Recently, while controlling and flying, I’ve noticed several pilots tend to make mistakes in certain areas/phases of their flight. The best way to fix these would be by taking a look at the tutorials. I would like to highlight a few places and also make suggestions which might be of help to the pilots:
1.) When exiting the runway, do not stop before the holdshort line
This is the most common error which I see on a pilot’s end. If you do not cross the hold short line, you’re still on the runway. You may be risking a go around for the aircraft behind, or delay the aircraft waiting to takeoff after you get off the runway. Cross the holdshort line then contact ground, as is evident from the exit runway message which says: “exit runway when able, contact ground on the taxiway”
Basically, do not stop before the hold short line, wait for ground to give you clearance to taxi to parking, then cross the line. That’s incorrect.
Please exit the runway as soon as possible when there is a lot of traffic and tight spacing between departures and arrivals.
You’ve got to know your surroundings at all times.
2.) Do not request remaining in the pattern if you’re not
When you’re ready for takeoff, you’ll see two options: “Departing” and “Remaining in the pattern”. Now, if you’re flying from EGLL to KJFK, and say that you’re remaining in the pattern, what you’ve done is incorrect. You’re departing London airspace. So, you must select the “Departing” option and state the direction of your departure.
Now, you may ask: What do you mean by “Remaining in the Pattern”?
@Chitown has explained this very efficiently in his post below:
Here’s a diagrammatic representation of what a pattern means:
This video tutorial will show you how a standard pattern is flown:
Note that the pattern altitude for General Aviation aircrafts is 1000 feet AAL (Above Aerodrome Level) and for jets, it is 1500 feet AAL. These are also the altitudes which a controller refers to when they say “descend to pattern altitude”. Please do not rack up high altitudes as it could cause confusion between the controller and the pilot, ruining the consistency for a transition.
You may check this tutorial for detailed information on a pattern:
3.) Calling inbound properly
Do you sometimes get confused on what is the correct thing to tell tower when you want to land? Well, then this may be helpful:
- When no approach frequency is available, you may call inbound by selecting: Call inbound–> Landing (Or touch and go if you wish to do patterns. Refer to point 2 for pattern work), request a specific runway if you wish to, and send the message.
All the cases below refer to calling in to tower When you’re cleared for the following by the approach controller
When you’ve been given radar vectors for the airport, when you contact tower, call inbound–>landing/touch and go
When you’ve been cleared for a visual approach by the approach controller, Call inbound–>landing/touch and go–> on the visual --> the runway you’ve been cleared for.
When you’ve been cleared for an ILS/GPS approach:
Call inbound–>landing/touch and go–> on the ILS/GPS–> Runway you’ve been cleared for.
Quick note: Do not switch to tower frequency without being instructed to do so by the approach controller.
4.) When you’re given an intercept, you’ve got to make the last turn on your own
The approach controller will give you an approximate 30° intercept on the ILS approach. When you’re given the intercept, the last turn (to align to the runway) has to be made by the pilots themselves. I’ve seen many pilots proceed to miss the intercept by continuing on the last heading given by the approach controller.
An ILS intercept message looks like this:
You’ve got to make the last turn to align to the runway on your own.
I’ll also add that you must not deviate from the heading or altitude given by the controller in any other circumstances.
5.) Requesting flight following to an airport, when you’re doing an IFR flight, is incorrect
Now, if you’re flying from EGLL to KJFK in a 747, and on contacting EGLL departure, you request flight following to John F. Kennedy, what you’ve done is incorrect. You’re only supposed to check in to departure in such a situation. That’s it. Of course, if departure gives you some vectors, follow them as they’re most likely trying to deconflict traffic. You’re free to do your own thing once you’re told to resume your own Navigation.
You may ask: ok, so when do I ask flight following?
The Answer: Request flight following when you’re in a General Aviation aircraft and are flying VFR.
You may also take a look at this tutorial:
6.) When on ground, do not “hide airplane dots”. Actively look at the map to prevent ground collision
Ground collision as a result of pilot error, on expert server, will most likely result in a ghost. You’ve got to be aware of your surroundings.
You may ask: What do I do if the aircraft does not render?
The answer to this question is in the title of the point: do not hide airplane dots and take an active look at the map. You have to use all the possible resources to prevent a ground collision. Failure to use these resulting in a ground collision will result in ghosting.
Graphics may be lowered to reduce lagging.
Last but not the least;
7.) When on unicom, after you’ve exited the runway, report “Clear of all runways”
There are two times when you exit a runway:
After you’ve landed, you exit to taxi to parking
After you cross a runway.
In both the above mentioned cases, after crossing the hold short line, report “Clear of all runways”. This is essential for landing as well as taking off aircraft. It will inform them that you’re no longer on the runway and the next aircraft can takeoff/land, as the case may be.
I hope this was informative, and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me in this topic or via PM.
If you want more information of the flying ethics on Expert Server, please take a look at the tutorials category.