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4 Answers

Reporting to tower controller when leaving FAF/OM?

Asked by: 1309 views Instrument Rating

Let's say I'm shooting an approach into a class D airport without radar. When I get handed off from TRACON to tower, it's usually a couple miles prior to passing to FAF for the approach. When I switch over to tower, do I also switch to a non-radar environment? Most likely, TRACON will still be able to see me, but tower won't have a radar. Leaving the FAF/OM is a required report in a non-radar environment, so would I be legally required to report leaving the FAF/OM? I have never had any problems with checking in with tower with a simple "inbound for ABC approach" and I hear others including their distance from the FAF but never the exact moment they leave the FAF.

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4 Answers



  1. John D Collins on Jun 30, 2015

    When you are receiving radar service and told to contact the tower, if radar service is not continued, the controller will advise “Radar Service Terminated, contact tower …”

    Although it is not required to call passing the OM/FAF in a radar environment, it does not hurt to do so.

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  2. Drew on Jun 30, 2015

    Would you happen to know a reason for ATC continuing to provide radar service even when they no longer have contact with the aircraft? Thanks.

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  3. Mark Kolber on Jul 02, 2015

    It’s not a matter of TRACON providing radar services in terms of giving you direct instructions. It is more about TRACON continuing to monitor your flight in case of mishaps, a missed approach, passing information to the Tower, knowing when the airspace is clear to allow other aircraft to use airspace, and other ATC functions.

    IFR – it’s not about you. It’s about the system.

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  4. Drew on Jul 03, 2015

    Ah, I see. So, I guess the only reliable way to determine if I’m in non-radar environment is if ATC tells me that radar contact is lost or terminated.

    Thank you.

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