Sponsor: AFKLM 3rd Year Anniversary Fly-Out

AIRFRANCE-KLM Virtual airline would like to invite you to it’s three-year anniversary celebratory event. To commemorate this major milestone, we will be hosting a massive fly out from our two main hubs – LFPG and EHAM – to several of the amazing destinations across the globe that are serviced by AFKLM. Join us.

Kobe Bryant, reminder of the dangers of VMC into IMC

I want to preface this with the fact that it is still unclear how Kobe Bryant, former NBA basketball player and future Hall of Famer, and 8 others died tragically in a helicopter crash Sunday in California. They were flying in was a Sikorsky S-76B helicopter. The NTSB is investigating the true cause of the crash but a common theory that has sparked interest around the world is the possibility that it could have been due to the pilots encountering adverse conditions, while flying under special VFR rules.

Here is an amazing recount of the incident by VASAviation, with ATC communications. Also, here is a recreation, using Google Earth, of the flight path and what the pilots may have seen.

A great resource to gain a better understanding of the dangers of flying VFR into IMC conditions is this video by FlightChops. He’s actually noted a statistical spike in views for that particular video since the crash. Here’s a few statistics to keep in mind.

  • Over 72% of VFR into IMC accidents are fatal versus 17% among other types of general aviation events.
  • The average VFR pilot had “178 seconds to live” upon entering instrument meteorological conditions.
  • Accidents by VFR pilots in IMC typically account only for a proportion of the total number of GA accidents, such occurrences account for 75% of weather related.

While there are many factors and influences that can cause pilots issues while in flight, weather is one of the most pervasive and prominent.

This served as a very stark reminder to pilots everywhere of the risks. Special VFR, what the helicopter was operating under, allow helicopters, because they are slower and easier to maneuver around weather, that says you can operate within an airports airspace as long as you can maintain clear of clouds and 1 mile of visibility. If you want to transit through an airport’s controlled airspace during weather below VFR minimums, you need to request SVFR.

References: “Flying VFR into IMC – a top KILLER of pilots – My close encounter” video by FlightChops, “Using Special VFR and Contact Approach” by Disciples of Flight, “Inadvertent Weather” by SKYbrary, “178 seconds to live”,

Putting aircraft at clearance altitude on base

As a radar controller, it’s best to try to make the pilot’s life easy by reducing their workload whenever possible.

One way you can do this is by having the aircraft at the altitude you intend on clearing them at, on base. So if you are going to clear at 3000ft MSL, have the aircraft at 3000ft MSL on base.

Now this isn’t always possible either due to terrain or a more rare case, to avoid conflicts with other aircraft in the area.

Doing so reduces the pilot’s workload because when you clear them they simply just need to change heading and intercept. Some controllers believe through experience that this may even decrease the chance the aircraft could go missed.

There Are No “Active Runways”

Aviate, communicate, navigate. Be the aircraft in the pattern that is situationally aware.

At a non-towered airport there is no controller to determine which runways are in use. There is no ATIS.

You have to determine which runway is the most suitable for landing. One, check the METAR, what are the winds doing. Two, where will you be parking, get a runway diagram of the airport open and plan out your exit and taxi to your parking spot. Three, most importantly, scan the traffic.

The runway colors in-app are guides, they are not gospel. It is up to you to make the decision, not a color predetermined by the computer.

You and your friend are kicking two footballs at a target

Same target, the only catch is that you can’t both hit that target at the same time. Which would you prefer?

Would you, A, alternate the speed at which you both kick the ball, one slow one fast, or would you, B, control who kicks the ball first and second?

That’s essentially the same decision you make at an airport with intersecting runways, when you choose between using a command like “I’ll call your base” versus a speed command.

Due to the fact the runways intersect, each aircraft has the same target, the two runways that intersect. It’s your job in that scenario to control the pattern so those two aircraft don’t land simultaneously, remove any conflicts. Using commands like “I’ll call your base”, “extend downwind, or simply “turn base” without a “I’ll call your base” helps control the pattern. You ensure, like in option B, that one will be pretty much be guaranteed to reach the target before the other.

