Expert Communication

Really .
That’s good news .

Better idea:

Look at the instruction history and actually follow them.

Leaving without figuring out what you’re missing means you’ll keep doing it repeatedly.


Right, after leaving definitely go to the tutorials related to what you were doing.

That’s true!


Even better, PM the controller! We’re always happy to explain what you did wrong and how you can improve. :)


This is a particularly good tutorial that you should take a look at with the “high points”

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Hi. I have written out a basic flight with communication with ATC. some stuff is probably missing (so others please advise so i can make edits if needed)
Basically the following is what you can expect.
Also never use Standby as the first transmission.
All tutorials on IFC are a great resource. But heres a quick read format

P is pilot A is ATC

At gate
Once ready for pushback

  • P: request pushback
  • A: pushback approved (expect runway xx)

Pushback your airplane, and turn your aircraft facing the direction you need to taxi to the expected/active runway


  • P: request taxi (to active / or requested runway)
  • A: taxi to runway xx contact tower when ready

If you need to cross a runway make the crossing request with ground, once cleared continue taxiing to the runway


  • P: Request take off runway xx

(Only do so when you are first in line - it avoids jamming the frequency)

  • A: hold short (hold behind the hold short line - make sure your nose is behind it
  • A: line up and wait (self explanatory)
  • A: Cleared for take off runway xx
  • If instructed to do straight out departure, follow those instructions
  • If cleared for immediate take off, do not hang out, line up and get going

Off the ground and enroute

ATC will either instruct a frequency change to departure (sometimes approach) as a pilot, in that event, tune in to departure and check in - they have all the information.

You may request flight following to your destination airport. That is usually the best. If the departure controller is assigning you altitude, fly as youve been cleared. Listen and obey all other instuctions as well Once you are at FL180 or 65nm out of the airport you will be instructed to change frequency. At this point you are on your own. Climb to your planned cruise altitude and be on your merry way

Approaching airport

(Within 65 nm of destination and below FL180)

Tune in to Approach (if open)

You may request:

Radar vectors for ILS/GPS

  • the controller will vector around and clear you to intercept the localizer for your assigned runway and for the approach
  • Once they have vectored you and you are now established you will be handed over to Tower
  • You then checkin with Tower inbound on the ILS/GPS runway xx

Radar vectors to the airport

  • the controller will vector towards the airport. You might be vectored towards a pattern entry or even a straight in approach if you need to be sequenced with other arrivals
  • Once you contact tower you report inbound for landing
  • Tower will give you a pattern entry and a sequence

Radar vectors for visual

  • the controller will vector you usually to follow a sequence
  • Usually they will vector you for a straight in approach
  • You will then be asked to report airport in sight.
  • Once you do (and you have to see the runway/airport) you will be cleared for a visual approach
  • Note this can only be done if VMC exists.
  • Once you have been handed over to Tower you will report inbound on the visual

Flight following to destination

  • if your destination is a controlled airport expect to be vectored to follow the sequence.
  • You might be told to expect radar vectors for ILS/GPS/Visual approach depending on the airports set up
  • Usually better to request radar vectors to a controlled airport as it helps with traffic

Inbound for landing

  • you will be cleared to land by Tower

Once landed you can be instructed a couple things

    1. Exit runway and contact ground
  • Pull off the runway taxi past the hold short line then contact ground
    1. Exit runway hold short of another runway
  • If you are still with tower exit as usual and hold short as instructed. If ground frequency has not be assigned. You wait till the tower instruct you to cross the runway
  • Once all that is done you request taxi to parking

Go around / execute missed approach
A Go around can be pilot or controller
If you are with tower once a go around happens you will be told to make right or left traffic. At this point tower can either sequence you themselves or switch you back to approach to be sequenced with others.
Missed approaches can only be done under ILS/GPS approaches. The following communications will be the same as the Go Around.


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