Pattern work ATC

Could anyone please explain what pattern work is and how to set it up in grade 3 ATC

Here you go:


This is pattern work; basically when you takeoff and land at the runway you started off from

You would takeoff, turn base, then turn to downwind, then to base again, and then final. When ATC, you’d need to correctly command aircraft these instructions.

“Flight xxx turn base runway xx”

“Flight xxx turn downwind for runway xx”

and so on.


I read in the IFATC manual that you can create patterns. I need to know this as I will soon be doing a grade 3 atc exam

Oh are you talking about how to control patterns?

Yes, you can create patterns but they need to be parallel with the runway. They cant have odd shapes, a pattern remains a pattern.

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Not sure if you have a live subscription in IF, but if you are doing patterns, as described above, with an ATC, then it’s good to be aware of the following instructions:

  • takeoff: request takeoff, remaining in the pattern
  • when you want to stop your touch and goes, and land: report your position and add full stop
  • when you want to stop your touch and goes, and leave the airspace, off to another airport: request departure to the North/South/etc

General tips for doing patterns: keep an eye out for other traffic. If Tower has 3 aircrafts waiting to depart, then widen your circle, so that Tower has room to get his traffic out. Be wise and allow Tower to provide a service to everyone.

Have fun


The question is how do you created them?)

If you’re talking about controlling patterns as ATC, when you clear an aircraft for takeoff you tell them to make left/right traffic. Send them onto the side with less terrain and if the airport has parallel runways, send them onto the side away from the others runway. Clear them for the option when they are on their crosswind leg every pattern and if there are other aircraft in the pattern, make sure you sequence them behind each other. This video may help as it’s about sequencing and pattern work:

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