Guide to all pilots, common mistakes etc

Hi everybody! I have been controlling on IF for a brief period, although I have been controlling on VATSIM for quite some time. I have compiled a list that all pilots should read through, on common errors which I’ve seen in my short controlling career here at IF.

NOTE: This is NOT critique, only guides to pilots who want to increase their skill level!

• First of all, ATC playground and especially the Advanced Server are for pilots wanting to fly with ATC coverage. Although it is intended for fun, which i want to keep it, this comes with some expectations. We (controllers) really, really, really want you to listen to what we tell you, as this is to get you from point A to B without crashing into another airplane. But please, have understanding in the ATC playground, as this is where new controllers start off.

Use the runways we tell you to! If you ask for clearance to land on a so-called «red runway» (runway which has a tailwind, and should NOT be operational) and we tell you to e.g. enter a downwind for another runway, please do not ask for a change back to your runway. This is most likely because traffic is landing from the opposite side, and will cause a head-on collision. In addition, landing on a red runway counts as a violation. This also applies to departures, if we ask you to taxi to a different runway than what you have requested, don’t ignore us, we are doing this to keep you from getting violations.

Remaining in the pattern" does not mean fly wherever you want! If you do not understand what means or what a pattern is, I suggest you browse a little here on the forums or looking at this graphic. Otherwise, don’t use that option, as it will lead to confusion for controllers, and getting repeatedly asked for intentions.

Difference between base and downwind. This is a pretty harmless one, and controllers will most often know what you mean, but knowing the difference is useful regardless. A downwind is when you are parallel to the runway, heading TOWARDS the final. A base on the other hand, is when you are perpendicular to the runway, i.e. 90 degrees to either side, intercepting the final from a downwind.

I’ll call your base. If you receive this message, you are most likely on a downwind. Basically it means that you should continue on the downwind until you receive a “XYZ123, turn base” message. Please don’t turn base onto final by yourself, as this will often lead to go-arounds and 360’s.

Enter left/right … Well, I understand that pilots make this mistake, because it can be equally confusing to experienced controllers, especially when faced with many airplanes at once. Use the map to make it easier to orient. If we tell you to do something to the right, (enter right downwind, traffic at right base etc.) we base that upon the runway direction, not your orientation. In other words, use the map to determine if you are on the left or right side of the runway.

“You are already cleared to land”. We understand you. You want to make sure we haven’t forgotten you, so you send another landing request just to make sure. Please don’t do that. Often when controllers have a lot to do, you might not be first in line. We get a flashing notification every time a pilot contacts us, so don’t worry. But when we have a lot to do, you don’t help us by repeatedly sending landing requests. But if you wait for a long time, you can remind us. Just don’t do it too often. NB: This isn’t the same as position reports, we like those. But don’t expect anything else than a ‘roger’.

New controllers. Controllers are people. And people make mistakes. Especially when you’re in a game. On an iPad. Don’t get angry if your controller messes up, gives you a wrong clearance or forgets you in the midst of traffic. You make mistakes as well. Have compassion.

Spam. Yes. The internet is full of it. But please, for everyone’s sake, keep it away from IF. This can lead to controllers simply ignoring you, or at worst ghosting you.

Ignoring controllers/trolling. This is the most annoying, and the most severe offense you can make on IF Live. Trolling is totally unacceptable, and WILL lead to you being ghosted.

There is definitely more to come, so check the comments. Have a lovely time flying on IF live, and I look forward to seeing you in the skies!


Yep, most of the users of this community page are already aware of these guidelines.

The problem is, those who really don’t care about cit. “please follow instructions” most likely don’t care about aviation at all.

The Developers should force IF users, after reaching the requirements for the Playground/Advanced server, to read a guide like yours.


Agree! Or have it in a terms & conditions document, and failing to comply with them results in a temporary or permanent ban. I know such guideline-posts exist, but i wanted to put them in one post. :)

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Great post! :) Changing it into tutorials!

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Good post! Controllers need a Hammer at there finger tip! Ghosting Stings for a short while on the Advanced for the few blatant flat hatters. As I’ve suggested multiple times Give both Advanced & Playground Controllers the ability to to take " immediate Action". A “RETURN TO PARKING” menu item, kicks the malcontent back to go. The Return option is available on thefCrash page. It’s already programmed, just rite the same line of code into the Controllers menu. Send them back to Go, keep the evolutions running smoothly.
Mad Max Sends

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Great topic!

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Also think it’s a great topic to bad it’s probably not going to reach the people that need it the most. I think they should start putting helpful things such as this on the load screen so you know everyone will see it. Just a thought :). Very well said though.

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That’s actually a great idea!!!

I totally agree with your text. Thanks for that.
But for my there is also another point to mark out: “The aggressive controller” (in good fun)
Some times I have the problem that the controller calls me “You are in an active…contact frequency…” but I can’t contact that frequency because it is not shown or mentioned in my ATC list yet. So believe me I would like to answer or give my intention but I can’t because I’m not able to do it…
Some of the controllers are thinking that I’m or the pilot is just not reacting to their calls and they send the call again and again, set me or others under pressure and stress!
Let’s say something like a minute later the frequency will pop up in my ATC and I finally can give answer.
But until then some controllers send up to 4 or 5 repeating calls.
All I want to say is, please some controllers should also have patience because not to answer is not only a personally thing, sometimes it is just a technical problem! and not the pilots fault…


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A good idea, but throttle will have to be reset to 0 and brakes applied so we don’t have 747s shooting across the apron :smile:.

Well, that isn’t your fault. That’s called trolling. Controllers can send On Guard-messages regardless of where you are. And i can imagine controllers on small airports wanting traffic sending On Guard-messages to get more traffic… That is unecessary and childish of the controller.


Thank you for this post.

I agree with a commenter that simple single instructions, such as what you have written, could be displayed during the load screen, when the user has selected the ATC path.

It would also be helpful for a specific tutorial on pattern flight. While there are pages and graphics on the web, I have never found a good animated primer on pattern flight that includes determining left/right pattern, etc.

Thanks again.

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Thats good post thanks👍

I think it is important to reactivate this topic from time to time just to bring it up, that new people can see, read, and hopefully follow it.

I like your idea a lot! Should be a punishment for those who do things without clearance