When radar controllers control a Center or Approach frequency the controller should need to review pilot’s flight plans to see if they have a STAR procedure included for their destination. From the ATC Manual:
6.6.9 — […] Controllers should review aircraft flight plans on initial contact to determine whether or not they include the preferred STAR for their destination airport. Aircraft not on a preferred STAR should be instructed to “Amend Flight Plan to Include Preferred STAR at Destination” to give the aircraft time to refile.
You may believe currently that the only way to check to see if they have a STAR included in their flight plan is by clicking show information.
Tap on the aircraft
Look at the bottom of their information for the procedures that are listed in their flight
A quicker way though to check is by going to the pilot’s ATC menu and then checking to see if you can send the command “Descend via XX”. If you do not have that option, they do not have a STAR procedure in their flight plan.
Tap on the aircraft
Scroll down to the “Descend via” command
This is the preferred method for me to check, personally. It’s much quicker and is a help in a busy airspace.
The IFATC team is one of the amazing places that are in the community! I have created a ton of friendships with people and it’s been an amazing 7 months since I joined! In December, I had the whole month where I didn’t have school due to my holidays coming around. I didn’t exactly know what to do with the time I had. I spent some time thinking about what I should do. So I set a goal for myself to attend between 100 training sessions in one month. I thought it would be a great idea to help out the trainers and be a very active contributor to the team. For the whole month, I didn’t do anything else other than flying in training sessions. I spent from 12PM to 4AM just attending training sessions as I had nothing else to do on the weekdays. It was one of the best feelings I have had to help out and hear the good feedback controllers were receiving.
Some people may only say I did it to become an IFATC Tester. However, there was more to it than that. I saw a lot of people wanting to become a part of the IFATC team, or achieving the rank of IFATC Officer. This was a great opportunity to help out those trainees achieving their rank that they set out for.
This brought a lot of good feelings to know that I helped out a lot of people reaching for their goals. I personally know I helped out two people achieve the rank of Officer. I attended a lot of their sessions and they may have made some mistakes here and there, but that’s part of the training. I saw them make a lot of progress in their training and finally at the end of December, they reached their goal. This is is a great memory I have and I will not forget.
As December came to an end, so did my available time. I came back to school knowing that I helped out. I attended a total of 130+ training sessions which if you add it up equals about 59 hours and 30 minutes of flight time.
I would not recommend attending the number of training sessions I did as it requires a lot of free time, however, this is one of the best ways to contribute to the team! I have helped out a lot of people and helping out people makes me happy. I hope to see more people coming and helping out as it’s very fun and creates a lot of friendships!
Editor’s Note: If you’d like to help out if you are not part of the IFATC team, go to the ATC category on the Infinite Flight Community Forum.
Around three weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to enhance my experience in Infinite Flight by flying as realistically as possible. I was always striving for realism as I find it fun, but I never had the proper time (or motivation!) to go one step further and learn any of the advanced navigation techniques like navigating VORs, NDBs and flying various types of GPS approaches. I started with DeerCrusher’s tutorial about how to fly a DME arc. My motivation was to replicate a flight I flew in real-life the day before which utilised a DME arc for its approach. Below you can see my real-life flight utilising a DME arc and then my attempt at the same procedure in Infinite Flight; as you can see, it is pretty close!
After I learned this new technique (and realised it really is not as complicated as I expected), I challenged myself to fly all my departures and arrivals as realistically as possible. The way I approached this challenge was to select a flight, read the charts for my selected departure and arrival and try to replicate them. I knew that if I just started to learn all the advanced navigation techniques at once without applying them, I would lose motivation quickly and most probably forget what I learned.
As a result, I tried to perform a departure out of LCLK which involved intercepting a radial from a VOR. I never really attempted to fly using VORs (except for the occasional test), so the idea of intercepting a radial was very new to me. I re-watched the official Infinite Flight tutorial on how to navigate using VORs after which I was set to complete my departure realistically as possible. The tutorial is amazing and goes over not only how and what a VOR is, but how you can fly them in Infinite Flight which was particularly useful; I highly recommend to check it out even if it may seem rather overwhelming at first.
And just like that – I completed my first VOR departure. Similarly to the DME arc procedure, VOR navigation was not as complicated as I first expected. The best way I can describe the whole process of navigating using VORs is that it is pretty similar to flying an ILS approach, except instead of intercepting a localiser, you’re just intercepting a ‘heading’ (a radial) and that there is no glideslope to follow. A useful ‘tip’ I learned after practicing various VOR departures/arrivals, is that the LNAV in Infinite Flight will automatically intercept the radial if setup correctly which reduced my workload if performing a complex departure/arrival involving many VORs.
