VFR Traffic

Flying VFR with ATC can be quite frustrating due to the limited amount of ATC command options. I was trying to request a join to KFJK a moment a ago and the controller kept handing me off to Approach. I was at circuit height and was between 5-10 miles from the field. What am
I doing wrong?

What server were you on? Also, Tower can hand you off to Approach to get you nestled back into the pattern and sequence you.


Expert server…

See above. Approach will get you arranged in the pattern, sequence you then hand you off to Tower for landing clearance. Trust the controller and their guidance ;)

How do you request to be arranged in the pattern if you are flying VFR? The approach and vector commands require a flight plan.

The controller can give you heading and altitude instructions as long as you explain/express your intent. For example, Rambo is remaining in the pattern (you want to do some touch and goes). Controller will give you left/right traffic which covers pattern, then you will be sequenced to follow the traffic on (downwind, base, final…) finally you will get cleared to land from Tower.

You can’t request to remain in the pattern with the approach controller…

I was approaching JFK from another airfield flying VFR. I didn’t depart JFK.

Thanks for the link. However, I feel you are misunderstanding the point because I am still am non the wiser.

I was flying VFR. I was approaching JFK speaking to JFK Approach under “Flight Following”. I wanted to make a landing at JFK and so I descended to circuit height and once I had the field in sight I requested the approach controller that I switch to Tower. I was handed off to tower for tower who immediately handed me back to the approach controller.

Question - how do I request a VFR approach to an airfield.

Hang tight one second. One of our most experienced controllers is going to elaborate. TimB


Tower occasionally gets jumpy and doesn’t see that you’re not IFR. I think that you understand what should happen (as I’m reading you), and Tower should have kept you and sequenced you.

Unless I’m reading this incorrectly, you have the right idea. [Just for edification, though, what aircraft where you flying? I’m guessing GA, right?]

@Brandon_Sandstrom has a thing for VFR conversations, so maybe he can put me in my place, but my reading is that you were fine, and Tower just assumed you jumped ship early because they expect everyone to be IFR.

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Great thanks for the clarification. Yes I was flying GA-VFR . The ATC commands can be frustrating flying VFR as you are very limited to the information that you can feed back to the controller.

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I believe I may have been the controller if this was between 1040z and 1255z today? If this is the case then I can explain why but if you are able to, try and tag the controller as they can then offer some insight into why they did what they did

VFR flight in IF is particularly annoying for those who actually know how to fly it. Weather you’re flying IFR or VFR into a Bravo with active approach you need to contact them. Under Free Flight you have the option of requesting Flight following or strictly VFR. If you don’t have a flight plan just select VFR. Since approach cannot give you traffic advisories as in traffic at 10 o clock 3 miles indicating 2,000 Feet. Approach has to give you vectors, and occasionally altitude for this. You stated you where at pattern altitude which is great, but also make sure you are at a point where you can enter a base or a 45° downwind. Tower contact maybe established only after approach has handed you off.

Hope this helps and I understood you correctly.

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