Common mistakes in ATC communications

Most of people understand ATC commands, but for new players or people who don’t know english that well it can sometimes be a problem to understand ATC instructions, making it not only confusing for the pilot, but also annoying for the controller. Here, i’ve tried to compile a list of usual mistakes while communicating with ATC. Feel free to reply with your suggestions to the list.

Say intentions

What do you intent to do?

You are doing something wrong and should stop

Remaining in the pattern

I'm going to land/touch&go after taking off

I’m turning left/right after takeoff
Check this video for more info on how to do pattern work


Pushback request is only required when the plane supports it and/or when gate requires it. The "expect runaway" part of it only acts as a clue as to where the plane should be pointed after pushback.

Pushback request is always required and may act as a taxi clearance.

Colors of runaway numbers

Colors of runaway show how suitable it is for landing and is decided by the direction of the wind. They can be ignored in mild winds, however it is always better to just aim for the green runaways, especially with smaller airplanes

Colors of runaway numbers is a social construct and should be ignored.

"Approach, I'm not in the mood for this turn"

The only time you should say unable to the approach is when you can crash because of it

If i don’t like what approach is doing, i can always say unable

Yes, most of this info can be found in the existing tutorials, however having all of this in one place will make it easier to find


Great summary. Thank you for sum up these things for the new player.
However, I have to say ‘unable’ to approach when they ask me to expedite to 190kts while I am sitting in a C172, LOL.

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Yup - that basically sums it up…good job!

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