Patrick_McCormack's ATC Tracking Thread - [CLOSED] @ N/A

Hello all and welcome to my ATC tracking thread. Here, I am hoping to improve my ATC skills in order to qualify for IFATC after passing my practical. I shall be opening often at airports that have parallel runways such as EGCC, GCLP etc.

Frequency: Tower + Ground

So come on down and test me on anything, patterns, transitions and everything in between!

Criticism is welcome. Don’t be afraid to tell me I need to improve on etc. Please contact me via PM with feedback.

Thanks in advance, @Patrick_McCormack


Nice work Patrick! Your pattern entries and clearances were good.

The feedback below has Zulu time stamps attached which are also visible in your replay—use it to your advantage!

17:02 - Nice on-guard.

17:02 - Transition at 6,000, should have been at 3,000.

17:04 - Great initial pattern entry when I was overhead!

17:06 - I got a clearance but was not told to make right traffic.

17:07 - I asked for a runway change, got an “unable”. Then you told me to extend downwind when I was flying my upwind leg, told me to disregard the message, told me to turn crosswind when I was turning downwind, gave me an unnecessary right downwind pattern entry for Runway 03R, and told me to extend upwind while on my downwind leg.

17:09 - Clearance was good.

Overall Feedback

  • Make sure you know to calculate transitions. You want the transition altitude to be 2,500 feet about field level and rounded up. An in-depth guide can be found in section 3.4 of the ATC Manual.

  • Instead of an “unable”, you could have sent "enter left downwind Runway 03L.

  • Review pattern legs and try to not send extensions when there are no other aircraft in the pattern.

Great job today—you have a few things to work on but I can tell that you’ll be a fantastic controller! Don’t hesitate to ask questions; They are what help us all grow and learn.

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Thanks for the feedback. Would you like me to tag you when I reopen?

I don’t get notifications from Discourse, so it wouldn’t really do much. If I see that your tracking thread is open, I’ll be sure to stop by if I can though!

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Status: OPEN @GCLP. Stop by to fly some patterns!

What was good:

  • Good use of "You were already instructed to change frequency
  • Runway exit is very good, but giving it at 70-80 GS would have been perfect (you gave at 60)

Things to improve:

  • Left traffic for 03L at the jet pattern altitude would have sent me a bit closer to the ground that I would prefer in the best case.
  • When I’m doing patterns, unless I’m changing runways or inbound, there is no need for pattern entry commands. With that in mind, you can clear the pilot for the next pattern as soon as he is airborne again.
  • Make ___ traffic is only required when the pilot either takes off or if he is changing runways/inbound
  • Maintain slowest practical speed should only be used when you need to make space for departures on ground.
  • Runway changes are at controllers discretion, but come on, that change to runway 03R was more than possible.

Overall, I would suggest checking out the perfect practical exam video on IF youtube, as it explains most of the stuff above.

I did this to help you avoid an accident/go around as you were extremely fast on entering the localizer.

Again, this was to prevent crossing the localizer for RWY21L. If you had of made right traffic, this would’ve happened.

I am doing this to prepare for possible traffic arriving on RWY03R by right traffic.

So this means I didn’t have to say 'enter ___ Downwind?

Thanks for the Feedback! Will I tag you when I reopen?

Though I’ll answer

As people in slack usually says, it’s the pilot who flies the plane. Unless you need to make room for departures this command shouldn’t be used.

Always keep an eye for surrounding traffic. Nothing would have happened if I did cross 21L localiser, as there were no traffic in the airspace except for me. Sending a plane into a mountain is worse than it interfering with traffic.

Again, there were no other planes within 100 nm of the airport at the time, so you’re planning ahead a bit more than needed.

Yep, along with turn crosswind and enter left base

Nope, I try to come to people’s sessions when I’m in the mood, so I just browse through the open ones and pick one of them.

Hello, sorry I missed today! I would love to help out some other time though, so just tag me and I’ll do my best to stop by. Good luck on your IFATC journey!

Thanks for answering my questions @Alexander_Nikitin. Will do @Bmoney326.

Thanks @Alexander_Nikitin and @lucaviness for attending today!

Open now @RJCC Come on over if you have time!

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Just spawned in. SDV12 is my callsign

@Henry @Rhys_V and @Jannex888 Thanks for coming out!

