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To the newbie - First Time Jitters


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it does get easier. If you're having problems understanding a controller ask them to send the instructions via text. So you don't get lost try to have a copy of the airport diagram handy to help orientate yourself and see the taxi instructions vs totally relying on the signage in FS. To help get into the groove of flying and working with controllers try the ZLA pilot certs out, every level comes with a complete start to finish transcript so you have a good idea of what comes next. http://pilotcerts.laartcc.org/page/Home

 

welcome to the addiction

Richard Gerrish

Developer, STM Applications Group

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i had the best flight this afternoon after my horrors, i decided to take off from chicago an unmanned airport, so i was using unicom which was good for just getting the hang of what to say and do, then i took off vfr to the north, and after about 5 mins a controller come on and asked me to switch freq, he asked my intentions and i told him he was easy to hear, clear and it was so good i now understand why it is so addictive, so i flew around did a few touch and gos, my calls were spot on, and for a brief moment it felt so real.

 

Everything just clicked and i dont feel nervous at all anymore and that is only after a day hooray

 

So to all the other newbs tossing up whether to do, i say jump right in learning curve is steep but from my experience the controllers are great and more than happy to help you out

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

My first flight was today, and I'll be honest: I jumped the gun too quickly. I had tried to listen to ATC, but there weren't too many pilots around for the ATC to communicate with. After sitting in my parking spot for about 15 minutes (GASP), I decided that with the lack of air-traffic, now would be as good of a time as any to take my first flight.

 

Out of Honolulu Intl, I decided to just do some circuits. After speaking to a very friendly ATC controller (Dave Mayes) for a bit, I decided to go ahead and ask for clearance and taxi. Never having been to PHNL before, I had (and still don't) NO idea where any of the taxi-ways were. After guiding me (with cardinal-directions, lol) onto the right taxiway I was asked to hold short of runway 04R, and when I was ready, notify him and I could take off. After having a much-needed cigarette and wiping the sweat from my brow, I contacted him and he gave me the clearance and heading to take off from. I started motoring down the runway and off to takeoff! One problem, I was so nervous I was going down the runway the WRONG WAY! What a way to start huh?

 

Anyway, after attempting a base leg and a horrible downwind, I notified him of my intentions to land (was WAY too nervous after screwing up the takeoff for any touch-and-go's). So he tells me some headings mid-air to line me up with the approach. Long story short, I overshoot the approach and have to come in AGAIN. I finally land and park that beast.

 

I wanted to learn more so Dave suggested I get Teamspeak so we wouldn't be chatting over the ATC lines. I downloaded it and he gave me 4.5 HOURS of instruction after that on everything from intersections, ILS approaches, the correct step-ladder approach for ATC coms (I already read that, but didn't really KNOW it), to SID, STAR, and even METAR.

 

You'll probably never read this Dave, but from someone as ill-equipped as I was, you sure took patience and teaching to a whole new level! Thank you SO much for helping me with everything today. Words can't even describe.

 

Please, if you've never flown online before and you're scared to do so because of potentially "crabby" ATC, just make sure the airport has very little, if ANY, traffic and I'm sure everything will turn out better than expected...even if you take off in the wrong direction.

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4.5 HRS of instruction? Did I read that right? Wow...Dave, kudos to you my man!! Any time taken to help a pilot, new or seasoned, personally over TS is absolutely worth a mention, but that's just phenomenal!!

 

Tom, welcome to VATSIM, glad you took the plunge and hope to see you flying around the world!!

 

Cheers!!

When is your next Flight||VATSIM HitSquad Member, ZOA/ZAK/GANDER/P1

 

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4.5 HRS of instruction? Did I read that right?

 

You sure did. I was thoroughly impressed with the niceness, patience, and most of all TIME he took out of his day to help someone he didn't even know, and for all he knew, would never be returning to Vatsim. (I will though, on a pretty regular basis.)

 

If not for his patience and instruction, I would have probably never understood most of the stuff we covered, especially ILS and METAR. I'm more of a "learn from listening/doing" rather than a "Learn by reading" person, especially when it comes to complicated topics.

 

He also helped fill in some information that I understood, but didn't quite "apply" yet...and although I still have a way to go in speaking the "ATC lingo", he has single-handedly shortened my learning curve by days if not weeks.

 

So once again, thank you SO MUCH Dave! I wish I could send you a gift-basket or something...

 

Is there a way to give "kudos points" to a member somehow? If anyone deserves it today in my book, it's Dave.

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That's just awesome....I don't think there is a controller point system, but as controllers our main pay (virtual ofcourse) is pilot feedback, which you can do at http://hcfartcc.org/web/feedback.php. You can put in a good word there and let them know that you would like to inform the controller of your feedback!!

When is your next Flight||VATSIM HitSquad Member, ZOA/ZAK/GANDER/P1

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

When I did my first flight I thought I could do everything perfectly just from knowing FSX ATC. I was very wrong. I tried to get Clearance without a piece of paper and a pen on hand. BIG MISTAKE!

