Right way to contact Tower when on approach

Hi all! I was on approach to KIAD earlier today. When I contacted the Tower (there was no Approach ATC), I called inbound for landing on the ILS 19L (one of the approved runways for landing, according to the ATIS). The controller told me to check the user guide. I’m reasonably new to this. What’s the right way to contact the Tower in this situation? Thank you.

Tony

Hey there!
The specific approaches landing requests like the one you mentioned “Inbound on the ILS”, are used when you’re cleared by an approach controller for that type of approach.

In absence of an approach controller, when you request your inbound to the tower controller, you shouldn’t add any approach type as you haven’t been cleared for any type of approach; therefore, you only use “Inbound for Landing” or “Inbound for Touch and Goes”.

You can find more information on the Flying Guide below:

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Greetings @TonyP,

As a controller myself, I have given this to pilots many times before. On my end, that command does not tell us if you’re full stop or touch and go. The controller probably needed you to specify and “inbound on the ILS” shouldn’t be included as @nicopizarro mentioned above.

Thanks!

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Thanks @nicopizarro and @AviationChampion for the clarifications! Yeah, the fact that “on the ILS” doesn’t indicate full stop or touch and goes hadn’t occurred to me. Will make sure I do the right thing from now on!

Tony

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It doesn’t matter whether you’re or a full stop or T&Gs(it does matter while providing clearances though as it tells us as controllers on whether to clear for landing or for the option) but if there’s no approach controller or for that matter any center controller present at you arrival airport then while calling tower, you should always tell the controller that you are “north off xx at xxxx feet, requesting rwy xx for landing” so that the controller can give you a pattern entry follwed by a sequence (if required) and finally clearance.

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Im not sure if this is totally okay, since you can state a touch and go when calling on the ILS. The thing is that the correct way to call in without radar present is just Inbound for landing :)

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It does. “On the ILS/GPS/Visual” without anything attached after (bar which ATIS Information you have) signifies a full stop landing. If you’re inbound on an approach type for touch and goes, you can call in on that approach type and specify that you want touch and goes. The phraseology is “Dulles Tower, Flight Check 2 inbound on the ILS/GPS/Visual for touch and go, Runway 19L.”

I personally don’t get why you would get told to check the user guide for this since it waters the command down way too much. As long as you don’t call in on touch and goes, a full stop clearance is all that’s needed, preceded by any applicable pattern entry or sequence. :)

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