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To the newbie - First Time Jitters


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Aviation greetings, how are you?

 

I would like to express my first impressions with Vatsim .. I like much airplanes, hours see spotters and sims on youtube. I started to fly for some time and this week I created the courage to log in and fly with other people, first I tried a competing network because the traffic in my area, and I was offended many times for being newbie... at first I was frustrated, how will I learn if I do not practice? Not everyone who comes to fly at the fist time knows how to communicate, phraseologies, letters... it takes time to learn!!

 

So researching Vatsim, and fast I suffered a disconnection by still not understanding much of the vPilot, I could not make contact ... normal .. today tried Skyharbor> Ksan and two controllers and a supervisor came in contact and explained my situation and the difficulty of maintaining a more technical contact and thanked each one for the patience they had with me... result, believe I made 3 friends who will surely help me when I'm flying in your skies !!!

 

Not to justify my inability to not yet be a professional, but know that human behavior brings to the new user the necessary motivation to seek the appropriate means for productive learning, and I found it in the Vatsim network, here have more to the atcs , have humans, It's a great honor flying with you !!!!!

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  • 1 month later...

I joined Vatsim a long time ago. However, life interruptions in the meantime meant that last weekend turned out to my first flight online.

 

And it was fantastic .... ally sloppy and dis-organized with moments of rapid panic followed by excruciatingly long periods of "what the blazes did he say" ?

 

I ama active in another simulation which makes heavy use of multiple radios often in noisy and stressful situations. Situation reports are being screamed and I have to listen with three ears almost.

I handle that well (having learned how to) and I was confident I would be OK on Vatsim too (after taking time to listen in and prepare)

 

I put "New Pilot" top and center in my vPilot flight plan submission. Right, let's do this!

 

EIDW to LOWW. I'd flown it multiple times off line so I just needed to follow the ATC ..... here we go!

 

EIDW all the way to TOD was essentially the same as I'd practiced and all unicom.

I listened in to some channels en route and got my first taste of the radios .... maybe this was not going to be all that easy ... I was struggling to understand some transmissions.

 

Just inside northern Cz. Rep. airspace, I noticed Wien Radar come online (LOWW_TWR). Cool beans ... this will be fine and I'll get some experience here now.

 

The nerves bubbled and I recall calming myself with a mental counsel of 'Start with Hello Wien Radar and your callsign' !

( Had I to actually mentally speak encouragement to myself? LOL.)

 

The controller was so cool and he made me feel at ease even though honestly, there was moments when I had not a clue what he said to me. (I should point out that this was not his fault at all, if that is not already obvious)

 

He informed me after I stumbled over saying "Hello Wien Radar, and my " that I was " identified, cleared on arrival (something) and to expect RW 34. Squawk XXXX"

 

His cadence appeared to be at ease with me and this felt good. I'd started off well.

Just a slight glitch in the system (my hearing system ) though.

 

What did he say? I was trying to write notes as I listened to help my readback and I got;

 

identified (OK),

cleared for (Not OK)

RW34 (OK was expecting that)

squawk (OK)

4663 (OK)

 

Oh .... that pause when you know you are expected to start to read back and you haven't yet keyed the mic ..... OMG!

 

I readback, " cleared RW 34 (from the middle of Cz.Rep ... what was I thinking ) and an incorrect Squawk".

 

Brilliant, this is going beauuuuuutifully!

 

I was politely corrected and the same thing was starting to happen again .... I wasn't sure I was comprehending / [Mod - Happy Thoughts]imilating the words I was hearing.

 

I strained my listening and concentration with feeling all kinds of 'oh, I dunno if that's right'.

I obviously get the guts of it correct and was given vectors .

 

So I'm flying down along my approach to RW 34 and I relaxed when I heard and understood the next vector/descent call. It was clear and a real boost to my confidence. This radio business is not complicated but if you cannot clearly hear the message, it's panic inducing!

 

Looking out the window, I recognized Neu Siedler See and realized, Oh, I know what to expect now. (I happen to know the region of Burgenland under this approach) and was visualizing the approach ahead of me. That helped and somehow, reading the charts previously hadn't triggered this mental visualization. It will the next time.

 

I was given a final 310 heading to intercept the LOC but again mis heard and needed to confirm (it was 3 something).

 

I picked up the LoC, established and got the clearance to land (at a more appropriate phase in my flight than the middle of Cz. Rep airspace ).

 

My landing was satisfying and I taxi'd off on one of the high speed exits and called in.

