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To the newbie - First Time Jitters


Thomas Parker
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I remember it like it was yesterday.

 

My first flight on VATSIM was a Cessna 172 hop from some airport in northern seattle I cannot remember the identifier, it has been so long!!

 

But anyway it was as short 50nm flight down to KSEA with control from SEA_CTR, SEA_APP, SEA_TWR, and SEA_GND..man it was great...it was just when SB3 had been released.

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Hi Guys and Good Morning from Sunny Cardiff (UK).

 

Anyway the point of thismail is, how amazed I am when listening to your tales of first time jitters that many of you only joined this year, december time for a few of you. But also how many of you are members of VA's etc

 

I would have thought you would need m[Mod - Happy Thoughts]es of hrs flight time before you'd want to take on that experience.

 

I feel somewhat humbled by this knowledeg, will I ever get to that kind of confidence.

Wycliffe Barrett: C3 Controller

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"if god meant for us to fly, he would have given us tickets" Mel Brooks

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Hi Guys and Good Morning from Sunny Cardiff (UK).

 

I would have thought you would need m[Mod - Happy Thoughts]es of hrs flight time before you'd want to take on that experience.

 

I feel somewhat humbled by this knowledeg, will I ever get to that kind of confidence.

 

As you would have no doubt read in the PRC , there is a minimum of knowledge required to be able to fly confidently online , but this knowledge comes along a lot faster than you think. ( Something to do with the theoretical being joined to the practical ) . Every pilot learns at a different pace , some pick it up sooner than others. Some try it once , and leave it for a while until they know a bit more , but they always come back ! Every time online is a learning experience , even if you fly the same route / aircraft many times , each one has a new element involved.

 

 

Will you ever get that kind of confidence? Absolutely. The online environment is one very well geared to new users , mistakes are expected , and help is always available. But be warned , it can be very addictive !! Once you have been bitten by the Online Bug , you will never go back !!

 

Ross Moir

Taxiway ALPHA Landing Expert

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After joining, I pushed myself pretty quickly into what I really wanted to be doing.. flying the ERJ-145 online. I never let myself get too comfortable from the get-go. I started with the C-172 at my local airport because that's what I was familiar with, logged about 6 hours on that, then pushed myself right into the ERJ.

 

There's a funny story there... There I was cruizing along a FL340. Filed a flight plan with a STAR into KMSP (I think... maybe KATL.) Then I get my clearance, "Cross TWINS at 11,000". "Roger. Cross TWINS at 11,000"..... long mental pause. Does this mean I can start my descent? I wasn't even on the arrival yet. I immediately call my brother (a real ERJ-145 pilot for Continental Express). "Phil, what do I do?" Now, mind you, I'm instrument rated but at this point I'm a bit rusty.

 

I'm barrelling along at 435 kts, my headset in one ear, the telephone in the other, and my brother tearing through his Jepp charts trying to get caught up to speed. He starts in on a lesson about decent planning. I'm trying to listen to him, not miss a call from ATC, and calculate all these new equations my brother is pumping into my head.

 

Then I stepped back for a minute and remembered that all I needed was the answer to a yes or no question. He told me when I could start my descent, and everything worked out fine. I called him back the next day to get a follow-up lesson on descent planning.

 

All totalled, I logged about 17 hours in the ERJ, then joined Virtual Continental Airlines. I flew my maiden flight for them this past Tuesday night. My whole strategy was to not let myself get too comfortable. If I did, then I'd probably be flying that Cessna for the rest of my time on VATSIM.

 

That's not to say that I'm abandoning the Cessna. That's what I fly in real-life and need to keep my skills sharp. It's a different kind of flying and have plans to spend a bunch of time flying local approaches as well.

 

Tom

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Wycliffe,

 

I had another thought come to me. I got to spend a week with my brother down in Houston (KIAH) while he was getting his ERJ training. So, of course, I got to hang around the hotel room as by brother and his cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]mates would get together and chat. They were all saying the same thing all the time. "Man, I have no idea how I p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed todays sim session" My brother, at one point, needed a partner to go back in the sim and everyone was banging down his door. Not because they were having fun. Because they felt like they had no clue what they were doing.

 

Can you imagine? Instructors are p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ing these kids to go carry real people. We've got the advantage of doing this online.. nobody gets hurt.

 

Tom

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Why is everytime I write into the forums I always get excellent replies and brilliant advice? Because we are all bitten by the bug, have a desire to be helpful and just love flying.

