Over the past few days I’ve been interviewing the great @Tyler_Shelton. I learned about his past life, his Air Force career, and his FDS job. I’m now here to share that interview with all of you! Without further ado, here it is!
As an Air Traffic Controller, what has been your most memorable or highlight moment? Any special aircraft that you don’t normally see/deal with, VIPs, etc.? (Submitted By @Deercrusher)
My most memorable moment as a controller was handling the arrival phase of an East Coast Power Demonstration which was put on for Senators and other political figures here at Moody AFB’s range. This demo showed the capabilities of our Search and Rescue mission with the addition of F16s, F15s, Ospreys and a few civilian light aircraft. Once the demo was over they all returned at once and it was by far the most chaotic 15 minutes I can remember. The busier the better and that certainly didn’t disappoint!
What kind of factors do you consider when creating the ATC schedule? How long does it take you? Who is involved? (Submitted By @Jake_Stopher)
Before creating the weekly ATC I first scroll through the last 2-3 to get an idea of what we’ve frequented, favored, or neglected. The next step is piecing together multiple areas that vary in size but also have a reasonable distance between each other for those that like the hauls from place to place. My final consideration is what areas get a primetime spot which for Infinite Flight is Saturday and Sunday. I read every bit of feedback and do my best to accommodate everyone and provide a little something for every preference!
How did you discover/get hired by FDS? (Submitted By @GolferRyan)
I began in the community like most others actually! I was quite addicted to Infinite Flight, played often, worked my way into the Beta program, then quickly raised my hand to help when there was mention of Laura adding ATC to the app. Once released I assumed a leadership role for our ATC Community which quickly turned into a great deal of time volunteered to recruiting, training, organizing, efforts, etc. One day I jokingly said, “ya know, it’d be nice if I just worked for Infinite Flight with how much time I’m spending” and one thing led to another…
What is the most stressful part of your job ? (Submitted By @Joeoreilly77)
Thanks to a recent upgrade I spend most of my hours as the Tower Watch Supervisor, responsible for all positions and operations in the tower cab. I find that to be far more stressful than actually controlling because you’re responsible for each controller, must monitor all of them, and looked to for the final decision on anything pertaining to Air Traffic Control and airfield operations.
• Did you want to become a Air Traffic Controller when you were young? Were you into aviation?
Growing up I had no interest in becoming a controller or even doing anything aviation related. I got into music at a young age and started playing Trombone when I was 12. From there I attended art schools through high school, studied Jazz Performance and Composition in College, then eventually left there and went to the Police Academy in 2012 before landing in the Air Force as an Air Traffic Controller in 2013. Life never quite turns out how you’d expect it to!
• Whats your favorite part of this community? (Submitted By @BalloonChaser)
My favorite part of this community is the diversity. There’s not many questions that go unanswered here because someone somewhere has the experience or knowledge to help! We’ve got pilots, controllers, and nearly every profession represented in this community! I love the dynamic that creates.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to become an Air Traffic Controller? (Submitted By @William_Armstrong)
I always encourage any hopeful controllers to develop the ability to take criticism and feedback. ATC is a rapidly evolving career field and each controller must be open to growth or they simply won’t last. The training process is demanding and full of failures which most don’t have the resiliency to overcome. Keep an open and motivated mind and you’ll absolutely succeed!
What had motivated you to join the Air Force? (Submitted By @Nate_Schneller)
The Air Force was a plan B for me but I knew they offered a great level of stability and a job (ATC) that would help propel me back into the civilian world. I only joined with the intention of becoming an Air Traffic Controller after researching that career field and FAA opportunities.
Which community member do you want to meet the most and why? (Submitted By @xSev)
I really look forward to meeting @Joe! He’s been one hell of a friend and has done so much to help here in the community. I appreciate Joe’s wildly inappropriate and witty sense of humor and hope to buy him a drink one of these days as a thank you for having my back over the years!
I’m typically tagged in some way, whether Slack or the forum at least 3-5 times per hour. It can be rather hard to keep up with when you’re working two full-time jobs but I do my best to help everyone when able! Maybe one of these days someone will break me but I’ll keep being nice. Someone has to balance Mark the grump!
What is your favourite aircraft ingame and real life? (Submitted By @crxmson)
My favorite aircraft on Infinite Flight is the CRJ which you all will soon experience. It’s very fun, demanding, and versatile. I’ve wanted the CRJ for some time as someone who prefers regional hops into scenic airports! As for real life, the F15 is definitely a favorite. It’s such a powerful and capable aircraft that truly never gets old to see in your pattern!
