ATC Questions

Hear we go

When should you use the extend up wind and down wind command and if so do you give a pattern entry

If a plane takes off and there a plane on mid final do you still sequnce the first plane to follow the plane on mid final

Sky west is calling inbound what should I do and how would I sequnce the plane correctly I was very confused because I know it needed a pattern entry but did not know when to give it and who to sequnce it be hind who

In this photo you can see sky west going on a long pattern how do I make it so the first to plane can go a head if it

Thx and sorry this is long


Extend upwind and downwind are used primarily as a means of avoid conflicts between aircraft on different patterns. Say you have two aircraft on two different patterns, left traffic and right traffic, both are about to turn base at the same time, you would have one aircraft extend downwind to avoid a conflict between the two aircaft.

For your second question, when a plane is taking off, you sequence them behind all the aircraft in front of them. Once an aircraft passes the runway threshold, they are no longer considered part of the sequence. So yes if an aircraft is on mid-final and the aircraft taking off has left the ground, the first aircraft should still be counted in the sequence.

Now when aircraft call inbound, you use pattern entries to get them into the pattern. You would need to know basic pattern legs to correctly guide them into the pattern. Take a look at the image I uploaded below to help you with this.


As for who you sequence them behind, I honestly prefer having them last, but if it’s not possible, sequence them behind whoever you can, then whoever you want behind the inbound aircraft would have to be resequenced.

Finally your third question, if the 3 aircraft in your photo were properly sequenced, they should follow each other as they are in charge of maintaining proper spacing. So even if SkyWest 9954 is doing a long pattern, the other aircraft behind should follow their lead.

I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any other questions!


In my second photo would I not use the continue inbound option because the plane was 12 nautical miles out and in that time a lot of planes can land and take of changing the sequencing

It is usually used in 2 scenarios :-

  1. when 2 aircrafts end up being parallel on the upwind and one requests runway change
  2. or when you want to achieve a bit more spacing in the pattern

In case of scenario 1 you will have to send them a new pattern entry and sequence for the new runway. If not,that is case 2 , a simple “turn crosswind” will do the job.

Yes,they will receive a pattern entry,sequence (if needed) and clearance . In this case,the aircraft calls in when on the base so you can give a “enter right base” entry and then clear since he is number one. If other 2 planes are going on the same runway as him,they would need a resquence and a reclearance as number 2 & 3 if they were already cleared .

Ask N3EC to turn base and sequence skywest behind him. Simple!


In this case I would have used continue inbound, wait for N3EC and Delta 779 to restart their pattern, then give SkyWest a pattern entry and give them a sequence behind Delta 779.


So I could say enter right downwind number 3 traffic to follow is on right downwind ?

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Tbh,“Continue inbound” doesn’t work here. The plane here is quite close to the field. Usually “Continue inbound” is used when planes are very far away and you are unsure of what pattern entry and sequence to give them that early. In that case this command is used to buy time and then properly integrate them into the pattern when near. Here you can either directly put them on L with a pattern entry and clearance and if on R sequence them as needed.


This is not required since SkyWest would have been cleared for takeoff with a pattern direction or were they inbound, they would have received a t&g clearance with traffic direction. Just sequence :).


Base would be ideal. Here number 2 traffic to follow would work as there’s room for just one plane to fit ahead of skywest,not both.


Ok sorry I’m not the best at this

Thx for all the help I’m trying to improve a lot

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No worries at all. We’re happy to help you!


it kinda just clicked in my head so I think I’m getting it

if Ifatc can you control anywhere you want or do you have to be assigned a location
and how long do you have to be open for

Min 30 mins a session and can upto 12 hours

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You can open anywhere when in the following ranks/stages :-

  • Apprentice
  • Specialist CR
  • Officer CR

When you are a specialist or officer,you’ll have to control in your selected region. And each session irrespective of facility or class will be a minimum of 30 mins.

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what if your 10 min into a sechion and something happens where you have to leave\

are you banned

I don’t think that is possible you have to control min 30 mins

These are the regions you can choose from

Tyler’s video gives you a nice overview of what you need to know about working as a tower controller. 😉

No. Everyone has circumstances that pop up out of nowhere. We can’t predict, just don’t get into a habit of leaving early before the minimum time required.

Ensure you have at least the 30 minute window before opening.