 

Anyway Ross, to late man, I've been bitten, I have the bug so much that my computer time has gone right up. I have to do quite a lot of placating of the wife at the moment. But hey all I have to do is buy her a pair of shoes and she is happy. hahahahahaha

 

Thomas in answer to the whole thing about comfort, I started on my first flight with Baron 58, I love that plane and I do lot of my VFR in it. So I did about three flights into Gatwick in it and some short hops from Biggin Hill to Blackbushe.

 

But my main aircarft is the boeing 737, not to big not to heavy and really quite manageble. After my first few flights I use that bird most of the time and I am quite confident with it. That said after 8 weeks as a new pilot what happened on MOnday night. "Controlled descent into the ground" two miles from the runway threshold. Bugger.

 

But I'm getting there and I was online last night, I just love it.

Wycliffe Barrett: C3 Controller

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"if god meant for us to fly, he would have given us tickets" Mel Brooks

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I guess I will use this topic for a double purpose... My 1st post on this forum, and comments on my 1st flight!

 

I have signed on VATSIM a while ago, but was somewhat always concerned/intimated to get on with it and log in. As my knowledges and skills improved, I decided to take the plundge a few weeks ago.

 

Man, was I ready! A nice VFR flight in my A36 between CYUL and CYQB. The route all mapped out, my sectional on the "p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]enger" seat, notepad close by... the works.

 

CYUL tower was online, so that was even better... I contact tower (via text) like a pro, get taxi instruction, then t/o, all was smooth as silk.

 

The flight is going very well. I am cruising along the St-Lawrence at 6500ft under a nice clear dusk sky. I notice on my FSInn radar that I am not alone and that a Dash-8 is behind me. I do my tasks and keep everyone informed on UNICOMM. No word from the Dash-8. He's still somewaht far away. As I start my descent and prepare my approach to get into the downwind for runway 9, while stating my intentions on UNICOMM, I notice that the Dash-8 is getting closer, and coming in to land on runway 9 (probably ILS approach). I keep informing traffic on UNICOMM (there's also a few guys on ground at CYQB)... No word from the incoming Dash. I decide to play it safe and do a longer downwind. Here comes to Dash, to land... not a word... I continue to play by the book, and continue to announce my intentions, I turn base and proceed to land behind him...

 

I am telling to myself: oh well, here's another rookie like me learning (but maybe less prepared or something). He even says hi to me on UNICOMM on once we are parked (so I guess is UNICOMM... was working!).

 

After I log off, I decide to go check out is "history" on VATSIM website. Turns out he's got almost... 2000 hours online!!!

 

That sure killed off any jitters and nervousness I had!

 

I am still very new (around 10 hours) but loving every minute of it. Can't believe I went from VATSIM "scared" to VATSIM "addict"...

Bryan

Skyhawk 172R/Bonanza A36/Skylane 182RG

Cascades Virtual Pilots [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ociation: http://vwss.ca/cvpa/

My Screenshot Hall of Fame

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Hey something I said caught on! Allright life goal number one is done lol. Lot great stories and good for current newbies to read that altho we sound proffessional, we had no idea wtf we were doing at one point also. I am not even gonna start on my ATC expiriences! Those were always fun

Andras Kiss

NYARTCC Controller 3, NYARTCC Mentor

NYARTCC [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istant Webmaster

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Hey something I said caught on!

 

Look what you started Andras! I've got to admit, I'm pleasantly surprised and a bit taken aback by all your responses. I didn't know what I'd get back when I laid it out there on the table.

 

A couple of things I pulled out of all this. VATSIMs defining docomeents (ie: Code of Conduct, Code of Regulations, etc) lay out the structure that make this extremely fun. It's essential that I strive to live by those rules. There's several other places out there that lack the structure, and my opinion, those sites don't amount to much.

 

But it's a big relief to me knowing that I'm not the only one out there who got incredibly nervous my first few flights. And it's also very comforting to know that it's okay to mistakes and that they are handled in a friendly, professional manner.

 

Any votes to make this a sticky? I have to image that this could be helpful to those who come in behind us.

 

Tom

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I think A sticky would be a good idea (no not just cuz i helped ) It would be good for newbies to read to realize that we all had these jitters as Tom called them, kinda to show that although you start off small with a little work its simple to become a pro!

Andras Kiss

NYARTCC Controller 3, NYARTCC Mentor

NYARTCC [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istant Webmaster

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lol yeah i remember flying from Sea-Tac to McChord I think it was for my first flight? What was I thinking? I don't know maybe that I just wanted to be in the air for as little time as possible? I had practiced navigating and ILS approaches in the 737 for countless hours offline beforehand. Shaking like a leaf on both departure and approach I was barely able to keep up communications over that annoying text window (this was before I discovered the wonders of voice comm). I'm sure everything I said was completely contrary to the correct lingo, but of course just like every other story, the controller was very helpful and got me on my way. Later when I started to control myself I found out why. It gives you a great feeling to give a new pilot a smile and help them get their feet wet in this incredible system.

