Flying a Flight Plan

Not sure if you’ve had a chance to check out the tutorials on here, but they’re all worth a look.

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Thanks for everyone’s help. I just have to get used to IF ATC and learn like anyone new to a platform. And I am new to IF ATC that is for sure. No matter how much I have flown in other sim’s, IF and IF ATC have their own way of working, and I understand I have to work at it and learn.

Also, does IF ATC use ODD altitudes to the East and EVEN altitudes to the West? I mean do pilots have this rule as well as ATC?

Like I said, thanks for all the help, and really enjoying learning the ways of IF and IF ATC!

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The reason I mentioned the ODD and EVEN altitudes is when on uni-com ( and really busy ATC server ) I noticed I was coming really close to other planes, ( which can always happen ) but they seemed to be flying any altitude they wanted. Or maybe I am just wrong, but it appeared to be that way!

And also just noticing the flight plan helper text in PINK, is there a way to make that text larger for old eyes, or just bad eyes. Just noticed it today and it’s really nice, just wish I could read it better, depending on the background. And how far out from your next waypoint does the PINK text roughly show up?

Thanks again from a IF ATC newbie pilot!


The pink 1 minute notification shows up when near to a new waypoint. This helps in precision while sticking to your flight plan.

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Did you read the cruising altitudes link I posted by any chance? I found this very informative amongst other topics once I was granted access to the Expert Server. Training Server gets crazy at times so get your XP up and then you will be able to fly with better pilots and excellent ATC. Happy Flying @Daryl_Jacobs

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People in the expert server normally obey rules and behave sensibly, but on TS1 people don’t. Just a heads up, say ATC as IFATC normally refers to the professional ATC who control in the expert server


If you are asking me if I would like to be a ATC controller the answer is yes, but how do I contact you. Or was just a general message to everyone posting in this thread. If it to everyone…my bad. Also, I can’t get on the Expert server as I don’t have the hours or XP or whatever it is called.

Sorry if that was meant for Expert Pilots!

Thanks again for everyone’s help. I have been flying on VATSIM ( for FSX ) for years, but this is really different in many respects, but similar in others. Like I said I am enjoying it very much, just a lot faster than I am used too.

Today I spawned at an airport ( KONT ), and they immediately asked me what my intentions were. Spawned in parking spot. My intention if course is to fly, but I need to get my aircraft ready, flight plan filed etc… I did not know how to answer them really, as you can only choose text options :)

Still learning and I know they are too! Just caught me off guard :)

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If there is active ATC then I usually open the map up and set a waypoint of two before they ask and they can see that you have a flight plan which eliminates the request for intentions from them. Hope this helps.

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This happened the moment I spawned, I had no time to work on the FP :) Like I said we are all learning on that server.

Agreed, just keep on flying and you will be on the expert server with us in no time. Oh, and stay in touch with the IF Community since this will keep you in tune with all that’s going on.

If you are serious about flying / ATC then I suggest avoiding flying in SOCAL and pick one of the paid for regions such as Hawaii or London. As other pilots have also had to pay for that region they generally fly and control to a higher standard as they have a higher stake in it. Of course you still get the odd nim-rod but that is an esception rather than the rule.

As you are also a PC pilot you will probably know about SID and STAR so suggest that use those as part of your flight planning.

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A waypoint or two…

I’ve seen these. Flight plans to two random way points mid-region. This does not help ATC. Perhaps you were referring to two waypoints on the cone, so we can see your destination. Or your departure and arrival airports. At least we know where you’re headed, I suppose, but still doesn’t do much in the way of allowing FF.

In order for me to allow FF, I need to see that you have a well thought out flight plan (a few extra seconds before pushback wouldn’t hurt). A flight plan that is not simply a straight shot to the destination tower.

If I wee that you intend to fly down, enter downwind, follow it to the cone, I can consider it, but I’ll still be monitoring your altitudes and speeds to see if you’re giving any indication that you’re aware of the other inbound traffic.

Rare, indeed, is the IF pilot who fits this profile. If you are one of them, good on you, but I don’t see much of it.

While we’re at it (sort of), and completely unrelated to you, specifically, so please forgive me using you as a jumping off point: downwind is a specific heading, exactly 180 degrees removed from runway heading. It amazes me how many IF pilots think downwind is just some general area, where they can fly anywhere within a 60-degree arc. This is, well, not downwind. The pilot behind you actually on downwind shouldn’t have to wait for you to fly random headings away from downwind, then back.

Related, remaining in pattern means upwind-crosswind-downwind-base-final-repeat. You do not need a crescent-shaped flight plan during which you climb to 7000 feet. Again, others in pattern are hindered by your shenanigans. If you don’t know, which the tutorials. Please.

[The you is the general you, here, not the power to whom I’m replying,. He might be amazing in IF, I don’t know either way.]

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Look fella I’m not sure if you meant to be condescending but I never mentioned two random waypoints. I just gave him some advice to open up the map before he gets littered with ATC messages since the pilots have limited responses via the responses provided. Thank you for your response and information following your first sentence and I’m hopeful that the information you shared could make all who make the effort better IF users. Happy Flying, cheers.

Daryl, MaxSez: Note your comment on E/W Rule, Separation and Airway Routing. IF Live modify the FAA rules of the road to fit the platform. It utilizes the “Shootgun” routing approach. You’ll find a simplified ATC structure as well Due to staffing limitations you’ll note that all controlling entities are not always represented. In most cases staffing will includeTower, Ground & Approach only. Deal with it! Welcome back. Regards, Max

If I am spawn at a gate and ATC ask “for my intentions”, if I am not ready to push back as I am sorting out my flight plan, weight & balance, feeding the dog or making a cup of tea then I just tell them “STANDBY”. When I am ready then I request pushback.

nb if it is APR or Centre asking for my intentions when I am sitting happily still on the deck I just ignore them! If that happens on the Advanced server then we should all be worried!

When Making a flight plan I try and use where available the VORs (blue Circles) and the Airways (white lines), from the airport to the first VOR I find a suitable SID (Standard Instrument Departure) and at the end of my flight find a STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route) which links my flight plan into an active runway.

As I am sure all the IFATC are well versed in use of STAR and SID I am sure this helps them out in a) understanding my intentions and b) can assist them with vectoring

Thanks to everyone for the information provided. I am learning IFATC and just the mobile simulator everyday.

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I did not mean to be condescending. Mostly it didn’t even involve you, I was simply referring to the things I’d seen, triggered by your phrasing.

Specifically, though, I was paraphrasing this sentence:

“…I usually open the map up and set a waypoint of two…”

I think my paraphrase was fairly true to that, but again I was referring to pilots I see who just pick waypoints as they approach them, making partial, segmented flight plans from one point in space to another but not indicating a destination.


Understood, thank you for the clarity. No harm no foul.

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