Check Help Pages

Please check tutorials on the forum for assistance using ATC instructions….

If you are reading this post, because the IFATC referred you to #tutorials great! I do hope you find your answer.

Pilots flying in Expert server, are expected to know how to behave and read and apply the tutorials. If an IFATC sees a pilot making an error, which we don’t expect to see on Expert, she or he will refer the pilot to help pages. And we then hope this pilot actually goes away and does exactly this.

This post tries to sum up most errors for which IFATCs refer pilots to help pages. You will also find links to tutorials for more info. The topics with 👈🏼 are errors made frequently.

If you didn’t find the answer why you were referred to Help Pages, please try contacting the IFATC first, via a Direct Message. If you’re unable to do so, ask your question here. We’re here to help eachother!

You were on Ground

Life on Ground on an airport is just as important and relevant as in the air. A busy airport with many aircrafts on the platform, needs an alert Ground controller and pilots who take the time on Ground as serious as in the air. Many of the ‘check help pages’ and ghostings happen on the ground.

You parked your Heavy on a small GA spot.

We don’t often refer pilots to help pages for this, but we do recommend pilots to park at a proper gate. Taxing is part of the game; it belongs to flying. And trust me, the runway will still be there, when you get there.

Pushback without permission, or pushback into other aircraft.

This is not allowed, and when you hinder other traffic with this, you could get ghosted.
Remember, pilots are responsible for keeping safe distance with other aircrafts.

Pushback without a flight plan. 👈🏼👈🏼.

In most cases ATIS will demand pilots file a flight plan before requesting pushback and/or taxi. Without a flight plan, the pilot will be instructed to hold position and check ATIS.
When you keep requesting, you will be referred to help pages, and we hope you’ll learn all about ATIS and how to prepare a flight plan.

Did you understand your ATIS? 👈🏼

We see alot of Pilots not reading or undertanding the ATIS for the airport fully.
Here’s info:

Taxi without permission

Don’t taxi, without permission. If you do, you may receive ‘wait for clearance before taxiing. You also risk being ghosted.

Taxi on the taxi lines

If you don’t, you risk getting ghosted. If it’s quiet, you may receive a warning.

Distance to aircraft in front of you 👈🏼

Keep a good distance. ATC my warn you with ‘maintain safe distance with aircraft ahead’. Please take this very serious, you may only get one warning.

Taxi speed, cutting in line

If you want to upset an IFATC, then you should taxi at 35 kts and race around corners, trying to get ahead of another aircraft. Just don’t!
Normal taxi speed, at busy airports, is 15 - 20 kts. Slow down for corners to 7 - 10 kts.

When to switch to Tower - switching to Tower, while taxing 👈🏼

Stay with Ground ATC, until you are at the hold-short line, or if you have one aircraft in front of you, holding short. If you switch to early, you remove the ability from the controller to use give-way instructions, and when you hinder there aircrafts, you risk being ghosted.

Requesting a frequency change, at the hold-short line 👈🏼

This is not needed! You have been given a ‘contact Tower’ instruction as part of your taxi instruction. No need to request is again.

Hold short behind the hold short line.

This means that the very front of the aircraft, should be behind the hold short line.
We don’t often refer to help pages for this; you may risk a ‘you are not cleared to enter the runway, please exit the runway’. If you’re too far over, you may risk ghosting.

Taxi to parking - switch to Ground and request this, before taxiing.

After landing, you exit the runway, cross the hold short line, switch to Ground and request taxi to parking.
Not following this may result in a ‘please wait for clearance before taxiing’ and referral to help pages

You were taking off and departing

Lineup and wait- yes, you can taxi onto the runway 👈🏼

We still see pilots waiting behind the hold short line, after being instructed to line up onto the runway, and wait for instruction for takeoff.
After a lineup and wait, you are allowed to taxi onto the runway, position yourself for takeoff. Wait for the takeoff instruction.

Takeoff without permission

Only takeoff after specific takeoff instruction. A lineup and wait is not a permission to takeoff.
Don’t get ghosted for a silly error like this one.

Remaining in the pattern. Are you really? 👈🏼

A big one! We see pilots requesting takeoff, remaining in the pattern, without any plans to fly patterns around the airport. There are about 21,931 posts on this topic on this forum.
If you request a frequency change, after a request to remain in the pattern, there’s a good change you will receive a request to check help pages.
In short: remaining in the pattern means you are planning to fly circles around the airport, and do touch and goes on the runway. Great fun; please don’t on busy airports. Check the tutorial via the link below.
For more info, check section ‘Remaining in the Pattern’.

Did you have to do a back-taxi? 👈🏼

Some airports don’t have a taxi way, that leads all the way to the start of the runway. In those cases you need to use the back-taxi procedure. A back-taxi is not a runway crossing. It is handled by Tower.

