Share your journey as a controller

I must say, some topics can be quite inspiring here on the forum. Like this other one is the inspiration for this topic.

I figured we could all share with each other our journey as a controller in Infinite Flight. From our very first experiences to where we are at today… let’s have some fun!

Here is my story:

I remember my first experience as a controller… oh my it was quite the headache! It was all worth it though. At first I opened up the ground frequency at Los Angeles and i found it pretty easy to figure out. Pushback and taxi were simple enough. I didnt dare touch any of the other buttons though!!! To me those “advanced” commands were off limits and for the time being i was ok with being blissfully ignorant.

After about 20 minutes i decided to close ground and move on to the tower frequency. It was so chaotic and overwhelming! I had no idea what i was doing with the exception of clearing for takeoff. This was where i got brave and tried some on the job learning. I kept issuing pattern instructions hoping i would eventually pick up on what was supposed to be performed… that didnt go over so well and i still found myself uneducated after i had closed up shop for the day.

That got me motivated just a little bit. I did a little bit of research and found the community. I made an account and after some time i sent a message to @Tyler_Shelton expressing an interest in becoming an atc. But then life happened and i had put down infinite flight with still almost no knowledge about anything…

Fast forward to a year later…

This was the beginning of November of last year: i reinstalled infinite flight and paid for a year of live+. I flew around for a little bit those next couple days. I decided to have another go at controlling. And i opened at los angeles again. Tower? No. Ground? No. It was actually both… for those of us that have been here for a while, we all know how that turned out… i crashed and burned. Hard.

This failure reignited my desire to learn, and remembering the community, i returned with the identity i have now because i couldnt remember any of the credentials for the original account. Quickly i started making my way through the forum and eventually found a VA to join… @SkyHighGuys was the man that helped break the ice for the journey that i have been on since arrival.

Soon after, @Joshua_Fleming reached out and became a good friend to me. Shortly after that, i joined British Airways VA. thats where a lot of my atc knowledge was gained. I was controlling for the VA in a matter of a couple weeks because i had learned so much. And the learning didnt stop there. I continued to learn more about controlling with each passing day. Then the back half of January came around. I started the process to become IFATC. It wasnt until sometime in February that i finally passed! I couldnt have been more excited! I “made it to the big leagues” and couldnt wait to get out there and control on the expert server! To this day i am still learning about atc procedures and everything encompassing controlling. Its been an exciting journey and i love imagining all of the possibilities of the future with this!

Many of us have our own unique story. Thats what will make things so interesting to read about and discuss. My final question to you is this: Whats your story?


Never controlled much up until December. First i opened KSAN tower, i knew what i was supposed to do but obviously is TS1 and they didn’t comply, january controlled allot! Decided to join IFATC in January, failed Written 3 times, created IFTSATC because i wanted an ATC group because i couldn’t join IFATC. Then last month i retook the written, passed it, passed the practical, joined IFATC, was removed a day later. IFTSATC was disbanded in these last couple of days, haven’t even controlled since i was removed from IFATC. All i do now is fly, and edit airports.

  • Joined IFATC late last year on my second practical.
  • Did pretty well for the first few weeks, got myself to the “specialist” rank.
  • @anon66442947 started training me for approach.
  • Then about last year Christmas time my Grandad was diagnosed with cancer. Really close with him and it put a lot of stress onto me.
  • I usually come onto this forum to relax, and during that period of time I was in no mood to take any criticism. I posted an abbreviation instead of the full form and was told by someone (just another member) that this isn’t a texting site and i should write full form. This was in a private chat on the forum.
  • Instead of listening I was disagreeing to what he was saying. Got him mad and he started using fowl language at me. Then a while later i couldn’t take it anymore. So i used fowl language too.
  • A few days later I was removed from IFATC and didn’t even have a chance to explain myself. The other member facing no consequences.

I was pretty upset, i know I shouldn’t have used some of those words, but I said what I said. Gotten over that now, but haven’t controlled since.

That’s my story in a nutshell… but wait, almost forgot. My grandad’s better now, goes to the doc every few months for a quick check.


Definitely an interesting story. What about your very first experience with controlling? Im sure it was quite the rodeo!


Had a few stumbles here and there. Got used to it fairly quick. Loved it while it lasted, but it is what it is.


Got onboard Infinite flight in October 2016.
Started atcing on TS1 without any knowledge other than watching a few YouTube videos. My first pilot to contact me was grade 2 at YSSY.
I’d say my controlling back then would be the same as a grade 1 pilot without any knowledge on how to fly a plane. So I didn’t care if someone took off without permission.
By mid December I wanted to join IFATC. I was Grade 3 with very few violations.
I contacted Tyler and he said he’ll be with me next week.
I got ghosted that week because I tried to fly very late with poor wifi.
I had to wait 2 months.
Mid February, I tried my written exam. I was too excited I didn’t read the question well, so I failed with 60 or so %.
2 weeks later I passed both written and practical! Now I’m controlling Expert server!


