Pattern turns while with tower

Hj guys, I announced inbound to tower and had not been with radar. I got told to enter downwind which I did. I recieved no sequence or clearance, so i checked map and had tones of time to turn base and final and thought maybe they forgot to sequence and clear me. As soon as i turned base i got told off for not following instructions. So my question, when told to enter downwind must i stay there until i hear further, eg turn base or sequence or clearance?

1 Like

Who was your controller?

Im not sure who it was. Im sure i was probably in the wrong

1 Like

What airport and time was this at?

This has happened to me too. I don’t know if I should stay inbound or go around

1 Like

So was i in the wrong here and shouldnt have turned base?

It’s hard to know without speaking to the controller, as each scenario is different. I’m happy to look at your replay if you’d like to send it over. I’d rather not speculate on who’s right or wrong without seeing what actually happened.


Hi. Generally speaking, correct me if I’m wrong, unless told “i’ll call your base,” turning base would be allowed at your discretion. Though if you turned base almost immediately after being told to enter downwind, it might be seen as “too aggressive” a manoeuvre if other aircraft operations (holding for takeoff etc.) require reasonable spacing.

Generally speaking until you are told specific instructions you will turn base and final without ATC telling you to

I think it would be beneficial to Jake if we don’t speculate, but rather help find his controller and let them sort this out. We don’t know what happened, what instructions were sent, etc. He’s willing to learn from a possible mistake (propsup to him), so providing him with mixed information may not be the way to go. Just my 2¢.


Thanks, that’s what I thought.

1 Like

You’re not following the instruction if you turn. That command says “extend downwind, I’ll call your base”, which means, continue downwind and wait till the controller tells you you can turn base. Once you’re told “turn base” you can then turn base.

If in a controlled environment (ATC) you wait on their instructions on when to turn base and such. There might be something ATC saw that made you extend your downwind leg.

When in an uncontrolled environment it’s see and avoid.

That’s what I thought I understood. Thank you for clarifying/reinforcement. I believe this public dialogue on what may be clear to some, but somewhat newer to others is useful, as learning is of course an iterative process - one learns and reinforces from other’s questions.

Just to be clear about the distinction:
“enter downwind” vs “extend downwind, I’ll call your base”
The first, base turn is at one’s discretion; the second, clearly base turning is a violation(?)

Yes, that is correct @adit.

There is no “extend downwind“ command anymore, only “extend downwind, I’ll call your base”.

1 Like

I just got told to enter downwind (not to extend downwind and have base called), to enter the pattern enviroment so it was my understanding to expect sequence and clearance and where j would normally turn base i still hadnt recieved that so i checked for traffic and turned.

@Jake_Howe I apologize for asking again but what airport and time was this at? Your controller can better explain this than anyone. Or you can send over a replay using

(Attachment if TTY.replay is missing)