My read was like "XXX123 uh cleared to uh uhm uh" Eventually I got it and asked to taxi, Yep you got it I taxied to the wrong runway. Soon after I disconnected seeing I was not ready. I read the PRC learned about sids and stars and got plenty of help here. I learned to always have you flight plan and charts printed out and at the ready. After about two weeks of study I made my first real flight. I was again at LAX (the loop6 is a very easy SID to fly) I contacted clearance and my read back was correct the first time! I taxied to 25 R and took off. I forgot the slight left to 235 but that was no big deal. I then made my way to Vegas. I had a slight issue on approach due to my nav data being out out of date so ATC vectored me. I touched down, taxied to the gate and shut down with a smile on my face and a sigh of relief.

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Just did my first.

 

KCMH-KATL with Delta Virtual. KCMH ground was on, and it turns he's also in DVA. His name is Chris Custer. Great guy, helped me with everything I needed to know, though that was mainly confirmation on things. Then I approached Atlanta and contacted Atlanta Center. The controller was Richard Walls. He was fantastic with me as well, especially when I fudged my descent and approach due to an FMC problem. The runways were switched on approach, not a big problem, Richard vectored me around a bit. Then I got cleared for the visual on 26R and put it down in a decent manner and taxi'd to the gate.

 

Thanks to both controllers for the help and smooth flight. I'm gonna do another flight here in a bit and give voice a try. I'm really not sure why I waited so long to try VATSIM. I have 70 flights logged with DVA, and all of them are offline...until tonight!

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  • 4 weeks later...
On my second flight using VATSIM, which was today, I completely forgot how to state my location, so i panicked and logged out so i didn't get suspended or something.

 

No reason at all to panic on VATSIM(except maybe running out of ice or your favorite beverage). Just tell the controller to the best of your ability where you are if asked. Then do your best to follow ATC instructions.

 

People generally do not get suspended unless they are being disruptive to the network. More often than not a person as new as you will be offered help...

 

Anyways, welcome to VATSIM! I hope your third flight goes better.

 

Bob Carmona

VATSIM Supervisor

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Thank you for the tips My third flight was great. ATC was online the whole route and they where very helpful and patient when i asked them to repeat a couple of times each to clarify. I plan to do my fourth later today

ZJX I1 - Deputy Air Traffic Manager

VATSIM Supervisor

Louisiana Tech University Professional Aviation Major

Real World Pilot

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Just finished my very first flight online. It was a disaster, but lots of fun.

I spent more then an hour on the stand at ENGM witch moist hands before I tried a radiocheck. After lots of checking I filed my FP to EHAM.

Contacted Twr and asked for IFR clearance. It took me a couple of "pls repeats" before I had it. Then I realised I didn't get the initial alt. I asked via private chat if I missed it, I did....

 

After push and start (don't know what I mumbled) and taxiclearance I headed of to the runway. I got my route to RW19R, visualised it on my map, and knew how to go. But somehow I suffered from brainfreeze. I realized twr was calling me. I heard something with straight ahead and repeated it, hoping I got it. Wrong, when I heard the very friendly, patient controller tell me negative, your on your way to RW 01L. I looked on my map, my head turned red, I was... I forgot protocol and mumbled 1000 times sorry, turned right and right again as instructed. Once at the runway I was told to position and hold. I was told to expect 2 minutes delay.

After a few seconds I heard twr talking, it ended with 8, My callsign. I asked - again- to repeat, turned out to be another callsign with 8. I kept silence in shame....

After a while I heard the twr tell me he needed me to take off right away. During my take off, I heard him asking "are you rolling?" I complied "yep rolling" (and forgot protocol again)

 

I had contemplated a ctd for 10 to 20 times by now, since I was online, but decided to just hang in there. Dep went smooth, change to Unicom aswell and learned a lot from fellow aviators how to use it, just by watching and reading.

Reached TOD and started decent via EEL1A and just before I started the approach to 18C I really CTD'd. FS sound dll.

An appropriate ending? Maybe, it was full of mistakes and very embarissing moments, but I had a ton of fun, and want to thank the controllers at ENGM for their patience and help.

 

I am hooked.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi. I'm just an enthusiast, a newbie to VATSIM, a rookie...I took flying lessons about 20 years ago and now I'm 52. It's too costly for me to do it physically, but someone recommended VATSIM to me...WOW. I have been practicing my "xplane" in Piper Malibu PA-48-310 for about 2 weeks, and finally today got the guts to take a shot. I went from Spirit of St. Louis (just a regional airport here in St. Louis) direct to Cape Girardeau Regional. I used the "KC Center" atc for "flight following", and he was very, very helpful to me. The winds were gusting, and although the flight wasn't long, I'm sweating. He terminated radar contact, the Mem Ctr was offline, so I was on my own...and I landed...enh...almost okay perfectly after bouncing a couple of times. But, the whole "1st time experience" was very cool. I'm not ready to do it at night, though yet.

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@Jerry

 

I know just how you feel. I was soooooo smart to choose KATL as my first ever flight. I was testing out my brand spanking new PMDG 737NGX. Man o man, I thought I had it all set up perfectly. I didn't connect to VatSim until I had all my info logged into my FMC, I had memorized (I thought) all my charts.

