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Lost Comm Under VFR? Here Are 6 Things You Can Do About It.

Thanks to Bose for making this story possible. Check out the full series here. And if you want to know why we fly with Bose, learn more about their headsets here.

You always see regulations and tips for lost comm under IFR...but what about losing comm on a VFR flight?

1) Squawk 7600 (Regardless Of Where You Plan To Land)

By squawking 7600 (lost communications squawk code), ATC will know you've had a communications failure. Even if you weren't talking to ATC before, they'll notice you now if you're in radar contact.

2) Use Your Cellphone

If nothing else is working, use your cellphone and call tower or an FSS. Let them know you've had a radio failure, and either ATC will clear you in as usual, or FSS will coordinate with ATC to get you safely back on the ground.

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3) Turn On All Of Your Lights

Make your airplane as visible as possible to nearby traffic. Turn on every light on your plane's exterior.

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4) Fly With Extra Room Between You And Clouds

Try to give yourself more than double the required separation from clouds nearby. You won't be able to communicate with ATC and nearby traffic, and this is a good way to ensure you're as visible as possible.

5) "Squawk and Circle"

If you start squawking 7600 near a tower controlled airfield, start circling outside the airspace and wait for light gun signals from ATC.

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6) Landing At A Non-Towered Airport? Fly 1,000' Above TPA.

Begin by flying over the field at 1,000' above the published traffic pattern altitude. By doing this, you're able to determine the best suitable runway for landing. From above, view the runway conditions and locate traffic that may be in the pattern or on the airport surface. Then, enter the traffic pattern and land.

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Have you ever lost comms? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.


What are pilots saying about their Bose headsets? Learn more and read the reviews here.


Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and an Embraer 145 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota in 2018, holds a PIC Type Rating for Cessna Citation Jets (CE-525), and is a former pilot for Mokulele Airlines. He's the author of articles, quizzes and lists on Boldmethod every week. You can reach Swayne at swayne@boldmethod.com, and follow his flying adventures on his YouTube Channel.

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