Pattern work + flight plan?

Hi, I don’t know if there is a similar thread to this, I can’t find any that I know of.

I have always flown patterns without filing a flight plan, and logically you wouldn’t and shouldn’t need to (correct me if I’m wrong).

So I was out and planned to fly a few patterns, and here’s what happened.
I pushed back, and was immediately greeted by the atc’s broadcast asking all (me) pilots to file a flight plan before requesting taxi.
I requested taxi nevertheless, and he/she just kept repeating the broadcast and refused to give me clearance to taxi.

I have two questions about this:

  1. This may be a dumb question but, do I need to file a flight plan for patterns?
  2. How can I let the atc know that I’m flying a pattern and not departing?

Thanks in advance!

EDIT: I was on the training server with no ATIS, and the atc welcomed pattern work

If it’s on the ATIS, then yes, you must.

If ATIS says Flight Plan required and no pattern work allowed, then you should have a destination set, and make a flight plan. Without a Flight Plan, you cannot taxi to the runway

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You can let them know your doing patterns by saying “Remaining in the pattern” when requesting takeoff clearance.

Sorry that was on the training server without ATIS

I’m concerned more about when I haven’t taxi-ed to the runway, and am spammed by the atc to file a plan before taxi-ing

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Then I recommend you just ignore them, but other people will have different opinions😉

Nope, in fact you shouldn’t.

I assume this is when you have an fpl already filed? In that case, saying remaining in the pattern is fine, and in most cases, ATC should treat you as a pattern aircraft until you request a departure.

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If it’s on training, then just continue on with what you’re doing, or just spawn in a different airport and do patterns there

ATC In training servers are beginners, so they don’t really know how to control, which is why it’s Training Server, for them to learn and gain knowledge of how ATC works

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Options for communications with ATC still aren’t where they need to be yet. Hopefully this will be something the devs focus on in the future.

This shouldn’t come up too often (almost never) on the expert server. If IFATCs have flight plans required it is nearly always because visibility is poor (IMC conditions). In that case we would also turn off patterns.

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Just put in your flight plan same airport as your final destination, than ATC will know that your plan is pattern work.

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We will only put file flight plan required in the ATIS if it is IMC conditions, if it is IMC conditions we cannot allow pattern work.

Since TS ATC does not have the ability to open the ATIS frequency on the training server they will broadcast the message “File FPL prior to requesting taxi” if it is IMC. If it’s VMC, then they are learning and you shouldn’t need to file a FPL and should be allowed to do pattern work. :)

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Follow the training server controllers’ instructions though because you yourself may not know the difference between VMC and IMC conditions.

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What if it’s a perfectly clear day?

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Then it shouldn’t be used. File flight plan is only used when visibility is poor (IMC conditions).
If for some reason it has file flight plan, just file a flight plan to the airport you’re going to do patterns.

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The METAR is the determining factor. Here’s an excerpt from the IFATC manual:

Pattern work should only be approved in Visual Metrological Conditions (VMC) as a MINIMUM – this is 3 statute miles (approx. 5000 meters) visibility and a cloud base of 2000ft Above Aerodrome Level (AAL).

You can learn more about how to read the METARs in the #tutorials section here:

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