A letter to the moderators, the developers, IFATC members, and everyone else.

Greetings everyone,

Before I start, I would like to make a few things clear:

  • This letter is intended to point out a few problems with what we are doing regarding the #live:atc category and ATC in Infinite Flight as a whole.
  • Before anyone mentions that I need to “stop complaining and become a member of IFATC” or something similar, I already am a member of IFATC and I’m merely stating observations.
  • I have every intention of hosting a healthy discussion/debate about this, however, I do not want to see any name-calling, shaming, etc. I have no patience for degradation and will request that any such comments be removed by the moderators.
https://community.infiniteflight.com/t/what-to-do-with-trolls/97332/7?u=nichalas_petranek https://community.infiniteflight.com/t/people-sitting-on-the-taxiway/100227/2?u=nichalas_petranek

Notice a problem? I do. You should too.

We, the @moderators and IFATC, need to stop simply telling the controllers and experienced pilots on the training server, whenever they bring to light problems with ignorant or trolling pilots, to stop complaining and join IFATC. While this is a perfectly viable option for some, there are still numerous others that don’t have that option for various reasons, not to mention that we are failing to address . Some might not be able to consider joining IFATC because they are too young and will have to wait a few years. Others might be only Grade 1 and spend all of their time controlling because that’s the only aspect of the app they are interested in. Those who dont fit into those two reasons, I’m sure, have their own.

What are some other factors taking part in this situation? Let’s start with the largest one: pilots on the training server. While there are some that fly on the training server that actually know what they are doing, there are still a good portion of pilots, if not most, that dont know what they are doing simply because they are ignorant or lazy… or defiant. Ignorance and laziness can be defeated, defiance can be as well… but that’s a tougher one to overcome. Ignorance can be defeated with education, laziness with motivation, defiance with some sort of correctional system.

While Infinite Flight is intended to be fun, it can also be very educational. I remember when I first started playing again 3 months ago, I had not a single clue about ATC and I lacked significant knowledge on some piloting skills; now I’m IFATC and Chief Pilot for British Airways Virtual Airline. I took advantage of the educational opportunities that Infinite Flight and the Infinite Flight Community provided me.

Time and time again, we fail to educate the ignorant pilots and fail to motivate the lazy ones. We fail to take advantage of implementing the solutions to the problems we have now when we should have done it a long time ago. While there are 2 very basic tutorials in the app, neither of them go over basic takeoff/landing with ATC procedures from a pilot’s perspective. Neither of them take advantage of demonstrating a pattern. Neither of them give even a domonstration on how to land. This needs to be changed. I know the priority for the developers is working on global. Personally, I would like to see a revamping of the in-app tutorials. Not only that, make them required before new users are able to fly in any mode.

Solutions to other problems:

  • taxiing/flying through other people - rework the system to give out warnings/violations that state what the pilot is doing wrong.
  • not following atc instructions - makes the user go through a tutorial on how to follow atc instructions before flying again.
  • atc doesnt know what he/she is doing - grade 3 pilots can send a check tutorials message on the training server, which then makes the user go through a tutorial on atc commands before being able to control again.
  • IFATC usually ends up having to ghost inexperienced/ignorant users on the expert server - incorporate a training system in Infinite Flight that prevents this before pilots even reach the expert server.

Personally, I dont want to see the DC-10 and MD-11 right after global. I want to see a system of education come first. I believe that with the ever growing amount of realism being added into the app, education needs to be a very high priority for everyone. I know that we wont be able to get everyone on the same level of education as the rest of us, but we still need to make an effort, a good, strong effort, to reach this goal. That’s what matters; that’s what has always mattered: becoming educated.

From now on, I’m not going to tell someone complaining that they should become IFATC or to fly on the expert server. I’m going to tell them to have patience with the inexperienced pilots, go flying on the training server and show the unknowing the correct way of doing things. I’m going to tell them to set the example; to be the example.

What are you going to do?

111 Likes

I agree. Training server should be a transition from noob to expert pilot. I think rules should be slightly enforcedso that the Grade 1 & 2 pilots gain seriousness so that they won’t have problems on the expert server

15 Likes

I think this was a very well written statement and like you said it falls on the developers to rework the in app tutorials. Very well said sir. The community has been debating this issue for a long time now and it’s time to be heard.

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Well said. I agree with the solutions that you pointed out near the end/middle of the post. I too am not as eager for the DC10 update and I would rather see some improvements that you have mentioned. You have my vote and my support in this area. Excellent information.

18 Likes

totally agree things need to change

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I remember back to the times I wasn’t part of IFATC- I was lucky in that I only had to wait around 6 months before I came of age to do my test. I wasn’t really happy at the state of what used to be the playground, but really I just dealt with it. When I joined IFATC, it became much more clearer how easy it now you don’t use a server, just to tell people to not fly/control there. That is the mentality of many, perhaps expectedly- this is a big problem for servers, that let’s face it, most IFATC don’t use. For a pilot/TS1 ATC, It’s a ‘Why do the mods not really care about me’, but on the other POV, ‘Is it worth the time needed investing in it’

For me, there are 3 types of TS pilot-

  1. People learning, after all it is a training server. We should be careful to not penalise learners- this after all is why we have TS1.
  2. Competent pilots building up XP for Expert. They want a good experience, and are frustrated by trolls, but perhaps need to be more tolerant to learners.
  3. Trolls. People flying on TS1 that should be on Casual. No respect for rules.

It’s the third group we need a solution for- how do we get them off TS1 and into Casual, where they should be flying? Education won’t work for them, and really, as they are the problem, education won’t work at all. Learners are not the issue here, and good tutorials are available from YT (though it would be good to have a link in app), so what is the solution?

