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!