“You never know what’s around the corner. It could be everything. Or it could be nothing. You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you’ve climbed a mountain.” – Tom Hiddleston
Faster aircraft often overtake slower on the same routing. This is usually accomplished by flying at higher or lower altitudes. This is called vertical separation.
In Infinite Flight you should always be maintaining 1000ft of vertical separation at all times. At cruise you should look to have 5nm or more of horizontal separation. You can check your distance from the aircraft around you on their data tag above their aircraft, use this as a guide.
Reference: 10.3 of the ATC Manual
We know that you all are dealing with a lot of real life obligations at this time due to the coronavirus pandemic. We would like to express that our thoughts and prayers are with those who have caught the virus, to all of those working to help those that are sick, and to those that are helping within our communities around the world. Grocery store workers, public officials, nurses,
We all agreed to work together to spread awareness but we will be serving as an escape from the news throughout the outbreak. Here is an infographic on how to wash your hands.
Go to who.int for more information on COVID-19.
Stay safe, stay home, wash your hands and work together. For all those that are working for you to
keep you safe and to those at higher risk, family members and friends, think of them and stay home.
Tag us and @infiniteflight in a post using the hashtag #StayHomeWithInfiniteFlight while
you’re at home using Infinite Flight, and we’ll repost some of the best to our story.
This is a joint statement from the following people.
ATC Education Group Manager, Editor, Writer
Worldwide Magazine Founder & Editor
British Airways Virtual President
Alaska Air Virtual CEO, infiniteflight_17
American Virtual President
Infinite Flight General Aviation Club President
Air France KLM Virtual President
Aeromexico Virtual CEO
Infinite Flight Aviation Experts (IFAE) Owner and Founder
Aloha Virtual CEO
Delta Virtual VA Manager
Virgin Virtual Group CEO
Aer Lingus VA CEO
Virtual Airshow Council CEO
Infinite Flight Gulf Cooperation CEO
Learning how to fly in the traffic pattern work is essential to being a good pilot. Infinite Flight just came out with new video tutorial outlining how to fly in the pattern and the different legs of the pattern. Check the video out here.
It’s a very basic skill but one that some don’t understand, which is understandable. When I first started flying it took me a long time to just memorize the names for each leg, might as well have been written in French.
It always feels good to be the man, to be the one who was able to control everything by themselves. No help. Had it under control no problem, they get all the congratulations. That’s not how controlling works.
Controlling is not tennis, it’s a team sport. You work as a team to provide the best service possible. If someone says that they’d like to help, let them help.
The procedures we use in Infinite Flight are mainly based off of those used in the United States. If the tower does not give you an instruction, you should not wait for one. Leave the runway at the next available taxiway and then wait for further instructions:
4?3?20. Exiting the Runway After Landing
The following procedures must be followed after landing and reaching taxi speed.
a. Exit the runway without delay at the first available taxiway or on a taxiway as instructed by ATC. Pilots must not exit the landing runway onto another runway unless authorized by ATC. At airports with an operating control tower, pilots should not stop or reverse course on the runway without first obtaining ATC approval.
b. Taxi clear of the runway unless otherwise directed by ATC. An aircraft is considered clear of the runway when all parts of the aircraft are past the runway edge and there are no restrictions to its continued movement beyond the runway holding position markings. In the absence of ATC instructions, the pilot is expected to taxi clear of the landing runway by taxiing beyond the runway holding position markings associated with the landing runway, even if that requires the aircraft to protrude into or cross another taxiway or ramp area. Once all parts of the aircraft have crossed the runway holding position markings, the pilot must hold unless further instructions have been issued by ATC.
Reference: 4-3-20 of the FAR AIM
In the METAR for an airport you may see VRB or V listed in the meteorologic information. The definition can vary by country, but there is a standardized definition put out by the International Civil Aviation Organization.
V: More than 6 km/h and variation less than 180°. Mean wind direction and variation. Annex 3, § 220.127.116.11:
“1) when the total variation is 60° or more and less than 180° and the wind speed is 6 km/h (3 kt) or more, such directional variations shall be reported as the two extreme directions between which the surface wind has varied”
E.g. 31015G27KT 280V350.
