Who in the IF community are actual pilots / ATCs?

I wonder what percentage of the IF community is of real life pilots or ATCs and how does both experiences compare. Does virtual flying/controlling helps or affects your RL skills? By any chance, do you use IF as a complementary training tool? Does IF experience help a virtual pilot if she decides to become a real pilot? I have my own thoughts, but it would be great to hear from our pro fellows.


Here are some of them that I know ;)

#ATC Controller


#Former Pilot/ATC

  • Gabriel Hernandez (Gabriel_Hernandez, Pilot)
  • THE_OP (ATC)

#Student Pilot

  • Kevin W
  • Will A (Will_A)
  • Flightfan84
  • Tecnam2TA
  • David Cutler (David_Cutler)
  • Chris Leipelt (cleipelt)
  • Kevin Sisky (ksisky)
  • Chris (Cpt_Chris)
  • Donny Ng (Donny_Ng)
  • Bobby
  • Doug Hamilton (Doug_Hamilton)
  • Rodney Buckland
  • Luke S (Lgsfly)


  • Leonard_Paulson
  • Sandstrom

(Feel free to add this)

  • I have my PPL
  • I am a commercial pilot
  • I am a student pilot
  • I am a mechanic
  • I am an Air Traffic Controller
  • I am not a pilot IRL abut hope to be
  • I am not a pilot and will never be

0 voters

Please vote on this poll!

  • Will_A

Sorry that I can’t tag some people due to 10 tags limit

  • George

You could request a poll to centralize/track some of the data you are requesting.

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Yea, @Tyler_Shelton is a Air Force Air Traffic Controller I believe.

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Laura (one of the main devs) is a pilot herself. Although, lots of the data used to create the planes is gathered through research and questions asked by other pilots that may or may not play IF. Regardless, there are still plenty of people in the community who have Aviation relating jobs, such as: piloting (whether commercial or private, etc.), ATC, Ground Staff, and probably a whole bunch of trainees for various jobs.


I From what I know:

Commercial Pilots
Aernout - A380
@DeerCrusher - ERJ-145
@Heavydriver - 777
@Yuan_Tugo - 777
QR01 - 737NG Simulator but last flew a DA-42
Amaanaj115 - Starts career with Monarch Airlines in September

Formerly The_OP

There are also many student pilots on this forum
Will_A (Me)
David Cutler
Chris Leipelt
Balloonchaser - Student in a Hot Air Balloon 😳
Donny Ng (Donny_Ng)
Doug Hamilton (Doug_Hamilton)
Rodney Buckland
Luke S (Lgsfly)

Other things to do with Aviation:
Speedbird203 works at KJAX and flew helicopter for the Air Force

Leonard_Paulson is a Mechanic at Cecil Field

Laura_Murphy is a firefighter at an airport

This is a Wiki:)
@SingaporeAirlines uh oh


Student pilots for the win :)


Don’t forget @Ryan_Vince too ;)

I heard Misha is also a pilot too (?)


I think @THE-OP is a controller as well, though I could be mistaken.


He’s a certified controller, but is building instrument procedures now.


@Cpt_Chris is a student pilot, @Donny_Ng is either a student pilot, or wishes to be one.


Eh, OP is kinda a controller. Now he just sits at his beach office drinking Bloody Mary’s and building plates. But really, he is a darn good controller and had a big part in training me.

To answer the thread question, I think IF naturally helps with the job. I began when I was in training and not quite certified yet, so it really teaches you how to multitask, develop a good memory as to who and where everyone is at all times, and helps you iron out those pattern basics. This is a really good tool to help people get comfortable.


I’ll add you to the list and add another option ;)

(Sorry I can’t add another options to the poll, But I’ll still add your name)

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Well, retired pilots do not have active license, so maybe not in the list of actual pilots.


I’m not a plane student pilot but I’m a Hot Air Balloon Student Pilot… Does that count?!?

And yes, they are licensed by the FAA and have to pass a FAA practical and written exam. Aswell as are constantly monitored by the BFA (Balloon Federation of America) aswell as the FAA

So they are under the category of “Pilot”


@Mubashir @Brandon_Sandstrom

Yup, used to be a controller, maybe will control again one day, but it’s not in my plans unless it includes the sunny, white sand, Bloody Mary beaches of central Florida…

Tyler’s right, I do sit and enjoy exactly that daily…
Who would leave this?!

Sorry not sure how to undelete my delete…


@THE-OP Click the circle where the delete used to be:)
I just tried it and it worked.

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Well… there will be a delete regardless, I’ll know for next time when I hit a wrong button, thanks!

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Maybe you should take the “Advanced User Tutorial Presented By DiscoBot!” He shows you all the basics (He also gives you a badge and a Virtual Certificate!

All you have to do is say “@discobot Start advanced user” in PM

Airport Firefighter at the moment. Hoping to branch out into tower duties next year!