With speed commands, it’s more up to chance. And due to the fact that Tower can’t issue specific speed commands it’s even more of a 50/50. What is considered slowest practical in a TBM-930 is much slower then what would be considered in a B737.

Speed commands are an amazing tool but don’t rely too heavily on them to get the job done, in this scenario.

AMA with Jason Rosewell

This Saturday, we had an AMA “Ask Me Anything” with Jason Rosewell where the members in our Workshop got a chance to ask him questions.

He is the creator and host of Flight Cast, and Digital Marketing specialist for Infinite Flight. Here are all of the questions from our members and answers from Jason.


What would be a feature/aircraft that you would like to implement the most? Not asking what is coming next, but what feature you think would be a great addition to Infinite Flight?

I would LOVE to see float planes. This would of course require some pretty heavy lifting with realistic water so we’re a long ways off but that’s my dream!

What led you to Infinite Flight and eventually the community?

I literally searched for flight simulators in the App Store and started using Infinite Flight. You can ask my wife how insanely frustrated I was at first, because of course I went straight for an airliner and knew nothing about speeds or landing configuration. From there, I joined a facebook group for an Alaska VA (just very randomly and they were super nice people). Eventually live mode came along and I became IFATC. I made some friends, and realized that there was a huge audience if I were to start a podcast about an app which I had grown to love.

How much has your experience creating and hosting Flight Cast shaped the way you create the media for Infinite Flight on the blog, social media, etc?

One of the things that led Laura and Philippe to first invite me to San Francisco to do a live podcast, then to join the team was the branding I gave the podcast. As you know by now, they like to hire people to the team who have already demonstrated a love and passion for what they’re doing. If you compare the FlightCast stuff with what we have now you’ll definitely see the similarities.

Having this experience with my day job, and then Flight Cast gave me the tools I need every day at Infinite Flight.

How often do you fly in Infinite Flight? Any favorite aircraft or routes in particular?

This is an embarrassing answer. With getting my PPL and work/family/life, I basically only use Infinite Flight when I have to for work. I really wish I had more time to devote to it. Having said that, I fly the 172 a lot these days to visualize procedures before I’m in the airplane.

How is the “office culture” of the Infinite Flight team? Since the team is relatively small, does it vary from person to person?

Office culture… well, it’s fun, as you might imagine. It has the regular challenges of many people with varying opinions and wants. As a team, we get along very well and we tease each other. It’s a good place to work.

Infinite Flight Toronto meetup?

Would love to do a Toronto meetup! Might still do the East Coast US meetup you and I talked about, possibly in September. More on that later. Maybe we can see a Toronto meet next Summer.

What is your favorite thing about the community?

My favourite thing about the community is that I believe it adds a (for the most part) very friendly and passionate ray of light to the sim community in general. You can see this when you attend or see footage of meet-ups. As most people know, the sim community can be a bit savage. Sometimes IF people are no different, but the sheer size of ours is really something to be commended. The sim world is noticing. When we sign up for events like FlightSimExpo or the event in Cosford, the organizers are excited that us and “our crew” are coming.

What is the biggest challenge you face while an update is around the corner?

The biggest challenge for updates is managing expectations. I do my best with help from people like Misha and Philippe (my two biggest thought challengers) to be proactive with communication. You really can’t make everyone happy all the time, but I do my best.

The question I have today is, how do you expect infinite flight to progress as a better mobile sim than the rest of the competition than it already is?

Hmm this question is broad, but I’ll try to be concise. Obviously we’d like to be the best. “Best” will be different for different people since it’s subjective. I think Project Metal is a great step in the right direction for making sure we can stay competitive. The “cool features” we mentioned in the blog post are real things that will happen. I think that already having a solid multiplayer and ATC system is a massive leg up on the competition.

What experience do you get from attending events, for example Cosford, Oshkosh.

I love attending our events and meeting our community members. When you work on a remote team it can be really hard to find a connection with the team. Not only do we get to hang out together at community events, but we get to learn about you folks on a more personal level. It’s fun, and the fuel to keep going when people try to tell you how crap you are at communicating the company’s plans on the forum.

