When in doubt

If you are ever feeling uncomfortable and have any doubts of conflicts when departing, continue flying straight out on runway heading. Once you become more situationally aware of who is around you, start your turn to the left or right and avoid any conflicts that arise thereafter.

The key to being a good pilot is situational awareness!

Operation Definition

ATC Community Manager for Infinite Flight, Tyler Shelton on the definition of an ATC operation in Infinite Flight:

An operation is counted for each clearance issued. This includes tower takeoff and landing clearances along with approach clearances for the ILS and GPS which are worth more operations. A user can also gain an operation for aircraft serviced with radar vectors or flight following while working a radar facility.

You’ll find it most fun when you don’t count your operations daily, or weekly, or monthly, ect. but it’s good to know. Quality over quality!

The Brown Field Crash

In August of 2015, a crash occurred at San Diego’s Brown Field. Here’s a note from the The San Diego Tribune:

A Cessna 172M was piloted by Qualcomm executive Michael A Copeland. An experimental Sabreliner was piloted by Jeffrey Percy, with co-pilot James Hale and passengers Carlos Palos and John Kovach also on board.

Four of those in the Sabreliner were employees of military contractor BAE Systems, while Hale worked as a BAE contract employee.

The planes collided about a mile northeast of Brown Field Municipal Airport in Otay Mesa. Debris was scattered across brushy hillsides, and all five men were found dead amid the wreckage.

The NTSB said the probable cause of the accident was the local air traffic controller’s “failure to properly identify the aircraft in the (departure) pattern and to ensure control instructions provided to the intended Cessna on downwind were being performed before turning Eagle1 (the Sabreliner) into its path for landing.”

[…]

The report added that a contributing factor was the controller’s “incomplete situational awareness” when he took over communications from a trainee due to the high workload at the time of the accident.

A third factor was the inherent limitations to a long-standing FAA “see and avoid” concept of relying on pilots to keep each other in view.

One thing you can take away from this is, know your limitations.

When the workload started to build, the experienced man took over from the trainee at 10:59 a.m. He was in communications with nine aircraft on the ground and in the air — two more than he was personally comfortable with, he later told NTSB investigators.

At that point, the NTSB said, he should have handed off control of some aircraft or directed traffic away from Brown Field.

Due to the high workload, the controller lost the plot, lost control, as noted. I’d recommend watching this video from the NTSB, of the incident.

Second thing that could be taken away is that, the airplane on the inside, closest to the runway should have turned base first, then outside, to avoid conflicts. N1285U should have turned base before Eagle 1. All though it is very tragic as passengers and pilots lost their lives, something can always be taken away and learned from an event such as this.

Definition of a straight out departure

By RAH, Infinite Flight ATC Supervisor:

When flying on Infinite Flight, with ‘Straight Out Dept.’ in the current ATIS, aircraft are expected to maintain runway heading until no conflict exists; after which, departing aircraft can proceed on course.

This is a more simplified version of what is used in the real world. Multiple Infinite Flight ATC Supervisors commented that it was simplified due to the complexity and different variables that come into play if things such as Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), minimum offsets based on runway compositions, ect. for example, were brought into play.

References
1. 7.1.6 of the ATC Manual (PDF), retrieved on June 28, 2019.

A-N-C

“Aviate, Navigate, Communicate” (A-N-C),

  • Aviate – Maintain control of the aircraft
  • Navigate – Know where you are and where you intend to go
  • Communicate – Let someone know your plans and needs

Begone birds

Via the Pigeon Control Resource Centre.

According to manufacturers’ claims strobe lights can be an effective bird control product with a wide variety of birds including pigeons, swallows, starlings, crows, waterfowl and blackbirds making the product extremely versatile.

So not only do your strobes alert traffic, they also can ward off birds. There is around 13,000 bird strikes annually in the US alone.

Turn off your strobes, oh wait

Some General Aviation Aircraft in Infinite Flight do not have a rotating/flashing beacon. In the case that your Aircraft does not have a red rotating/flashing beacon, you would use the strobes. If its nighttime, you may not want to use the strobes so in that case you’d just use your nav and taxi lights as a means of identifying that your aircraft is on.

References
1. FAA: “Air Traffic Plans and Publications”. 4-3-23 from the original (PDF) on 2015-10-12.