Of course. I’ll give you feedback soon!

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Hello, I was Janex 888 :)

I am not in IFATC myself and the feedback below is in my opinion and happened during my ATC tracking session as well :)
Below are the rundown in Zulu time:

  • 1754: Great job on issuing me pushback instead of direct taxi :)
  • 1759: Sorry for that non-immediate takeoff. If you are unsure, maybe you can ask me to hold short instead. I was holding short far down the line as well, so yeah :)
  • 1801: As I was remaining in the pattern, you need to issue direction, in this case cleared for takeoff 19R, make right traffic.
  • 1806: After the initial takeoff clearance (+ right traffic), you wouldn’t need to instruct us to make right traffic again, unless pilot is changing runways.
  • 1806: For aircraft flying traffic pattern, once you sequence them, they will have responsibility to follow each other. In this case, I have to follow @Henry and not cut in his queue. So the pattern instructions (extend downwind, enter right base) is not really required.

Since I am not in IFATC, if any feedback is incorrect, I would seek second opinion from IFATC @Henry if that’s okay for you:)

It may seem a lot but I am pretty sure you can catch up in no time :)
I would recommend checking the User Guide, especially Section 3 :)

And yes, RJCC has a lot of wind today. I crashed while landing. Sorry :((

@Anthony_Morgan Thanks for the feedback! Does anyone know when it is safe to clear an aircraft for takeoff, like how long of a final must arriving aircraft be at?


  • 17:56.05Z: “After the option, make right traffic”, isn’t necessary.

  • 17:57.16Z: “Enter right base runway 19R” wasn’t necessary.

  • 17:58.00Z: “After the option, make right traffic”, wasn’t necessary.

  • 17:58Z: Should’ve said: “Janex 888, runway 19R, cleared for immediate takeoff, make right traffic”. Good call on the takeoff cancellation, though.

  • 18:00.45Z: Janex 888 should’ve been instructed to make right traffic instead of a normal takeoff clearance as he was remaining in the pattern.

  • 18:02.47Z: “After the option, make right traffic”, wasn’t necessary.

  • 18:04.41Z: SDV12 would’ve required a pattern entry before clearing. The pattern entry would be “Enter right downwind runway 19L”.

  • 18:05.28Z: “After the option, make right traffic”, wasn’t necessary.

  • 18:05.41Z: “Enter right base runway 19R”, wasn’t necessary.

  • 18:05.59Z: “Extend downwind, I’ll call your base”, wasn’t necessary as it is the responsibility of the aircraft to maintain their sequence and separation with other aircraft once receiving their sequence.

  • 18:06.12Z: Same thing as above.

  • 18:07.24Z: “Enter right base runway 19R”, wasn’t necessary.

  • 18:08.30Z: Same thing as above.

  • 18:10.40Z: Late exit instruction. Exit instructions should be typically given between 30-40 GS in GA aircraft, and 60-70 GS in commercial aircraft.


  • If an aircraft requests a runway change, you must issue them a pattern entry with a sequence (if req) and a clearance. For example, there is no traffic to follow on the runway the aircraft wants to change to XXXX, enter left/right downwind/base, or straight in runway XX. And then: XXXX, number 1, cleared for the option, after the option, make left/right traffic. If there is traffic to follow, you should say: XXXX, enter left/right downwind/base or straight in runway XX, number X, traffic to follow is on left/right downwind/base or final. And then: XXXX, number X, cleared for the option, after the option, make left/right traffic.

  • Try not to send unnecessary commands like “Enter right base”. If you tell an aircraft to make left/right traffic when clearing them for takeoff, they will continue to make right traffic until you tell them to do so.

  • Try not to overcontrol the pattern, remember this piece of advice, once you give an aircraft their sequence, they must maintain that sequence as well as maintain proper separation with other aircraft.

For reference, please take a look at the atc manual here.

I wish you the best of luck for your IFATC tests!

Sorry if this sounds too complicated or didn’t make any sense.

@Henry Thanks so much for the feedback! And no, I completely do understand what you are getting at. ;)

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@Henry @Anthony_Morgan @Rhys_V I am opening again in 15 minutes. Would anyone be able to attend? Please suggest an airport!