 

I'd not notified ATC of my requested parking (namely K50 in the cargo area) and was [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned an position in the maintenance area (I did smile that maybe the controller was having some fun ....LOL).

 

..... and then I got lost on the apron even with the airport chart in front of me.

 

Outssssstanding!

 

" , you are going the wrong way "

 

Beauuuuutiful!

 

The flight ended in a matter of fashion and I thanked the ATC for their patience and help.

 

So, in the final analysis, here were my thoughts and emotions on my first Vatsim experience.

 

1) I was on a little bit of a buzz at the end. It was successful and completed without any major hiccups!

2) I was mentally a little tired and moreso than I anticipated. Preparation is key and I was glad a did it.

3) ATC on Vatsim is awesome. I must have caused a few frowns but I never heard any of it.

4) My mic headset is high quality but maybe there is some setup/calibration improvements I can make.

5) I can turn down my cockpit noise some in order to help too. Anything to gain a more understandable transmission.

6) There is a 'getting to know you' phase. I'm in it (obviously) and redoing the flight a few more time is the plan.

7) Understanding what to expect to hear and comprehending it when you hear it are not the same thing. Practice!!!!

7) ATC on Vatsim are awesome (it bears repeating)

Phraseology .... or moreso, keeping it short and sweet. I will review AviationPros youtube once more for a refresh.

9) The comprehension (or lack of) on my part is still shocking me out though. This is a critical focus point.

10) I am so looking forward to the next flight. This experience, challenging though it was, has lit the fire. Vatsim all the way now!

 

Thanks for all the pilots & controllers on the network .

Und, ein besonderer Dank geht an den Controller von LOWW, wer den Flug Cargolux 359, kontrollierte,

Vielen Dank fur ihren geduld!

 

Go Handy!

A huge thanks to all the Controllers and Pilots who make this experience what it is!

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  • 1 month later...

For Maps to see where ATC and other pilots are, I recommend these ones:

 

http://www.vattastic.com/

https://simvector.net/

https://map.vatsim.net/

 

You can also download VATSpy which is a software map: http://www1.metacraft.com/VATSpy/.

 

If you have any other questions, feel free to let me know. You also join the VATSIM Facebook Group where people tend to ask/answer questions. Make sure you use the search function prior to asking something since sometimes questions have been previously asked. You can also do that here in the forum. There is a mentor function in the VATSIM Facebook Group in which you can be [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned someone to help you out more one on one.

 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/vatsim/

Ernesto Martinez

Membership Manager - Europe/ME/Africa
VATSIM Supervisor
        
 
 
  [email protected]
  support.vatsim.net
 
vatsim_0.png
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
 
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Thank you for the info...

 

Still, I like Little Navmap [ https://albar965.github.io/littlenavmap.html ] because it meshes flawlessly with x-plane (there are many "communication" channels between the programs), along with showing vatsim planes

I'm a writer with roaring flames in my heart...

https://nfaa.wordpress.com/

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  • 1 month later...

Good Evening, I have a question if someone can [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ist please. I am having issues with one freq, 132.970 every time I try to input this to switch over to ATL Center it skips to 132.975 or 132.875. so I cant continue my flight as in general rules you must keep 2 way communications. what am I doing wrong ? again, thanks for your patience …

David

N7DR

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  • 2 weeks later...

OH Man this thread is spot on ! This is my first post, nervous to even file a plan for the same reason most have had and have printed out the training, minimum requirements and am about to go back to flight school to learn the how to's down to simple Taxi training.lol.... Just dont want to log in and screw anyone's flight ! Pray for me.lol

FSX User Since it came out. Rookie Pilot in training ! ANY Advise is Appreciated !

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Tim, don't be afraid to mess up. Bad feelings fade quickly if it's clear you're doing your best to follow instructions. Fix the situation as best as you can, then go back afterward to figure out what you missed & learn from it. Then, next time, get that part right & mess up on the step after it. Lather, rinse, repeat. Eventually you start to feel like you know what you're doing from initial clearance to shutdown, and that's when you *truly* become dangerous, lol.

 

"All I want from tomorrow is just to get it better than today... step by step, rung by rung." -- Bruce Hornsby

Cheers,

-R.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
B3(b) - If it becomes necessary to leave a pilot connection unattended, the member is encouraged to disconnect from the network. Notwithstanding anything in this Code to the contrary, no pilot connection is permitted to be unattended for a period of longer than 30 minutes.

