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Switching to ground after landing

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:32 am
by pdebaty
The other day I landed my plane in PilotEdge after a VFR flight. When I was clear of the runway, I switched to Ground frequency, reported that I was clear of the runway and asked for taxi clearance to parking. The PilotEdge controller told me that I should not have switched to Ground without first getting permission to do so from Tower. So after that, I started reporting that I was clear of runway to the tower and asked taxi clearance to tower in PilotEdge. The controllers are happy with that and usually give me taxi direction and sometime tell me to monitor ground.

But on my next real life pilot lesson, I asked my CFI the same question as we were clearing the runway and he told me specifically to switch to ground without telling anything to the tower. Usually tower tells me to switch to ground before I clear the runway, but sometimes they don't and my CFI was clear that in that scenario, I should switch to ground to get taxi clearance to parking and I don't need to say anything to tower at this point.

So who is right and what is the correct procedure here?



Re: Switching to ground after landing

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:42 am
by Keith Smith
AIM 4-3-14 (c):
A pilot who has just landed should not change from the tower frequency to the ground control frequency until directed to do so by the controller

I would ask your CFI if he/she is familiar with that clause of the AIM. Here's the likely reply, "hmm...I didn't know that was there. But that's wrong, do it the way I'm telling you..."

Then, one day, you'll be at an airport with parallel runways, where ground does NOT own the taxiways between those parallels, and it will cause confusion if you make an unprompted swap to ground.

Your CFI is "right" in the sense that most of the time, it won't hurt. However, that doesn't mean it's actually the correct procedure.

I would also encourage you to review Chap 4 and 5 of the AIM in their entirety. There is a wealth of golden material there, staggering amounts of which answer the common questions that come up in every day flying.

Re: Switching to ground after landing

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:51 pm
by pdebaty
Thank you for the thorough response! I'll review Chap 4-5 of the AIM, great suggestion.