Before you read this mess that I’ve created, you could always skip the boring stuff and head to the bottom for what this post really is about; but if you really want to read this mess, thanks for sticking around and being able to deal with my self-centered post.
To start this post off, I want to say that 2020 has truly been a divisive year, yet it’s also a year that has brought us together. Aviation has been a big passion of mine, and for those who know me, I got into aviation before I got into medicine. This year has not only brought me back to Infinite Flight and its community, but also moulded me to be a better person.
After the 19.4 update was released, I thought I’d never come back given how frustrating app crashes were, and to see people carry on with their flights with brand spanking new devices, I always thought that to be a part of the community, you needed to have a top end device. While granted the iPad Air was already an old iPad at the time of 19.4 being released, it was still a very useable iPad. I still actively use mine as a second screen when needed; but the frustration of the app crashing drove me away.
When 2020 came around, I thought I’d be on another platform. I’ve always wanted a PC capable of running high end flight simulators like P3D or X-Plane 11. I got pretty close, but for one reason or another, circumstances didn’t allow me to do so. While I won’t be getting into the details of why I failed to move to those platforms, global shut downs and the general slow down in life really pushed me to follow up on my aviation passion. After all, I frequented the airports either on flights or on spotting sessions, yet it couldn’t fill the void that flight simulators had on me.
March 2020 rolled around and for my birthday, I received a new phone. No surprise, after all, my then iPhone 6 was due to be phased out already. This upgrade was a much needed one after all, I was crashing when scrolling on Instagram or Twitter and I was desperate to say the least. April and May passes, and I carry on with online study. Yet something that always caught me off guard was the amount of free time I had. Not having to commute to college already saves me a couple hours a day, not to mention that my days are much shorter given online classes tend to last shorter than in real life (Placebo or not, I honestly don’t know. Though it’s how I felt anyways.)
June 2020 comes, and with it, the 20.1 update. I was initially hesitant on downloading Infinite Flight on my phone, given I wanted a dedicated device for it given how often I’d be flying. Though the urge was too much, and I immediately bought it. Gaining access to an account I once had brought with it plenty of memories from my previous days in the community. I was insistent that this would be on my phone for only a month since I wanted to just take a look at the B777-200ER. Well, that month became two, three, and suddenly I bought myself a six month subscription.
My time on Infinite Flight led me to revisit the IFC. It was a website filled with great people; some old, some new, some familiar names now just a time capsule of their memories, and many new accounts waiting to make a name for themselves. Seeing the community make so much progress since the last time I visited made me want to give back to the community. And quite simply, I didn’t know where to begin.
Scrolling through the website, one thread caught my eye, and it was this one. While it’s now closed because there is now a new one, I was somewhat surprised that someone took the time to give this rather forgotten airline (on the community at least) a VA to breed some life into it. So I handed in my application with this screenshot of my statistics, and was promptly accepted into the VA.
To say that my time in the VA scene is somewhat mundane is a fair point. After all, I never set up a VA, I was, and still am a nobody on the VA scene and I wasn’t even IFATC qualified. You’d be forgiven if you were to just have brushed me off as another person claiming they’re able to do more than what they’re capable of. Yet for whatever reason, which to this day I still could never understand was that I was given the role of being the Routes Manager at MHVA.
Being the Routes Manager led me to push the VA hard and fast, leading to a somewhat moderate growth with new pilots coming pretty frequently. While many have come and gone, I think the consistent flow shows the activity well. Though I shouldn’t have really been happy since it didn’t hit the expectations that I had, I persisted through and got the role of COO after an election in the VA (rather unorthodox, but hey, it worked).
Granted my time hasn’t yielded much, just a couple updates to the VA with a new crew center, some new routes and general QOL updates which were much needed. Anyways, while it probably blew my expectations at the time of the announcement to the VA, it probably didn’t live up to the hype I initially gave, probably in part due to my eternal pessimist which lives somewhere in me.
Anyways, back to the topic which I was here for, and for those who was here to see what milestone I passed, it was one which I probably never expected to have even come close, let alone surpass and look onto the next one. Looking at the grand scheme, I probably could have flown a few more short or medium haul routes to further boost my hours, though I’m not complaining given the timing of hitting 5 million XP is pretty fitting given its the 31st of December (where I’m at, at least) as we look forwards to the next year.
And yes, while many other people have far far more XP than I do, I thought a final topic on how 2020 has been for me at least was fitting as we look to end this year.
While 2020 has been horrid, something which I think most if not all of us can agree on, I’m happy to say that I’m ending it on a high personally. Looking forwards to a better 2021, I hope that my role on the community could expand from where I’m at. Not to mention that everybody on the community that I’ve met this year, I hope to have a fruitful 2021 and hopefully better days too.
Anyways, for the last time in 2020, thanks for coming to my Ted Talk sticking around, meeting me, being brave enough to have even talked to this freak called @LordWizrak, daring to work with me because of my incompetency and being there for me probably because you have nothing else to do.
To a better 2021!