The Option...

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by deyoung, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. deyoung

    deyoung Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Question for the tower controllers here... if I'm cleared for the option, do you want me to tell you what I plan to do, or am I just unnecessarily eating up radio traffic? In general, my approach (hah) has been not to clarify any further unless I'm done and this will be a full stop; usually I announce that, assuming you might want to know that I'll be on the runway longer and probably wanting to talk to ground next.

    But then I thought why not just ask? :)
     
  2. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    Not a controller but I do whatever the heck when I hear clear for the option. If they want me to do something specific, they tell me
     
  3. deyoung

    deyoung Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yeah, I understand that I'm not obligated to, just wondering if there's a preference. Guessing not, but just checking. :)
     
  4. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    If you do a full stop it’s nice to let tower know. That way they can coordinate with ground and they can plan ahead with their taxiing traffic. Having said that, I really didn’t care either way.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  5. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Controllers assume you will do a touch and go, low approach or stop and go. As Velocity said its nice to let the tower know if you're going to make it a full stop even though it is part of "the option." Controllers will also limit the option if need be such as "unable stop and go, other options approved."
     
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  6. Unit74

    Unit74 En-Route

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    If I get cleared for the option, I usually choose to reverse the pattern just to show them who the PIC is and what authority I have.
     
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  7. Bobanna

    Bobanna Line Up and Wait

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    "Cleared for the option" means you "own" the runway (unless a restriction is part of the clearance NB: @Timbeck2), but it's always in the interest of the greater good to courteously let ATC know your intentions when you can.
     
  8. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    If you were done bouncing and your ready to land it’s nice to know.

    EDIT: by bouncing I mean you've been in closed traffic doing landing practice
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
  9. AKBill

    AKBill Pattern Altitude

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    We get a lot controllers in Juneau that give you the option of "short approach, long landing approved". With an 8800 x150 ft runway most of the commercial 135 outfits take the short approach option. I take the short/long most of the time. I respond either "short approach or normal approach" depending on what I am set up for. I always let tower know my intentions.
     
  10. JDACO

    JDACO Pre-Flight

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    On really windy days, I ask for the option. Example: Two weeks ago I was doing a maintenance flight in my RV. I was out in the practice area and heard one of the controllers give a wind check. 23G45 45 degrees off the runway. It was nothing when I took off but got gusty while I was up. Waited about 20 minutes and went back to land. I asked for the option in case I needed to go around. I do it out of courtesy for the controllers so that they know there is the potential and can plan accordingly.
     
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  11. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Does a bounced landing count as a touch and go?
     
  12. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    LOL. Bouncing is controller speak for someone staying in the pattern, closed traffic.
     
  13. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think most pilots will announce full stop if they are on their last circuit.
     
  14. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A friend who used to be a tower controller in California used to sarcastically clear pilots who bounced for touch and go (and hit the operations counter twice for each bounce, a t&g is a landing and a takeoff).
     
  15. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    I do the same.
     
  16. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Lol. There were all kinds of reasons to give the counter another click. Having to say the same thing twice would rate a click sometimes. Ridiculing the pilot like that is uncalled for though, unless you knew the pilot and he was a friend, then it's no holds barred
     
  17. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Yep pilots could get their feelers hurt then complain that the controllers was unprofessional when he was only making a joke. I had that happen to me the other day. Had a flight of two A10s come in off the base turn (one was on the base turn the other was on final, "One" is the call sign of the first to land and "two" is the call sign of the second to land) when a US Customs C206 was taking his sweet time exiting the runway and had his tail still across the white line. As I was saying "One, go around" two called base gear stop so One never heard me. I didn't know this and as he landed I said, "or you can land if you want." which really cheesed him off. Since I work for my customer this guy was a friend of the commander (my boss) and said that I was being unprofessional. When it finally got back to me, I countered with, "Well why did he land knowing that he didn't have the required separation. Who's the unprofessional one here?"
     
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  18. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    I think that's funny, there's nothing wrong with a little harmless banter between people. People are far too sensitive, grow up and grow a set
     
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  19. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I was on downwind once and heard a controller jokingly admonish a pilot who bounced twice before sitting it down thusly “N1234, I only cleared you to land once, not three times”. I barely got the tears cleared out of my eyes from laughing so hard before I had to land. Come to find out, the pilot was based there and was actually good friends with the controller.
     
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  20. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    I can remember during my IFR training and getting a bit frazzled and the conversation went like this:

    "Skylane 345, cleared to land runway 3-2"

    "Uhhh, cleared for the option runway 3-2, 345" (intended to request option for low approach)

    "OK then, guess you are cleared for the option then as well runway 3-2"
     
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  21. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    The people at SEE tower are absolute saints. The most patient people you will encounter. The MYF folks are nice too, but they seem slightly less forgiving than the SEE folks

    A few weeks ago someone on the radio, was very clearly "english as second language" and but even with the exchange below the guy stayed very pro. He must meditate every day

    tower: "cessna XX continue downwind, I will call your base"
    cessna: "okay, we are turning downwind"
    tower: "cessna xx, you are already on downwind, I need you to extend, I will call your base"
    cessna: "okay, we are turning base"
    tower: "cessna xx, please listen I need you to keep flying straight"
    cessna, no joke: "okay, we are flying straight"
    tower: "cessna xx, fly heading 090"

    mind you, this was on a busy day without split frequencies, so he had a lot on his plate
     
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  22. Hippike

    Hippike Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I once heard 'cleared for the option' from tower. When I repeated back 'cleared to land', tower frowned at me saying 'I cleared you for the option, that is a touch and go or a low approach or a go around, landing is not available at this time...' MY CFI got mad saying 'option' includes everything, but we did not voice our concern to tower as the patter was very busy that day.
     
