When taking off to remain in the pattern

Hi, I’m new so be nice. As suggested by experienced user to gain practice I have been doing pattern work, But…

If I’m at an airport that is using live ATC, I declare takeoff and remaining in the pattern. Now I read the forum and people say that I don’t have to announce inbound as I’m already in the pattern and staying within range of the tower at 1500ft. But what happens if ATC doesnt give me instruction I.e make right downwind. What do I do? Do I make my own decision and go where I like.

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The ATC would have said make left/right traffic. That means left or right hand pattern, part of that being the downwind leg 🙂


They will give direction on takeoff if they don’t do what ever you want.



Yes I understand that but what’s happens if they forget to issue instruction or them selfs are learning. I’ve been using the training server?

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Take off, ATC will tell you left or right. If you are the only plane in the pattern ATC should say xxx #1 cleared for the option. They may or may not give you a new left/right unless they want you to change. If there are other planes in the airspace, ATC should say xxx #2,3,4 behind the traffic on right downwind. Then you would receive separate clearance to land.

As long as you are on the same runway, you continue to go the direction ATC told you to go until you get a new runway assignment or ATC tells you to go another direction.

If you do not get a command from ATC, go ahead and report your position. Many of the TS1 controllers are learning and might forget.


I’ll be honest, in my head I thought that if you request ‘remaining in the pattern’, they have to give a left/right command.

If not do what Brandon said. I’d look it up online for the airport before you fly though, if you really want to know that is.

Thanks for reply guys. Here’s an example.

HullWashOut request
" takeoff from runway 23 “
” remaining in the pattern"

“HullWashOut cleared for takeoff”

I then take off, now sometimes I get instructions once I’m up there and all goes well, then sometimes I get nothing, and it’s when I get nothing I don’t know what to do? In respect to correct procedure etc

If you get cleared for takeoff instead of a left/right, the controller may not know how to handle pattern work. What I explained above is how it should happen.

If you are not getting anything, simply ask for inbound for touch and go and see what you get.

If you ask Take off clearance, remaining in the pattern, ATC don’t have option in command menu to clear you for take off without pattern instruction. There will be just command for left/right traffic or unable pattern work.

Ok so can Unicom do pattern work? Or is it only ATC live, I’ve just had a quick 15mins on Live ATC and worked fine like you stated above. until they announced no more pattern work. Doh.

With live ATC you don’t have to wait for an ATC to tell you “enter right/left downwind/crosswind/base.” It is already implied with “remaining in the pattern” . As the pilot all you need to do is fly the pattern and obey sequencing given by the controller. When the ATC clears you and does not specify direction then fly the same pattern direction as before.

Buy they do have the quick task button and can use it in the wrong scenario.

Hey! I’m a Training Server controller and I always do this. Gets annoying when they just say ‘remaining in the pattern’ and just depart off. I’m one of the advanced training server controllers 😂

Could you guys answer if Unicom does pattern work? Reasoning been, could the secenerio happen that I lose communication in regards to my pattern work if the ATC goes offline. Hence I get no instructions?

You can do pattern work when there’s Unicom =)

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It seems you aren’t getting the answer you are after, and some are incorrect in regards to what to do… I can explain:

On UNICOM, simply state ‘taking off runway XX remaining in the pattern’. Whilst in the pattern on UNICOM you simply fly your own pattern (as per correct pattern procedures of crosswind, downwind, base, final), and you ANNOUNCE YOUR POSITION on each leg. You do NOT need to ever call inbound if you are in the pattern.

With ATC, request takeoff remaining in the pattern. Tower will give you takeoff clearance with ‘make left/right traffic’. You simply fly the correct pattern procedure in the direction given by tower. Now, you DO NOT need to announce inbound at any point. (Everybody seems to incorrectly again request inbound). Simply fly your pattern, using your map as well to avoid conflict with traffic on final etc. you do not need to wait for tower to give you any instructions in regards to your pattern. Tower can however give you instructions, for example ‘I’ll call your base’. If they don’t give you any instruction, it’s your discretion on when to turn base etc. Tower should clear you for the option/land on your downwind or base, however it can come later. If you turn final and I have not yet been cleared to land/option, then simply ANNOUNCE POSITION, eg ‘N986MJ on final’ to remind tower. DO NOT call inbound.

Also important, do not continue to announce your position after ATC has cleared you to land/option.

I hope this clears it up


Yes it does, that’s awesome thank you 😀

good answer there @MJames, nnice and clear!

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