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To the newbie - First Time Jitters


Thomas Parker
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Truth be told, first I misplaced my ID, p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]word and related material. I knew it was somewhere, but had stored it under a name I subsquently forgot.

 

I found it by accident, two days ago. I'll read the instructions and try again later today. I think it will be a while before I try it for real. The VA I joined uses KLAX as a hub and that is a really busy place.

 

Still, I am getting tired of the ATC built into FS, clearing the plane behind me for takeoff.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, I'll contribute to the thread. I got the software working and have been observing while parked out of the way for a while. I'l be doing some GA VFR flying online later this week. I'll be getting an extension for my headset so I can plug the microphone into the back of the computer, but the earphones into the front(for easy removal).

 

Of course, I won't be flying with my VA's call sign so if I do anything dumb, it is [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ociated with me only.

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I'm glad I found this thread. Made me feel much better.

 

I'm glad I'm not the only newbie strung out on nerves! I've learnt something in the maybe 200 hours I've been online, about 5 of which have been voice.

 

When it's all going well. ATC can understand you, copy you 5x5 and you can understand them and copy them 5x5. Nobody speaks too fast. Your house is empty and your on your own, no interuptions, nobody to ask you who in hell you are talking to. Traffic is light, you on a well flown and practiced route, in a plane you know and trust. Not many ATC on and you have no cockpit troubles. ... and most importantly, there is at least a hint of a sense of humour in the airwaves.

 

It's still nervy though.

 

Then you get flights where, it's getting busy, ATC and pilots popping up all over the place. People aren't getting a good read back from you and you have to speak louder and clearer. You can barely hear ATC, and have to keep turning the game sound off and asking for a say again. There are family who keep bursting in and asking who you are talking to, or cracking jokes at you. You mess up the SID, call ATC to 'own up' and you mumble so badly they have to ask you twice more to repeat, on the third attempt someone opens their mic and all you hear is an echo of yourself... then the doorbell goes!

 

In the chaos at some point, you start typing a text reply, but don't click squakbox first. "rgr, copy left 125 down to 3000". I can't remember off hand what this sequence of keys does to FS, but I remember it wasn't good.

 

Then you have plane trouble. In the heat of ATC you fail to complete several major checklist items and chaos breaks out on approach, wrong headings, sudden descents, failing to descend, missing the localiser, missing the glideslope, landing gear not down!

 

Then there is FS trouble. Dead frame rates, freezing for seconds at a time. Autopilot losing it.

 

Then there are internet troubles. Why do these last 2 items always happen on approach? LOL The closer you are to touchdown the worse the problem that occurs will be.

 

I think after my first flight I retired on the taxiway and disconnected as I wasn't fit to drive I was that relieved at being on the ground.

 

I don't think real pilots have to put up with half the chaos we do, LOL Only kidding of course.

 

Can VATSIM start a co-pilot program? Isn't that what they are for? Co-Pilots I mean.

 

Moving slightly towards any kind of seriousness... has anyone looked at multi-pilot cockpits online yet? I'm thinking VNC and teamspeak. Just a random p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ing thought.

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Okay, I have another story. I swapped my VA's plane for my trusty old Cessna 337D. I still haven't gotten the SB3 file flight plan to work, so I decide to fly from KSOW, which is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. I have Com1 set on Albuquerque Center and Com2 on Los Angeles Center.

 

The phone rings, so I take off the headset. The phone call only takes a few seconds, but now I see in printed text from Albuquerque Center, "Sir, I don't have a flight plan for you". Huh? Absolute panic...and another plane disappears from radar.

 

Maybe, I'll try again next week.

 

EDIT: Update. I flew from PHNY to PHOG online. Could it be coincidence that no one was around?

 

Actually, I figured early on Thanksgiving would be the perfect time to sneak by. After repeated requests were unanswered due to a dearth of controllers, I flew the flight with my eyes glued to the squawkbox window, waiting to get yelled at. How I managed to land is beyond my understanding.

 

Getting ready to fly on Christmas morning.

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Well... after 77 hours on VATSIM, things still go wrong. I'm betting that after 1000 hours, things will still go wrong.

 

I had a beautiful flight from Knoxville, Tennessee to Cleveland, Ohio. I had ATC the whole way and all things were proceeding as normal. I get my vectors to line up on final. I report back, "established localizer". I get "cleared ILS24L & cleared to land 24L". Roger that.

 

But somethings not right. My HSI shows everythings okay. What's this? The fixes on my FMS are parallel, but off to the left. What the heck is going on? I'm failing my instrument cross-check! Turns out I had dialed in the localizer frequency for ILS24R, not ILS24L.

 

By the time I realized what happened, it was too late. I was way high on the glideslope, and because I was distracted, I'd lost sight of my speed. Off with the autopilot, we're going missed! I declared missed, the controller did a wonderful job of vectoring me around and setting me up again. Kudos KZOB.

