FNF Tips and Tricks to Make the Most Of Your Day

DISCLAIMER: Before you get on to reading, I just want to make a few notes

Note 1: this is NOT a post to bash or ridicule our wonderful IFATC crew who take enormous amounts of effort and time to controlling the IF skies, they truly do rock! Here’s a shoutout to all of them for their hard work! Cheers!

Note 2: These are simply suggestions from things that I have noticed about the FNF, and I am not in any way shape or form imposing these as rules for anyone/everyone to follow

With that being said, please do continue on, I hope you’ll find this post worthwhile for your time! Thanks in advanced! 😄


Hello IFC! With another FNF upon us, I thought it would be best to provide some tips and tricks for the community to enjoy the FNF to the fullest extent possible. Now as many of you know, the FNF can be a very enjoyable time. The wonderful jobs both the pilots and the IFATC crew do really make this a truly awesome experience. However, both pilots and the ATC handlers can agree that ATC operations can become cumbersome at peak hours with long approaches and busy frequencies. So to combat that, I have made a list of some tips and tricks I use to make the most of my time!


In general, to make the most of time, I like to stick to departures from the FNF airport(s) as this is most time efficient. There are many new routes that I can do that also are a lot of fun. Here are some bullet points of note:

  • Stick to departures out of FNF airport(s), especially the HUB airport

  • Departures work well with all hours of the FNF, but especially with peak hours (1500Z-0300Z in my opinion) both time wise and data wise as you’ll need to (generally) store less in the device

  • Try to contact the ground frequency as soon as possible to get a place in line (file FPLs before though). The ATC are very fair in terms of who gets priority when and where

  • Do not waste to much time in the startup as others may want to taxi. This also takes time away from you

  • Once airborne, you can avoid the rush by either contacting the departure frequency (if there is one) or simply approving a frequency change (if permissible). Now you are free to continue enroute to your destination!

in the end, departures are a fun way to visit the FNF airports while avoiding the traffic backup that accumulates during these peak times (1500Z-0500Z).


Again, to reiterate, I do not recommend arrivals into an FNF airport, especially the HUB, as there are high chances for long ATC procedures and wacky patterns. But if you absolutely prefer to do an arrival, here are some notes to help with that:

  • Approaches, whenever I have done them into an FNF airspace, work best if they are done at non-peak hour times (0600Z-1200Z and 0300Z-0600Z in my opinion). This is because traffic is less during these times as majority of IF users are situated in the United States

  • Avoid FNF HUB airport(s) as this will receive the largest traffic flow of all

  • Pre-plan the in-use arrival runways and headings to facilitate IFATC and cut down on travel time to intercept the localizer(s)

  • If speed/altitude are also controlled, pre-plan for these to further facilitate the IFATC and cut down on extra time on your part

  • Plan arrival procedures, mentioned above, using LiveFlightApp

  • Make your intentions clear as soon as you enter a controlled airspace to get in line right away for your approach. Do not wait and hope that you’ll get the flight plan you planned and filed as this generally will not go well and will waste time

In the end, arrivals are a fun alternative to departures that lets you visit the FNF airspace. However, once again, I do not recommend approaches into FNFs if you are short on time!


  • Try to avoid FNF airspace all together if realism and/or time are key issues for you. You need to be a little flexible with your time and flight plan if arriving into the FNF

  • Avoid the FNF HUB airport as much as you can (if time/realism is an issue for you. See above mark for more details)

  • If you still want to participate, utilize secondary airport as much as possible to get relatively quick approaches/departures

  • Watch out for Flash Flights if you do not want to participate


In the end guys, these are simply suggestions from my prior observations. Again, you are free to fly however, whenever, wherever you want just so long as it is appropriate and follows all IFATC rules. Here’s another shoutout to our awesome IFATC crew, they are the true hero’s of all this! Have fun, stay safe, and wishing all of you guys tailwinds and blue skies. Please feel free to add any necessary points in addition to the above below in the comments! Thanks for reading this post, and I hope you found it useful. 😄😄


This is a good thread with many good tips!
However, I don’t think that pilots should avoid the main hub completely. They should, however, have realistic expectations of their experience based on the amount of traffic. You can’t expect a direct vector to a final approach fix if there are 30 other aircraft in your direct vicinity.
For me, I do enjoy both flying around very busy airports, but also exploring the quieter, less-used airports.


I also want to mention to get off the runway as soon as you can. The IFATC crew is trying to get everyone back on the ground or in the air in the most efficient way. But as long as you occupy the runway longer than required, it may cause some problems for arriving/departing traffic and you will most likely screw up the traffic flow during peak times.

Also, when you think you’re getting too close to an aircraft on the runway or in the air, ATC wouldn’t mind if you slow down your speed. You could prevent unnecessary go arounds with that. Win-win. I’ve seen many pilots approaching the runway at 250+ knots because they need to be the first one on the ground. Chances are high you end up with a go around.

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