Different Ways to Respond to ATC when you Reach Grade 4 or 5

So I recently saw a post asking about what motives there are to get to grade 5 and that had me thinking, what real motives are there? Except having the cool color and making the rest of us jealous.

I propose we have more “casual” ATC chatter. When you listen to ATC, they all don’t repeat the exact same way. When you’re on an Infinite Flight Approach Frequency, the controller may say:

ATC: “United 9624, Turn right heading 130”
Pilot: “Turn right heading 130, United 9624”

However if the pilot has reached a certain grade, they could say:

ATC: “United 9624, Turn right heading 130”
Pilot: "Right heading 130, United 9624’

Of course this is just one example there are many more. This would do many things,

  1. It would allow us as the pilots to add our own personal preferences or allow us to be more realistic with what we as the pilot might say IRL.

  2. It could give us a reason to work on getting grade 4 or grade 5! I mean who wouldn’t want to have more control of how they personally respond to ATC?

  3. In some cases it may help ATC move along quicker and more efficiently. Whenever a frequency is really busy, a lot of times the text at the top of the screen doesn’t match up on what the voice is saying. If we were (as in the example above) to take out the word “Turn,” and that occurred 4 or 5 times (which is very likely even if only one pilot cuts out the word 'Turn") That would save almost an entire line of ATC in the end!

Now here’s the question, where could we alter the ATC responses? I suggest we could make so when you click on your profile, it has another tab which says “ATC Commands” or something along the lines of that. When you click on it it will have a list of all of the current standard ATC commands. From there you could click on one, and it would give you different options you could replace it with.

For instance,

“Turn Right heading [Insert Heading Here], {Callsign}”

Then you would click on this and it would have options below it such as

"Right heading [Insert Heading Here], {Callsign}

You would then select this as the new option, and then press a button saying “OK” to confirm it.

Let’s say for instance you needed to be Grade 5 to access this, but you’re only grade 4. The button saying “OK” need to confirm this, would be gray (Like Pre-Global if you needed to purchase an aircraft) and unpressable saying “You must be grade 5 to have access to this!”

Just imagine it’s the crack of dawn at KLAX and you’re just ready to contact Socal Approach after your long haul from Sydnee. All of the other pilots (Flying from KSFO) are saying “Socal Approach Delta 111, with you” While you get to say, “Socal Approach Good Morning, Qantas 9624 Heavy, with you” I mean what’s not to love about that?

I hope you enjoyed this feature request! I made a list below so the entire community can pitch in and request more ATC terms we could use!

“Default Command” New Command Grade Needed to access User who added this Command
Turn Right/Left heading [Insert Heading Here], {Callsign} Right/Left heading [Insert Heading Here], {Callsign} Grade 4 @KIND9624
[Airport Approach service] {Callsign}, with you [Airport Approach Service] Good Morning/Day/Evening, {Callsign} with you Grade 5 @KIND9624

I don’t see much point personally, people will be wondering what’s going wrong and it will surely cause some misunderstandings and unecessary work for the devs to do this. There don’t need to be motives to work toward grade 5, if you want the best grade then work for it, this is represented by the requirements. In my own experience aswell though Grade 5,4’s aren’t always better pilots.


Agree with @Chatta290. Also, as I have experienced while both flying and controlling on Expert, there are plenty of Grade 5s with A LOT to learn.

I would agree with you. I did the post about motivations for grade 5. Even though I have grade 4, I still spend a lot of time on the training server. Just because you have 4 doesn’t mean you’re a better pilot. I still get the occasional overspeed violation for not paying close enough attention on descent. Plus I still read through the tutorials/videos to make sure I’m the best pilot I can be.

@Chatta290 , @jghastings , @Luis_G_Partida, and @Lars

Pardon me for asking, but where exactly did I mention grade 4 or 5 pilots are better?

I was never focused on how good the pilots are, I just figured that after you have done 750 landings it may be fun to have something a little extra!

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One of my experiences of being an IFATC now for over a year: Grades doesn’t matter


This is unnecessary in my opinion

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Instead of this idea, I think having a few different ways of responding that are randomly selected to try to get away from the robot feel of ATC rn in IF.

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I like this idea, but obviously it is not a neccessity.

It would be a step forward to vocal radio communication

Nice try, how about also giving them powers to moderate this forum?

Not criticising your idea but the tone of your post make it seem like grade 4 and 5 are the top dogs while other grades like 3 are normal. It seems like the other way round. The grade 3s are the real pros. People who are grade 4 or 5 just have more landings that’s all.

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I thinka different sign-off would be fun - and cause very minimal confusion. Something as simple as

“[callsign], good day”

instead of the full “frequency changed approved… etc.”

Ok. Apparently I need to clarify something.

  1. This thread says NOTHING about grade 4 or 5 pilots being better. I choose grade 4 and 5 as a “requirement” because I felt it would be easiest. The only other option would be forcing us to pay for the ATC responses, which we don’t want or need. Although the higher the grade doesn’t mean the pilot is better, it’s still not easy getting the necessary amount of landings as well as maintaining the necessary amount. If the lower grade pilots are that great, then whenever they they get a higher grade they automatically become bad? I feel like all of these comments are taking credit away from the higher grade pilots that are actually good and realistic.