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Messages - AsharK | EAS-5500

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Hey everyone! Today we will be talking about the Tower Controller. Now, this position really fluctuates in difficulty, depending on the amount of traffic you have and whether or not they are IFR, VFR, Arrivals, Departures, etc. Sometimes its really easy and sometimes it gets mind-boggling.

Today we will be talking about:

- Runway Configurations
- IFR Departures
- IFR Arrivals
- Wake Turbulence
- Go Arounds

Now the first thing the tower controller does, Before talking to any aircraft, is to figure out the active and inactive runways. If you are controlling on FSX, you can either use the normal radar or LittleNavMap. LittleNavMap will be explained in a later post.

Anyway, to figure out the active and inactive runways, you want to take the current wind, found on the top right of the FSX Radar Screen, and find all the runways, at the airport you are controlling. Lets take KMDW for example. Midway has 5 Runways. The 22s, 4s, 31s and 13s.

Now let's just say that the wind is 190 at 12. Looking at all the runways at the airport, you want to find the least difference between the wind heading and the runway headings. If the runway has 1 digit so for example, Runway 4R. You would add a zero BEFORE and AFTER the 4. So the heading for Runway 4R will be 040. If the runway has two digits then you would add a zero AFTER the two digits. So take Runway 22L, the heading for Runway 22L would be 220. So if we look at KMDW and all the runways available, we need to first, find out the headings for each runway.   

Runway 22 L & R - 220
Runway 4 L & R - 040
Runway 31 L & C & R - 310
Runway 13 L & C & R - 130

(not exact headings ^)

Now to figure out the best runway to use depending on the wind, you must find the difference.

If the wind heading is larger then runway heading:

(Wind Heading) - (Runway Heading) = Final heading

If the runway heading is larger then the wind heading:

(Runway Heading) - (Wind Heading) = Final heading

Runway 22 L & R: 220 - 190 = 030
Runway 4 L & R: 190 - 040 = 150
Runway 31 L & C & R: 310 - 190 = 120
Runway 13 L & C & R: 190 - 130 = 060

In this case, the more favorable Runway would be Runway 22 L & R. This is because it is the smallest number / difference. This is to make sure that the aircraft has the biggest headwind that there is to better slow the aircraft down.

Now its not like your limited to one runway. You can have different types of configurations. 1 for VFR and 1 for Arrivals & Departures. 1 for VFR, 1 for Arrivals and 1 for departures. Maybe even all VFR and arrivals & departures on only 1 runway. You have to take into account not only the wind but also the amount of aircraft you have, the number of runways you have available, the direction / heading each runway faces, the size of each runway and the limitations on what aircraft can land on a runway depending on length, etc. In the end, it is your choice on which runways to use. But try to take EVERYTHING into account. Not just the Wind.

When giving a takeoff clearance for an IFR aircraft. You need to follow this outline:

<CALLSIGN>, traffic (if any), weather (if any),  fly heading (###), wind (###) at (##), runway (##), cleared for takeoff.

Example: AAL123, B738 on 5 mile final, fly heading 270,  wind 190 at 12, runway 22L, cleared for takeoff.

Depending on current conditions such as aircraft on final, severe weather conditions, you would either include or exclude "traffic" and "weather"

To assign a heading to an aircraft, you have to look at many things such as the SID and direction of flight. If the aircraft is flying towards the west then you don't want to be giving him 130 or 060 as that is towards the wrong direction of flight and completely pointless. Instead you want to give him 270 or 250, etc. But it also depends on the SID.

Looking at this hybrid SID, if the aircraft is departing Runway 36R at KCLT, you would want to give him a heading of 025 IF they are flying this SID. Because if you look after the end of 36R, eventually the aircraft should turn to the right to heading 025. In this case, you should give the aircraft heading 025 on departure.

Your heading should be reasonable. It should not make the aircraft turn around and pass the airport. It should be towards their direction of flight. Towards their first way-point on their route. There are many many things that go into headings. It depends on Standard Operating Procedures and blah blah blah. Just pick a heading that is reasonable. If anything, just give the aircraft Runway Heading. That is probably the best thing you can do then give a heading that might cause other issues when the aircraft is dealing with departure or another radar controller.