 

All ended well, but I sure had a few moments of panic!

 

Tom

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Tom

 

700 hrs flying, good grief will I ever get to that number.

 

Ok so I'm in the low 30's as GWICK but feel I'm getting better all the time. The other day (Saturday) me and Fran (the wife) decide to stay in for the day. Great no shopping. I can fly.

 

So load up the old 737 file Gatwick to Manchester, there's ATC woo hoo.

 

REQ Radio check on the QNH, call for start and PB, S P/B approved

 

REQ CLR (man this is so good)

 

Get my CLR, ( I'm loving it) taxi to the rwy

 

Clrd To Manchester as Filed,

 

Rumble down the rwy and up she goes woohoo, best job in the world, positive rate of climb, LG up, flaps up by the numbers.

 

400 ft engage autopilot, ( man I'm hot)

 

Egress on RWY HDG, in the pipe 5x5 (Aliens quote)

 

So I pick up my Radio Phraseology handbook just to check on something a moment and I look back to the screen and I'm in a death dive to the dirt. What the heck is going on, quick scan of the COCKPIT, everything seems ok, but I'm still falling out of the sky.

 

Crash Bang Wallop, I hit the dirt just outside Cowbridge, possibly ten miles from CArdiff Airport.

 

Talk about embarrasment. Log off, slinkdownstairs, watch TV, go on TEAMSPEAK 2 hrs later and apologise to the controller.

 

My wife wanted to know how many p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]engers I'd done in. Luckily I could tell her that my aircraft was empty.

 

There's no way I could have lived that indignity down. PHEW.

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 just re-read my post. It occured to me that it might have come across as sarcastic. "Did I say 700?". It was said with an inquizative tone, not a sarcastic one.

 

I love reading these stories. I love to laugh at myself. I've got some other doozies that I haven't posted here.

 

Another one was a flight into Houston (KIAH). I filed the RIICE2 arrival. It was a very new arrival taken from fightaware.com. At the time, the controllers hadn't heard of it yet. After a late handoff from KZFW to KZHU (?), which I think was my fault, I was already half way along the RIICE2 when I checked in. He didn't recognize it, re[Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned me to the HOAGE arrival. I accepted it. It was at that moment that all things just fell apart. I was about 15,000 feet higher than I needed to be. I tried hand flying the plane, trying to do a controlled decent (ha! Controlled? Right!) all the while trying to reprogram my FMS by hand deleting old fixes and entering new fixes. I got a crossing restriction at 10,000ft. I was at 17 and falling like a rock. I got spun to lose the altitude. Still trying to reprogram the FMS. CRAZY!! By the time I made it back to my crossing restriction THE SECOND TIME , I was at the altitude I needed to be and going in the direction I needed to be. I turned on the autopilot again and fell back in my chair!

 

I eventually got all things straightened out, but geesh did I get a workout!! The approach and landing was fine.

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Just reread my last post did you see what i did, I confused to crashes started with the Gatwick one and ended with a Cardiff one, hahahahahahahahaha (hysterical laughter)

 

Perhaps there all moulding into one.

 

The event I started writing about is the one that I meant to tell you that I crashed in. And it was exactly as I said, crashing about ten miles from Gatwick though, not Cowbridge.

 

 

DOH!

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 shy of 6.5 hours, here, and it's been a great time. I'd say about an hour of that time has been spent listening, with more to come when it's busier. My schedule is such that I do most of my flying on weekdays, and obviously it isn't too busy then. I certainly don't fly when the wife is in the house, since she has some mysterious natural defense to the words "leave me alone for a little while." She used to spend hours - all night in some cases - on something called a "MOO" (when I was instructed to leave HER alone). I still don't quite know what a MOO is, but last night I told her that this will be my MOO.

 

I was every bit as jittery on my first VATSIM transmission as I was on my first real life one. Maybe more, since I wasn't wasting real fuel sitting there thinking about what I was going to say and whether or not my [Mod - lovely stuff]py headset would work. I'm getting a new one for Christmas, and that's that.

 

So far, my only problems have been that cheap headset, which also doesn't fit my head very well, and a strange problem with my X-52 throttle (won't quite idle - don't understand that one yet). Apart from that, my limited time on VATSIM has been absoutely outstanding. I've chatted with a couple of pilots and the controllers have been terrific. I haven't run into any serious difficulty yet. I'm sure that's coming one of these days, but so far my flubs have been pretty small. Most recently I took off from Las Vegas headed to Lubbock (a VA flight). There was no ATC in Vegas but over New Mexico I picked up Fort Worth Center. I checked in, but of course I was wayyyy too early. One thing, though. He asked me if I wanted the visual or ILS in Lubbock. I said I was in a bit of a hurry (had to leave for work soon) so I'd better take the ILS. I thought I heard a bit of offense in his tone, but if he reads this I'd like to point out that I was insulting my visual landing ability in my PMDG 736 (which I'm still sort of getting used to) and NOT his controlling. I could see myself having to go around four or five times if on visual, and I just didn't have the time.

