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To the newbie - First Time Jitters


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Voice ATIS has been spotty because of the record number of voice server connections; when the voice server starts to bog down, the voice ATIS channels are shut off to relieve the load, since you can still retrieve the information via text through your Pilot Client.

Cheers,

-R.

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Totally. You can even take it a step further and anticipate the clearance you will get - it always comes in the same form ("{your callsign}, you are cleared to {destination} via the {SID} departure, [

Just had my first successful VATSIM flight tonight from KLAX to KSFO in a SF-50. Took me 10 minutes to get the courage to call up Clearance, but got easier with each radio call. Navigraph saved my bac

I was just reading the other thread, "New to this Simulation and Forums".   Andras Kiss wrote:   Oh man... me too. When I found VATSIM, I was completely stoked about trying it out. It sounded e

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vattastic.com is one site that can help you see what airspace is staffed. There are many such sites and apps that do similar. That should help a little, but, it takes some time to figure out how the top-down staffing rules apply, particularly to VFR traffic.

Cheers,

-R.

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Another good hint is the list of ATC stations in range, which your VATSIM pilot client should display somewhere. The order is DEL - GND - TWR - APP - CTR. Each of these will cover the positions below them that aren't staffed. From APP upwards, a controller may choose to handle multiple airports in their airspace, but minors and local airfields are at the controller's discretion, and it's not always obvious what the boundaries of those airspaces are.

 

Some local chapters publish guides / briefings that tell you, e.g. this one for the UK: https://www.vatsim.uk/operations/sectors - so for example if you're flying out of EGKK, but none of the EGKK stations are staffed, your first point of call would be either LON_S_CTR or LON_SC_CTR, whichever is online.

 

In practice, if unsure, asking the controller in question by PM is usually fine; unless they're extremely busy, they should tell you whom to contact.

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POSTED ON BEHALF OF OLIVER D-F

Hi All, Complete newbie to VATSIM. Currently running XP11 on a 2013 MBPro. Have been playing for a couple years but finally decided to get onto Vatsim. I thought i was fairly ready but holy cow this was something else.

Took the plunge tonight with my first flight from EGSS to EGKK. I had a B58 Baron idling away but it took me a good 20 mins of listening to Essex Radar building up the courage before pressing PTT.

It started well and Essex Radar was very patient with me even though i asked for way to many read backs due to not having my radio volume & aircraft volume set correctly. Got clearance for take off. Was en route to Gatwick, all was going well until i hit a FPS drop and i got disconnected. I quickly reconnected and got back in touch with EGKK Tower. Continued with heading & altitude instructions but then got disconnected again and again. I think that as there were so many planes at Gatwick, annoyingly it caused my FPS to drop.

For a first time experience it was ruddy nerve wrecking but brilliant at the same time.

Shout out to Ben Wright on EGKK APP. I apologise for the multiple disconnections on my part & if i caused you any grief.

Time to invest in a more powerful machine i think.

Zach Biesse-Fitton
VATSIM Developer and Supervisor | VATPAC Interim Division Director

vatSys Development Team

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  • 2 weeks later...

I saw this topic for newbies so I will ask my question here instead of creating separate thread. Also Im sure this question is been asked before and I just did not find answers. 

Tell me please more about the rules of callsigs. Particualy of the airliner callsigns. For example, let's say we have B737-800 of the S7 airline with the tail number of 12345 and the prefix of RA (since this is Russian airline so RA is the apropriate one I guess) and the flight number let's say 890 (from city A to city B). So when I make an initial call how I must present myself? I read the vatsim manual about callsigns but doesn't qutie understood it... Does the callsign of the airliner includes the tailnumber in full format (RA12345) or it is consist from airline code (S7) and the current flight number (890) so the callsign will be S7-890? Thank you. 

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Hello Evgeny,

we first need to get the definitions right.

  • RA12345 = aircraft registration
  • S7 890 = IATA flight number
  • SBI890 = ICAO flight number
  • Siberian 890 = radio callsign

When you file a flight plan and when you logon to VATSIM you must use the ICAO flight number without any special characters like a dash/minus. When you talk to air traffic controllers and to other pilots on the radio you shall use the radio callsign.

All clear?

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I think I understood.