VRB: Less than 6 km/h or variation more than 180°. No mean wind direction. Annex 3, § 18.104.22.168:
“2) when the total variation is 60° or more and less than 180° and the wind speed is less than 6 km/h (3 kt), the wind direction shall be reported as variable with no mean wind direction; or
3) when the total variation is 180° or more, the wind direction shall be reported as variable with no mean wind direction”
You must send “continue taxi at your discretion” after sending the final progressive taxi instruction, per the ATC manual. It’s a major thing I see constantly with new ATC trainees in training.
And you can send the command immediately after the last progressive taxi instruction, you don’t need to wait till they have reached their intended location.
For example, you tell them to “turn right on the next taxiway”, which is a hold short point for a runway. Right after you send that command feel free to send “continue taxi at your discretion” because they must follow the turn right instruction.
References: 5.2.2 of the ATC Manual
Typically found at heights greater than 20,000 feet (6,000 meters), cirrus clouds are composed of ice crystals that originate from the freezing of supercooled water droplets. Cirrus generally occur in fair weather and point in the direction of air movement at their elevation. Cirrus generally occur in fair weather and point in the direction of air movement at their elevation.
Infinite Flight did offer a sneak peak at their development of clouds in the sim, seen here. The first iteration will Cirrus clouds.
Reference: University of Illinois
This Monday, we had an AMA “Ask Me Anything” with Chris Shaffer where the members in our Workshop got a chance to ask him questions.
What got you into aviation? What was your dream job growing up?
I have always liked aviation. I wanted to go into the Air Force and fly planes but apparently they don’t let 6’6″ insulin dependent people fly multi million dollar aircraft. Nobody at the time told me there was other stuff to do like ATC. So I got a job like normal people. I actually wanted to be an architect but I had a computer science class in high school in addition to drafting and I guess I liked it more.
Is everything in Texas bigger?
Not really in size but in scale. Trucks, cities, traffic, burgers. If its not big its not Texas size. Our trucks have “Texas Edition” whatever that means. I am originally from Ohio and moved to Texas and am happy with the move.
What is your favorite aspect of Infinite Flight? Essentially do you like flying or controlling more?
My favorite part is the community and being able to fly with others. I’ve learned so much from everyone else that it makes me sound like I know what I am talking about.
I love controlling. There something very black and white about having a plane and seeing where I want the planes to go and the satisfaction when a plan comes together
How did you get into coding websites such as fpltoif.com and the like?
It started out as a side gig for me that just grew over time. I used to coach high school Lacrosse in Texas and the team needed a website. Then the league needed some stuff and then when I found Infinite Flight it was more of a self serving need. I wanted to do a flight using real world stuff and I didn’t like going to all these different places to get the data I needed so I made it. I let other controllers use it and they gave feedback and it grew from there.
I’ve been coding since 1995 so I just keep busy and learn as new languages come out.
What tips would you have for someone just getting into coding?
Don’t just copy and paste code from google that you find to make your project work. Spend the time to understand why it is working. I will use some code and inspiration but often will rewrite code in my own style. That way I know 100% that it is how I wanted it. You will be surprised how many modules out there that you find online are riddles with security flaws. If you do your own you know whats happening.
Also don’t stress about what language. The concepts are the same across the board. A loop is a loop, you just need the syntax which is the easy part.
What was your reaction/how did it feel when you had first joined the moderator team for Infinite Flight?
It was a surprise for sure. I was working my way up the ranks in IFATC and just wanted to help out wherever I could when I got the message asking if I would be interested. Then I logged in and saw the number of messages in the moderator inbox. The rest is history.
What’s the hardest part of moderating the community?
The hardest part is that we have users from all over the world and of all age groups. Sometimes it takes a minute to re-read posts multiple times to fully understand what the user is trying to ask. Sometimes there may be a language gap where some gets lost in translation. Then you have to put yourself in their shoes. They are new, they dont have years of experience on the forum, so I have to keep that in mind.