Frequency change approved. Please tune out 👈🏼

When given a frequency change, tune out of the Tower frequency. We see many pilots not tuning out, and while we don’t often warn for this, it’s not correct.

Requesting departure to the North, etc

When you request takeoff, and you request a departure direction, when you are telling the tower in what direction you are planning to leave the airspace.
You don’t, after takeoff, have to request a departure to the North again.

Not departing straight out 👈🏼👈🏼

If you request takeoff, departing straight out, then please depart straight out, as you said you would. This means, fly the entire ILS cone, before turning.
If you don’t, you may be referred to help pages.

Not departing straight out, crossing parallel flight path. 👈🏼👈🏼

The ATIS of an airport with multiple parallel runways, often demands straight out departures.
An enormous amount of pilots ignores the straight out demand, and requests takeoff, departing to the North/South. And 0.5 seconds after takeoff, this pilots presses the NAV button and the aircraft turns through the parallel flight path. This is an excellent way to get ghosted.
Make it a habit of not crossing parallel flight paths, even when it’s quiet. Trust me, you will still arrive at your destination airport in time.

You were flying patterns - remaining in the pattern.

Flying patterns in IF is done a lot; it’s great fun, and is good for the XP’s, especially on windy airports.
Tower controller on a quiet airport, is often happy with the visit of a few pilots doing patterns. On a large, busy airports, we often don’t allow pattern flying. Below are some common errors for which we need to refer to help pages.


Check out this tutorial on flying a pattern.

Pattern altitude

Don’t fly halfway around the world, during a pattern. Also, there are recommended altitudes for aircrafts in the pattern.

Sequencing - were you told to 'extend downwind'

Tower ATC uses sequence instructions to provide info to the pilot who he needs to follow. We often see pilots either ignoring, or not understanding these instructions. Watch your radar, and see who is before you.

Remainig in the pattern. Reporting inbound again

If you are remaining in the pattern, you do not have to report inbound for touch and go, or for landing again. If you do again, you are asked to ‘avoid sending duplicate messages’, and/or to check help pages.
If you want to inform Tower you will not be doing another touch and go, but land, report your position and add ‘full-stop’.

You were inbound, with Tower ATC

Coming in too high

When requesting inbound with Tower you should be somewhere between 10,000 and 8000 feet AGL, and approx 25NM away. If you request inbound earlier, or at higher altitude, you may get referred to help pages.

Pattern entry

After reporting inbound, Tower will always first give the pilot a pattern entry instruction. Follow this, to the best of your ability.
Remember, enter left downwind, is not the same as enter left base. And: right downwind, means the side of the airport where you need to make right turns to steer to the runway.

See example below:

Here Air1 is entering right downwind; his sequence is number 4, traffic to follow is on left base.
A big mistake we see is when pilots are approaching from the opposite side of the active runway.

Reporting inbound the correct way.

There are many ways to report inbound. We see many pilots who don’t know the correct way.
If you report inbound on the ILS, or ‘airport in sight’, while still on 9000 feet and 20 NM away from the airport, you will be referred to help pages.


Tower ATC uses sequence instructions to provide info to the pilot who he needs to follow. We often see pilots either ignoring, or not understanding these instructions. Watch your radar, and see who is before you.

Reporting ‘is on final’, after receiving clearance.👈🏼

Once you have received landing clearance, or clearance to do a touch and to, please don’t report your position again. Tower ATC sees you, and will keep an eye on you. Just continue your inbound, and land.

Going around

A go-around can be initiated by Tower or the pilot, when on final. It means, I am aborting my landing, and will go around for another try. Sometimes we see pilots doing a quick 360 while on final after being instructed to execute a go-around. This is not how it works, and you may be referred to hep pages for doing so.

After landing, crossing the parallel runway? 👈🏼👈🏼

Some airports have parallel runways, and the only way to taxi to the platform is by first crossing the parallel runway. Tower ATC will give you the exit instruction and cross. It’s important you stay with the Tower ATC.

When with Approach

We see much incorrect behaviour from aircrafts on the Approach frequency. Often Approach ATC is too busy to refer to help pages. Below are the most common errors. And please read this:

Coming in the incorrect way - are you finding the lineup?

On busy airports, with a big lineup of traffic, it’s important that pilots, even before contacting the Approach controller, check their radar and try and find the end of the lineup. Don’t try and jump a big queue. It’s a lot of work for an Approach ATC to create a nice lineup of incoming traffic, and pilots can help, but cooperating this way.

Reporting in with the correct the altitude and/or distance. 👈🏼👈🏼

When checking in with Approach ATC, aim to be at approx 18,000 - 15,000 feet, and around 50NM from the airport. Before you contact approach, make sure you approach the correct way. See above point.

Requesting the correct approach type.

