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To the newbie - First Time Jitters


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Well i have yet to do my first flight! I went in once and I saw some guy go pro while I sat in the corner gate of an airport. I watched and listened to him and just logged out of shame that I knew I had no chance of doing that good!

 

 

So when are we goin' flyin Cole? A few spins and you will be fine!

 

PJ

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Back after several years of "lay-off" and found atc as helpful as ever.

 

Still remember my first online flight some years ago but it sticks in the memory like yesterday.

Woke up early one Sunday morning to avoid atc contact, or so I thought. Europe controllers must be snuggled up in bed, U.S.A. on their way to bed and no South African in sight.

With a shaking hand I set up the aircraft for a flight FAJS to FADN and I'm on my way.

As I am about to start descent into FADN up pops the message "contact me on ...." Log off? or bite the bullet? So as the saying goes "cut your teeth.." and I tune in. Next minute I am put in a holding pattern, never done before, all wrong.. but thankfully I am told to leave the hold and descend to 3000ft - ILS etc and all goes well, so far, except for the jitters and what I did wrong is still a mystery but I crashed the aircraft some distance short of the runway.

Next minute I get a text message "Better luck next time."

Relating this story to friends around a barbecue and explaining that "try to keep it as real as possible" one friend commented that "it is not real to send a dead pilot a message." With which another answered "Maybe ATC can communicate with the aftermarth."

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  • 5 months later...

Well...I just did my first VFR flight on vatsim,, and already i have a nice story to tell...

 

So i logged on to Vatsim, and decided upon a VFR flight from JFK to a small private airport, in my good old Twin Otter. Got the clearence and everything, and began to taxi. The controller said taxi to the runway using taxiway G, Z, ZF. Well what i did not realize is that there WAS no ZF! The controller made a typo (squawkbox text only) And ment ZD but hit an F. So im taxiing around everywhere looking for ZF until the controller signed off and a new one took over. By this time im lost so he asks where im taxiing and what taxiways. When i said ZF he had a good laugh and ssaid there was a typo, and id taxied right by ZD like 2 times! in the end i got it straightened out and flew it perfectly into the little airport. Whoeer was on JFK Ground on march 7th around 7 PM, thanks!

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Just signed up and downloaded+installed XSquawkBox (as well as having binged-watched all tutorials I could find), and first thing after school Friday I'm going to try my first flight. Nervous as hell. I'm just dreading being in the middle of talking only to be interrupted by my mom or something... "Reno tower, UA888 requesting IFR clearan-" "HONEY ITS TIME FOR DINNNERRR". Oi vey. "UA888 cleared IFR to dinner table as filed"

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Just signed up and downloaded+installed XSquawkBox (as well as having binged-watched all tutorials I could find), and first thing after school Friday I'm going to try my first flight. Nervous as hell. I'm just dreading being in the middle of talking only to be interrupted by my mom or something... "Reno tower, UA888 requesting IFR clearan-" "HONEY ITS TIME FOR DINNNERRR". Oi vey. "UA888 cleared IFR to dinner table as filed"

 

Welcome to VATSIM Jackson! How did the flight go?

_________________

Chad Vienna - KCRQ

ZLA Pilot Cert I-09

d_8855.jpg

 

"The important thing in aeroplanes is that they shall be speedy." — Baron Manfred Von Richthofen

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  • 1 month later...

Pretty much the same thing here. I flew ATL-MSY, and I had no prior experience flying non-precision approaches. Heck, I didn't even have a joystick so the controls were extremely clunky; mouse yoke was a pain since I also used the mouse to operate the many switches in the 737NGX; and on top of that I was using a slow computer with pretty bad lag. I ended up crashing on short final for the LOC 19 approach. (That was before I wised up and disabled crash detection, which I probably should not have re-enabled for CTP in March. )

2uo1990.png

 

You don't need Red Bull to get your wings.

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  • 2 months later...

Hello all.

 

Tommy here. Well I thought to share my story of first flight on Vatsim. I choose for start short hop from EGKA to EEGHJ over GWC VOR, so I thought to myself should be preety routine flight, Ill use gps to make it a bit easier ..well newbie. Anyway. All flight was pretty fine at some 2500 in ole cessna except that I filed plan in wrong time! And I realised that only affter almost 2/3 of flight has been done. WEll I do hope nobody wont get mad. I only later found out that Vatsim operates on UTC/GMT and I am from Croatia so I start my flight one hour earlier.

