Top 10 Local Training Airports

February, 28, 2021 by ToasterStroodie

There are two different types of training done by the IFATC Training Team: Local Training, and Radar Training. Local Training is the first type of training an IFATC candidate will go through in their IFATC career. They’ll be trained on the basics of ground and tower management with a focus on pattern work and inbound integration. 

Depending on the trainer, local training can cover three different scenarios: single runway, parallel runway, and intersecting runway operations. Once a trainee demonstrates proficiency in local traffic management, they will be passed off to their practical test. 

Below are the 10 best local training airports based on my personal experience as a trainer, in no particular order. 

Single Runway Airports

  1. NZAA. Auckland is a great airport to get started with the basics. With a pretty straight-forward layout where things mostly flow in one direction, it’s really helpful to get the basics of ground management, as well as basic sequencing. Lots of nearby airports make it easy to work with basic inbounds as well.
  2. RCKH. Kaohsiung is probably the best for the basics, in my opinion. It has a simple layout on the ground, making it ideal to teach basic ground management, like simultaneous pushback conflicts. With only one runway, it’s an easy place to demonstrate the basics of sequencing and pattern work.  

Parallel Runway Airports

  1. KAUS. Austin is a great airport to introduce parallel runways. With a decent ground layout for taxi and pushback conflicts, as well as plenty of surrounding airports to spawn in and fly inbound, it’s a great introduction to parallel runway usage. 
  2. KDAL. In case KAUS isn’t your cup of tea, KDAL is a great substitute to KAUS. It offers the same teaching environment, with the exception of having inbounds being more consolidated. 
  3. KFAT. Fresno is a commonly used location among trainers, and it’s also frequently seen on tracking threads. While KFAT’s ground layout may not be the best to test and practice ground awareness, it’s a great airport to work with inbounds and pattern work, as well as transitions. 
  4. KFLL. Fort Lauderdale is another well-balanced airport. It may not have too many opportunities for ground incursions, and the potential inbound airports aren’t too overwhelming either. It’s a great “middle ground” for trainees during the parallel runway stages. 
  5. KLCK. Rickenbacker is another personal favorite. With an elevation of 744ft, KLCK is one that can really test a trainee’s transition abilities; not everything is at MSL or below 500ft MSL! Ground incursion opportunities are also aplenty, and there’s no shortage of spawn points for inbounds, making it a great opportunity to really test traffic management with parallels. 

Intersecting Runway Airports

  1. KPNE. Northwest Philadelphia airport is a small GA-focused airport that’s a great introduction to intersecting runway operations. With one runway that’s more GA focused and another runway that caters to smaller jets, it’s a great way to test management of GA and jet aircraft in the pattern, as well as learn how to use intersecting runways simultaneously.  
  2. KALB. Albany airport is the jack of all trades for intersecting runways, in my opinion. It serves as a perfect balance for ground management and intersecting runway pattern management, along with inbound integration. 
  3. KTTN. Trenton Mercer is a great airport to use for focusing on integrating inbounds in an intersecting runway layout. With very few spawn points on the ground, it’s all about perfecting the management of planes in the air. 
ToasterStroodie is a contributor for the IFATC Education Group. He is also an Infinite Flight Appeals Team member and IFATC Supervisor, Trainer and Tester.

Separation busts and ways to avoid them

February, 27, 2021 by Kyle Boas

Controlling Approach is like baking a cake, it’s all about building up the altitude layers to give you ease of mind. The number one rule of radar, never break separation.

6.2.1 — Terrain separation: aircraft must be provided with at least 1000ft AGL (above ground level) terrain clearance at all times.

6.2.2 — Aircraft separation: aircraft must be no closer than 3nm laterally or 1000ft vertically at all times (see 6.2.2.1 below).

Image 6.2.2.1 – Aircraft Separation

The entire training curriculum for Radar is centered around those two rules. Use vertical separation to your advantage, it is your best friend.

Have a plan. Stick to the plan. Be ready to adjust the plan. Be sure you’re ready to adjust the plan because you likely will have to. Keep it simple.

