The 'Check In' message

Could someone please explain when to use the ‘Check in’ message?

It is to literally “check in” with the controller.

I know what it’s for… But when do you use it? Because there’s a time when you should and shouldn’t

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As soon as you tune in to the frequency.

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All the above answers are incorrect the check in is used for when you have been with a frequency for a while and haven’t had comunication to remind them you are there. This isn’t to be used as first contact to a controller that’s what intentions are for. Request ILS, radar vectors, inbound, ect. Check in should seldom be used. @B_W @Henry_Collins


I would recommend not using the check in button especially when the controller is busy.

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Guess I was using this feature wrong for 79 hours and 23 minutes


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Check in is in fact as been stated earlier, when you first contact the frequency IF you already have a flight plan and have a clearance approved already (flight following, vectors, etc). In these instances there’s absolutely no point in asking for a new clearance - especially if you’re just transiting through the controlled airspace - as the controller already has the necessary information and your intentions.

Check in should be used if you don’t intend to ask for anything different, and first contacting the facility.


@a_gudimenko is exactly correct.


So what happens if the controller responds “Roger” then asks for intentions? What is the best response for that?

That makes no sense it is the first contact if you already have clearance? How will you obtain clearance for anything if you don’t state your intentions? If you don’t ask for flight following VFR, radar vectors, ILS how would you already have clearance for them? Do you mean if there is a center you only have to check in with approach and they will already have the information requested to center? Cause center isn’t active to offen nor is departure. So your first contact frequency is generally approach. So they need your intentions not just hey I’m with you no?

How is that correct its contradicted in its self?

If you contact center or departure and they give you clearance to your destination via your preferred approach (e.g. ILS), you use check in when switching to the next frequency (e.g. approach). It is used on first contact if your clearance was already given by the previous controller. This is the only time it is used.

If we had some sort of clearance delivery before takeoff, you would only check in with each controller on first contact and not cludder each frequency with ‘xx nm North of xxx requesting ILS approach to xxx’.

Thank you much better clarification. @AR_AR

Not exactly what was said though

he was talking about ‘checking in’ with appr after being cleared by center/dep for whatever you requested. That should’ve been made a little more clear.

@jreilly2311 ok that’s all well and fine but to clarify intentions need to be requested on first contact weather it be departure center or in most cases in IF approach. So people just tuning into approach and not any of the others need to state intentions correct?

If they aren’t switching from departure or center, yes. Until we get clearance delivery.

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