 

There. I feel better.

 

One more thing; it's really, really nice to be able to, say, call for a windcheck on final. I'm sure many things like that will add up in the coming days.

 

Good stuff, this VATSIM. Real good.

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Rumble down the rwy and up she goes woohoo, best job in the world, positive rate of climb, LG up, flaps up by the numbers.

 

400 ft engage autopilot, ( man I'm hot)

 

Egress on RWY HDG, in the pipe 5x5 (Aliens quote)

 

So I pick up my Radio Phraseology handbook just to check on something a moment and I look back to the screen and I'm in a death dive to the dirt. What the heck is going on, quick scan of the COCKPIT, everything seems ok, but I'm still falling out of the sky.

 

Crash Bang Wallop, I hit the dirt just outside Cowbridge, possibly ten miles from CArdiff Airport.

 

Talk about embarrasment. Log off, slinkdownstairs, watch TV, go on TEAMSPEAK 2 hrs later and apologise to the controller.

 

I had a similar experience when I was still at about 90 hours online. I decided to do my first extra-long flight, from VHHH-EGLL. Right after takeoff, I was clrd direct to some isec whose name escapes me. Pop open FSNav to find the bugger and when I close it again, the plane was careening down TAIL-first! And what had caused this.....? I forgot that a 747 carrying fuel for a trip from Hong-Kong to London and observing a 250 KIAS speed restriction can only maintain a 2000ft/min climb for so long - unfortunately as the airspeed dropped the AP just kept lifting the nose in an attempt to climb.

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Scott Main EGPH

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Hello folks. I am the newbie, yet to take my first flight on line. I am nervous. I popped on yesterday for about 15 minutes just to observe, and it made me even more nervous. Everyone talks so fast!

 

I know that everyone in this community is very friendly. I've been reading the forum for a while. I come from a sim-racing background, and I know what it's like to have rookies in the same space that the veterans use. You want to be friendly and helpful, but at the same time you want to have fun too. (I've seen a few frustrated ATC posts on these forums as well.. can't blame them!) So I am doing my best to try and learn everything off line, then hope it works on line.

 

How long would you suggest a person flies off line before they take to the virtual skies with the rest of the pilots? I've been through all the FS Lessons and have flown only about 30 other hours besides those. I've also read all the stuff in the PRC. I'm moderately comfortable flying the same short flights (usually KJQF to KMYR) off line, but I know there are things I must be doing wrong. I still overshoot the runway sometimes, and even get lost when I try other flights occasionally. I know how to use the VOR and ILS, I guess I just get nervous. I am getting better with each trip I make though. It'd be nice if there was something in this sim that critiqued each flight so I'd know what to fix next time.

 

My plane of choice is the King Air B200. It's small enough for a rookie, but fast enough to not get boring! Aeroworx did a heck of a job making it look real, too. (BeachAV8R lives near me, he is a real life B200 pilot.. I need to hook up with him sometime!) Is it okay to fly this type of plane in VATSIM? It seems most pilots prefer the big commercial jets on here.

 

I've got lots more questions, but this is enough to get me started in the VATSIM forums.

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I was the "prototypical" newbie, back in 1998 on SATCO.

 

I connected at JFK in a 747 with intentions of flying out to LAX. Had little idea how I would get there, but that wasn't going to stop me.

 

So I headed out to the runway, took off and began my climb.

 

At about 7'000 feet, I noticed that someone was trying to talk to me. Hey! How about that! Kennedy Departure!

 

You mean there was JFK TWR open? And JFK GND? And DEL? And NY CTR is up? And it's a ZNY event? And you're not sending F18s to shoot me down??

 

If it hadn't been for the professional, courteous, understanding controllers that were online that day, it would have been my last online flight.

 

It's their fault that you all have to put up with me all these years later.

 

So yes, even the most experienced VATSIMers started out just like everyone else.

Paul Biderman

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Well i can remember my first time on vatsim almost 3 years ago, always had been a huge Flight Sim person, but if it wasnt for my uncle donnie "Donnie Brown", i probably would of never of found vatsim, but first flight i did was ORD to DAY with my uncle OTS with me, but lol i kept on asking what do i say, it is hard, lol ? after ? after ?, he is mostly like its really easy nothing too it, i was on text for awhile to shy to try voice but when i finally got on voice with LAX CTR asked if i had it i was goin SFO to SAN for UVA A319, and i was like uhhhhhhhhhhhhh im at 34000 feet right now and going to SAN , ah took me a couple days to get it, and pretty feel in love with it, ill have to thank vatsim for this program and that i have learned so much from it and has fueled that abition on becoming a real ATP pilot when im on there, now with about 600 hours and just now starting ATC with bout 70 hours with that, i enjoy every bit of it, and i didnt start talking to ppl on there till this year and have met some really great people out there, but some really strange ones , but thank you vatsim and keep this program going as long as possible.