Aaron Doyer - Glacier Aviation Virtual - Olympia, WA

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There's two airports very close to each other in the Santiago TMA in Chile. One is the main international terminal and, very close to it there's another which was Chile's main airport until the mid-60's and now is used mainly for GA and military, although some big birds have landed there as an alternate of for some air shows

 

Anyway, when arriving into SCEL from the south there are no STARs and every entry has to be vectored. Weather was fair and winds calm, so when I was descending I cancelled IFR and requested straight-in for runway 35 (17 was active, but I thought I'd save my p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]engers a couple of minutes)

 

Since there was no traffic in the vicinity, ATC gladly replied "SKU063, IFR cancelled minute 41, airport is at your 12 o'clock 13 miles report airport in sight"... Cool, I said, so there I was a FL60 when I saw the airport.

"Make straight-in rwy 35, report final gear down and locked"... Started my final preparations, called on final and got clearance to land, only to get the dreaded "SKU063 go around" just a couple of miles out.

The thing is that I had mistaken the runway and was making a very nice straight in approach to SCTI. the Controller, understandably, was taking care of the other aircraft on the FIR and relied on my position reporting....

 

so my $0.02 for newbies.... always make sure you're approaching the airport you are supposed to be approaching... going around is not that funny

Javier Larroulet (C3) - Chile vACC

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Vatsim is excellent.

 

There is always something new to learn, whether on the pilot or the ATC side of things. It's so cool to spend a few hours with a bunch of other aviation enthusiasts from all over the world and with very different backgrounds.

 

My favorite part of Vatsim is actually the people. I've met many people during my 6 years on vatsim and the original network. I consider many of them to be good friends. The times I have met my Vatsim friends in person have been extremely satisfying. It's quite odd for the first few moments but after you get over it - it's just great to sit down with others who love the network as much as I do. I still owe a number of people a trip down to SoCal some day.... some day.

 

There are so many ways to get involved and contribute to the network as well - there is no better feeling than putting in some hard hours that eventually helps someone else learn how to fly, control, or adds something else to the network.

 

Having come on to the network completely clueless about aviation, there were MANY people who took time to help me learn. I always lived by the mantra that I had to help others learn as well. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing people I helped out helping others. One day some new fella shows up either flying or controlling with no clue what the heck is going on. Show a little patience for that person and before you know it they are devouring knowledge like there is no tomorrow. The next time you check up on them - they are teaching someone else who is a newbie - the cycle just keeps going.

 

It really is an amazing community we have here. Don't ever take it for granted - get involved and help keep the dream alive.

Ian Elchitz

Just a guy without any fancy titles

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My first flight on VATSIM was about 3 months before the PRC came out. Remember the days of ASRC 1.0 and ProController was just being phased out? Wow.... I've been away for way too long.

 

I remember on my first flight (FS2002) sitting at CYYZ wondering how in the world I was going to get to Brampton (CNC3) let alone if I'd have to deal with any controllers. My goal was to emulate as closely as possible what I knew of ATC and phraseology. As it turned out I didn't know much. I not only stuck around CYYZ for a night (staying in place to terrified to move the plane) that I thought for sure the whole experience was going to be boring because I was just going to get in more and more trouble if I did anything. I had no confidence. Eventually I got the wonderful message notifying me that I should log off as I'd been online for 25 minutes and not done anything.... I still remember trying to figure out how to politely respond that I didn't know HOW to do anything. The controller that night was amazing because on top of juggling 3 positions (arr/dep was alone) they also found the time to explain how things on VATSIM worked and where I could get some resources on what to say/do. The only thing they didn't do was make sure I knew what I was doing in that Cessna 172.

 

The next night I logged back in and the same controller was flying. Totally forgetting EVERYTHING I'd been told the night before, I connected to the app channel and proceeded to walk all over a very pilot Virtual Air Canada pilot. I felt like the world biggest heel. I still didn't really know what I was doing. I remember finding my visual reference for the flight (highway ten in ontario) and creeping at 2000' just under the controlled airspace. Not before flying RIGHT ACROSS BOTH CYYZ APPROACHES! I tend to avoid doing that now but I've been away for a long time.

