New Infinite Flight User Guide and ATC Manual Released

Yesterday, the new user guide was added to the Infinite Flight site, and can be found here.

In it is documentation to get you started, a flying guide, the ATC Manual and a “Get Help” section for support related material. Each have their visual aids like video tutorials and that accompany the written material.

Whether you are new to Infinite Flight or an experienced pilot or controller, it’s an amazing read. Almost everything you’ll need to know is in the guide.

If you’ve seen some of the new features coming to the simulator in the next update, 20.1, you’ll know there is a lot to get ready for if you’re a pilot or controller, so reading these guides will give you a great head start so you’re ready for the release of the update. VNAV, Center, STARs and SIDs, and much more are thoroughly covered and more may be added to each section. For that reason it will be important to come back to this guide.

If you’re just a pilot and not a controller, read the ATC Manual. It will give you an insight into how you will be handled when in contact with ATC.

What is a TFR?

A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is a type of Notices to Airmen (NOTAM). A TFR defines an area restricted to air travel due to a special event, or a general warning for the entire airspace and it provides critical airport information. The text of the actual TFR contains the fine points of the restriction.

Here is a step by step guide on how to interact with the TFRs, in-app, as a pilot or controller.

  1. Open your map
  2. Find the bold red circle on the map
  3. Tap on the circle
  4. Then tap on the TFR name to bring up the TFR information

After you’ve opened up the information successfully you’ll be able to read the pertinent information provided.

It’s important to abide by what the TFR says because it may or may not be enforced by reporting by ATC on Expert. Here is a few common restriction examples.

  • Specific aircraft restrictions
  • Runway closures
  • Airport closures
  • Special event procedures in use

Is controlling for one long period good

We tend to congratulate those that stay open controlling at an airport for a long time. Just this year, a controller attempted to surpass the 26 hour straight controlling record, but his WiFi cut out unfortunately.

It’s not healthy though in my opinion and can effect your performance. Take a page out of the real world controller’s book. Typically in the real world, controllers work “on position” for 90 to 120 minutes followed by a 30-minute break. Research has shown that when controllers remain “on position” for more than two hours without a break, performance can deteriorate rapidly, even at low traffic levels.

Of course, is controlling in the real world more stressful then controlling in a sim, of course. Is controlling Friday Night Flight for six hours straight comparable and stressful, yes.

Limit yourself to a set time, in my opinion no one should be controlling more then 3 hours, but that’s just me, you do you. Control, take a break, then come back and control. It’s unhealthy not to.

References: “17.7 Work-rest cycles” Human Factors In Air Traffic Control

The New Violations System

Recently I posted about the new violation system. In Infinite Flight’s Instagram post, many people commented expressing concerns at the introduction of the new system. The aim of this post is to answer many of the questions and comments from Instagram. How can I appeal a Level 3 Violation? Visit the Infinite Flight Community forum here and message @appeals . They will investigate your report and have the power to reverse it if it is deemed necessary. I’m not getting my money’s worth because I got reported and can’t access Expert for a week. Why does this have to happen? Level 3 Violations are used to ensure that other users of the Expert Server get a mature experience. Access to the Expert Server is not guaranteed as part of a subscription, and in order to fly in a realistic experience, you need to be able to provide that experience to to others. If you do believe you were wrongly reported though, see above for how to appeal it. IFATC aren’t properly trained. Why do they ghost when I’m doing nothing wrong? IFATCs go through an extensive process including a practical test to ensure they are of an acceptable standard. Controllers are also monitored on their maturity and must select a reason for a report. However, if you believe a controller has reported you without reason, see above for how to appeal it. If you have any further question, join the IFATC Education Group community. There are many controllers and trainers there who are more than happy to answer your questions.

