Extend Downwind versus I'll Call Your Base

There seems to be some confusion regarding these two commands.

Although rarely used (one hopes) on the Expert Server, the are used occasionally to allow for departures or to, erm, gently remind pilots of their sequence. However, they are not equivalent commands.

Extend Downwind

This means exactly what is says. Don’t turn base as early as you would or if you look like you are about to turn base, maintain downwind heading.

Generally, it’s a good idea to try and determine why you were given this. We’re you turning base number 2 when your sequence is number 3? Are you a GA flying tight patterns with a departure queue growing?

You do not need to wait for a turn base command. You need to use your situational awareness to determine that on your own.

I’ll Call Your Base

This command should be self-explanatory, though somehow it’s not.

It means exactly what it says. Do not turn base until told “Turn Base”

Hopefully this clears up some confusion between the two commands.


That’s very helpful, thanks!! But I have another question:
How would you give a pattern instruction if someone is on crosswind? Base or downwind?

Great topic! If anyone wanna learn more about this, check out this great tutorial by @Aernout


What do you mean? A pattern entry when they’re on a crosswind, or extend downwind / turn base?

Sorry this might have been a little confusing, I figured. Example:
You’re remaining in the pattern und request a runway change after takeoff when on crosswind. What’s the right pattern entry to give? Enter left/right base or crosswind?
I always get different answers

The correct thing to give if you request a runway change on crosswind is to enter downwind :) Telling them to enter base is wrong, and I hope no IFATC’s taught you that.


I just checked, it was not an IFATC. But I was new to the forum and didn’t know who would actually know the answer so I just took it

1 Like

I really usually just use Extend down wind. I only use ‘I’ll call your base’ as a threat to inexperienced players who assume I’m gonna report them, makes them exit the runway.

… You do what now?


No, it is not…


Please don’t spread misinformation on the training server… That way people never learn what the instructions actually mean.
Please use the correct commands in the future

1 Like

Why are you saying to not spread false information on the training server that can lead to a misundertsanding of this instruction?
You said a few minutes ago:


That was clearly sarcastic. But I’ll delete it, sorry

Great topic @Tim_B I usually always use “Extend Downwind” if I think it is necessary. The only time I use “I’ll call you’re base” is when I don’t think it is clear to the pilot downwind when they should turn, for example, if I want to get a couple of departures out in between arriving aircraft, I may take control of when the pilot turns base so I can get the amount of aircraft out that I’d like to.


Great topic! These two commands are the most used commands that I observe that contribute to “over controlling”.

Have faith in your pilots. Give them proper sequences and they should turn where they need. If they go to the end of the cone and they are next in line it doesnt matter. Use the commands stated when you need to create space (GA vs Jet) or when you have parallel runways and need to keep two from turning into each other. Worse comes to worse people get too close on final and you have a go around.

For example, in this picture all the traffic is on one side, theres really no reason to give an extend downwind or base call.

Now if the plane on final was a GA, you may want to give an “I’ll call your base” call to create separation due to the speed differences.

Thanks Tim!


Very true that Is what I do @Chris_S

Thanks for the explanation! I’m always asking myself: Is overcontrolling really a bad thing?
I mean yeah, sometimes it’s clearly redundant, but when I see an aircraft turn when there’s a GA on final without enough separation, can’t I give him extend downwind to avoid a go around?
Some people would consider that overcontrolling, right? I think it just makes things more efficient, because then you probavly have to resequence due to the go around.
In this case overcontrolling would result in less controlling :D

I really never thought about this. Whenever I get the “Extend downwind” command I always just assume that they’ll give me a base turn. Man I can’t believe that.

The problem with over controlling is that you are spending precious time and attention to pilots that could be spent elsewhere. If you are too busy giving base turns for no reason you may miss someone coming in too high or fast, a plane not following instructions, cutting in the sequence line, ground collisions, etc.

1 Like

True, this makes sense! That’s one of my biggest issues… I don’t when I’m overcontrolling or just doing it right, especially when it comes to “I’ll call your base” and “extend downwind”
But this thread helped already👍🏼