Literally the worst time to bug a pilot

One of the worst pet peeves I have on the Expert Server is when an ATC joins when you are on a 1 mile final and bugs you to join their frequency. That is a huge distraction in such a critical phase of flight, and I personally think that it should not be allowed. What do you all think? Screenshot attached, this happened minutes ago at KLAX. I am not accusing anyone, I just want to point out how dangerous this is. Let me know if this has happened to you.

If I was not more experienced I would have crashed trying to tune that frequency, essentially ruining the simulation experience.

Sorry if the image breaks the rules, but it is necessary to show exactly when it happened



I am sorry that you encountered this upon your arrival at LAX this evening. Expert Server ATC, better known as IFATC, never try to put you in a situation that would jeopardize your landing.

If you would like to advise the controller who you were in contact with during your approach about this, consider sending them a polite PM. If you need help figuring out who the controller is, please let us know.

On a side note, a general rule of thumb, used in the real world, too, is to aviate, navigate, and then communicate. If you are ever in a situation like this again, please do not be afraid to disregard the instruction and continue to land. If you are reported, a message to @appeals with your reply will help resolve the situation. However, if you do have time to contact the frequency calling you, please do so.

Thank you for bringing attention to this important topic! I hope you had a safe flight! ✈️


You are correct. According to section 3.2.10 of the manual “Controllers should avoid [frequency] changes during critical phases of flight (i.e. immediately after rotation).”


I’m a PPL in real life so yes I agree 100% with what you stated. In fact I’m taking my IFR Checkride in 3 weeks… yay.

However back on topic. I just wanted to put this out on the community so other controllers can see how dangerous this actually is, and hopefully they won’t do it in the future.


Sorry about that! The comments above are absolutely correct. Controllers should allow things to play out immediately after opening and generally speaking should avoid giving any instructions during a critical phase of flight that aren’t needed for the safety of aircraft. Critical phases would be defined as short final, touchdown, landing roll, rotation, and initial climb out.

We’ll keep working to guide some of our newer members that may not be aware of this!


No need to apologize, this is a learning experience for all and I hope these situations and topics help you and all of the IFATC team become better everyday.


This happened to me before when the controller goes away and it becomes unicom and the next thing happens when I am on final with the unicom is that I am given an on guard warning, however, I have to control and contact tower because god forbid, I don’t want to be reported, which is, given a Level 3 Violation.

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Also, these IFATC controllers should never change at the last minute especially when there are aircrafts at critical phases during the flight.

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These IFATC controllers, meaning volunteer controllers have to change when they have to change, regardless of your current flight situation. Real life comes first. As Tyler said, and per the IFATC manual, the new controller should allow the situation to play itself out when they first enter an airport. That includes allowing aircraft on short final (a few NM from touchdown) to continue without being interrupted by an on-guard.

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this has happened to me a lot, strangely most of the time landing into KLAX

It’s nice there’s an appeal process.

I was in a similar situation yesterday at EGLL I announced on unicom that I was on final…a minute later suddenly got on guard warning…I thought it was unnecessary but I complied …thankfully I wasn’t hassled to exist the runway and I thought that was fair. All said onguarding at critical stages should be avoided.

This has happened to me too. I can 100% relate

Based on your screenshot, you were over 5nm from touchdown, so this is appropriate. Short final is approximately under 3nm from touchdown. I would expect an on-guard in your situation.

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That’s true to avoid a pilot having to contact ground being given an on-guard especially when you deactivate autopilot because that could lead you into messing up the flight

I personally get it but I also understand why some folks may find it disconcerting.

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