Callouts When On Final

Good morning forum,

When flying on VATSIM or using Pilot2ATC and on Unicom (with X-ATC-Chatter) I hear other pilots giving call outs

“10 mile final” or “Kingair NT6 is on a 5 mile final” etc…

I have two questions,

  1. Is there a standard when you make these calls? 15, 10, 5, etc?

  2. When they say final, do they mean nm from the runway threshold, or nm from the FaF?

Thanks in advance.

I would assume runway threshold, in Europe there isn’t anything standard like that. We usually have a circuit area, within the circuit area the call should be “callsign, final, for landing / touch and go” when approaching from outside the circuit area we call “long final” instead of “final”. You could always add the position by adding the amount of miles from threshold of course. But here we don’t call standard 5 or 10 miles. You can also call “short final” to warn someone that you are on final at uncontrolled airfields or to remind ATC you are waiting for landing clearance.


your report probably shows situation without atc at that time (vatsim) so most of users use this call to better push traffic to be effective, especially to that are waiting on h/p ready for t/o and don’t report any intentions (frequent problem). Call of 5 nm final simply give attention to all at that vicinity. I think that is not relevant what aircraft passed at that time, with call of 5nm final is simply wrong do t/o because some problems with after t/o turbulence and maybe other problem to landing aircraft is possible. In other case landing aircraft can report also …passing OM… what is ok to determine where it is but number represented nm distance to t/h is better. With call of final with ils app is some habit because also with other types of approaches like vor/dme or rnav the final track is reported. I do reports with ils app without final, only with nm distance, I see this more correct.

5 nm out is still plenty of time to take-off before the landing traffic, at controlled airports ATC doesn’t separate departing and arriving traffic 5 nm.


don’t really imagine dep and arr 747 with after t/o turbulence :slight_smile: only maybe after some GA departed. Real life is full of interesting situations heh

What do you mean with after take-off turbulence? Jet blast dissipates really quickly, wake turbulence is not something you really take into consideration between departing and arriving traffic as an aircraft going around will be above the departing aircraft flight path. As you can imagine, the arriving traffic will start go-around at 200 ft maybe which is 900 m in front of the runway while the departing aircraft starts from ground level and rotates far into the runway, couple of kilometers when talking about a heavy. In other words they won’t cross each other’s flightpath.

Understand to that which is going around,

but landing with c172 after 747 just departed with my 5nm final I see for first as atc wrong step and then my no luck be at that time there heh

There is no problem landing a C172 after a heavy! Jet blast dissipates in seconds, wake turbulence does not exist until the moment of rotation. So there won’t be any problem, just make sure you don’t touchdown past the position the aircraft has just rotated which won’t be an issue normally. Departing behind a departing heavy or landing behind heavy which just has landed, thats a problem.

My luck had never that situations,

also were no with big number IRL hehe

I think people better thinks about safety generally at similar situations than stay with theoretical facts, also if they are ok and logical, this is life saver…