Tips for more realism

I’m looking for ways I can make my If experience more realistic


There are many options. For example, you could join a VA, where you will fly real routes for an airline.Among other things, realistic flight plans can be created with FPtoIF.


Which aspects? The list goes on, and on, and on!

  1. I like making sure to use realistic flight procedures. Like, the actual operation of the flight, and follow SOPs to as much detail as possible.
  2. Finding the correct airline, aircraft type, etc
  3. Use Simbrief to get good amd accirate OFPs (operational flight plans(.
  4. Use IF assistant to get a virtual pilot monitoring to make callouts, a EGPWS, flight attendant announcements, RAAS (runway awareness advisory system),
  5. Use a checklist(s)

RealismPolice here, this is one of my favourite questions:

  • ALWAYS USE A REALISTIC SCHEDULED FLIGHT CALLSIGN. When doing so, check for aircraft type, livery, route, gate, terminal, etc

  • Make a realistic flight plan using and convert to IF friendly waypoints using

  • Spawn 15-20 mins before your time of departure to file the flight plan, add SIDs/STARs, and check airport for other departure/arrival info

  • Check FR24 or FlightAware to see runway operations as well as taxi patterns (if IFATC is not present), or check (D-)ATIS for controller approved procedures

  • Use In-Flight Assistant to plan for step-climbs throughout the flight as well as auto fill in V1 and V2 speeds as required based on flight parameters. these altitudes can be accessed through SimBrief planning software

  • Pushback either according to IFATC or FR24 established procedures

  • After pushback, commence the start-up and after-pushback checklists. This will include starting of both engines (done one at a time) as well as turning on the beacon lights. These checklists will also walk you through the flaps and spoiler control checks and settings required for various aircrafts. This typically takes about 5 minutes total. Obviously take more time if needed under the proper conditions ie: no IFATC DO NOT start taxiing as soon as your engines are running. Make sure to run them for some time to ensure proper thrust stabilization.

  • After check list procedures are completed (~5 minutes), begin taxing to the proper runway using established taxi procedures (FR24 or IFATC)

  • Announce and hold short of the runway to check fuel levels (do not adjust, this is how much fuel you have now) as well as nearby traffic and other parameters as designated

  • Line-up and wait on proper runway. Make sure to turn on landing and strobe lights here! Before beginning the spool, make sure to set thrust to N1-50% to ensure proper thrust stabilization from both engines.

  • Release parking brakes and begin roll. Once V2 is established, rotate aircraft at proper angle of attack

  • After hearing/confirming positive rate, retract gear.

  • Fly the designated SID, IFATC instruction, or check FR24 for current departing procedures

  • Selectively retract flaps based on current speeds when met

  • After climbing past FL100, speed up slowly to designated Mach speed to ensure smooth transitions once above FL280

  • Turn off your landing lights above FL100, and turn the seatbelt sign off at an altitude of your discretion

  • Supply a stead rate of climb to your cruising altitude, inputting trim where necessary, and monitoring the whole climb to ensure a proper transition into the cruise phrase

  • Cruise

  • About 25-30 minutes before arrival, begin the landing/arrival checklists. Make sure to check FR24 or the (D-)ATIS for current arrival procedures

  • Slow speeds where necessary, and extend flaps where speeds comply

  • Below FL280, turn seatbelt signs on again

  • Below FL100, turn on landing lights again

  • I like to set my ILS/APPR below FL100, but you can now assign APPR to a runway whenever you want with 20.1

  • Follow the proper arrival procedures in place, either by IFATC or check FR24 for current procedures

  • Always land on the appropriate runway and check FR24 for proper taxi to gate procedures

  • When exiting the runway, turn off landing lights and strobe lights (only turn back on when crossing a runway)

  • Arrive at the proper gate, checking FR24 or other sources for proper info

  • If APU is present, make sure to turn that on after exiting the runway at some point, and turn engines off at the gate

  • With engines now off, turn off the beacon light.

  • Turn off the seatbelt sign, and open doors where applicable.

  • Exit the flight!

Here is the full procedure I use to make my flights ultra-realistic. It’s always a good idea to have either FR24 or FlightAware open when doing any flight.

To increase the realism with some cool third-party or add on features, consider these:

Always learn more or brush up at the Inflight Flight User Guides as well!

Hope this helps! 😀


i would recommend landing the plane yourself unless you have low visibility or high winds

Hand fly in high winds, for more realism! In fact, if there are higher/gustier winds, you would disconnect earlier to get a feel for it.

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welp… looks like i did it wrong the whole time

No worries!

“A good pilot is ALWAYS learning!”


And try to get a flight yoke/joystick!

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Use SimBrief for FPL


I have another one
When making a decision, especially a safety critical one, think, “if
I was the pilot in command of this thing IRL, what would I do?”. That way, you are more likely to choose the right, and ultimately safer, option.

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Turn on strobe lights wile on an active runway.


learn real world procedures, start at the actual gate/ time of red world flights, and soooo many more options.

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Great post, but why wait five minutes to begin taxiing? Doesn’t that just disrupt the traffic flow and make others wait unnecessarily?

Maybe in real life but IF gets really unrealistic traffic levels

Depends. If you are the only one at the airport, you can take your time but if someone is waiting to pushback and you are essentially blocking them, you can speed up the process just a little bit.

At what point after pushback do you turn off APU? Because I always assumed that when parked at the gate before shutting of engines is when APU comes back on, and now I feel like I know nothing about using APU :/

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You turn off APU one BOTH engines are running,you turn the APU to start once you exit the runway.

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I’m pretty sure the high crosswind limit is only for CAT 3 ILS right? I mean you would probably want to line up using APPR or at least LNAV first

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Here’s 3 things I like to do.

  1. Find correct terminal for the airline. This is usually as simple as typing in. “XYZ Airline terminal at XZY airport” Although it’s harder to find outside of Europe and North America.
  2. Use, It provides you with real routes and callsigns. Although it goes off scheduled flights so some will have no information because of the virus.
  3. Navigraph. Expensive but better than the SIDs and STARs in the 20.1 update. Not for everyone though. has slightly older charts actually so they work well enough

Also skyvector has latest US charts for free

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