EGCC: Some Observations

Just finished controlling tower at Manchester (EGCC). What I saw was deplorable. Complete incompetence from pilots, blatant disregard for spacing, commands, and no pilot etiquette whatsoever. Just wanted to point out a couple of observations and reminders that should be kept in mind for the rest of the day, as well as for times in the future.

  • When you are instructed to exit the runway (in my case, 05R) and hold short 05L, don’t request a runway crossing. We won’t forget about you. And then if you think we’ve forgotten about you, don’t switch to ground and pester that controller. You won’t get a different response - you’ll just get a check user guide and right back to tower you go.

  • Expedite doesn’t mean come to a complete stop and make the widest, most perfect turn you can make off the runway. Remember, high speed exits can be used at 40-50 knots, and this is especially crucial with the 3-4 mile spacing on the arrival runway. Now, on the subject of spacing, don’t fly 250 knots on final. That’s how you make our lives hard, and that’s how you’ll be going around for hours at a time. Maintain reasonable spacing. That’s how you’ll get on the ground as quickly and safely as possible.

  • Intersection departures are allowed, and they actually make our lives easier. If you’re in a narrowbody or lightweight aircraft, go ahead and use those intersections. It allows us to get you out faster and improves the efficiency of the runway. I could line up two aircraft at a time and get them out much faster.

  • Use your pilot etiquette. Too many times I saw aircraft exiting the runway and taxiing right into an aircraft taxiing to the runway for departure. If you see someone exiting the runway, give them the right of way. If you’re racing to the runway, it shows incompetence and does not represent the qualities that a good pilot should show.

In summary, what I saw during my hour at Manchester today was bad. It wasn’t what the expert server environment should be, and it wasn’t representative of what the expert server offers. Together, we will learn and improve, and together, we will make the expert server a fun, positive, and realistic environment.


I was at EGCC this morning, it was pretty good but a few simple mistakes like you stated. EGCC is pretty crazy when it’s featured, I got reported there once so took some courage to go back today.

Just a LOT of traffic, and super hectic. Thank you for your service though, even though it may not seem like it sometimes we all appreciate you and everyone else at IFATC :)


Regarding your point #1 isn’t it otherway round? Shouldn’t it be “exiting Rwy 5R then hold short Rwy 5L?” am I missing a point?

1 Like

Oh yeah, lol. Fixing it right now.

Well these are some good points that people really need to remember when flying :)


If Thunderbolt - the guy who controlled at Geneva when it was a hub and, at times, had 50+ aircraft - is writing, then you know it is horrible


Wow, day 3 in a row of pilots not behaving. This is ridiculous and embarrassing, get your act together!

Thanks for fixing the title on my post yesterday about this Thunderbolt


Thanks Thunderbolt a ton. Giving a perspective out as a controller is the best way, rather than having the rants from the number of pilots who have no clue what it’s like in the Tower, and think that speed = quick.


I second this @Thunderbolt I’ve controlled all of the hub airports this week and I’ve got some points to add:

  • If approach is not present, please follow your given sequence, don’t call in at 30,000 feet and 40nm out.

  • Don’t make multiple inbound requests to tower if approach is offline, this will really clog up the frequency.

  • Avoid changing callsigns once you have made initial contact with ATC, this can be really confusing on a busy frequency! We understand you want the aspect of realism, but please ensure your callsign is correct before making contact!

  • If you are on short final and there is an aircraft still in the runway, please take some initiative and go around! The controller and pilot are equally responsible for ensuring this.

  • If the frequency is busy please do not report your position to the controller if you have been cleared to land.

  • If you have been cleared for immediate takeoff, please do not stop completely on the runway.

  • If you are told to adjust speed to follow aircraft in front, this means slow down and space appropriately (>3nm) . Please don’t ruin approaches spacing as this makes it harder to get departures out, causing delays for the other pilots.

  • Finally, please do not reply with Your Welcome when told to check the user guide, this is for your own benefit in educating you as a pilot, and improving the quality of the expert server! If in doubt pm your controller on the community and we will gladly explain the situation fully and explain the steps that should have been taken.


I agree. I was controlling right before you did and one thing I had to do was tell planes to continue straight ahead after exiting 5R so when they crossed the runway there would be less traffic. I agree as well with the planes not expediting. I had to tell 2 planes to go around which could have been avoided.

1 Like

Also a lot of planes just called inbound today and not on the ILS but I just cleared them because of how busy it was. Also I didn’t think about it but I did have a lot of planes requesting to cross 5L after I told them to hold short. Looking back at the session that was not the expert server professionalism I wanted to see.

1 Like

Thanks Thunderbolt for this, so many people need to read this. EGCC was indeed a mess😭.


Thank you @Thunderbolt for bringing this to light. I know it’s “just a simulator” but this kind of action proves that we need even heavier requirements to reach the expert server. Should I dare call it that? Half of the people aren’t even close to being an “expert” at flying.


This is the 3rd day in a row now, getting ridiculous. They really need to do something about this


The new requirements for grade 3 have clearly done little, maybe even nothing, to stop the unprofessionalism on expert server. I propose making the user guides a mandatory read to all new grade 3 pilots, a further upgrade to the grade 3 requirements, maybe an Expert+ server while we’re at it. It’s apparently gotten to the point where some of these 400 or so volunteers in IFATC dislike what they’re doing. That’s a shame.


Anyone else feel like expert server in general is degrading?


I definitely do.


@Thunderbolt you bring up some great points, I myself wasn’t there today, but can most DEFINITELY say that this is true. Tbh I think we need the ghost back


Yep, the devs tried to get these people off expert by changing the grade system, but these people just won’t go away


There’s still ghosts, they’re just called reports. But they do the same exact thing.