Which ATC when remaining in the pattern?

In a perfect work where we had all the frequencies manned,should you change frequencies when doing pattern work or should you just stay on the tower?

One case I was directed to departure almost immediately after takeoff even though the tower knew I was in the pattern. Another time I had an approach frequency ask me to contact them that wasnt near my airport.

Sorry for the questions, just trying to learn. So in an ideal setting, what should the order be when doing a pattern?

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If there is approach, you should contact them so they can vector you into the approach if there is traffic. More so when you are in a jet. A single engine prop plane could probably be handled by tower alone but it’s up to them.


I believe the reason you are asked to contact the other frequency is so they can vector you into the pattern and keep traffic smoothly spaced. This is when the airport/pattern is busy with lots of incoming traffic and tower can’t handle it all.

Thank you both. Is there ever a need to contact departure when remaining int he pattern?

I guess you might go to departure to clear the exit routes and then to approach.

Perfect, thanks. So I guess it really depends on how busy the traffic is on when we need to switch. Thanks!

I would just switch when asked to just like real world. Assume they know what they are doing. This is advanced server of course.

Some guys like handing pattern guys over to approach so approach can get the sequencing right, some do not. I totally give approach mine so sequencing gets right but many advanced controllers still keep them on tower. It’s basically up to each controller, and foremost the tower controller.


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Do not switch frequency’s without permission! Controllers sometimes want to handle pattern work but sometimes they just hand over to approach. Is on controllers discretion.

Depends on the approach. If you’re doing a VFR approach you remain with tower. If you’re doing an instrument approach VOR/GPS/ILS you are switched to approach to be vectored for the approach. End of the day is you should be getting instructions from your controller regarding frequency changes.

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Are you an advance ATC?

No and don’t really have the time/interest.

Also, @olitr20, this thread was 6 months old. :)

MaxSez: the AIM outlines the following procedure/responsibility: Remaining in the Patter, the sortie is controlled by Tower, Departures are handed off to Departure by tower. Arrivals are handed off to Tower by Arrival. (IF appears to have a communication/hand off problem that need to be looked at. On the most part Arrival/Departure due there own thing and do not co-ordinate with Tower on both the PG & Advanced. This needs a fix by IFATC internally!)


I think we have established that you don’t send patterns to approach and you don’t send departures to approach unless there is only approach for that airport. If you know something I don’t message me Max.

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@Brandon_Sandstrom… MaxSez: Let’s agree to disagree Mr. Sandstromb. I said; “[quote=“Maxmustang, post:15, topic:9437”]
Remaining in the Patter, the sortie is controlled by Tower,
Now for the rest of my comment, let’s agree that IF has modified the requirements of the AIM (Aeronautical Information Manuall) which is the ATC Procedures Primary guidence to allow for continuity since it does not field an interconnect complete airspace control structure or even a fully manned ATC node at the “B” fields on the Advanced or PG. For example, Presently it appears Approach/Departure does not coordinate between themselves or with there Tower; in IF when a full ATC node is not fielded Departure hands of to Approach which is an IF anomaly and never seen in my experience in the real world where hand off pass down range in most situations.
Let’s just agree to disagree. What ever works suits IF very well. As a primary VFR filer I live with ATC based IFR decision making. What you see here is what you get.IF can do better, what is learned here by the budding future real world pilot/controller aspirant will at some point need to be relearned. Bad habits formed in infancy follow one for the rest of there life. (EG: Don’t pick your nose”). LOL


The main problem is that the ATC positions are never fully occupied, we have Ground and Tower, but no Departure and Approach, and Center rarely makes an apparition.

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