Pop Quiz: All About Landing Clearance


If you have never visited ATCcommunication.com before, trust me, this article is about ATC radio communication. The following is a silly introduction. We’ll get serious about ATC comm right after the intro.

Saturday Night Live skit. Billy Crystal as Willie. Christopher Guest as Frankie.

Willie: You know, the other day, I took one o’ them, uh–?

Frankie: Meat thermometers?

Willie: Yeah! And I just shoved it into my ear, you know? As far as it could go, you know? But then I took one o’ them, uh–?

Frankie: Ball-peen hammers?

Willie: Right. And just whacked it a few times right in there, you know.

Frankie: Boy, that must smart.

Willie: I know! I HATE when THAT happens.


You and me, present day, talking about flying in an extremely busy airport traffic pattern:

You: You know, the other day, I decided to fly in one o’ them, uh–?

Me: Busy airports?

You: Yeah, and I knew it was going to be hell on earth trying to practice touch-and-goes but I, uh–?

Me: Went flying anyways?

You: Right, and the radios were so jammed with chatter that I couldn’t get a, uh–?

Me: Landing clearance? Boy, that must’a been really really painful.

You: Yep. I HATE when THAT happens.

If you have ever spent any time in a busy airport traffic pattern, you know trying to get a landing clearance can sometimes be painful. While it may appear that getting a landing clearance is a matter of luck and timing, landing clearances are issued according to a very strict set of rules.

Try the following 10-question quiz to see if you understand the rules that guide when you may and may not receive a landing clearance. As always, cheating is highly encouraged. When you are finished, click the link below the quiz to see the answers and their explanations. (Clicking the “Done” button inside of the quiz window will not show the answers. Please do click “Done” when you are done so I can see the cumulative results of the quiz. I will not be able to see who took the quiz. I’ll only see the overall results.)

Answers to Quiz—>

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