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CALLING IN ON CTAF


Rédigé le Lundi 17 Décembre 2007 à 13:56 | Lu 11666 commentaire(s)


CALLING IN ON CTAF
Training Tips
Nontowered airports can be extremely busy places.
Knowing the fine points of an arrival procedure can advance safety and smooth traffic flow, as the Dec. 7, 2007, Training Tips article "I'll call your base" described. No one calls your base when you arrive at a nontowered airport.
But someone may advise which runway is active and give the winds if you call in to request an airport advisory.

When is the correct time to make that call? "Monitor the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) when the aircraft is 10 miles from the airport and establish and maintain communications until landing," advises Section 5 of AOPA's Handbook for Pilots.
That also means self-announcing your position when entering the downwind, base, and final legs, and leaving the runway, adds Chapter 4 of the Aeronautical Information Manual (see Table 4-1-1, summary of recommended communications procedures).
This gives other pilots time to spot your aircraft. You can make yourself more visible by using your landing light.

Often aircraft arriving at a nontowered airport may have been receiving radar traffic advisories from air traffic control while en route.
You may be only two or three miles from your destination when the controller advises, "Radar service terminated, change to advisory frequency approved"—especially if you have not yet reported the airport in sight.
Although the notification terminating radar service may include instructions to switch to the advisory frequency (see the Pilot/Controller Glossary), make sure you have already started monitoring the CTAF on another radio 10 miles out.

What if an airport advisory seems to recommend landing on an inappropriate runway or with a tailwind?
A flight instructor challenged Rod Machado to tackle that query in the February 2004 AOPA Flight Training. He responded, "I teach every one of my primary students to call for an advisory, then overfly the nontowered airport (at a minimum of 500 feet above TPA, or traffic pattern altitude), and look at the wind indicators.
At this point they make a decision on how to land that also takes into consideration the current flow of traffic." See the rest of his discussion for other tips about airport advisories—everything from tumbleweed reports, to cars, debris, or children on the runway, just to name a few!






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