IFATC Takeoff Reminders

I hope everyone is doing well. My name is Capt Evan, and I am one of the IFATC controllers. I want to take a few moments to remind everyone of some things about the takeoff process.

I will be using EGLL, London Heathrow, as an example. Let’s pretend that I am using 09L and 09R. As we all know, this airport becomes extremely busy quite quickly on expert sever. As mentioned in previous topics, this is why we cannot use one runway for landing and one for takeoff. Back to the point, with some many inbounds, it can be tricky to get all of our departures out in a timely fashion.

Often times at this airport, we will utilize the lineup and wait command first. Let’s pretend that an airplane has just landed and is exiting the runway in about 5 seconds. With the next arrival established on the localizer about 6-7 nm away, we need you to be ready to takeoff so we can get as many departures out as possible. Immediately once the plane exists, you will likely be cleared for IMMEDIATE takeoff. This means that you cannot sit on the runway for 30 seconds to check your fuel and other stuff. We need you to takeoff right away so we can get our departures out. This is especially true when a plane is on short final and we have limited time. Sometimes, a plane will sit on the runway for 30 seconds despite being told to takeoff Immediately, and this has caused go arounds.

So, here is what I am asking from you:

  1. Only request takeoff when you are ready! All your fuel calculations should be done before you pushback, not on the runway. It is not okay to sit on the runway for 30 seconds then go. We will tell you to expedite.
  2. Observe what other aircraft are being instructed to do. If the 5 aircraft ahead of you are being cleared for immediate takeoff, you should plan on it too.
  3. When told to takeoff immediately, please takeoff ASAP.
  4. Please do not request a frequency change immediately after takeoff; we will give it you.

Finally, when ATIS has rolling departures, this is another time when you cannot wait to takeoff. You will not be instructed to first line up. Thank you.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. This will help out the other controllers and I a lot. It will also allow for a better IF experience for everyone.

Capt Evan
IFATC Specialist


Back from the regions days but still applicable:


Offering clarifications if you don’t mind.

Most controllers wont issue a frequency change until you’re at least 1,000 to 1,500ft AAL (acceleration height, not factoring NADP). The earliest you could consider asking for it is if you’ve transitioned out of initial climb. You wont be ghosted just because you weren’t handed off to approach that was handling departures in a timely manner. So relax!

Treat the rolling departures remark as immediate takeoffs. You will not receive an immediate takeoff instruction from ATC when this remark is on the ATIS, just the normal one.


100% agree, I’m so sick of the crap that goes on in the “expert server” the bs with ATC communication, having wrong lights, or seeing Southwest in London. It’s redicuouks and I’m quite sick of it. Honestly a written test needs to be done before you can enter the server, and you should have to take it again every 2/3 months. Strobe lights outside if a runway should be a ghostable offense. This isn’t the “some are expert sever” it’s the “expert server”.


Excellent clarifications! Thank you

1 Like

A little harsh don’t you think?


Lol…strobe light thing seems too harsh. However, thank you for your support on the takeoff procedures :)


That’s far too extreme. Lights aren’t an issue, they aren’t affecting anyone really as they serve no actual purpose on IF. This means it isn’t ghostable. If we were to go into realism over drive then no one would be flying on the expert server including me in fear of making the slightest mistake. There is a degree of realism which we should and can achieve and there us that which is going too far for no reason at all.


I 100% agree with your topic, Thanks for the great reminder to all Expert Flyers and thanks for the great post.
Keep it up,
Luke :)


I don’t think it’s to extreme at all. They shouldn’t even be able to be turned on in the apron. Maybe a way to code that in…

I feel like it’s mandatory to include “remaining in pattern” verse “departing xx” in any takeoff ATC discussion.

But then we’d have to ghost everyone that stops with their nose wheel on top of the hold short bars. No one can maintain spacing on the ground either. And the list goes on. It’s a balance between offering a service and not having anyone to service.


If it was disabled by the system then that’s something else, but a Ghost for having strobes on outside the Runway then the Expert Server would be quite deserted considering people would as @Chatta290 said, live in fear of joining the server.

If for an example, you got a notice telling you turn it off when vacating a runway or else they’ll revive a violation maybe , then we may discuss this but a Report for such a minor thing in IF, then nope, I don’t agree with your statement.


I’d like to add that if a controller gives you an immidiate takeoff command with an aircraft barelling in 5nm away, don’t enter the runway at 5kn GS!! It’s inconsiderate and, quite frankly, annoying.


As of late, I sometimes refrain from instructing people to takeoff with aircraft on a 6 mile final. Just because you were not instructed to do an immediate takeoff doesn’t mean you can take your own jolly time to depart. Please be considerate and aware of your surroundings!


This is what I meant more, however I would still have to be a ghost over a violation.

Well, a written test would fix a huge problem with nose wheels on hold short lines, and lights not being correct.

On the flip side, you as the controller have commands to fix situations where a plane is inbound and someone is not being as speedy as you would like.

Not every plane taxis at the same speed to line up. F22 lining up vs a 787 lining up are two different beasts. LUAW with a plane on 3nm final is just asking for a go around situation. The pilot taking off should not be offended if they have to wait.

While your points are valid, there are two sides that need consideration.

Let’s keep the focus on the original topic. Tests have been talked about before, many, many, many times.


A ghost as I see it is very strict thing to do. Used when there is a danger i.e plane about to crash into another and such, to avoid collisions. It’s a way for IFATC to ultimately ground the pilot for not following instructions which could lead to devastation. I don’t think that not turning off the strobes, although quite annoying, will not cause any harm to anyone.


To add on to what @Captain_JR said
I think there are bigger issues than pilots using incorrect lights.


That is very true, as some of them listed by @Capt_Evan here.

This one, is the most important one to consider here in my opinion that is. A few months ago, let me tell you guys this story, well back then upon short-final at ANC after flying a far bit off the Approach controllers reach since he had forgotten me… Well, either way, I made my way back and was heading straight for the runway coming from the north, slowing down to my final approach speed as I intercepted the ILS. Now remember I was in a B747-8i, Heavy loaded, from Narita, then there is this guy told to take off, immediately…the rest you can probably guess.

I got closer and closer, I got more and more unsure of what I should do. Often times I go-around and realize, I was approaching too fast and should’ve been able to land as the guy would takeoff before me touching down but this time, I was coming slow, the correct speed and cannot go any slower without stalling. ATC tells the guy to take off right away twice but he stands still on the runways lined up, and I’m a very heavy flight, so against all laws of physics including gravity, I increased power and pulled up just as he began rolling down the runway, as if he was trolling me… on Expert too…

I do make a go around and landed successfully, but may I say, ATC did everything right and I know he got stressed considering the guy didnät takeoff, I’m short-final and lastly, having told the guy to takeoff 2-3 times, it was getting more nerve-racking and dramatic. So since that day, such incidents have not occurred. I have been on heavy 777’s where Cessna’s get allowed to takeoff, but I handle such situation s with much more ease nowadays. But whereas someone does not do an immediate takeoff, that adds unnecessary stress to pilot inbound and ATC in charge.