  23. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    By "split frequencies" @Tantalum do you mean everyone was on one frequency? Believe me, when its busy you want everyone on the same frequency because otherwise people are talking all over each other and it slows things down quite a bit with a whole lot of "sorry you were stepped on, say again."
     
  24. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    If you had informed the tower that it would be a full stop instead of repeating "cleared to land" you may have gotten a different outcome. Like wise, the tower should have said, "cleared touch and go, or low approach only."
     
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  25. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    MYF has parallel runways. When they 'split' there's a Local Controller for each
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2018
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  26. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    One of my favorites was, "Tower, N12345, how do you read." Me, "Left to right and top to bottom, go ahead." Some Sup told me to quit f'ing with the pilots. I did, when he was there. Never got nuthin but a chuckle from the pilots
     
  27. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If ya request the option, then fly the ****ing option. Tower wouldn't have cleared you for it if they had other traffic that conflicted with the option. I mean, why ask for the option (unless it's your instructor/ check airman) if you intend to land? o_O:)
     
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  28. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    One the other hand don't act as if the tower knows what you want to do. The C-130s at DM are notorious for simply saying, "base, gear" leaving it up to the controller to guess what they want to do. After several patterns of them saying, "base with the gear" and me telling my local controller to clear them to land - they would always come back with, "tower request the option." Some ****ed off pilot later after they landed, called the tower to right our wrongs. "If we don't specify, assume we want the option." "Nope." I said, "I assume nothing. Do it like it says in the book, base, gear, intentions. I don't have my crystal ball with me and don't expect my controllers to have one either."

    Its good to be a civilian
     
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  29. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Awwwww, how cute.
     
  30. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    My hero! You grouchy old controller. ;)
     
  31. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    KAPA splits the parallels between two controllers also. It’s usually degenerated or heading into a full-on goat-rope by the time they do that. :)
     
  32. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    I've been in that Rodeo at MYF a couple times. I could smell it coming. I would be thinking to myself "get it over with and do it now before it becomes a popcorn worthy airshow.
     
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  33. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Line Up and Wait

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    From the PIlot/Controller Glossary:

    CLEARED FOR THE OPTION− ATC authorization for an aircraft to make a touch-and-go, low approach, missed approach, stop and go, or full stop landing at the discretion of the pilot. It is normally used in training so that an instructor can evaluate a student’s performance under changing situations.​

    Full stops are authorized under a clearance for the option. If a controller says that they are not, politely suggest that he check the definition in the P/CG.

    If you tell the controller how your approach will terminate then there's no need to be cleared for the option. In such a case, make your original request for your desired type of approach and landing. The option is for situations where the pilot has not yet decided the intended result of the approach.

    Once cleared for the option, there is no need to further clarify your intentions if you intend to make a touch-and-go, low approach, missed approach, stop and go, or full stop landing. If it was important to the controller to know, he would have asked or restricted the clearance.

    You never need a clearance for a go-around.
     
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  34. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Exactly. However, when you've been going around and around in closed traffic and the controller clears you for the option yet one more time, if you've decided this is going to be your last one, it's good form to, and appreciated by any Tower controller I've ever know, which is many, to let them know this is your last trip around the pattern and you intend to land
     
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  35. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Line Up and Wait

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    That defeats the purpose of the option clearance. If you know you will be doing a full-stop landing then request a full-stop landing instead of the option. Once you receive a clearance for the option, however, there is no requirement, or even suggestion, to notify the controller of which option you intend to take. If a full stop landing would cause any difficulties for the controller then it is up to him to include that restriction in the clearance.
     
  36. deyoung

    deyoung Pre-takeoff checklist

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    All correct and by the book, but in my experience there can often be more to it than sticking to the letter of the regs, and things may go more smoothly if you're a little more flexible. Of course, my experience isn't as extensive as many people's here (nor am I a controller), which is why I asked in the first place.

    What usually happens when I do pattern practice at my home airport is that I'll request a touch and go, and after two or three trips around the controller will often start giving me a clearance for the option before I even ask. Simpler, easy, and keeps the radio a little clearer at a sometimes busy class C. On the other hand, there's one guy at Ryan who wait for you to ask every time around, no matter how long you're there, which is ok too, so YMMV.
     
  37. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Yeah. The scenario I was referencing is the one where the Tower just clears you for the option. You didn't request anything other than closed traffic a while back. They give you an option clearance just like they already have a few times already during your circuits around the pattern. Of course it would be silly to request the option, get the clearance and then come right back with it will be a full stop.
     
  38. Tantalum

    Tantalum Pattern Altitude

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    What luvflyin said, on very busy days they'll have one frequency for the north runway and one frequency for the south

    it helps keep radio congestion down, sometimes they still have the same guy working it though
     
  39. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Yup. Every place has its own culture and tribal knowledge. Some places tell you to report downwind abeam each trip around and then give you your sequence and/or clearance. Of course you would say full stop when you made the downwind abeam report. Some places don't ask for the downwind report each trip around and just give you your sequence/clearance. This is the time when you would say this is your last one. A way to get it done in one transmission and make it clear what you are doing is to say, when you get the option clearance is "this will be my last one, Cleared to Land [RWY], [call sign]." You can also beat the controller to the punch and tell him it'll be your last one before you get to that point, like when you make your downwind turn.
     
  40. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Have you ever noticed that happening for a long period of time? Opening up the other frequency and one controller continuing to work them both? I've usually heard it just for a short period while the controller is getting things set up putting folk on the other frequency, but a new voice appears on the other frequency in a short time. Like @Timbeck2 said in post #23, putting a lot of airplanes on different frequencies but with just one controller can be a frequency congestion nightmare for a controller. Not actually 'frequency' congestion. It's more like 'headset' congestion. Each frequency is less congested but they are both coming in simultaneously into the controllers ear.