Ask An Air Traffic Controller: TRACON

Who is at the other end of the radio when you talk to Approach Control?

Who is on the other end of the radio when you talk to Approach Control? You are about to find out. Jack Bowers, a recently retired radar controller from the St. Louis TRACON, talks about what to expect when you check in with Approach.

Show Notes:

  • How approach controllers take the handoff of your aircraft from enroute control.
  • Find out how VFR aircraft are handled when the sky fills up with IFR traffic.
  • Learn what you can do to get the best possible service from Approach and Departure control.
  • Discover why it’s a good thing to say “Student pilot,” on the radio when you are in training.
  • Learn what you really get when you hook up to ATC for fight following.
  • All this, and more, from a person who is not only a very experienced air traffic controller, but also a current certified flight instructor.

Did this Audio Show Help You?

There’s more. Become an Insider for absolutely free with no obligation, and get:

  • More tips, tricks and techniques for talking to ATC.
  • Instant free access to the Aircraft Radio Simulator.
  • Free downloads to make your flying life easier.
  • Members-only forum for pilots and student pilots learning how to talk on the radio.


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(This link will take you to the registration page for for instant free access to the Aircraft Radio Simulator. is an extension of this website. It is also run by yours truly.)


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1 thought on “Ask An Air Traffic Controller: TRACON”

  1. Hi Jeff, just a quick note to say thanks for the site. Love the audio interviews with Jack. I had a hard time getting used to ATC phraseology at first but I’m slowly getting the hang of it! I’m going to ask if I can visit the tower when I next go to the airfield (EGBE) – will be interesting to see it from their point of view!



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