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Required ATC Reports

14 CFR § 91.183 IFR communications.
Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, the pilot in command of each aircraft operated under IFR in controlled airspace must ensure that a continuous watch is maintained on the appropriate frequency and must report the following as soon as possible—

  • (a) The time and altitude of passing each designated reporting point, or the reporting points specified by ATC, except that while the aircraft is under radar control, only the passing of those reporting points specifically requested by ATC need be reported;
  • (b) Any unforecast weather conditions encountered; and
  • (c) Any other information relating to the safety of flight.

14 CFR § 91.187 Operation under IFR in controlled airspace: Malfunction reports.

(a) The pilot in command of each aircraft operated in controlled airspace under IFR shall report as soon as practical to ATC any malfunctions of navigational, approach, or communication equipment occurring in flight.

(b) In each report required by paragraph (a) of this section, the pilot in command shall include the—

  • (1) Aircraft identification;
  • (2) Equipment affected;
  • (3) Degree to which the capability of the pilot to operate under IFR in the ATC system is impaired; and
  • (4) Nature and extent of assistance desired from ATC.

AIM 5-3-3. Additional Reports

a. The following reports should be made to ATC or FSS facilities without a specific ATC request:
1. At all times.

  • (a) When vacating any previously assigned altitude or flight level for a newly assigned altitude or flight level.
  • (b) When an altitude change will be made if operating on a clearance specifying VFR-on-top.
  • (c) When unable to climb/descend at a rate of a least 500 feet per minute.
  • (d) When approach has been missed. (Request clearance for specific action; i.e., to alternative airport, another approach, etc.)
  • (e) Change in the average true airspeed (at cruising altitude) when it varies by 5 percent or 10 knots (whichever is greater) from that filed in the flight plan.
  • (f) The time and altitude or flight level upon reaching a holding fix or point to which cleared.
  • (g) When leaving any assigned holding fix or point.
  • (h) Any loss, in controlled airspace, of VOR, TACAN, ADF, low frequency navigation receiver capability, GPS anomalies while using installed IFR-certified GPS/GNSS receivers, complete or partial loss of ILS receiver capability or impairment of air/ground communications capability. Reports should include aircraft identification, equipment affected, degree to which the capability to operate under IFR in the ATC system is impaired, and the nature and extent of assistance desired from ATC.
    • NOTE-
    • 1. Other equipment installed in an aircraft may effectively impair safety and/or the ability to operate under IFR. If such equipment (e.g., airborne weather radar) malfunctions and in the pilot’s judgment either safety or IFR capabilities are affected, reports should be made as above.
    • 2. When reporting GPS anomalies, include the location and altitude of the anomaly. Be specific when describing the location and include duration of the anomaly if necessary.
  • (i) Any information relating to the safety of flight.

2. When not in radar contact.

  • (a) When leaving final approach fix inbound on final approach (nonprecision approach) or when leaving the outer marker or fix used in lieu of the outer marker inbound on final approach (precision approach).
  • (b) A corrected estimate at anytime it becomes apparent that an estimate as previously submitted is in error in excess of 3 minutes.

b. Pilots encountering weather conditions which have not been forecast, or hazardous conditions which have been forecast, are expected to forward a report of such weather to ATC.

AIM 5-3-2 d. Position Report Items:
1. Position reports should include the following items:

  • (a) Identification;
  • (b) Position;
  • (c) Time;
  • (d) Altitude or flight level (include actual altitude or flight level when operating on a clearance specifying VFR-on-top);
  • (e) Type of flight plan (not required in IFR position reports made directly to ARTCCs or approach control);
  • (f) ETA and name of next reporting point;
  • (g) The name only of the next succeeding reporting point along the route of flight; and
  • (h) Pertinent remarks.


Part 135 operators are required to report deviations for emergencies
14 CFR § 135.19 Emergency operations. Part 135 operators are also required to report potentially hazardous weather and out of service navaids 14 CFR § 135.67 Reporting potentially hazardous meteorological conditions and irregularities of ground facilities or navigation aids.

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