I then repeated the process of reading charts, learning about a specific navigation technique that was a part of the departure/arrival and moved on from there. The latest technique I learned was how to navigate using NDBs. I’m still very much new to this, and still learning, but this is an incredibly fun experience that I’ve never really tried before. It is far more satisfying completing a proper departure/arrival than just turning on LNAV 1,500 feet after departure. There are plenty of tutorials available created by fellow community members on the Infinite Flight forum about these navigation techniques, and I highly recommend those looking to get the most out of Infinite Flight to try and explore these navigation techniques to enhance their experience. It is seriously fun.
I also want to give a massive ‘thank you’ to everyone who helped me by answering my questions in the IFATC about these navigation techniques. We are a community filled with many knowledgeable members, and I appreciate everyone who has shared their knowledge with me.
For this session, I went in with only one other experience on San Diego approach, so I already had a plan, and it wasn’t nearly as busy that time. I had hopped on in somewhat of a rush, as the tower controller was in need of help near the start of the session, but we ended up providing an amazing service once we were both settled in and focused. The inbound count was at about 50, and a lot in the next 20 and 60 minutes later on in the session, so not too crazy, but definitely not slow when it came to inbounds.
As for the plan, I hadn’t exactly anticipated servicing as many aircraft as I did because I’m not the type of controller to even take moderate to heavy traffic levels on radar, but it ended up working out that way. I really had to think and use strategies that I’d seen used at hubs, and all worked well. With the help of lots of speed commanding and some smaller vectors to ensure spacing would be good and base turns would be consistent, I managed to pull off a decent line towards the end of the session. A huge thank you goes out to my ground and tower controllers (ToasterStroodie and FlyRunwayHeading), as well as center (Neto_Campelo), they did an amazing job helping me succeed!
If you want to learn how to properly fly the the B757 the Infinite Flight team has a a new tutorial out to help you.
Narrated by Tyler Shelton, ATC Community Manager for Infinite Flight, he’ll talk you through all the key phases of his flight. Worth the watch even for the most experienced pilots because there’s a lot of detail provided.
If you’ve ever wondered as a pilot why you are handed back to Tower when remaining in the pattern, this is why.
3.6.2 — Pattern work must stay with Tower, and must not be handed over to the Radar Controller unless it has been decided to deny pattern work; in which case, those aircraft that are in the pattern can be converted into a radar pattern by handing them over to the Radar Controller.
If pattern work is being allowed it must stay with Tower. The only scenario when you’d be able to receive vectors from a radar controller instead is when the controllers decide they need to turn off pattern work.
Once they turn off pattern work you may be handed to the radar controller, you’ll get vectored into land, then you’d be cleared to land by Tower.
If you would like to depart the airspace instead of land, you can request departure if you are on Tower’s frequency or request flight following from Radar once you are handed off to the Radar controller’s frequency.
With the advent of SIDs (Standard Instrument Departure Procedures) comes more flexibility with how Tower handles departures.
3.2.9 — SIDs often involve turns away from the airport shortly after departure; due to this, if “Straight Out Dept.” is being utilized, Controllers should note that this may prevent pilots from flying the selected SID
Before we had SIDs in-app we had to account for the fact that pilots may not have a SID in their flight plan.
The way you can check if a pilot has a SID in their flight plan is either to.
A) Tap on the aircraft and view their flight plan to see if it includes a SID.
B) Tap on the aircraft, tap show information then read their pilot information to see if they have a SID included.
Now we can check if pilots include a SID into their flight plan which would ensure proper separation, removing the need to include “Straight Out Dept.” in ATIS.
Right now we will be having an AMA “Ask Me Anything with Evan L., a commercial single-engine and multi-engine rated pilot, as well as certificated single-engine, multi-engine, and instrument flight instructor. Here is a message from Evan:
My name is Evan, I’m a 25 year old commercial pilot and flight instructor based in Denver with around 600 hours of flight time. I hold a bachelor’s degree in environmental science and completed my pilot training in the Phoenix area, going from zero experience to being a multi-engine commercial pilot as well as holding all 3 instructor ratings within the span of about 11 months.
Flight simulators are the reason I became what I am today, and I want to be a part in helping other young people realize the tools available to them to potentially realize a dream they had never considered before.
I started this career with the goal of becoming an airline pilot, but through my aviation journey thus far I am now fully pursuing opportunities in the corporate aviation world. Ask me anything about college, flight training, IFR (my favorite!), and come fly with me as UVAL 465.
You can ask a question right now, he’ll be around to answer your questions throughout the day. Leave your questions in the comments below!