When the Approach Controller Closes

Hello everyone!

Just wanted to reach out to the pilots of IFC and mention a scenario today that could have been a lot better if the pilots had helped me out.

So imagine this: You are being vectored into land by an approach controller, and he warns you of a close. This is when you look around. Notice what he is doing, and who you are following.

Find the pattern!

So, when approach closes, what do you do? Continue on that pattern! The tower controller will sequence you behind the aircraft in front of you in line, and you will continue on the path that approach has brought every other plane on.

Do not: Turn inward, speed up, and mess up the line. As a controller, it just makes it 10 times harder to sequence the aircraft that are doing the right thing in with the aircraft that aren’t!

In fact, the amount of people that decided to leave the line and try to cut it was so great, that I had to start using departure runways in order to avoid intense traffic congestion.

The message is, if the approach controller leaves, don’t make the job of the tower controller harder by trying to land sooner. Follow the same line!

Hope this helps clear some thing up.
Feel free to ask any questions.
Safe flying!


Thank you so much for creating this topic. I feel that there are many people who need to read this.


I was Jersey 3131, I m not sure if you were controlling at my time. I had to go around due to an aircraft standstill on 09R.


This is a great topic to fill in the gap of what to do for individuals who may not know what to do. I had this happen today and switched to your frequency not that much time back at LFPG. The traffic was very congested as I had to initiate a go around. I love whenever when the forum is being utilized for functions like this! Nice job controlling by the way!


Now we just need a topic like this but about “ready for takeoff. Remaining in the pattern”


Sorry about that. Told them to expedite, they did not.


No it’s fine… I’ve been wanting to do a go around for quite a while, but last time I tried was when I was 140knts at 100ft above the sea literally just before the runway at KSFO after an 11 hour flight. The aircraft stalled at 140knts and crashed almost on the runway. Also it will look good for the replay photos 😀. I had 3 E190 flights bound around LFPG today. Done 2…

Good post; nice work with important info.
I’ve shared this on the IF Facebook Fan Group, hoping more will see this.


Oh, that’s what IFFG stands for! Have been wondering for months… 😂


I finally understand the rather unusual pattern setups commonly seen on Expert Server, and what to do when Approach closes, and it’s all because of you! Thank you!


Great and needed post. I’d like to see a screen shot of what it looked like 30 seconds after approach closed


Also in addition to what everyone else has said, when approach controllers are planning on closing they will try and set up the close arrivals into a sequence that is clearly visible to the other pilots in the sequence and the tower control to help with the work load once they close.

If everyone stuck to this, it would make your life much easier and the controllers life much easier… the only downside is that you might miss out on a one week vacation for cutting in line.

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People needed this

It does look like they are following along nicely, but with the speed differences the entire situation was tough.

This was a bit after approach closed. I will say, the aircraft on the south end of the airport did a lot better than the north. I did however end up slowing departures to accommodate parallel landings on the departure runways to avoid go around a/ excessive confusion.

Do notice how some aircraft cut towards the base leg early, while others followed along. It was challenging to find a single most hectic part, but I will say this was a new and fun experience for me!

(My Fitbit tracks heart rate for activity levels, and I got around 25 minutes of workout cardio just from controlling this mess. Luckily it all worked out!)

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Here is another cluster scenario. This is when I actually started using both 9L and R to get landings in.

Nice topic. Of course, and it is my favourite point to bring up, but if both pilots and ATC made use of the STARs / SIDs then there would be a great reduction is this kind of thing…

Very Good point! See this quute a lot.

This post is a really good reminder to people facing questions on approach closing during inbound.

Great thanks for creating this topic!


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