CapA's ATC Tracking Thread - [CLOSED] @CYHZ

Hey Guys,

I am practicing for my IFATC practical. It would be very helpful if you some of you would fly some patterns at Halifax.

Departing Aircraft: Please File Plan before requesting pushback if you are not remaining in the pattern.

  • Server: Training
  • Airport: CYHZ
  • Frequencies: Ground/Tower
  • Runways: 05 and 32


How long will you be thr ?

Around 1 hour approximately.

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I’ll come!

Thank you @nicopizarro


I was VT VAR , following are the points I Observed.

  1. Pb and taxi commands were right.

  2. Take off with make right traffic was also good foe me.

  3. For clearance you gave me Clear for option runway 5 after the option make right traffic .
    As I took of from same runway thr is no need of after yhenoption make right traffic.

4 . For the third pattern you gave me extend downwind without giving sequence. Only sequence is needed.
Extend downwind was not necessary if you would have given me the sequence. So I know which aircraft I’m following.

Work hard for Seqyence and clearance . If you are using 1 runway keep everyone at one side.



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Hey won’t be able to make it now, but whenever your available feel free to tag me!

Thank you for your feedback, I will work on my sequencing and clearance.

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Attention all Aircraft: CYHZ Tower and Ground is now closed.

Feedback from YMCA
➜ The instructions were often given too lately, sometimes 10 to 15 seconds after I made the request, and even almost 45 seconds when I requested taxi.
✓ Besides that, the taxi instructions and the take-off clearances were correct.
➜ The runways you chose weren’t exactly the best as there were more than 10kts tailwind, which is not recommended.
✓ The pattern entry for the runway change was correct.
➜ The clearance that followed the runway change was incorrect, as you forgot to mention which direction to take after the touch-and-go (right or left).
➜ You asked me to exit the runway before I touched down. Normally, we’d give that instruction only once the plane has reached 70kts.

Generally speaking, the session was good. Of course we can see that you don’t have a very strong knowledge of the ATC manual and that you lack a bit of practice, but as far as I can see, you already have the basics. I suggest you taking a look at the manual before opening for the following days to better understand the procedures and know how to apply them on practice. And keep this tracking thread alive, as practicing is very important. Good luck, thanks for your service and thanks for having me!

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Thank you for the service. I was CC-NPR and I have some feedback and advice for you.


(See below for advice regarding each situation)

  • [17:02z] - High transition altitude for CC-NPR.
  • [17:03z] - Unnecessary traffic direction on VT-VAR clearance.
  • [17:04z] - Unnecessary right 360º for CC-NPR.
  • [17:05z] - Incorrect understanding of CC-NPR intentions.
  • [17:10z] - No sequence for CC-NPR behind VT-VAR.
  • [17:11z] - Unnecessary traffic direction on VT-VAR clearance.
  • [17:13z] - Unnecessary “Extend Downwind” for CC-NPR.
  • [17:13z] - CF-MAX could have been cleared for take-off instead of holding short.
  • [17:14z] - Unnecessary pattern entry in replacement of “Turn Base” or clearance for CC-NPR.
  • [17:17z] - Unnecessary “extend downwind” for VT-VAR.
  • [17:17z] - Unnecessary sequence for CF-MAX.
  • [17:17z] - No sequence for VT-VAR.
  • [17:19z] - Unnecessary traffic direction for VT-VAR on clearance.
  • [17:20z] - No clearance for CC-NPR, causing a Go-Around.
  • [17:21z] - Unnecessary “Extend Downwind” for CC-NPR.
  • [17:22z] - No sequence for CC-NPR.
  • [17:24z] - Unnecessary pattern entry for CC-NPR to turn base.
  • [17:27z] - Very late clearance for CC-NPR.
  • [17:28z] - Late runway exit for CC-NPR.


  • Transition altitude is the minimum altitude you authorize an aircraft to fly through your airspace with no obligation of coming in as inbound. As a rule of thumb, we calculate it adding 2,500 ft to the airport elevation and round up to the nearest 500 ft. altitude. Why do we add 2,500ft AAL? 1,500 ft for maximum pattern altitude and 1,000 ft for minimum IFR separation. In this case, your correct transition altitude would be 3,000 (2,500 + 476).

  • Traffic direction on clearances (“make left/right traffic”) must be given for aircraft inbound for touch and go, runway changes and take-off (remaining in the pattern) clearances only. If the aircraft has performed a touch and go OR took-off from the same runway they are intending to land/T&G, you do not need to add a traffic clearance as the prior one will be maintained.

  • It’s very uncommon to see a controller use the 360º instruction for pattern work. This command is mostly used when there are several inbounds to an airport and we have no radar controller present. In this case, since CC-NPR was on transition, there was no need to issue a 360º to avoid a separation conflict since the minimum altitude separation was there. In the case that I was inbound, you should rely on your sequencing commands instead of a 360º.

  • Please note, that aircraft that request a transition, are not obligated to request inbound (either T&G or landing for full stop). Therefore, you shouldn’t give a pattern entry or clearance for something they haven’t requested (CC-NPR case listed above).

  • Regarding sequencing, it is recommended that you wait a few seconds before sending a sequence if there’s an aircraft in short final, as you might confuse the pilot you are sequencing when they search for the aircraft that has already landed.

  • The use of “Extend Downwind” command is for critical instances where separation might be on risk. That said, you should order your pattern work by the use of sequencing instructions. Let me be extremely clear here, an “extend downwind” should never replace a sequencing instruction. As I mentioned above, you should always use sequencing to maintain separation and order of the pattern; note that pilots are responsible of maintaining proper separation and speeds; and you are expected to intervine only when necessary.

  • Although this confidence comes with experience, you should feel good clearing an aircraft for take-off with a distance of 5-4nm with the aircraft on final/base. Remember that the only required separation between them is that the departing aircraft must be airborne before the landing aircraft passes through the threshold.

  • Whenever you have to instruct a “Extend Downwind” instruction (shouldn’t be a common thing to do on pattern work), you can either use the “Turn Base” or clearance (if not cleared) to authorize the aircraft turn towards base. Do not use a base pattern entry. Keep in mind that you should expect tight spacing during pattern work, and you should be good with it.

  • Since CF-MAX asked for a departure to the south on take off, you misunderstood his intentions, and gave a sequence and clearance. Just a heads up to always be pending of the aircrafts requests.

  • You should always be pending on your aircraft status. You can easily check if an aircraft has been cleared for the option/land by the green tag on their callsigns in your radar screen. In this case, CC-NPR had to report position on final to get a clearance.

  • As a rule of thumb, exit runway instructions should be given between 70-60 knots for jets and 40-30 knots for general aviation aircraft (Ground Speed). Although you are expected to send these instructions, critical commands (i.e. Go-Arounds) have priority.

It was an interesting first session that will definitely help you understand what’s next on your practice list. First of all, I’d recommend a second read to the ATC Manual to understand the purpose of the commands you are giving, I’ll share a guide I wrote some time ago as well. I noticed a lot of over-controlling, that it’s something you’ll need to fix by focusing on primary instructions and giving less unnecessary commands.

At this time, I’ve only tested some basic concepts (transition, pattern entry, sequencing and clearance). I recommend opening airports with parallel runways to start practicing runway changes and other situations that you may face on your IFATC practical.

Most importantly, although there’s plenty of work to do, do not feel bad. You are just starting into the ATC side and I can confidently say that if you dedicate some time to practice and understand, you’ll be an amazing controller.

Let me know if you have any doubts here or by sending me a PM, I’ll be happy to help.


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