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Guest RSmith

Tower handoff timing

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One of the small aggravations I have with FS ATC - is the timing of the handoff from Approach - to Tower. Although I'm licensed private, I'va had little experience with larger airports / IFR / approach control guided arrivals. Seems to me the handoff to Tower, for landing clearance & sequencing - comes alfully late in FS. At KORL, our local ILS equipped controlled field, you are usually handed off to Tower after intercepting the ILS - even below the glideslope. This occurs usually about 8 -10 miles out - on busy days at nearby MCO. Just wondering what he "norm" is for the handoff.Asking way to much to have FS ATC give you a sequence with AI - on the approach phase / initial pattern. the other big bug I have with the approach - is often, I'll be intersecting the final vectors, along with another AI - and I don;t get a sequence to "follow" or "cleared to land" until I'm nearing a collision, after te handoff to Tower.Hope COF tweaks thses areas for more realism.Ron

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Towers usually have responsibility for the airspace within a 5nm radius of the airport. The handoff should occur prior to the aircraft entering this airspace - so typically in the 8-10 mile range you mention. On an IFR approach, real world ATC will normally hand you off to tower once you're established on the final approach course outside the final approach fix. If conditions are VMC and visual approaches are in use, you'll get a handoff once you've reported the field in sight. Not too early though, otherwise you're outside of the tower's area of control.I agree with your assessment of FS ATC. I was on a 3 mile final the other day in a Cessna - number 1 and cleared to land - when an AI 737 shot past me and landed in front of me :-( It would be really nice to see FSCOF improve traffic pattern flows.

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Hi Ron...I'll bet you don't have to type in your contacts with Tower, do you?...:-)seriously, though...while I understand all the reasons vatsim still tolerates typed messages along with RW, it gets be a real hassle when on final or near touchdown and the order comes from APP to switch to Tower. There have been times I've actually had to pause (a capitol crime in vatsim) to make the switch and type in my presence to TWR. While typing might be acceptable for Center and even APP/DEP. I really think Vatsim should demand that Tower and Ground Controllers be RW certified...just my twenty five cents...Sherm

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Sherm,I think Ron was speaking of FS ATC and not Vatsim ATC. Although both have their pros and cons and Radar contact is yet another one with pros and cons. To speak for the orginal post, I think FS ATC does let APP to TWR handoff at the correct time. Problem is that its not a coordinated handoff. That being the case you sometimes get AI talking to Tower on the Departure or worst Arrival (only meaning that they are infront or just behind you and a go around will be issused usually when it too late!!). Also you get the "Make straight in Approach" which is unnessary. Unless its a crosswind and you are suffering from just a bad flight and get the dreaded "Make left traffic for opposite end of the runway" call. Thing is if FS ATC offered seperation, coordination between APP and TWR and removed the time consuming "make straight in Appproach" there would be plenty enough time. In hopes that MS has stated they now provide seperation in the up coming release and will not release VFR traffic during IFR conditions there is a good chance that when shooting an Approach or inbound to land will be a huge leap forward with the new sim. A simple Tower call of "with you" followed by a "cleared to land" with the hopes of any "caution wake turbulance" when needed will be a great experience.Kilstorm

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Thanks guys. Appreciate the insight & expertise ! (for a non-current private, the info. helped).Hoping, like many, that COF incorporates many improvements in the basic ATC. In the meantime - I need to use more external views on approach - my KA doesn't care for 737's buzzing me overhead on final...... get's a bit bouncy !Ron

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