Right way to communicate with Tower

So I was about to land maybe 15 miles out I said to tower I was inbound on the ILS runway 09L in Heathrow then he said please check Tutorials on the forum … May I ask what I did wrong?

Were you handed out to tower by approach? In other words were you cleared for the ILS/GPS by approach?

That’s very incorrect @Claudio, you announce inbound/contact tower 25nm out of airport.

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No that is not necessary. There really isn’t anything wrong with calling inbound 15nm away from the airport. It would be best to contact the controller who was directing you at the time and ask them what the check help pages was for. Maybe something else went wrong on your part, maybe the controller did something wrong. It’s all about communicating with them so everyone learns from their mistakes, whether a pilot or controller :)


I had this same sort of thing happen to me yesterday, here is what @Boodz_G told me…

  • Thanks for contacting me! The reason I told you to CHP is because you called inbound on the ILS 13 which is incorrect. ILS and Visual require approach ATC which in this current case wasn’t available. So unless there is an approach ATC, you should call inbound for landing.*

Hope this helps…


Is this interacting with Approach?

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Yes, as @Captain_Finck already mentioned, you only call inbound on ILS/GPS (on tower obviously) when you are cleared for the ILS/GPS by Approach services.


Oh I thought this was for Tower, so I must’ve thought you call inbound on ILS in
…the cone.

But everyone else in correct.

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Yes I was handed to tower but the approach didn’t really say I was cleared approach

That is odd but nonetheless is the reason, maybe if you want you could contact the approach/tower controller so he can give you a more detailed explanation.

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And I suppose not everyone is an IFATC member.

Then you must have asked for something other than ILS. If you’re RV, you call “inbound for landing”.


Who was the controller? They probably have a better idea of what happened.

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I just said I was inbound on the iLS 9L that’s all I said

Idk not sure it was in London Heathrow like 3 hours ago I think it might have actually been you idk how to check on replay doesn’t let me click the airport

Ok, based on the time frame, I’m pretty sure it was me. I remember giving one person check help because they showed up ok my screen as RV (Radar Vectors) in which you would call inbound normally, and tower would give you a pattern entry and sequence.

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If approach didn’t clear you for an ILS approach, then you weren’t inbound on the ILS. You were “inbound for landing.”


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