My Journey as a Pilot

Like many of you, when I first downloaded Infinite Flight, the only thing I knew about operating an airplane was that you need to fasten your seatbelts. Beyond that, all I knew was that I wanted to become a commercial pilot. After more than 8 years in the virtual skies (and more than 3 in the real skies), here’s what my journey has looked like. I knew that a college degree would help, so I started looking at universities with aviation programs. I settled on Purdue University, where I was able to get all the necessary knowledge to become a commercial pilot. This included ground, flight, and sim courses on every topic a commercial pilot could hope to know. For me, a university setting was the perfect place to learn to become a pilot. For others, a local flight school may provide more flexibility to learn at a different pace.

Preparing for a Flight Test

For many, the final exam just before certification can be the most stressful part of flight or ATC training. After taking (and passing) nearly a dozen of these types of tests, some helpful tips and strategies have emerged. The most important one is to study and train early. These exams are administered when you feel ready as the applicant, so consistent thorough training is a must. Another thing that helps is to go into the test with the mindset that you deserve the next rating or certification. Just think of the test as an opportunity to prove yourself to your examiner. Lastly, remember that everyone is human. No examiner hopes to see you fail and many try their best to ensure a friendly environment for the applicant. Hopefully these tips will hope you reach that next milestone, whether in real life of virtually!

New in-flight TFR pop up alerts coming to 20.1

Have you ever been in the position where you’re flying into an airport and you forgot to check to see if there is an active TFR at or near your destination? Well you’re in luck. We got an exclusive look at a new feature which will be coming to Infinite Flight in their next update, 20.1, that will send you a pop up alert when you enter a TFR.

As you can see in the picture above, an active TFR is present at over EGKK, which you’ll be alerted of as you enter it’s boundary on the map. The message will advise you of the TFR status, TFR reason, and a prompt to review the message on your map interface. The pop-up won’t disappear from the screen until you tap the message to dismiss it. It can’t be missed!

The TFR will be depicted as a bold red circle on the map which you can tap to reveal all pertinent information like active times, dates, altitudes, and the critical airport notice. London Gatwick’s TFR states that a runway is closed and may only be used for taxiing aircraft! Spanning from the surface to 10,000ft, all aircraft entering the TFR boundary at or below 10,000ft will be prompted to review the TFR message and should adjust their flight accordingly to comply with the notice which is strictly enforced.

Reference: Infinite Flight WIP

Oceanic Tracks coming to 20.1

Exciting times to be an Infinite Flight user, bunch of new features are being teased for the upcoming release. This time it’s Oceanic Tracks which are now confirmed to be coming in the next update, 20.1. Here’s an excerpt from their timeline post that we can take a look at, and a picture.

Introducing Oceanic Tracks coming in 20.1! This track system is designed to separate traffic between 29,000ft and 41,000ft while crossing large bodies of water like the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans where there is often little to no ATC coverage.

So there are two different sets of tracks this could be eluding to. One is the North Atlantic Tracks (NAT Tracks), and two, the Pacific Organised Track System (PACOTS).

These tracks are updated regularly to account for the shifting winds and traffic flow.

This is important to note. For the North Atlantic Tracks for example, the routes change daily, they maintain a series of entrance and exit waypoints which link into the airspace system of North America and Europe. Each route is uniquely identified by a letter of the alphabet. Westbound tracks (valid from 11:30 UTC to 19:00 UTC at 30W) are indicated by the letters A,B,C,D etc. (as far as M if necessary, omitting I), where A is the northernmost track, and eastbound tracks (valid from 01:00 UTC to 08:00 UTC at 30W) are indicated by the letters Z,Y,X,W etc. (as far as N if necessary, omitting O), where Z is the southernmost track. Waypoints on the route are identified by named waypoints (or “fixes”) and by the crossing of degrees of latitude and longitude (such as “54/40”, indicating 54°N latitude, 40°W longitude).

Infinite Flight will feature multiple available tracks that you can insert directly into your flight plan by tapping on the desired track from the map.

This indicates that you’ll easily be able to insert these tracks into your flight plan via the map, which will take flight planning to the next level.

