Pattern with no tower but approach

Just a thing I just stumbled about: If I want to do pattern work at an airport with no active ATC on tower frequency but a active ATC on Approach.
How is approach handling this? I would think that he has not to care about me cause I stay in the area the Tower is controlling anyway.
If he claims to handle me by telling me I where in an active airspace, I would expect that he keeps me in the pattern, I don’t want to leave pattern attitude, and I don’t want to be vectored away from the pattern.

Yes, I know, always follow ATC instructions. It is more about what is a feasible handling of Approach for aircrafts in the pattern of a airport. What to expect in that case. Are they meant to be responsible? And what should be the goal of their instructions?


Flying in the pattern is VFR so you’d remain on unicom unless said otherwise. It’s your responsibility to watch for aircraft that are on the approach freq and aircraft around the area.


That’s what I thought. Thanks so far.

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Yep! Adding on if approach does call you on guard just request an approach back to the airport (traffic permitting) and fly an approach and do a touch and go and go back to the approach freq and say your intentions again.

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What happenes in the case the pilot goes above the pattern altitude for the airport elevation…does approach on guard or just leave the pilot be…🤔

Two things:

  1. The pilot shouldn’t be doing that in the first place and has to watch all traffic still if they are in the pattern since they are still VFR

  2. If they aren’t remaining in the pattern they can just fly on unless approach wants to have departures on their frequencies. The pilot still has to make sure even though they aren’t approach’s freq that they aren’t interfering with their traffic

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My question is more what if the pilot stays at pattern attitude out from responsibilities of approach, but approach claims him nonetheless, and pulls him unnecessarily above the pattern on a long arrival instead of leaving him in the pattern.

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They shouldn’t call you on guard on their frequency if you aren’t interfering with their traffic. If it’s a little more busy they may have you on their freq just to limit the stress of watching over you and the traffic near you. They may have to take you out further to compensate with the traffic around. In the end you’ll get on the ground though but just having to do radar patterns to stay on the same page with the approach controller.

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