What is your favourite thing about attending those events?

Wine.

I was wondering, what was your favorite event to attend with the Infinite Flight team and why?

They’re all awesome, but if we’re specifically talking about “with the infinite flight team”, it has to be Oshkosh. You and I both know it’s pretty hard to top that. A bunch of avgeeks hanging out in avgeek heaven. Can’t beat it!

What is your favorite part of a feature development? (For example: The announcement for the beginning of the development for the feature, the progress you get to see it makes as it makes it’s way closer to release, etc)

My fav part by far is sharing works in progress with you folks. The most epic one was, of course the Premiere with the surprise A350 entering the frame. I had just finished a flight lesson at my airport, and rushed into the office to open my laptop with 60 seconds on the countdown. Just awesome.

What is your favorite part about community meetups? (Such as Flight Sim Expo, AirVenture at Oshkosh, etc)

You can see answers similar in other threads but getting to meet you folks, making new friends, and hanging with my team is the best. Also, getting to do airplane things at events like Oshkosh.

How long you have been learning how to code and when did you start and why you want to learn code?

Hey Gabe. I started to learn HTML, JavaScript, CSS, and PHP (sorry Cameron) when I was about 17 or 18 years old (I’m 40 this June). I’m all self taught (with the help of StackOverflow of course!) so anything I do is due to real world experience or self study. I started because it was interesting to me. I was on a dial-up internet connection at the time.

In what ways has Infinite Flight had an influence both socially and perspective-wise on you when it comes to life in general?

This is actually an easy one that I’ve come to realize over about the last 6 months… It has taught me to listen more. Everyone has an opinion, and often the more quickly we share it, the sillier we end up looking. I actually have an idea for either a blog post or forum post that talks about this. Having a little humility is always a good thing too and I’m sure you’ve seen me say this a few times over the years. The community has helped me (try to) practice these things. Like anyone, I’ve been guilty of looking like a sarcastic ass, so I’m always working on that.

What kind of struggles do you, as part of the outreach team, find most tedious to wade through with the flight sim community at large? Do you feel that IF still has a problem when it comes to being taken seriously?

This one is actually getting better! We have huge support from FSElite which has been a result of us really developing great working relationships and friendships with the editors and writers. They even had writers that made a fuss about Calum covering us at first, and we were able to personally win a few of them over at Cosford last year. Of course the more IF becomes more amazing the easier this is. The most tedious thing doesn’t actually come from the general sim community; it comes from within our own community from folks who want more say into what happens with developments. Or people who think we’re not transparent enough…. or, god forbid, assume that a subscription purchase is the same as owning shares (that’s when the lord is truly testing me).

Expansion has its growing pains. Do you see the team having a need for additional people/support as some of its loftier goals come closer to fruition?

Sadly, I don’t have an answer to this. Expansion is hard, and it’s not really my department.

What’s your favourite type of red wine?

Malbec. It’s from a grape that grows in Argentina (thought it does grow elsewhere) and it’s delicious. I’ve only found one that I won’t drink though: Zweigelt. Vile stuff.

Being Canadian, how often do you say sorry every day?

Sorry, Marc. I’m not sure. I’ve never counted.

You’ve just released a blog article about Project Metal which Infinite Flight is undertaking to rework the graphics engine and open up the possibility for more features in IF. What are you most excited for pending the completion of Project Metal?

I think new lighting will be REALLY cool and something our users have wanted for a long time. This will go a long way in helping with that.

How does Infinite Flight plan to increase its compatibility with Virtual Airlines? Currently, it’s limited to the forum. Are there any plans for in-app comparability that you can tell us?

I don’t have an answer for you on this one. We’re a small team and although we do have a huge VA community, it’s such a niche thing that it’s hard to pivot development to that. I think it would still be cool if a 3rd party developer made something to help with this.

We all know how the community can have its “good days” and “bad days,” for lack of better terms. One instance when we saw this was when it was revealed that the A350 wouldn’t have realistic sounds coming with it. So, my question – How does Infinite Flight adapt to the needs/wants of its Community and user base as a whole, even if they’re not on the Community, when a certain feature is/isn’t announced and they react?