 

Does this include being shutdown and waiting at a gate?

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It applies for anywhere in the network. What is the point of having someone just sitting on a stand if he/she's not there? Remember that VATSIM is free because of kind people who donate the resources needed. Every connection makes use of these (even if not much), so... basically don't waste resources. If you were the one paying them, you probably wouldn't like other people who didn't give them their intended use

Me.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Been using this for about one month now.

 

First couple were exactly like many described. Nervous laughter, sweating etc. Few mishaps

 

The UK ATC people are so good at their roles, really adds to the experience. Now that I’ve built up confidence (using GA planes) next step is heading to USA for some flights at LAX, JFK, MIA etc. Not risking the 737’s just yet

 

TTG77 TBM 900

poNaTUlfp

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IME a highly automated airliner like the 737 makes things easier on a lot of fronts.

 

In, say, a Cessna 172 with steam gauges, a lot of workload goes towards flying the aircraft and executing procedures based on VOR/NDB; in the 737, you program the route into the FMS while on the ground, and once airborne, you can mostly leave flying the aircraft to the autopilot, and focus on radio communication, navigation, and managing your route.

 

The only advantage I can think of in a small GA aircraft would be that it's much slower, so you have more time to do stuff.

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  • 1 month later...

So, i may have been behind you on the approach to KATL. I broke out at 300', as i was into the flare, i noticed you were still on the runway... At that point i was committed to landing, in the real world, i would have gone around and hope i didn't hit your tail.

 

Newbies, Please release the mike button and exit the runway, Once safely on the taxiway, then is the time to apologize, There is alot going on without a co-pilot, setting up control buttons on your yoke will help reducing the workload on landing and rollout,.....

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

Set my self a challange this year and that is to fly on vatsim as been flying off line for 15yrs , got everything installed for x-plane, i have been listen in and watching many u tube videos on flying online am so nervous just cant push the button to talk for a radio check

 

Maybe one day i'll do it

 

TCX582 Michael Taylor

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  • 3 weeks later...

Do it Michael! Push the button!

 

I had my first VATSIM experience last night, and my story mostly mirrors the others. Sweaty and nervous, stuttering trying to spit out my tail number that I've been reciting in my head for weeks so not to get it wrong. Although once I got going it was much more natural and relaxed.

 

I few from PANC to CYXY during CZEG's northern lights event. All the ATC comms actually went pretty smooth for my first time! Studying definitely helps. Although on short final I was so concentrated on getting my TBM down to the runway, I fixated on the numbers in stead of the end of the runway... needless to say I bounced so damn hard and ended up prop striking and erupting in to flames on my third bounce.

 

I didn't hear any remarks from ATC (Edmonton Centre), so I figured he went back to other tasks after I was established on final... After drowning in embarr[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ment and resetting my flaming airframe, at least 10 minutes, I slump back out on to the runway and start to taxi to the Aprons. All of a sudden I hear "Soooo just taxi down to Alpha and park at the Apron of your choice"

 

I so wanted to crawl under my desk and unplug my PC in shame LMAO. So hats off to the CZEG centre controller for not roasting me on impact haha. Can't wait to get online and try it again.

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I bounced so damn hard and ended up prop striking and erupting in to flames on my third bounce. {...} All of a sudden I hear "Soooo just taxi down to Alpha and park at the Apron of your choice" {...} So hats off to the CZEG centre controller for not roasting me on impact haha.

As an S2 controller I can tell you that unless we're using a TowerView which is showing your position and attitude and all that, based on just the scope we can't always tell that something has gone wrong. I mean, I can generally see that if you're still at 500ft and 180 knots across the ground over the numbers, I'm gonna pay close attention to whether you get it stopped by the end or go around or suddenly just disconnect. But something more subtle like a bounce, if it goes less than 100ft AGL where it might register as altitude on my data block, I probably won't know.

Cheers,

-R.

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I Still get nervous especially when calling for Clearance (If the controller talks real fast and I miss stuff)

 

also im still trying to figure out certain callsigns for calling atc…. like if I am flying United Express do I call in to atc with "United Express and flt #" or do I use "ExpressJet, Flight #" or do I just use "United, flt#"???? Still getting bearings with this but it is an awesome group!!!!! Hang in there you'll learn in time

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if I am flying United Express do I call in to atc with "United Express and flt #" or do I use "ExpressJet, Flight #" or do I just use "United, flt#"????

