Get To Know The Community | Aviation Edition

Get To Know Our Community - Aviation Edition

Welcome to the Infinite Flight Community! This topic will introduce you to many of our real-world-aviation community members, highlighting many of them on their accomplishments and roles in aviation. If you have any questions, ask away in the comments or PM any of the users listed below.

Meet Tyler Shelton - @Tyler_Shelton | Air Traffic Control

Learn Tyler's Story

Greetings! I am Tyler Shelton, your Infinite Flight Air Traffic Control Community Manager. I’ve been with Infinite Flight since 2014 and have had the great honor of watching the community and our simulator grow into what you see today.

While full-time with Infinite Flight, I am also a full-time Air Traffic Controller for the FAA based at Harrisburg International Airport (MDT). We offer tower and radar services to one of the most diverse airspaces in Pennsylvania.

I got my start with Air Traffic Control in the US Air Force back in 2013 and served 6 years. In those 6 years I was stationed at Moody AFB, GA, deployed overseas twice, and had the opportunity to promote into the Watch Supervisor role. Following my time in the service I worked briefly at Goodyear Airport (GYR) in Phoenix where I got some incredible GA tower experience and was able to find my personal limits of ATC.

When I’m not doing ATC I love everything cars, music, and most of all… helping others! Please don’t hesitate to shoot me a message and let’s chat. I look forward to meeting you and hope we can continue fostering the next generation of aviators right here in this community.

Fellow Air Traffic Controllers of the Community:

Meet Matt - @DeerCrusher | Airline Pilot

Learn Matt's Story

Ladies and gentlemen from the cockpit. This is your First Officer, Matt, speaking and we’re glad to have you with us today! I reside in the beautiful state of Colorado where I’ve been living for the last 6 years. I joined this community to provide some insight into real-world aviation and what day-to-day operations are like from the airline perspective. I’ve been fortunate and honored to serve as a moderator on this amazing community for the last 4 years.

I am an active airline pilot flying the Embraer 175 for a major US air carrier. In the past I have flown the Cessna 208 Grand Caravan which operated Essential Air Service contracts that were awarded by the US Government. I also have experience on the CRJ 700/900 series as well as the Embraer 145. While the aviation industry is a very rewarding one, it comes with its own risks and challenges that you as a pilot must be willing to accept. The views that you get to see from the air, the different people you get to meet, and the various destinations and places you get to visit are what really seals the deal for me as a pilot. When you love what it is you do, it’s no longer a job. Rather, it becomes a fun hobby that pays.

You might ask, “How does one get to fly one of these planes/jets?”. I went to college to get a degree in Aviation Management (AvMgmt) and pursued my dream of becoming an airline pilot. It’s been a dream ever since I was about 6 years old. With a little determination, good grades and hard work, it was a dream that I made come true. By the time I graduated college I received all of the certificates and licenses needed to fly commercially and in IFR environment as well as that AvMgmt degree. Most, not all airlines, will look to see if you have a degree of some sort. While not ‘required’, it’s generally ‘preferred’. Companies will look to see what in you stands out more than the person next to you. That said “Be you! Don’t try to be someone you’re not”.

Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions regarding the airlines, flying, or anything else in this regard. Simply click on my name, and then click “Message”. Don’t worry, I don’t bite. 😉

Fellow Airline Pilots of the Community:

Meet Laura Laban - @Laura and Jason Rosewell - @jasonrosewell | Fixed Wing Private Pilots

Learn Laura's Story

Hi, my name is Laura, I’m the CEO/Co-Founder of Infinite Flight. I’m French/American, grew up in France, moved to the US after graduating with an engineering degree from Epitech in Paris. Spent 14 years in the US, in Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, and New York. Recently moved back to France for some time.