As a tower controller. YOU CANNOT GIVE RADAR VECTORS. You are not a radar controller. You cannot get a IFR aircraft onto final. That is the job of the Approach Controller and / or the pilot. On Final, the aircraft should contact you between 5 -10 miles out. The pilot will request a landing clearance at that time. The outline to give a landing clearance is as shown:

<CALLSIGN>, <AIRPORT> Tower, number # following <A/C TYPE> (IF following another aircraft), caution wake turbulence (IF wake turbulence is a factor), weather (if any), wind ### at ##, runway ##, cleared to land.

Now there is a lot that goes into this. Whether or not the aircraft is following another aircraft. Weather or now wake turbulence matters. Lets break it down:

We have AAL123 behind another aircraft type B738 on a 3 mile final. Wake turbulence is NOT a factor.

Example: AAL123, KMDW Tower, Number 2 following B738 on 3 mile final. Wind 190 at 12, Runway 22L, Cleared to land.

Maybe that B738 infront of AAL123 is a B772 and AAL123 is a B738.

Example: AAL123, KMDW Tower, Number 2 following B772 on 3 mile final. Caution Wake Turbulence. Wind 190 at 12, Runway 22L, Cleared to land.

If you have an aircraft that needs a landing clearance and he will be landing AFTER a aircraft takes off from the same runway. You should put the traffic advisory after the clearance itself.

Example: AAL123, KMDW Tower, Wind 190  at 12, Runway 22L, Cleared to land. B738 departing prior to your arrival.

If wake turbulence is a factor.

Example: AAL123, KMDW Tower, Wind 190 at 12, Runway 22L, Cleared to land. B772 departing prior to your arrival. Caution Wake Turbulence.

Now the most simple of the clearances, when nothing is an issue.

Example: AAL123, KMDW Tower, Wind 190 at 12, Runway 22L, Cleared to land.

To decide if wake turbulence is an issue, you have to look at the aircraft type of the two aircraft. The aircraft types are split up through category. Small, Large, Heavy and Super.

If a lower class is behind a higher class, wake turbulence is a factor. If a small aircraft is behind a large aircraft, wake turbulence is a factor.Same goes for anything else such as a Heavy behind a Super. The wake turbulence factor is greater as the classes get more stretched. If an small is behind a Heavy, wake turbulence is more of a factor then if it was a small behind a large. As long as there is somewhat of a wake turbulence factor, you have to advise the pilot. If the 2 aircraft are the same class, wake turbulence is not a factor.

When either you or the aircraft calls a Go Around, you have to give him a heading, altitude and then send him to departure.

Outline: <CALLSIGN>, Fly Heading ###, Climb and Maintain <ALTITUDE>, Contact Departure on <FRQUENCY> (or "Monitor Unicom on 122.8")

Example: AAL123, Fly Heading 200, Climb and maintain 3000, Contact Departure on <FREQUENCY>


Example: AAL123, Go Around, Fly Heading 200, Climb and maintain 3000, Contact Departure on <FREQUENCY>

You want to send the aircraft to the Departure Controller. If there is no radar controller online, you must send the aircraft to Unicom. Replace "Contact Departure on <FREQUENCY>" with "Monitor Unicom on 122.8"

Example: AAL123, Go Around, Fly Heading 200, Climb and maintain 3000, Monitor Unicom on 122.8

Once again, the heading should be a reasonable heading. It should get the aircraft back into the arrival area. It should not be some wrong way of flight UNLESS there are aircraft flying in one direction or departure or arrival. In that case you want to give a heading that will remove and conflict capabilities. Somewhere easy for the radar controller to get the aircraft back into the arrival field. Not a heading that could cause conflict with other aircraft or mess up the radar controller. It should not be a heading going completely the  opposite way in which case the aircraft has to cross over the airport again or near the airport.

For the Altitude. That will depend on what SIDs your using other small things such as the height of objects around the airport, etc etc. Usually, just take the altitude off of a SID that you are using and use that as the Go Around altitude. Such as for the KMDW 4 departure, the top altitude is 3000. You would give the aircraft 3000 as a Go Around Altitude. BUT, sometimes it's even better to increase or decrease the altitude by lets say 1000. Instead of 3000, you could use 4000 to maintain separation from Departures and Go Arounds. IF THERE IS A RADAR CONTROLLER ONLINE, you MUST FIRST Coordinate with them before issuing such altitudes.

That's about it for IFR Aircraft when your controlling Tower at a airport. There are many other things that I have not went over but those are advanced things for another day. Next time, we will be talking about VFR aircraft and how to deal with VFR in different types of airspaces. Have a good day everyone! See you next time!

