Training Server Tips for Pilots

Training Server is a great place to learn, for both pilots and ATC operators.

Everything you need to know to do it all just right can be overwhelming. Especially when you’re trying out ATC operations yourself and get slammed with a lot of requests from pilots. Some of those requests are unnecessary or even wrong. So while you’re frantically searching for the right response, if there is one, the whole process gets slowed down and will get messy very quickly.

So, in order to make Training Server an even greater place to learn, let me list a couple of requests that can be heard frequently, together with some extra information:

"Remaining in the Pattern"

Many pilots ask for takeoff clearance with the addition of “Remaining in the Pattern” instead of “Departing North/East/South/West” while the latter is exactly what they will be doing.

A pattern is a circuit around a runway that is entered in the final stages of approach or used for doing touch and go’s.
See this tutorial.

When you’re taking off in a certain direction, just choose that direction when requesting takeoff clearance.

"Requesting Transition"

For some reason, when pilots have taken off and are climbing away from the airport, some of them request a transition. I really have no idea what they are thinking. Maybe they are confusing a transition with a frequency change?

A transition is when your route takes you through another airport’s airspace below 5000 ft above airport altitude.
There’s a great tutorial that describes that all you need to do is remember 5nm around an airport and 5.000 ft. of altitude above it. When the position you’re at doesn’t fall within those limits, do not request a transition.

"Request Frequency Change"

So many pilots request a frequency change when they have reached the runway after taxiing. The last instruction given by Ground was “Taxi to [RUNWAY]. Contact tower when ready”. So “Contact tower when ready” means that when you’re either at the hold short line of the runway, or second in line, you yourself should switch from Ground to Tower. Do not ask for a frequency change.

The same applies to when, after landing, you were told to exit the runway and contact ground on the taxiway. When you’re at the hold short line while exiting a runway, switch from Tower to Ground and do not ask for a frequency change.

Can you see (new) ATC operators going crazy giving pilots permission to change frequency, telling them to contact Ground or telling them that they were already instructed to change frequencies, while having to handle all sorts of other requests?
So help them out!

"Inbound on the ILS" when on FL250

Please prepare your approach so that you will be at a realistic altitude when calling inbound. Trust me, if you don’t, you will not make it to the runway!
I’ve seen many try though. It is fun to watch, but chances are it will mess up the work ATC is doing.

When you are still too high, do not call for inbound, fly away from the airport and loose enough altitude before turning back and contacting ATC.

These are just some of the things that are going on at Training Server.

This is another great source of information for both Training Server and making the transition to Expert Server.
Please check it out.

I have the utmost respect for people wanting to become an ATC operator and make it to IFATC. There is so much to learn and it comes with responsibilities. It is hard work!
Much has been written about the things I just listed.
I hope this topic, that combines a few issues, will help making things a bit smoother on Training Server and both pilots and ATC operators will enjoy learning everything there is to learn about flying in IF.

If there’s something to add or if some things need further clarification, please let me know.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. After years of flying in IF, I’m now taking small steps into the world of ATC. So bear with me. ;)


Totally true 👌🏽

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That was a great read.

I remember when I first incorrectly used “transition” I was leaving the airport because I thought when they said “transition approved at or about 10,000ft” that they meant I could depart and climb to 10,000ft at the very least. But so very good tips there!

Great post. This quote is what resonated the most for me - the IFATC team can’t get enough shout-outs and kudos for their awesome service to the community.

What’s so awesome is that at this point, if you can figure out how to work the ATC interface, for a lot of people, running ATC is as fun as flying! Best of both worlds when everyone is having fun!


Thanks for this. There is sooo much I could add here but I will stick to one point for I know it might have more chance of being read.

A few people will request take off departing North/West etc and will receive clearence to do just that. Then once they are airborne they will request departure. This is unnecessary clutter, you have already been cleared for departure. The only time you need to request departure is if you have been remaining in the pattern and have now decided to leave the airspace.

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This is good stuff here too

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I had already linked to that great topic by @azeeuwnl. ;)

I’ve now embedded it as well.
In fact, I’ve now embedded the other topics as well. ;)



I just started exploring ATC.
Never knew how much work they do and how hectic it can be.
I appreciate the IFATC so much more now I understand more of what they do exactly.

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Yeah - they should require the next person that rants about some ATC mistake to themselves do an hour of ATC before they can keep flying. That may quiet them down a bit. ;)


I’m not sure about the other members.
But I get use to the medium to heavy work load pretty quickly.
But it’s a pleasure being atc for everyone :)

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