Oceanic Tracks - Spacing and Altitude

Hello community- I recently experienced something which should have been glaringly obvious as a problem when oceanic tracks were introduced into Infinite Flight.

Before I get into the details, I’d like to preface this with saying that the oceanic track addition is a good one, and in no way is this thread designed to undermine the good intentions of the oceanic tracks being in the sim.

So about 30 minutes ago, I just finished a pretty routine flight, starting at London Heathrow and ending just across the pond in Austin, Texas. As I reviewed my replay (I wanted to get a screen recording of my landing as it was, for lack of a better word, peng) I noticed that me and a fellow pilot had, unknowingly, got into a bit of a dangerous separation situation over the North Atlantic.
Since I was AFK at the time, and one can consider the other pilot in this situation was too, how are we meant to keep proper speed and altitude separation while using a congested Oceanic Track?

Is there a certain speed to observe that I am unaware of?

As always (as I’m sure this goes without saying) I welcome everyone to give their 2 pence/cents or 1.52 Rubles (thank you @Alexander_Nikitin ) on the matter :)

Oh, and have a screenshot why don’t ya XD

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I think he misses the Wacky Racing…

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You fly your aircraft at the most economic speed for the type. So speed has nothing to do with it.

Being AFK is the only cause of this, clearly it isn’t realistic but when it gives you shots like this? Enjoy it.

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Well, sort of. Irl (if I’m not mistaken) oceanic ATC is non existent, so aircraft are given instructions on what speed to maintain and what altitude to keep and to obey TCAS if necessary and if all else fails. I admit though, the photos can be funny xD

IRL you would receive a certain altitude and speed to maintain and would only be able to leave it with ATC permission, so things like this wouldn’t happen, and you would also often fly 1 or 2 NM to the right of the track (offset), to improve safety. All these things do not apply to IF though, so not much to do after all.

The picture looks like at least 1000feet separation though, which would be fine :)

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While my situation was ok and only a reminder, it does go to show how people could end up colliding in mid air. Yes, I know collisions are off but if this is supposed to be a simulator this surely seems like a tad bit of an oversight? Surely a TFR or whatever they’re called could be put over oceanic track locations reminding pilots of a set speed to observe?

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The problem with that is, that there is no set speed on these tracks. It depends on the traffic levels, the individual separation and the aircrafts capabilities and is coordinated by the Oceanic center controllers. I agree that it would be more realistic to have the area staffed all the time, but that would mean we as pilots would have to be active all the time, IFATC would have to be active all the time and that’s just not worth it after all in my opinion just for the added realism over the oceans.

My 1.52 Rubles is this:
In real life, pilots, among other things, file the speed at which the’ll travel each stretch of the NAT to ensure correct separation. In IF, you won’t have such things, so the speed you want to fly the route for is the one you should, especially considering that the amounts of traffic on NATS in Infinite Flight probably exceeds the numbers the currently used amount of them is designed for.

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Well a set speed for transoceanic aircraft would be implementable with TFRs, as has been seen before

While this is correct, I still think a basic less-resource heavy system of just giving pilots a set speed for their AP to be set at would be beneficial

As said before that unfortunately doesn’t work in my opinion as it would not only be unrealistic, but also limiting the choice of pilots. Example: Narrowbody trans-Atlantic flights couldn’t happen anymore as these planes can only get up to M.80 while the bigger ones often cruise well faster.

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In fairness what we have at the moment is way less realistic.

In this case the speed for a crossing should then be set at 0.8, or a better way of doing it would be to make multiple tracks for different aircraft types.

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To be fair, the idea of limiting everyone to a certain speed just doesn’t seem justifiable. It’s really hard to limit everyone to say…Mach 0.80, because of the fact that different aircraft cruise at different speeds and that people sometimes need to get to their destinations faster. I just see this as an unnecesssary hassle, due to its complexity.

However, something I could see is being able to have clearance delivery assign altitudes prior to departure (which is an idea that a lot of IFATC members would love to see, feature request linked below), allowing for proper separation even before aircraft reach the oceanic track. I could also see center being able to fix these issues; however, like you said, most people are away from their devices whilst flying these transoceanic flights.

In all, it’s really no big deal if both parties are asleep. The ATC Manual defines these issues as accidental, and no one is at fault. However, if you are indeed at your device, be the bigger pilot in the situation. Little things can go big ways :)

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But when you speak of realism, don’t you think that real pilots probably won’t be AFK during NAC?

This is just my 2 cents. Sorry if im wrong

No, they aren’t afk, but in infinite flight it would make sense to be AFK since you don’t wanna be staring at nothing for 5 hours.

While real pilots aren’t afk during an Atlantic crossing, their duties are purely making sure everything goes smoothly, and rarely make adjustments.

No what I mean people who strive for realism why don;t they sit the hole flight monitoring as one of the main jobs as a pilot would be mentaining separation with other aircraft specially over NA where there is no Radar Coverage.

But, it’s a simulator, not a paying job, and people can’t stare at devices for hours at a time.

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Alos from what I know pilots still report there coordinates to Gander, Canada if I not mistaking every 30 minutes, via VHF. So technically there is still ATC who keeps track of separation

Well I feel you’re asking for another extreme. In real life, pilots are paid. I can’t be expected to look at my iPad for 5 hours.