PLEASE Follow these RULES, especially in a TWR Channel:

* DO NOT connect to vatsim / ivao OR have ANY TRAFFIC AI Packs / Utilities installed or enabled when connected on the FSX server *

- You are NOT allowed to swear EVER in the teamspeak and slack!
- You MUST use Push to Talk and DO NOT hold your Push to Talk Key down when you are not speaking. Tutorial:
- If no Admin / Mod is in the room, the Controller is in charge. Otherwise, the highest Admins THEN Mods in the room are in charge.
- Do NOT talk over other members. Be patient and let other members go first. Especially in a Controlled ATC Room.
- Unnecessary talking is not allowed in the ATC Room! Keep ATC Comms clear!
- Do NOT Make a big deal over little things that can be brushed off. Especially in a Controlled ATC Room.
- Do NOT make annoying and/or loud sounds that may annoy another member! Especially in a Controlled ATC Room.
- Do NOT Use Soundboard in the ATC Channels! They are allowed in the Fly n' Chat Rooms but you CAN NOT play anything offensive! Entry to Fly n' Chat is at one's own risk but that does not mean that you are allowed to swear and not needing to follow the other rules.
- Listen to all instructions the controller or a MOD / ADMIN may give to you. Not listening to a MOD / ADMIN can lead to extreme punishments.
- It is the CONTROLLER'S CHOICE if they want to execute Emergencies and other small things. If they say NO, IT IS A NO!
- The Controller is REPRESENTING EASTERNHOPS! The controller should always follow these rules and they should ENFORCE these rules.
- If you want to be a fun controller and not wanting to be strict, do NOT use the ATC Zone Channels! Instead, you may use the Fly n' Chat channels to have fun with your envirorment.
- Last, but not least, FOLLOW THESE RULES!

Failure to follow these rules can result in:

- A Kick from the channel
- A Kick from the server
- A Ban from the server
- Change to a different controller
- The shutdown of ATC SERVICES for a time period.
- A Special TALK with Administration...

If Flying with a Controller that has access to strips, Please File Your Flight Plan at:

To setup your Callsign IN GAME: >>  CLICK HERE

- Pick Your Aircraft -> OK
- Under AIRCRAFT -> ATC NAME -> Change...
- Airline call sign: SET TO "- NONE"
- Flight number: SET TO "0" (ZERO)
- Tail number: SET TO YOUR DESIRED TAIL NUMBER (Example: N123FS)
- Append "Heavy" to call sign: UNCHECK
- Show tail number: CHECK

When you set-up your Teamspeak Callsign, you have to follow this general outline:

- Steam Name | Callsign

To get the "|" you have to do: SHIFT+ BACKSLASH (\)

- Example: AsharK | N123NY

To setup your Callsign IN TEAMSPEAK:

- Right-click on your Teamspeak Name -> Change Nickname
- Type in your Steam Name & Tail Number

To save your Name & Callsign in a bookmark:

- Left double-click on your Teamspeak name, highlight, and copy your name
- Click BOOKMARKS in the TOP LEFT Corner -> Click ADD TO BOOKMARKS from the drop-down menu
- The BOOKMARK NAME should be "EasternHops Public Teamspeak"
- Add NICKNAME: you now can paste your name in the Nickname block.

You can now use your bookmark to join the server!


Hey Everyone! You probably know me by now but I'm AsharK over from the EasternHops Public Teamspeak ( and today I want to go over the Ground Position. This should be a pretty easy to learn position as ground is usually one of the easiest positions to control.

Now, there are two types of airports. They basically have everything in common other then a few little things. Before we get into these two types of airports, lets go over the outlines on how to say a taxi instruction.

<CALLSIGN>, Runway #, Taxi via <taxiways>

This is the easiest taxi instruction you will probably ever give. Now one thing before we break this down,  You always want to say the "Runway #" before giving the actual instructions AND you don't need to say something like "Contact tower when holding short" or blah blah blah. That's all unnecessary words being used. 

