Conflicting instructions JFK

I am doing a circuit at JFK, pretty light traffic. Only Ground and Tower ATC are active. Take off, turn right, climb to 3k, join right downwind, Request landing for 31R, Tower says cleared to land I am #1 . (still on my downwind).

I then get a “You are in an active airspace contact departures”, then immediately “You are in an active airspace contact Approach”, My clearance to land was not revoked, so I continue to turn base while I try to contact approach. Then a warning goes out to say the airport is too busy and cant take any approach (my approach was still not revoked), then I ask approach again to land 31R, (still very little traffic and none on 31R or inbound), approach says no, and tells me to climb to FL280. I quit the flight to avoid penalties.

So we have a few things going Conflicting messages, no handoff from Tower to Approach or Departures when they become active, and arbitrary instructions like climb to FL280, when I as asking to land.

The concern I have is I had to quit so I would not get a penalty. How do we handle these types of situations.

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You’re on the training server, so the controllers are fairly inexperienced.

Also, your cant get ghosted by a training server controller.

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Hi Cian,

I’m going to assume that this was on the Training Server as JFK is not currently open on the Expert Server. With that said, the Training Server is an environment where folks are and should be training to hone in on their skills as a controller. You can’t be penalized for not following instructions on the Training Server but do keep in mind that when you are on the Expert Server, all instructions given to you by ATC must be followed. Hope this helps.



I assume this is training server, if so there is sadly nothing you can do about it. Controllers are rarely able to communicate with each other. If you want a better and smoother session then I recommend flying on expert, where ATC are trained. Don’t worry too much about it as there is no penalty on the training server.

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As mentioned, this was very likely on Training server, so there’s a good chance the ATC’s are still learning and I suspect in this case Tower ATC was unaware that he had an Approach ATC working his airport.

You were flying a ‘circuit’, so you were ‘remaining in the pattern’. In general, there are two possibilities here:

  1. Tower hands you over to Approach, because he has many inbounds and wants Approach to guide you back to the airport. You are flying then a ‘radar pattern’. Wait for Approach to hand you back to Tower.
  2. Tower does not hand you over to Approach, but wants to keep you on his frequency, to fly your pattern. In that case, you can ignore guard messages from the Approach ATC. He should leave you alone.

As mentioned already, you cannot be reported by the ATC on Training Server.

Hope this helps.


This was a great answer. Thank you. I want to also be sharp when on the Expert server. Thanks!

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