I just finished a nearly two hour session running the tower frequency at KSAN in the Training Server. It was relatively busy, and at one point, I had as many as six planes doing pattern work on top of trying to manage KSAN’s typical departure and arrival schedule. The point is, I had absolutely no down time… it was a lot of work!
So here’s the scenario: 6 planes were in the pattern, 3 more were calling inbound, and, as always, there was a line to depart. When I began the session, runway 09 had a 10kt tailwind, so runway 27 was in use. (After a while, the winds totally disappeared so both runways were “usable”) When the winds disappeared, I kept 27 in use and had the planes make right traffic to avoid overflying KNZY’s airspace.
And then… it happened. I had “THAT guy” announce inbound and request 09. He was a Grade 1 with a few hours and a few more violations, so if he didn’t have a complete understanding of ATC communications, I totally understand, but I knew he was simply being stubborn and totally ignoring my instruction when I told him to enter a right downwind for 27 as all of the other traffic was doing and he wouldn’t budge! I sent him one instruction, he re-requested 09. When I told him “unable” and again instructed him to enter the downwind, he AGAIN requested 09. It continued and we just kept going back and forth. It got to the point that I had everyone already in the pattern divert so this guy could make his landing and get out of the way.
So here’s my question… how do you guys manage the stubborn traffic? It’s frustrating for me and the rest of the aviators who want to play as realistically as possible when someone like this comes along and feels he doesn’t need to listen to ATC, only his predetermined flight plan.
So, any helpful hints or ideas?
Side note! I passed my written exam to become part of the IFATC team. Just have to get through the practical exam and I can start controlling the skies in sessions where people actually care!