ATC procedures

I had a small run-in with a controller, and was given the

“please follow instructions or you will be reported”…

Here is what happened from my perspective:

I was on right downwind 04L at EKCH, and was told to extend downwind and the controller would call my base. I continued, and at the time that the conflicting traffic passed off my right wing, I was given a clearance for the option runway 04L.

Once the traffic was clear, I began my base turn and that’s when I got the call

“please follow instructions or you will be reported”…

I am confused, because In my experience flying actual airplanes, any clearance to land or for the option supersedes other instructions. In other words, if the controller wanted me to continue to extend downwind, a landing or option clearance would not be appropriate until after the base turn instruction was given UNLESS The controller wanted me to continue at my discretion.

Please be respectful in the comments and keep them only applicable to this discussion.


Seems weird, I’m sure if you explain it to him, he might even learn something. Glad that you are posting this too because it can also teach others. It might have just been an honest human error that could be sorted out.



As far as I know, the controller should send you a “Turn Base” command, meaning that you can turn base after extending the downwind. I’m not sure if it’s correct, I wasn’t controlling since a while.

You can send a message to the controller in quiestion and try to clear it up though.


The “cleared to land” command is not used the same way in infinite flight as it is used in real life. The landing clearance just gives you permission to land, nothing more. So you would have to wait for the “turn base” command before you started turning.

Hey, thanks for the reply,

Is there any chance you’d know where to find this info in the ATC manual?

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To be honest I cannot find it in the manual, so I see how it is confusing.

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If I tell someone I’ll call their base before I give them a landing/option clearance, then I’ll tell them to turn base before the clearance.

Sometimes there’s scenarios where you give the clearance first (early or mid downwind) and then have to tell someone to extend downwind. In this case, the pilot must wait to be told to turn base but doesn’t need another clearance.

It sounds like neither of these scenarios occurred though, and I don’t believe there’s a specific section in the ATC manual that covers what you mentioned. Messaging the controller (if you were on Expert Server) is your best bet


This does seem a little confusing as I would have done the same thing you did. That is assume the clearance meant “come on in”. Maybe we can get some ifatc to chime in.

Me, @Rob_M and @Elefanths are IFATC but next time I will do as Rob says, as I can definitely see how that is confusing.


Thank you for the clarification

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@PaulJ maybe share your replay here and we can get a better understanding of what happened when we view it.

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The OP is @PaulJ, not @N22HW

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Oh whoops.


My wager would be, if you were indeed cleared for the option after an extend downwind command, then it was a controller issue. I would expect to do the same as you in the future under the conditions you describe.

I was once cleared for take-off. Then ghosted for doing so. It was reversed. Mistakes happen (an extremely rare one!)

In real life, if you suspected a contradiction, you would verbally ask for confirmation. But in IF’s menu of communications options, I can understand how adding such a command option might lead to an excess of asking for confirmations. ( I presume this may have been actively discussed elsewhere?)

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Thanks for the information @Rob_M , I agree with your procedures, and would certainly appreciate clarification for these kinds of situations in the future from infinite flight dev team haha. But in the absence of that happening, I feel that posting on the forum and being able to hear others opinions is about the best ill be able to do!

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Not sure about the confirmation of communication discussion, but I agree with you. Also, I feel that the report function should be saved and used only for situations where a pilot is intentionally going against a direct order (immediately and without question).

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I might speculate that reporting in IF of pilots by controllers functions partly as a de facto training tool. Although pilot entry to the expert server has certain minimum requirements, IF pilots don’t have to prove their knowledge like controllers do. So reporting acts as a teacher’s discipline tool for the wider range of experience of the pilots, from very little knowledge to irl professionals like yourself. If all the pilots were tested to proficiency, I might guess the tool would be used much more sparingly. But far less pilot intake to the expert server might be the penalty. Of course I think you bringing this issue up is completely the right thing to do. It certainly helps me as well.

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