When should I request for landing?

Hi all,

I’m begging to get a question answered. Not going to pull any names here, but when is it appropriate to call inbound to tower?
I was 30Nm out from EGLL so I had listened to ATIS beforehand and checked that I was landing on a correct runway etc, and so when tower appeared on list of frequencies, I tuned in, and called inbound, and was met with “Check forum for instructions.” Do note that at the time, Approach was not active, that is why I did not tune into approach beforehand.
So naturally, I was wondering what in the world I did wrong, so I watched the “Using ATC during your flight” video by Skyhawk Heavy, and nowhere was it to be seen that I did something wrong.
Here’s a brief timeline:
(30Nm) me: Calls inbound
(30Nm) ATC: Check forum
(30Nm) ATC: Enter straight in rwy 27R
(15Nm) ATC: Cleared to land
(15Nm) Me: Responds

IFATC on the expert server, can you please tell me if I did something wrong? I wasn’t the only one who got this message from this ATC during the session.

P.S. great job on IFATC being able to handle 50+ planes arriving at EGLL! Your work sometimes matches those of real ATC.

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When there is no approach, you need to say Inbound for landing, requesting runway 27R. You cant say inbound on the ILS 27R, you use this only when approach is active and they cleared you for ILS approach runway 27R. Maybe this could be the problem.


So far it seems you’re doing everything right, except you request landing WAAAYY too early. I usually contact Approach about 35nm out, and get vectors to landing and stay with them until I get to the approach triangle, which I request frequency change and go to Tower (if approved). Otherwise, I usually just wait until Approach turns me over to them.

do note at the time, Approach was not active
Unfortunately I arrived about 10 minutes too late for the approach controller to still be on.

That sounds reasonable I guess… but then I was coming in directly from the east (inbound from Amsterdam) so I didn’t see a problem asking for ILS since that’s what I normally do?

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But you were not cleared for ILS approach (since there was no approach), so you need to say inbound for landing, requesting runway XX. The tower controller will then give you pattern entry, then sequence, and then landing clearance.


Every pilot, including myself got this message when landing.
I requested my landing at 8nm out from RWY27L but when the controller states “Please check forums” I think he is saying that to every pilot so they know the event/day of flight details (such as airports in use, information/notam about EGLL etc…) and to make sure they know what they are doing so they try and operate as realistically as possible. :)

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@lew1s_h02 No, we don’t say this to every pilot. Controllers send this just when something is wrong.

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@Jakub_Astary gives the correct answer. If no ATC then you can only say “inbound for landing, requesting 27L” - Its only if there is an approach ATC, and you have been vectored, that you can say the “…on the ILS” or “visual”. Dont worry about the other pilots just your own actions as ATC.


I mean, what was funny about today is that ground and tower were different ATC, which I can understand lessens the workload, but shouldn’t ATIS be controlled by the tower? Tower should have control over ATIS because he’s in charge of takeoffs and landings.

MaxSez: “You can only say”, such nonsense. If it in the menu you can use it. MaxSez


Every situation is different and depends on controllers. It’s preferred if there is a different person on tower and ground that ground has atis as they can directly control specific things on ground that are more important in times that a separation of responsibilities are needed, such as a gate hold.

The tower and ground are in direct communication, so there is always talking between people at the same location no matter the frequency

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I recommend asking the controller directly, but you should be contacting tower 25nm out at 10,000 feet, which might be why the controller sent a Check Help Pages


I was probably tower at that time, I mainly send check help pages to those who announced inbound on the vis/gps/ils as those are only used if approach clears you and since there wasn’t approach there was no point using that and would result in a check help pages


To be honest it’s actually more useful with ground as ground can just have atis to gate hold whenever he needs, which would be important if it is like fnf traffic as tower would mainly be too busy to update

Thanks Raidon for the explanation.

I guess it’s just natural reflexes to push the ILS button as I’ve always done that in the past, even with other IFATC.
I can see why the gate hold would be very useful. Thanks for the info!

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MaxSez: “On Guard” is a common emergency Freq. The term Guard should not be utilized for routine intra- ATC services as depicted. If it’s in the menu you can use it. Just disregard the “check pages” exclamation.
Just sayin. Max

@Maxmustang from my understanding, ATC also use the on guard frequency when an aircraft doesn’t reply to them, as many pilots tend to monitor the frequency.

@Kian_Abbasi… MaxSez: What is this ATC Guard Freq you note.
If it’s an ATC use “Common” Freq then call it that. “Guard” is regulated and has a specific purpose. Max

This thread is a great reason why we have “check help” as well. And IFATC absolutely loves when that individual comes and ask questions about what they may have been doing incorrectly either via a PM or in a thread like this.

A big reason why “check help” is getting used more, is because we are trying to get the community to start realizing that a procedure is wrong. Only way we can do this is a situation exactly like this. I hope there’s enough concrete info in this if someone that didn’t know can get something out of it.