Something else that was also revealed was the introduction of the way procedures will grouped in the flight plan. You can see that on this picture. On the left hand side you can see the SID, Oceanic Track and STAR all grouped together within the flight plan. How we’ll be able to interact with that is unknown at this time.

Here’s a view of what it would look like with more then just two NAT Tracks from Laura Laban, Infinite Flight CEO.

References: Infinite Flight Timeline, Quote from Misha Camp, Historical NAT Track from Laura Laban, SKYbrary

Do you stop learning?

Short answer is, absolutely not. To this day I still will ask people for feedback after a controlling session. That is the only way you’ll learn is to ask for that feedback. I still have found that I learn new things every day. Controlling and flying is a constant learning experience. You never reach a level where you know everything.

Controlling is like a large puzzle. For ground, it’s a bit predictable but you can always find ways to improve or notice things you never have before. Tower, you’re always trying to advance your speed and efficiency while learning new techniques and refining. Radar, approach and departure, is a constant puzzle you never truly solve. Every session is different and in almost every session you can find multiple flaws to improve upon in the next session.

For flying, the same applies. You’re learning new techniques, the navigation, terms, communication, etc.

Your total aviation knowledge is limitless. I continually am amazed when I go to search for a new thing to write that there’s still material for me to write about.

That’s where this blog comes in. We’ll take all the things you never thought of or new, whether you just discovered Infinite Flight or have been using it for years and are a grizzled veteran and collect that here.

That’s why our main moto is ‘never stop learning’.

AMA with Joshua ‘Cabo’ Gunderson

Yesterday, we had an AMA “Ask Me Anything” with Maj. Joshua ‘Cabo’ Gunderson, where the members in our community got a chance to ask him questions.

Maj. Gunderson is the United States Air Force F-22 Demonstration Team commander and a pilot. Here are all of the questions and answers.

How do you withstand load factors (G) and how does it feel?

The G Forces are something your body eventually gets used to but a solid amount of lifting weights for lower body and core helps a ton. There is a lot of pressure on your upper body and you’re trying to combat that with straining your lower body, it’s a workout for sure.

What would your advice be to an aspiring military pilot who would love to fly for their Air Force (Irish Air Corps)?

I would say the best piece of advice is to realize like any large undertaking in life, it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Ensure you have a good work/life balance to always may you feeling excited about work. The daily grind can be challenging, so that balance is crucial.

Favorite Airshow that you’ve ever attended? Is every airshow different from one another?

My favorite airshow was when I was 11 years old and went to MacDill AirFest in Tampa, FL. I met the F-15C demo pilot there and we met 12 years later flying Eagles together. We are friends to this day.

Do you use Infinite Flight?

I don’t really play computer based or console based games. When I fly demos, I stay honed in with the team and executing the mission.

How do you feel doing stunts with hundreds of audience spectating?

I honestly don’t pay attention to the crowds during the flying because my focus needs to be on the demo. After that, I love interacting with the fans!

Did you go to college with AFROTC or did you enlist and then become an officer? Which would you recommend, as I am an aspiring Air Force pilot?

I went to the Air Force Academy. ROTC and Officer Training School are the other two options. I would say the academy (purely based on the percentage of students to pilot training slots) is your best bet.

So, pilots are officers, first and foremost. As I am relatively new to leadership, what would be your advice for someone starting on the path to the pilot slot?

Reference one of the threads above, but the short answer is having balance in your life to maintain the challenging demands of being an officer and pilot. The discipline to maintain that balance is huge. Best of luck!

If there was one person living or dead who you’d like to fly with, who would it be?

My mom, I never was able to take her flying before she passed.

Was flying for the Air Force always your dream job or did you have anything else in mind growing up?

Flying fighters was always it for me.

What are the most common issues you have to address for demo displays before they go ahead?

Continuing to stay balanced between work/life, it can easily become the focal point in your life and then leave you very little time for other things. I don’t like only giving something 50%, so it’s a struggle to carve out time for other things.

What are the most common issues you have to address for demo displays before they go ahead?