Think twice before you request an approach type. Check this tutorial

Your airspeed - slow down! 👈🏼👈🏼

Even when still above 10,000 feet, adjust your airspeed to match the aircrafts you are following. Don’t race to overtake other aircrafts in the lineup.
Always adhere to the speed instructions from the Approach controller. If not, you may be referred to help pages, or risk ghosting.

Descent rate - please descent quickly, if needed. 👈🏼👈🏼

We see a lot of aircrafts descending too slow. Be wise about your descent rate. If asked to descent to 6000 feet, and you’re still on 13,000, you need you need to descent fast (1800 - 2300 feet/min).

Altitude requests

In by far most cases, you can trust the Approach ATC knows what (s)he’s doing. So no need to do altitude change requests. If you are concerned that Approach has forgotten about you completely, it’s ok to send a ‘check-in’ again.

Airport in sight

When you make a Visual approach, the ATC will ask you ‘report airport in sight’. This is a request from the ATC to the pilot to please tell the ATC, when he sees the airport, and is ready to make his own visual approach.
So please report ‘airport in sight’! We see pilots just not doing this.
Don’t report airport in sight when you’re not on a Visual approach. If you do, you will be referred to help pages.

Established on the localiser - make the turn! 👈🏼👈🏼

When approach gives you the final turn, towards to the runway, you will be approaching the ILS cone at a 30 degree angle. The pilot needs to make the final turn himself. So don’t just keep flying in that direction, but turn, and establish yourself on the localiser. Only then, Approach can hand you over to Tower.

Switching to Approach to Tower 👈🏼👈🏼

Don’t switch to Tower, unless told by the Approach controller. If you do this anyway, you may be referred to help pages, or you risk ghosting.
Also see point above ‘Established on the localiser - make the turn’.

When with Departure

Departure ATC’s role is to guide the departing aircrafts away from the airport, in a way they don’t clash with each other, or with inbound traffic. Quite often, it happens that the Approach ATC also assumes the role of Departure ATC.

You only need to report once with the Departure ATC 👈🏼👈🏼

You can report in two ways:

  1. ‘checking in’ (with you). Departure ATC will respond with Radar Contact.
  2. Request flight following to Airport. Departure ATC will respond with ‘proceed in course’.

If you do both, you may be asked to ‘avoid sending duplicate messages’. It’s not needed. Just pick one.

Vectors in flight following

Departure ATC may still give you vectors and altitude, if he believes this is needed to avoid clash with other traffic. Follow instructions!

Altitude requests

As you are now in ‘Flight Following’ mode, you can fly the altitude you want, unless instructed otherwise. No need to do an altitude request, unless you are close to the operated airport.

Feedback: if I missed something, made an error, or perhaps you have a good tutorial I can refer to here, please send me a Direct Message here on IFC.

One last thing:


Nice thread!
Although many pilots ignore the “check help pages”
It’s a great way to learn and be a good pilot towards ATC


This is written for those pilot who don’t ignore the ‘check help pages’. I know there are some ;-)


If only we could just… give this to every TS1 Pilot ever?

Awesome tutorial :)


Great work @azeeuwnl useful reference indeed, ive been trying to compile all my bookmarks together… this has sorted the problem!


Great thread to help those pilots who are willing to learn!

Just a thought, Is there a way this could be incorporated into the app such that when a user receives a check help pages when they later end their flight a link to this thread pops up so they are then direceted to a place to learn? Some would ignore it but it may help some who may not otherwise find the thread?


Why not share this idea to the #features category? 👍🏻😉

On the other hand Anton, great thread as always! This will really help the newbies learn a thing or two.


This helped me learn to be a better pilot in IF! Thank to @azeeuwnl


Good job and well done !


@azeeuwnl A really helpful qnd nicely setup post. hope it is read by many pilots. If they just spent 10min reading this post this will clear many of their doubts and probably save many 👻. also if you can add instructions about intersection departure. :)

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Correction: his sequence is number 4, traffic to follow is on left base.

I think you mean remaining :D

But it’s a very good topic! :D

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Good feedback! Thanks for the Direct Message 😉

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Thanks for the DM!
I will look into it.

Which picture do you mean?

cough 95% of impatient pilots on TS1


This really is a brilliant post! I appreciate the effort and have pinned this in #tutorials.

We surfaced this topic internally to discuss ways to improve the process, specifically the wording that references “help pages” which would be more accurate as “tutorials on the forum”. Further, how can we incorporate info like this in app? We’re all about educating as a first option rather than the unfortunate alternative which is violations or ghosts. Thanks again for putting this together and hopefully it helps us pave the way for some future features.


Wow thanks! This is well written. I have learnt things that I never knew before and this is going to help me even more when I go onto the expert server. This will also help with my real life flying lessons as well


This was a great lesson - thank you