About to hit grade 3! What now?

I’m really close to grade 3! I want to improve my skills before I’m actually grade 3. So, what is the most annoying thing you see people do in the expert server? Is there another thing I can do to improve my skills?


There are plenty of #tutorials to help you familiarise with ATC lingo, make sure you know what to do at the right time!


Once you’re grade 3 you try to become a Grade 4.


I suggest just always listen to ATC. Do not defy what they say.


Lucky you. I was Grade three last week until I got six violations (overslept and oversped) then got six more yesterday from leaving my iPad too long. I gotta wait two weeks till expert.


Hey! Looking forward to seeing you on the expert server (whether you are on earth or in space). If you haven’t already, I suggest you take a look at some tutorials as they will help out a lot.


One thing you should make sure you are able to do before flying on expert, is being able to understand all ATC instructions. Not following ATC commands in expert holds a much more serious penalty compared to the training server.

In order to gain a better understanding on these instructions you can look at the tutorials here on the forum, or you can watch some of the videos on the IF YouTube page.


Thanks everyone! I’ll try my best to watch every tutorial available.


Excited to see you flying with us on the Expert server! You’ll definitely notice an dramatic difference in the manner of professionalism that each pilot and ATC conducts his work in. If you’re looking to bring realism into IF, the expert server is the way to go!
My advice to you would be to not over stress yourself. Anyone on the IFATC team should understand that, though you should have a basic understanding of ATC commands, you still may be fine-tuning your proficiency. It’s okay to not know everything!
That being said, arrive with enough knowledge to conduct your flight safely. After all, that is the main goal of every pilot and air traffic controller. If you’re not bumping into other planes, you’re golden.
You’ve been working hard to get to Grade 3. As soon as you level up, take a flight around the Expert server (preferably at airports with active ATC.) Enjoy it! Pilots make mistakes in real life, so you’re not expected to be perfect just because it’s the “Expert Server”.
This is coming from a current Grade 4 who had very little understanding of any ATC command whatsoever when I downloaded IF. Soon, after I pass the practical exam, I’ll be joining the ranks of IFATC!
Just have fun with it. See you in the skies!


Make sure you know all about the pattern entry locations.
The amount of people I see who are told to enter left downwind, but enter right downwind or even right base instead is still annoyingly high.

Otherwise just get stuck in and go for it, it’s not hard to get it right.


The most annoying thing is when a few pilots don’t care about anything on Unicom. Ruins the whole experience

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  • Always obey all instructions

  • Use unicom! If you don’t, ATC mods will ghost you, and it ruins the experience for other pilots

  • Don’t be *that guy* who decides to land on the inactive runway into traffic because there is no active controller

  • Know what “Remaining in the pattern” means. If you are flying a route from one airport to another, don’t say remaining in the pattern!

  • Don’t request frequency changes, the controller will hand you off as necessary. This particularly applies to approach - dont request a Freq change to tower

  • Once you get a frequency change approved message, please actually change frequency! If you don’t you stay on controllers’ screens and clog it.

John - IFATC specialist :)


Expert server atc are intimidating and professional.So you really have to obey them at all times.

As others have said, listen to ATC on expert. Also , please file a FPL unless your doing pattern work / touch and goes at the same airport you depart. And do NOT have a FPL or plan on flying away from departing airport and request take off and remaining in the pattern. And if your ghosted , find out who the ATC was that ghosted you and why . We want to help you learn from your mistakes so HOPEFULLY , you do not do them again.


Let’s be honest you can learn from your mistakes aswell. :)

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There are plenty of tutorials about this. But I recommend learning about ATC instructions as it can get confusing. Another thing is to obey every command from ATC. Be courteous to other players as they have every right to report you

As others have noted, learning ATC Commands is numero uno (number one is Spanish). You need to know when the controller is right and wrong, For example if they are vectoring you into a mountain, what do you say?

IFATC is not perfect, so you can’t just know how to push a green button when it blinks on your screen. Every situation is a new one and every situation requires a strategy to get you down safely, for the pilot and ATC.

Also don’t crash on short final in front of the Mods/Devs, really embarrassing trust me.

While this is a perfectly correct and fair point, I find aircraft sometimes think I’m doing something wrong and won’t obey my commands when what I am doing is right, and this can severely disrupt the traffic flow at that airport. IFATC controllers are held to a very high standard, so please only contradict the controller if it will endanger your aircraft. Don’t disobey vectors because you think the controller has forgotten you or is is sending you the wrong way unless it will definitely result in a crash, and don’t not takeoff after being given an immediate takeoff request because you think the aircraft behind you is too close - the controller should have taken many factors into consideration and will have decided there is enough time for you to safely become airborne before the aircraft behind crosses the threshold.

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Just hit grade 3! I’ll be doingy first flight from Auckland intl to yssy with callsign 720. Thanks for all the help!

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Once you are Grade 3 …you should settle for nothing less than Grade 5…and even 5+ …if they ever add that…ultimately perseverance is a choice… not a luxury !!!