This is tough, obviously. We do what we can but we’ll never (ever) make everyone happy. Sounds are super tricky to implement and very time consuming to get them realistic. It can be a person’s full time job, and we just don’t have the resources for that (to use your example). We do our best to use a blend of what we think the community wants, how it’ll benefit us in terms of allowing us to continue forward, and development restrictions. It’s my job to help communicate that in a meaningful way.

In the distant future, do you think Infinite Flight will be expanding on the events//meetup locations into the Oceania/Asia region or mainly be focusing on Europe/NA regions?

Very hard to say. We might try doing a few more events with a limited staff presence. It’s time and resource-intensive to do events. Even a team like X-Plane sends a very limited team with a minimal setup. Doing our full booth is a lot of time and money. We’ve seen some benefits to doing this of course, one of which is a huge investment into the community. Sorry I don’t have a better answer for you right now. Fingers crossed!

What’s your dream meal?

My dream meal… dang, that’s a tough one. If I had to choose one, it would be really great Thai food. There’s a place called Lemongrass in Hamilton, Ontario (where my wife is from) that probably makes me the most excited of any food. But I love Mexican, Southern US BBQ, Indian, Japanese sushi… would probably be next in line.


If you’d like to join in discussions such as this with like-minded people like yourself and experts in the field, to learn and improve, I’d encourage you to sign up for our Workshop. Upcoming guests

Poor posture

If I have poor posture at home but good posture in public, why?

Why not perform to your best and follow procedures when someone is not looking the same way you would if someone was looking.

Bad habits like over-controlling, excessive instructions, etc. are all just that, bad habits. Just because no one is looking does not mean that you should perform subpar.

Perfect performance is not traffic dependent.

Departure Etiquette

Picture yourself in this scenario: It’s Friday night at London Heathrow. Ground is packed, each runway has a queue of 10 departing aircraft and approach is swamped with arrivals. How can you help yourself and the controller to make your departure easier, and most importantly, ghost-free? Here’s how:

  • When taxiing to the runway on a parallel taxiway and you have another aircraft next to you, don’t race each other to the threshold at 35kts. This will cause an increase to the workload of the controller. Let the other aircraft go first, it will only delay your departure by a few minutes.
  • Always stay on the ground frequency until you are second in line to depart. This will keep the tower frequency clear of clutter. Don’t switch right after you have recieved your taxi clearance. Ground may not be done with you.
  • Request take off once. Do not spam the controller, he can see you. He may have tight arrivals coming in or could be planning a crossing on your runway. While you are waiting, do not loose focus and start doing other things. In peak traffic time everything must be done expeditiously. So be aware and ready to depart the moment you recieve a clearance.
  • Once you have been cleared please do not take your time. When it is not busy then sure, you can do things in a more relaxed way. But in peak times you need to move. Even though rolling departures may not be in Atis, please try your best to do so to make your controller’s life easier.
  • Once you are airborne and stable, there’s no need to request a frequency change, unless you can see the controller has really forgotten about you. You will be given a frequency change or handed over to the appropriate frequency.

If you do this then there is almost zero chance you will be ghosted and you will make your departure faster as well!

IFATC Newsletter – January 2020 Edition

The monthly Infinite Flight ATC Newsletter’s third edition, the January 2020 edition, has just been released this week. Three posts from the ATC Education Group were featured in this month’s edition, you can have a read of the entire newsletter here.

It’s a great way to get to know more about controlling and the Infinite Flight ATC team, we highly recommend reading it.

Program your new approach right away

Sometimes it’s easy to forget even the simplest things, even though they may be the most important of things to do.

Say you are inbound to Philadelphia International and are tuned to the ILS for runway 09R. You contact approach, and halfway through, approach switches you to 09L, on an ILS approach.

Assuming you were already tuned to the ILS frequency for 09R, what you should do as soon as you can is get the simple yet important thing out of the way and tune to the ILS frequency for 09L.

Reduce your workload and get the simple things out of the way so you’re not overwhelmed later.