you’re on comms

This quote from @Trio may be able to help:

(Generally, the second bullet-point that Trio gave will be used most often.)


Usually is when you’re going from one controller to another, your first action is the check in command.


Thanks, that made me understand how to use it properly

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You don’t technically need to “Check in” on Approach or Departure. It’s really unnecessary work for the controller to reply back roger or radar contact. If your approaching a airport and approach controller is available just request ILS,Visual,GPS at X airport. When departing a airport tower would hand you off to departure then you would say request flight following to your destination airport.


When does an controller have radar contact?

Well once you tune into their frequency you’ll come up then you have to tell the controller what exactly you want. Request ILS/Visual/GPS or Radar vectors. Which I forgot to put that in my previous message

This really isn’t the case for either scenario. On approach in RL you always check in and they tell you the approach you will use. You will hardly ever hear a pilot request a specific approach unless they are training. On departure FF is a VFR service so the only applicable action for an IFR flight is to check in. Just as in RL.

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But in IF, you don’t technically need to check in. That’s what I was told by an ATC. But you’d probably know more

You don’t have to it’s not required, but it does add to the realism knowing when and how to use it. I prefer check ins over FF or any other request personally.

Yeah, that’s what I figured it wasn’t necessary or required by pilots. It’s extra work for the controller to reply back with roger. Well Brandon cleared it up Eirik

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This is where we’re careful not to blur the line between RL and IF. Both Trio and Brandon’s statements are applicable.

We’d appreciate it if you request a service when tuning into approach for an airport for the first time OR have the aforementioned flight plan stuff as mentioned prior. Everything else stands as described in the tutorials and various threads made about this in the past.

When it’s a departure, I’d prefer the same as Brandon said- just check in if you’re IFR and have a flight plan. It’s pretty much the only applicable thing for it.


Thank you all for the clarification and the quick response, appreciate it!


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