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To the newbie - First Time Jitters


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Stephen to put your mind at rest, your are the type of pilot that ATC dont mind helping, the ones who wish to learn and actually go out and learn what they are supposed to do, Most controllers would and should help you out, even to put you on the right tracks of where to search for information , or indeed explain what the next process is. The admit the only time when my time is rare is when controlling a CTR position, this is when it is busy, but if you are willing to wait and listen and be patient then I would eventually get round to you.

 

The pilots that controllers dont enjoy, are the ones who connect on the end of runways, taxi without asking or informing them , taking off on the incorrect runways or even wrong direction, and then totally ignore any type of contact me or help from the controllers the list is endless really, THESE are the people that ruin the experience for controllers and pilots alike.

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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

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

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Stephen to put your mind at rest, your are the type of pilot that ATC dont mind helping, the ones who wish to learn and actually go out and learn what they are supposed to do, Most controllers would and should help you out, even to put you on the right tracks of where to search for information , or indeed explain what the next process is. The admit the only time when my time is rare is when controlling a CTR position, this is when it is busy, but if you are willing to wait and listen and be patient then I would eventually get round to you.

 

The pilots that controllers dont enjoy, are the ones who connect on the end of runways, taxi without asking or informing them , taking off on the incorrect runways or even wrong direction, and then totally ignore any type of contact me or help from the controllers the list is endless really, THESE are the people that ruin the experience for controllers and pilots alike.

 

This post alone just encourage me to fly more where ATC is Live...Thank You

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I need some serious help becasue i can log on to squakbox but not FSInn and im struggling badly...Can some1 please help me

 

Chris, you've already posted a separate thread on this subject. You've already got a reply there with some very good advice, and a request for you to give more information.

 

For everyone else, please don't turn this thread into a "help how do Ii fly on VATSIM?" thread. It's actually to share experiences of having flown on VATSIM as a new pilot.

 

Ruth

Ruth McTighe

Heathrow Director, Essex Radar, Thames Radar, London Information

[Mod - Happy Thoughts]t webmistress CIX VFR Club http://www.cixvfrclub.org.uk/

Webmistress Plan-G http://www.tasoftware.co.uk/

Now not a VATanything

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My first online experience in controlled airspace was only a couple of weeks ago. Nervous about flying? No, certainly not no one is going to die if my Cessna gets hit with a crosswind on final and ends up in the tarmac (IN not ON) - The most nervous aspect about it was the ATC calls - which I fluffed up a few times, and I miss timed most of them, thankfully I was under the expert guidance of two fellow VBFC'rs and having two local airports to choose from (Three if you count Cardiff) is an absolute plus.

 

I apologise for not being able to remember names (a lot like com/nav frequencies) but I was talked through the whole go around circuit with a seperate controller. I had radio problems which meant I couldn't hear what the controller was saying without a lot of squelching and breakups - but I think that was to do with having TS active at the same time (sadly), anyway I put up with the radio interference because I'm that kind of guy and managed to do a couple of circuits under the watch of a human Controller and the careful patient (extremely patient) mentor.

 

There's a lot to be said for reading, learning and understanding the texts that VATSIM provide as well as having a copy of the runway approach scheme (even if it's hand drawn) but you can be reading theory all your life, until you press the connect button and actually start doing it, and making mistakes and learning from them, there's nothing else anyone can do for you.

 

I'm still not fully savvy about how these things work, but as long as they do work I'll be around to keep on learning and keep on having a blast.

 

I listened in to a controller last night who was talking so fast I could take it about one or two things at the most. This I think is the biggest thing that puts new pilots off from taking off. I'd rather say things once at half speed and get it right then have to repeat it three or four times at the same speed. Of course I've listened to real life ATC feeds and they talk faster, but with less microphone interference, still not everyone wants to spend a hundred pound on a microphone for a virtual simulation.

 

What I sometimes do, because of the time I play - I load up Cargo Pilot, get a flight plan and then go online and get that done. It's all good though, plan, take your time, make notes and things will come together - people aren't as rigid as the rules and procedures dictate, but it's still done properly, which helps a lot and if you can get a quick debrief from the controller(s) then all the better.

