Despite the gobs of rules found in the ATC manual (7110.65), working air traffic is more art than science. As with flying, controllers need a gut feeling for what works and, yet, stays within the legal boundaries. Example: A tower controller might see a slot for a downwind airplane to safely get ahead of a straight-in arrival. The preferred ATC tower phraseology to instruct a pilot to keep the pattern (think base leg) tight in this scenario is:


Keep it in tight.


Expedite your base leg.


Keep yer speed up.


Make short approach.


Gimme a turn thatíll roll yer socks down.

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