Don't Request "Remaining In the Pattern" If You Have No Intentions to Do it... Here's Why

Hello Community,

Let’s get straight to the point… Don’t request a takeoff “Remaining in the Pattern”, if you have no intention to remain in the pattern.

What Does “Remaining in the Pattern” Mean?

When you request a takeoff, remaining in the pattern, it means that you have intentions to do pattern work.

For exapmle:
Pilot: “Coffs Harbour Tower, VH-ADM, ready for takeoff at runway 21, Remaining in the Pattern.”
ATC: “VH-ADM, runway 21, cleared for takeoff, make left traffic.”

By saying that you want to remain in the pattern, you have been told to join left traffic to do some touch and goes on runway 21.

Why You Shouldn’t request “Remaining in the Pattern” if you have no intentions to…

If you request takeoff, remaining in the pattern, and just fly straight out, it confuses, and really annoys the controller.

This adds onto the amount of (already very high) stress, and can end up with you loosing separation with the aircraft that departed before you, which can sometimes end with a ghosting.

Overall, you waste the controller’s time, and can mess up a pattern or loose separation with another aircraft. Basically, you can sometimes cause chaos.

So, next time you’re awaiting takeoff, make sure you know what your intentions are. Are you wanting to do pattern work? Or, are you flying a route with an airline?

On a side note, if an airport doesn’t allow pattern work, it’s for a good reason.

Don’t depart straight out, do a loop and come back in for a landing/touch and go. It wastes your time, and frustrates the controller. If an airport doesn’t allow pattern work, then it doesn’t allow pattern work.

You’re just going to have to deal with it, or do pattern work at an airport that does allow pattern work.

Anyway, I hope you find this little reminder useful and/or helpful!

Happy Flying (and Controlling)!


Thank you for bringing this up. I wanted to add that if you want to learn more about how to fly a pattern, check out this tutorial:


This is a great topic, and super helpful for the pilots confused with the “remaining in the pattern” option.

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During my sessions, at least 75% of all aircraft that request takeoff remaining in the pattern don’t actually do pattern work. As the OP said, it creates extra workload and makes it more difficult to plan for the sequence of your arrival traffic.

It’s important to request the service you want, but even more important to understand the service you are requesting.

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An example is this guy, I captured this the other day at training server

(look at atc texts) requests ritp

Takes off

Departs and never comes back (He is grade 3 btw)

Callsign : Malaysian 1687

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