"Report midfield downwind" with a question

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by guest user, Aug 19, 2022.

  1. guest user

    guest user Pre-takeoff checklist

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    just passing through
    I went to a class D airport for some pattern work. While inbound, after contacting tower and announcing intentions, the conversation went mostly like this:
    Tower: "enter left downwind for runway 5, report when midfield on the downwind"
    Me: acknowledge the above
    Tower: "I see you inbound on the downwind, cleared for the option runway 5"
    Me: acknowledge cleared to land

    I never reported midfield downwind and proceeded to do my pattern work and went back to my home airport.
    ----------
    So, the question is "was I still supposed to report midfield downwind even after the tower reported visually seeing me, or did their visually seeing me fulfill the expectation?"

    I am a simple guy and since the tower didn't say anything about my not reporting it, life is good and I live to fly another day. But, I've wondered about what the CORRECT answer is.
     
  2. tsts4

    tsts4 Pattern Altitude

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    No need to report. The subsequent “cleared for the option” call from the tower superseded the previous instruction to report midfield downwind.
     
  3. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    He saw you, then cleared you so you were good. However, if you are ever in doubt, just speak up.
     
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  4. RussR

    RussR En-Route

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    All the "report midfield downwind" really is, is basically the controller saying "hey give me a prompt when you get closer, so I can clear you to land". Also then they will know exactly where to look for you if they haven't seen you already.

    So if they already see you and have remembered to clear you to land, there's no longer a need for the "prompt" and therefore no need for the call.
     
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  5. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Whenever I get a "report [such-and-such location]" I make a bet with myself whether they will give the next instruction before I report. Seems about 50/50.
     
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  6. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    "Remind me to clear you to land"
     
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  7. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    I usually just skip talking to them and report midfield final.
     
  8. Tools

    Tools Cleared for Takeoff

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    So there I was….

    about 40 miles out, clear and a million, got the field in sight…

    - approach, delta blah blah, we got the field in sight
    - delta blah blah, roger, the field is at 30 miles 12 o’clock, cleared for the visual runway east, switch tower

    pretty sure the 30 mile thing was for the recording…. It was 1am, long day, we were the only thing airborn still.

    (Me on Intercom) this that, landing checks complete, runway is clear, what could go wrong now? (Ya, I know….)

    - delta blah blah, you’re cleared to land

    (unfortunately this was on the rollout)

    - tower, delta blah blah, ready to copy that phone number….
    - delta blah blah, don’t worry about it!

    He saw us a million miles out, was he wrong not to query us earlier? Meh
     
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  9. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

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    How do you know he saw you. Maybe you woke him up when you hit the reversers.:goofy:
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2022
  10. rhkennerly

    rhkennerly Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The controller was just setting an alarm clock: you. He may have had distractions in the cab, maybe recording the atis or was on the landline with the center, and was using you as a reminder of the traffic in the pattern. No problem. You did your part by being ready.
     
  11. Tools

    Tools Cleared for Takeoff

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    Hehe, oh, he knew! It was pretty clear, and he wasn’t snarky or anything. He was waiting to see if we’d call.

    he keyed the mic EXACTLY when we touched down, before the spoilers went up! Much less reversers….

    and we were duly horrified! The take away was how fatigue affects you, period. No distractions, nothing. Two super experienced guys just flat forgot.
     
  12. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Sigh...waking up the controller? Really?

    Some class D airports do not have radar. They wanted a midfield downwind report to be sure they see you and subsequently clear you to land. Pretty common thing to do. Some pilots seem to forget that they aren't the only ones flying in, out or too the airport. I've seen a notepad and a pen on the console of Class D towers just so they can keep track of the aircraft they are talking to because they have no other way of knowing where you are. And if pilots screw up where they are in their first transmission, that just makes it more difficult.
     
  13. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If you’d have realized it when crossing the fence, would you have gone around? I’m not to impressed with the Controller making a game of it. He shoulda reached out to see if you were even on frequency.
     
  14. Tools

    Tools Cleared for Takeoff

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    Nope. I’d have landed.

    Honestly, I was not impressed by that either, didn’t super offended or anything. Capt was horrified we landed without clearance.

    I was ALWAYS of the opinion he was as much to “blame” as us. Which of course would not be r the case had things gone sideways.

    Made a learning point of it and now have great stories! Ha!
     
  15. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I took it as an attempt at humor. I was based at Centennial (KAPA) for 20 years. Three runways, 4-6 flight schools (depending) with over 100 aircraft. One of the 25 busiest airports in the US. A dozen in the patterns was not unusual. VFR Tower. I can guarantee the controllers weren't sleeping. Instructions to report at a certain position when arriving VFR was SOP.
     
  16. RussR

    RussR En-Route

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    If you ever land without clearance and the controller asks if you saw the green light gun signal, the only acceptable answer is "yes".
     
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  17. TrueCourse

    TrueCourse Line Up and Wait

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    Reminds me of the verbiage “left final” or “right final”.
     
  18. Plano Pilot

    Plano Pilot Line Up and Wait

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    Back in the 80's we returned to KDAL in the middle of the night after flying all day and into the night. As we cleared 13L I hear the Chief Pilot, in the right seat, say damn and then call ground for taxi to the hangar. Ground gave us the normal taxi clearance. I asked what the "damn" was about and he said we never checked in with tower, we were still on approach frequency! We did not bring it up and ATC/FAA never contacted us.

    Ever since I make sure I get landing clearance, sometimes doubly so. Controllers forget also, I got cleared to land twice on my last flight.
     
  19. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I had a controller clear me to land 4 times. I was originally in the pattern #3 and he cleared me again each time another landed, and then an extra time while crossing the threshold, just for good measure. I think that last one was meant as a joke.