Last year, the weekend before Christmas, I ended my annual letter to the community with the following sentence:
I am looking forward to looking back on 2020 in one year and I am curious to see what there will be to report.
Here we are. December 20th, 2020. The weekend before Christmas. Another year has passed. And what a year it’s been. Definitely not how we imagined this new decade to begin, right?
It is difficult to capture the last year in words. The global pandemic has a grip on our lives, and it affects every one of us. We are living in a time when we are really learning to appreciate how valuable the things are that we may have always taken for granted: Having lessons in our own classroom, visiting our relatives, hugging our friends. In a year like this, filled with disasters - from wildfires to hurricanes, floods, disease and misery - focusing only on the positive may be wise advice, but we must also find a way to deal with all the rest. And we all deal with it very differently. While it may be easy for some of us to get used to this new life, there are also those who struggle more with it. And that is all right. We live in a situation that none of us desired. A situation for which none of us was prepared. A situation that we all wish will pass as soon as possible. And yet, even in the darkest of times, light can be found; when the best of humanity comes together. Doctors, nurses and all other employees in our health care systems; first responders, postal workers, employees in grocery stores, uniformed personnel and all other essential workers: They are the heroes of 2020. When everyone should stay home to contain the virus, it was and is these people who go outside day after day to keep our lives going. All these people deserve my utmost gratitude and respect; and I hope that the service of these people will not be forgotten even after the pandemic. To the all frontline and essential workers among you: Thank you.
Let’s have a look at Infinite Flight in 2020 now. We had the pleasure of receiving three great updates this year. In June, after six long months, 20.1 was published. And it was worth the wait: A new Boeing 777, VNAV, a Boeing 737 cockpit rework, global navigation data and ATC improvements added an entirely new level of realism to the simulator. Then, with 20.2, we received the remaining 777 variants, a new drone camera, a completely revamped authentication system with realistic callsigns and flight plan sharing. And now, with 20.3 the stunning 757 rework made its way to the simulator. It’s always fascinating to me to see how far this game has come in a relatively short time. Remember; until 2017, we didn’t have Global Flight. It is the developers of Infinite Flight - Laura, Philippe, Kevin and Cameron - who even after all these years take care of this simulator with such enormous dedication and passion, to whom we owe all this. What this small team does day after day is fantastic. And even if some of you will say now that everything might take a bit long: Quality goes before quantity. And that’s what Infinite Flight is: Quality. But it’s not just the developers at Infinite Flight who keep us moving forward every day: The entire Infinite Flight staff did keep up their good work this year - @jasonrosewell with his marketing magic, beautiful trailers and a new store, @schyllberg with his outstanding technical support, @Tyler_Shelton with his dedication to IFATC, @MishaCamp with his 2020 Forum Refresh & many other things; and those who we don’t see that often here on the IFC like the 3D artists behind our favorite planes. And with @RAH, the team has even grown by one additional person in the last year. Our team of moderators also grew with @JoshFly8, @naro, @tomthetank, @AdamCallow and @Declan_O. At the same time, we had to say goodbye to three people - who fortunately remained with us on IFC: @Levet, @ewanfleming and @Damian.
However, looking back to 2020 on the IFC, there were also things that weren’t as nice so it’s important that we try to reflect on that and see where we can improve which is why I’d like to add a personal request to this post: Everyday life in 2020 was just filled with controversy; and we felt it here on the IFC too from time to time. Let us remind ourselves that there is a person, a human being, behind every profile picture here on the IFC, Slack, Discord or anywhere else. We may not all have the same opinion, we may come from different backgrounds and we don’t all have to be friends with each other. However, we all share a common passion: Aviation and Infinite Flight. Let’s not allow users’ experiences to be ruined by the frustration of others. Bullying, racism, homophobia, transphobia and any other form of discrimination must not, is not and will not be tolerated. Now; we can also not forget to look ahead though - especially in a year like 2020. While many events had to be canceled this year, including FSExpo, Oshkosh and Cosford, we look forward to 2021 with a cautious spark of hope, hoping to make up for at least some of the missed moments. Because let’s not forget, we have a big year coming up: The 10 year anniversary of Infinite Flight. Infinite Flight has been a part of my life for more than seven years now. I am enormously grateful for all the opportunities that this simulator has opened up for me: Many new friendships all over the world, experiences, challenges and a lot of joy. We all don’t know what to expect in 2021 but I look forward to sharing the year with you on the IFC.
Before I end this years post I want to add a personal expression of gratitude to the entire Infinite Flight Staff and Mod team here. I joined them as a moderator a bit over a year ago. See, before I joined, the most interaction I had with the team maybe was a short conversation via PM on the IFC with some of them. But I’ll never forget how warmly they welcomed me to the team. It’s a privilege and pleasure to be working alongside them with all of you here on the IFC and I’m glad to be able to call them my friends now. Last year, I also took this opportunity to thank all our volunteers; the Regulars, IFVARB Admins and Members, Airport Editors and IFATC. I would like to repeat this appreciation at this time. Infinite Flight would not be the same without you. And it wouldn’t be the same without the IFC either. The year 2020 was a completely new experience for all of us. And it’s okay to feel overwhelmed sometimes with everything that’s going on in real-life. It’s okay to struggle with it. It’s okay to be worried. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it, it’s not a sign of weakness. We’ll get through this; and we can do it together. Reach out to your friends on the IFC or in your VAs from to time to time to see how they are doing, let them know that they’re not alone.
Is there anyone you were particularly grateful for here on the IFC in 2020? Let’s use the replies of this topic as a place for positivity and kindness; let’s say thank you.
I wish all of us only the best and I hope that we will be able to enjoy many great moments in our lives in the next year. I wish you all happy holidays, a happy new year, good health, happiness, joy and love. I look forward to seeing what 2021 has in store for us. And I am looking forward to the weekend before Christmas in 2021, when I’ll be looking back on the year and I am curious to see what there will be to report.
Take care of yourself, take care of each other. And stay safe!