I started working on Infinite Flight in engineering school and continued working on it until Philippe and I decided to join forces to make this project a shippable product. We worked at NVIDIA in Santa Clara, CA at the time. I left NVIDIA in 2012 to work on Infinite Flight full time. On Infinite Flight, I now work on flight physics, aircraft systems, the scenery editor, ATC/multiplayer, and various other things.

On the real aviation side, I got my PPL at LFLY, flew a bit when I was studying in Paris (at LFPL), then moved to the US and flew out of KPAO when I was Norcal, KSMO in Los Angeles, and then KDXR when I was in NY. I started on C152, then flew on PA28, C172 before I discovered taildraggers with a navy veteran out of KOAK. I got hooked and have been flying taildraggers ever since. (Citabrias and recently an XCub).

That’s it for me, cheers!

Learn Jason's Story

Hi everyone! I’m Jason and I live in Ontario, Canada. My first career was in music, and I dabbled in web design on the side. I lived in Valparaiso, Indiana for almost 4 years during that time, and after moving back to Canada in my 30’s I opened my own web development business and put my drum sticks away. All this time I was fascinated with aviation and dreamed of flying.

In 2013, I discovered Infinite Flight in the App Store and I was hooked. I joined IFATC and eventually started FlightCast, an Infinite Flight podcast. Our co-founders, Laura and Philippe eventually invited me to San Francisco to do a live podcast with the entire staff team. At that time, they invited me to join the team which I happily agreed to. I now run our digital marketing which includes social media and communications. In addition to this, my role includes web, admin, and partnership work.

After attending and exhibiting at AirVenture 2019 with the Infinite Flight team, I knew I had to take my love of aviation to the next step. With a young family and a busy career, I decided to go for it and earn my private pilot’s license. The COVID-19 pandemic slowed me down a little bit, but in December 2020 I became a private pilot, having trained on a Cessna 172. I now fly a Piper Cherokee PA-28-140 around Ontario and I’m excited to explore more of my country and beyond.

You can read about how I used Infinite Flight during my PPL training on our blog. Clear skies and keep the dirty side down!

Fellow Fixed Wing Pilot’s of the Community:

Meet Ryan Epps - @Ryan | Certified Flight Instructor (CFI)

Learn Ryan's Story

Hey guys, I’m Ryan. I’m happy to serve as an Airport Editing Manager and Special Envoy to the Community, a position I’ve held for nearly 3 years. I’ve been a member of this community practically since its inception, and am happy to provide a different perspective wherever necessary.

Outside of the walls of Infinite Flight, I’ve been serving as a flight instructor at a couple of large universities in the United States. I’ve been teaching everything from the private pilot level up to the commercial level and everything in between. I have been able to experience the skies both in a highly structured training environment and a more relaxed general aviation environment and have loved every minute of it. Prior to that, I received my degree in Professional Flight. It’s a blast being able to meet other people in the aviation industry and learn about their journeys and aspirations.

Like much of the world, the current state of things has caused a noticeable effect on flight training. Luckily, I have noticed that some opportunities have started to reemerge for prospective pilots, and I encourage any and all of you who are thinking about pursuing a career in aviation to go for it. The nature of this business is a cyclical one and it’s important not to let the ruts discourage you from chasing your dreams.

If you have any questions, by all means, feel free to send me a message. I’d be more than willing to answer any questions or have a conversation about almost anything. :)

Fellow CFI’s of the Community:

Meet Brandon Sandstrom - @Brandon_Sandstrom | Aircraft Mechanic

Learn Brandon's Story

From the time I was sixteen up until the end of 2016, I worked as a marine technician, and eventually become a service manager. My family had always boated since I was little. Aviation had always been an interest of mine from my first flight on my uncle’s King Air. Up until 2015, I didn’t think anything would ever come of it, I’m not well off nor is my family. So flight school or anything of the sort wasn’t really in the cards. I was always looking for flight apps to keep my curiosity going. Every app I downloaded was far from the best. No flight physics, and very much just a game. Then one day I came across Infinite Flight. I figured I’d give it a try, and was shocked at the physics. I played this sim for 2 years constantly until one day my now fiancé asked me if I was just going to play this game all the time or actually make it happen. I laughed and said probably just play this game. Then I thought about how I actually could acquire a pilot’s license with my current situation.

