Something called unicom

Recently, I’ve been seeing a lot of pilots on the expert server that we not using Unicom because they think that just because ATC isn’t there that it means they don’t have to communicate with other aircraft. But I have news for those people: you must use unicom if ATC is not present!
Unicom is used to let other aircraft know what your intentions are wether it’s taxiing, crossing a runway, taking off, doing patterns or landing.
Today at Innsbruck I saw a plane who was using unicom call inbound and do his normal approach. Then, out of nowhere a TBM took off without saying anything and flew straight into the plane who was landing. Yes, the aircraft that was landing should have gone around but it’s not his fault when you consider that he wasn’t told anything about this. This is what unicom is for: to ensure a smooth running of traffic even when ATC is not present as well as to avoid conflicts.
I hope that this post will make people realize how important using unicom actually is and that they won’t just do whatever they want because they’re too lazy to report their intentions to other aircraft who are actually following the rules. A reminder that this is the expert server!
For more information about using unicom there is a tutorial here.


Well, with the big influx of new pilots, there will be more and more incidents like this happening. Nothing you can do really.


The pilot that was landing could’ve had a look at the map beforehand.

But alas, yeah. Many pilots don’t know how to use Unicom, but eventually, they will learn.

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This is the purpose of this post, to inform people who are new the proper way to communicate when ATC is not present.

What’s your opinion on using Unicom if no other aircraft are in your vicinity? You state:

But, for example, if you’re landing at an airport where no one else is present (trying to land, in pattern, on ground etc.) then what’s the point of using it? I’m not trying to dispute your point, I’m just curious to know how you’d respond to this question.


I agree with this post.

I find it very handy when pilots announce their intentions, especially when I’m approaching a runway to land or takeoff.


I think that someone could spawn in any moment and you should announce just in case you don’t see them spawn in. I’ve had that happen.

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You use it anyway. It’s just a natural thing to do.


It might be natural for you to use Unicom at an empty airport and within an empty airspace (and this is of course totally fine), but I don’t think that necessarily means that others should also be expected to naturally use it in this scenario where no other pilot is around.

I’m all for better pilot behavior on ES, but I don’t think forcing pilots to use Unicom at empty airports is the way to go, as there’s no point of doing so.

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No one’s forcing anyone. @Philippe_Gilbert is only politely recommending to pilots that they not just ignore it. Also, in the scenario that the original question described, it must have been a busy airport.

Just my ten cents :)


If you start not using unicom and being lazy even when no aircraft are present, then you start to forget about it and someday you will forget when there actually are other aircraft in the vincity. Trust me, that’s happened to me before and I’ve been ghosted for that.


It’s unfortunate that that’s happened to you, but I honestly don’t think that’s a natural progression of pilot behavior. I can say that I always use Unicom when entering an occupied uncontrolled airspace, but almost never use it when I am departing from/arriving to an empty airport.

One should always use Unicom in an uncontrolled airspace when other aircraft are present, I of course agree with that. But I don’t think that just because a pilot doesn’t use Unicom in one situation means they’ll forget to use it in another.

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Using the unicom is just a nice thing to do. Kind of like gentlemen’s rules. If someone is trying to be 100% realistic and they don’t have squares or names to see other pilots, they rely on the unicom to know where everyone is.


Better to be safe than sorry. There are worse things that can happen to you if you don’t use unicom than if you do. Just stay on the safe side. PM me if you want to talk more about this. No need to clog up here.


Considering this is the entire point of the thread, I see no issue.

If you’re on the side of realism (which I know you are), you should be transmitting all intentions on UNICOM regardless of surrounding traffic. This is how it works in real life.

That being said, I see no real issue if someone doesn’t report their intentions to an empty field in IF. Rather, just make sure you’re turned in to the frequency in case anyone else arrives, in which case start reporting your intentions.

Edit: I redact my second statement. A mad @Maxmustang has got me convinced. Realism will shine through… transmit all intentions! Although I won’t pick an unnecessary bone with those who don’t, theres no harm in the extra precaution.



Dear Almighty MaxMustang:

I hold your opinion in high regard. I will now terminate my subscription and IFC account with honor to fulfill your glorius desire. Thank you for steering my helm in the proper direction.


Expensive Sea Vessel


I reckon it’s a smart idea for pilots to get in the habit of using unicom from the casual server up. They should understand it and the commands from the start, then you won’t have as many problems with active ATC on expert.

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@Yacht…MaxSez: Unnecessary Action. Take the heat Sir… Consider my comment a Lesson Learned. There are snakes on this plane!


The problem never comes from the plane you see. It’s always from the one you don’t see until it’s too late.

If realism is your thing, pilots are trained to use unicom/CTAF all the time, every time. Get in the habit now and it’ll help you if you ever start flight training. If realism isn’t your thing, using unicom could help save you or someone else from a ghost.


Well the expert servers really changed 787-9s and MD11Fs at NZQN whilst ATC was on to people not using Unicom 🤞🏻

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