Disconnecting from ATC frequency - any option other than to end flight?

Hi all,

After a 12 hour transpacific flight from San Francisco as United 888 just now, I was on approach to Beijing and when within range I dialled in to the ATIS frequency, absorbed the information and then duly called in to the Tower. I was given the necessary instruction, replied, and then the purple text appeared at the top of the screen telling me Tower was offline and it was switching to Unicom. I called out my inbound status on Unicom, but then got an On Guard from Tower. However, Tower was not available on my frequency list, and when I clicked on the airport itself only Ground was showing up with live ATC.

Clearly this is some sort of glitch, and wanting to avoid a ghosting that might knock me off Expert, I felt I had no choice but to reluctantly end the flight without landing.

Did I have any other option here? Would clicking WiFi off and on have restored matters, or is there anything I could have done on my callsign to alert the controller to my problem? I have read that people have used “ATCISSUE”, but I don’t know how legitimate that is.

Any guidance would be appreciated. I think this has happened to me once before at LAX, but on that occasion I just got a Check Help from Ground after landing (no On Guards while in the air, so I had no idea on that occasion that Tower was actually still active).

Screenshot below taken right before I mournfully ended the flight.


There were two options.

  1. exit flight
  2. follow the flow.

Not much more you can do really once you’re in that situation. Now that you know the risk, you have to start trying to avoid that situation. It mainly happens to people multitasking on the same device. That’s something to avoid

Third option: Divert to another airport. That’s probably the most safe one. You’ll get your landing and Tower controller won’t get a break down because of some unresponsive plane messing with his sequence.


That’s the thing - when I’m using IF I never have any other apps active. I use my newer, more powerful iPad for the simulator, and then my older one for other things. I barely have anything else installed on the new one other than this game.

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