For some strange reason my history with IF is a bit of a blurr. I started with IF after I got bored with the new X-plane on mobile platform but I cannot recall how soon after this I purchased Live. Must have been early 2015. Also, I can’t remember my first controlling on Training, but it did not feel as overwhelming. What I do recall is that by far, most pilots followed instructions.

Very quickly I started reading tutorials and felt I got the hang of it. I never tried Approach ATC, that somehow didn’t appeal to me.

In September 2015 I wrote a mega tutorial here called ‘New Pilots read this’ (I won’t add a link here, because it has some out-dated bits in there). After that I started training for my IFATC and by the time I had passed, I had done 8000 controlling operations. Tyler trained me for my IFATC.

Only last month I passed my Approach IFATC test, much thanks to @RAH . And I still find controlling as Approach somewhat nerve wrecking, especially if there are more than 10 or 12 inbounds. The issue I have is that many pilots fly too high for the relatively small region, so it takes lot if airmiles to bring them back down.


My interest in ATC started when u got FSX deluxe, although i had no idea what i was supposed to do, i really enjoyed looking out towers.

When i got IF, the only reason i got 1 month of live was because i saw the live atc feature. I didnt have the standing for charlie or bravo airspaces so i mainly did approach. I had no idea how to approach in Soca but i was having lots of fun.

I joined IFC not long after and I finally had the standing to control bravos. I managed to sit on the ground with my plane and listen in on TSATCs and see what i was required to do.

I read the forums to learn of pattern work and othet ATC stuff. I remember controlling in KSAN for 2 hours one time and someone messaged me my first complement, it motivated me to keep at it. KLAX was really tough for me too, i was so over whelmed after an hour or so, i just quit. I was really disappointed in myself, others could do it, why cant i.

I issued an apology on the forum xD and community members were very encouraging.

When i had expert access, i went into expert and observed the atc, i sat on the ground for a long time because i was afraid of getting ghosted too =p when i was confident, i asked Dush for training and he observed my session. He gave tips and ways to remedy my mistakes and we did a 2nd session and he said i was ready.

I contacted Tyler and barely passed the ATC test xD not a 100% which was disappointing but to pass was satisfying.
I was really nervous for my practical and i remember recording it and its still one of the memoriable videos in my computer =p

Passed the practical and its been 8 months in IFATC, though less available these days =x thats my journey I guess.


I don’t really have a story :/ I remember controlling tower at KLAX for my first time I just cleared everyone off for takeoff, it was so chaotic, the airport was so busy and I had so many people spamming me with messages and I tried to reply to everyone but I eventually literally got stressed out and I didn’t control for months after that. To this day I still don’t control very often, I’m not a big fan of ATC I much prefer to fly :) if it’s not boeing, I’m not going!


I had to teach my self everything as I joined before there were any written institutions, maybe a month or so after live release, and was in the first round of recruits post-beta.

I was ‘taught’ by a trainer who is no longer part of IF, however found their training to be ineffective. I joined before the theory, so all I had was a test at MMTJ with about 7/8 aircraft. At that time, the tests were very informal, and scenarios included a tester just ignoring all instruction and sitting on the runway, facing the opposite way of course.

From there I ranked up quickly, getting to recruiter. I stayed there for a while, alongside being a tester and doing some other stuff such as airport editing for a brief time.

After getting a little bored of the same stuff, I bugged Tyler to let me help out more, eventually being recommended for moderation and accepted by P man. I was also recommend to be in the beta by a few people, and the rest is history.

I don’t control much now due to time, and have around 16,000 ops in total. It’s been around that for many many months. I do have to admit that my ability has for sure gone down over time, and I will be controlling a load more after global testing has died down for a while

TLDR; I am amazing, best controller ever and knew everything right away.


My story goes back to mid-2015 when I got my 100% standing on Live. I still remembered that I can’t stop controlling on Southern California as I find it interesting to control in a busy region. Like some users there, I always try to catch a session in KLAX or KSAN as I thought handling a session on there would make me know more about ATC

When I had my first session as an ATC at KLAX, I barely learned anything. Many messages pop up every seconds and all I can did is to instruct them taxi, take off, and goodbye. Then, I noticed some of them don’t follow my instructions. Some taxied through grass/terminal or even worse, taxiing through others. And some enters and takes off without permission. I saw a bunch of people also land at the other side despite after being told “Please Follow Instructions”. But I found that these sessions gave me a good laugh.

My ATC skills didn’t improve much until a year later. Despite have joined this community for almost a year, but I didn’t have any idea of some instructions. My ATC skills improved when I went to Expert more often and visit members sessions in here. I learnt so many things by early of December.

