To KSAN Tower Controller... I tried!

If All Nippon 8 2 0 uses the forums, I did my best to vector traffic in to you in an orderly fashion tonight! In spite of my efforts some pilots Just. Don’t. Listen. :) It was a busy night. Cheers!


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you did you best…thats what counts…Bless!!


The most frustrating thing when controlling an approach frequency is when a user repeatedly asks for the ILS approach and/or radar vectors, and when you try to give it to them they respond with, “unable” every time! lol :neutral_face:

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you’re not alone…i get that alot as well and there’s nothing to respond when they say “unable”

Until I saw a post on the FB page this AM I thought the proper thing to do was let center/tower know I was going too do an ILS approach according to my filed flight plan. ATC would then give me vectors even though I had filed a flight plan which I always followed. I now know to just let them know I’m coming and only make contact when I’m on the ILS unless told to do something else. I think this is correct?

I ride with you a lot Jason… “you push good Iron and do good work!” Thanks for the extra effort. Regards, Max Sends

@sants A flight plan is great for when the controller tells you to resume own navigation or says “proceed on course”. Otherwise, you do what the controller asks unless it’s unsafe to do so (like if he/she is vectoring you into terrain, into another aircraft, or doesn’t realize that you can’t descend to the requested altitude in the time/distance available). Does that help?

And thanks, @Maxmustang :blush:


Yes, thanks Jason. I always do what ATC tells me irregardless of my filed flight plan. My point is I would also ask for ILS APPROACH even when I had a ILS approach on my plan and would then get vectors. I didn’t know that if we had a filed flight plan we did not need to let ATC know we were coming. We just had to follow our flight plan until on the ILS and announce that to ATC. Unless, of course, we were told to do something else. Is this correct?

Ah, thanks for the clarification. Can someone give a definitive answer on this one? @Bill_Kavanaugh or @Swang007?

Flight plans are truly not designed to be that specific. In reality you don’t plan all the way to a specific runway. Conditions and traffic needs change.

Do what ATC tells you. Don’t blindly follow a flight plan. That will get you ghosted. Odds are if someone else did the same thing, your plans would cause each other to crash into each other.

Your flight plan should get you into the controlled airspace, in position for the expected approach based on weather, and then let ATC direct you to the runway.

Does that help?

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So @Sants, do follow your flight plan until in the controlled airspace, rather than until on the ILS.

And gang, let’s avoid the check-in if you actually know where you’d like to go. “With You” isn’t very helpful and from what I’ve heard from approach/departure/center controllers, is just kind of annoying. Perhaps we can declare our intentions instead.

Thanks, @Bill_Kavanaugh!

Yes Bill, unless told otherwise. I’ve only been here for a couple months and just a few days ago started on the playground. Spent the rest of my time learning. Now that I’m on the playground I’m not always sure I’m doing things right although I always do what ATC tells me, I’m now starting to figure out why. I got a lot from this post. Thanks to all.

jasonrosewell, I would ver much welcome some.good tips and hints on Approach work. I’ve read and watched tutorials on Tower work, but can’t find anything on Approach work. For example, how do you determine a good Vector for a Pilot?
Would you be willing to write something?