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!