At non-towered airports I sometimes hear pilot's using the CTAF use the term “last call” as they depart the traffic pattern. This is not listed in the AIM.

What information is this suppose to convey and should I care?

Does this have some meaning internationally that I don't know about?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Well OBVIOUSLY it means that after that point there will be no more beer served! $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 22:31

1 Answer 1


It means they are changing frequency and will not be making any more CTAF calls. As far as I know its not required although something along those lines is pretty common place. Personally I call:

Departing the pattern to the [north|east|south|west]

Its the self announce version of "frequency change approved"

  • $\begingroup$ I make a similar call: "Cardinal N12345 departing the area to the [N|E|S|W]" $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 18:07
  • $\begingroup$ Is "departing the pattern" preferred over, say, "exiting the pattern"? I'm only 10% of a pilot, but I think of "departing" as being a sort of euphemism for "taking off". $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 18:37
  • $\begingroup$ Ive have heard both, often on the ground you will also say "Cherokee taking 05 for a north bound departure". At an uncontrolled field an extra call or two is always better than an ambiguous situation. $\endgroup$
    – Dave
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 18:54
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    $\begingroup$ The AIM suggests announcing, before taxing onto the runway for departure "Remaining in the pattern” or “Departing to the (...direction)”. Since that is the last call AIM suggests, it seems to me it makes no sense to repeat that after takeoff and just adds unnecessary radio noise. $\endgroup$
    – jwzumwalt
    Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 21:07
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    $\begingroup$ @jwzumwalt It is not approved phraseology and is the latest in pilot verbosity used to clutter the CTAF, If it follows the same arc as the vile "Traffic in area, please advise." we may see an update in the AIM similar to 4-1-9 g.1.which states "Pilots stating, “Traffic in the area, please advise” is not a recognized Self−Announce Position and/or Intention phrase and should not be used under any condition." $\endgroup$
    – Gerry
    Commented Jun 21, 2018 at 12:07

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