Questionnaire - Time Spent Doing Pre-flight

Hey IFC,
I am interested to know how long it takes you to pre for a complete flight using charts, FPLtoIF, simbrief, checklists and/or any other information services. I would also be interested in knowing what services people use.

  • 5 - 10 minutes
  • 10 - 15 minutes
  • 20 - 25 minutes
  • 25 - 30 minutes
  • 30 - 40 minutes
  • 40 - 60 minutes
  • 60+

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I literally just eyeball it, I use sometimes use Flight planning software though and I use the ATIS should it be available. I always follow the departure and arrival route for runway 16 at Melbourne because for some reason I know it off by heart. I don’t really use checklists either. But I do fly professionally. So all up it can take me 10 to 30 minutes.


My pre-flight process is usually the following:

  1. research route, airline, aircraft
  2. find departure and arrival gates
  3. use to make flight plan, fuel, # of pax, etc.
  4. attempt to decipher SID (sometimes skip if I don’t have time or I’m lazy)
  5. connect IFAssistant and IFOperations
  6. spawn in and fly!

Overall takes about 15 to 20 minutes.


I never really plan, but when I do, I plan 2 Days ahead


My Pre-flight’s usually look like this…

  • Research airline and aircraft that flies the route
  • Load up FPLtoIF, fill in required information for flight
  • Find last departure and arrival gates, look them up in Infinite Flight
  • Load up Navigraph Charts, look up SID’s and STARS’, study the carts
  • Draft the Flight Plan with SID’s and STARS’, making sure they align
  • Load up IFAssistant and IFOperations
  • Look up route on Virtual Airline’s website, making sure it’s there (if applicable)
  • Load into Infinite Flight, fill out weights and balance.
  • Pushback and Fly

Usually this can take anywhere up to 30 minutes, depending on how long the flight is.

Happy Landings,


Thanks to @Adam_S and @Doonies for mentioning, what do you guys do in order to set up for a flight?

How do people inset STARS/SIDs into FPLtoIF FPLs, whenever i select a STAR for example into the add STAR/SID page, there seems to be no change to the flight plan

Yeah, I have the same problem. The DUNES departure SID for YSSD runway 16R doesn’t work (the first and only I have tried) even though DUNES and DEENA waypoints are on IF. @Adam_S or @Doonies can you guys help out?

I have had no problems with this. Mainly because I don’t use FPLtoIF for my SID’s/STARS. I use Navigraph Charts. Sorry!

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  1. Create generated FPL or my custom flight plan using similar standards.
  2. Estimate how much fuel, cargo and passengers is needed (by instinct and experience)
  3. Add suitable SID and/or STAR
  4. Go through the whole FPL and ensure there are no turns exceeding 5 degrees.

I mean, this is really time-consuming (30-40min, maybe more or less depending on flight). But hey, I edit the FPL for smoothness during cruise. That’s my goal.


It depends. Short roughts I make up my own flight plan. Long rought I use sim brife

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Usually I find the route (either VA or flightradar), find appropriate SID and STAR fixes using navigraph charts, build a FPL on skyvector, convert to a flight plan, spawn in, get the appropriate SID and get going (I don’t use simbrief’s fuel planning any more cuz its not very accurate for IF. Skyvector gives me a time estimate which is enough usually)

The last step is really unrealistic lol
You would not do that over China. The only ting I sometimes check for is the possibility I might start going in circles

That’s just my thing…🤷‍♂️

Sorry if you don’t like it.

So my FPL can’t be nearly “straight” in China because…?

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Cuz you are prbably flying into restricted airspace

I don’t spend any time setting up my flight. I just have my engines set to auto start and I fly direct.

Hey , I see that you are a new member, and i make the assumption that you are new
Once you get accustomed to the IF life, these procedures should be taken more seriously on the ES for added realism, happy flying

Shouldn’t you add the optIon: 0 - 5 minutes?

Some pilots request pushback before they even spawn (🤯) and either don’t bother with a flight plan, or do one on the sky…


I just search the route on simbrief copy it and start the push back, takes about 2 mins haha. (I always fly private, so no airline checks are needed)

How long I take varies depending on the length of the flight:

Short Hauls (0-6 hours): 45 minutes - 1 hour
Medium Hauls (6-12 hours): 1 hour - 1hr30 mins
Long Hauls (12-18 hours): 1hr 30 mins - 2 hours
Ultra Long Hauls (18+ hours): >2 hours

The general process

  1. Look at my schedule to see what flight I am doing - and check how busy the airports are on .

  2. Go onto to find out flight number, callsign, airport METARs, aircraft & livery used, runway used and gate used at origin airport (and destination airport later on before I land)

  3. Double check winds using and the airport METARs and incorporate the high-altitude winds into choosing a flight plan.

  4. Go onto and file an OFP, using a custom airframe using the Infinite Flight aircraft specifications (of whatever aircraft I’m using) and convert it into an IF-friendly flight plan using, adding in the waypoints for the SID and STAR I am going to use (SID and STAR searched up using

  5. Load up IF-A, IF-O, IF-I and Infinite Flight and copy my flight plan into the map as well as change my callsign. I input V-Speeds (calculated using and VNAV instructions into IF-A (using the waypoint altitudes generated by I configure my weight and balance (fuel, pax and cargo) using information from and check ATIS for runways being used (adjusting my FLP, taxi route,SID and STAR if necessary).

  6. Pre-Flight Checks (takes about 10 minutes)

    6a. Simulate boarding process (takes 15-45 minutes depending on plane.)

  7. Request pushback, pushback and start engines (check that they have stabilised).

  8. (After Pushback) - Flight Control checks (rudder, alerions, spoilers, elevators). Double check engine stability.

  9. Request Taxi and taxi to runway following the taxi route used by the aircraft IRL (if possible).

  10. Takeoff and proceed to destination!

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