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Procedure when CTR logs off, no APP, but TWR still online?


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Yesterday I was approaching EDDF and cleared for ROLIS1A level FL100 at ETARU. ATIS told the 25L and 25R were in use. Just before ETARU the CTR logs off and transfers everybody to UNICOM. Ok, I keep planning for 25R. During the downwind leg, I checked the new ATIS and now it said 25C is in use. Just before turning for base, I swapped for ILS 25C, and switched to TWR and announced "ILS25C 16 miles out". TCAS did not show any planes so I trusted that the final was clear.

In this situation, if the TWR is present but nothing above, is it preferable to move earlier from UNICOM to TWR to say intentions than when joining the final?

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This is a typical 'VATSIM-ism'. In this case, I would simply ask TWR asap if it is OK to use 25R for landing. I cannot imagine strong objections. Any - somewhat experienced - controller knows that the first few minutes after connecting are 'clean-up time'. Forcing pilots to make any last-minute changes hardly ever helps expediting this process .

In my experience, almost everything is possible as long as you talk to each other.

Cheers,

Martijn

Edited by Martijn Rammeloo
typo
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In addition to Martijn's reply: I think you handled it perfectly. TWR only controls the airfield and airspace D (control zone) around the airport. So it was absolutely correct for you to stay on UNICOM until you were on final. Why? Because you need to coordinate your approach with other pilots and the only way to do so is via radio communication on frequency 122.8 .

And: as Martijn says, you simply could have stuck with your plan to land on 25R, because the change of runways happened at a very late stage in approach and you only found out by chance - in the real world and on VATSIM I usually check the ATIS once only and this would be around 20 minutes before my expected landing time. Should there be any significant changes, ATC will let you know.

To sum it up: stay on UNICOM until established on final approach at approximately 10 NM to 15 NM final, then contact TWR. I think you handled this situation very well.

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