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4 Answers

Cleared for the Option

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General Aviation, Student Pilot

Hello Instructors, 

I'm probably fixating on the details too much, but when at a controlled field and you are "cleared for the option"  Is it better to respond to ATC with the  particular option you are intending to execute. For example: 

Tower:  "Skyventures 30,  Cleared for the option Runway 16L" 

Me:  "Cleared for Stop and Go Runway 16L, Skyventures 30" 

Or is it better to keep it simple and just say   "Cleared for the options, Runway 16L".   And to take this a step forward, should you announce to the tower that you are performing a simulated engine out, etc.   Or is this simply too much info that the tower doesn't really care about?  



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4 Answers

  1. John D Collins on Jun 19, 2014

    I normally just read back cleared for the option. As long as the frequency isn’t congested, stating your actual intentions are OK, but not necessary. As far as announcing that you are performing a practice engine out maneuver, this is only necessary if you are going to deviate from what the tower expects your flight path to be.

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  2. Brent on Jun 19, 2014

    My usual strategy is to state my intentions on the initial call up. That way, when I’m cleared for the option, the controller already knows what I plan to do, so a “cleared for the option” read back doesn’t need any further elaboration. Also, the whole purpose of the cleared for the option phrase is for flexibility (mostly in training) to respond to changing conditions, so reading back a more specific clearance would defeat the purpose.

    Here’s a reference for Cleared for the Option in the AIM for anyone who needs a refresher:

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  3. Scott on Jun 19, 2014

    It doesn’t really matter most of the time… though if you’ve constantly been doing just touch and gos, and then you want to do a stop and go, it’d be a bit courteous if there’s freq time available to just mention that you’re wanting a stop and go this time. This is due mainly to be everything in ATC is driven by timing. If the controller is planning a head and needs you to do something specific they’ll limit your options, cleared low approach only, or touch and go only, just to ensure that the required separation will exist.

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  4. Stephen Bellacera on Jun 23, 2014

    Sorry for the delayed response but thanks for the great answers!

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