Has anyone...


New Member
been flying IFR (in the soup) into an uncontrolled field, for an instrument approach, and had the words "radar service terminated squawk vfr" before landing, or having the field in sight. What happens if this occurs, and the controller has no control due to radar limitations based on a/c altitude. go missed?
They will tell you "radar service terminated', but won't tell you to squak VFR.

It happens all the time to us in western Alaska. You just fly the approach like normal and cancel when you get the airport or after landing. You are still IFR, but just not under radar control any more.
Well, you are now IFR in a nonradar enviroment, but it is not a reason to go missed, you're just on your own. You are under ATC control, just not under ATC radar coverage (important point). Presumably the controller set you up for the approach before turning you loose. I would continue the approach as published, and go missed if I didn't have the field in sight at DH/MAP as usual. Since this is an uncontrolled field, you'll have to close your flight plan after you arrive unless you cancelled with the controller.

I had this happen once, but the controller kept me at altitude longer (for reception) and set me up nicely for the approach course, I just had to descend faster. We kept our discrete transponder code however.
The controller must have thought you were in VMC conditions, and assumed that you wanted to cancel IFR. Sounds like mis-communication.

Yes, when ATC says, "radar service terminated" it means that they are no longer providing traffic info, but your IFR is still active. They will usually say "switch to advisory frequency" just after this.

If ATC says "squawk VFR", you just lost your IFR clearance. Jump on the radio and say "UNABLE. Currently IMC".

Continue the approach as directed, and after you land, call up and close your IFR flight plan. If you need to go missed, follow the missed procedure and switch back to ATC when appropriate (e.g. Seattle Center, Seminole 123AT back with you on the missed, Salem")