'Monitor Tower'

'Monitor Tower'

Postby msmith3972 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 10:36 am

Yesterday I was told by ground to 'monitor tower' during my taxi. I replied 'over to tower' assuming that the controller wanted me to switch to the tower frequency. I was corrected to 'monitor tower' again, so I decided to have tower in com1 and ground in com2. This led to me hearing my self talk which was off putting. What was the correct action on my part? I've never heard this command before.
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Re: 'Monitor Tower'

Postby Keith Smith » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:50 am

The controller said "monitor tower" which means you should tune the frequency but NOT call them (ie, tower will call you and is aware that you're changing to their frequency).

You instead read back "OVER to tower," which is ambiguous in terms of whether you're going to CONTACT the tower or MONITOR the tower. "...over to" is slang, but typically means you'll swap and call on a frequency (since CONTACT is a more typical ATC instruction).

This is why slang is a bad idea unless you know 100% what you're doing. Read back the controller's instruction and you'll never go wrong.
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Re: 'Monitor Tower'

Postby Keith Smith » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:52 am

Here's the definition from the Pilot Controller Glossary, btw:
MONITOR− (When used with communication transfer) listen on a specific frequency and stand by for instructions. Under normal circumstances do not establish communications.


https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publica ... -03-14.pdf
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Re: 'Monitor Tower'

Postby msmith3972 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:06 pm

Ah, ok. Thanks!
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Re: 'Monitor Tower'

Postby olderndirt » Sat Jan 20, 2018 1:56 pm

It usually means the Ground Controller is "otherwise occupied".
ATC - Tracon, a long time ago.
Comm/ASELS/MEL/Inst/CFI A/I - also a long time ago.
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Re: 'Monitor Tower'

Postby Keith Smith » Sat Jan 20, 2018 6:07 pm

Hmm...not so much the ground controller. It means that there's no need to call tower, the tower knows you're coming. It's most useful when there 5 planes in line for departure. The last thing tower needs is a plane to hear "tower, JetBlue 123, approaching 28L ready for takeoff..." "*sigh* JetBlue 123, yep...I definitely see that, and as you can also see, you're number 6 for departure...so, hold short runway 28L."

To skip all of that, ground just says, "monitor tower," which means "don't call us, we'll call you."
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Re: 'Monitor Tower'

Postby deansalman » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:21 pm

many times I am told to taxi and monitor tower or stay on this freq. However lately at larger airports like C or B then have me contact ground, which I then get taxi instructions. Not sure if in the real world you are told to contact ground at these airports but its nice to see.
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Re: 'Monitor Tower'

Postby kevin meyers » Thu Feb 01, 2018 5:17 am

deansalman wrote:Not sure if in the real world you are told to contact ground at these airports but its nice to see.


It really just depends on how busy the airport is at the time, how far the taxi route is and the controller’s preference.
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