I was searching for some various posts that existed that helped me when I first started flying IF. Unfortunately time has passed and many posts are buried or the original poster is no longer around and the post is gone. I dug through some of the older posts to come up with a sort of sample flight tutorial.
There are many great topics like this, one being Link : New Pilots Read This. The information is out there.
This is in no way a comprehensive list of everything you need to know. Once you go through tutorials and learn about controlling your plane, you may want to venture into the Live server and fly with others and ATC. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the various violations and the rules on different servers. Link - Tyler explains violations.
This is an example of a simple flight with ATC with some general comments about each stage. Again, this is in no way comprehensive. Enjoy!
Plan where you are going.
- File a flight plan. Pick your starting and end airports along with the route you would like to take.
Link : How to file a flight plan
- Be sure to pay attention the which runways are active at your destination and the traffic flow.
- Remember that even if a runway is red, ATC can still use it depending on the wind. But as always be ready to accommodate changes to your flight plan if directed by ATC or the winds shift at your destination.
- You can even check the weather and winds at your destination airport.
Link - Learn more about METAR
- When ready, request pushback from the ground controller.
Link : Pushback - Expect Runway Tutorial
Link : How to make your pushback look real!
- Pay attention to what runway ATC directs you to.
- Be sure to notice if your parking spot requires a pushback and if your plan can actually push back. Otherwise ask for taxi.
- Do not push back if there is a plane behind you. You are responsible for the area round your plane.
Link - Ground Maneuvering
- Again, pay attention to the runway that ATC sends you to. If you ask for a specific runway and receive another, do not ask again. Follow instructions. ATC may be using certain runways for departures or if there is a lot of inbound traffic.
- Taxi under 25kts ground speed and do not taxi through the grass, terminal, or other planes.
- Taxi up to the hold short line before the runway, but not over it.
Link : Hold Short Tutorial
- Stay on the ground frequency until you are first in line for takeoff.
- Your strobes and landing lights should be off while you taxi. They should be on while you are on a runway or crossing a runway.
Link - How to use strobe lights correctly
- More info on taxi -
Link : Perfect Taxi
Link : Taxiing at a Towered Airport
Link : Taxiway Etiquette
- When you are first in line for takeoff, switch to the tower frequency and ask for takeoff.
- Know the difference between departing vs remaining in the pattern. Remaining in the pattern should only be used if you plan to take off, immediately circle the airport, and land at the same airport. Otherwise known as a pattern.
Link : What is a pattern
- You will be told to a) hold short (do not enter the runway) b) Line up and Wait (line up and stop) C) Takeoff (Line up and take off) or D) Immediate Takeoff (Takeoff and do it as quickly as possible, do not stop on the runway)
Link : Takeoff Turorial
You are in the air!
@JoshFly8 put together a great tutorial on different aspects of flying.
Link : Josh’s Guide
- You have done a lot of work so far to get in the air, once in the air the tower ATC will give you “Frequency Change Approved” or to contact Approach/Departure/Center.
- if you receive a “Frequency Change Approved” message, that means ATC wants you to switch to something other than their frequency, switch to the nearest unicom. If told to contact approach/departure/center, go ahead and contact that frequency.
- Fly your flight plan.
- Pay attention to your speed. Do not fly over 250kts airspeed while under FL100. Do not fly over 550 ground speed any time under FL400, regardless if you are in a fighter or not. You may be ghosted with no warning for excessive speeding. Also keep an eye on your own plan limited speed. The red marks on the speed tape indicate when the speeding warning will display. If you fail to slow down you may receive a violation. Link : Slow down on advanced server.
- Happy flying - Fly your flight plan and follow all ATC instructions. Be sure to look ahead and see if the winds or pattern shifted at your destination.
- Don’t fly too high. If you are only traveling 100 miles, there is no need to go up to FL340. Keep your altitude and speed reasonable.
- Once you are around 40 miles or so away from your destination, you should contact approach if there is one and start your descent. Again this depends on your altitude so the higher you are the earlier you need to descend. A good rule of thumb is your distance from the airport x 300 should give you a rough idea on where you should be at altitude wise. Keep in mind this is on top of the airport altitude.
Approaching the Airport
- The most important thing is to know the various parts of the pattern. Left/Right Downwind, base, etc. Link : What is a pattern
- If there is an approach frequency they will give you altitude and heading changes to get you to a 30 degree difference from the final runway heading. The following tutorials will help you with the various approach types.
Link - How to fly an ILS approach
Link - Different types of approaches
- Once approach clears you for the ILS, it is your responsibility to make the final turn into the runway direction. For example, at KSAN the runway is runway 27. ATC will often give 240 or 300 to put you at a 30 degree angle. From there you turn to 270 to line up with the runway.
- Some pilots will refer to real life approach charts to make their approach as realistic as possible. If you would like to do so, there is a great Tutorial on Reading Approach Charts.
- If there is not approach, contact the tower and ask for landing or touch and go’s. The tower will tell you where in the pattern to enter, what sequence number, and who you are following.
- In both cases be sure to pay attention to which runway you are assigned including if it is R/L/C.
Link : Which parallel runway should I use?
- For landing, your plane may come with auto land. If you are interesting in this feature, check out the tutorial here.
Link - Autoland Tutorial
- If you are doing a full stop, exit the runway as soon as possible and contact ground once your plane has fully exited the runway.
- Turn off your strobes and landing lights.
- Ask ground for taxi to parking.
- Pay attention and look around to make sure you are not turning head on into another plane and follow ATC instructions.
- Do not cross any runway (active or not) without permission from the ground controller.
Congratulations, you did a lot of work but you did it. Every flight will not be perfect and different planes handle differently in the air. You will learn what works best for you as well as trying new aircraft/regions.
I ask that in stead of clogging up the thread with “Hey what about xxxxx”, please PM me your suggestions or edits and I will make them.
I want to contribute to the education and having twenty threads of people saying “Yeah add what he said” is not the best thing.
Moderators, if you feel this is too much of a duplicate of similar topics feel free to close it. I know we are trying to keep the forum clutter free.