So in the xPilot for example I enter the "SBI890" but when I make call's to ATC I use "Siberian 890". So the radio callsign consist of the "radio callsign" of the airline ("Siberian" for S7 and for example "Speedbird" for BA and the current flight number). Is that correct?

And if I use GA aircraft I can use just the registration number (RA123 for example)?

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24 minutes ago, Evgeny Zavershinskiy said:

I think I understood.

So in the xPilot for example I enter the "SBI890" but when I make call's to ATC I use "Siberian 890". So the radio callsign consist of the "radio callsign" of the airline ("Siberian" for S7 and for example "Speedbird" for BA and the current flight number). Is that correct?

And if I use GA aircraft I can use just the registration number (RA123 for example)?

You're correct on both!

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A little note to add: ICAO codes for airlines are always three letters! So while BA sounds correct for British Airways, remember, it's always 3 letters, so the code actually is BAW. You can refer to the list Andreas sent for most codes, and I recommend you do so as when the code is wrong there's sometimes issues with model matching or I don't know how to refer to you when I'm controlling. Also, if the airline you're flying is a little unusual, sometimes it helps to put the radio callsign on your FPL remarks. That way you make sure controllers know your callsign; because for the weird airlines I admit I sometimes forget them! (and they're not in the ES airline file most of the times... maybe there's a way to update that?)

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New and want some help? Send me a message on Discord at GoodCrossing#4907!

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Hey All,

I made my first Vatsim flight tonight. Just a few laps around the pattern. Having a real controller to work with really ups the game. So cool.

A couple questions...

Question: Once I taxied up to the runway and was about to do my runup, the controller asked that I turn on my mode C. Normally (in real life) I would do that during my pre-takeoff checklist. Is there a different protocol on the network such as turning on mode C before taxi?

Question: In the real world, flight following would be requested from a radar facility, so class C and up, though there are some class D's with radar capabilities who can process a flight following request. On the network, though, given the platform, is flight following requested at all class D's as if they all have radar services?

Thanks!

Mark

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23 minutes ago, Mark Rehnborg said:

Question: Once I taxied up to the runway and was about to do my runup, the controller asked that I turn on my mode C. Normally (in real life) I would do that during my pre-takeoff checklist. Is there a different protocol on the network such as turning on mode C before taxi?

In the US at least, per AIM 4-1-20 (3):

Quote

Civil and military aircraft should operate with the transponder in the altitude reporting mode (consult the aircraft’s flight manual to determine the specific transponder position to enable altitude reporting) and ADS−B Out transmissions enabled at all airports, any time the aircraft is positioned on any portion of the airport movement area. This includes all defined taxiways and runways.

 

25 minutes ago, Mark Rehnborg said:

Question: In the real world, flight following would be requested from a radar facility, so class C and up, though there are some class D's with radar capabilities who can process a flight following request. On the network, though, given the platform, is flight following requested at all class D's as if they all have radar services?

This may vary facility to facility. Some will issue a transponder code on the ground, others may choose to simulate how the specific real-world Class D operates. I'd say go ahead and ask on the ground if you want it. If a controller is working top-down, knowing you want flight following ahead of time will probably be helpful.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My first flight on VATSIM went okay, I was in luck that the runway combination on my favorite hop was in use. EDDM->EHAM with 08R for take off and 06 to land in EHAM. However i still feel sometimes some jitters because my sim has a quite old navdatabase and doesnt know many sids and stars. Which causes me to ask for a vectored departure. I tried updating my navdatabase but to no avail. Sometimes my scenery also starts working against me.. But it doesnt stop me from flying VATSIM 🙂 I got addicted with the VATSIM virus(atleast that one is a good one 😉 ) I try to stick to one callsign as much as i can. I once flew as KLM98X (usually flying fictional flights as SXS98X, Im used to that callsign hehe) and i kept saying SunExpress instead of KLM. oops... But yah, Im happy i jumped into the VATSIM world. My first flight was fully staffed! my second flight i went into panic mode when arriving into EHAM. I didnt knew how to fly using a VOR but now i know how to do that. And then they said 4DME. I didnt even knew what DME was but shortly i figured that out on final and i landed safely. 

 

Many more flights to come 😄

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  • 5 weeks later...

First time jitters...I laughed at this topic and told myself that I wouldn't be as nervous as others in this forum were before their first flight. Well, that was before my first VATSIM Flight today...