Unicom mesages kinda confused me so I wanted to ask ..You dont say your Callsign there? AS I saw my Vpilot put that by itself in message so it looked little weird hehe. MAybe small example od unicom messages would be nice (if there is guide for that)...

Hopefully I will make it better next time..

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I have to post to this thread now. I've been a member for almost a year now, and today was my first flight. I'll admit, keeping up with the ATC was scary

Anyhow, I tried a radio check last night and decided since everything is working today will be the day to get rid of my VATSIM virginity. UK had a nice coverage due to their event so EGKK to ESSA it was. My flight ended 20 minutes ago and I'm still alive

The UNICOM messages could have been better but from now on I will find myself flying VATSIM more and more.

Thanks to the extremely nice ATC at EGKK and London for tonight. It was fun and you got me hooked.

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Tommy and Mats,

 

Congratulations on your inaugural flights. Welcome to the addiction that is...VATSIM.

 

Randy

Randy Tyndall - KBOI

ZLA I-11/vACC Portugal P4

“A ship is always safe in the harbor. But that’s not why they build ships” --Michael Bevington ID 814931, Former VATSIM Board of Governors Vice President of Pilot Training

1087023

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here are fresh experience..I just had my first live ATC experience on VATSIM. I must say it was at same time fun and confusing.

BUt, first of all ..many thanks to Josh Park at Bristol tower who was very kind to ignore my 1st time hicchups (forgot to tell that I am in PA-38 and preety confusing start XD). All in all I was smart enough to readback preety much correct , but due to bad radio (in range of 3of 5 at best ) I did not clearly understood were he told me alt 2000 ft or no more than 2000 ft XD. Anyway...I was below that untill I left Bristol control zone to north.

 

I will try to be better next time I promise

 

Thanks again it was nice experience.

 

Newbie pilot.

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Here are fresh experience..I just had my first live ATC experience on VATSIM. I must say it was at same time fun and confusing.

BUt, first of all ..many thanks to Josh Park at Bristol tower who was very kind to ignore my 1st time hicchups (forgot to tell that I am in PA-38 and preety confusing start XD). All in all I was smart enough to readback preety much correct , but due to bad radio (in range of 3of 5 at best ) I did not clearly understood were he told me alt 2000 ft or no more than 2000 ft XD. Anyway...I was below that untill I left Bristol control zone to north.

 

I will try to be better next time I promise

 

Thanks again it was nice experience.

 

Newbie pilot.

 

You'll learn the standard stuff as you go along, also the UK (in my opinion) complicates it by using "not above 2000 feet" rather tahn the ICAO standard "2000 feet or below". Anyhow, I doubt I will see that change in many many years (I was going to write ever but you never know).

Johan Grauers

Event Coordinator - vACC Scandinavia

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  • 2 months later...

I haven't ventured into the voice realm yet but just did my first Germany, Holland, UK flight (EDDH-EGBB). Except for a slight navigation error on climb out (i had things set to NAV1 not GPS) it went very well. The Bremen controller got me back on course and all was good. This is good fun

 

Nice friendly people all around

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  • 2 weeks later...

I just completed my first VFR flight in my small Cessna 182

Shoutout to Changi Tower Justin Tin, who was really helpful for guiding my flight all the way through an uncontrolled airspace

 

But i have something to tell you/who's reading. Why is everytime i loaded a plane on UK/Europe-CE the atc immediatly log off. I did not understand this.

Why? I would appreciate an answer

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Ghifari,

 

There is rarely any guarantee that ATC will be online during the times you fly. The other post you made explains this far better than I could. Having said that, there are many, many, many threads here about "Why Pilots Log Off", "Why ATC Logs Off", "Why ATC 'Ding Dongs' Me On Final", "Why Pilots Log Off Without Taxiing", and so on and so forth.

