landing in a sequence

Hi all,

Question on landing in a sequence. Yesterday I was flying on the training server and when I asked for an ILS approach to a specific runway, the tower asked me to enter left downwind. So I entered left downwind. Then the tower told me I was #2, traffic to follow was on left downwind too, so I looked at the speed of the airplane ahead of me, slowed down and started following it at a distance; such that it turned into left base and then final while I was approaching left base. By the time the plane ahead of me was about to land, I started turning left base, and the tower told me to “extend downwind” - so I reset my heading to downwind again.

And then I just kept flying away from Dubai with no further instructions from tower even though it was active throughout. Soon Dubai departure contacted me telling me I was in active airspace, and I asked for vectors back to the airport…but then had to quit my flight without landing because too much time had passed and I couldnt be with my phone anymore. So that was a missed landing opportunity!

My question is: Was I wrong in turning left base on seeing that the plane infront of me was just about to land? I had not been cleared for landing yet, but expected to be cleared pretty soon since I was #2 and just turning into left base. Or should I have continued downwind until tower instructed me to turn left?

Also, at what point do I remind the tower that I exist? I don’t want to clog frequency, but I also don’t want to fly into the sunset hoping that I will be asked to return?

What is the distance I should maintain with the plane ahead of me when tower tells me: “#2, cleared to land” - when do I know I am good to land in this case without endangering the plane infront of me?

Thanks in advance!

You had a lot of space between you and the traffic to make the base turn, the tower controller was just very inexperienced. Extend downwind means to make your downwind leg a tad bit longer, he does not have to call your base.
If that was the case the tower could give you the “I’ll call your base” command, but turning base was at your discretion on this one, you just had to extend your downwind leg as per the controllers command.


Extend downwind means just extend your downwind leg. You can turn a few miles later.

Don’t mix it up with I’ll call your base which the tower has to call you to turn base.

1 Like

That’s the mistake… if you want to do it in a professional way, do it on the expert server with IFATC


It’s not always the problem. Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m pretty sure that IFATC recruits have to train on TS1 before they can control on Expert, this meaning you will get the occasional good controller.

Not every single one is bad.


Here’s your answer:

Only if Tower instructs ‘I’ll call your base’, you keep flying downwind until you drop off the earth. It’s then tower’s responsibility, to call your base, to inform you when you can turn.

This time, Tower basically asked you to extend further, and then make your base turn.

Thanks @ColinS. Very true!


So I understand that I could have taken a tad longer going downwind and then turned left base again at my discretion. I didnt realize that. Learnt something new today :)

Thanks much.

1 Like

Thank you all. Good to learn something new.

1 Like

RW application, the pilot will extend 1-2 miles if they aren’t given a specific amount to extend by. The goal as a controller is to keep all your planes inside your bubble.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed 90 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.