My IF procedures for a realistic flight

This is quite a long post but I wanted to document the procedures I go through on a flight to create realism.

I generally try to have ATC at either the beginning of a flight. If I think there is a chance for having APPR on arrival then I will opt for that over tower/ground on departure.

Then I will go to flightaware and search for flights between the airports of my choice. Usually I am doing short hauls and most enjoy flying the CRJs or 737 or A320. After I have found a real life flight which is the right route on the equipment I want I will launch IF with the plane and real life gate assignment from Flightaware.

Once I have spawned the first thing to do is to update your callsign to that of the real flight.

Then open the main and cargo doors on the CRJ.

Next ill go to fpltoif and select the simbrief option to create my fpl. Generate the FPL and copy. Then ill add the fpl to IF, delete the first WPT in your flight plan and then review. Normally, i will try to remove any coordinate waypoints which didnt exist in IF. This is personal preference to only want the waypoints which are in IF. In some cases I will find a waypoint close to the coordinate point and replace. I also will make sure there are no legs which are shorter than 10-15NM unless they are on approach or departure. Finally I will add a few waypoints that correspond with my planned departure and arrival runway, since fpltoif does not do a great job of this.
Once this is all loaded in I fire up infinitepax for the livery i’m using and also launch IFassistant. Go back over to IF and turn on the nav lights to let ground know someone is inside. Next I will set my trim and set up my cabin views how I want.

Now Ill head into weight and balance and referencing my fpltoif FPL, will add my passengers, cargo, and fuel. Once that is complete you can close the cargo doors and main door.

As the doors close I will turn on and immediately off engine 1, to activate the welcome message from IFassistant. Once hes done giving the announcement I will contact ground and request pushback, at the same time turning on the beacon light. Once I have approval, start pushback and while pushing, fire up engine 1 waiting for 20% n1 followed by engine 2.

From there work with ground and taxi. Do not turn on lights until given cleared for takeoff and flip them on as you cross the threshold.

landing lights come off 500ft agl, strobes can come off at 15k ft agl or remain on (personal preference).

From there enjoy the flight.

Once landed, turn off strobes and landing lights after clear of the runway. Taxi to the gate designated in flightaware. Park, turn off both engines, turn off seatbelt sign, turn off beacon light, open the main and cargo doors. and you are done.

Is this similar to how other pilots approach their flight? If you do something different leave a comment. I prefer this method because with the help of IFPax and IFassistant the sounds match pretty well with how a real flight goes.

15 Likes

Don’t know if this is something that you like to do yourself, but the landing lights usually have to be on under 10,000 feet, and strobes have to be on the entire flight.

10 Likes

Yeah, I flip the landing lights on during descent at 10K and the strobes below 15K. I didn’t think strobes had to be on the entire flight though. I’ve noticed in Europe they stay on the entire flight. Anyone else know for sure?

1 Like

What I do is I turn on strobes right before I takeoff, and keep them on at all times.

3 Likes

Yess it’s a rule for it to stay on all flight.

3 Likes

After reading some it seems that usually they stay on the entire flight, except in cloud cover as it can be distracting and reflects.

Procedure around the world is landing lights on below 10,000ft. Storbes on all the time from when you are given clearance to enter the runway until you exit.

5 Likes

engine 2. should go 1st…

2 Likes

I don’t think it matters that much to be honest. Startup sequence depends on various factors such as:

  • Aircraft flight manual (AFM) requirements
  • Company standard procedures
  • Technical issues due to inoperative equipment
  • Specific airport requirements

In Infinite Flight (and sometimes in the real world), it really matters nought.

5 Likes

For extra realism it’s always great to follow the SIDs and STARs (realistic departure and arrival routes) at your destination and departure airports - you can usually find these on the web quite easily - they’re fun and sometimes challenging to follow!

7 Likes

Most multi engine procedures start engine 2 first because it’s opposite the side in which passengers board the aircraft. Should there be a problem with engine 2 on start up the passengers have a safe exit on the left side. This is information gathered from experience on the ramp and the pilots that I speak with at my job.

7 Likes

This is something I agree to enjoy doing.

Also using VFR charts for VFR flight is a nice challenge makes it realistic without using a HUD

3 Likes

This is an interesting topic, why not. Here’s what I do.


Preflight

  • Pick my departure and arrival airport and aircraft I want to fly. I’ll also find a real world flight number if applicable if it’s not a VA flight I’m doing.
  • Decide what my scheduled time of departure will be.
  • Get all the weather information I need along with all the charts for the departure, arrival and enroute, as well as NOTAMs.
  • Plan the route working backwards from the destination trying to stay as close to the GCD as possible. Pick out the STAR that looks most suitable then work backwards until I meet up at the end of a SID. I do things a little differently if there are no STARs, SIDs or if tracks (NAT, PACOT, etc) will be used but the point is the same, start at the end and work backwards. It’s what works well for me.
  • Randomly generate my payload (passengers and cargo). Generate again if it’s something rediculous like 4 pax.
  • Pick out several destination alternates, a takeoff alternate and a PNR some times even though a PNR is never necessary for IF.
  • Adjust my fuel as needed. For example, do I want to hold if the weather is bad and I’m unable to land because the minimums aren’t low enough but forecasts say it will improve soon?
  • Calculate the flight, and look through the PLOG and make sure I agree with everything it says or adjust things I don’t like. Get my V-speeds as well.
    Load IF and go through all the preflight. Pick the plane, callsign, livery, load the FPL and enter the load sheet, etc.