 

Been here awhile now (I remember my "First Time Jitters" post well) and if there is one thing I have learned. VATSIM can be enjoyed only to the extent that you want to enjoy it. If you must have ATC to enjoy this hobby, then VATSIM is not the place to enjoy it. And I don't say that to scare you off. I truly want you to become completely immersed in VATSIM as I am, but as explained in your other post. This is a hobby manned by volunteers who receive nothing in return except the enjoyment of providing a service (both ways) to someone else who shares enjoyment.

 

There will be days and days and days you see no one else in your skies and no ATC. Other days it will be a crowded airspace and more ATC (and radio frequency changes) than you ever imagined. Take this hobby day by day and after a while...a month or so...come back and let us all know what you think. I think you'll be surprised.

 

And remember, your physical location and local time may not correspond well with the local time where you are flying. People have more time in late afternoon and evening (of their local time) to log in. Controllers typically control in an area they are familiar with, but this is not a hard fast rule. When a controller from the UK, for instance, is controlling somewhere in the US you have to remember...and respect...that there is a 5 to 8 hour difference in the time zone. When he is ready to end his session at midnight it may only be between 4 and 7 o'clock in the afternoon/evening in the US. Don't be discouraged when someone logs off. There is usually a very good reason for it. Avoiding you is certainly not the reason. Almost every ATC I have had the pleasure to be controlled by has been more than thankful of the traffic...even in my early days when my flights were more like controlled (barely) chaos.

 

Stick it out and see. You'll find it is a great place to be. Welcome to VATSIM, my friend. You're gonna love it.

 

Also a big welcome to you Tony. I need to fly German airspace more. New Years Resolution time coming up!!!

 

Randy

Randy Tyndall - KBOI

ZLA I-11/vACC Portugal P4

“A ship is always safe in the harbor. But that’s not why they build ships” --Michael Bevington ID 814931, Former VATSIM Board of Governors Vice President of Pilot Training

1087023

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello captains.

I've been reading the many hilarious stories here for the past couple days and thought I'd add my first flight disaster. I'm brand new to VATSIM and just attempted my very first flight no more than an hour ago. Mind you I said attempted not completed.

 

I've been a die hard sim pilot ever since the days of FS98. Not kidding! I was 13 at the time. I've known about VATSIM for many years now but always seemed to drag my feet. I was finally hooked by watching a couple youtube videos.

So there I was... I actually logged on without the slightest bit of nervousness. I was overly confident in my airmanship and skill level. I had spent such a long time preparing for this moment. I hope this doesn't come off as bragging but I like to think my knowledge of controlled flight procedures is significantly higher than your average newcomer. I even work in a career that requires me to communicate over a radio in a professional manner using our own strict rules and phraseology. (not aviation related) I really came in thinking I was going to nail my first time.

 

My flight was a simple PAKT to KSEA hop in the PMDG 737NGX. I didn't go looking for controlled airports. I just took an "if I encounter controllers I'll be ready" attitude. I haven't flown in about a year so I didn't want to go bite off more than I could chew. Plus I just got the ORBX PAKT scenery and I wanted to try it out. I kept tabs on VATSTATIC during my flight and saw that the entire route was uncontrolled. I only encountered two pilots the entire flight. At one point somebody did a radio check over UNICOM and responded with the "5x5 response." I got all giddy thought "awesome...my very first interaction with sombody!"

 

