Captain_Metz1’s ATC Tracking Thread - [CLOSED] @ KSFO

Hello my name is Carson M.

This thread is to update you all on what airport I will be controlling as I start training towards IFATC!

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Hey! Changed your title for you, have a look here for why! Everything else looks good.

Thank You!

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Aight, I will set this thread to watching then. I am Flying back from Frankfurt to Singapore right now so I am unable to come down now. I will pop by when I am free to do patterns.

Remember to change the title to [Closed] when you are done :)


I’ll drob by!


Hello @Captain_Metz1!
Good to see that you’re intending to join and work towards IFATC :)

I was M-01 just now at KSFO.
There’s plenty for you to learn at the moment, judging by your performance, but nothing to worry about! Everyone starts off new and fresh, so take it slow and learn comfortably at your time and pace!

I’d recommend not opening airports such as KSFO in future as they tend to be busy with trolls and pilots who don’t know how to fly properly or work with ATC.

Here’s what I observed:

  1. 14:09:21: American 3500 was instructed to “stay on my frequency” by you. As they are departing out of your airspace, you should either issue a “frequency change approved” or hand them off to the departure (or approach in some cases) controller.

  2. 14:09:25: When American 912 Heavy called in for full stop, you issued an “already cleared to land, avoid unnecessary report.” Many pilots call full stop when they intend to stop their pattern work, as a courtesy to let you know that they are stopping. Nothing wrong with that.
    However, if a pilot does report position for no apparent reason or at every leg of the pattern, then yes, you would issue that command.

  3. 14:10:27: Alaska 446 called inbound. However, at 14:11:19, you on-guarded them? They were already on your frequency with their intentions known, there’s no logic at all with on-guarding them.

  4. 14:11:51: Alaska 446 was cleared to land, without anything else. For all aircraft calling in, as a minimum (without approach), you need to issue a pattern entry, followed by a sequence if needed, and a clearance.
    For Alaska 446, it should have been:
    1: Alaska 446, enter straight in Runway 28L
    2: (sequence not necessary)
    3: Alaska 446, Runway 28L, cleared to land

  5. 14:17:50: Same thing with United 241 calling inbound, you only issued a clearance.

  6. 14:18:47: United 241 was rejected their runway change from 28R to 28L.
    There was no conflict or any potential issues with that, why reject them?
    Always accommodate runway changes as much as possible.
    If you don’t already know this, in case you deal with runway changes in future, you handle them as such:
    1: Issue pattern entry for new runway
    2: Sequence as necessary
    3: Clearance for new runway (and traffic direction if the aircraft is in the pattern)

  7. 14:21:24: Varig 750 was told to LUAW Runway 1L, but you left them there for 90 seconds idling on the runway. I didn’t see any conflicts and it did not make sense to keep them there that long, maybe you forgot about them?

  8. 14:30:02: Good spot on American (or United) 2438’s taxi without clearance!

  9. 14:32:52: You changed me from 1L to 28R, which is nothing wrong, but it’s better to let pilots decide how and where they want to fly, rather than managing it for them.
    Your pattern entry and clearance for the runway change was perfect!

  10. 14:37:05: Good handling of my runway change to 1L.
    However, you did not indicate a pattern direction in my clearance, which is necessary for runway changes.
    You did correct it later at 14:39:44 though, which is good!

  11. 14:40:34: Good runway change, perfect pattern entry and clearance.

  12. 14:43:32: Good handling of N483TN even when they called in wrongly on inbound.

  13. 14:48:47: After my departure was approved, I was not issued a frequency change.

  14. 14:54:39: I was issued a transition altitude of 5000ft, which is way too high for KSFO.
    At 13ft MSL, KSFO’s transition altitude should be around 2500ft-3000ft MSL.
    5000ft is almost outside of your airspace.
    A good rule of thumb is to add 2500ft to your airport altitude.
    The reason for this is because of pattern altitudes and separation.
    For GA, they fly at 1000ft AGL, and for jets, they fly at 1500ft AGL.
    Add in another 1000ft for separation and you have the +2500ft rule.

  15. 14:54:39: I was issued a frequency change when I (accidentally) flew out of your airspace, good catch! However, when there is no approach controller present, your airspace extends out beyond the smallest ring surrounding the airport.

  16. 14:59:32: I was on-guarded by you as I circled back around, but I was at >5000ft AGL, which is outside of your airspace.
    Never on-guard someone outside of your airspace.
    For tower, all airspaces extend till 5000ft AGL.

  17. 15:00:45: The “continue inbound” to N678AT was unnecessary and for no reason.

  18. 15:03:20: You sent me a “say intentions” at 8000ft MSL, which like I said before, is WAY out of your airspace and control.

  19. 15:03:52: On my inbound call, you did not give me a sequence with the pattern entry, as there was another aircraft I’m following.

  20. 15:04:13: You sent N678AT a “check assigned runway” when they were established for the right runway.