Create scenarios that will be predictable. If you have a good plan, you’d be able to close your eyes for 30 seconds and know where every aircraft is on the radar when you open them.

Be consistent. Consistent headings and altitude assignments go a long way. It’s the first thing I’d teach any new radar controller. If you’re consistent you’ll have a lower likelihood of becoming surprised and will have more time to worry about other things.

Don’t panic. It’s wasted energy.

Try to get in a rhythm. Once you have the plan and have executed it, you’ll find it easier to scan the field and get in a rhythm. Check here, then check here, then check here, clear an aircraft, start over. Your consistent altitude and heading choices you implemented will make it feel like you’re on autopilot.

Kyle Boas is the Founder of the IFATC Education Group. He is also an IFATC Supervisor and former Trainer.

Your Accomplishments #1

February, 26, 2021 by Kyle Boas
Comments

One of the favorite day’s of the week for our team and Slack community was Friday, because on Friday’s we got to share what we learned and accomplished that week.

I’d send out a @channel command then a stream of positivity poured out as people shared what they were able to get done that week.

Now we’re brining that to our blog! We’re looking forward to hearing what achieve and we’ll keep this going every Friday.

In the comments below, it doesn’t need to be aviation or Infinite Flight related if you want, let us know what you learned and accomplished this week. We’re looking forward to hearing from all of you!

Kyle Boas is the Founder of the IFATC Education Group. He is also an IFATC Supervisor and former Trainer.

Absolute Ceiling vs. Service Ceiling

February, 25, 2021 by Luca Caviness

Also called Coffin Corner, the Absolute Ceiling is the height above sea level where the aircraft can climb no higher due to 1) no excess of power and 2) only one speed that allows a steady and level flight.

The Service Ceiling is the maximum altitude at which the aircraft can maintain a specified rate of climb (often 500 feet/minute). This is typically set in order to provide a safety margin below the aircraft’s Absolute Ceiling.

Luca Caviness is a writer for the IFATC Education Group and an IFATC Officer and Tester. He is also a real-world student pilot.

Top 10 Radar Training Airports

February, 24, 2021 by TaipeiGuru

Radar certification training in Infinite Flight is no small undertaking, as trainees must demonstrate proficiency in various objectives and pass two tests before unlocking the officer rank. Terrain separation management is a crucial aspect of any radar controller’s skillset; for this reason, trainees are asked to practice at airports with varying levels of difficulty to display their knowledge and planning competence. Countless airports worldwide are suitable for this purpose, but below are ten of the locations that I believe every trainee should experience as they seek to control radar on the Expert Server.

KMFR: Located on the west coast of the US, Medford airport and the surrounding terrain proves to be an excellent training ground for those aiming to perfect their planning ability. With many procedures and nearby airports, KMFR is a popular choice for trainees to hone their skills before their practical test.

KMHK: It can be beneficial to revisit the basics without unneeded pressure, which is where Manhattan Regional comes in. A minimal amount of terrain and an abundance of local fields make KMHK the perfect place to practice arrival sequencing and pattern management without the added stress of terrain awareness and avoidance.

SBGL: .Rio de Janeiro’s marvelous procedures allow controllers to guide pilots above Brazil’s gorgeous landscape into this underrated airport. Trainers may activate runway 15 alongside runway 10 as an extra challenge, forcing trainees to get creative about managing intersecting runways while navigating the terrain.

KYKM: ifatc.org is a fantastic resource, but successful radar controllers must be able to plan for terrain without it. Yakima includes a considerable yet manageable amount of terrain and provides a unique opportunity for trainees to practice using approach charts, VFR sectionals, and even hand-flying to scout the layout of the area.

YSCB: The hills near Canberra Airport are mild, allowing trainees to dip their toes into working with terrain without feeling overwhelmed. YSCB has historically been a popular beginner/intermediate airport and continues to be used by trainers and trainees alike to this day.

OAKB: Arguably one of the most revered (and feared) airports, Kabul’s 3.5° glideslope adds a unique element to the ILS approach. Trainees are warned to avoid the towering peaks and pay attention to the increased ground speeds associated with high elevation fields.

