ATC Struggles!!

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!


The most helpful hint I can give you is to get that practical exam done as quick as you can!

Grade 1’s on TS1 are a whole different kettle to boil and I understand your frustration completely, it’s mega annoying. keep up the good practice and get that exam passed ASAP!


Just don’t control SoCal.
That’s where everyone is including the nimrods


Just have to set up a time for the practical. Are you IFATC?

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Like everyone else said, unfortunately there really isn’t a specific way to handle stubborn traffic. As there are no consequences on TS1 for not following ATC instructions, pilots think they can get away with anything.

One tip I have is don’t let the bad pilots stress you out, as it can affect your overall performance. Hopefully if you become IFATC it will be no where near as bad! Hope this helped :)

But is there a way to report that aircraft if they don’t follow instructions after 3 repeated instruction from the ATC that I think that controllers that after a little while of that aircraft not follow instruction that controller can just do a temp report or have list of everyone who doesn’t follow instructions given from ATC


Nope, there isn’t a way to report people as the controller on TS1. It is the Training Server, don’t expect everything to be perfect, there could be annoying pilots, but that is what makes the achievement of reaching the expert server so great.

Like others say; if you are unhappy about TS1 controlling, just go for IFATC.


No my friend, real world I’m a military weapons controller (very very similar to area control) so I avoid ATC on here, otherwise I’d never escape work! Haha


Congratulations on passing your written exam. I have found it easier to control on servers that you have paid for, not the typical ones like SoCal ect. People tend to take the game more seriously in the paid ones, though it will take some time before they come.


@Laura_Murphy is correct.

It’s usually a bit more civilized in the paid regions on TS1. But when you encounter trolls on TS1, do your best to work around them or ignore them. If they have no interest in following your instructions, why should they even be serviced?

Not that trolls aren’t present at Expert, but that’s a different story.

Good luck!


As mentioned, the trick here is to discover the difference between pilots that don’t know and want to learn and do it right, and ‘nimrods’ - pilots who live in their own world and don’t care.

And (also mentioned already), forget about controlling on SoCal…

For the last group:

(Playground is now Training Server)

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Nice👍🏾 I’ll be taking my IFATC test next year on my bday


Get through the practical! Sounds like you’d be a great addition to the ranks!


Yes I’ve had this happen many many times on TS1 (esp SoCal). Its annoying how one pilot can ruin the experience for everyone else.

I normally check their XP and if they are inexperienced I will cut them some slack. However, If I have a troll who is bombarding me with duplicate messages like transition approval even when they’re heading away from the airport, or simply ignoring all my instructions, I remove them from my frequency by clicking on their flight strip and dragging to the right. This at least stops them from sending you umpteen duplicate messages and clogging your frequency. Not a perfect solution but it may help.

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That’s what I tend to do. What angers me is when I find that the pilot ignoring my instructions is Grade 3 and above!! So ridiculous.


Thanks for your service!

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I’ll occasionally run both ground and tower at ORD. It takes about 45 minutes for a decent crowd to show but they are generally better. I just hate waiting that long :P one plane at a time isn’t fun!

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I sure hope I am… I think being ATC is fun and it’s satisfying when I get through a busy period with no troubles whatsoever

My suggestion to pilots flying in TS-1 is, when you hear the controller give (please follow instructions) instruction. Please start hitting the report button. Even in expert server. A guy taxied through me and two other planes right under the nose of a controller. Sad.

You should have let the controller know about this. I would want to know of any mistakes I make personally.

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