Sequence instead of over-controlling

I credit an Infinite Flight ATC trainee that just recently became part of the team, for this.

There are some somewhat rare situations that you may or may not encounter where you will need to have aircraft extend downwind.

There are two ways to have an aircraft extend downwind.

  • Extend downwind
  • I’ll call your base

‘Extend downwind’ gives the pilot discretion as to when they should turn base, and ‘I’ll call your base’ gives you the power to turn base when you see fit. Both are fine options.

Doing too much and it’s can be seen as over-controlling. A way to both lower your’s and pilot’s workload is by simply sequencing.

Say you have one aircraft, 2 nautical miles past the runway threshold on left downwind for runway 31. You also have another aircraft 2 nautical miles past the runway threshold on left downwind for runway 24. Spot the conflict? If you can’t here’s a visual.

You need to have one of them extend and the other turn base. Let’s have the aircraft on left downwind for runway 24 extend downwind and tell the aircraft on left downwind for 32 to turn base.

Now another aircraft joins the party on runway 32, but he’s on right crosswind. Now do you “A” tell him to extend downwind or “B” simply sequence. “B” is the correct answer.

You now ensure there’s no conflict for either runway with a minimal amount commands sent.

September 22, 2019 by Kyle Boas