Flight Control tips

Anton Jenkins | May 19, 2009

I’ve been pottering around on this game for a good few weeks now so figured I may as well pass on a few things I’ve picked up….

1. Learn the entry points for the different aircraft

As the image shows, the different aircraft always appear from the same positions. If you learn these positions then you can stay one step ahead. If you see the little exclamation mark flashing in the spot a jumbo enters from then you know it’s a good idea to make sure it’s path to the runway is cleared in advance. Memorising these positions might only give you a second or two extra during the game but it can make all the difference.

2. Take the shortest possible route

There’s no point arcing nice curves on your flight paths – just get them to the start of the runway ASAP. If you have to cut some harsh turns around obstacles in order to do that then so be it.

If it looks like this is going to cause a massive pileup on the runway then just deal with it when it starts to unfold. Don’t make too many long winded routes to delay arrivals because you’d be surprised how many aircraft you can land in a small space by micromanaging the start of the runway.

3. Use the empty space over the runways

Usually the planes land pretty quickly so the majority of the runway is still open for you to use. A popular trick is to fly the planes up the runway the wrong way and then have them cut back on themselves to land. You might think that this will cause a head on crash with the planes coming in to land normally but usually these will land before they even reach the planes heading up the runway at them.

4. The faster it is, the higher you should prioritise it

If you can see that a jumbo and a helicopter are set for a collision course then take evasive manoeuvres with the helicopter and let the jumbo carry on unimpeded. Helicopters are so slow that you can usually just turn them around to get them out of the way and then, when the hazard has passed, draw a new flight path to the pad without them having deviated too far away from where they started.

You start moving a jumbo around to wait for a helicopter to pass and you’ll find yourself having to baby sit it much more than the helicopter. So move the helicopters out of the way instead. The same principle applies for all vehicles – allow the fastest to pass, move the slower one out of the way.

5. Landing the planes a little quicker

This one is a little hard to explain. Basically, when you draw a flight path to the runway, the planes will land quicker if you draw down the runway until it flashes rather than just holding your finger at the end of the runway and waiting for it to flash. Don’t believe me? Give it a go! You’ve probably already noticed that some planes land quickly whereas other planes seem to fly halfway down the runway before landing. Well this is most probably the reason.

6. Leave a little room around the start of the main runway for aborted landings

If you were to draw a straight line from the light aircraft and helicopters that come from the left of the screen to their final destinations then odds are it will bring them reasonably close to the main runway.

Arc these flight paths around the runway entrance a little to give yourself some breathing room. Quite often you will find a jumbo is going to reach the runway before a slower jet has landed and if you can’t slow the jumbo down because it has another one right behind it then you are going to need to clear the obstructing jet out of the way for a second. Arcing helicopters and light aircraft that enter from that left side helps give you a little room to play with.

7. Plan ahead when drawing around obstacles

One easy mistake to make is to draw a flight path around slower aircraft that will avoid them in their current positions. However, by the time your aircraft gets there the obstacles would have shifted! So think ahead and guess where the obstacles will eventually be and draw around that instead.

8. Try playing on a tabletop

This one is subjective but I find I quite often score higher if I play with the iPhone laying on a flat, stable surface. I guess it removes the variable of having to hold the device and will allow you to draw more accurate flight paths.

9. Don’t just rely on the proximity alerts

It’s easy to be lured into a false sense of security by the proximity alerts (you are playing with sound on I hope!). The alert will start when two aircraft get within a certain distance but it wont resound the alarm until they move sufficiently enough apart again. So if you’ve got two aircraft which are following very close flight paths then keep an eye on them. They could quite easily crash a good while after the alarm initially sounded and you won’t get another alarm after the first one.

10. Keep away from the edges

Obviously the edges are dangerous places to be so as a rule try to keep your aircraft away from them. However if you really must go near the edge make sure you do it near the middle of the edge. The reason being because only light aircraft and helicopters enter through the middle so it’s a little less risky. Check the first image at the top of the post to see where the different aircraft enter from.

11. Ram them into the helipad

The helipad is pretty forgiving. As long as you give each helicopter enough room at the edge then you can land several at the same time without them colliding. If you see two helicopters converging from different sides and they look like they will meet in the middle – don’t worry. They will both land before touching each other.

Got any more?

If you’ve got some killer tips then feel free to stick them in the comments.

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