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Tobias Dammers

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Everything posted by Tobias Dammers

  1. "Cleared for the visual" means that you are supposed to fly a visual approach. You are allowed to use whatever navigation aids you want to achieve this, however, you must play by the rules of that visual approach, which means, in general, that you must maintain visual runway contact at all times - you can use an ILS beam to align yourself with the runway, but you may not trust the ILS beam as your primary reference, and upon losing visual contact, you must go around. If you use RNAV waypoint to align yourself with the runway, the same rule holds: you must not use the FMS as your primary naviga
  2. First things I would check: Are you on the latest swift version? If not, upgrade. Have you tried connecting to a different server? Sometimes, a server will reject your login, for whatever reasons, and just connecting to a different one solves the issue.
  3. Think of the hyphen as working pretty much like in phone numbers - it is sometimes inserted when formatting, to aid readability, but it is not part of the phone number / callsign itself, and the actual systems processing the information will strip it out / ignore it. In a phone number, only digits, hash and star are recognized, and the plus sign carries a special meaning ("use whatever the prefix for international calls is in the country you're calling from"); everything else is removed. And just like in a phone number, where the hyphen can be re-inserted unambiguously based on the digits
  4. Yes, but those are all still fixes that are on their flight plan, and will thus appear in the FPL page of the FMS (or whatever the page is called on the aircraft type in question).
  5. Yes, but I would err on the side of caution with the "ensure that they do not cause disruptions to other members" part. If, as a pilot, I see you 40 miles out at a reported ground track speed of 200 knots, I will assume that it's going to be 12 minutes until you're here. If, due to 4x time compression, those 12 minutes actually end up being 3 minutes, and I have to take action to maintain separation, then that IS a disruption.
  6. Have encountered the same thing with Flightgear. Essentially, just set the last digit to whatever goes, and it'll work.
  7. Totally. You can even take it a step further and anticipate the clearance you will get - it always comes in the same form ("{your callsign}, you are cleared to {destination} via the {SID} departure, [runway {number}], climb initially {altitude or flight level}, [expect {altitude} after 10 minutes}], [additional instructions], squawk {squawk code}"; some of these are optional and country-specific though), and you can usually guess almost all of it. So go ahead, gather the information you need to do your guesswork, and write down your expected clearance in shorthand: "EDDF ARNEM1V 36L FL60
  8. For added realism, use the VATSIM account of the pilot-in-command... "simulated accountability"...
  9. Barring the advice of joining the mentoring program of your local VATSIM chapter, which is of course an excellent idea, some hints: While the overwhelming majority of traffic on VATSIM are commercial IFR flights, you don't have to do those right away, starting with short local VFR hops is absolutely fine. Which means you can, for the time being, skip FMS handling, instrument navigation, STARs & SIDs, ILS, etc., and you don't need to know about airways either. When planning your first flight, pick a mission that keeps you in your comfort zone: fly between airports you know well
  10. ...is what the COC has to say on the matter. So if I'm not mistaken, this means that you are free to stream without further paperwork, as long as you keep playing by the rules, and if you post a link to your stream through any VATSIM channel, the scope of the COC extends to your use of the streaming platform.
  11. Some perspective from a relatively recent beginner (~100 hrs on the network): New pilots fall into different categories, and in order to effectively help them, it is probably a good idea to assess which category they fall into. Most new pilots will be in the "well-intentioned" category: familiar with the basic rules of the network, able to fly the aircraft at least in a non-stress situation, willing to follow advice, and at least somewhat prepared. The best help you can give these pilots is to speak slowly, keep your instructions short and piecemeal, offer vectors instead of complex
  12. Note that all pilot ratings beyond P0 are basically vanity badges - unlike flying IRL, you don't need the equivalent of a PPL to fly a Cessna on Vatsim, you can get your P0 rating and cross the Atlantic in a 747 the same day. The only reason to get ratings P1 and up is to increase realism for yourself, and maybe to actually learn something in a structured and somewhat realistic way (rather than scraping all that knowledge together from all over the internet and hoping it is complete and accurate). If you're not interested in those things, just keep your P0 and happily keep doing what you've be
  13. Same result though - we're only annoying simulated citizens, so there's no harm using daytime procedures at night.
  14. Indeed. Keep in mind though that not all controllers will apply nighttime procedures, because traffic spikes occur on different moments than IRL, so even if you're a jet departing EHAM after 2230 local time, you might still get ARNEM2R.
