Today we will be covering an important feature in Infinite Flight that provides us a ton of information, whether we’re sitting on the ramp planning a flight or enroute to our destination. The Airport Color Dots come in handy as we’re nearing our destination. Staying ahead of the aircraft in crucial to ensure that things are running smoothly and that you’re not caught off guard should something unexpected happen.
Part of the preplanning process for your arrival should be checking the weather at your destination. What this means is checking the weather at the airport by opening up your map and clicking on the airport dot. When you do this, you’ll get a airport tag that pops out with basic information such as the field elevation, wind direction, wind speed, and visibility. Concurrently, the airport ICAO identifier and field elevation will be in one of the four (4) colors listed: Green, Blue, Cream, or Red. (This can be seen in the first image of each of the drop downs at the bottom of this topic)
By clicking on this tab that pops out, a full display of the weather will show on your device allowing you to fully utilize and understand the weather at your destination airport. This weather is displayed in the form of a METAR.
👈🏼 Click that arrow if you're unsure how to read a METAR or what one is. Be sure check out one or all of the many parts that Mark has created for you:
Terms & Definitions:
You can find some of these terms in throughout this tutorial.
- VFR- Visual Flight Rules
Conditions: (Ceilings are greater than 3,000ft AGL and visibility is greater than 5 miles
- MVFR- Marginal Visual Flight Rules
Conditions: (Ceilings are 1,000ft AGL to 3,000ft AGL and/or visibility is between 3 and 5 miles)
- IFR- Instrument Flight Rules
Conditions: (Ceilings are 1,000ft AGL to no lower than 500ft AGL and/or visibility is less than 3 miles but no less than 1 mile)
- LIFR- Low Instrument Flight Rules
Conditions: (Ceilings are below 500ft AGL and/or visibility is less than 1 mile)
- Ceiling- A ceiling can be defined as a broken(BKN) or overcast(OVC) layer as noted in the METAR/TAF
Below are example airports that were pulled recently with weather reporting for the various airport dot colors. Check them out for some handy information.
VFR (Green Dot)
The symbol that you will see when you are flying to or departing from an airport with VFR conditions looks like this:
What to expect: You should not have any issues trying to see the airport from a distance. Expect a visual approach and enjoy the scenery.
VFR Airport Tag
VFR Airport METAR Information
MVFR (Blue Dot)
The symbol that you will see when you are flying to or departing from an airport with MVFR conditions looks like this:
What to expect: The airport will be a little more challenging to see from a distance but you should see it well before you begin you flare transition. It’d be good to utilize the ILS if the airport is equipped.
MVFR Airport Tag
MVFR Airport METAR Information
IFR (Slight Pink/Cream Dot)
The symbol that you will see when you are flying to or departing from an airport with IFR conditions looks like this:
Note: Right now there doesn’t appear to be a difference in regards to the color of the dot. The dot color is the same as MVFR.
What to expect: Don’t expect to be seeing the airport until you’re a less than 3 miles out from the ILS or end of the runway. Make sure you’ve been practicing your ILS approaches as you’ll need them for this kind of weather and anything of worsening conditions.
IFR Airport Tag
IFR Airport METAR Information
LIFR (Red Dot)
The symbol that you will see when you are flying to or departing from an airport with LIFR conditions looks like this:
What to expect: You’re a daring pilot! Don’t expect to see the runway until you touchdown or a few feet before touchdown. Make sure you’re focused on both the localizer and the glideslope. Be sure to check other crucial instruments such as your airspeed and altitude to ensure that you’re not going to collide with terrain and that you’re on a safe speed. If you did it without an autoland aircraft, 👏🏼 kudos and bravo!
Important Note: Its a wise idea to have a plan of how you’re going to get from the runway to the gate in such low visibility. This can often be more of a challenge than the approach and landing itself. Its recommended to have a airport diagram/taxi map handy, or some other form of a picture of the airport for easier navigation.
LIFR Airport Tag
LIFR Airport METAR Information