Pushback & Taxi

  • Note: Always obey ATC and maintain situational awareness with or without ATC!
  • Look at the Airport Ground Chart and plan my taxi route.
  • Go through the checklists at appropriate times.
  • Position lights were turned on when IF first loaded up. Before I pushback or perform a gate start when applicable, turn on the red anti-collision light. All clear? Lets get rolling! Engine #2 gets fired up first followed by #1.
  • Taxi to the runway at safe speeds, a maximum of 10kts inside of a non-movement area and a maximum straight line speed of 25kts. Turn on white anti-collision when occupying a runway. Keep your head on a swivel for other traffic!

Departure

  • Verify heading and runway and a final check of the aircraft configuration again before commencing takeoff roll. Landing lights on after takeoff clearance received (or announcing takeoff) and before commencing takeoff roll.
  • Follow departure as planned, including any noise abatement departure procedures.
  • Retract flaps on schedule and accelerate to enroute climb speed.
  • Landing lights off passing transition altitude (or 10,000’ in North America).

Cruise

  • Verify autopilot is set correctly. I can now step away from the flight if needed.
  • If present for the flight, check fuel at each fix to verify planned fuel burn verse actual fuel burn. I’ll also make note of the planned winds and OAT verse actual. Check total time as well to see if I’m gaining or losing time at each fix.

Arrival

  • Check weather at destination. Figure out TOD and which runway I’ll be landing on.
  • Figure out my Vref and get the minimums for the runway and approach procedure I’ll be using. Plan which exit I want to take to vacate the runway.
  • Landing lights on passing through transition level (or 10,000’ in North America).
  • Get configured for landing and make sure I know what the missed approach procedure is.
  • When down, vacate the runway as planned or next exit if I missed the planned one. Taxi to parking. Or if I had to go around then take another lap and try again!
  • Clean up the aircraft after vacating the runway. White anti-collision and landing lights are turned off as well. White anti-collision turned back on whenever occupying a runway.

Debrief

  • Compare all the planned times (off/on block, takeoff/landing) and arrival fuel verse the actual and see how I did. Make note of any fuel bias changes I need to make for more accurate fuel calculations in the future.

Adding on to the number two engine comments, the APU takes fuel from the left tank. So another reason to start number two first is to help balance the fuel between the left and right tanks.

19 Likes

IRL Engine 2 is started first(mostly) because the captain can’t see the engine, so he has to hear if there are any problems with the engine without the sound from engine 1 overpowering the sound. The captain can see engine 1, so he dosen have to hear it

1 Like

The ED (Engine Display) or analog gauges serves that purpose as well. Monitor the ITT, fuel flow, prop RPM, NL and NH RPM, oil pressure and temp, EGT, N2, N1, etc. Whatever the procedures may be for the particular aircraft you’re flying.

1 Like

Yes you’re absolutely right.

Here’s my procedure when I’m flying for FedEx Virtual.

Search flight plans on Flightaware and when I find one I scroll down to decode and copy and paste the link into FPLtoIF. Then I’ll go to SimBrief and set up a flight plan so I can get my fuel numbers. I usually get my cargo numbers from the routes on our website and plug them into SimBrief as well.

Then I’ll get my aircraft load and refer to the QRH on the MD-11 for my V speeds and plug those into IF Assistant. Then I’ll open up IF and spawn in, paste flight plan, which is usually on par with departure and approach charts, load up fuel and cargo, then push.

I was recently informed of a new procedure where waypoints are loaded into IF and you can use the DEP/APPR charts to plug in desired altitudes/speeds at each waypoint and it will adjust your autopilot accordingly. Something I plan on trying today or tomorrow.

Strobes required for the entire flight from entering the departure runway to exiting the destination runway.

Beacon from engine start to engine shutdown.

Nav lights when it’s dark, landing and logo lights ‘normally’ used below 10,000’.

The airbus has the strobes linked to the ground air switch in real life. They will come on when airborne irrespective of the position of the switch. Boeing expect the stick monkeys to do it.

The ONLY time you might elect not to use strobes is in LVP’s for taxying. Then you have positive runway controlling anyway.

1 Like

I usually do a briefing before push back, warning mark the copilot that I would kill him if he runs off with the mouth 😂😂

1 Like

From what I’ve heard, not sure if it is true but for…

Boeing Twin Engine Jets: Nr 2 then Nr 1
Boeing Quad Engine Jets: 3, 4, 2, lastly nr 1.

Airbus Twin Engine Jets: 1 then nr 2
Airbus Quad Engine Jets: 2, 1, 3 and lastly 4.

That is at least in what order I start up the engines for respective Aircraft model and their Manufacturing brand.

1 Like