Being very mechanically inclined, I figured I would try and see if anyone would be interested in trading my technical skills for flight time. It was a complete shot in the dark that I honestly didn’t think anyone would ever go for it. I mean seriously who would, but I figured that was my best hope. So I called around to the local FBO, flight clubs, etc. Some laughed; some wouldn’t even give me the time of day, go figure. So I asked my Snap-on tool guy if he knew of anyone that may need some extra help since he was an A&P. Surprisingly he said that he did. Later that week I got hooked up with my now employer. I worked for a little over a year after work for 3 or so hours a night after my regular job toward flight instruction. The more I was around it the more I was enthralled with it. In November 2016 I left my service manager position to get my A&P and work full time in the aviation industry. I’m very excited to be in the industry I’ve always dreamed of.

I’m very proud that as of May 31st, 2017, I have achieved my dream of becoming an FAA Certified Fixed-Wing Private Pilot and will be continuing the process thereafter.

Fellow Aircraft Mechanics/Flight Engineers of the Community:

Meet Danny - @Toasterstroodie | Airport Ramp Agent

Learn Danny’s Story

Hey everyone! I’m Danny, and I’m a Ramp and Tow Team Supervisor for American Eagle at DCA. I started out with Piedmont Airlines as a regular ramp agent in May of 2021, serving Envoy, Piedmont, PSA, and Republic flights under the American Eagle brand flying into and out of DCA. After three months, I transitioned to Bagroom Reroute and Operations as an Ops Coordinator. My role there was to make sure all the bags, whether local or connecting, made it to their flights on time.

In October, I was promoted to my current position of Ramp and Tow Team Supervisor. My day-to-day tasks include ensuring timely and safe turnarounds for all flights, as well as towing and repositioning aircraft across the airport. I am currently qualified and serve as a trainer for APU and Brake Riding operations on the Bombardier #NotAMitsubishi CRJ700/900 series, Embraer E145, and Embraer E170/175 series aircraft. In short, I’m responsible for starting up the aircraft and communicating with ATC up in the flight deck while the aircraft is under movement.

I discovered Infinite Flight in 2013 when I was seeking an alternative to the classic XPlane 9 on iPad, and I’ve stuck around since. Most of my earlier days with the app were on “Solo” mode, traversing through the various paid regions because I wasn’t sure if Live was right for me. However, I decided to give it a shot around November of 2019. I was hooked, and eventually, I joined the community in April of 2020. Two months later in June, I joined IFATC and found a passion for controlling. I currently serve as an IFATC Supervisor, Trainer, and Appeals Team member.

The community aspect and involvement of Infinite Flight has opened a lot of doors and created some truly amazing friendships; over the past two years almost, my aviation knowledge has expanded tremendously, and it’s had an influence on my career path. I’m currently working towards becoming a private pilot, but my ultimate goal lies with becoming an Air Traffic Controller.

Needless to say, aviation has had and continues to have a tremendous impact on my life, and I’d love to share that passion with anyone and everyone. If you’ve got questions or are just looking for a chat, definitely feel free to send over a message, and we’ll talk aviation and more! Messaging rates do not apply.

See y’all up in the blue skies! ✌️

Fellow Ramp Agents/Dispatchers of the Community:

Meet Tech Sergeant Andrew Sneed, USAF - @Asneed8706 | USAF Aviation Resource Manager

Learn Andrew's Story

Hello everyone, I am Andrew Sneed, I am a Technical Sergeant and Aviation Resource Manager for the United States Air Force. I’ve been with the air force as an enlisted member for going on 14 years and plan on staying till I reach retirement at 20 years.

