From an I.F pilot departing a very busy HUB airport



This isn’t a complaint or a rant, more of a quiet, softly spoken polite observation on various things that I felt compelled to write.

First of all, as always, thanks to all ATC - service is appreciated and good skills! It took over 35 mins from pushback to departure today, but that’s cool - I didn’t mind that. ATC had their work cut out for them and were probably the busiest I’ve seen combined with the relatively small airport - planes backed up on arrival and approach, aircraft stacked up the length of the runway, filing every space. All gates full of spawning aircraft, all taxiways packed and well maintained in the sky by ATC. Waiting shouldn’t matter when an airport is so busy.

ATC did a grand job and it was actually worth waiting to watch all the skills on show.

Hmm. Ok. So here goes, not moaning, not having a go and in the nicest and most professional way and from my own point of view as a pilot, to some (but of course not all) other pilots, at a busy airport, on a very busy day, such as NZAA today…

It never ceases to amaze how impatient people are on a busy airport. Clearly, there are many dozens of other pilots in the immediate vicinity and yet zero patience is displayed from some. OK, well, we’re not all patient enough to wait a few extra minutes I guess and we’ve got places to be, however displaying that by way of possibly ruining the experience of others isn’t really that great, let’s be honest.

So here are a few bits and pieces from this one experience (of many) at a hugely busy airport…

  • Be patient and respect ATC - the have a huge job on their hands at such a busy time.

  • You are part of a huge line of aircraft all piling up at the gates and on the taxiway, waiting to take off, land or taxi to parking. Just wait and be patient - your time will come.

  • Nobody achieves anything by pushing an inch from the plane in front and then hammering the engines at the smallest sight of movement in the hope it will change anything further down the line. If anything, it could possibly irritate them.

  • Equally, revving engines clearly aimed at someone in front of you to fill a tiny gap doesn’t achieve anything - there are 10 more planes in front and 10 more behind. We are safely spaced as it is. We are not willing to taxi too close to the plane in front to fulfil engine revving pressures. That could also cause annoyance to the person in front.

  • If you taxi halfway through the next aircraft in front, they aren’t going to best pleased. On that note, if you are that aircraft that someone taxis into, don’t lower yourself by making it into a creeping forward and revving competition to get there first to make a point. Let them get on with it and taxi through you without reacting and turn it into a positive - that you’re a better pilot for it and no need to turn it into some sort of heated display.

  • If there are 8 aircraft in front of you, all obviously queuing for departure at the entry point at the very end of the runway, don’t cut in and request departure from an entry point further down to try and get off before them. I don’t think there’s a hard and fast rule on that one, it’s just general etiquette. We’ve been waiting patiently - help out and do the same.

Most of all, enjoy the experience and have fun at the same time as being patient and respecting other pilots. Enjoy and be safe!

Good times.


Thank you for this topic! There are many pilots who have a lot of patience, but there are some who do not know how to do that.

Btw I was your Cortoller when you started :)


You did a good job, considering the enormous amount of traffic as well! :-)

1 Like

I have seen this as well. Especially at last weeks FNF in Athens.

1 Like

This is an excellent topic and should always be taken into consideration! Good work, @Helmethead!

This last point is also bery important. Intersection departures. These help controllers get aircraft out efficiently. For example, if a heavy is holding short at the runway end, but a fighter is holding short half way down the runway, ATC can be efficient and clear the fighter for takeoff.

However, if you are at busy hubs, are blocking the taxiway to the runway, or if you are a large aircraft holding short furthur down the runway, you are “for the most part” not helping things run more efficient. In fact, if you thought that you could cut ahead of 8 other pilots, chances are that, if the any of the 3 criteria above are met, you will have to wait for those 8 people to depart before you get your turn. This will infact slow down things which is not the point about intersection departures.

Once again, well done, @Helmethead! The points stated in this topic must be noted by all!


In the IFATC manual it says that controllers should not view intersection departures as queue cutting, but rather as a tool to expedite departures. For example, you can have 2 planes line up in the runway waiting for takeoff while another one is exiting. So it can actually help the controller to do an intersection departure.


A great reminder for the community!

1 Like

This had to be said sooner or later, glad you did it

1 Like

@Philippe_Gilbert Absolutely they can help in some scenarios, but in this case I was more referring to a line of large commercial jets queuing up and someone in a 777 obviously slicing in to an intersection due to impatience, which didn’t help. That is, after having watched them revving and being otherwise discourteous as well. They ended up waiting for a while anyway.

Nice topic! Helpful!

1 Like

Well spoken . Thanks for your sobering input.

1 Like

Well said @Helmethead. I think I actually saw you. I was probably your controller. It was really busy this morning in NZAA

1 Like

Actually we don’t mind when planes do that. It can be viewed as skipping but also it allows 2 planes to line up and wait at the same time and then we can expedite the departure rate. That’s what intersection departures are. If it doesn’t say anything about intersection departure in atis feel free to use those other entry points to the runway:)

1 Like

@Helmethead; MaxSez; Cogent commentary, a gentleman pilot Gripe., well cited, candid and on point. It’s always pleasant reading when professional observers outline the in-mature nature of some who claim the title “IF Pilot in Command”!

My only position taken on this recurring issue is “Fly Smart”. Select your terminus with care and follow yr Mom’s advise; “Respect rendered will pay dividends as you reach Maturity”.

Kiddies, it’s not a Game it’s simulation. So Simulate your gentlemanly peers.

G’day, Max Sends

1 Like

Also, please do NOT go AFK in line, especially if you are first in line.
Once I got stuck behind someone for like 15 minutes because that person in front was AFK. ATC eventually realized I had enough room to turn and gave me a turn to the next intersection. No idea why ATC didn’t ghost after giving multiple warnings because he did later…

ATC tries to ghost as little as possible. You also don’t know what was going on with the player.

As long as ATC can work around the player and he does not deliberately spoil the fun of other players, ATC will not try to ghost anyone :)


This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.