CLF69 - Flying around South West England and Wales.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I thought it was only me. 550 RW hours, was never nervous on the radios (including talking to people like La Guardia Approach and Dulles Tower) and it took me 15 minutes to ask for my first radio check to see if I'd actually installed the software right and could talk to someone! What's with that? Glad I've got company!

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hard not to get jitters.Awww...remember my first time so well.I knew SEA TWR knew I was a newbie.I got off the ground after TWR helped me a ton and contacted CTR I believe.Once again,I got jitters.He too could tell I was new.But CTR too,was very kind in helping me out.I still have some troubles sometimes(mostly because my hearing is horrible)with readbacks.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I guess I'll start off with my experience. My virtual aviation started off years ago when I was about 12-14 or so (I'm 24 now). Down at the local library, one of the computers had MSFS...who knows what version. Anyhow I dinked around with that, and I just got stuck on it. As the years went by, I kept on flying with MSFS. I eventually joined the USAF (not as a pilot), and started working on achieving a real world pilots license. That went out the window when I got deployed to Afghanistan. When I got back, I still messed around on FS2004, but never found the time to get back to the real flying lessons due to long shifts working on worn out C130s and A10s, and I was trying to go to college. For what it's worth (which has to be something) I've completed the ratings/checkrides in fs2004 (and now FSX) up to comm. pilot. That's not to say that completing the commercial checkride on FSX is anything like doing the real thing, it at least shows that I know a little about IFR flight and such. (phew) Anyhow, after all of these years for flying around in MSFS, I'd never flown online until recently. I knew that I had the technical skills to actually fly the airplane correctly, understand and follow ATC instructions, etc... but I was still insanely nervous about actually logging on and contacting ATC. First I studied the heck out of the PRC, then I logged on at an uncontrolled airport in Oregon (who the heck flies in OR??? lol), and tuned into SEA CTR and listened for a while, then logged off. Then I flew a few VFR flights, staying well out of the way of other traffic (as in at least 50nm away from anything remotely active with flights), but still listened in on ATC. Finally I took the plunge in to IFR. I picked one of the routes from my VA and planned everything out to the best of my abilities. I got all of the charts, checked the weather, etc. If I were flying offline I wouldn't have even considered the flight halfway difficult. I was taking off from KLMT using the LMT3.LMT departure, heading up to BTG VOR and then flying in on the OML5 arrival, landing south. Easy, right? Not quite. It took me 10min of setting at the gate in my KingAir before I finaly asked for clearance. I had heard some controllers talk 8,000mph before, but this guy was cool and I understood every word, I even nailed the read-back. The flight up to Seattle was uneventful, though just after the OLM VOR I had to hold...but it wasn't a problem. OLM5 is a straight forward and easy approach, and I was allowed to decend at my discrecion via the OLM5, so things were going good. I got handed over to SEA APP and turned north for the vectors to ILS rwy 16C. This is it Bobby, this is where you're going to make or break this flight I thought to myself. Obviously, there was plenty of traffic around, but it hadn't really hit me yet, that they were mostly all heavies...and I was in a p*ssant little KingAir! I talked myself into being sure that I was going to mess up someone elses flight by being too slow. I overshot the turn onto the localizer, and ended up zig-zagging down the glideslope until about 3nm out when I finally got a handle on everything. And no one was behind me honking and giving me the finger! But I was still really nervous, and didn't want anyone behind me to be held up, so I turned off of the runway at the first taxiway I saw. Turns out it was taxiway Hotel. Which if you don't know, requires a 135+ degree left turn from rwy 16C. I felt so stupid! I stomped on the left brake and turned as hard as I could (and got a good view of the jet on final a few miles out), and I think the Rt main wheels got muddy. If not, it was close. Then I realised that I had no idea where GA parking was at. Sure there's a north and south ramp, but where the heck do I park this puny KingAir!? I quietly snuck up to the cargo ramp and parked. It was scary as all H-E-double hockey sticks, but the ATC guys were great and after some brief retrospection, I realised that I'd had a lot of fun...white knuckle, or not. So I filed the flight plan for the trip back home, called up ATC like I owned the place, flew the ELMAA7 departure like I was the one who invented it, hit up CVO VOR and went home to Klamath Falls (CTR went offline just before the top of my decent, so I was on my own for this landing). I had such a great time, and the ATC guys were so awesome, that I was back the next day for more. And now I'm well on my way to being a junkie. So all in all, it took me a while to get over the first time jitters, maybe even moreso than the next guy, but I'm here now and having a ball. Also, I'd like to thank those controllers from that flight for being so cool with me...whoever you are. (I was too nervous to take the time out to look and see)