So lets break this all down. Pretend that AAL123 is at the Alpha terminal at KMDW and the active RWY is 22L. Your taxi instruction would be something like:


"Runway #" - Runway 22L

"Taxi via <taxiways>" - Taxi via Tango, Yankee

AAL123, Runway 22L, Taxi via Tango, Yankee

Now if the aircraft had to cross a runway to get to another runway, then it becomes a bit different. It really depends on how you will giving the clearance. If the RWY that the aircraft has to cross is a active RWY, then you will have to coordination with TWR and make sure you get a clearance for that aircraft to cross.

So the initial taxi instruction would use this template:

<CALLSIGN>, Runway #, Taxi via <taxiways>, hold short Runway #

N8866PW is at the Alpha Terminal and needs taxi to RWY 22R for VFR pattern work. 

"<CALLSIGN>" - N8866PW

"Runway #" - Runway 22R

"Taxi via <taxiways>" - Taxi via Tango, Papa

"hold short Runway #" - hold short Runway 22L

N8866PW, Runway 22R, Taxi via Tango, Papa, hold short Runway 22L

Now sometime while he is taxing, you want to contact TWR and ask him for permission to let N8866PW cross RWY 22L so he can get to RWY 22R.

The outline for that would be something like:

GND: Midway Tower, Midway Ground

TWR: Midway Ground, Midway Tower.

GND: N8866PW to cross Runway 22L at Papa

TWR: N8866PW cross Runway 22L, <INITIALS>


The "<INITIALS>" should be exchanged out for your Real Life Initials. So for me, it would be "Alpha, Hotel." So if the aircraft is still taxing to RWY 22L, you want to inform him before he reaches 22L so he does not have to hold short for a second. If he is already holding short Runway 22L then just inform him to cross, like this:

N8866PW, cleared to cross Runway 22L.

Around the time when the aircraft is reaching his departure RWY, you want to send him to TWR. You would usually say:

N8866PW, contact TWR on <Frequency>

but sometimes when the TWR is really busy, you want to tell the pilot to monitor TWR:

N8866PW, monitor TWR on <Frequency>

Now the only way a RWY will ever be INACTIVE is if TWR has TOLD YOU that particular RWY is inactive. So lets say that AAL123 has spawned at the South/GA Ramp at KMDW (I don't know why but ok). He needs taxi to RWY 22L.

<CALLSIGN>, Runway #, Taxi via <taxiways>, cross Runway #

"<CALLSIGN>" -  AAL123

"Runway #" - Runway 22L

"Taxi via <taxiways>" - Taxi via Yankee

"cross Runway #" - cross Runway 31L, 31C, 31R

AAL123, Runway 22L, Taxi via Yankee, cross Runway 31L, 31C, 31R

One more thing, if the aircraft has to cross a RWY then hold short of another RWY. So for example AAL123 above is going to 22L but 31C is an active RWY and 31L and 31R are inactive. Then your outline would be something like:

<CALLSIGN>, Runway #, Taxi via <taxiways>, cross Runway #, Hold Short Runway #

Example: AAL123, Runway 22L, Taxi via Yankee, cross Runway 31L, Hold Short Runway 31C

then during his taxi, you would contact TWR, get permission for him to cross 31C, then say something like:

AAL123, cross Runway 31C, 31R

That basically covers it for most airports. There is one more thing though, especially when your working at very large airports. Lets take KORD for example. It has 2 taxiways, Alpha and Bravo, they both surround the terminal area. With airports that have this type of layout where 2 taxiways are surrounding the terminal. Stuff works a little bit differently.

If you look at this image above. The KORD terminal has the inside taxiway, Alpha and the outside taxiway, Bravo. How it works is that the inside / Alpha taxiway will go clockwise and the outside / Bravo taxiway will go counter clockwise. There are many large airports with this design. I don't know for sure if the inside taxiway  always is the one that goes clockwise or if it is always named Alpha but for KORD, it's like this. So if an aircraft was near Alpha 10 and he was taxing to 4L, he would taxi via Alpha till he reaches Alpha 3 then take a left on Alpha 3 and taxi straight to 4L. If an aircraft was at Alpha 3 and he needed taxi to 28R, he would taxi via Alpha 3, Bravo, November 2, November, Yankee.

Finally, If you look at the KORD chart, you will see a bunch of taxiways named A1, A2, A3, A4, etc. Those Alpha Taxiways that are ODD should be used by aircraft leaving the terminal, departures. Those that are even should be used by arrival aircraft, entering the terminal. This is so there is not some kind of jam that would require tugs, etc, etc. A good way to remember this is the word "Outbound" which means that an aircraft would be leaving the terminal, going out. The first letter of "Outbound" is "O" and the first letter of ODD is "O" which means that you can easily remember this through the fact that they both start with O. Which would leave, Inbound taxiways to be Even. Now I don't know if this Outbound and Inbound rule works for other major airports with the same design. BUT it is a very easy way to remember and you should probably just use it all the time, if you decide to do so.

