When to Switch Frequency

I have searched for a topic that explain when you should change frequency as in distance from or to airport and altitude if applicable. Unfortunately I have been unable to find one so could one make the tutorial or post the link to it if I have missed it. Tutorials I have seen so far doesn’t tell which frequency I should be on at a point from airport.

Since I’m deaf, please don’t post any link to a tutorial video, tutorial videos are useless to me because caption on them are YouTube’s audio generated caption which isn’t clear. I want to see a typed tutorial topic so I can fully understand which frequency I should be on at various stages of my flight from ground to air and back.


Changing frequencies with active ATC should be done by the controller’s command. If you’re using Unicom and enter an active ATC space, switch to that frequency, usually around 25nm from the source (I’m pretty sure). Altitude should already be achieved through instructions by an active controller prior to the hand off to the next frequency.

Alternately, if you’d like to switch off of a controllers frequency to a Unicom or to another controller’s frequency you can always submit the “Request frequency change” dialogue. The controller can then grant the change or ask you to stay with them.

If you’re not on anyone’s frequency and you’re approaching a controlled airfield, your altitude should fit the parameters of the approach. This one is mostly up to you to handle as PIC as you’ll already be within your approach as you contact the tower controller. When you make your flight plan you should choose and note your cruise altitude. That altitude combined with your speed and weight will determine your approach, this all happens parallel to contacting the tower controller.


Well problem is ATC members doesn’t hand you over to next controller like center to approach to Tower so I’m left in blind waiting for anyone to respond. This is why I asked for distance from airport when I should change my frequency so I would know that controller isn’t doing his job instead of risking being ghosted for not changing frequency to correct controller because previous controller didn’t tell me to do so.

If this happens on the expert server I would be surprised. Is that the case in your experience? Those controllers are trained and tested to properly transfer pilots from frequency to frequency. If you’re on the training server, unfortunately that’s just the nature of the beast. The good news is you won’t be ghosted there. There’s a cardinal rule in place as well, and it’s this: If you’re with an active controller on any server you shouldn’t jump off of their frequency without clearance. Granted, if you have a really bad controller working you may have to do just that. If you’re struggling with a controller on the training server and they’re failing to communicate with you after a reasonable amount of time, you could switch to the next frequency in your route which usually shows up on your ATC list around 25-30nm from its source.

What if Tower tell you to contact them while you are on approach frequency and being vectored to final and approach tell you to stay on approach after requesting to change frequency? Who has priority at this stage? Approach or Tower, with my poor ATC knowledge I would say Tower jumped the gun and should have waited until I’m in final. Is that correct?

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Well,after takeoff (without DEPARTURES and CENTER) you get only frequency chance approved,so switch to any Unicom,you can contact APPROACH (To destination) at 60nm at 18000ft(and lower) generally Approach switch you when you have stabilised ILS. if you want some help o clarification don esitate to PM me


In your scenario you would stay with approach. On expert server the controllers are typically in communication with one another to avoid issues like this. On TS, just do the best you can. You won’t be ghosted, that’s for sure.

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