Knowledge of operations at towered airports is important for pilot proficiency, courtesy to other pilots and most importantly SAFETY.


Flying airplane into Class C airport with a control tower

Flying trike into Class C airport with a control tower Part 1

Flying trike into Class C airport with a control tower Part 2

Flying trike exiting Class C airport with a control tower Part 3


DEPARTURE – Startup at hangers/FBO

Listen to ATIS (135.800) and write down; baro pressure______, runways in use_______ information ID _______.

  • CLEARANCE (124.900):
    • Pilot: Reno Clearance, LSA____ (your aircraft ID and N number) is VFR to __________ with information ________ (information ID from ATIS).
    • ATC: LSA_____, depart VFR, departure frequency _______, squawk __________ (transponder code).
    • Pilot: Depart VFR, departure frequency is_________, squawk ________ LSA______.
    • ATC: LSA______, read back correct.
  • GROUND CONTROL (121.900):
    • Pilot: Reno Ground, LSA____ is at Atlantic Aviation, ready to taxi with information________.
    • GND: LSA____, taxi via ________ to runway ___________.
    • Pilot: Taxi via ____________ , to runway ________ LSA_____.
  • TOWER (118.700): (taxi to hold short line of runway and switch to tower)
    • Pilot: Reno Tower, LSA______ is holding short runway ____________ ready for takeoff.
    • TWR: LSA_______, cleared for takeoff runway ___ left/right turnout approved.
    • Pilot: LSA_______ cleared for takeoff runway with left/right turnout approved, LSA________.
    • TWR: LSA_____ contact departure on 119.2.
    • Pilot: Going to departure 119.2, LSA_____.
  • DEPARTURE (126.300-north/119.200-south)
    • (switch to departure frequency)
    • Pilot: NorCal, LSA____ is __________ (location), at 7,000′.
    • DEP: LSA______, radar contact.
    • (follow departure instructions and when they are ready to release you)
    • DEP: LSA_________, squawk VFR, frequency change approved.
    • Pilot: Squawking 1200 now, LSA______.

ARRIVAL- Flying into Class C

Listen to ATIS (135.800) … listen & write down; baro pressure_______, runways in use_____________ and information ID __________.

  • Contact APPROACH (126.300-north/119.200-south)
    • Pilot: NorCal Approach, LSA____ is ____ nautical miles at 7,000′, inbound, information ______.
    • ATC: LSA____, squawk ________.
    • Pilot: Squawking ______ LSA_____.
    • (Once they have repeated/identified you by saying your N number, you can enter the class C airspace because you have established “communication”)
    • ATC: LSA____, radar contact, 15 nautical miles south of airport, what are your intentions?
    • (approach may or may not ask intentions. Many times this is done by the tower.)
    • Pilot: Parking at Atlantic on East Side, LSA______.
      • or Touch & Go then proceed North to Stead, LSA______.
      • or Taxi back landings for training, LSA______.
    • ATC: LSA______ remain on East/West side of valley and expect right/left traffic, runway _______.
    • Pilot: Will remain on East/West side of valley and expect left/right traffic runway _____, LSA_____.
    • (sometime you will be handed off to tower, usually after you enter the Class C airspace)
    • ATC: LSA______, contact tower on 118.7.
    • Pilot: Going to tower 118.7 now, LSA____.
  • TOWER (118.700)
    • Pilot: Reno Tower, LSA____ is inbound for left/right traffic, runway _____.
    • TWR: LSA_____, make left/right downwind entry for runway ____, report midfield.
    • Pilot: Will report midfield, left/right downwind for runway __ LSA____.
    • Pilot: Tower, LSA_____ is midfield, left/right downwind runway _____.
    • TWR: LSA____, cleared to land runway _____.
    • Pilot: Cleared to land runway _____, LSA____.
    • (land and be ready for instructions)
    • TWR: LSA_____ make left/right turn at taxiway_____, contact Ground on point Niner.
    • Pilot: Left/right on taxiway _____, then ground on 121.9, LSA_____.
  • GROUND (121.9)
    • Pilot: Reno ground, LSA____ is clear of runway____, at taxiway ____, request:
      • Taxi to Atlantic Aviation
      • Taxi back for takeoff north/south bound for ________.
    • GND: Taxi to ______ via taxiway _____ and _______.
    • Pilot: We’ll taxi to ________ via taxiway _____ and _______.