Expert server stress! Ugh!

As I said to @USA_ATC I was speaking of an experience from ATC months ago. Nothing recent


Can you tell me if it is frowned upon to stay in the pattern in a busy place like JFK or LAX and practice coming in and going out and just being a part of the flow?

The downside is I don’t get the practice with approach and the handoff to tower and vice versa. That’s the part that makes me nervous.

Just dont panic, We all have been there first time on the expert server. What happens when you panic is you lose your focus on what ATC are actually asking you to do. Take deep breaths and just relax your body. JFK is a intimidating airport to fly into esp on the expert server. maybe fly into a less busy airport with APP/center and tower controllers on. The learning does not end when you reach the expert server. As others have said take things into your stride and believe me you will be fine. Hope to see you in the friendly skies of IF.

Controllers controlling JFK &/or LAX don’t often allow pattern work due to the traffic levels those two airports can attract.

You can still practice doing patterns at other airports with ATC.

Continue to practice. Do short hauls. For example, if EGLL, EHAM & EDDF are all open at one time — between those three the flights shouldn’t be too long. If you takeoff from EGLL, call inbound for touch & goes at EHAM, upon completing a touch & go then request departure to the South or East (runway dependent) to continue your final leg to EDDF.


Thank you sir! That is VERY helpful. I want to learn and be someone who adds to the community rather than someone who gets in the way or makes it worse.

I agree completely with what Tyler mentioned that one needs to spend sufficient time at the gate planning the trip.

It might also help to familiarize yourself with the various menu options for ATC commands & aircraft control so that you’re not fumbling for the right option during a critical stage.

Amother thing that I found which helps is using one or two aircraft as standard & practising standard procedures during descent, approach & landing (particularly when to reduce speed & when to engage flaps, etc).

Kuba_Jaroszczyk has set up a post with takeoff & landing profiles for different aircraft which might be of help as a starting point:

Despite all this, many of us goof up once in a while. Shouldn’t be discouraged from continuing.

Of course, with a little bit of practice, you’ll be fine.

Wishing you all success.


That’s awesome! What a great resource. Thank you!


I was stressed and worried when I landed at ATC airspace for the first time. I just take it nice and slow landing at ATC airspace as what @Tyler_Shelton said @OKTwister23


To add to the topic, I would suggest that you should start practicing in communicating with IFATC inside of less denser and smaller airports to start off with. You should have more time to respond and less people will be waiting in queue to communicate.

Airports such as KJFK, KLAX KSFO (and any top 100 most popular / busiest airports in the world) tends to be super busy all the time.

Starting my flights inside of smaller airspaces was how I started my skills in communicating when I first entered the Expert Server. I started hopping from one small (active) airport to another to avoid any troubles in vectoring during Approach, then slowly decided to challenge myself to try out new and more skills in the busier airports once I was comfortable with every approach procedure.


Hi there, was just wondering, when you were saying that the JFK Approach wasn’t on the list, is this is regards to when you click on the airport and view their frequencies?

It was when I was asked my intentions. I was trying to ask for an approach to JFK. After clicking request approach, there were a bunch of airports listed, but JFK wasn’t one of them. I was about 40-50 miles out. I had a GPS flight plan to the runway.

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The airport has to be the last item in your FP to show up first in the approach menu.

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If this was already mention, i apologize… read through the first few posts and didn’t see anything.

My advice is to start on the less busy airports so that you are not in space where’s there’s a whole bunch of commands coming your way. Get settled in, and don’t forget to ask questions.

IFATC do the same with starting out small and work their way up

Happy flying!


THAT was my mistake. THANK YOU!

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yeah but ifatc is a cakewalk compared to vatsim who will sound an alarm if you arent at your computer and call a supervisor. but all in all ifatc controllers are just nice people trying to make the if experience better for everyone

UPDATE! Flew in to Taipei just now with the advice to go to a slower paced airport and come in more slowly. I had my GPS set correctly this time and was able to go from Center, to Approach, to Tower, to ground with a beautiful landing! That was so fun! I may not have done it completely perfectly… but I loved it and am already wanting to go again! Thanks everyone for your help and encouragement!


That’s great to hear!


Please keep in Mind when you fly to an ATC controlled Airport that you have filled a Flightplan or minimum have the arrival Airport in the Flightplan. So when you get asked for your intentions and you request an approach the Destination Airport will be the first in the List. This helps you and the Controller a lot.

Come to Europe there are often small Airports equipt with ATC and so you will get the lessons for feeling more comfortable.

Any questions not problems just contact. Your friendly ATC

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Its Alr man don’t give up I have dropped all the way down to grade 1 from grade 3 but after I kept practicing with the atc I am back to grade 3 and shooting for grade 4 you got this!!

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Thank you! I’m gaining some confidence thanks to the help in this post and encouragement like yours. Most importantly I’m having fun learning and practicing!

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