 

I'm in a different college now, living in residence where I don't control my internet. Unbeknownst to me my connection issues were directly related to closed ports. Squawkbox kept disconnecting me for some unkown reason. Finally one night I managed to get the program to stay connected for awhile. Being a little more familiar with air law I decided to go to the Four Stacks VFR check point on the shor of Lake Ontario. My thought was that at 2000 feet this would put UNDER the glidescope for the east runways at Pearson. WRONG. In my rush to stay connected and to not bother the Center controller too much, I forgot to adjust my altimeter. Being remotely nosey I had set my comm 2 to the controllers frequency. It wasn't untill I heard the following exchange that I realized that there might be a problem.

"Air Canada XXX, Toronto Approach, traffic Cessna 172 at 12 oclock 5 miles"

"Toronto Approach, AirCanada XXX roger we have the traffic. Any idea what he's doing?"

"Not a clue. Looks like he's lost. Let's keep an eye on him see if he goes lower."

"Roger Air Canada XXX"

"Air Canada XX Toronto Approach, Go around"

Not only had I totally lost orientation in turbulence over what I thought was my checkpoint (I had gone way to far) but I had forced the go around of the poor Air Canada pilot. (I'd like to apologize profusly for this experience. Nothing makes you feel worse than realizing that you have indeed messed up someone elses flight.) I promptly Hightailed it into brampton (after much shame and embar[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ment) and shut down not to return for another month. I've yet to deal with control again but I'm hoping from now on things go well. I've since done 3 uncontrolled flights all in northern Ontario where there is little traffic. I also have connection issues fixed so I've still got that newbie feeling.

 

Thanks VATSIM for the patience and services. It really is "as real as it gets" when VATSIM is involved.

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Fly High Far and Free.

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The best experience I have had was coming into Miami Int. in a baron 58. I was put on 2nd for final behind a 737. I had a 747 behind me bearing down very fast, so fast the pilot asked the tower if they should go around. The tower then asks me to expedite my landing and exit the runway. During my final approach a 737 p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]es beneath me on the taxiway. I land and by the time I could swerve my plane off the runway the 747 touches down behind me. It was INTENSE, but very fun.

 

Jeremy Whittington

N445SN - KTKI

Jeremy Whittington

N445SN - KTKI

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ha.. Wycliffe. That's good to hear. I'm glad you like this thread. I've run across references to it in other threads also -- all comments being positive. I would like to make it a sticky, but feel kinda funny about asking for such seeing that I started it. Can I get any other votes to make this a sticky? If not, I'll just let it drop.

 

Tom

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Actually if it hadn't been bumbed I was worried I was going to lose it. This thread is great for all those first timers. In fact I just hooked mr. Quenneville a fellow student pilot onto vatsim. He was with me the night of the cyyz fiasco. Then was only an intro. Now he's got his own stories to tell.

 

He read this and realized he had no reason to feel bad about being nervous considering we all were. You've got my vote.

 

C-DSEV

Danny Sevigny 879664

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Fly High Far and Free.

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And you have my vote and the vote of a mate of mine who is teetering on the edge of VATSIM ness. hahahahaha

 

Off to work I'm traing social workers today on Management of Violence and Aggression. Clients not theirs hahahaha

Wycliffe Barrett: C3 Controller

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"if god meant for us to fly, he would have given us tickets" Mel Brooks

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Just another shining example to all new pilots that we all make mistakes....

 

Just finished flying from CYHM to CYYZ and back. While stopped at the gate at CYYZ I did my engine shutdown in a Beech18. I had to go to the washroom so I left the radio on figuring I had 17 minutes of good charge and the battery would charge on the flight back. Silly me. I come back from the washroom (time elapsed 3 minutes) and the cockpit is cold and dark. Odd says I. I switch to another paintjob, contact the CYYZ_V_APP (no twr, gnd or clx online) and begin to start the engine. Well what do you figure happens. In the time it takes for me to get my clearance (2 attempts I beleive) my batteries drain AGAIN. So I switch paintjobs and call APP ready for taxi. Wouldn't you know that when you think you've got time you really don't. I couldn't help but laugh and I think the active controller got a good chuckle too.

 

Much fun.

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Fly High Far and Free.

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I think I have a story that will top everything. The first time I logged on I had figured I'd park my plane at KVNY and just listen. Well, things didn't go quite as I planned and I rushed to shut everything down. Wasn't happening. FS & SB3 were catatonic. The 3-finger salute wasn't having any effect. I shut down my DSL modem and sat there in a cold sweat.

 

I gave up flying for the remainder of the afternoon...even offline. Maybe old dogs really can't learn new tricks.

 

Oh, I forgot to mention that it happened this afternoon.

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