Alright folks. Buckle in for a little lesson. When I was on the expert server earlier today, I noticed a problem that occurred not once, but twice at EGLC. I don’t want this thread to be a complaint/rant thread but rather an informational thread for those who are still confused.
I’d like to first point those who may need a little refresher to the #tutorials category to take a look at the plethora of tutorials created by staff members and other users within the community.
Lets get going. I thought it would be a nice day to do a handful of patterns at London City (EGLC) with a friend. The weather conditions were perfect for racking up some mad XP, with a nice strong headwind. As 2 well seasoned IF pilots, you would expect one to look up to them as an example. We were constantly making the appropriate radio calls, to let others that would be inbound or departing the field, of our intentions. As we were in the pattern, over the span of about 10 minutes, two separate aircraft spawned in and made the appropriate radio calls as one should; however, it was to the wrong runway. As you will notice from the first picture that I included I am on final for RWY09 @ EGLC, and my friend is on left downwind for RWY09. After sending a few traffic advisories to the ill-advised aircraft, the pilot continued to backtaxi down to the runway with a tailwind. Mind you, the winds were in the neighborhood of 15-18kts. Let me just give you some statistics what taking off/landing with a headwind or tailwind does to aircraft performance.
Headwind: Taking off into the wind will reduce the ground roll of the aircraft and at a lower ground speed. The airspeed at which an aircraft takes off should still be the same. A rule of thumb that can be used is for every 1kt of headwind, the takeoff distance can be reduced by 1.5%. Keep in mind that this is a rule of thumb and not always accurate to the aircraft being used. I personally thing the less runway that I use the better.
Tailwind: Taking off with a tailwind is much more painful. We should increase the takeoff requirement by 10% for every 2kts. Or about 5% or every 1kt up to 20kts. You will have less airflow over the wings which means less lift. This will result in a higher ground speed for the aircraft which can make it a bit “squirrelly” and will result in more runway being used.
I am still trying to figure out the reasoning why one would takeoff with a tailwind in this case. I have come to the conclusion that the direction of takeoff for the ill-advised pilot took off from the “red” runway simply because it was a more direct shot to his destination. Yes, truly quite sad… One would think that an issue with a “rushed” pilot would takeoff from the closest runway which happened to be 09 but he insisted to go out of his way and make us work around his plan. If you are rushed, or in a hurry, it has been made clear to take your flight to the Casual server or Training Server for that fact. Let’s keep the Expert Server reserved for those who want to fly seriously and follow the rules.
Moral of the story: Before you go and fly, don’t just spawn in and immediately request pushback or taxi… please. If the field does not have ATC services, observe the area, listen to the radio calls being made (if any), observe the traffic flow and the activity at the surrounding airports. More importantly observe the traffic flow at your destination. And lastly utilize Unicom. It doesn’t hurt to use it. Mark, Tyler, and many others have created helpful #tutorials in the form of YouTube videos to guide you through how to use the features of Infinite Flight. Please use them and help those out who want to enjoy their time.