Interesting ATC situation

Hi IFC,
Before I start I’d like to make a disclaimer I’m not sure what topic to post this under so please correct me if I’m wrong. Anyways today while I was flying on expert from KLAS to KSFO I called in to ATC for the ILS 28r at KSFO as I had planned ATC had put a TBM in front of me that I could see was clearly not in front of me I was on a long final in a 757 doing my approach speed (180knt) the TBM was on downwind coming towards me on final. When I recognized this I slowed down to about 165 the slowest speed i was able to go to without putting in extra flaps. The TBM ended up getting pretty close before I made the decision to side step and land runway 28L. Was this the right call or is the ATC supposed to put the smaller slower aircraft behind me on final? Let me know below I didn’t receive any kind of violation for this flight I’m just curious if a side step is the correct procedure in this case or if the ATC was wrong who I will not name as I’m not here to shame them for doing the community a service.

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Hi @Ironman_Ballets,

I’m assuming this was on expert server, correct? If so, I highly suggest sending your controller a message regarding their service. No one can tell you why they did something better than the one who did it.

To find them, please check your replay and scroll to the time in which you were on their frequency. After that click on the “states” tab and it will show you the controller name.

Their name is their IFC username.

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Hey ya I wasn’t complaining I just wanted to know what the rules are for this situation. Nothing against anyone I’m totally good with what happened just looking to learn from it. I’m going into pilot school so that’s also partly why I’m asking. Idk if she or he knew either it was kinda a busy space at the time.

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At the end of the day, there isn’t one method that works for all. Generally, it’s best to allow faster aircraft first, but that’s more up to preference. The TBM isn’t that slow of an aircraft. While it lands around 90kt, it can easily hold 160-180kt. It slows down pretty fast as well, so the controller may have not worried too much about the speed aspect. When it comes to it, the pilot was the one flying the speed

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If your final approach is going to result in conflict with the slower aircraft that’s been sequenced ahead of you you’d abort and announce a Go Around rather than switch runways without clearance?

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Its the best thing to do (go around). It’s good practice now and again. It refreshes your mind on the procedure for a go around also. Make left traffic and if planes are behind you, controller can give you a extended left downwind and call your base to tuck you nicely again behind other traffic.

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I should mention I requested a change rwy. (request was approved then I proceed the maneuver.) Otherwise I probably would have be given a violation.

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If I was in this situation, generally I would make a right or left 360 to make spacing, so I can reduce the risk of lowering my speed and potentially stalling and then I would go back to my final and land.

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All good then, you were cleared for the other RW and switched across. If you hadn’t made the RW request you’d certainly have got a violation if you’d just gone ahead and switched. Not ideal to be sequenced close behind the small slow plane but it worked out, otherwise a go around would’ve certainly been the alternative if your making the other RW was going to be dangerous or wasn’t viable:-) go around is your friend sometimes lol and the best option.

I agree with a lot of what has already been said but I would also like to add that (and this may not be the case with your situation, as I was not there) ATC has a more objective 3rd person view from the radar scope. They often can see things and sequences that the pilots can’t. For example, while controlling tower, I often have departures and arrivals really close together, but some pilots aren’t certain that it will work out well while on final. I think the best course of action, though, was to call a go around instead of switching runways on final, but it seems to have worked out, I guess! I think a go around is more realistic too. Was there an active radar facility at the time?

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if in doubt, go around. never forget that phrase

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