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Confusion on my first IFR flight

Pro Member First Officer
JTH First Officer

So I took my first IFR flight today - Gatwick to Heathrow on a Cessna Skylane. Everything seemed to be going fine, Gatwick gave me coordinates, then handed me over to Farnborough, who then handed me over to Heathrow. So I followed the instructions Heathrow gave me only to find after a while that I was actually heading away from Heathrow airport (I found out this by asking the airport direction to find myself gone from 14 miles away to 22 miles away etc.)

Eventually Heathrow handed me over to Essex airport, who then gave me further instructions. They all seemed to guide me away from Heathrow, so I turned back into Heathrow airspace, made contact again, but this time they guided me out of their airspace to other airports like Benson, who then put me back to Farnborough. Basically I felt like I was going around in a big circle. Can anyone explain why I wasn't just guided to runway 9R on Heathrow like I was supposed to?

Thanks a lot in advance for any help. By the way, I am using Just Flight Traffic 2005 if that makes any difference. Thanks.

Pro Member First Officer
john (verygom) First Officer

Around Heathrow and Gatwick there's a lot of "heavy" traffic - 747's etc. Mixing a Cessna into that is probably an ATC nightmare! I've flown the same route and yes, you do get fed away from the direct line - just be patient. I'm surprised you did n't get blown away by wake turbulence!!

Pro Member Chief Captain
Kareem El-Sadi (crosscheck9) Chief Captain

Very true- What ATC was trying to do was to get you clear of very dense traffic, so that they can include you in the pattern when time allows. It is difficult to throw in a little slow cessna amidst such heavy traffic, as stated by verygom. Be patient, and eventually, you'll be vectored in towards the runway -- sad news is that with alot of traffic and cessna's relatively slow speed on finals, you'd probably be asked to go-around...either that or you'd cause a major traffic Jam!.. Confused

Pro Member First Officer
john (verygom) First Officer
Pro Member First Officer
JTH First Officer

I had a look and it was very interesting, thanks. So you guys think that I would have got permisison to land eventually?

I guess I'll have to stick to smaller airports for a while until I grow out of my little Cessna Laughing

Pro Member First Officer
George (OrlandoGeorge) First Officer

crosscheck9 wrote:

Very true- What ATC was trying to do was to get you clear of very dense traffic, so that they can include you in the pattern when time allows. It is difficult to throw in a little slow cessna amidst such heavy traffic, as stated by verygom. Be patient, and eventually, you'll be vectored in towards the runway -- sad news is that with alot of traffic and cessna's relatively slow speed on finals, you'd probably be asked to go-around...either that or you'd cause a major traffic Jam!.. Confused

Ditto what Crosscheck posted. Here lately I was flying into Detroit Metro airport in the FS and experienced the exact same thing. As a matter of fact, ATC asked/ordered me to increase altitude which was a surprise. I was led away from the airport and actually saw it as I climbed and proceeded East. About a full 12 to 15!!! minutes later I was contacted and turned back toward the field and all went well. I was not in a GA aircraft but in my usual 737. -Sometimes, just when you might think you have been forgotten ATC is taking necessary steps for your flight to re-join the pattern and line up for landing.

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