 

By the way, in case you are wondering 10nov isn't my origonal join date. my hard drive crashed a while back and I lost all of my info, so I had to rejoin. And also (a little bragging) I start a program at Wings of the Cascades in january to get my REAL comm pilot rating. Wish me luck!

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Well after reading some of these I don't feel so embarr[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed...

 

My first flight was about 2 weeks ago. A friend had convinced me to join Vatsim. I had really been wanting to do it for a long time but didn't have the guts to do it. So I went through made my account. I signed on as COA####. I picked the default 734 so I wouldn't be busy messin with systems.

 

My friend wanted to fly KMIA to MYNN. Just a short hop so I got a feel for Vatsim. So I spawned at the KMIA. I loaded the flight plan in FS. My friend was ready to go, so I called up clearance. This had to be one of the most scary moments of my life. I was shaking so hard. I got that feeling you get when you broke something expensive and you have to tell your parents. I pushed that scroll key with all my mights. Studdering and shaking I manage to make out, "Mi-mi-ami Clear-r-re-rence COA#### requesting IFR Clearence to MYNN." As soon as I spit that off he fired back my clearence, "COA#### cleared to MYNN, Climb to 8,000 expect 17,000 a minute or two after departure. Squawk ####." After not understanding a word, I radioed back, "COA#### di-di-did not copy, say ag-again please." He repeated it. I replied with the casual, "rgr." Thinking I'd slide, he said "COA please read the full read back." So I said what I remembered and he said good enough.

 

I did my push back and Taxi. I got all the way to the runway then I relized I X-ed my SB3 window off. I went to get it back up and it wouldn't come up, so I restarted.

 

I respawned at a gate and went through this whole ordeal again except when I loaded the flight plan again in FS I accidentally let it relocate me to the active. When I spawned there I said some words that shouldn't be said on this forum to myself. I quickly jumped to the menu and put me at a gate.

 

I started my taxi. I thought things were going slowly and nicely now. I taxied my way to 9. Called up twr for takeoff clearance. He said, "Taxi to runway 9 using Yankee, Whiskey(something like this.) I was pretty sure I was at the right runway, "COA#### is a 9." "COA#### you are at 27." "Sorry good sir, taxing runway 9 COA####."

 

After another squawk error, I was finally was enroute. All my problems went out the window. I stuck a nice crosswind at MYNN. I got a message from someone saying nice landing. This was the end of my first flight.

 

Last night a friend from Montreal I met invited me to do a VFR flight with him. Its like CSR3 to CYUL or something like that. Most people were talking French to center so I didn't know when to talk. I found myself asking was that center or another pilot? They was a whole ordeal but I made it through.

 

I still love vatsim.

