IFATC Supervisor Stories: Edition 4

Supervisor Stories: Edition 4 | June 2022

Welcome back to the fourth edition of Supervisor Stories! Each edition of Supervisor Stories will introduce you to a handful of supervisors from the Infinite Flight Air Traffic Control team as they share their IFATC story and journey with the wider community. The IFATC Supervisor Team and the community as a whole is full of people from around the world, with a diverse range of backgrounds, cultures and experiences so there will never be a dull moment. Sit back, relax and enjoy the fourth edition of Supervisor Stories as we meet and learn the stories of more supervisors from the Infinite Flight ATC team!

Tajay | IFATC Supervisor

Tajay's Supervisor Story

Hey! I’m Tajay (obviously) and I currently operate as a Supervisor in IFATC and a Board Member in IFVARB. My interest in controlling actually started after I was reported for “Failure to complete the instrument approach” by Chris Hoover on October 16, 2018. How Chris was able to manage the swarm of planes on approach intrigued me so I messaged him on the forum to gain an insight into how IFATC works. Our productive conversation led me to apply on October, 20 2018. I failed the written test twice (first try was 68%, second was 72%) but passed on the third try (80%- the bare minimum). I was able to pass the practical test first try in January 2019 and was sent the slack invite link by my wonderful recruiter, Josh.
Upon joining, I was messaged by Tyler, Trio, Chris M (DenverChris) and I was greeted by the amazing and passionate members of IFATC. The first couple months were filled with awesome learning experiences that helped me to hone my skills (or lack thereof). I applied for and was approved to commence radar training (to be an IFATC Officer) in May 2019, if I recall correctly. I was initially assigned Florian but due to time zone incompatibilities, I requested a change to Bobby. Florian set the foundation for my radar training and Bobby built upon it. I learned so much from both and could not be anymore grateful for the time they devoted to me. I passed my radar practical on the second attempt in August 2019 but Bobby was always my go-to source for advice about controlling. At times it felt like I was more adept at pestering Bobby than controlling but we move.
December 5, 2019 was a dark day. Many mistakes at Zurich (LSZH) ultimately led to a demotion to IFATC Apprentice. It was difficult to come to terms with the situation because I gave controlling 100% every time I opened but I respected it knowing that upholding the team’s standards was non-negotiable. This period of being an apprentice was character-testing. I was opening class charlie fields here and there. Enter EIDW. The class charlie field that feels like a class bravo. I opened EIDW tower on Boxing Day (December 26th). It was busy but approach was active so I did not have reason to second guess my decision. Or so I thought. Approach left due to being overwhelmed and that left me with a decision to make: close or continue. I had (and still have) a reputation of performing under pressure/when stakes are high/when the going got tough. So this was an all or nothing situation for me. I gave it my all and it worked (see here). I was promoted to specialist then officer a week or two after.
Then came lockdown and another reckless decision in August 2020. The devil really does find work for idle hands. Why a group of controllers and myself decided to disturb and cause havoc at a tracking thread is a question I still ask myself. We were consequently (and rightfully) suspended for 3 days. Logical thinking went overboard but this was an experience we all learnt from. I thought about increasing my involvement in IFATC during lockdown so I continued to work hard and commit to the collective cause (attending training times and tests, controlling).
Fast Forward to February 3, 2022 when I was promoted to Supervisor. Good things come to those who wait (and work hard). Attending specialists and officer check rides are my favourite things about my role. Helping and guiding others are things I enjoy doing. June 2022 makes 3 years and 6 months of service for me and I would not alter the script. I appreciate you all!
(People I looked up to: Bobby, Dylan B, Jeffrey R, Chris H, Dillon L, Darius, Trio, Gary, Zuhair, Prashant, Mwe, Rocco, MrMrMom, Will, José, CR3W, among others)