If I can sum up what I do as 1C0X2, it would be I provide management processes for career aviators of the USAF. Some of my daily processes include performing flight authorization publications for sorties and aircrew, maintaining aircrew training/certifications, and producing aeronautical orders needed for our flyers to fly fight, and win in their qualified aircraft. I hold experience with the following aircraft or Mission Design Series as we name them in the air force; E-3C and F-16CJ. I’ve had the pleasure of serving stateside and overseas in Korea and even squeezing some TDYS or temporary deployments in between assignments.

On Infinite Flight, I am the founding member of the Infinite Flight Aviation Experts-Global Air Forces. Our military virtual organization has been a firm part of the IFC for going on four years now. Our organization boasts a wide range of diversity amongst our members and several of our members hale from foreign and allied air forces around the world. I breathe and live for all things related to military aircraft and military aviation.

When I am not involved with military simulation or military aviation, my time is spent with my wife and two boys as they generally take up most of my time but I wouldn’t change it for anything well except maybe a ride in a viper but don’t tell them that ;)

If you are considering a career in aviation management in the USAF I am happy to share my experiences as a 1C0. Disclaimer though, I am not a recruiter so if you are looking to join the USAF contact your local recruitment office. It’s great to meet you all and if you are looking for a professional military virtual organization to join the Global Air Forces would be privileged to have you join our ranks so don’t hesitate to reach out. Thank you for your time and I look forward to seeing you all in the Infinite flight skies!

Meet Tom - @tomthetank | Glider Pilot & CFI

Learn Tom’s Story

Hi everyone, my name is Tom, I’m a glider pilot and long-time avgeek. I got hooked on aviation after visiting the Kennedy Space Center in 6th grade, and after years of diving into any flight sim I could get my hands on (X-Plane Mobile, F-Sim Space Shuttle, and FSX to name a few) I finally started flying gliders in high school. I quickly fell in love and earned my private and commercial ratings, enabling me to have a summer job flying tourists on glider rides my first summer of college. Since then I’ve flown in cross-country glider races, earned my flight instructor rating, and added a powered license so I’m not entirely dependent on the atmosphere to achieve a climb.

One night while avoiding studying for an exam, I re-downloaded an old flight sim app I’d tried, but never gotten into — Infinite Flight. They’d just released the C-130 (I bought the J-30 model), and according to the forum, something called Global was coming.

How cool was it to find not only a flight sim app I could play anywhere but also one with a lively community I could talk planes with? IFATC seemed like the next logical step, so I joined as a way to progress myself and help provide quality ATC services to others — something that showcases that community aspect I believe sets Infinite Flight apart.

Since then, I’ve done my best to learn about and help through all aspects of the community — as an ATC Supervisor, Third-Party Developer, and as a Community Moderator.

My time in the community has helped create a lot of great friendships and opened some interesting doors. Combined with my education, connections I’ve made and knowledge I’ve gained helped me get a job in the aviation software industry.

My inbox is always open — happy to talk planes, planes without an engine, programming, or whatever else might be on your mind! Safe landings ✈️

Fellow Glider Pilot’s of the Community:

Meet Jack Frankie - @Balloonchaser | Hot Air Balloon Pilot

Learn Jack's Story

My name is Jack and I’m a Hot Air Balloon and Fixed Wing Pilot from New York. I got hooked on aviation before I could even walk (from what my mother tells me at least) and ever since I’ve taken flight myself, I’ve never looked back – taking every opportunity that comes my way

In June of 2020 I purchased my own used hot air balloon system. A beautiful Aerostar Aurora S49A (54K) envelope with a standard Aurora basket. This system is on the smaller side, only allowing for myself and one other light person to fly it. Hot air balloons can range from small one-person chair hoppers all the way to 32+ person baskets – talk about having a party with 30 of your closest friends at 10,000 feet… Hot air ballooning has taken me all around the world! From festivals throughout the United States to Canada, to the United Kingdom and beyond!