I wanted to join IFATC by last March, but I failed some of my written tests 😅. I decided to take my time and apply when I’m ready for it. All I can do now is to learn more and practice more for my written and practical if I’m ready to take one 😊


Wow, my post got mentioned in your post. Awesome, and thank you 👍

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I admire your devotion to keep trying! I’m sorry you had so much trouble and aren’t controlling anymore. Maybe again one day? If not, I hope you continue to enjoy your flights!


Wow, a big mix of good and bad. So sorry you went through all this and had so much problems with the community and controlling. I’m very glad to hear your grampa is better now. Cancer SUCKS! Lost my dad 2 years ago to it, and all 4 of my grandparents passed from it. Such a terrible thing. I truly hope he continues to do well. My thoughts and prayers are with him and your family!


I’m so sorry to hear that, it must have been really hard on you… Thank you so much for your kind words and I wish you all the best too!


Thank you so much, and am very sorry for your losses they’re in a much better place now. Cancer is a very horrible thing.

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Got live in January of either 2013 or 2014, and I stuck to flying. Tried ATC out a couple of times and found it really fun. As the years progressed I controlled as much as I could on TS1 (playground at the time) even though most of the traffic didn’t listen. In 2016 I began training as an ATC for the online flight simulation network VATSIM in New York. Stayed there for a bit and moved to the West Coast where I control currently as tower and ground in SOCAL. I still find myself time after time controlling on TS when I can though :).


Here’s my story:

Hopped off the plane at LAX with my dream and a cardigan. I took the IFATC test about a year and a half ago (maybe) and passed on my 3rd try. Spent lots of time controlling on the advanced server and having a good time. All was fine until I started trying to be funny on the Slack chat, I was really cringey and annoying. After being suspended once I came back and tried to act normal. Immature idiot me continued a few weeks later and made a fool of myself trying to be funny. Once again I was suspended for reasons I can’t remember (probably being an idiot at some airport), and then the horrible day came. Okay this is where every time I look back I think, how can someone so stupid (me) even exist: I added an IFATC mod to my personal group chat. BOOM, complete stupidness and it hurts me to think of what was going through my mind. Trying too hard to be funny. But normally any other normal person that wasn’t an edgy teen trying to be funny would have had a normal group chat. BUT NO, that wasn’t me.

Alright this is where it gets worse somehow. “cool, funny” me has a bunch of racist unfunny memes that are stupid, because I thought they were funny. Of course the mod sees this and informs the mod team, I get suspended forever and basically exposed as a racist that is stupid (like all racists). Though I wasn’t trying to the stuff I posted in the chat was pretty offensive (mainly certain words, if you know what I mean).

I somehow thought Tyler would give me another chance at being a controller, which to this day I think I don’t deserve. So I’ve spent the last 8 months or so reflecting on how stupid I was and I’ve slowly crept away from infinite flight. But now that global is coming out I’m excited and ready for many more happy landings.

So that’s my story, and I’m not proud of it but it’s a great example of how stupid people are sometimes.
It’s fine if you judge me for it but I won’t judge people for their past, as long as they don’t repeat it.


Good job addmitig that it takes a lot of guts. I’m glad your sorry for what you did maby someday you can be a atc again


My journey as a controller started many months ago. As I was ranking up in Infinite Flight as a pilot, I gained an interest in controlling as well. It started with some ATC sessions at the big airports in SoCal on TS1. Eventually, I began flying on expert. I was so impressed with the professionalism shown with ATC on Expert, I decided I wanted to become an IFATC. I memorized the YouTube controlling videos, and did my best to improve. At the time, I didn’t even have a forum account I used. So, I arranged the testing completely via email with @Tyler_Shelton as my recruiter. I passed the written exam on my third try, and my practical on my first try.

Fast forward a few weeks, I was putting in the time and gaining the experience, so I was promoted to a specialist! Some of my best IF memories are with IFATC.

Fast forward to mid June, I made the ultimate mistake: I was too cocky. I accidentally ghosted another IFATC, unaware I was in the wrong; and my quality of service to aircraft flying patterns had also gone down. Rightfully so, @Mark_Denton suspended me for a few days, requiring a retest of my practical. I was stupid, and still cocky, so naturally, I asked him to “make the practical as hard as possible”. Obviously, I failed it. Mark was generous enough to let me retake the practical in early August, giving me a chance to prove myself again and hopefully rejoin the IFATC team. It is honestly much more than I deserve, and I am very grateful.

If all goes well, I will have the opportunity to be an IFATC again and continue controlling on Expert. Either way, I will have learned a valuable lesson in the process, and the opportunity to share it with you guys so maybe you will learn something too.