Pilots, please work with Approach ATC

I have been working as Approach ATC, and I noticed Pilots struggle to understand how to work with Approach.

The goal of Approach is to guide Pilots to a point near the final runway, and then hand-over to Tower.

So when you are approaching an airport, and it’s quiet, it is probably ok, to fly VFR and follow your own flight plan.
When it’s busy, please do not submit a ‘with you’ or ‘flying VFR’ to Approach. Instead, forget about your flightplan and ask for ILS vectors to the airport and runway, and let the Approach ATC guide you. And follow the instructions! And don’t listen to Tower yelling out Guard messages - if he does that, he (or she) probably hasn’t noticed that he (or she) has an Approach ATC. Wait until Approach hands you over to Tower.

I hope this topic can contribute to better game play.


Note: This article was written with the best interest in mind and tries to summerise some best practices I’ve learned within IF and on this Forum. Positive contributions more than welcome, of course.

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Believe this applies primarily to the Trash Hauling Community. I Fly GA VFR.
I’m not IMC/instrument qulified. What’s my Approach comm responsibility?
Max Sends

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In principle approach is there for big airports. For a small GA plane it doesn’t make much sense to try and land there in the middle of heavy traffic. If you absolutely want to do so, then in theory you have to contact approach and comply with vectors.

To clarify, my comment above only applies for class B and C airports. On a class D airport, flying VFR (and at the proper altitude), you don’t need to contact approach (and actually shouldn’t at all).

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Actually approach does quiet a bit for smaller airports a lot of the smaller airports near a class B have to contact approach for take off clearance.

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Max, what is a ‘Trash Hauling Community’?

Do you fly VFR because you don’t trust Approach in IF, or becusse it’s good practice?

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Max refers to a commercial jets as a trash haulers. And he fly’s GA aircraft which typically fly VFR routes.

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Ok…

And what is than a GA aircraft?

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GA=general aviation C-172, C-208, cirus SR22, Super D ect

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You keep beating me to the punch by seconds :)

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If he’s flying outside intl airport ring and he is under 4000ft approach should just let him get on with VFR. For example the trash hauler shouldn’t be flying that low outside airport ring anyways.

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I recognize GA are not an ATC favorite at a large field with hvy traffic. Until ATC is staffed at the smaller feeder fields in the Metro areas ATC should expect to service GA on there short Rwys where available at any time on IF considering the multiple time zone’s the community comes from. My experiences on IF have generated Approch Guard Msg if I bypassed them. Everybody here should be welcome at any Aerodrome offering services. The standard response and complaint about GA don’t wash. Take the inbounds as they come, sequence them into the mix, if you restrict launch & recovery to long runways and don’t use all available then eat the hassle. Mad Max Sends

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I have great faith and admiration for the ATC group at all levels of proficiency.
As for trust I’m the PILOT IN COMMAND (POC)! I make the decisions ATC provides “Service”, Never forget it anyone! Max Sends
((I trust "Me and my God who’s my Co-Pilot))

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Who’s “principle/practice” ya talkin bout. Never saw that anywhere in the FAR. Stick to the book, wanna improvise to satisfy an IF anomaly publish a NOTAM. Max Sends

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But it’s also important for the pilot and controller to know what class B airports accept GA aircraft KSAN has no GA parking for instance but KPSP does and has a smaller runway to accommodate for GA’s it’s all about knowing the operations of the airspace you are controlling or flying into.

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Well, landing a Caravan at JFK in the middle of heavy traffic can also be considered an “anomaly”, can’t it?
Anyway, a pinch of common sense is all it takes - KISS as you like to say so often :)

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I am an atc on infinite and I think we controllers need more improvement not just a map but radar. Like for a pilot flying from ksan to klax he is handed over to me. I tell him to climb to fl120 speed 380 heading 340. Then when he reaches my waypoint he turns to heading 260-265. If we controllers can get better equipment.

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Never flew a Caravan into JFK use Tetterboro. Suggest you ask the UPS guys out of there cargo hub who fly the island short haul daily. Max Send

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Right you are. Procedures, services to include parking + NOTAM are readily available on the Web. Don’t know what I’m talking about… Read the Tutorials before you step in with 1 foot. Max Sends

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