  15. Re writing down your clearance: What I do is, instead of trying to write down the entire clearance as I receive it, I write down everything I already know, or what I can guess, before making my call. E.g., suppose I'm flying a route like: EHAM (SID) ARNEM (airway) TEBRO (STAR) EDDL. Now I get the ATIS, which tells me that the active takeoff runway is 06. From EHAM, there are only two SIDs that go to my first enroute waypoint, ARNEM: ARNEM2R and ARNEM2T. I know my callsign, I know my destination, and I can get the initial climb clearance from the SID chart. The only thing I have no idea ab
  16. Apart from vatspy, there are also these maps: https://map.vatsim.net/ https://vau.aero/fsmap/?va=vau Both give a good idea of the current activity on the network, though of course it is always possible that a controller logs off right around the time you pop up in their airspace. Another resource to watch is the event calendar: https://www.vatsim.net/events (or the "events" forum here, though that one isn't sorted by event date). Participating in events means that you can be more confident that the stations you expect are actually staffed when you expect them to be.
  17. Yeah, this is what I meant by "published" callsign. Basically whatever the remarks / description on their frequency says. And ofc if they use a different one themselves, just go along with that.
  18. Address controllers by their published callsign; although IME if you use the wrong one, it's not usually a big deal either, they will casually correct you, and that's that.
  19. Right, so even without all the rule-waving, it is the pilot's responsibility to initiate contact; contact-me's are really intended as "Plan B", for when... ...the airspace structure is such that it is not obvious which controller a pilot should be talking to (this can be the case when, for example, multiple controllers are logged onto the same kind of position, e.g. two TWR controllers at the same airport; but also when sectors are subdivided in a way that isn't straightforward for pilots to understand, e.g. in the German FIRs). ...a controller wants to assume control a flight bef
  20. This just happened today; I was happily cruising along, but shortly before reaching my TOD, the controller handling me disappeared from the ATC list, and two others before me made requests for descent clearances that went unanswered. Having noticed the absence of the controller, I waited about a minute to make sure it wasn't just something like temporary packet loss, then made a brief "all stations" call on the ATC frequency about the situation and switched to UNICOM. Is this what one is supposed to do in such a situation? Or just quietly switch to UNICOM?
  21. XPlane is somewhat unique in how it handles low frame rates: when you drop below 20 fps, it will slow down the simulation rate. This means that when, for example, you're getting 18 fps, in-sim time runs 10% slower than real-world time, and this in turn means that all the time-related data your simulator produces (including velocities, airspeed, ground track speed, vertical speed, ETAs, etc.) will be 10% off, and your position will drift from your expected position at a rate of 10% your ground track speed. The experience is going to be terrible one way or another. Say the controller asks y
  22. Yes. In the programming world, we call this a clbuttic filter.
  23. There's no autorouting of frequencies; most controllers listen on one frequency, and it's up to you to tune to the right one. So when you first start up, you first check whether DEL is online; if not, you check GND, then TWR, then APP, then CTR, until you find a controller that is online. And then you contact that controller on their current frequency. However, top-down coverage (APP down to individual airports) isn't provided for all airports. Untowered airports are not generally covered at all, and for other minor airport, it is up to the controller whether they are willing to prov
  24. RNAV means that your navigation equipment can follow arbitrary flight paths with sufficient accuracy. The navigation information for this can be based on a variety of sources: GPS/GNSS, classic ground station based area navigation (which is where the term "RNAV" comes from), etc.; it is generally augmented with inertial navigation equipment for faster responses and better precision. RNAV procedures are mainly defined as sequences of waypoints, each given as a lat/lon pair. Traditional, non-RNAV, procedures, by contrast, assume navigation equipment that can only perform limited navigation
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