Cancelling a take-off clearance

January, 29, 2022 by

When you see that the minimum seperation between arriving and departurting aircraft cannot be met you have to issue a go around. I noticed that controllers tend to forget or simply do not realise that the departing aircraft should abort his take off just as the arrival will abort his landing otherwise you will have a major conflict on the upwind pattern leg.

If you do not cancel the take-off clearance the departing aircraft will climb into the aircraft that is busy going around. Chances are they will be right on top of each other. This must be avoided at all cost.

If you anticpate that the seperation requirements will not be met between an arriving and departing aircraft your first action will be to send the arrival around and then to cancel the departure’s take off clearance. If you see that the departing aircraft has used up enough runway in his aborted take-off roll that he can no longer take-off succesfully instruct him to exit the runway, and then taxi to the runway again.

If the departure can still take-off safely after the cancelled take-off clearance wait until there is appropriate seperation between the aircraft going around before you go ahead and clear him for the second time.

Juan Oosthuizen is a contributor for the IFATC Education Group. He is an IFATC Supervisor and real-world PPL student pilot.

Use all available runways

January, 20, 2022 by

As an Air Traffic Controller you should always strive to use all available runways to the max extent possible as your runways are one of your most valuable resources.

If you are manning the ATIS frequency always try to enable all available runways which could be used in the current airfield configuration. As the controller you will always have the final say on who goes where.

When most people request pusback or taxi they don’t request a specific runway. This gives you the freedom to decide what runway would be best to assign them anyway. But here and there you will get someone who requests a specific runway. Do your best to accommodate him. If they want to taxi to the other side of the airport to a certain runway, then let him. But always note, you as the controller have the final say and you should use your best judgement on how this will affect other traffic in your airfield.

The goal is to get everyone out and in as fast as possible. When it’s busy the way to go is to send everyone to the closest available runway. But there is a fine line, you want to reduce taxi times but also don’t want to lose that time by making them wait in line for departure for a long time. This is why it’s important for you as ground controller to be aware of what’s happening in your airfield at all times. Spread out the traffic between all the runways.

Keep an eye on what runway has less arrivals and send more people there. Do this to help each other out! Remember, when it’s busy communication is key.

Juan Oosthuizen is a contributor for the IFATC Education Group. He is an IFATC Supervisor and real-world PPL student pilot.

Departure Etiquette

October, 31, 2021 by

Picture yourself in this scenario: It’s Friday night at London Heathrow. Ground is packed, each runway has a queue of 10 departing aircraft and approach is swamped with arrivals. How can you help yourself and the controller to make your departure easier, and most importantly, report- free? Here’s how:

  • When taxiing to the runway on a parallel taxiway and you have another aircraft next to you, don’t race each other to the threshold at 35kts. This will cause an increase to the workload of the controller. Let the other aircraft go first, it will only delay your departure by a few minutes.
  • Always stay on the ground frequency until you are second in line to depart. This will keep the tower frequency clear of clutter. Don’t switch right after you have recieved your taxi clearance. Ground may not be done with you.
  • Request take off once. Do not spam the controller, he can see you. He may have tight arrivals coming in or could be planning a crossing on your runway. While you are waiting, do not loose focus and start doing other things. In peak traffic time everything must be done expeditiously. So be aware and ready to depart the moment you recieve a clearance.
  • Once you have been cleared please do not take your time. When it is not busy then sure, you can do things in a more relaxed way. But in peak times you need to move. Even though rolling departures may not be in Atis, please try your best to do so to make your controller’s life easier.
  • Once you are airborne and stable, there’s no need to request a frequency change, unless you can see the controller has really forgotten about you. You will be given a frequency change or handed over to the appropriate frequency.

If you do this then there is almost zero chance you will be ghosted and you will make your departure faster as well!

Juan Oosthuizen is a contributor for the IFATC Education Group. He is an IFATC Supervisor and real-world PPL student pilot.

New Cirrus Cloud Teaser

April, 1, 2021 by

Today we get a new work-in-progress image from the Infinite Flight team showing off the Cirrus cloud layer that are currently in beta testing.

A cloud is a visible combination of water particles or ice crystals, white in appearance due to reflection of white light.

Clouds are classified by both their height above ground and their appearance, comprising 4 main groups. The clouds you can expect in Infinite Flight falls in the High Cloud group. This cloud’s base is above 20 000ft and known by the name Cirro clouds.

Clouds may further be subdivided into individual types according to their appearance. The following is coming to Infinite Flight:

Cirrus (Ci)
Detached clouds of delicate and fibrous appearance, without shading, generally white in colour, often of a silky appearance. (Often referred to as mares tails) They appear in the most varied forms, such as isolated Tufts, lines drawn across the sky, feather-like plumes or curved lines ending in tufts

Juan Oosthuizen is a contributor for the IFATC Education Group. He is an IFATC Supervisor and real-world PPL student pilot.

Intersecting Runways Tutorial

February, 3, 2021 by

Intersecting runway operations should never be taken lightly. The easiest way to go would be to integrate everyone onto one runway, but that’s not what I am showing you today. I will be showing you how to let multiple aircraft fly patterns on two runways that intersect. This is quite difficult, but once you get the hang of it it’s one of the best things to do, my former local trainees can definitely attest to that.

Want to know more about how to control intersecting runways? Head to this topic here to read the full the tutorial.

Juan Oosthuizen is a contributor for the IFATC Education Group. He is an IFATC Supervisor and real-world PPL student pilot.

What to do when a radar controller comes online

October, 4, 2020 by

In this post I’ll be giving you a few tips on what to do and what not to do when a radar controller first comes online.

