New to IF Live -- A Few Questions

I’ll start off by saying that I think this is a truly remarkable sim. I know that it’s not considered a game and has some very devout enthusiasts that would consider it blasphemy to call it such, but I will say it’s also extremely fun. I appreciate all the incredible effort that has clearly gone into making it as realistic and authentic as possible. I have been toiling at it only for a couple of weeks, and have managed to make some progress in understanding the basics, but have encountered a few things I was hoping more experienced pilots might be willing to comment on:

(1) Is there a way to lock the nose gear on takeoff? Using the tablet’s gyroscope seems to be way too touchy (especially on faster/smaller jets) and the rudder is similarly likely to send you off course in a heartbeat. I have figured out that if you’re aligned on the center line and set the heading in A/P, it will obviously keep your wheels straight, but I was wondering if there’s a way to do it without resorting to using autopilot?

(2) Does anyone else have a problem making turns at the right time? I lay out my FPL but sometimes find it difficult to manage the headings. I either turn too early and end up parallel to my desired course, but not on it, or the plane takes too long to complete the turn to the desired heading and I end up wildly off track. I know that the lines turn from pink to white when it seems like it’s time to make the turn – and I’m guessing that’s allowing for the speed and equipment you’re flying – but even if I complete the heading adjustment at that moment, it never seems to execute it quite right. Any suggestions?

(3) When do you need to adjust trim? Is it to help slow you down more rapidly, drop more quickly, compensate for cross winds, or some other scenario? I have not seen it touched on in any of the many tutorials I’ve watched, but was curious how it’s used.

(4) I started out playing in Solo for a few days, but then joined the Live+ community. However, I have only ONCE successfully spawned into a truly live session on the Free Flight Server and gotten “credit” for the flight. It was the first and only time I saw the little headset turn white and enable me to use the Unicom instructions. I know there are restrictions on the servers and airports to keep novices from bungling the real ATC servers, but I can’t seem to gain any XP or flight time because none of my flights are actually getting me any credit (even if I stick a landing or perform a beautiful takeoff). Is there something I’m missing on how to get Live+ to work every time? It’s much more fun to do the requests for taxi, announce approaches, etc. than flying around with no purpose.

(5) There are multiple places where the official IF page points you to a help site, but all the links go to a page that says “No help desk at The help desk configured at this address is no longer available.” (In fact, it says that the ZenDesk account is expired). Is there a new help page somewhere with an official user manual to explain all the bells and whistles? I appreciate the videos that other users have made (and the two that I could find from Official Test Pilot Dave™ on YouTube), but some of us are old-fashioned and would actually READ A MANUAL if I could find one. Videos are great, but being able to read and understand something in print (and refer back to it later) is much more efficient on paper.

I have tons more questions, but know this is already probably longer than most people will bother reading, so I’ll leave it here for now. Thanks in advance for any input.


Welcome! This is a great resource for general information:

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Welcome mate!
I’m not sure if there is a way to disabled the nose wheel steering for takeoff. Maybe someone else knows… Rotate does!

Pitch trim can be used to ease pressure off of the controls. Used during taking and landing mostly.

Free flight sever is Unicom only. Playground and advanced servers have ATC. If you are not gaining XP and standing after each flight then that may be a bug because you should once you’ve ended your flight.

Hopefully I answered at least one of your questions!

I understand that you need to use the rudder to move at slow speeds on the ground, but even that is extremely choppy. I’m afraid I’m going to give my pax a seizure with all the correcting I have to do as I taxi. What I’m really curious about is how you are supposed to maintain a straight course when you’re accelerating on takeoff. It seems like neither the rudder nor the yoke control (at least on my iPad) can maintain a straight line. That’s why I’m asking if you can lock the nose gear so they DON’T TURN when you are trying to build up life to take off down runway. I’m pretty sure that real planes require that steering is disengaged during takeoff as I have actually been on a commercial flight where the gear got stuck shortly after takeoff and we had to perform an emergency landing at a larger airport where they had foam trucks (we left Tampa and landed at Miami, if I remember correctly, flying no more than about 3,000 feet the whole time).