Average_Gamer | IFATC Supervisor

Average_Gamer's Supervisor Story

Hello there! My name is Ruan and I have been on the IFC and IFATC since 2020. I am in a few VA’s but I’m mainly staff at BAVA. Along with that I am a IFATC Supervisor and Tester. I am currently 16 years old and am in training for my PPL and am also learning front end development on the side with a few big projects in the works. I am currently an IFATC Supervisor and Tester who has been with IFATC and the IFC since 2020. I also run the IFATC Newsletter a newsletter that goes out each month detailing everything that happened in IFATC and in the IFC.
I started my IFATC journey on the 7th of June 2020 when I was contacted by TaipeiGuru who was my local trainer. Local is your tower, ground and ATIS frequencies. I began my training the day after with a few pilots and a dream. It was a unforgettable journey with many highs and lows but I knew I would get there and was determined to. I don’t remember all my sessions but a funny one is I had a session whilst having a haircut because I was determined to not let anything get in the way of me becoming a IFATC certified controller. A month and 8 days later I passed my IFATC practical test and was a certified IFATC controller. A massive shoutout to AdamCallow who was my local recruiter.
When I joined I was extremely eager to control and another fun fact my first ever ATC session was in my Afrikaans Language class (Afrikaans is one of the eleven languages taught in South Africa.). I had first opened EGLC and was met with ban hammers on my opening message because back then you had to control within the featured region. All good though I switched and opened a very tiny airfield. I had a few hiccups down the road as every controller does but I learnt from it and progressed.
In 2021 I had a goal of becoming a IFATC Officer. Officer allows you to control Center, Departure and Approach. So I met the requirements and immediately contacted Shane. Shane would become my radar recruiter. After passing the supervisor poll I was then contacted by Alexandre who would become my radar trainer. My first session was at EHGG with three pilots, from then on I had a session every single day for the next month and a half with a lot of highs and lows but just like my local training I persevered and pushed through it wanting to achieve that goal. I had my mock practical at KLSV which was extremely stressful since I had both my recruiter, trainer and a few testers join that session, but it all worked out and I was cleared for my practical! On the 22nd of July I faced the music and had my practical which was a almost flawless pass besides almost stalling Shane out at 40nm. Nothing much happened after that. I continued controlling but now in my new Officer rank and was enjoying it very much. A few months went passed and I got a DM from Tyler one day giving me a promotion to IFATC Tester. That was a surreal moment because I always wanted to progress through the ranks of IFATC and that meant my journey was just starting! I attended a lot of tests down the line and enjoyed it. Then 2022 came and 2022 so far has been the best year for me in IFATC. On February the 3rd, 2 days after my birthday I received a DM from Tyler again promoting me to IFATC Supervisor! I was ecstatic, overjoyed and shocked when I got it I had never thought I would get it but I always worked on getting it and so that gave me a massive sense of accomplishment. Now in IFATC I spend my time helping out others with any questions, chatting and controlling the skies of Infinite Flight!
I just want to give a massive shoutout to the everyone I have met in IFATC over the years. It may not seem like it but I treasure all the time we spent talking, joking and making fun of peoples landings. I could have never imagined I would find such an amazing place with such amazing people. If you are looking to join IFATC don’t hesitate. It will be one of the greatest experiences within Infinite Flight!

Nico Pizarro | IFATC Supervisor and Trainer

Nico's Supervisor Story

My name is Nicolás, better known as Nico. I’m a 19 years old student pilot from Chile who started using Infinite Flight back in 2015. When I first applied for IFATC, I failed my practical test. I then applied for training and I was able to join the team after a few sessions and the amazing help of my trainer, TaipeiGuru. Some weeks later on IFATC, I started understanding the joy and the fun side of the group which unlike many of you may think, it wasn’t just controlling - it was the community and being able to directly do something to improve the pilot’s experience. I started getting involved in other areas other than just controlling helping out where and when I could. After a fair amount of training sessions in my record, I applied for training myself to become radar certified under the guidance of Jack (Balloonchaser); who, after some pretty fun challenges at Lukla, Kabul and Aspen, cleared me to take my practical and become IFATC newest Officer.
Two weeks later, I got a message from Tyler saying that I was added to the Testers team - my first role promotion on IFATC. Months passed and I decided it was time to push myself to the next level and started working hard to become part of the Training Team, attending several training sessions, helping out on the IFC and creating guides for aspiring controllers; and the day finally came, when Josh (JoshFly8) offered me a position on the team - I was speechless. After 10 months of training people and many hours controlling, here I am newly promoted to the rank of Supervisor, which I’m completely honoured to be on.
My advice for people looking to expand their participation on IFATC on the diverse teams and roles (training, recruitment, appeals, etc.) is to work hard to accomplish your objectives; just like you do with other goals in life. Difficulties and challenges will be on your way but you need to overcome them and move forward.

Thanks for tuning in to the fourth edition of Supervisor Stories. These stories and this initiative is designed for community members to gain an understanding of what the journey into and through IFATC can entail and to encourage community members that are contemplating joining IFATC to do so, as it is certainly an experience you won’t regret as shown by the stories of the supervisors.


These are amazing stories, thanks for sharing guys!


Not sure how I was never informed of this, but congratulations – you’re now my favorite trainee.


Wow, these stories hit hard as always. Thanks for sharing them!


@Shane you have been toppled.


With context the amazing Taipei was referring to my story. It is 7am forgive me. @ToasterStroodie weather report coming shortly.

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@nicopizarro As you should be. I know it’s hard to speak words in my presence, but my awesomeness does allow for a little room to let a few sentences out.


My dear friend, 42%. Homie @Will_A had a chuckle.


Thanks for sharing you guys! It’s always an awesome read and we’re lucky to have you apart of our team.


Glad you enjoyed these stories. Thanks so much for reading!

Great to hear that you enjoyed these stories once again!

Glad you had an awesome read. You’re certainly not wrong. We’re very lucky to have everyone apart of the team and I wouldn’t want to be in a team with any other group of people. You’re all amazing!


Another fantastic edition! Thanks for taking the time to compile these stories. There is always a good bit of nostalgia hearing names and experiences from the early days!

Nico, Ruan, and Tajay are class acts that have truly made a massive impact on IFATC and it’s future.


Thanks so much for the kind words, Tyler. Glad you enjoyed this edition.

You certainly aren’t wrong when it comes to the three featured in this edition and that’s why I love sharing their stories, because it shows what can be achieved with some hard work, willingness to learn and dedication.

Another great edition Declan! Well done! Thanks for making something like this possible.

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Thanks so much for the kind words, Rick. Glad you enjoyed this edition!

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These stores are amazing! Thank you so much :)

Glad you enjoyed reading them. Thanks so much for the support!

This makes you want to invest more in IFATC


Glad to hear that mate. Exactly one of the main reasons that I started this initiative.

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