What is the proper way to "Check In"?

I like that there are more tutorials being bumped and created now, but what if we had a weekly featured tutorial that was pinned though? That would be cool.

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It’s a toss-up. At least with the former you get some idea they know which runway they might be going to. With the latter it’s always a guessing game at which point they’re going to realize they’re not landing on the Tower and adjust heading. It’s always a fun surprise.

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I realize this was tongue in cheek :) , but to circle back to the main point because it is so important.
Neither are acceptable.

As Tyler indicated, an acceptable flight plan is one that “accounts for traffic avoidance on departure by flying runway heading, a clear and defined route to destination, and a safe arrival route that accounts for departures at the destination airport.

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I think that’s the important take away here, Kevin. 9/10 times the ones who get tangled up with ghosting, “poor service”, or delays are the ones that do nothing to help themselves with a proper flight plan, altitude, and the realization that they’re not the only ones in the region.

Furthermore, if you’re pushing back within the first minute of spawning you’re probably already off to a bad start.

  • check destination traffic and flow
  • check destination weather
  • check departure flow
  • build flight plan to account for the above
  • choose appropriate altitude (NEODD/SWEVEN)
  • check controllers available enroute
  • configure appropriate weight
  • scan ramp
  • request pushback

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What is NEODD and SWEVEN? Is it something altitude related?
Or is it like North and East is Odd numbers, and South West is Even numbers?

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Yep, you got it! @Mark_Denton made an awesome tutorial for this.

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Loving all these tutorials and comments. Learning and wanting to so much. I’m trying so hard to be a better pilot\controler!!! Thanks you!!!

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@Tyler_Shelton Great job with this tutorial. Let me correct, ANOTHER great one. Keep up the good work!

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Thank you for this still wish people would read these instructions mor often

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If I may add a few points and to bump the thread.

  • Checking In should not be used because you haven’t heard from ATC every 20/30 seconds. Many times on approach we will give you instructions that do not warrant further instructions until later. Look at the radar and check out the flow of traffic. I like to give “block descents” which minimize the number of commands I need to issue. Often times you will get an initial vector and altitude to get you downwind, then one for base, and one for the clearing. If the airspace is busy, you may be on a pattern for inbound that may send you away from the airport, have faith in your controller. The point I am trying to make is do not go crazy with checking in while the frequency is busy please.

  • If you are going to ask for vectors or flight following, there is no need to check in first. Simply tune in and ask. Checking in and immediately sending a request clogs the already busy frequency.

  • Remember that Flight Following requires a VALID flight plan, airport to airport direct plans are not valid. (See Tyler’s picture above)

  • If you are just taking off from an airport, please do not switch to the approach frequency unless told to by the tower. The approach frequency is working approach for the current and surrounding airports, not the airport 100 miles away. A good example is people taking off from EDDL going to EHAM. Planes taking off and checking in for no reason clogs the frequency when it is busy. Again, please switch when the tower directs you to contact approach (Freq change approved is not an invitation to contact approach).

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I got a quick question for you or anyone, since you’re an IFATC…
-A few days ago I was flying in London, and there was Heathrow App and Heathrown tower active. I was heading from Birmingham to Gatwick, so my flyplan was filed near the Heathrown appr cone. I contacted Heathrow App and ask for app vectors to Gatwick since I was in his airspace and decending, and he told me the airport was outside the cover area, to proceed on course. So in future flights, do I contact app and ask for vectors even if I going somewhere else near, or just check in and keep my flight plan ? Thanks !

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@Jay757 request flight following instead of Radar Vectors :)

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All depends on what you’re flying. If you’re flying an airliner just check in. If you’re flying GA, use flight following.

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Will do… Thanks a lot !!

Here’s a good explanation :)

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okay so follow up question. I have had multiple instances where I will check in and a controller will ask me to say intentions. Isnt me checking in saying my intention to follow my fpl to the airport id like to land at?

Yes that would be your intentions, just make sure you have an acceptable flight plan like shown above. A direct route or just the final approach isn’t going to fly.

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Trust I always have a flight plan. Ivo and Karol taught me well.

How do you file your altitude?

hello Tyler, i have a question: how to use flight following isn’t really mentioned in this tutorial. I know that it’s also not the main subject of this Tutorial, but i was wondering when you use ‘flight following’ then? in this tutorial it looks like ‘check in’ is just used instead of flight following.
I thought that when you change to a different frequency you first ‘check in’ and then ask for ‘flight following’. don’t know if thats right or wrong.