 

I log on....I instantly hear about 1,000 people talking, and interacting....looking at QuteScoop....There was like 15 departures and 15 arrivals. The ATC was talking 1 million words a second....right then and there I knew I was going to piss someone off.

 

After waiting what seems like forever at the gate just burning fuel....I finally, with a noticeable tone of tension in my voice, requested IFR clearance to KLAS. I don't even remember what happened next....I was holding the headphones to my right ear, with a pen in my hand, ready for the clearance. Squawk went ok, and then my taxi clearance came over my headphones like this...." SWA1986, proceed to RWY hjgshjgh hgjhk dsghj gjsdhg jsdhg sdjghjsd ghjs".......I was sweating bullets....He must have told me 3 times before, bless Him, with no anger at all in His voice, even though I knew He was WAY too busy....asked if I would like progressive taxi. I must have thanked Him about 20 times. He led me all the way to the runway, and held my hand all the way until I hit the air.

 

After that flight went fine....climb out, and cruise...by the time though that I got to KLAS airspace, ATC had left...and now I got worried. I was expecting to be able to turn off VNAV, and get vectored in all the way. I was on my own. Quickly I input and activated my STAR, and picked a runway...(Still have no idea how to tell where the wind is when no ATIS) and gave it a shot. Well, I forgot to adjust my MCP ALT, and VNAV cut off on my and I didn't notice it. By this time I was way way high. Taking full control, I brought Her down at breakneck speed, using full speed brakes, throttle to idle, and 40% flaps....it was a mess, and must have been a sight to see.

 

After circling like a vulture over the airport, I finally spotted my runway, and went to bring it in....I came in way way too low, and was kinda doing what I can only describe as a roller coaster approach, up cause I was too low and slow, then down cause too high and fast....it was a mess. Finally, I got Her feet on the ground....and soon freaked out that I was not slowing down fast enough....smart o William forgot about the reverse thrust....

 

Finally it was all over, and I taxied without a look to see who saw that fiasco back to a gate...and promptly logged off.....Later that night, my wife asked how it went....."Nailed it..." was my reply....

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  • 2 months later...

Jeez, the thread that will not die!

 

I've been away from VATSIM for the best part of a year and a half, but at this very moment I'm reinstalling all my FS stuff. And here's a funny thing - just thinking about pressing that PTT button again after all this time is making feel ever so slightly nervous...

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Scott Main EGPH

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Thsi thread is the best thing on here, my story is way back on page one or two.

 

@Scott, welcome back

 

@William, love the story and the supremely confident manner in which you handled your wife. welcome to VATSIM.

 

@Andrew, you can fly anytime you like at any realtime you like but remember you could be with a controller who is actually sat at his PC at night and your flying in daylight. As controllers we dont know what conditions your flying under apart from weather, as you will always be given real world weather througgh vatsim and everybody pilots and controllers will be using zulutime.

 

@Jerry Welcome to VATSIM, your addiction has started.

 

There is nothing more satisfying than completeing a flight after having done all your flight planning and prep and also having ATC both ends. I still get a buzz after all the years I have been on VATSIM when I taxi to the gate after a flight. No matter if its a trans european flight or a quick dash from EGFF to EGCC.

 

Wycliffe

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 did my first.

 

KCMH-KATL with Delta Virtual. KCMH ground was on, and it turns he's also in DVA. His name is Chris Custer. Great guy, helped me with everything I needed to know, though that was mainly confirmation on things. Then I approached Atlanta and contacted Atlanta Center. The controller was Richard Walls. He was fantastic with me as well, especially when I fudged my descent and approach due to an FMC problem. The runways were switched on approach, not a big problem, Richard vectored me around a bit. Then I got cleared for the visual on 26R and put it down in a decent manner and taxi'd to the gate.

 

Thanks to both controllers for the help and smooth flight. I'm gonna do another flight here in a bit and give voice a try. I'm really not sure why I waited so long to try VATSIM. I have 70 flights logged with DVA, and all of them are offline...until tonight!

 

And less than 4 months later I have my S1 in ZOA. I enjoy flying online, but all I really want to do these days is control.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello,

 

Today was my first time on vatsim.

 

Ended up flying a Guangzhou to Hong Kong route; a really friendly ATC who helped me out -- had no clue how to get to Hong Kong so he suggested a route.

 

On my final descend to Hong Kong, a Qantas Airbus follows my tiny cessna -- and mimics my flying exactly -- if I turn right the airbus would turn right, elevate up and it would follow; I thought there was a cheeky ******* behind all of this trying to make my first night of vatsim hell!

 

I ended up not landing at the international HK airport but flew around the city with this huge jet following me behind!! In the end i landed on the old HK airport (no longer in service) with the jet tailing me like crazy and somehow I end up underneath it.

 

Is this a bug???? I heard if someone is online and messing with the recording function of FSX it can mimic weed real well.

 

EDIT: SC 841154: Language

Soarbywire - Flight Simulation and Avionic Engineering

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