Do you use your fancy call sign on CTAF?


New Member
Like, so do you say "Amflight 456", or "Navajo [tail number]" when you're transmitting to a closed tower frequency, or a uncontrolled field? Theres this captain I fly with who is totally anal about me saying our type and tail number instead of our fancy FAA sanctioned callsign. He'll even go as far as make me say the whole entire transmission over again if I accidentally use the fancy one.

One day I looked it up in the AIM, and I couldn't find it anywhere where it says to do this. Basically it says if you have a fancy call sign, then use it. If you don't, then use your type and tail number. If anything, changing your callsign when you are handed off to a CTAF can be seen as trying to obscure your identity and is more likely to get you in trouble.

The way I see it, your call sign is your call sign. If you want to convey to everyone your type, then add " a Piper Navajo" at the end of your first transmission or something.

I ask this question of this forum because I imagine a lot more people that fly 135 freight go into uncontrolled airfields and have fancy call signs than any other sector of the industry.


New Member
If you have an FAA-designated callsign, that's all you're allowed to use. Your captain is in the wrong on this one.


Well-Known Member
If you have an FAA-designated callsign, that's all you're allowed to use. Your captain is in the wrong on this one.
our school has an approved call sign, and i believe we have the option, it just depends on how our flight plans are scheduled


Well-Known Member
I use the call sign. Some of the courriers have scanners and they are listening for your call sign to know when to shoot over to the airport. When flying into busy uncontrolled airports I usually say "Podunk traffic, AMF yada yada yada yada is a metroliner on a six mile final for runway 35 Podunk". Then their usual response is "whats a metroliner?"

Life was much easier when I was a beech airliner.:)


A guy in the pattern practicing T&G's or a PP doing a cross country probably doesn't know what an Amflight 456 looks like, but may have a good idea about a Navajo. My preference would be to use "Amflight Navajo 456" or some variation simply because the reason for CTAF is to help see and avoid. Just my .02


Well-Known Member
Just to throw this out there, but how is "Amflight 456" any different from "Flagship 5905". It is your approved callsign, so use it. When I operate out of uncontrolled fields, I always use callsign, flight number, and then type


I'm looking at you.
Call sign then aircraft type (if I feel like it). Most people don't know the difference between a beech airliner, metroliner, chieftain or more of the other freighters out there. Give them a position and go on about your day.


All the responsibility none of the authority
On the very seldom occasion I used to go into an airport without a local controller (usually when the tower was closed), I'd just use the callsign.

The AIM kinda makes it clear that it's N# or FAA Callsign....

...and honestly, what difference would it make to a dude doing bounces if you call "AmFlight XXX" versus "N12321"? Neither one is going to probably put a good idea in his head as to what is inbound....just my .02


Well-Known Member
You actually CAN order food inbound into HFD. It won't be sweet n sour or ready in 10 minutes though.


New Member
I think im going to do that next week. for kicks and giggles.
Can you COMAT me some General Tso Chicken, Pork Fried Rice and an Egg Roll?

I can't remember the last time I flew, let alone flew into an uncontrolled airport ... Not sure what I said.

It was probably on my IPC.

I think I used call sign and then the type for the first few calls. I probably just used call-sign when I started turning downwind to final.



Possible Subversive
Not a freight dawg anymore but its pretty much standard practice to go like:

"Kitten City Traffic, Airshuttle 7091 is a De Havilland Dash-8 two five miles northeast inbound for left traffic for runway 15."

Or some deriviative of that, thats what I do when we go to CTAF which is often.


Well-Known Member
As someone that flies out of a uncontrolled airport PLEASE say your type for the sake of others around you.

"123AB, 5 miles southwest for left traffic 22 Bah Habah" Means jack to be if I don't know if you are going to be overhead the airport by the time you finnish the transmission or its going to be 5 minutes and i have time for another loop around the pattern before we have to blend in.