Contacting approach procedure

Ok, I am a reasonably experienced when it comes to atc and flying. I myself am studying for my PPL (Private Pilot License)
A day ago I applied to a VA (virtual airline). After filling in the paperwork I was given a test.
One of the questions was:
“What is the first type of message transmitted to approach control when approaching an airport at which you want to land at?”
Choose an answer:

  1. Request an approach
    2)Check in message
  2. Requested a decent to desired altitude
  3. Message to report airport in sight

I had chosen (2). For when contacting approach you, well, need to “check in”. But for some reason it was marked incorrectly. Can someone please explain?

Here is a screenshot

You have to request approach. Check in is only when you got handed off from another radar frequency, for example from initial approach to final approach.


Ok, but when DO you use “check in”?)

The key point here is an airport “which you want to land in”. Issuing a check in message followed by a request approach is redundant in terms of telling the controller you are in his airspace. If you want to land you should send a request for approach as that will tell him both your altitude and speed (Means of checking in) and your intentions for either touch and go or landing. Refer to Seb’s answer to when you should check in

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When you’re handed off to another approach from the initial approach. This is used when there’s more than one approach frequency open.

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And never request altitude change except you (for example) see a potential conflict coming and you feel that radar doesn‘t recognize it.


To add some context to Sebi-ue’s answer, the use of check-in in infinite flight is somewhat different than maybe you would have IRL. Check in can be used as a method of requesting flight following to the airport. Technically, this answer should not be incorrect, as maybe you see the need/you want to fly the approach yourself. I would get into contact with the virtual airline to discuss this because this is someone of a subjectively incorrect answer.


Yes, exactly. So for example I‘d also use check in when doing an IFR flight and contacting departure (or approach acting as departure).


Exactly same ,what confuses me in past

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