SKBO: As the point-merge method of controlling gains popularity within IFATC, a similar trend can be noticed among the curriculums of the Training Team. Bogota’s fabulous STARs and parallel runways offer trainees a chance to perfect their point-merge talents before taking on locations such as Tokyo Haneda and Istanbul on Expert.

CYVR: The view of the Canadian Rockies and the parallel runways are two selling points for Vancouver’s airport. Whether the goal is practicing parallel approaches or hosting a mass fly-in, CYVR is sure to meet the trainee’s needs with its variety of procedures and dozens of nearby starting airports.

LFPG: .Working as center is a pivotal aspect of radar training. As such, many elect to practice traffic flow and separation management at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport, where controllers are kept busy by the four sprawling runways and diverse array of procedures.

SCEL: Situated just to the west of the Andes Mountains, Santiago is often regarded as an advanced training location with its terrain and parallel runway operations presenting a substantial challenge for those who attempt it. Trainees who successfully control SCEL with minimal errors can rest easy, knowing that they are well-prepared for the practical exam.

TaipeiGuru is a contributor for the IFATC Education Group. He is an IFATC Supervisor and Trainer.

Coffin Corner

February, 23, 2021 by Luca Caviness

Coffin Corner occurs at an aircraft’s Absolute Ceiling, where the aircraft can neither slow down without stalling nor speed up without exceeding the aircraft’s maximum operating speed. In other words, this is where the stall speed is equal to the max operating speed. It is the only speed, at that certain altitude, that allows a steady and level flight.

Luca Caviness is a writer for the IFATC Education Group and an IFATC Officer and Tester. He is also a real-world student pilot.

ATC Schedule: 22-28 Feb 2021

February, 22, 2021 by Tyler Shelton

IFATC Schedule
ATC_Schedule_


Region changes will occur
around 0600Z as the previous region’s activity comes to an end.


FEATURED AIRPORTS:

Monday:

Nellis AFB* (KLSV), Hill AFB (KHIF), Davis Monthan AFB (KDMA), Buckley AFB (KBKF), Travis AFB (KSUU), Holloman (KHMN), Joint Base San Antonio (KSKF), Luke AFB (KLUF), Mountain Home (KMUO)

Featured Theme: Military

Note about GA Day by Infinite Flight

Infinite Flight’s newest event GA Day will take place on the first Monday each month! Be on the lookout for our next general aviation event coming soon.


Tuesday:

HUB: Cairo* (HECA)
Destinations: Alexandria (HEBA), Sharm el-Sheikh (HESH), Amman (OJAI), Khartoum (HSSS), Tripoli (HLLM), Jeddah* (OEJN), Larnaca (LCLK)

Featured Airline: Egyptair


Wednesday:

HUB: Panama City Tocumen* (MPTO)
Destination: San Jose (MROC), Cancun (MMUN), Havana (MUHA), Santo Domingo (MDSD), Guatemala City (MGGT), Caracas (SVMI), Medellin (SKRG), Sint Maarten* (TNCM)

Featured Airline: Copa


Thursday:

HUB: Budapest* (LHBP)
Destinations: Bari (LIBD), Dortmund (EDLW), Gothenburg (ESGG), Lviv (UKLL), Sarajevo (LQSA), Skopje (LWSK), Tirana (LATI), Burgas (LBBG), Corfu (LGKR)

Featured Airline: Wizz Air


Friday: To Be Announced


Saturday:

HUB: Keflavik* (BIKF)
Destinations: Oslo (ENGM), London Gatwick (EGKK), Amsterdam* (EHAM), Paris-Charles de Gaulle (LFPG), Boston* (KBOS), Newark (KEWR), Toronto (CYYZ), Glasgow (EGPF)

Featured Airline: Icelandair


Sunday:

IFATC at Home

IFATC members may choose which airports to open only in the country they represent. ATC is encouraged to open their home airports, though they may open any airport they’d like in their country.

NOTAM // IFATC at Home Topic Rules

Individual IFATC at Home topics are no longer allowed.