When it is the first radar controller:

When a radar controller first comes online it might take a bit of time for the him to get started because if the controller is using STAR’s he would probably first want to select all the STAR’s to show on his screen, this is very time consuming so please be patient and only request your approach once. He will get to you as fast as he can!

During a controller change:

When this happens you will know it because the previous controller would have announced that there is a controller change in progress. In this case, if you have been vectored and assigned your approach by the previous controller you only need to check in. If it’s your initial contact feel free to request your approach. Remain on the heading and altitude the previous controller assigned you and don’t change course the moment the controller is offline.

Sometimes your controller will have a brief drop in connectivity or he can have an app crash during his session. He will be back as soon as he can, please be patient and attentive. You will be tuned out and tuned back in when he is back online. If you see it is the same controller as the one you had before then there is absolutely no need to request your approach again. Just carry on! Your controller would also really appreciate it to come back to an airspace that is still organised and not one that has disintegrated into chaos for the brief span that he was offline. Do your part to help your controller out and to give everyone a better experience!

Juan Oosthuizen is a contributor for the IFATC Education Group. He is an IFATC Supervisor and real-world PPL student pilot.

What to do when a tower controller first comes online

August, 31, 2020 by

The first few minutes just after a controller comes online can be a bit hectic at times. In this post I’ll give you a few tips on how you can make your controller’s life a bit easier.

In the case of a controller change, if you were already cleared for the option or to land there is no need for you to report your position or to call inbound for landing again. Controllers can see all previous ATC communications in the communication log. If you have yet to receive your landing clearance, give the controller a few minutes to attend to you, otherwise report your position. If you are on short final with or without a landing clearance you can continue to land on unicom. Controllers are trained to never on guard aircraft on short final and to give everything a chance to settle down before they commence their session. Land, exit the runway as fast as possible and contact ground.

If you are on the ground, if you have already recieved your clearance, whether it is to taxi or for pushback, there is no need to request again. If you are first in line for takeoff or if you want to cross a runway, rather wait a few extra minutes and proceed with ATC clearance. At a busy airport there is many things you can miss on unicom which can result in a violation being issued to you.

If you have yet to receive your clearance request it only once. Do not spam your controller, he will get to you as fast as he can.

Juan Oosthuizen is a contributor for the IFATC Education Group. He is an IFATC Supervisor and real-world PPL student pilot.

Meet our Team – Juan Oosthuizen

August, 25, 2020 by

Hi! In this post I will be telling you a bit more about myself.

Many that are familiar with me don’t know this, but I am actually living all the way down south in Pretoria, South Africa. My parents moved here from the Netherlands and I was born here. I finished my 12th and final year at school last year (matric) but I decided to continue on as a post-matric, a program my school offers for learners who wishes to further improve their qualifications, this year.

In addition to school, I also started studying for my PPL in 2018. Since I am doing both progress is a bit on the slow side but soon I’ll have both my school qualifications and PPL in the bag! The plan was that after school I’ll start working on my Flight Instructor Rating to become a flight instructor and then later move into commercial aviation and eventually move back to Europe. Unfortunately the aviation industry took a big hit this year, so I have decided to give it a bit of time to recover and go to University in the meantime first and then I will continue as planned just a bit later.

A friend introduced me to Infinite Flight in 2017, but I only joined the community in late 2018. I joined a few virtual airlines and made friends I still have today, almost two years later. I started my IFATC career on 3 January 2019 and slowly worked my way up to where I am now, serving as an IFATC Supervisor and Trainer. I have recently been appointed as an IFVARB Board member and I am really excited to be able to make a contribution there as well. It’s been an amazing journey full of amazing people and experiences so far and I can’t wait for the many more to come!

Juan Oosthuizen is a contributor for the IFATC Education Group. He is an IFATC Supervisor and real-world PPL student pilot.

30 Degree Intercepts not Always Needed

July, 29, 2020 by

Before 20.1 your standard ILS approach always included a 30 degree intercept. It is now possible for us to spice it up a little bit with all our new procedures.

Some STAR’s will let you arrive on a long final, or they may have a natural 30 degree intercept already worked into them.

If you have either of those two types of STAR’s filed you can expect no 30° intercept from your approach controller. Since you are already established on your final approach course or you are already on a 30 degree intercept heading there is no need for your radar controller to issue a heading again. They will simply clear you for your approach and give you a frequency change.

Sometimes they will give you you an altitude assignment with your clearance. This can be due to various reasons such as terrain and for seperation requirements. These must be followed at all times.

Juan Oosthuizen is a contributor for the IFATC Education Group. He is an IFATC Supervisor and real-world PPL student pilot.

GPS Approaches now Allowed

July, 10, 2020 by

The new update has taken navigation in Infinite Flight to new heights, it is now possible to fly a GPS approach with ease! With the 19.4 update in December, GPS approaches weren’t possible anymore but now they are back!

To fly a GPS approach all you have to do is the following.

  1. Tap the airport
  2. PROC (Procedures)
  3. Approaches
  4. Select an RNAV Approach
  5. Add to your flight plan

Here is legend you can use to see if the approach you are selecting is an RNAV approach.

Then sit back and watch your autopilot do the rest. The published GPS approach will allow you to follow the lateral and verticle assignments specified in the approach via VNAV.

When ATC is active, you can now request a GPS approach. If traffic allows they will approve your request and you can continue as filed. The controller will verify you have a valid flight plan then clear you for the GPS approach when you are at an appropriate altitude. Remember, vectors issued by ATC override any procedure you are on.

Juan Oosthuizen is a contributor for the IFATC Education Group. He is an IFATC Supervisor and real-world PPL student pilot.