That's about it for GND services. It's a very easy position to do once you understand all this. If you guys ever see anything "wrong" that I have posted on these posts, please please give me a PM or find me on the Public Teamspeak so I can better learn myself and and fix any wrong information posted on here. Once again, thanks to all who read through all this and those that support me! Have a wonderful day everyone!

Hey Guys! It's AsharK and today we are gonna be talking about clearances! Most people might not know this but, the clearance for an aircraft is the most important part of their flight. It sets up the whole flight and one tiny mistake in the clearance, can affect the center controller on top. Today we will be going over most things that a clearance delivery needs to know, such as call-signs, outlines, SIDS, etc.

First, Lets talk about your call-sign (this includes all positions when controlling). In your callsign, you want your airport's 3 letter identifier (excluding the 'K') unless you are controlling outside of the US. In which case, you want to use your airport's 4 letter ICAO code. The airport code comes first, before the position.

Position Codes:

- Clearance Delivery = DEL
- Ground = GND
- Tower = TWR
- Departure = DEP
- Approach = APP
- Center = CTR

If you are controlling a radar position (DEP, APP, CTR), another way to make your callsign (the better way) is to use IDs based on the TRACON or ARTCC your controlling in. So for example, since I know that KORD is in the Chicago Tracon (C90), I would search up the Tracon IDs and find the callsign for the position I am controlling. So instead of using (ORD_APP) as shown above, I would use (CHI_APP). Now it can get more specific depending on the approach sector I would be controlling. BUT, in FSX, that is really unnecessary and you will probably never have a second APP controller, controlling with you at the same time. So instead of (ORD_DEP), If you were a departure controller, you would use (CHI_DEP). Now there is one more thing when your using these Tracon IDs. It would technically mean that you are controlling ALL the airports within the 40 - 50 miles. Now you probably won't get much traffic at those airports other then the main airport your controlling (in this case: KORD) but if there was a aircraft at those airports, you would have to control them too. So generally if you don't want to deal with all those airports, just do (ORD_APP) or (ORD_DEP).

The same information above, stands for CTR expect instead of using Tracon IDs, you would use the the ARTCC ID. SO it would be something like (ZAU_CTR). Considering that the airport you want to control is within that ARTCC. All this information above does not stand for tower positions (DEL, GND, TWR). It is only used for RADAR Positions (DEP, APP, CTR.) You would not do CHI_DEL, you would do ORD_DEL.

Alright! Next, We will be talking about SIDS and STARS.  A SID is a "Standard Instrument Departure" and a STAR is a "Standard Terminal Arrival Route." Now as a DEL, GND and / or TWR controller, you do not need to worry about a STAR. Only Radar Positions need to understand STARS. But, to just put it out there, both SIDS and STARS are basically just a set of a whole bunch of way-points that an aircraft flies either after departure or on arrival. There are two types of SIDS (that I have found), one, which is literally a set of way-points that you fly after departure and second, a SID with just 1 or maybe 2 way-points that you are vectored to after departure. All SIDS have some type of altitude setup. Some may give you an altitude, some may let you assign the aircraft your own altitude. Now just to warn anyone who may controlling on FSX particularly, most pilots do not what SIDs are and how to fly them, etc. This being on FSX, you probably just don't want to use a SID but if you do wish to use SIDs and you are working DEL,  you need to know how the SID works and you need to know the altitudes and altitude restrictions on that particular SID for that particular airport.

Now, there are many ways that you can give a clearance. It all depends on the pilot's intentions and abilities. Route, SID, Altitude, Squawk code, etc etc. Before we go into the 2 main outlines, I want to talk about CRAFT! Many of you may have heard of this term but I just want to go over it one more time.

C = Clearance
R = Route
A = Altitude
F = Frequency
T = Transponder Code

CRAFT, is the general format when making a clearance for an aircraft. It really is amazing to have such a perfect word match what you need. So let me show you how CRAFT would look as a clearance.