TL;DR- FDS got 99 problems but a new plane ain’t one (JK)

6 Likes

I also made a #features request for this.

Introduction of an educational system.

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100% agree with you Nichalas, I hope that it will make people think the way it did me.

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Well age shouldn’t be that much of an issue as the forum rule is 13 years of age. You can’t do much else other than join IFATC :) sorry to burst your bubble.

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The problem is those at No3. Sadly, those are the majority in TS1

The change starts with the members.

  • Stop bumping three month old threads only to reply with “I agree” or some other random post.
  • If five people before you have an answer to a question, do you really need to state the same thing over? I see many threads where a simple question is asked and every thread after has the same answer.
  • everyone fly’s differently and has different experience levels. If someone has a question, answer the question instead of asking why. There are exceptions of course such as duplicates and crazy feature requests.
  • Stop turning threads into text messages. Use your words and make a full sentence.

Just try to make the forum as educational as possible. We will get there over time. I have seen thing improve over the past year with non-mods stepping in to guide new members.

4 Likes

Agree in part your post I’m sure if the Developers didn’t do yet all the things that you mentioned is for some good reason,if you do a small research you can already find a lot of tutorials,about the “ignorance”,i give you an example,today with some friends we was approaching KTPA, 4 planes, the RNW10s was red (20kt wind) so we decided to land in the 19s,all the time communicating with UNICOM,there was a guy G5 behind us (not our friend) that decided to land in the RNW 10,so we did 30+minutes fly and in the end we had to go around and lose more time because he’s LAZY or IGNORANT,my question is:what we can do with this peoples? They already know how that work but…

2 Likes

Really agree with you on this one. I really love the possible solutions you pointed out especially the one where the pilot gets a violation for taxiing through other aircraft and the one where grade 3 or 4 and above pilots can ask the controller themselves to check tutorials on controlling.

One of the things I’d also like to see is in-app tutorials or atleast a playlist with the thumbnails of pilot and ATC tutorial videos linked from YouTube in a separate section in the app like the one we have for events and announcements on the home page.

1 Like

Good ideas on training. There needs to be a way to get feedback to those wanting to learn.

Trolls on the TS need to be ghosted more often. Everyone needs to do their part and report them…3 reports get a ghosting. Notice someone insisting on landing on KSAN 09 when traffic is going to 27 and ATC is making repeated requests for them to enter the downwind pattern or go around? Report them, please. Someone taxing through everyone else who is patiently waiting in line? Report them (map screen, hit their icon, report)

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I’ve only been here less than two weeks, but perhaps observations from a brand new pilot could be useful.

First off, I have sufficient knowledge of aviation and regulations to safely fly an aircraft that I’m familiar with. To date I have no crashes or violations on record. Prior knowledge of regulations and how to fly helped immensely going into IF. I know and understand procedures and ATC instructions on both sides, the pilot responsibilities and the ATC’s. I know the difference between taxiways and vehicle roads, displaced thresholds, how to read METAR, flight planning, how to fly manually, airspace, etc etc.

So the point I’m making here is much the same as the OP. I noticed that there is basically no form of educational material within the app. I’d wager, much like most communities, that this community is some small fraction of the actual playerbase. For the motivated people, seeking the information you need is not terribly hard, though it can be time consuming. However, the resources I’ve found in this forum alone cover practically everything you need to know to safely and realistically fly in IF. For the unmotivated or unaware people, they’re not going to go out of the app looking for information. While I understand the purpose of TS1, the fact that it basically does nothing more than a slap the hand of unruly pilots does nothing to make those pilots think, “Hmm, maybe I should change what I’m doing.”

How many non-community involved players know about the penalty for out of region flights? How many non-community involved players on the expert server know about the 550kt GS limit <40,000ft? I’m willing to bet all of them found out the hard way.

Earlier today I was ground controlling at KSAN in bad weather. To my surprise, the tower controller was using RWY 09 like you’re supposed to in those low visibility conditions despite the wind direction. Oh my goodness was it a chore trying to get aircraft on the ground to taxi over to 09 instead of 27, despite the fact you can clearly see aircraft taking off and landing on 09.

What am I going to do?

I think a fair portion of the haphazard operation of aircraft in IF could be addressed by readily accessible educational material. Obviously I’m not a dev so I can’t insert something into the app. So my action plan is to create a very detailed manual covering absolutely every aspect of IF complete with quick references, index and inevitably appendices. But wait a minute, I just said that unmotivated players probably wont leave the app to find this community. Yea, well, I have to start somewhere with the means available to me. So that first step is to create a resource that might catch the eye of a newcomer to the community before they leave in five seconds and to help reinforce the existing community. Currently in the drafting stages trying to make sure I don’t overlook any topics.

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You’re a mod? Lol never knew ;)

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I find myself flying on the training server quite a lot and havent really entered the mentality that you describe. I agree that with all 3 points that you present. one of the biggest problems that i have noticed with trolls is their seeming desire to fly/taxi through everyone. im not sure how we would implement a way to keep them on the casual server where they belong. we could possibly introduce a dual system that works a bit like this: they get a violation for flying/taxiing through someone which then activates a set of tutorials about that that have to be completed before regaining access to the training server.

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I completely agree. We need change. Whenever I try to ask a question about ATC or anything on training server, I just hear “Join IFATC for a realistic experience”. I cannot do this because I do not have live all of the time because my schedule is much more packed at times and more open at others. I want to learn when I do have time, but this is very hard because of the incompetence of people who just tell me to join IFATC. This is very well said and thank you for bringing up this issue.

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I’m not a moderator, but I am IFATC. I used “we” because I can include myself in one of the groups I specified.

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Ahh okay, that’s fine.

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