Too far out to contact Heathrow approach?

I was approaching Heathrow around 1 hour ago and I was over the English channel when Heathrow approach sent me a ‘Lufthansa922 you are in a active airspace, contact approach.’ As you can see from the picture, I couldn’t tune into approach and then on approach (around 15nm from 27L) I contacted tower and it’s like they kept avoiding my request to land unless they had a connection problem. Is there anything I can do next time so this doesn’t happen?

If this was on Training Server, ignore their request. You have to be at most 50nm out to contact a frequency.


Ahh I didn’t know that I had to be 50nm out so it was probably a mistake or something by them and ye it was training server. Thanks for telling me about the 50nm range

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No problem Dan!

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Think Dylan means that a frequency has a Maximum range of 50mn, unless I read that the wrong way 😂
I usually contact approach anywhere between 25-40nm away depending on how busy they are especially on expert.
But you should have still contacted approach when you were in there range instead of skipping straight to tower when you got closer
That’s what the training servers for tho,
Good to see you asking a question like that

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I contacted approach when I was around 45 Nm but the people controlling it kept leaving and joining back so I went to departure until I was close enough to contact tower

I know you were just trying to do what the inexperienced controllers wanted of you, so I say this not as an admonishment, but as a guide for others in less clear-cut situations of controller error. (Training server controllers just want everyone. They’d guard you on the moon if they could.)

But, anyway, under normal circumstances, the RADAR frequencies should be used for what they are intended. I run into this issue on Expert all the time. I have someone on departure who asks for free flight. When the time comes and I grant them freq change, they switch to Approach to ask for vectors to a field on the other side of the globe. No. Use the frequencies for their intended purpose.

Likewise, when you can only see Departure because you’re too far away, don’t ask Departure to give you Approach to the field. That isn’t departure’s purpose. It’s right in the name. Just wanting to be on an active frequency isn’t a reason to pick one at random. (Once again, please see first paragraph. I am using your situation to jump to a broader problem; I know why you did it.)

I could go on. Departure tells you that they’re not going to guide you to an ILS approach at Heathrow from JFK. That doesn’t mean you just jump to approach and ask the same thing. This is spam. Use the frequencies for their purpose. Approach tells you they’re closing and to resume own navigation…don’t cycle through every possible request and then jump to departure and do the same. Resume own navigation. RADAR frequencies can be incredibly busy without the clutter. Intentionally sending message after message, especially for something well beyond their purview, is obnoxious (again, in general, not here…I have to type this three times because people like to get mad in lieu of reading.)

Finally, Traing Server Controllers: The entire globe is not under your control. The desire to just send messages to any and everyone just to chase ops is out of hand. I was on short final to RSW once and kept being guarded by Miami tower. I’m not landing at your field. I’m not tuning in. Get over it. Enough legitimate traffic will enter your airspace. Wait for them instead of haranguing everyone you can set your eyeballs on.

Tower: 25 nm at or below 10k (and actually headed for your field)

Approach: 50 nm at or below FL180.

That’s it. Not everyone on your map. Don’t chase ops for ops sake.

And if you’re going to bother logging on as ATC, don’t quit after 30 seconds.


MFW SoCal approach contacts me over Twentynine Palms at FL410 and tells me I’m in their airapace.

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