Screaming “Fire!” at someone

“Screaming fire at someone doesn’t help them find the exit” – Adam Bandt

Recently, this quote was presented to me in the context of climate change. Upon hearing it, I loved it and so wrote it down. At first, it appeared as something that was relevant specific to the topic I was at this summit for, but it later came to me how much this quote can be applied to our everyday life and Infinite Flight.

Take ATC for example. You’re controlling approach and an A320 is approaching a 777. A Traffic Alert may work, but if the pilot is unaware, they may not see the conflict. On the other hand, if you tell one or both of the aircraft to change heading, you’ve shown them the exit, and not just screamed fire.

New IFATC Directory on fpltoif.com

Chris Shaffer, Infinite Flight Moderator and creator of fpltoif.com, has come out with a new update which includes a Infinite Flight ATC controller directory.

It only displays the controllers that have been active in the last 90 days.

One of the best ways to learn how to communicate to ATC is by asking questions and asking for feedback from the controllers directly. You’ll learn things you may have never known when you message the controller.

So if you need or want to contact a controller, go there. Click the controller’s IFC link and message them on the forum. All of the controllers are active on the forum and answer their messages.

2 Year IFVARB Approval Anniversary

Thank you to all the staff, past and present, that have worked alongside me from when we first started the ATC Education Group back in December 2017 till now. January 14th marks our 2 Year IFVARB Approval Anniversary.

We’ve helped thousands of aspiring controllers and pilots realize their dreams and learn more about how to control and fly on Infinite Flight. Here’s to many more years of educating more and more people like you. Never stop learning!

If you’d like to learn how to join our team, go to atceg.net/hiring.

Advantages of assigning altitudes for each leg

When controlling approach, we set up with specific strategies in mind, such as this strategy from yesterday.

One extra thing that some controllers do is that we assign an altitude for each leg. So say you have a simple four legs setup, visual example.

Airport elevation is 0ft AAL and the altitude I need to clear at is 3000ft MSL. If it were me, I’d have leg one at 6000ft, leg two at 5000ft, leg three at 4000ft, and leg four at 3000ft.

Reason behind the 1000ft incremental.

  1. It ensures 1000ft of vertical separation between each leg, so if I wanted to or had to move an aircraft to another leg, I could easily do so without having to worry about horizontal separation.
  2. It gives you a visual queue as to what leg the aircraft is on, so if they stray off the line or you lose connection, you know what the sequence is.

The main goal is to send the least amount of commands to the pilot, but this added strategy is scaleable, meaning it can be used when the traffic is very high. It definitely can reduce the mental workload.

I’ve also have pilots remark that they love this approach because even they can understand where they are in the sequence with minimal effort.

The Door

“The Door” is the name I like to use for a strategy I and many other controllers use at airports that can utilize only one runway. Here is a visual representation of what it looks like and an example of it in use, live.

At max capacity when the traffic is very high, it has eight legs. You don’t need to use all eight legs, they are just there as an option. As the traffic builds you’d add a leg, then another, then another, etc. The strategy keeps all aircraft within about 25nm of the airport at all times.

The most important part is uniformity. First thing I do when I open is measure 10nm from the end of the approach cone, with the drag and vector feature. Once I get the measurement, that’s where I’ll place leg four that parallels the final leg. Then I’ll measure out 10nm from the downwind legs for legs one and five. The downwind legs three and seven are placed 12nm away, on the edge of the third airspace ring at a class Bravo airport for example.

It’s important to have that uniformity because it helps you stay consistent and having everything even makes it easier to remember where things should be. Your goal should be that you have everything so uniform, you could walk away from your device for 30 seconds and know exactly where everything will be when you come back.

Second important thing is to make sure legs two and six turn so that legs three and seven are the same length. Draw a line between legs two and six, if it’s on an angle then you are not doing it right. You need to be able to have the option extend those legs if you need to make room for an emergency, spacing, a slower performance aircraft, etc. Without that uniformity then you run the risk of it becoming out of hand and loosing control over the airspace, stretching out spacing overall, taking aircraft further from final and the airport.

So I’m both constantly checking to see if, one, legs two and six turn at the same spot, and two, maintain 10nm spacing between the final leg and fourth leg.

It looks like it’s a lot of work, but it’s not once you get used to using it and it can greatly reduce your workload.

Runway Colours and the weather

We are all familiar with the green, orange and red colours a runway may have depending on the weather. What is important to understand here is that they always show green, orange or red no matter what the weather may be. You can have a 6 knot headwind, one side will be red and the opposite side green. Do not let this stop you from landing on the “Red Runway”.

Before landing, always remember to check the current weather and plan your green or red runway accordingly. Use unicom, send and request traffic advisories and land on the most appropriate runway.

Duck!

You know the common phrase one yells when they see something flying towards someone else, “Duck!”, which lets the other person know they need to move under something or to avoid being hit by whatever is coming there way.

Your friend, let’s call him Bob, sees that you are about to get pelted with a ball. Bob yells “Duck!”, you move and the ball avoids hitting you. Thank? you, Bob.

So you’re flying, under the control of approach maintaining an assigned of 11,000ft. There’s a mountain peak directly ahead at 11,500ft, 7nm, 6nm, Bob your co-pilot sees the aircraft and alerts you to move, 5nm away now. Do you, A, immediately move out of the way of the mountain then request an altitude change or, B, request an altitude change and maintain heading and altitude.

Common sense says, Duck, move out the way, Bob knows what he’s talking about. You wouldn’t fly your 135 passengers into the hill, you’d move. Bob wouldn’t need clearance to warn you about the ball that’s about to whack you in the dome either, he just yells “Duck!” and you move

You don’t need clearance from approach to move from a terrain conflict like that. Check your surroundings and avoid the conflict, request an altitude change, live another day.

Putzing in from South America

A good tip for radar is to figure out a safe MVA (Minimum Vectoring Altitude) for any part of your area you aren’t planning to use. If MMMX and KMIA are the two big airports for the day, and you’re at MMMX, you’re obviously gonna figure out the route to get traffic from the northeast down through the mountains to final.

But what about when you get someone putzing in from South America? If you don’t have a whole arrival route in from the south, fly them over anything down there at that safe MVA, and then descend them where you know it’s safe.

There shouldn’t be any part of your airspace where you don’t feel confident flying someone over.

The B777 GE90 Engine

GE90’s larger variants (-110B and -115B) built exclusively for Boeing’s largest 777 models (777-200LR and 777-300ER). Built by General Electric, the GE90 engine first entered service with British Airways in November 1995.

During certification testing in 2002, the GE90-115B engine set a world-record 127,900 lbs. of thrust. It eclipsed the engine’s previous Guinness world record of 122,965 lbf (546.98 kN). On November 10, 2017, its successor, the GE9X, reached a higher record test thrust of 134,300 lbf (597 kN) in Peebles, Ohio.

Infinite Flight is developing a rework for the B777 series, here’s a collection of the latest WIP images.