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To the newbie - First Time Jitters


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I just did my very first VFR VATSIM flight from Bowerman to Seatle (in theory!). Very, very nervous and did everything correctly except landing at the correct airport!! Landed at Auburn instead of Seatle! Well the controller did say 34R and it is definitely right of KSEA! Anyway the controller was excellent and told me that I was well short of KSEA but I [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ured him I was down and parked! I didn't catch his name but thank you very much for not shouting at me!

 

I have to say that VATSIM does add an awful lot to the experience of flightsim and thank you to all the people that make it possible.

 

Happy New Year to everyone!

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Welcome to the addiction Andy. Not to worry, it happens in the real world as well. The Southwest flight out in Midwest a few years ago comes to mind.

 

You're gonna love it here. The Seattle ARTCC folk are awesome. I do a lot of my onlines in the Pacific Northwest.

 

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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Not to worry, it happens in the real world as well. The Southwest flight out in Midwest a few years ago comes to mind.

Or the USAF in Tampa...

 

The good news is, Andy, when you do it on VATSIM it doesn't make national news -- even if you're flying Air Force One! Lol. Welcome to the network; enjoy your time here & Happy New Year!

Cheers,

-R.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Hi Guys,

This is maybe my first post here, no matter that I am using VATSIM for some time. However and in order to prevent a bann from the network, I would like to ask 2 questions in general:

1. I am using Vpilot for communication and am facing lots of issues during voice communication with a Controller. Sound is breaking, fades, disappears, etc. which in most of the cases results in misunderstanding. Tried texting only, but it is quite difficult as many of you may know. Is there any solution for such situations?

2. Where can I ask a general question about the usage of this forum? The section FAQ has no option for posting.

Thank you!

 

Hi there Georgi, welcome to VATSIM!

 

In response to your first question: This could be down to a whole load of things. Is your internet connection strong enough? Quality of your speakers/headset? It could also be to do with the codex VATSIM uses. It's getting a bit old now and I know we are looking to update shortly. For now, if you can't understand something you could ask for it to be given to you again by saying "say again ______" or simply ask for clarification by text.

 

In response to your second question, the FAQ section is for 'Frequently Asked Questions'. These will be common questions people ask and will be answered there so you don't have to go rummaging all through the forum to find the answer. The general discussion area (which this is in) is probably the best place to ask questions about the forum.

 

Hope this helps!

 

RM

Science, freedom, beauty, adventure. Aviation combines all the elements I love. There is science in each curve of an airfoil, in each angle between strut and wire, in the gap of a spark plug or the colour of the exhaust flame. There was freedom in the unlimited horizon, on the open fields where one landed. A pilot is surrounded by the beauty of earth and sky. He brushes treetops with the birds, leaps valleys and rivers and explores the cloud canyons he had once gazed at as a child.

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Hello Everyone:

 

I'd been interested in VATSIM for some time, but I never found a Flight Sim that I felt worked well under MacOS or Linux. Circomestances dictated that I have my first Windows box this year, and there was a January sale on Flight Simulator: Steam Edition. I immediately thought of VATSIM, but spent a couple of days getting used to FS again, which I'd known from the Commodore 64 days. I was able to successfully fly from Hamilton Munic. Airport (VGC) where I had my first real-world flight experiences 30 years ago with my 1st boss, to Griffiss International (RME) (which was Griffiss AFB when I was growing up in that city). From there I went nuts and hopped from Griffiss to Hanscom Field (BED), semi-near where I live, and then hopped to Logan (BOS). In the end, while BOS is technically closer to me, I decided to make BED my home airport.

 

With all that done, I started reading and viewing a lot on VATSIM, got an account, installed VPilot, and a couple of hours ago made my first VATSIM flight BED-BED, just flying around the airport in a Cessna C172. I know it did work since I was able to see myself on the VATSIM online map. VPilot never saw any ATCs online, however. I was successfully able to tune in BED's ATIS, and think I tuned in UNICOM, but never heard anything. I tried a mic check on UNICOM, but VPilot buzzed at me when I hit PTT. Not sure why yet.

 

All in all, not a bad start.

 

Glad I'm here!

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  • Board of Governors

Hi Doc! We're glad you're hear too. Great job dipping your toes and starting up slowly.

 

A couple of notes based on your post. Of course, as hobbyists, you'll find ATC online when people have spare time -- not all the time to be certain. Also, unicom is currently text-only on VATSIM (although there are folks looking into the possibility of enabling voice unicom).

 

Also, let me share a couple of links to additional reading/training in case it's helpful:

https://www.vatsim.net/pilot-resource-centre

https://www.vatsim.net/pilots/training

 

Again, welcome, and hope to see you around. (and I'm a local, too, my home airports are BED and LWM!)

Don Desfosse
Vice President, Membership

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Of course, as hobbyists, you'll find ATC online when people have spare time -- not all the time to be certain.

