ATC Takeoff "Make left Traffic or right" pop up

I’ve noticed something for a long while now and never understood it… Sometimes when I’m a ATC Controller in KSAN when I tell a plane to take off it either does 2 options… It immediately tells them to take off OR tells them to do left traffic or right traffic takeoff ( I understand immediate takeoff so no one needs to clarify that for me)… Why does it do that sometimes some one please clarify this for me :smile:

When a pilot requests pattern work (ex. “San Diego tower, Southwest 247, ready for takeoff runway 27, remaining in the pattern”), it means they want to takeoff, circle around, and either land again or do a touch and go. This is the “pattern”


The picture above is showing “left traffic”. The same thing on the other side of the runway would be right traffic. Keep in mind that a good amount of pilots (even on the advanced server) don’t know what it means to “remain in the pattern” so an unfortunate controller will clear them for takeoff with a traffic pattern, then they end up taking off and requesting departure into a different direction (of course, after requesting frequency changes at least twice :expressionless:)


Thanks a lot man!! So let me get this straight if a pilot request a take off and it says “remaining in the pattern” it will give me the option to chose left traffic or right? Correct?!

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Yes, only when they say they will remain in the pattern.

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You helped a lot thanks! And also why sometimes I tell a airplane to takeoff it just tells them to take off instead of a choice called “immediate takeoff”


Because, there is an Airplane on Final or Base. So he have to hurry up.

I understand that because that’s what “immediate takeoff” is for but sometimes when I tell the plane to takeoff there is no choice or anything it just goes straight to “cleared for take off” and nothing else

When you tell them that they’re cleared for immediate takeoff, it will go like this.

Southsest 247, runway 27, cleared for immediate takeoff

They will readback that information as:

Cleared for takeoff, runway 27, Southwest 247

They are just acknowledging your command, it just doesn’t say “immediate”.

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I found the solution to my problem lol… It’s that if I’m ATC and I tell the plane to takeoff BEFORE they say they want to takeoff it will go without the option of “immediate takeoff”… Thanks for your help really appreciate it

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Yep that’s why you have to wait. Don’t clear a plane for takeoff if you don’t even know their intentions ;)

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They should add an upwind action you can select as a ATC or just for the unicom.

Upwind action? Under Pattern instructions you can select “Extend upwind”


How can you tell if you’re on left or right downwind or upwind?

By learning about patterns? If you are taking off into the wind, as soon once you lift off you are upwind. If a controller says ‘extend upwind’, you keep flying runway heading for a while longer before turning onto crosswind. If you want to know about downwind, check Sean’s earlier comment ^ Does that help at all? I don’t really know how to answer because it is just something you know once you understand traffic patterns

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