What are your other passions besides IF? (Submitted By @The_Geniusman)
I’m quite passionate about cars and the gym currently. Over the past few years I’ve been through quite a few cars in search for more power and refinement, as I simply enjoy the escape and often go for drives on a busy day to decompress. I currently drive a 2018 Audi RS3 (@Chatta290 question I think) and absolutely love! it As for the gym, it was a big lifestyle change about a year ago when I decided to get a personal trainer after losing sight of my health and wellness. It’s been absolutely life-changing and something I actually enjoy now.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
I think most people are surprised to find out that I almost exclusively listen to jazz. It’s something I’ve always been interested in and I’ve done a great deal of traveling to see some of the jazz greats in person. While working you’ll often find me listening to Oscar Peterson, Coltrane, Freddie Hubbard, and many others…
What is your favorite place to fly in IF (Region and/or landmark) and in what airplane?
My favorite place to fly into on Infinite Flight is Aspen (KASE). I always find myself back there because of the challenging altitude, terrain, and required skill. The CRJ just completes that airport!
Future IF feature you are most looking forward to being released? (Submitted By @Grizpac)
I’m most looking forward to airport and aircraft lighting. Flying at night is an entirely new challenge but it’s not always practical on Infinite Flight if theres not much moon lighting or you’re simply not in a dark environment to see on your device. I can only imagine how fun it would be entering a busy airspace at night with lights all around from the other aircraft!
If you could pick 3 locations in the world to get deployed to where would they be?
As I’m about to leave on my second deployment in four years, I’d say nowhere. But really, I’m open to go anywhere and truly don’t have a preference. I joined the Air Force with the willingness to go anywhere at anytime and I really am content with that. My only hope would be that it’s somewhere with fighters and tons of traffic!
You’ve seen this dynamic community grow and evolve through the years, what things would you like to see improved regarding community member involvement and contributions? (Submitted By @Levet)
I really would like to see our community continue to develop and grow in their knowledge of aviation. We’ve got so many young and aspiring members that can absolutely succeed in this career field if they take advantage of the resources around them, overcome peer pressure, and apply themselves. My hope is that as each one progresses they find ways to give back, whether making tutorials, mentoring others, or simply setting the example.
Whats your most and least favorite threads? (Submitted By @Connor_Seymour)
This is a tough one! I think my current favorite thread is the Global Logbook… I’m always at a loss for where to fly and usually open that just to spark an idea for aircraft, airport, etc. As for my least favorite, it will forever and always be an aircraft tracking thread. Three Words: OFF TOPIC COMMENTS. The excitement is real but you find yourself picking up the thread and placing it back on the tracks 5 times a day. May as well name the topic Flag Fest™.
Funniest ATC moment (IRL or IF)? (Submitted By @Delta319)
The funniest thing I can remember is briefing another controller to take the Local Control position from me during a recovery with multiple aircraft on frequency. We typically select a “Brief” button which records the whole thing. On this occasion I gave a rather inappropriate briefing but forgot to select “Brief”… instead I had been keyed up and transmitting over the tower frequency the entire time. Once I unkeyed I had multiple A10s calling in saying “got it!”, “briefed”, and “good brief!”. After about 5 minutes of panic I couldn’t stop laughing!
What AFB are you based at? Or maybe where do you usually control at? Tower, ground, approach, departure, clearance delivery? (Submitted by @TheBoeing787)?
I’m an Air Traffic Controller at Moody AFB in Georgia. I’ve currently got ratings in Local, Ground, Flight Data, Coordinator, and Watch Supervisor. I’d love to get radar ratings one of these days!
What’s the story behind your career in the Air Force? (Submitted By @ewanfleming)
The choice to join the Air Force came after a year of searching for a job in Law Enforcement. The police academy was an incredible experience and though I wanted to become a police officer I really was after public service more than anything. The Air Force came with a lot of pride, provided good stability and had technical careers that I knew would transfer into the civilian world. I researched, tested, and held out for an Air Traffic Control slot to open! I don’t regret it one bit. I’ve now been in for 5 years with 1 to go, progressed to Staff Sergeant, had great experiences and even met awesome people like @THE-OP.
I’m glad I had the honor to interview Tyler, and I hope you all enjoyed learning about one of the game changers of Infinite Flight and the IFC.
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Thanks for reading this,
TheBoeing787 - Founder And Owner of IFCI