Help us, help you!

I hope everyone is enjoying the 2016 Summer update! Judging by the amount of traffic across all servers, it seems like a record number of people are out flying. However, while you’re enjoying the 787 wing flex (The new Delta is the best) or your favorite new 777 livery, please don’t forget about IFATC. We also have new features to enjoy in the update, but with all the added traffic, comes significantly higher work loads and stress. Help us provide you with a great experience from gate to gate by keeping the follow things in mind.

•Please don’t request something multiple times. We know you want to get off the ground quick, but requesting pushback 5 times with traffic behind you isn’t going to make it happen any faster. Requesting takeoff when you’re 3rd or 4th in line repeatedly isn’t going to magically jump you to the front of the line.

The flight strips for ATC flash until we answer you. If we don’t answer in a set amount of time, we’re kicked out of the session. By requesting things multiple times, you’re actually impeding our ability to expedite ops. Instead of get the guy in front of your to line up and wait, or turning the plane ahead of you to intercept as early as possible, we’re having to scroll through the flight strips just to click on yours so we’re not booted from the session.

•When being vectored by approach, do not turn before instructed. This is one of the most frustrating things we deal with as approach controllers. We know where we want you to go and how we want you to get there. We don’t care about your flight plan when we have 20+ inbounds. Trust the approach controller. You’ll never be ghosted for following instructions! And if you are, I’ll personally handle the situation and remove it from your record.

•When being vectored by approach, do not descend or request altitude changes. As stated above, we know where you’re going and how we want to get you there. We test every controller for terrain awareness as part of the process to become radar controllers. As long as you’re flying in a realistic way (i.e. Not descending at -100fpm or -7000fpm) we will get you to an appropriate intercept altitude. There may be traffic over/under you that we are anticipating will cross your path or terrain along the route we’re vectoring that we need you clear of. Once again, having to scroll though the flight strips to click on yours just so we’re not booted from the session is counterproductive. This is extremely frustrating when you’re altitude requests are ridiculous to begin with. You don’t need to be at 3,000ft when you’re 60 miles from the airport…so please don’t request it and definitely don’t repeat the request if it…you will be ghosted for this.

•When being vectored by approach, please pay attention to the approach flow. If you see 20 planes following the same path, to the same airport, chances are pretty good you’re going to follow the exact same path. And no, requesting flight following, VFR, or simply avoiding approach freqency does not give you a free pass to the front of the line. The only free pass this will get you is one to the training server or the farm to feed @Mark_Denton’s goat for a week. We simply do not have time to baby sit. If all the traffic is on a 090 downwind heading for a 270RWY, don’t turn 180 at the OM. Follow the line.

•When being vectored by approach, please do not say “with you” if you haven’t received anything from the controller in 10 seconds. Once again, we know you’re there. We’ll get you an instruction when we need to. This also means don’t keep requesting different (or the same) approaches until we answer. Make your request, observe your surroundings and wait for instructions. Don’t clog the frequency with unnecessary requests. Not only is this extremely annoying everyone listening, but it will delay when the commands are actually read out. Because of radio chatter, delays can be anywhere from a few seconds to a minute between when the message was sent by ATC and when you hear it (yet another reason to pay attention to your screen. Follow the instruction when you see it…not hear it).

•If you’ve been told to Please follow instructions, don’t keep doing what you’re doing. The controller wouldn’t send that if you were actually following instructions. Go back to the log or command box (where the last altitude, heading and speed given by the controller is displayed in the top right) and see what you’re supposed to be doing, then fix it. We all know what comes after a pleas follow instructions 👻👻👻

•While there isn’t a true Help Pages, when you receive this, you need to go check pages somewhere when you’re done flying because something has gone wrong. Either you requested pattern work, then climed to FL410 and departed the airspace immediately, couldn’t tell right from left, or sat on the runway after being cleared for immediate take off; some general error has taken place. Take a screen shot of the log and map, then come ask on the forum. @Carson is here 24/7 unless he’s Rubic’s cubing, juggling, or doing magic. He probably won’t know the answer, but can find someone who does. Keep him busy!

•Don’t respond with unable unless you’re about to hit a mountain or have an overwhelming desire to be ghosted. There aren’t a lot of situations where unable is an appropriate response. This is not an alternative to I don’t feel like it or I don’t want to.

•Most importantly, BE PATIENT.

If you want to get from A to B as fast as you can without worrying about anything bothering you, fly on the Casual server.

If you want to get from A to B as quick as you can and don’t mind passing throug Z, R, square, yellow, and Moon with a few incursions along the way, fly on the Training server.

If you want to get from A to B in the quickest, safest, and most efficient way with the guidance of hard working volunteer ATC, fly on the Expert Server.

No one is perfect. I spend a lot of time dealing with complaints and issues in regards to ATC. Controllers are at fault some, but that’s ok, because pilots are as well. We start each session wanting to help improve the overall experience for pilots flying under IFATC control, can pilots do the same for us?



My dream post. So so true. BUMP!


This post was needed. Thanks Joe! :-)


I can’t stop laughing. Thank you for this post


Wonderful post with a lot of great information, thanks for posting!

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Please remember that the controllers are also fellow pilots. We pay the same amount for Live that you do. We could be flying, but choose to volunteer our time to make your experience better. Help us help you.


And have to deal with us when you screw up lol


Yep, added bonus, we get to deal with Joe.


This post NEEDED to be pout out there! Thank you Joe so much for doing so! Gives me reason to fly on the expert server more often now :)
I can’t tell you how much I’ve advocated for IFATC in this sense. Pilots just want to do it there way but they want the realism attached. I’ve said it before and ILl say it again…IRL you would be fired for landing on the wrong runway. You would be in serious serious trouble if you rammed into another aircraft. You would owe millions of dollars in damage if you landed an aircraft on top of another person (not to mention be responsible for hundreds of deaths!

Please treat this expert server with the realism you want to be attached. I’m so glad I finally got to say that bad that Joe has finally made this topic public! SUPPORT OUR IFATC!!!


Just need to clear my practical, hopefully I can reduce a bit of the workload ;)


That’s the most important thing in this whole
Post which ppl don’t understand


Ref to the new updates on the Expert level, I recognized that above 10 000 ft the maximum speed can be 350 however, it was possible to go at higher speed before. Is there a new min. altitude for higher speed than 350? Thanks!

I’d like to become an Expert ATC Controller to help out, where do I start?

Check this topic ;-)
// ATC Specialist


Great post Joe. I definitly learned something new.

@Joe, awesome post. Just what is needed! :)


Very well written. Thank you.

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If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen!!

Just kidding… I recommend all pilots try controlling approach on the training server at a somewhat busy airport. It’s amazing that our advanced controllers are somehow maintaining order of unrealistically high traffic.

Unfortunately, Joe’s post probably won’t reach the majority of pilots. Keep up the good work, guys.


I will! I take ATC very seriously! you said @Carson is doing magic… this is what I picture

forum forum forum delete all ofensive posts!

Fantastic post, Joe. Much needed. It has been crazy with the huge influx of traffic since the update.

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