Use the actual operator's callsign. If you're on as Republic, log on as "RPA"+{fltnum} and call yourself "Brickyard." If you're on as ExpressJet, show as "ASQ" and say "Acey." GoJet, use "GJS" and call yourself "Lindbergh," and so forth. There are currently 8 different operators running flights branded as United Express (if the Wiki page is up-to-date, that is): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Express -- and there's a nice chart about halfway down listing each one, their ICAO code and spoken callsigns.

Cheers,

-R.

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I Still get nervous especially when calling for Clearance (If the controller talks real fast and I miss stuff)

 

As with all radio communications, it helps to anticipate.

 

Clearances will always come in the same form. In case you've never heard of the CRAFT acronym, the format is always:

 

"Clearance limit, Route, Altitude, (departure) Frequency, Transponder".

 

E.g.: "KLM 123, you are cleared to Amsterdam (Clearance limit) via the TOBAK SIX MIKE departure, then as filed (Route), after departure climb 6000 ft (Altitude) and contact Langen Radar on 123.45 (departure Frequency), squawk 2345 (Transponder)".

 

Even before you request your clearance, you can already guess most of this: you know what your destination will be, so you can already put down the clearance limit. You know what the active runways are, and what your first enroute fix is, so you can guess the SID. Initial climb clearance is generally going to be the same as the aircraft departing before you, so just listening in on the delivery frequency for a while should tell you what to expect; and if not, many charts also tell you what the usual clearance will be. Departure frequency is usually also published, and/or can be guessed from other flights' clearances before you. The only thing you can't guess is your squawk code, but it'll be the last thing they'll give you, so it'll stick in your short-term memory better than the rest. So you do your guesstimating, and already write down the clearance you expect, e.g.:

 

"EHAM TOBAK6M 6000 123.45". *Then* you make your call. And when the call comes, you just follow along the clearance you already wrote down, checking the things that match, and scribbling down what is different (in most cases, nothing), plus your transponder code.

 

also im still trying to figure out certain callsigns for calling atc…. like if I am flying United Express do I call in to atc with "United Express and flt #" or do I use "ExpressJet, Flight #" or do I just use "United, flt#"????

 

(Voice) callsigns are linked to ICAO flight numbers, so use the official voice callsign that goes with ICAO airline code of your flight. By default, the voice callsign matches the ICAO code, but most commercial airlines have registered separate voice callsigns in order to make communication less awkward. Some examples: "AAL" = "American", "DHL" = "Lufthansa", "DAL" = "Delta", "UAL" = "United", "KLM" = "KLM" (pronounced "Kay El Em", not "Kilo Lima Mike"), etc. It often matches the colloquial or official brand name of the airline, but there are quirky exceptions like "Speedbird" for BAW (British Airways). Wikipedia has a fairly complete list here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airline_codes

 

Now, United Express isn't an actual aircraft operator, it's a brand owned by United, but the actual operations are delegated to a number of "subcontractors", who will use their own callsigns for ATC and flight planning purposes (even though the flights will appear under United branding on the p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]enger-facing side of things). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Express#Operators_and_fleet lists the operators serving the United Express brand; use whichever is appropriate for your flight, and match the airline code from your flight number with the corresponding callsign. E.g., if you're performing flight SKW16A, your voice callsign will be "SKY WEST ONE SIX ALPHA". If you're performing flight RPA6955, it will be "BRICKYARD SIX NINER FIVE FIVE". (Fun fact, some of these also perform flights for the regional brands of American Airlines and / or Delta, so for example "SKW16A" could actually be any of those three).

 

In some other cases, airline operators will fly under the callsign of the parent brand, e.g. Lufthansa CityLine flights usually use DLH flight numbers these days, rather than CLH, and thus flight LH2301 will not use a CLH callsign like CLH6YB ("HANSALINE SIX YANKEE BRAVO"), but rather a Lufthansa one, e.g. DLH6YB ("LUFTHANSA SIX YANKEE BRAVO").

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  • 1 month later...

Finally flew my first flight this afternoon with a controller doing a VFR flight from YSSY to YSCB. I sat in the cockpit of my B200 for 45 minutes listening before taking the plunge. Got there in the end. Thanks to the lads in SYD tower and MEL Center for their patience.

 

On a side note, loving the voice comms but couldn’t hear the ATIS on the freq listed in xpilot. Not sure what I was doing wrong. All other pilots had information J but all I could get was information G out of the plane ATIS and information Z out of my ASXP ATIS.

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