  21. 15:04:27: When N678AT reported their position to let you know that they were established for the right runway, you sent them an “already cleared to land, avoid unnecessary reports”…

  22. 15:05:17: I was told to extend downwind for no reason, I was nicely spaced out between the aircraft before me.

  23. 15:05:52: I was told to turn base, way past the tip of the ILS cone.
    That left me with 15nm of separation with the aircraft ahead of me.
    You do not need that much separation!
    With aircraft in VFR or in the pattern, all aircraft are expected to “see-and-avoid”, and unless necessary, do not micromanage them.

  24. 15:09:27: When I reported that I was stopping my pattern with the “full stop”, I was re-cleared to land. What you should have done was to just reply with “roger” and to expect to issue me a runway exit command as I was not continuing my pattern.

  25. 15:10:47: My runway exit command was very late, when I was almost off of the runway. However, beautiful runway crossing in the exit!

Generally, here’s what I noticed:

  1. Your replies to commands were quite late, and many pilots had to ping you for replies.

  2. Your clearance of all aircraft was late, usually on final or short final. It’s technically nothing wrong but you should not leave the pilots wondering when they’ll be cleared. A good time to clear pilots is on downwind, but you can clear them as early as upwind.

  3. Runway exits were generally late for all aircraft.

  4. You pinged me twice when I was overflying your airspace, I recommend you read up the ATC manual on airspaces and where they extend to vertically and horizontally.

All these things I mentioned above naturally comes to you as you control more, so fret not!
There are a few things that obviously require some memorisation (such as pattern altitudes), but you’ll get it in no time to come!

It was a pleasure joining you tonight, and I hope you open up more in future.
I’d love to see you improve over time :)

Feel free to tag me anytime if you’d like to, and I’ll see if I can drop by.


Adding on to my above message, it’s not feasible for me to link every single thing for you to refer to, but there are plenty of great resources online!

  1. YouTube: Infinite Flight, where Tyler has many wonderful ATC tutorials, such as The Perfect ATC Test.

  2. The official Infinite Flight ATC Manual.

  3. This community and this forum itself! Feel free to ask us anything if you need any help, when it is not covered (or covered well enough) in #ground-school, #atc, the YouTube Channel, etc.
    Try to do some research and self learning before asking anything, as most questions people ask have probably been addressed, answered or dealt with in the past.


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I’ll stop by! How much longer will you stay open?

Thank you so much for all your time and I appreciate the good feedback and I will take it and learn from it all! this is only my second day of really cracking down to learn it! Once again I appreciate your time and efforts to give me this great feedback.

Carson M

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I am going to be open for the next 20-30 minutes!
Carson M

Hey there, I was N458WU!

Here’s my feedback from the session…

  1. I noticed you changed up the runway direction…? You had Alaska 2006 land on 28L, but also had N121TS 10L. Unless you were planning on changing runway directions, you should always stick to using one side of the runway to avoid conflict. If you do plan on changing directions though, you should broadcast a message saying so.
  2. The runway crossings were pretty early. You should wait until an aircraft gets closer to the runway before clearing them to cross.
  3. My first “cleared for the option” was a bit late. You also didn’t need to instruct me to turn base. If you clear me for the option it would be also sufficient. When you cleared me for the option, you also instructed me make left traffic afterwards. I was already in the pattern for left traffic, so that instruction was unnecessary.
  4. When I landed to do my touch and go, you instructed me to exit the runway? I was still at 90kts when you instructed me to exit, which is a bit too early to instruct to exit, and since I was in the pattern you should assume I was going to do a touch and go anyways unless told otherwise.
  5. When I contacted ground when I exited the runway, I asked to taxi back to RWY19R. But you never cleared me to taxi to RWY19R, just cleared me to cross 10R/10L.
  6. When I requested frequency change, you never told me to contact tower, just “Frequency changed approved”

Sorry if some of my comments don’t make sense, I’m writing this in a rush. If you have any questions on what I said, feel free to ask!

I’d definitely recommend you read through the ATC manual, and watch/read the tutorials available. Those helped me a lot when I was working towards becoming IFATC.

And I agree with what Mark said. I wouldn’t recommend opening up at a large, busy airport such as KSFO or KLAX. I would stick with a maybe smaller airport with less traffic.

Thanks for ATC, and hope to see you around!

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Feel free to tag me and I’ll try to come when free :)

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Thank you once again for your great feedback! I am still trying to find where everything is at on the interface so that is why it takes me a little bit to repsond to requests. Thank you for your time and effort to write a review. greatly appreciated.
Carson M

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I wouldn’t try to practice on complex or busy airports to begin with, especially with intersecting runways. Pick a nice single runway airport and have 3-4 aircraft in the pattern and master a single pattern first. Then you can go on to two parallel runways and work two patterns with runway changes. You won’t need to do anything more complex than that for the IFATC practical.

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