 

Oh, I certainly didn't want to imply the ATCs should "always" be there. I appreciate that VATSIM is a game, and more than that, I appreciate that VATSIM and its members appreciate it, too! No, my only "issue" is that without an ATC I wasn't sure things were working as they should and that I was doing things right. But we'll get there, certainly!

 

Also, unicom is currently text-only on VATSIM (although there are folks looking into the possibility of enabling voice unicom).

 

I suspected that after a bit, yes. I went to UNICOM because, absent an ATC I wasn't sure where else to go. Perhaps the BED (or appropriate) tower freq?

 

Thanks for the links, and yes, I hope to see you around BED!

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Good to hear from another veteran of the Commodore 64 days. I think the one I had as a kid is still in my sister's attic, in working condition last I heard from her about it, LOL...

 

I recommend www.vattastic.com as a means to see where ATC and pilots are at any given time. That way, you'll know where to connect if you want to test your vPilot audio input and output, and maybe get your feet wet interacting with ATC. Make sure you're familiar with the "top-down coverage" concept because towers at smaller fields like KBED are not staffed as often (side note: we usually use the four-letter ICAO code for airports rather than the three-letter IATA ones -- in the US, just add a K in front!). So what happens most times you're tooling around Bedford is you're talking to Boston Approach or Boston Center, who is also acting as your Hanscomb Tower and Ground controller. If no KBED controllers are on, and no one listed under Approach or Center for Boston, then you're on 122.8 making text calls as needed for your position reports, as though everything has become non-towered at that point.

 

It takes a little getting used to, but, you'll get the flow of it after you spend a little time with us. The forums here are great, too about getting questions answered -- but it's certainly preferred if you read through the docomeents in the PRC that Don linked you to, above, first.

 

Welcome to the insanity and I hope to see and hear you airborne soon!

Cheers,

-R.

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  • 7 months later...

It’s nice to see everyone’s experience of there 1st time using VATSIM, I have logged 10-15 hours and the abuse I took from the controller last night was really uncalled for, looking at his profile he’s been on this for many years, he had his opportunity to learn but for people like me they have no time for, it’s actually upset me so much so I have just sent a ticket of request to have my account deactivated so I don’t know if this message will post.

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Craig,

 

Hate to see you take that step when submitting a feedback to ARTCC/FIR involved asking for an explanation of the controller's actions would have been just as easy as submitting a resignation ticket.

 

This truly is a caring and sharing community. Don't let this bad experience take away from the potential years of enjoyment, please. It's been almost 10 years for me and I have enjoyed...almost...every minute of it. It can be the same for you.

 

By the way, you've logged nearly 40 hours, so don't give up...that's less than a 2 days flying time...

 

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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Craig,

 

Hate to see you take that step when submitting a feedback to ARTCC/FIR involved asking for an explanation of the controller's actions would have been just as easy as submitting a resignation ticket.

 

This truly is a caring and sharing community. Don't let this bad experience take away from the potential years of enjoyment, please. It's been almost 10 years for me and I have enjoyed...almost...every minute of it. It can be the same for you.

 

By the way, you've logged nearly 40 hours, so don't give up...that's less than a 2 days flying time...

 

Randy

 

Thanks Randy, I have to be honest the support on here has been incredible. From VATSIM and other users. I was really enjoying it, just been put off for now. I can fly the planes no problem but taxiing on the ground I am slightly slower than more expieranced users for the fear of going on to the wrong taxi way. Maybe if I just take a break for a bit and come back later on in the year. He point blank refused to give me clearance on a flight plan but before that made referance to my nationality and native language. When I questioned why you abuse me he gave me more grief. I never got the opportunity for fly the 2nd part of my plan. Being new I didn’t know how to contact supervisors, I wish I could have.

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Good grief, one guy with a bad mood and poor manners is enough to make you quit on an entire network with thousands and thousands of members who would help you out in a heartbeat? A tiny sliver of stiff upper lip never hurt no one.

 

PS:

 

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To be fair you don't know what was said, I touched the service. My nationality was brought into it via private message which I can not post on here and I haven't took to kindly to it. I like to do something I enjoy, I don't think a controller/pilot has any right whatsoever to give another person abuse no matter how big there mistake is. If there is a language issue then its better to text if voice isn't working, not abuse. Another point is as a new user myself who has been put off because I cant help ho w its made me feel how about other new users? To summarize For the newbie people have experiences which are pleasant, As i said previously he refused to answer my flight plan clearance after all this had happened. No controller should have a right to be so rude not to let you fly. I know for a fact if I named him there would be an awful lot of people agreeing with me. If the controller in question is reading this he will know exactly who I am.

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I have no doubt the experience was bad, I absolutely believe you. There are thousands of people on here, I've met a few bad eggs per year for as long as I've been a member, as one could expect.

