Air Traffic Controlling Q&A Thread

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Keeping both aircrafts on the same runway is a simple option. The aircraft with a slower speed can go on one traffic direction (let’s say left traffic) while the aircraft with a higher speed can go towards right traffic.

However, if you’re dealing with two aircrafts in pattern on intersecting runways, i’d recommend keeping the pattern direction such that the downwind leg of one runway crosses the upwind leg of the other runway. Commands such as “extend upwind” and “i’ll call your base” may need to be used regularly to avoid conflicts.

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So the same as in the picture?


Like what @Jet_Airways_995 said the same RW but if you are feeling like 2 is the way to go I would depart the larger/faster aircraft first as the second aircraft on the other rw would not be turning crosswind by the time the other aricraft is on bace and as long as you can keep the separation good and maintain a good gap so no G/A’s are necessary. That is how I have done it in the past and worked out rather good!

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Okay, because I had the problem, that the larger aircraft on RWY 13 would turn final, when the smaller aircraft would turn downwind on RWY23 (like in the pic) and I obviously can’t tell the smaller aircraft to „extend crosswind“ I guess I would need to see this earlier and then tell the smaller aircraft to extend upwind, right?

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Yes, the blue line represents what i stated. In this case though, i’d keep OO-LXV as he is on right traffic to prevent him from turning into the downwind leg for the other aircraft.

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Ok. I told OO-LXV to enter right downwind RWY 13 in this picture as he would have interfered with FedEx otherwise. Was that the Right move?

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From the picture above, i’m assuming OO-LXV is on 23, right traffic and EC-ATR is on 13, also making right traffic.

Anticipated separation is necessary in this case. You have a couple of options to get patterns going here:

  1. Instruct the aircraft on runway 23 to extend downwind until you know that the aircraft on 13 would be clear by the time the aircraft on 23 reaches upwind.

  2. Instruct the aircraft who departs 13 to extend upwind until the aircraft on 23, who departs and subsequently joins downwind, is clear of his way.

If this system is causing delays, feel free to keep them on one runway.

If both OO-LXV and EC-ATR are on 13, by all means you can keep them on the same traffic direction if you’d like. You can always keep one on left traffic and one on right traffic if needed as well.

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Thanks a lot mate! This thread is golden! I had OO-LXV on 23 as he requested it, but after that, I had them both on RWY 13 as you said above. Thanks a lot once again! (Also @USA_ATC)


Thanks to everyone who helped answer questions!

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What would be the appropriate command for somebody doing pattern, who turned into the wrong traffic direction? (ex. told to do right traffic, but turns left traffic)

Second question:
As I am only able to control tower, what command would be the right one, if the aircraft says “exectuting missed approach” instead of “going around”?

Both are technically correct, but missed approach should only be used if you’ve been cleared for an approach. If they haven’t been cleared by approach and still report missed approach, just treat it as a go around.

So I tell them to go around, make x traffic?


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Executing missed approach is usually used when the aircraft was conducting an instrument approach (ILS or GPS).

As for your first question, if they aren’t flying the correct pattern direction, just include “after the option, make XXX traffic”. They may have made a mistake.

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Ok thanks! I meant what if they did that but thanks for clarifying!

And just to make sure: I do nothing, but including a traffic direction in their clearance?

Yes. On the Expert server, they’d receive a “Please follow instructions” message if they continue to disobey ATC. On the training server, you don’t have that option so the best thing to do would be to clarify the traffic direction again in the next clearance. :)

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Question: If im tuned to center and i want to start descent to an airport that it’s outside of its coverage area, what should i request? I simply requested an approach. Not sure if that would be the correct procedure

Just request a descent via a STAR. If you don’t have a STAR filed, request an altitude change. Once you exit their airspace, they won’t provide any more service to you. :)

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