Everything was going great until the JAWBN3 Arrival into KSEA. I read over my chart and set up the FMC for the arrivial. The chart told me that turbojet aircraft landing north need to cross JAWBN at 12,000 ft and 250 kts. Then continue to ALKIA and expect vectors. For some reason this crossing restriction wasn't present in my FMC so I had to manually enter it. Since I wouldn't have vectors, I just connected ALKIA to my FAF in the Legs page. I start my decent and get an FMC message informing me that my decent path was unreachable. As I get closer to ALKIA I notice that I am coming way to high and my nervousness begins. For some reason VNAV is screwing with me tonight. That's when the msg pops on screen. "Contact me on XXX.XX" It caught me totally off guard. The message vanished too fast and I missed the freq. For some reason this is where my brain totally melted. I felt all my preparation and studying completely fade away and it reduced me to stupid. The simple act of pulling up my vPilot client and looking up the freq now felt like rocket science. I tune to Seattle Center and as soon as I hear voices I start to shake. My brain is complete mush at this point. I completely lock up and can't even begin to fathom talking on the freq. For some reason talking to ATC now feels as difficult as having a conversation in Klingon. I've read other stories on this thread and really thought people exaggerated when they described the shakes and sweating 10 lbs off. OMG this is really happening to me. I might as well be diffusing a bomb. I finally muster up the strength, key my PTT and mumble incoherently about being level at 15,000 ft. Wait a minute... Why am I level at 15,000 ft??? I look at my PFD and see that VNAV had given up with that "unreachable decent path" and just leveled off at 15351! The controller responded with surprise and I knew he was thinking "WFT is this guy doing?" He comments about me not being where he expected me and [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igns me a squawk and even though I read it back it p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]es in one ear and out the other. I also see that my plane is turning to fly direct to my FAF. I'm supposed to be around 5000 ft and I'm still at. 15000 ft. Panic mode activated!!! I feel completely dizzy and felt like I was going to black out. I am not exaggerating!!! I actually felt light headed and started to wonder when the last time I ate was! The color had completely drained out of my face. If anybody body saw me they would have [Mod - Happy Thoughts]umed I was a meth addict in withdrawal. Feeling completely incapacitated I finally did something that seemed smart. I pressed the disconnect button. I know this is frowned upon but honestly felt sick. My apologies to Greg Bogosian, the SEA CTR controller who had to deal with my nonsense.

 

To give myself some credit I actually did go the entire day without eating due to work reasons. That combined with the stress of first time VATSIM did me in. Now using my 20/20 hindsight I saw the mistakes I made. I accidentally placed the 12000/250 crossing restriction in the wrong waypoint. I programed it to ALKIA the last waypoint in the STAR and failed to catch the mistake. This gave a window of about 3 miles to catch the glideslope from 15,000 ft.

 

My first was defiantly a head rush, but it was also a learning experience. I'll be back tomorrow to try again. Thanks to everybody that help makes this hobby great. VATSIM is a truly amazing experience.

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Mathew,

Glad you are enjoying Vatsim. I can say with complete certainty that you have been forgiven for any mistakes that you might have made during your first flight! When you say this is a learning experience, you are absolutely correct. Remember, though, that learning a new skill takes time. You definitely have an advantage in that you are familiar with pilot navigation expectations and the limits of your sim. So long as you keep your background knowledge in mind, transmitting over a busy or congested frequency will become second nature to you.

Don't worry about it, and have fun!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, I've been on VATSIM nearly a year now - thought the time was ripe for my own 'first-time' post... So here goes.

 

When I first signed onto the network from my dimunitive laptop I didn't know about start-up, clearance, ATC procedures, the different positions of ATC, what flight plans were, how to read charts, what SIDs/STARs were, IFR/VFR rules, or anything much in general. The only things I did know, but didn't matter, were the physics of aeroplanes (four basic forces, Bernoulli's principles, etc.) and how to program the default X-Plane FMS for a direct flight - i.e. XXXX DCT YYYY. (If anyone's used the X-Plane FMS, you know exactly how useless it is - it doesn't understand SIDs/STARs and everything has to be manually entered. No holding points either.) I then hand-flew the plane (typically jets) down to the airport, estimated when it would be appropriate to turn for final descent, entered the heading on the MCP and tuned to the ILS frequency, and auto-landed.

 

Then I read through the Pilot Resource Centre on the vatsim.net website, and realised exactly how much I didn't know. A week of YouTube-ing followed, learning how to ask for clearance, flight plans, the different ATC positions, etc. I left out one essential bit - chart interpretation.

 

When I first tried my hand at VATSIM, I was so afraid of messing up that I stuck to text only (as a matter of fact, I still fly most flights with receive voice and send text). I logged in at Melbourne, managed to taxi to the runway, got my takeoff clearance and took off, only to directly track the transition waypoint, thus annoying the APP controller who was currently online. He sent me a message, ON THE FREQUENCY: 'BAW115, where are you going? Do you know what a SID is?' I was so embarr[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed that I logged off immediately, and very soon after, found out what SIDs and STARs were and how to find and interpret them (this latter bit was quite easy, to be honest).

