Help for an intermediate?

So, I’ve been playing this game for a few months now, and I’m close to ranking up to rank 3. I thought I had almost everything down, but then I look at all these posts on proper ways to approach a runway, different altitudes to stay at depending on the direction of your craft, when to descend and at what rate, etc. I am really excited to go on expert servers, but I’m afraid I’ll mess up. Any tips for playing in expert mode, and how to do it as realistically as possible?


Follow all ATC instructions and you will be fine!


Great post, with a very relevant point.
Don’t just fly on Expert just because you fell asleep and made it to Grade 3 😉 Prepare yourself, and save yourself and others frustration. So…we’re glad you asked.

I recommend you view the Pilot tutorials on YouTube and keep in mind a few tips…

  • understand what a traffic pattern is
  • don’t request remaining in the pattern if you’re not planning to remain in the pattern (fly circles around the airport)
  • know how to enter via downwind, base, etc
  • make sure you’re at the right altitude when contacting ATC. When contacting Approach, make sure you’re at 15000 - 18000 feet approx 50 NM out of the airport.
  • contact Tower when you’re about 15 - NM out at about 10,000 feet.
  • check ATIS before you contact any other controller for that airport. After this, don’t switch back to ATIS.
  • never ever enter a runway without permission.
  • know what a back-taxi is
  • know how to go-around
  • when you request departure ‘straight out’ then please do so
  • know when to request a Transition; only when you fly through Tower’s airspace (in IF 5000 feet above Ground level) and you’re not intending to land.
  • understand that with ‘exit runway, cross runway x and contact ground’, you contact Ground after you crossed.
  • hold short with your entire aircraft behind the hold short line
  • check the pilot tutorial guide. Link in post below.
  • know how to work with Approach controller.
  • when you’re flying an airliner to another airport, make it a good practice to prepare a flight plan
  • don’t press the NAV button two seconds after your wheels leave the ground. Instead, fly your aircraft away from the airport towards your flight plan, and then switch on NAV.
  • don’t immediately quit your flight when you get told to follow instructions.
  • when you get told to check tutorials, then please do so here
  • and in the event you get reported, find the controller and send him a direct message to find out why and learn from it.

Here is a great post to read before starting!

Also, check out the IF youtube channel!

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Good thing @Brandon_Sandstrom puts great effort toward helping aviators. Have a look at this topic. There’s a ton of great info in there.

Pilot tutorial guide

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