Pilot's tip of the week

Contacting Ground After Landing


Subscriber question:

"My question relates to radio communication when landing at a tower-controlled airport. Once you have touched down and are leaving (or have exited) the runway, many airports will immediately tell you to switch to the ground frequency once clear of the runway. Some towers do not say anything. My question is (once clear of the runway) are pilots supposed to remain on the tower frequency until they are told to contact the ground frequency OR once clear of the runway should a pilot immediately switch to the ground frequency and report his position and intentions?" - Anonymous


ATC_Contact_Ground_Updated.png“A pilot who has just landed should not change from the tower frequency to the ground control frequency until directed to do so by the controller. The tower controller may need to issue subsequent instructions to hold short of another runway or taxiway.

Recent changes to the Air Traffic Controller’s manual require ATC to obtain a verbal acknowledgment of runway crossing and hold short instructions from the pilot. If you leave the frequency, the controller will not be able to obtain the acknowledgment.

If the pilot has not received instructions to taxi or contact ground after a reasonable amount of time, query the tower controller. Of course, whenever in doubt about your taxi clearance, ask the controller for clarification.”

(NEW) VFR Mastery scenario #67 “A Swift Decision” is now available. A pre-takeoff briefing exists to remove hesitation and doubt from split-second emergency decisions after takeoff. The problem is that most real-world departures present several opportunities to go off script. Some of those improvisations could turn an off-field crash into an uneventful runway landing—or a disaster. Watch the Intro video.

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