Just ensuring that based on each location having unique staff/challenges. I need to ensure the team is taken care of and have what they need to execute the mission.

Do you believe non-professional flights sims can play a role in flight training?

I don’t have much experience in this realm, but I’m sure it’s like anything else, if used properly as a tool to learn, it can likely be very useful.

How fricken cool is it to fly the F22 compared to any other jet?

The Raptor is great, but simply flying it isn’t why I enjoy it. The airplane is designed to be the most lethal flying machine in the world, I enjoy using it to hone those skills the most.

What is the coolest location you have traveled too for displays, and what is it like to serve in the Air Force?

My favorite place I have flown a show at was Melbourne, Australia. I haven’t flown many shows yet based on the current situation. It’s very rewarding because the team aspect of the military allows you to leverage everyone’s talents in the group and achieve some amazing results.

How was your journey to become Air Force Pilot?

Very rewarding and challenging, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Amazing friends and experiences.

Did you ever think you would become an Air Force pilot and what challenges did you face?

I always knew that was my goal and I wasn’t going to stop working until I achieved it! Too many challenges to type out, but that’s with everything in life! School, work/life balance, moving, studying and learning new tactics and about emerging threats, the list goes on. Wach day can be a grind, but the hard work always pays off and it is always satisfying to know you’ve given that day 100% and overcome challenges.

How did you acquire your nickname? Is your callsign also Cabo; if it’s different what is it?

My callsign is Cabo and it’s a long story, but it was from my early days as an F-15C Wingman. Each pilot gets a callsign early in their career and symbolizes their transition to a combat aviator.

I am a student pilot and have had some scary moments like my first power on stall which I am fine with now, but have you had any moments that you were very worried for your heart skipped a beat per say?

When the jet’s landing gear collapsed on landing and I had to safely recover the aircraft.

About half of commercial pilots are from the Military, Air Force, etc, what are your plans after you retire and why did you take the route you are at now?

Not sure yet, lots of different ideas and multiple things I’m passionate about doing in terms of giving back to others.

Often times I think pilot retire from the Air Force and head to other jobs with their time they earned, are you planning to do the same? If so, what sort of sector would you like to pursue in civilian aviation? Cargo? Maybe flying wild in Alaska? Would be cool to hear your perspective.

Not sure yet, I still have a ways to go. I do love flying in Alaska though!

How has Covid 19 affected your training?

We have adjusted local training to account for social distancing standards but continue to stay prepared for any world-wide deployments.

What advice would you give to someone who goes to USAFA and wants to get a pilot slot? Is it helpful to go into USAFA with PPL/IR? How does one get selected out of USAFA into a specific squadron and better yet into something like a demo team?

You don’t need any flight training whatsoever prior to the academy. There is a long process to becoming a combat pilot in a squadron and you’ll switch every 2-3 years.

To be selected for the demo team, you have to be an instructor pilot in the jet you’re flying. That takes about four-ish years to even be eligible. There is only one pilot/commander/officer spot on the team and it rotates every 2 years.

How difficult was it to get enrolled in the AFA?

It’s a very lengthy process that I began when I was a sophomore in HS. It’s a challenging academic school plus you’ll need a congressional endorsement.

Does the USAF F-22 Demo team intend on doing any COVID-19 “salute to healthcare worker” flyovers/events like the USAF Thunderbirds and the USN Blue Angels have been doing?

Yes, we did one in VA two weeks ago. Pictures

What is your favorite Cookie flavour?

Cookies have carbs, carbs are bad. Just kidding – white choc / macadamia.

Is there anything in your Job, that you are still afraid of?

Letting the team down, that is always on my mind and pushes me to work hard.

What’s it like being an Instructor Pilot for the Raptor? Must be quite the challenge, as you’re I think bringing the Raptor’s future effectiveness out of those rookies.

It’s very rewarding to know you’re equipping them to fight/survive and take care of fellow servicemen and women. Humbling.

Did you go into the Air Force Academy with a pilots license already or did you obtain it through USAFA? Would going into USAFA with your private license have any benefit?