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I am far from an expert, but I've never seen a restriction on what A/C you may fly. Typically, you want to fly a plane you are comfortable with. I've flown FSD's Cessna 337, VFR in out of the way places a couple of times on Vatsim. I've even flown a Dash-8 for the VA I'm with early on Thanksgiving morning (Read that as not a controller within 1000 miles.).

 

I still spend most of my time on Vatsim, parked and observing. You are correct about the rapid, abrupt communications. That mirrors the real world. I have my scanner set to Socal approach, KLAX, KLGB and KBUR, and I can tell you that real world communications are even more rapid-fire. Years ago, it was more relaxed and civil.

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The following sounds like an obvious question, but I did search the forums and didn't really see an answer.

 

Are there any flight schools available for sim-pilots? I've read and flown tutorials for hours and hours, but without the confirmation of a real live pilot I never know for sure that I did things right. (if I land without an explosion, should I [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume it was right? )

 

VATSIM is a great simulation of real life flying. In the real world, we can't just read books and then hop in a Boeing 747. I really don't want to make a fool of myself when I take that first virtual flight online!

 

Thanks

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Rumble down the rwy and up she goes woohoo, best job in the world, positive rate of climb, LG up, flaps up by the numbers.

 

400 ft engage autopilot, ( man I'm hot)

 

Egress on RWY HDG, in the pipe 5x5 (Aliens quote)

 

So I pick up my Radio Phraseology handbook just to check on something a moment and I look back to the screen and I'm in a death dive to the dirt. What the heck is going on, quick scan of the COCKPIT, everything seems ok, but I'm still falling out of the sky.

 

Crash Bang Wallop, I hit the dirt just outside Cowbridge, possibly ten miles from CArdiff Airport.

 

Talk about embarrasment. Log off, slinkdownstairs, watch TV, go on TEAMSPEAK 2 hrs later and apologise to the controller.

 

I had a similar experience when I was still at about 90 hours online. I decided to do my first extra-long flight, from VHHH-EGLL. Right after takeoff, I was clrd direct to some isec whose name escapes me. Pop open FSNav to find the bugger and when I close it again, the plane was careening down TAIL-first! And what had caused this.....? I forgot that a 747 carrying fuel for a trip from Hong-Kong to London and observing a 250 KIAS speed restriction can only maintain a 2000ft/min climb for so long - unfortunately as the airspeed dropped the AP just kept lifting the nose in an attempt to climb.

 

This has been happening to me every single time I fly! But I finally fixed it, I just went into options and then settings (I think) and then FMC and but module 1 to half automatic. So now I just have to turn the autopilot stuff on myself. And its been working like a charm! It was weird though because it happened with every single plane I flew, not just one.

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Excelent thread, good reading and quite a few posts made me smile.

Smile because I remember my first expirence of online flight.

Like most, I sat and listened for the most part at EGSS Stansted UK.

On taking the plunge into ny first flight, I thought I had it nailed.

EGSS local circuits VFR, these are left hand off rwy 23 at 1500 feet Cessna 172.

Check all instruments "twice" check radio is on right frq, call for clearence.

Wipe sweat from eyes and face......

Call for P/B, Call for taxi, taxi at lightning speed to hold (shaky hands on throttle).

Get T/O clearence, check instruments again.

Start T/O roll rotate. Set A/P for alt and heading after a PRC.

Only to find that the 172 is turning right... WHY???

Look at instruments only to see the heading bug is set wrong, I checked this three times.

Looking but not seeing.

Controller asks why I'm turning right! As it is left hand circuits.

Explain that I messed up, and get vectored to correct circuit heading.

My first flight was planned to be done at a time of no activity at the airfield.

It's just as well it was.

After many circuit and bumps I ventured onto a cross country flight.

The rest as they say is history.

 

Allan

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I was lucky.

 

On my first connection, i was flying MIA - JFK, and luckily i had no ATC at MIA, on my way there i posted a few questions on UNICOM, and a guy answered (Jim Rosado - ZFW) and he taught me the ropes on VATSIM. I live in the UK and after a year of flying and talking with him, i went to meet him in Dallas this past Summer, amazing how well you can meet friends thro' VATSIM and its VA's......but still "BE CAREFUL!"

 

Im sure ya parents will tell ya the same, mine wouldn't shut up about it! ha!

------------------------------------------------------

Thankyou,

 

Ryan Chapman (Chappy)

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