Cleared to <AIRPORT> via <SID>, Expect Radar Vector's <WAYPOINT> then as filed. Climb via SID, top altitude <INITIAL ALT>, expect <CRUISE ALT> 10 minutes after Departure. Departure is on <FREQUENCY>, Squawk <CODE>

Now lets break this down:

"Cleared to <AIRPORT>" - This is the C of CRAFT. You want to change <AIRPORT> to the destination airport of the aircraft.

"via <SID>" - After changing <SID> to the name of the SID that your using. This means that the aircraft has to fly that SID after departure. This is the R on CRAFT.

"Expect Radar Vector's <WAYPOINT>" - means that the aircraft should expect vectors to that way-point on the SID, from the departure controller after departure. This is also apart of the R on CRAFT.

"then as filed." - means that the aircraft will fly its filed route after they get vectors the <WAYPOINT>. This part really varies and it can be different. If you had to give a aircraft a whole new route (Remember FlightAware from the last post?) then you would have to read that whole route to the aircraft, in this section and the aircraft would have to read back the whole route. I will go more in depth, in a later section. This is also apart of the R in CRAFT.

"Climb via SID, top altitude <INITIAL ALT>" - This means that if there was a SID being used, then the aircraft has to open up his own chart of the SID and climb to the <INITIAL ALT> as shown on the SID. So if you look on the BANNG TWO DEPARTURE shown above, between BANNG and LUCKK, you have to be between 2700 and 10000. That is an altitude restriction. So when an aircraft Climbs Via SID, they must follow those altitude restrictions on the SIDS. This is one part of the A from CRAFT.

"expect <CRUISE ALT> 10 minutes after Departure" - This means that the aircraft should expect to be cleared to their cruise altitude about 10 minutes after departure, from the departure controller. This is the second part of A from CRAFT.

"Departure is on <FREQUENCY>" - Changing <FREQUENCY> to the departure controllers frequency, this is a quick note for the aircraft, if they don't already know it. This is the F from CRAFT.

"Squawk <CODE>" -  This is the squawk code that you assigned the aircraft.  When assigning an aircraft a code, I prefer to keep IFR and VFR codes seperate. For me, IFR codes would be 3001 - 3777 and VFR would be 5101 - 5177 but that's just my own preference. As long as the code does not end with double zeros (00), as those would be considered non discrete squawk codes, you can use whatever codes you like. This is the final part of CRAFT, the T.

This format above would be used with SID's that have one way-point and the aircraft needs to be vectored to that way-point. This next format would be used for aircraft flying a SID such as the BARMY 3 Departure at Charlotte/Douglas International (KCLT). If you look at this next picture, this departure has 3 different transitions. The NUTZE Transition, the DURHAM Transition and the TAR RIVER Transition.

So instead of using the format explained earlier, you would use something like this:

Cleared to <AIRPORT> via <SID>, <Transition NAME> Transition, then as filed. Climb via SID, top altitude <INITIAL ALT>, expect <CRUISE ALT> 10 minutes after Departure. Departure is on <FREQUENCY>, Squawk <CODE>

If you look at the outline above, instead of using "Radar Vector's <WAYPOINT>", you would use "<Transition NAME> Transition." So if we were using the BARMY Three Departure and a aircraft filed the NUTZE Transition, you would say, "Cleared to <AIRPORT> via BARMY 3 Departure, NUTZE Transition, then as filed."

One more thing, if you are working with an aircraft that flies DIRECT (most aircraft on FSX do) and / or you were not using a SID, you would remove the "via <SID>" and "Climb via <SID>" and just give the aircraft a reasonable initial altitude. Now if the aircraft was flying direct and you are using a SID, depending on the type of SID, if it was a radar vector SID, you could still give him the SID but only if you are also working departures and / or you coordinate with a departure controller. He could just fly direct after you vector him to the way-point closest to his direction of flight. If the SID is a transition SID then he will not be able to fly the SID and you would just give him a reasonable initial altitude. I know it's somewhat impossible on FSX (especially on our public teamspeak) but try not to generally have pilots fly direct. It's just something that is not done. All aircraft should be flying a route unless they are VFR.

