I am an IFATC controller. When it comes to violations, I try to be lenient, especially with new grade 3 pilots or individuals whom I believe made a genuine mistake.

For example, crossing a hold line without permission is one of the most common level 2 violations I issue. If a pilot crosses a hold line with an aircraft on the active runway (safety issue), I will issue the violation without warning.

If a pilot crosses a hold line with no aircraft on the runway and no safety issue exists, I then look at the pilots overall conduct. If the pilot makes proper requests for pushback/taxi to ATC and taxi’s to the runway in a professional manner, in most cases I will exercise leniency and let it slide.

On the other hand, if the pilot doesn’t follow ATC procedure or taxi’s to the runway at 35kts in a reckless manner and blows the hold line, don’t expect any warnings or leniency, I will issue the violation without hesitation.

For violations where there isn’t an imminent safety issue, I make a judgement call which is largely based on the overall conduct of the pilot leading up to the event. If you’re piloting professionally and I believe it was a genuine error/misunderstanding, there’s a good chance I will let the violation slide.

My best advice is to fly professionally at all times on expert server, adhere to airport ATIS, and follow all ATC procedures. As a Ground/Tower controller, I do look at your flight plans – if you’re flying IFR, file a proper flight plan including SID, STAR and approach procedure. I take all these factors into consideration when making a judgement call.


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