The other element that is hard is that our community is popular and I would love to let some of the topics through but it just doesnt fit with our community.
What is your dream meal?
Dream meal… Give me a steak with some steak fries and garlic bread. HA you thought I was going to say Whataburger didn’t you.
Airbus or Boeing? Why?
Honestly I really don’t have a preference. I have found that Boeing typically has a smoother take off and landing and with boeing you have a greater chance of being on an older aircraft with some nice old comfy seats (MD80 RIP). The newer airbus are nice and may have more passenger bells and whistles I guess. As long as I make it where I am going and have some good views along the way I am happy.
Which is better; copy/paste from Stack Overflow or spend 3 hours trying to figure it out yourself?
Depends if you have three hours to figure it out or not. Sometimes time is of the essence so copy works great. But often times I will end up going over what I copied later to review it more.
What was the hardest challenge you faced when making fpltoif.com?
The biggest hurdle was that it needed to be web based instead of an app in order to interface nicely with SimBrief and following their terms of service.
The other big learning curve was with the fact that what worked for one country didnt work for others. Reading a chart for the US was one way but then UK had to do things differently. Some airports just have one SID/STAR some have dozens with multiple routes. People assume a STAR is just one route but it has branches like a lightning bolt so the possibilities get exponentially complicated.
You’re extremely active around the IFC and Infinite Flight. You even coded a FPL website. Have you ever thought about pursuing a more aviation related career in real life as well?
At this point a change in career would be difficult for me. I really havent thought much of a change. I’m a developer at heart. Even if I had some office job I would try to code some excel macro or integration to make my life easier.
Why do you think you were voted as the “most strict moderator” in last years IFC awards?
I don’t see myself as strict as others. I’ve been more active this past year so maybe that is what people see. I just apply the rules.
What’s your least favorite topic on the IFC?
My least favorite topics are anything that starts with “Whats your most/least favorite plane/livery/airline/engine/rivet/etc” To me those do not encourage a discussion and are just rehashes of the same questions over and over. Thats why we kind of take a closer look when we see one.
What would you say was your greatest attribute is?
Really good question, really good. Everyone tells me that I am a very relaxed person. I would say that I am pretty calm. I have been through some stuff in my life ranging from medical stuff to layoffs to worse. A family friend passed away and before she passed she said “Nothing in life has any meaning until YOU assign it one”. I took this to heart and think back to things that happened to me. So I tend to apply this rule to every day life. If something happens I just deal with it and move on. It can always be worse and may be minuscule compared to what others are going through so its all relative. No sense in wasting energy on something that I cant control or has already passed.
If you could add one feature to Infinite Flight without any effort from anyone, what would it be?
Do I have to pick one?
As many as you want.
I would say airport ground lighting. I think its a gap and would really bring a lot to the sim. Hopefully the new graphics engines make it easier one day. Also I would love to see some more pilot education. Scenario on taking off and such or even an interactive tutorial on the user interface and HUD. I have a few sticky notes of ATC commands i’ve asked for over time.
What is so good about Whataburger?
Context: Chris loves WhataBurger.
It’s not the best burger out there. Its a Texas staple but its fresh. Its not sitting under a heat lamp and ready when you get there sort of thing. Its the same reason people like In-and-out. Whataburger has some great breakfast choices but mainly they have FREAKING HUGE drink cups.
Do you have any plans to improve fpltoif.com, even though in my opinion its a very good website now. But are you planning to add any new things to it?
I am working on a way to build your own plan for people who just want to input waypoints. Maybe some copy/paste from other places like flight plan database. The site has also turned into more of a third party IF database. I have liveries, random generator, and just added a mapping to find IFATC controllers. I have some other projects taking priority at the moment.
Where do you go, what do you do, and who are you with?
I’d love to go to the UK with my wife. Theres a lot of history that was not in the US textbooks. It sounds cheesy but as long as she is with me thats all I need. We have fun going to Home Depot.