Now when you work with VFR aircraft, you need to understand your airspace (as explained in the first post). A VFR aircraft does not need to file a flight plan with you. Usually if the aircraft does not file a flight plan, you want to make him a flight plan and give him a squawk, etc. There are three different types of clearances for VFR depending on your airspace and the aircraft's intentions. If you have an aircraft wanting to do pattern work and you are in a class charlie airspace (or below), your clearance would be something like:


That is it. Literally. Now if you are working in a class bravo environment, ALL VFR aircraft are treated like IFR aircraft! That is because a class bravo airspace is a very busy airspace and because of that, ALL VFR aircraft need a clearance into and out of the class bravo airspace. So if I was working at Chicago Ohare and i needed to give a VFR pattern work clearance, it would be something like:

<CALLSIGN>, Cleared into the Chicago Class Bravo Airspace, Squawk <CODE>

That's literally it when dealing with aircraft wanting to do pattern work. The pattern Altitude will always be (In the US), 1000 feet above airport elevation. YOU DO NOT NEED TO KNOW THAT! You should know the pattern altitude but you do not need to know it. You will not be giving a altitude to an aircraft in a pattern work clearance. (Unless of course that aircraft wants to do IFR pattern work in which case, just figure the altitude out with a radar controller or use the altitude on a SID) The pilot should already know it himself but then again, if your controlling on FSX, most people do not know that and you should spread the information out.

Now if the aircraft is requesting a VFR departure to any direction or to an airport, he should be giving you a cruise altitude (Make sure the cruise altitude is correct for the direction of flight). The aircraft does not need to give you an destination airport. A VFR clearance in a Class Charlie or below would be something like:

<CALLSIGN>, Cleared VFR at or below <altitude>, Squawk <CODE>

For a class bravo airspace (KORD):

<CALLSIGN>, cleared into the Chicago Class Bravo Airspace, Maintain VFR at or below <altitude>, Squawk <CODE>

Now to figure out the <ALTITUDE> in the 2 outlines above ^, you should open up SkyVector (first forum post), search the airport you are controlling at, find the floor altitude of the first shelf around the airport.

So the floor altitude is 1900. If you subtract 100 from that altitude, you will have 1800 and that is the altitude you would give the pilot in the clearance. This is to make sure that the aircraft does not enter the Class Bravo Airspace (starting at 1900). The reason why you still say "cleared into the Chicago class bravo airspace" is because the first 5 - 7 miles around the airport, tower's airspace, is apart of the class bravo airspace. But after those 5 miles, the aircraft should not be going higher then the floor altitude without contacting departure.

All VFR aircraft within a class bravo airspace will receive flight following. But those VFR aircraft from Class Charlie (and lower) airspace do not need flight follow. So if you are working with a radar controller or you are a radar controller, you should be asking the aircraft if they want flight follow and you should be informing the radar controller of their decision. If they want flight follow, the TWR controller will give them to the RADAR controller after departure. Otherwise, if they do NOT want flight following, the TWR controller should be sending them to unicom, 5- 7 miles out from the airport.

Finally. Last, but not least, ALL aircraft need to read-back their clearances. Now if there is nothing wrong will the clearance. You didn't make any changes to their altitude, route, etc then they only need to read-back the Squawk Code. But if you did make a change and they don't read the part that has changed, back then you have to correct them. You will also have to correct them when they read-back something wrong. They have to read-back the correction.

<CALLSIGN>, readback incorrect, <CORRECTION>

Example: AAL123, readback incorrect, top altitude 5000, squawk 3112

Now once they correctly read-back their clearance, you have to acknowledge their read-back. Considering that this all is based on the US, this would be your outline:

<CALLSIGN>, readback correct, Push and Start at your own Discretion, Contact (GND/ME) when ready to taxi. Expect Runway # for departure. (Information LETTER current / Altimeter #)

If you are currently also the GND controller then you would pick "ME" from the "(GND/ME)" If there is another GND controller and your only doing DEL then you would pick "GND" from the "(GND/ME)" If you are currently using the ATIS (I don't recommend when controlling on FSX) then you would pick "Information LETTER current" instead of the Altimeter and you would change out "LETTER" to the current ATIS LETTER, such as Alpha or November. If you are not using the ATIS then you would say "Altimeter #" and change out "#" to the current Altimeter.

That's it for today guys! One last thing, this might sound really really hard and to me, clearance delivery is one of the hardest positions but once you practice this and understand all this information, it is much easier then you think! Please please please come and try to find me on the EasternHops Public Teamspeak ( if you have any questions and if I am online, I will be glad to help! Thanks a lot if you got through all this and I will be seeing you all, next time! Good Day!

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