On Wednesday, February 24th, a wiki IFATC at Home topic will be posted with a specific airport format for IFATC members to follow. Controllers wishing to post the airport they intend to open along with field information may do so in a comment. A TL3, Moderator, or Staff member will then insert that information into the main topic body.
This centrally located IFATC at Home topic will serve as a HUB for pilots to review all airports intended to be staffed while also reducing forum clutter. Thanks for your participation!


*denotes airports that must not be opened by controllers in the Specialist or Officer check ride phase.

Tyler Shelton is the ATC Community Manager for Infinite Flight. He is also a real-world civilian air traffic controller with the FAA assigned to Harrisburg International Airport [KMDT].

Singular “they” and gender-inclusive language guidelines we follow

February, 21, 2021 by Kyle Boas

We were reminded by this great post and conversation on the Infinite Flight Community Forum about the importance of using gender-inclusive language, in regards to the singular pronouns and how to properly address people.

A great outline for how we write here is outlined by the Associated Press:

They, them, their — In most cases, a plural pronoun should agree in number with the antecedent: The children love the books their uncle gave them.They/them/their is acceptable in limited cases as a singular and-or gender-neutral pronoun, when alternative wording is overly awkward or clumsy. However, rewording usually is possible and always is preferable. Clarity is a top priority; gender-neutral use of a singular they is unfamiliar to many readers. We do not use other gender-neutral pronouns such as xe or ze…

Arguments for using they/them as a singular sometimes arise with an indefinite pronoun(anyone, everyone, someone) or unspecified/unknown gender(a person, the victim, the winner)…

In stories about people who identify as neither male nor female or ask not to be referred to as he/she/him/her: Use the person’s name in place of a pronoun, or otherwise reword the sentence, whenever possible. If they/them/their use is essential, explain in the text that the person prefers a gender-neutral pronoun. Be sure that the phrasing does not imply more than one person…

Merriam-Webster made “they” word of the year in 2019 and has since given it’s blessing to use “they” as a singular pronoun, whereas it has originally been used only as a plural pronoun previously.

We use a lot of hypotheticals in our writing to explain certain situations, we may alternate between many different pronouns (he/she/they). And like what the Associated Press mentioned, will try to reword the sentence when possible to use names and titles as opposed to using “they”.

We are delighted that more inclusive language is getting more widely adopted as time passes and we would encourage anyone to add this language into their lexicon.

Kyle Boas is the Founder of the IFATC Education Group. He is also an IFATC Supervisor and former Trainer.

AMA with Drummer

February, 20, 2021 by Bruce Perry
Comments

Hi everyone,

My name is Bruce Perry, and I am an Infinite Flight Community Moderator. I have been a customer of Infinite Flight, off and on, since 2016; however, I joined the community on February 1st, 2020.

Additionally to the forum, I am an IFATC Supervisor, Trainer, and Tester. IFATC has made the Air Traffic Control aspect of Infinite Flight, my favorite.

Something that may come to a surprise to many, who may not know me as well, is that I do not have any background within the field of aviation. In real life, I am a 19 year old, sophomore at a university, studying to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Percussion Performance. My biggest goal is to one day become a Timpanist or Percussionist in a major symphony orchestra in the United States. I focus a lot on instruments such as the timpani and other orchestral percussion.

Ask me anything! Ask a question

Bruce Perry is an Infinite Flight Community Forum Moderator. He is also an IFATC Supervisor, Trainer and Tester.

Myth Busting: V1 Speed

February, 19, 2021 by Luca Caviness

Contrary to popular belief, V1 is not the decision speed. Saying that it is would be misleading because V1 is not the point to begin making the decision to abort takeoff or not.

If the decision is not made before the aircraft reaches its V1 speed, the pilot will not initiate the stop early enough. The aircraft will subsequently be traveling at a speed higher than V1 when the stopping action is initiated, risking an accident and/or runway overrun.

Therefore, V1 could be called the “initiation speed”. The stopping action must be decided upon and initiated at or before the aircraft reaches V1 to ensure maximum safety of the aircraft and its crew.

Luca Caviness is a writer for the IFATC Education Group and an IFATC Officer and Tester. He is also a real-world student pilot.