I did not get a pilots license before or during my time there and I don’t think it’s required. Other than being able to fly in your spare time, I don’t think it is going to make you anymore competitive while there or attaining a pilot slot after. The academy has a lot of pilot slots and the AF will teach you all you need to know, for free!

What is the hardest part about flying the F22?

Keeping up with all of the studying to stay sharp.

What is your favorite thing about the F22?

The engines, they are epic!

With the F-35 supposedly the new ‘quarterback’ for joint strike missions, how has the Raptor’s role changed with another 5th gen aircraft taking the lead? And have all of the secure communications issues between the two like IFDL been resolved or is that still an ongoing process?

I wouldn’t say your first statement is true. So the raptors role remains an air dominance fighter and depending on the mission will still lead the fight. I’m not familiar with what comm issues you’re referring to, Ok. think I’ve only flown one sortie in my F-22 career where IFDL didn’t work and that was a hardware swap.

What’s your favourite maneuver, and hardest maneuver to perform at a show?

The dedication pass is my favorite, the loaded roll is the hardest to fly really well.

What’s you’re favourite activity to do outside of flying?

Work out.

What’s one airshow youre looking forward to the most to perform at once things are more normal?

Macdill in Tampa because that’s where my family lives.

What would be your thoughts on a flight-sim based Virtual Airshow?

I think if that is something you’re interested in doing, then you should pursue it! I haven’t the slightest idea of where to begin on a flight sim air show. I stay pretty busy with work/gym/family that I don’t have too much time to get into flight sims although I am sure it’s fun!

So in theory, if the USAF needed you guys for combat deployment, you guys would just head over?


Is it easier to become an Air Force pilot or a Navy pilot?

They are both very similar paths, so I would say both are challenging. I obviously haven’t been through a navy program so I can’t say for certain.

Why doesn’t America export their F-22?

At this point we don’t even make them anymore so it would be impossible. The only stealth platform we export is the F-35.

When you said you started the application sophomore year for USAFA, what did you do sophomore year? Any tips for someone possibly wanting to go to USAFA?

Truly, the application process begins as early as you decide that’s the path for you. I would recommend finding activities (sports, music, etc) to get into. This will establish a based of things to show you’re well-rounded. your grades beginning freshman year will impact your GPA and therefore your application.

What is your usual exercise routine?

Pick up heavy things and put them back down. But I also ride road bikes and run 4-5 times a week. Combination of distance and speed training for running. Usually middle distance and sprints through the week, long distance on the weekend. 50+ miles on the bike ~18mph followed by runs. Shorter rides are usually around 15-20 miles. I typically lift first thing in the morning and do cardio in the afternoon/evening.

What’s your average day like?

Wach day could be drastically different but it’s usually working with the team on planning efforts for shows/events, studying, instructing younger pilots in academic settings, simulator training, or flights.

Are you pilots of the Demo team “only” flying for that team or do you have other duties in the Air Force as well?

There is only one F-22 demo pilot at a time but I also instruct within the fighter squadron here in Virginia.

Did you need to get approval from the Air Force for participating in this AMA?

No approval necessary, just wanted to answer questions and help where I can!

What would you say is the most important thing you have learnt from your time in the Air Force?

That discipline and team work are the only way to succeed in life.

How much time of actual “work” would you say you have a day during the weekdays? Is work structured in M-F? How does your schedule work?

Depends on the day, some days may be only 8 hours at work and some may be over 14 hours. As the demo pilot I work whenever things come up like this event for example. We typical travel on Wednesday to shows and come back home the following Monday. Tuesday is “the weekend” and then back on the road Wednesday.

Have you ever been on a deployment if so where to?

Yes, multiple to the middle east and various work trips in Europe and Asia.

If you are interested in joining the United States Air Force learn more here. You can follow Maj. Gunderson on Instagram. You can also follow the F-22 Raptor Demo Team accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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 community. Upcoming guests