Friday Night Flight: No Radar Tower Session @TNCM (Timelapse)

Controlling Tower in the Absence of Approach

Picture this: you’re controlling Tower at the FNF hub, alongside Approach. Suddenly, the approach controller disconnects, leaving you with an outrageous line of inbounds and a long string of departures.

Fortunately, Tower has a few key commands at their disposal to ensure the separation of arriving aircraft:

  • Extend downwind

  • Sequencing

  • Left/Right 360

  • Speed commands


This exact scenario occurred when I was controlling at TNCM (Princess Juliana). Using those four commands listed above, however, made the whole experience quite manageable.

Before leaving, Approach (@Panther) had set up a line of perfectly separated aircraft. I prioritized that line, having each aircraft enter the right downwind leg.

I instructed the line-leader (SPEEDCAT) to extend downwind in order to service the astronomical amount of departures. All following aircraft were promptly sequenced behind one another. A few inbounds from the West were given 360s to help fit them into the defined line of arrivals.

While it was a challenging session, the respectful and professional pilots helped me out a great deal. Approach later came back online, allowing me to end my session stress-free. Utilize all your available commands, and trust your sequencing to do the work for you! A big thanks to @Panther for giving me such a well-organized line before leaving, and for coming back after an hour to help me out again.


Enjoy the video!

Inspired by videos from @Shane and @SamC. Big thanks to @lucaviness for the formatting help!

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Great video Toaster!

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Great video Toaster!

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Great video Toaster!

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Great video Toaster!

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Haha, thanks a lot folks! Much appreciated!

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Very nice timelapse. It was a lot busier when you controlled there then when I did. Well done👏👏👏

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Awesome work, toaster oven. TNCM is one of those airports it seems like haha. Keep up the great work!!

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Oh. No. We have all become mindless robots 🤖


I love how satisfying this is @ToasterStroodie 🙃

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Thanks folks! @SamC yeah, traffic definitely seemed to pick up in the evening, so it was a nice challenge. @PlaneGeek it is one of those airports lmao

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I though we already were mindless robots to begin with lol

Thank you! @Shane’s videos gave me the idea :D

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Great post, toast. I would recommend speeding it up a tad more, but other then that, it’s satisfying

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Cheers! It is a bit slow, I agree, but I desperately wanted it to match up with the song’s length lol

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Well done keeping it all under control!

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Truly impressive timelapse, I love it! I hope to see more!

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Wow those three pilots… i purposely slowed 0.5x to see what happened hahaha

On a serious note, thanks @ToasterStroodie for this amazing video! TNCM was crazy when it’s featured. Took a flight from TJSJ and the 170nm journey took me close to 2 hours😂

Keep up the great work! :)

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Thanks, Panther! I couldn’t have done it had you not given me such a well-organized line to work with. It was a pleasure tagging with you!

Thank you, Shane! Trying to get some more done in the next few days!

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Wow great video very neat C:

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Thank you!

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I enjoyed watching that i love timelapse videos of IF you should do more of those

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