I decided to fly from LOWW - LDSP; Why you may ask: LOWW being my base and knowing that there's almost always ATC coverage (i've been watching VAT-Spy for days (honest meaning: weeks) and listening in to the ATC on ground) and LDSP knowing that there was NO ATC coverage today (as landing is my weak spot and there's 90% chance that I'll mess up my approach and landing even without being vectored around and going into holding traffic) .

Everything went fine, I prepared my plane (737-800 zibo) and filed my flight plan and requested clearance.

First hickup: I apparently connected under a wrong (old) Callsign and as an observer, thats why LOWW ground told me that he doesn't see me on his radar. MAN I started sweating, told him to standby and 5 minutes later (in my head it was at least an hour) ATC contacted me and told me I'm on his radar now. OK, cleared flight plan - requested pushback and startup und taxi....well reading back taxi took at least 2 "read agains" :D.

And as if that wasn't enough now Second Hickup: I missed my exit and had to improvise finding my holding point. Damn, I thought, I didn't want to be nervous and now I'm making these hillarious and silly mistakes (ATC must have laughed hard at me seeing my taxi-path :D)

After Take-Off everything went well and routine...I prepared my approach, flew my approach and messed up my landing (as expected, and without ATC). 

BUT: I DIDN'T HAVE TO BE NERVOUS. You guys here on VATSIM are incredibly friendly and helpful. This was an exciting experience and one I'd like to enjoy over and over again. And hopefully the jitters stop at some point:D

 

Thanks to the incredibly patient ATC's today and to many more flights to come 😄

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It's so good hearing these stories! I think it's great if you found the ATC friendly in your first flight. For me it's important to be friendly to newcomers for this reason; otherwise, why would they come back? And yes, the jitters go away... 

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New and want some help? Send me a message on Discord at GoodCrossing#4907!

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  • 1 month later...

I flew my first VATSIM flight today after spending a couple of hours listening in at various airports. Text chatted with the Tower controller at KPHX before I had the nerve to file a VFR flightplan and hit the PTT button. I wish I had gotten his name, but big thanks to that PHX controller. He was kind, patient and very helpful!

I've run with voice ATC (VOXATC for FSX and Pilot2ATC for XPlane) for a few years, but this was a whole new experience. I don't think I've ever had sweaty palms in a sitting in a C172 in a flight sim before...but once I got past that initial nervousness, my little 30 minute flight was a blast. So glad I finally jumped in. Can't wait for the next chance I have to do it again. 

Edited by Tom Shiflet
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1 hour ago, Tom Shiflet said:

I flew my first VATSIM flight today after spending a couple of hours listening in at various airports. Text chatted with the Tower controller at KPHX [...]

 

Congrats!
And thanks. I had a flash-back memory of my very earliest days. Though having many hours on FS IX, none at all with VATSIM. So, passed many pleasant hours sitting parked by a hanger at LAX just listening to the traffic. (I was a "communicator" in army infantry so heh am inclined to "listen in"!)

^5

Edited by bernard tremblay

intersections.gif

If you look to see how the system works

Likely you will find that it doesn't.

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@bentrem - FSX SP2 | AMD Athlon II 630 2.8GHz X4 | GA-MA785 | Radeon 5770 | 6GB DDR3 | XP Pro | Saitek X52

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1 minute ago, bernard tremblay said:

Congrats!
And thanks. I had a flash-back memory of my very earliest days. Though having many hours on FS IX, none at all with VATSIM.
So, passed many pleasant hours sitting parked by a hanger at LAX just listening to the traffic. (I was a "communicator" in army infantry so heh am inclined to "listen in"!)

^5

 

Edited by bernard tremblay

intersections.gif

If you look to see how the system works

Likely you will find that it doesn't.

1018262.jpg

@bentrem - FSX SP2 | AMD Athlon II 630 2.8GHz X4 | GA-MA785 | Radeon 5770 | 6GB DDR3 | XP Pro | Saitek X52

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  • Board of Governors

"Can't wait for the next chance I have to do it again."

 

I think you mean Can't wait for the next chance to do it again."  

Utilizing ATC, while a requirement for IFR or Class B VFR is just an enjopyable experience whether necessary or not.

Roger Curtiss

VATGOV12

VP-Virtual Airlines & Special Ops

r.curtiss(at)vatsim.net

 

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