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-   -   No landing clearance on short final (https://www.pprune.org/atc-issues/397970-no-landing-clearance-short-final.html)

housecarl 5th Dec 2009 15:16

No landing clearance on short final
 
You are expecting a late landing clearance but someone is blocking the frequency, hence you don't receive the clearance in time. Or you lose communication on approach. What would you do?

eastern wiseguy 5th Dec 2009 15:37

Do you want what a pilot would do......or what I as a controller would expect?

Talkdownman 5th Dec 2009 15:53


you don't receive the clearance...What would you do?
Is there a choice of options other than GO-AROUND?
Is the status of Runway Occupancy known?
Is this a trick question?
Or a little joke?

housecarl 5th Dec 2009 16:50

No tricky, Personally I think when loss of com. visual, and you can assure yourself there is no traffic on the runway, landing might be an option rather than make a go-around. You still have to shot a new approach with no com. or I'm I wrong?

Reason for asking is because this happened today, the aircraft concerned was cleared to land but did not receive the message, (don't know the reason) and they executed a missed approach. They where back on frequency during the go-around.

In situations like this when according to normal traffic flow you (as pilot) are expected to do something but the message is not received, like cleared ILS approach for example. What do you expect/prefer?

Talkdownman 5th Dec 2009 18:31


the aircraft concerned was cleared to land but did not receive the message.........and they executed a missed approach
If the crew did not receive the message then they did not receive the clearance in which case a missed approach is the only option. A missed approach must be anticipated on every approach.


you can assure yourself there is no traffic on the runway, landing might be an option rather than make a go-around.
How can you "assure yourself there is no traffic on the runway" ??? It would need an ASSUMPTION. ASSUME and aviation safety is not compatible. ASSUME makes an ASS out of U and ME.
How do you know for certain that , for example, AFS has not been cleared for an emergency crossing, or the preceding aircraft has not fully vacated, or an aircraft approaching the runway has ignored a red stop-bar etc ??

What IS the point of having AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL if you are going to DO-IT-YOURSELF ?? To land without ATC clearance whatever the crew's 'perceptions' is unjustifiable except in an emergency or when following radio failure procedures. The crew cannot possibly know the surface traffic situation.

ZOOKER 5th Dec 2009 18:54

IMC or VMC?

Hyperborean 5th Dec 2009 22:28

VMC/IMC doesn't really make all that much difference. No landing clearance = go around. Talkdownman explains why. The only exception would be if you were compelled to land and at that point perhaps some visual signal of distress ( remember them? ) might be appropriate. In any event if you land without a clearance make sure you have a good explanation ready.

Gargleblaster 5th Dec 2009 22:52

Housecarl, it doesn't matter whether the controller hasn't been able to give you a landing clearance, or whether there's a dead whale on the runway. You don't land. End of story. You go around. I've done so a few times, keeping the wheels off the runway while some idiot wastes my time and money, but that's it.

PRD Area 6th Dec 2009 00:31

Every landing is an aborted go-around... No landing clearance = go around. End of story.

Loss of comms is a different story altogether. My Jepps state the following in the Emergency Section:


  • Squawk the appropriate emergency code and listen out on ATIS and/or voice modulated navaids.
  • Transmit Intentions and normal position reports. Assume Transmitter is Operating and prefix calls with "TRANSMITTING BLIND"
  • If practible, leave/avoid controlled/restricted airspace and areas of dense traffic. Establish visual navigation as soon as possible and land at the most suitable aerodrome.

In this case it comes down to the PIC on the day to make the call. If I were on short final and the radio suddenly fizzed without receiving a landing clearance, my initial reaction would be to go around, click the transponder over and try another approach. It all comes down to the situation...

Tarq57 6th Dec 2009 02:02

No landing clearance = overshoot, please.
But also, have a look at the tower. I've lost count of the number of times this sort of thing has happened, I've shone a green light at the aircraft, and nobody thought to look, so it wasn't seen.
Admittedly, where I work, the tower is some distance away from the actual aerodrome.

anotherthing 6th Dec 2009 10:42

The answer you seek is in the title of your thread.

"No landing clearance on short final" :ugh:

HEATHROW DIRECTOR 6th Dec 2009 10:46

Tarq57.. Lucky you, still having Aldis lamps. Sadly, they were withdrawn from some major UK airports about 30 years ago.

Tarq57 6th Dec 2009 19:18

HD, I think they are still mandated by the regulatory authority.
Because not many are accustomed to using them or looking for the light, they don't get used much.
The younger controllers tend to not even think of using them. Fair enough, too, I guess. No-one ever seems to see the light, unless it's a training exercise.

Where they would be useful is this sort of case, where you have a simple clearance to pass in a hurry to an aircraft nearby and the frequency is jammed at the critical time.

In other cases of a/c comm failure, nothing to be lost by trying a cellphone.

Scott Diamond 6th Dec 2009 20:14

Wonder if any of the younger pilots pumped out of these cadet schemes would even consider looking at the tower for light signals (or know they exist) ??

Edinburgh still has them .... that's a major UK airport !

Gonzo 6th Dec 2009 20:54

Tarq57, we've not had one for years. Interestingly, if I remember correctly, we had a megaphone/loud hailer more recently then an aldis lamp!

eastern wiseguy 6th Dec 2009 21:28

Aldergrove has one and it has been used in anger.

powerstall 6th Dec 2009 21:44

If you intend to land on a runway without landing clearance, i suggest you go find an uncontrolled airport. :E

greenslopes 6th Dec 2009 21:57

Recently had this occur in ypph and had to carry out a missed approach. The tower had shone a Steady Green however we were unable to discern that steady green from the multitude of other lights all visible at night on the perth skyline. As mentioned earlier, you are in controlled airspace so unless you are compelled to land and have declared an emergency you must go-round.

RAAFASA 6th Dec 2009 22:37

Used the good old aldis lamp yesterday. All ended well, although, as the acft was squawking radio fail on 5nm final, I was pretty sure he'd be looking for a light :ok:

The hardest bit was holding the green button in, light steady on the acft with one hand, whilst making calls to other acft (TWR/APP combined) and writing on strips with the other (dinosaurs, I know).

To the original OP, I concur with the suggestion to look for a green light. If TWR want to clear you, but due to frequency congestion and leaving the landing clearance a bit late etc can't, chances are they'll use the lamp (if they have one .... and are over 30!). Otherwise, you can check the "go round" box for that month :)

housecarl 7th Dec 2009 10:17

I know it's not correct that's why I raised the question. This was not a question of "DO-IT-YOURSELF" mentality. In this case the aircraft was no 2 for landing, the controller tried several times to give the clearance after the runway was vacated, the aircraft transmitted back they could not hear them.

How can you "assure yourself there is no traffic on the runway"
You can also change the question to how does the controller know for sure there is nothing on the runway. Of course you can't be 100% but every landing I try to assure myself there is "no dead whale on the runway", even if I have been cleared to land. team work.


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