The Art of Sequencing: A Guide to Success

Again. Aces… Well done Mr. Smithley. Max Sends

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Very well written. I may have missed it but I assume that after one lands we don’t need to re-issue the sequence. Basically it is the sequence at the time they are slotted so they can look at their radar and see their place in line and who to follow?

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@Chris_S: You are correct. The only time where you may have to resequence is if another plane comes into the pattern and “cuts in” of another plane, which may upset your original plans. Say, for instance… Someone is number two on right downwind, and someone flies in and gets entered in the pattern as a new number two, since he would be in front of the original plane on right downwind (theoretically). It may then be necessary to let the pilots know in a subsequent sequencing chain that they have a new plane they’re supposed to be following. (AKA- sequence the old number two as number three).

@Maxmustang: Thanks. I’m hoping that this will help aspiring controllers to reach the advanced ranks more easily. Sequencing is a must to know, which seems to be a tad bit overlooked sometimes. ;)
I’m hoping to create several more tutorials in the future, so stay tuned! Thanks for the kind words!


How do u move up ranks do u just do it on the training server intill u get good enough

Good job by the way that helped a lot and wasn t too complicated

Because either way is fine, there isn’t a right or wrong.

This really helps because it is the one thing I need to work on out of my playground skills.

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Silly questions maybe but I just want to be sure.

  1. If you issue “Extend downwind” to aircraft #2 should you also issue the same to aircraft #3? Or have you already done this when you issued sequencing instruction e.g. “…traffic to follow is on left downwind”

  2. Is it acceptable to allow an inbound aircraft to jump the queue? If for instance it is easier for inbound aircraft to enter at left base but your Aircraft numbers 2 and 3 or on downwind can you tell inbound to enter left base #2 and re-issue sequencing to downwind aircraft as #3 and #4?

  3. In what instance would you have an aircraft on upwind?


  1. If they are sequenced there should be no reason to give them an extend downwind
  2. Yes you can enter someone at base just resequenced the others.
  3. Upwind is used if the downwind traffic they need to follow is further upwind or I give that on a go around if they need to extend upwind before turning crosswind

WOW that tuck me a while to read, nice tutorial @StikLover2 I don’t need to read this but I did bcoz I am
Bored. ((: nice work on that

Concerning resequencing: is resequencing allowed, although the flight to be resequenced was already cleared for landing / the option ?
[edit] one more question: when resequencing, has only the first flight to be resequenced (for the others ar following this flight) or does anybody in the pattern needs a new position number ? I would apply the new sequence number only to the first flight, but better ask here than make mistakes…,
@Brandon_Sandstrom @StikLover2

Yes that’s perfectly acceptable. Take for instance if you have an aircraft in the pattern and they are doing tight patterns. I will often clear and sequence the aircraft in a 10 mile final as #2 then once again when the aircraft doing short patterns goes around again. . Their is no need to re clear though. However if your asking if you need to re sequence after an aircraft lands no you do not. @hjo

What a fantastic post! Everyone looking into air traffic control should read this.

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And here’s the actual one if you want to watch


I’m going to become an IFATC on tower hopefully with @Zachary_Meir_Tish’s scouting skills and a recruiters help…so I can say that the art of sequencing needed to be addressed. It is one of the most useful tools to use! Thank you @JoshFly8


Very nice read, and informative.

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I’ve noticed this guide is being linked a lot in the recent practice threads that have been emerging in the last few weeks, so if anyone needs to use it, it’ll be pushed a little more to the top in order to find it easier.

Just… keep in mind I was 16 when I typed this. Cringe…


It’s shorter than what you type now

This is some great info.