 

But I still cringe at using voice - it's a nerve-wracking experience. I'm trying to work up the nerve for this year's CTP Eastbound, let's see how it goes. I've only flown on send voice twice - both in a C172, both in circuits at 2000 ft around Sydney.

 

How do you guys do it?

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  • Board of Governors

Sharadh, great story. To answer your question, you do it just like you have done everything else. You get your courage up, you say you're going to try it, you resolve to learn from any mistakes and do better next time, and you give it a shot, and accept any help along the way. And then when you've done it and done it right, you feel great, and that doubles your courage to try it again. After you've done it a few times, it starts to get much easier, you don't become paralyzed when you make a mistake but learn from it, and just keep getting better and better. Great to hear your story, and look forward to TALKING to you on the network soon! All the best!

Don Desfosse
Vice President, Membership

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Completely new to VATSIM and flight simulation in general here, despite my join date. I have mustered up the courage to log on and sit at EHAM listening to the ATC but every single procedure seems so overwhelming, I don't even know where to begin. The airport charts, SIDs, STARs, even GA aircraft VHF navigation. I hope I can figure out where to start soon because I really want to enjoy this .

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After being a member for almost a year now with no flights to my name, I decided to try to get up the courage today to make my first flight...keyword being try. I loaded up at KMCO where only Approach was currently on. I sat there and just listened to ATIS for around 10 minutes trying to get the courage to switch to approach and when I finally did, sat with my finger just off of the PTT button for about 5 minutes. Then finally, I got the nerves to make the initial contact and here is about how it went:

 

me: "Orlando Approach, good morning, N1992B with Delta request IFR departure as filed....uh to Miami International"

Approach : "N1992B, good evening, cleared to Miami International as filed, climb via SID, squawk ----"

 

It was then, as soon as those words left his lips, it hit me that there was an actual person talking to me....and I disconnected in a panic.

 

I have read so many stories about people's first flights in VATSIM and how they crashed and burned or made a complete fool of themselves and I want to do it as well... but at the same time, every time I connect, I feel like i'm standing on the top of a skys[Mod - lovely stuff]er about to fall off and plummet with no parachute. It's the feeling of not knowing what I am doing and trying to talk to someone who has done this for years or possibly have even made a career in real life of it.

 

Hopefully, one day I will be able to throw myself off the ledge of that skys[Mod - lovely stuff]er and soaring into the wind but apparently now is not my time. Also, to Matt Bozwood-Davies.. I'm sorry for suddenly disconnecting, I just spent all of my energy to shake off the nerves for the initial contact that they came back with force and overwhelmed me.

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happens to everyone, even in the real world. they call it mic fright

 

nothing to be scared about really, especially in our virtual world, we screw up and we live another day

 

there are lots of communications help out there to help you get used to talking with ATC. i personally recommend watching the free videos over at www.m0a.com hes very good. lots of other tutorials as well on youtube and others

 

personally thats one thing i can definitely thanks VATSIM for, from all the flying ive done online, when it finally came to flying in the real world i pretty much had no mic fright which my CFI found impressive, considering i also have a stutter

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  • 1 month later...

Time to kickstart a slightly-old thread!

 

My first time was a quick BOS-JFK hop, as both BOS_CTR, BOS_APP and NY_CTR were online. I'd spent the past hour or so planning my route, what I'd say to ATC, rereading the VATSIM docomeentation, watching tutorial videos and downloading updated AFCADs for both BOS and JFK. Needless to say when I finally hit that "Connect" button I was sweating bullets! I spent another 20mins at the gate, setting up the aircraft (I chose the Spirit Airlines A320, callsign NKS7124) and chewing my fingernails while I listened to the obvious professionals around me... Finally, I filed my flight plan and shakily said: "Boston approach, good morning , Spirit Wings 7124 requesting a radio check.". When the controller calmly replied "Spirit Wings 7124, I read you 5 by 5.", all my nerves suddenly disappeared... I completed the rest of the flight calmly, and was even congratulated by NY_CTR upon landing, "Good job - most newbies don't get this far!" I was grinning from ear to ear...

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