On question number two … On the programmable status bar at the bottom you can set one of them, mine is on the far right, to bearing. Then when you’re following your waypoints and at about 20 seconds until turn, you can do that as well for time to next waypoint, use the Auto Pilot for your turn if you like - go slow so the plane doesn’t jerk, and you’ll notice at the bearing indicator the true direction of your waypoint, simply adjust accordingly. Hope that helps. 😎

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On question number five … Right here on this forum you’ll find practically unlimited tutorials, both written and video and a lot are both. Right here is the best place.

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Thanks, Rotate, for the tips. I had already determined that to stay on course, you have to manually steer, but guess I was hoping there was some magical timing that experienced pilots use to allow the plane to make smooth turns via A/P. Oh well.

Also thanks for the SOP. It’s great, but still really assumes a fairly high level of aeronautical lingo such as vertical rotation (“Upon reaching VR, rotate gently.”) and so on. It’s a terrific resource for more experienced pilots, but it seems someone needs to still put together the “missing manual” for the complete dumbkaufs like myself. I WANT to learn how to operate the sim correctly, but I’ve found it a bit challenging to gather all the various bits in one place to actually make sense of things. It’s a good bit of work to try to hunt for all the answers in the piecemeal tutorial approach that seems to be the norm for nearly everything these days. Everything I’ve read or watched thus far assumes I already know way more than I do, so it’s just a little frustrating to find a direct path to understanding. Thanks!

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Indeed. I’m not trying to be glib, but not everyone went to flight school before trying to use IF. I guess I’m looking for square one, but have had a hard tim locating it. I’ll Google rotation velocity, but wish there were an easier way to learn the sim in one place. That’s all I’m saying.

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Roger that. Thanks.

Welcome Kevin!

Adding to @Rotate earlier post, some hints below from my experience!

1.Turn off auto-coordination (in settings) . You’ll need to steer with the rudder slider on the ground.
2. When planning your turns, as a rule of thumb the Rate of Turn (ROT) is 2 Deg every 1 second. So if you are making a 40 Deg course alteration then start making the turn 20 Seconds before reaching the waypoint.
3.Trim : I can never get Trim to work correctly, seems a little hit and miss from my point of view…
4.To get credit on Live+, you must fly for over a minute for your flight to count. XP comes from flight time (per minute airborne) and landings (unknown factors). Also start flying at a smaller airport (Cat D) in a small aircraft like the C208 and spend 30 mins or so doing touch and goes. Then move on to a larger aircraft like a B737 for anouther 30 mins or so of touch and goes, maybe at a larger airfield and get to know how the pattern system and ATC system works.
5.Check this out. Are there any list for.......

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Thanks, @David_Lockwood for your detailed response. The turn radius formula is the kind of answer that actually helps to understand the physics of the game.

On point #4, I just want to clarify that I’m not expecting credit for a crash, lousy takeoff or aborted flight. What I’m experiencing is that I can’t seem to reliably spawn into an active server at any level, so even though I’m using the Live tab when I begin a flight and am definitely logged in to Live with a FB profile, I still see a grayed-out headset for he Unicom and don’t see any other planes on the map/in the sim. As a result, no matter how well I complete a flight, none of it registers with IF in terms of XP or flight hours (and thus standing doesn’t change). So it’s like I’m playing in Solo even though I’m using Live.

I’ve signed out and back in, restarted IF multiple times, restarted my device, etc., but nothing seems to fix the issue. Any ideas?

that sounds like you have a connection issue. either with your wifi at home not being stong enough (I had that problem and had to buy a boster box in order to get it to work down stairs at home) or recently there has been cases where the main server has crashed. But if you get a greyed out headset it measn there is a connection issue somewhere! (sorry am not much of a techie!)

Hello everyone… Wanted to if there are any plans to allow the waypoints to be loaded into the AP (FMS) like real world aircraft so we don’t need to manually fly the flight plan trying to time the heading changes and continuously blowing the waypoints as you approach them at 500kts?

There is a request for this here:
I’ve heard it’s being worked on by third party developers (possibly @carmalonso who creates live flight) but I’m not too sure if IF are implementing it or relying on a third party app to do so.

Noted and thanks… Will be a welcomed addition.

Yes, this is available in Connect for Windows (

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