Tower asks for DME to the airport

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foresterpoole
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Tower asks for DME to the airport

Postby foresterpoole » Fri Oct 13, 2017 6:37 pm

Finished a X-county up to KMLU (Monroe, LA) today and got an inquiry from the tower I was not prepared for. The controller asked me for my DME distance from the airport. Kind of threw me for a loop since the DME in the Cessna I'm flying is InOp and while I know how to use it I never expected anyone to ask. I simply replied with a GPS distance, which she gave a number close but not what I had. I was on a visual approach, about a 5 mile final cleared to land. It was busy. Is this something commonly asked for on a visual approach????
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TimTaylor
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Re: Tower asks for DME to the airport

Postby TimTaylor » Fri Oct 13, 2017 7:57 pm

foresterpoole wrote:Finished a X-county up to KMLU (Monroe, LA) today and got an inquiry from the tower I was not prepared for. The controller asked me for my DME distance from the airport. Kind of threw me for a loop since the DME in the Cessna I'm flying is InOp and while I know how to use it I never expected anyone to ask. I simply replied with a GPS distance, which she gave a number close but not what I had. I was on a visual approach, about a 5 mile final cleared to land. It was busy. Is this something commonly asked for on a visual approach????

It's not unusual for a tower controller to ask your distance from the airport to help in sequencing. If they specifically asked for DME, I would simply respond, "negative DME, I'm 5 nm out," or something to that effect. It would not be unusual to ask for DME distance since there is a colocated VOR on the airport.

EDIT: If you file a flight plan, don't use the DME annotation if your DME is inop.
Last edited by TimTaylor on Sat Oct 14, 2017 12:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nomore767
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Re: Tower asks for DME to the airport

Postby Nomore767 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:07 pm

foresterpoole wrote:Finished a X-county up to KMLU (Monroe, LA) today and got an inquiry from the tower I was not prepared for. The controller asked me for my DME distance from the airport. Kind of threw me for a loop since the DME in the Cessna I'm flying is InOp and while I know how to use it I never expected anyone to ask. I simply replied with a GPS distance, which she gave a number close but not what I had. I was on a visual approach, about a 5 mile final cleared to land. It was busy. Is this something commonly asked for on a visual approach????


When you say you “replied with a GPS distance, which she gave a number close” kinda makes you wonder why she asked in the first place.

Perhaps she wanted to know what your distance was to the field although perhaps she knew since she gave you a number. Controllers are used to DME (as opposed to asking for GPS) but if it had been me I would have replied I don’t have DME but my GPS is————.

If you’re not sure then ask. Some controllers can get testy. I had one that said report 4 mile final and got testy when at 6 miles I had not reported. Asked why I replied that I’m currently at six miles on final and he said report 4 to which he says I show you closer. So...why are you asking and why are you arguing if you already know?

Sometimes they can ask as a way of separating traffic or catching you in a neighboring airspace.


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