The journey to becoming a hot air balloon pilot isn’t as easy as one would think. Actually, some would say that it’s just as challenging to obtain your hot air balloon (lighter-than-air) private pilot certificate as it is to obtain your fixed-wing PPL. Unlike a fixed-wing aircraft, you don’t really have control over which direction you’re flying. You’re reliant on the wind speed and direction at different altitudes (for example: at 1000 feet you might be flying 230 * @ 4 knots but at 1500 feet you might be flying 250 * @ 8 knots. So you have that ‘steering ability’). Instead of taking off and landing at an airport, hot air balloons take off from a designated ‘balloon-port’ but can land basically anywhere, whether that be a cul-de-sac, backyard, farm, parking lot, etc. When I say that you meet all kinds of people… I mean it

In August of 2021, I received my fixed-wing private pilot certificate and started my higher education at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Business Administration. While the journey was long (with maintenance and weather delays), the determination is what allowed me to achieve my PPL. I can now say that I can fly a plane but can’t legally drive a car (💀)

Aviation has had a huge impact on my life. My goal is to obtain every certificate and achieve every rating available from the FAA/TCCA. With that being said, I am currently working on my Instrument Rating, Tailwheel Endorsement, and my Glider PPL certificate. I also intend to go skydiving within the semester with hopes of getting hooked and obtaining my basic Skydiving Certification.

Aviation is so cool and I challenge you to take every opportunity that is thrown your way! My inbox is always open, so feel free to reach out with any questions! 🎈

Fellow Hot Air Balloon Pilots of the Community:

Do You Have a Background in Aviation? Which One Best Suits You?

  • Student Pilot
  • Private Pilot
  • Commercial Pilot
  • Flight Instructor
  • Air Traffic Controller
  • Military
  • Airport Job
  • Drone Pilot (Licensed)
  • Helicopter Pilot
  • Certified Skydiver
  • Hot Air Balloon Pilot
  • Spotter
  • No Profession/Hobby in Aviation

0 voters

Banner By: @Alexander_Nikitin

Interesting in order to get more knowledge about what’s happening here ^^ , thanks and again great topic as always !

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super cool!

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time to make the first fake pilot joke…


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You never fail to go make great topics! This was quite an interesting read. I’m excited for the next generation of pilots to be people influenced by flight simulators, just like some of these.


Thanks for putting this together, Jack! I love reading these stories. Great stuff, and I’m very humbled to be on the list.


Any Boeing employees in the forum? I myself am based in Melbourne Australia. I am a Licensed Dangerous Goods and warehouse operations specialist for Boeing Distribution. Feel free to PM me anytime. It’ll be nice to get to know people from around the world within the company.


Thats awesome !!

im an aspiring and soon to be student Heli pilot !!

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And then there’s @W_LL: Certified couch potato :p

I updated my profile. Private pilot, FAA drone license and work as a line technician


Student Cessna Pilot at 16


Oh hello there…


Eek I made it! It’s cool to see what people are up to aviation-wise in their own lives. There’s a lot more experience here within this community than I had thought.

If anyone has any questions about getting started into aviation, feel free to reach out, I would be happy to help!


You made this post just so you could write this, didn’t you?

Anyway, good read. If anyone is seeking out connections in the aviation industry, I highly suggest hitting those folks up. They’re fantastic people and would be happy to help you out.


Very well done @Balloonchaser as always. Enjoy reading your post and honored to be included in this one. Amazing to see other “real life” pilots, air traffic controllers and rampers on Infinite Flight. I would have giving anything to have such a resource if information when I was learning how to fly. Any questions about anything aviation, the door is always open at Skydriver900’s house!


Awesome Balloon! I’m looking forward to seeing more topics like this in the future.

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Thank you so much for this detailed topic Mr Jack Frankie.

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Really nice topic! Was a nice read.

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Wow, more people here working on the ramp than I thought 👀


Amazing stories

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