 

My issue is with taking it up here rater than directly with the relevant vACC/vARTCC, or division or region should the response at first not be to your liking. Proclaiming "I am leaving" on a forum as if this is major news that should make everyone turn around and react in some fashion is never any help to anyone, ever, and this type of problem solving frankly annoys me quite a bit.

 

Now if the proper way of dealing with things didn't really yield anything, or if there was a lesson to be learnt that could be shared in a meaningful way, the forum is the place to go. Likewise, if the matter was "I need [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istance on finding out how to respond to a bad experience I had on the network", you'd of course also be in the correct place.

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I have no doubt the experience was bad, I absolutely believe you. There are thousands of people on here, I've met a few bad eggs per year for as long as I've been a member, as one could expect.

 

My issue is with taking it up here rater than directly with the relevant vACC/vARTCC, or division or region should the response at first not be to your liking. Proclaiming "I am leaving" on a forum as if this is major news that should make everyone turn around and react in some fashion is never any help to anyone, ever, and this type of problem solving frankly annoys me quite a bit.

 

Now if the proper way of dealing with things didn't really yield anything, or if there was a lesson to be learnt that could be shared in a meaningful way, the forum is the place to go. Likewise, if the matter was "I need [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istance on finding out how to respond to a bad experience I had on the network", you'd of course also be in the correct place.

 

I think you missed the point, my point was as a new user and you get subject to abuse it puts you off. Also I found it quite difficult to get the supervisor as I don’t know if I typed the command properly. I never had the need to be on the forums before as I didn’t have any bad expierances. I have taken everyone’s points on board and will use them going forward.

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  • 6 months later...

My first time was pretty good. It only took me 4 months after joining to actually get up the nerve to actually file a flight plan and fly.

 

First flight: I picked during the week in the morning when not much going on to start. KSAN-KSFO. KSAN had tower that day and filed my flight plan and got clearance/taxi/takeoff no problem at all. Then switched over to Unicom since there was nothing till Oak_Ctr. When I got into range, switched over and got my decent/clearance to land all smooth as ice. And I was even in the middle of traffic. I was #2 for landing and had someone behind me. I landed, got clearance to taxi.. Only hiccup was he told me to taxi to the gate via B, but missed it and went to A instead. Least I didn't hit the 737 that was taxiing also.

 

Second flight: KDFW-KSAN. When I filed my flight plan only DFW-CTR was online, got my clearance and then when I requested taxi, was told to hold as DFW_GRD was coming on. So when he came on and I got my taxi clearance, I taxied the wrong way and to the wrong RWY.. WHOOPS. But he was nice and said I could just go from there. The rest of the flight into KSAN was UNICOM.

 

Third: They say third times the charm.. Ehhh, not this time.. KSAN-KSEA. I thought I would do a nice long flight and there was nothing online till OAK_CTR / SEA_CTR. Once I got into OAK range, called the ATC and he said to maintain my FL and proceeded directly to BTG, Ok, so at this point, I figured that meant, continue on your current flight plan to BTG. Not go directly to BTG now.. Although he did not correct me and just handed me off to SEA_CTR. When I switched over and contacted, he asked if I was direct to BTG and I said yes, still figuring the above.. Well at that point I had already crossed the previous WP and was heading to it anyway. He then gave me clearance direct to HAWKZ I think it was.. Again, I figured that meant keep on your current FP to HAWKZ. About a minute later he called me back and asked if I was heading to HAWKS.. This is when I realized what it actually meant, go straight to that WP now. So I corrected my path. Whoops #1. He then told me I could descend at pilots discretion to HAWKS, so I did, until he came back on and said I was below the published alt of FL240 at HAWKZ.. So I corrected that. Whoops#2.

 

At this point I am thinking, this is going down hill fast and not just my plane. I am getting so nervous, I am now shaking cause I am screwing up. He then starts to give me heading vectors into KSEA, I plug the first one into the AP and a little while later he asks me, "Are you heading ***" Well yea, I would be if I had hit the heading button on the AP. Whoops #3.

 

Now I am thinking this is an utter disaster, I am even screwing up my callsign at this point. I should just log off now and try another day... But I stuck it out, got my clearance to land, didn't bury my plane into the runway and got to my gate..

 

I could tell the ATC was frustrated with me, but he was patient and once I got the gate I sent a text thanking him for being patience with a noob..

 

What did I learn from this. 1) Direct to *** means just that, go there NOW! 2) Study your SIDs and STARs.

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I could tell the ATC was frustrated with me, but he was patient and once I got the gate I sent a text thanking him for being patience with a noob.. What did I learn from this. 1) Direct to *** means just that, go there NOW! 2) Study your SIDs and STARs.

3) Don't forget that EVERY flight is a learning opportunity, no matter whether it's your first, fourth, hundredth, or thousandth. As long as you keep trying & you continue to maintain the positive attitude toward your mistakes that you exhibit above, you'll do great here and you'll have a blast. Welcome to your new obsession!

Cheers,

-R.

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