IFATC opinions needed


simple question - on the expert server, can aircraft make a 360 on their own, or do they have to wait for tower to instruct them to. Yesterday, I basically colided with another plane because I thought that I wasn’t allowed to make a 360 on my own.

Thanks in advance!

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It depends on the situation.
If you weren’t going to interfere with other planes, and were going to make a 360 it would usually be fine.
If the controller told you to make a 360 and because of that you collided with the other aircraft, it’s not your fault.

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You should always follow ATC instructions, but as a pilot you also have a responsibility to see and avoid. Use common sense and you’ll be fine.

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Where is the big question?

The bigger question is why were you so close to the other plane and why didnt tower see it? Were you overspeeding, was it a smaller plane in front of you, etc.

We generally avoid sending 360s when you are on final. If you are too close to a plane you are just going to get a go around.


long story - @RTG113

I was entering strait in for a runway, when another plane was on right base. I was given clearance as number 2 to follow traffic on base. The other plane on base was not traveling perpendicular to the runway - he was travelling towards me at a 45 degree angle (2 o’clock ish) so it was impossible for me to follow him unless I made my own manoeuvres. I then received another message from tower saying I was cleared to land number 1! I proceeded on course and ended up “crashing” into the other plane. - I was waiting for tower to tell me to make a 360 - I thought I would be ghosted if I made any such manoeuvres by myself. Sorry if this is confusing

Please see bad illustration below

Big question here ^^^

As #2 I would have slowed down to give the other plane time to make it to the final turn. If that wasn’t possible then the controller should have recognized the situation and someone to do a 360 for spacing. I think you getting #1 was the controller saying “Hey you are making it there first” sort of thing.

Ultimately I think this whole situation was on the controller for not recognizing the potential collision. If you would like to PM me the controllers name we can bring it up and make sure tower controllers pay attention to separation.

The problem with your own 360 while on the frequency is that you don’t know what the controller has planned for the other pilot and where the other pilot is going to turn. The 360 could have still resulted in a collision.

Bottom line is that you need to do what you need to do to be safe. If you get ghosted because of a 360 (That does not impact other planes) that prevents a collision then contact a moderator and we can take a look. This does not give everyone a pass to do whatever they want because “Im flying the plane” logic. Doing a 360 on a 1 mile final with a plane 5 miles behind you is not a good idea. There are other courses of action pilots could have followed.

After seeing the potential collision I would have:

  • issued the other plane an extend downwind / ill call your base
  • redo the clearances with you #1 and the other pilot #2

There may be more but not knowing what else was in the airspace it makes it hard to make a solid judgement call.


Thank you very much, I was doing landing speed in my B789 (circa 140kts) so couldn’t really slow down. Expect a PM

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