By Colin Billing 820083
#10473 Hopefully by now many/most will have got SB3 working to one degree or another and have used it online . . .

I'd now like to strongly suggest that "NEWBIES" to the VATSIM network, or those returning from a long absence should visit - the marvellous PILOT RESOURCE CENTRE, where you will find a huge amount of invaluable information on how to fly with correct procedures on VATSIM and just as important what NOT to do . . . .

One thing I would say here is - after you've had your initial "fix" of "traffic watching" at EGLL, KORD, EHAM, KJFK - wherever in the world you've found busiest - perhaps now would be a good time to go "back to basics" and pick a quieter field, with ATC where you can learn without getting in the way of 200 other users . . . Also - if you haven't already done so - go and get "SERVINFO" a marvellous programme that will amongst other things help you get a real handle on who's controlling where and what else is going on . . . SERVINFO is available from

Also if you're after charts for the airspace or airfields that you're flying to/from (a real MUST to be honest at busy commercial fields) then try this site which has links to most international chart sources

The key thing is here that we want people to enjoy their flying on VATSIM and have fun - but if you've just joined - VATSIM is NOT just another Multiplayer "zone" it thrives on the SIMULATION of ATC hence the title "Virtual Air Traffic Simulation Network" and everyone will enjoy themselves much more if we all know and understand a little about what we're all trying to do.

Finally - the main VATSIM front page has links to all the global VATSIM regions/divisions who will all have their own websites with tons of useful information for pilots .

Try not to get put off - it's a wonderful place to be here on VATSIM and all the more wonderful for the fabulous new client software - but please try and take a little time out to learn a little of what is required . . . you WILL enjoy it MORE that way . . . . .

Very Best Wishes

Colin Billing
VATSIM UK Director Of Training
VATSIM Supervisor

former "real world" ATCO
By Norman Blackburn 870575
#10483 Colin,

This is such a valid point. I know that many pilots when the first log on will be attracted to the airports like KLAX / KSFO / KORD / SBGL / EGLL / EHAM / EDDF / EDDM / LLBG / VHHH / YSSY.

These airports are always busy. Log on there by all means. Have a look and listen (in conjunction with the information at the PRC) and then do a flight somewhere completely different.

Whilst I am not advocating that newbies avoid them - far from it, its much better for you, your fellow pilots and controllers, if you have a grasp of the basic concept. You would never dream of learning to fly in real life at one of these airports and the same is true when trying to learn to fly online.

In summary:
Log on wherever you want but if it sounds real busy it means it is real busy. Controllers will assist when they can but a pilot needs to know the basics first.
(oh and stickied)
By Andre Koch 852831
Norman Blackburn 870575 wrote:Log on wherever you want but if it sounds real busy it means it is real busy.

If I may add something to that: It can also be very busy for the controller even though the frequency is quiet. There is a lot of coordination going on in the background, pilots usually don´t know that and naturally have no way of noticing it. A controller at one of the main airports is pretty much always busy, wether it shows on the frequency or not.

Oh, and you forgot to include EDDL in your list of major airports. ;)