What to do when Tower frequency isn’t visible

There is an active thread relating to this topic, specifically about KSEA Tower on Expert today. However, I thought it might be useful to post something separate with a relevant title so people can find it more easily.

There will be occasions when you’re approaching an airport with a green-coloured label, but when you click on the icon only Ground appears. When this happens on Expert, it means that a glitch is occurring, not that there is no Tower/ATIS.

To overcome this, briefly turn off the WiFi on your device, or flip it into Flight Mode. (On my iPad I do this by double-clicking on the home button, then putting on Flight Mode from there.) The IF app will gradually disconnect, and the moment you’re waiting for is when the ATC/headphones icon in the bottom left turns grey. At this point turn your WiFi back on, and when the app fully reconnects you should now be able to see all open frequencies at your destination.

Before following this tip, please be aware of other traffic around you. If you may come into conflict with something else, go into a hold until you have sorted out your connection to Tower.

If you are close to the cone and get an On Guard message to contact Tower but cannot see that frequency, remain connected to Unicom as we controllers can see that - disconnecting your WiFi so you disappear from our radar and then reappear moments later on final will not be appreciated. You may wish to switch your flight number to NORDO to advise the controller of your connection issue.

However, and this is the most important point, you MUST use your radar to ensure you are not conflicting with other traffic, otherwise you may be ghosted.


This is some good advice for new Grade 3s!
I will follow this advice too :)


In other words for the brief disconnect is quickly enter your device into airplane mode or just turning off wifi for 10-20 seconds then follow the rest as said

Great tutorial and well said!


Thanks for advising!

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Some great stuff in here, thanks!

Before you disconnect/re-connect Wifi, first click on the airport, and check if you see Tower there, and if so click TUNE to open the Tower frequency.

(Naturally you always tune in to ATIS first. That’s the procedure)

Changing callsign to NORDO is a golden tip.
Also good to put on NORDO when you realise Tower is not receiving your messages. Don’t be afraid to keep flying with NORDO, but do keep a very good look on your radar screen, to make sure you’re not clashing with other aircrafts.

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