Short Final: Final Preparations


One of the joys of being based at an airport with a very active flight school (Orange County, Montgomery, New York) is the entertainment value of some of the radio transmissions. Witness:

Slightly bored instructor voice: “168 Lima Alpha, 45‐mile final Runway 22.” Overly excited voice, hence probably a student: “Did you say 45‐mile final?!”

Instructor: “Sorry, actually it’s a late call. We were lined up 20 miles ago.” Sometime later, even more bored instructor voice: “168 Lima Alpha now 30-mile final Runway 22…”

Dr. Daniel Spitzer via IFR Magazine

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.


  1. Several years ago I flew into St Louis Mid America. I called 20 miles and got- Clear to Land

  2. I think Mid America is happy for the traffic… they usually aren’t very busy except for the occasional commercial flight and a few touch goes from nearby Scott AFB.

  3. 45 miles would be considered a “short approach” from the flight school at my home airport!

  4. 40 years ago I flew for a commuter airline in San Juan, PR. We would call over a check point into St. Thomas. Tower would often respond with something like this, “Crown, do you have the Twin Otter 12 o’clock and three miles?” “Affirm.” “Follow him, you’re number 7, cleared to land.”