What is the proper way to "Check In"?

Do you ever wonder how you should Check In with a radar facility or how you, the radar facility, should handle those aircraft? In this tutorial I’ll give you everything you need to seamlessly transition from controller to controller! It is always preferred that you simply request the service you desire but this tutorial shows you how to properly check in.

The Check In feature serves two primary functions on Infinite Flight:

1.) Requesting Flight Following from the first radar controller you contact when you have an acceptable flight plan.

For the purpose of this tutorial, Departure, Approach, and Center are radar facilities.

2.) Advising a radar controller that you are on their frequency after being switched by a previous radar controller.


Pilot

When departing with an acceptable flight plan that you wish to follow, simply check in with the first radar controller who will acknowledge with “roger”. Once acknowledged you may proceed on course. Be advised that you are subject to instruction based on traffic, routing, and controller sequence at any point in your flight.

Using the second application, when being transferred from one radar controller to another radar controller (ex. Departure>Center>Approach) you may simply check in. The radar controller will be able to see previously issued service where he/she can pick up directly where the last controller left off, providing vectors to destination or an instrument arrival.

Note: If never told to “expect” when communicating with a radar controller, make a service request with the next radar controller so they can more expeditiously provide service.


What is an acceptable flight plan?

YES. The following flight plan 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.


NO. A direct route to your destination does not consider any of the above.


Controller

Whether working Departure, Center, or Approach, if a departing aircraft checks in with a valid flight plan you may choose to acknowledge, then only issue an altitude which allows them to follow their filed flight plan or you may advise the aircraft to “expect” radar vectors, vectors for the ILS, or any other service you deem necessary. The controller will have final authority to approve or deny flight following requests based on traffic, sequence, and other factors.

When working Departure, Center, or Approach it will be common to have aircraft transferred to you from another radar controller. When the previous controller was providing a service it will be visible directly on their flight progress strip as shown here:

RV=Radar Vectors
ILS=ILS Approach
GPS=GPS Approach
FF=Flight Following
V=VFR

Based on previous service you may continue immediately with heading and altitude adjustments. The controller that the aircraft has been handed off to may also tell the aircraft to “expect” a different service than previously assigned based on traffic needs.

I hope this helps you better understand the Check In feature and how to use it on Infinite Flight!

NOTE: THE ABOVE TUTORIAL APPLIES TO INFINITE FLIGHT. REAL WORLD APPLICATION DIFFERS.

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Much needed tutorial. Thanks Tyler for the great work! 👌🏼

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Nice job chief! I teach our controllers to give an altitude assignment to this type of initial check in, didn’t notice that in your controller response. Perhaps I’m doing it wrong. Also now maybe we can fix @Mark_Denton FF tutorial for below FL180 😜. Yes I’m not giving that one up.

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Good catch, man! I added the altitude part. :)

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Thank you for this much needed post Tyler!

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Great Tutorial as always!


Quick Question:
Say I am a jet cruising at 26,000, and I contact LAX approach and Check In. If he says roger, and then doesn’t speak to me again, does this mean I can continue with my approach, even if it isn’t the way he is vectoring planes?

Of course, he is allowed to change my direction, attitude, and speed at any time. Just, if he doesn’t…

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Yes, sir. Simply continue to follow your flight plan and the controller will issue a vector or altitude if necessary. :)

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Thanks so much for the help, I will definitely use this to my advantage! (Scenic Approaches)

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Do you have a link to a tutorial that explains which choice you are required to choose given these three parameters…flying vfr/dest arpt approach/radar vectors…and how the pilot analyzes the situation to make that determination…also l read previously that it is not preferable to announce yourself by a proper check in…just give your coordinates…since it wastes the controller’s time…please elucidate…

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You can request anything you want to. Where the check in wastes our time is when you check in then 1 second later after we respond you ask for something.

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@Tyler_Shelton… Excellent overview of radar services for IFR applications.
Just a bullet or 2 on VFR applications for those low slow GA drivers would be appropriate me thinks. Regards, Max

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Thanks @Tyler_Shelton,
Wonder if what I have been doing is wrong?
I always have a Flight Plan and ask Departure for “Flight Following” after being transferred from Tower after departure.
About 80nm from destination and if Departure has not transferred me I ask for “Change Frequency”.
I then log on and ask Approach for “RV/ILS/GPS” to my destination.
Do I need to use “Check In” at all?

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So when I depart from an airport with a valid flight plan, say in a jet, do you want to me to request flight following, or check in?Cause their isn’t really IFR in in infiniteflight, and no offense but I can’t tell if you’re​ saying that check in is IFR for jets,and VFR flight following for GA staying bellow 18000ft?Sorry for the paragraph, is a complicated question :/.

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No you don’t need to check in at all if you don’t want too.

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No IFR lol, I feel the complete opposite. I tell people if you’re IFR then use the check in. If you’re VFR use flight following. 90% don’t know the difference between the 2.

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I guess that is a yes then, I’ll go try it and see what happens :D.And just one more thing sir, once I’ve checked in climbing out runway heading and all, would I request climb to desired cruise attitude,cause I would need clearence,since I am not VFR.

As stated they should assign you an initial altitude, but of course you can request an altitude change at anytime.

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Very informative, thank you Tyler!

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Excellent tutorial Tyler. I was about to get ya on the somethings but you put RW procedures are different. Ruined my fun. Haha

Very good tutorial!
I just hope We will not be slammed with WITH YOU , always remember that the ideal is to request RV or ILS, and especially if it is busy we controllers if we feel the need we can give you vectors! This tutorial only serves to make you understand how, why and when to use it.so please from now don’t use only with you.