 

Jake

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Mine was much different, and being 13 flying at KLAX online was an interesting deal. I now know that maybe I shouldn't have said i had been on for two weeks when I had been on for 3 days during summer vacation. Tom Solon was the ATC at the time and man was I the center of attention. I was flying a Boeing 777 and I only had three mistakes when I was first at th airport. One- I totally taxiied in the wrong direction of the active take-off runway. Two-I misunderstood Tom's directions to the point that I almost collided with another plane (No joke it was another 777). Three-I taxiied onto the runway when he said clearance for take off instead of position and hold runway 25R or whatever runway it was. It was hilarious. I had a nice flight to KEMT nearby and landed half on the runway and half off because my flight plan had me come in from the east from over POM and the runway was North to South. Then on my way back to KLAX(My flight plan was from KLAX to KEMT and back to KLAX by way of SLI vor and POM vor) I missed runway 24R for landing and I could people laughing and I typed to them "I can hear you even though I can't speak to you, HAHAHAHA!" and then Tom and the ATC taking his shift laughed some more and Tom then said "Great! He can hear us!". That made me laugh so much more that I almost missed my next landing on the correct runway, 25L, and then, when I did land, it so hard my plane received undercarriage damage. I taxiied and thanked Tom for the ATC help and that I would be back on in a few minutes with a much smaller plane(my cessna citation x) and I did almost perfectly(flew the wrong departure).

 

Thank you for reading my post! And Tom, if you read this, you were one of the best ATC I've had so far!

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Without dreams, life ceases to entertain.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I remember installing the software the most! SB 2.3 I believe it was. It took 2 or 3 programs and installations for it to work, and boy was it a h[Mod - Happy Thoughts]le!

 

So, my first flight was in a repainted Southwest default 737-400 (even though SWA doesnt fly the -400) from STL to MDW. I had completed it, and had no ATC, but I still thought it was the coolest thing in the world. After I landed, I set back up in Baltimore, and flew BWI to MDW. Ive been hooked ever since.

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  • 4 weeks later...
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.

 

Joe,

 

I'd recommend you spend some time flying your anticipated route a few times, to get comfortable with the departure and the STAR.

 

Now...what route to fly? I'd recommend you start in some of the less congested airspace. For example, in the Memphis, Kansas City or Indianapolis airspace, rather than LAX or Atlanta. I would recommend that you both takeoff from and land at a controlled airport to get maximum ATC practice. Perhaps KMEM to KBNA or KIND to KCMH. Have all your maps printed in advance, have your flightplan ready before you ever log on, etc.

 

Make sure to put "new pilot" in your remarks. Also note that if you just log into an airport and sit there, ATC probably will not contact you unless you contact them first. I've seen people come online and log off without the first bit communication, and my guess is they were waiting on someone to talk to them and when it didn't happen, they logged off in confusion. So, call up ATC and ask for your clearance, and things should begin to flow from there.

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My first flight was 30 minutes ago. My flying was HORRIBLE, but the controllers were great!

 

Started off at CYYC headed for CYVR.. I had a flight plan all nicely done up, reviewed the intersections I'd be crossing.. etc etc

 

There was no ATC at CYYC at the time, so with no traffic around, I picked a runway and lifted off into the blue... cakewalk. Got to FL390 on J508 and I'm laughing.

 

EMBARR[Mod - Happy Thoughts]MENT!

I crossed into the Vancouver fir and was contacted by CTR and given a transponder code and was asked to pick FL380 or FL400 for this direction of travel <-- I should have known that. Anyway.. went down to FL380, all good.. I was cleared for descent at my discretion a short time later.. I misunderstood and pulled the throttles back and started my descent. CTR messaged me saying it was at my discretion meaning that I could descend when I wanted for my flight profile. Slightly embarr[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed I set my alt bug back to FL390.. Then back to FL380 after it was noticed I was too high

 

NEAR DEATH!

Then the fun started.. The phone rang.. (answered.. GF.. Yep, call ya back..) 10 seconds later.. the stall horn is blaring and my CRJ is doing pirouettes toward the earth. I slammed the throttles forward and struggled to turn off the autopilot and respond to CTRs queries of why my course and alt are changing rapidly. After bringing it out of the stall I looked at the GPS to get a bearing(bad).. it took me a few circles to figure out that the GPS map was frozen and I should look at the heading indicator (idiot). (main lesson here: don't forget you are flying)

 

WHAT GLIDESLOPE?

OK.. vectored into Vancouver for a landing on 26R, I'm down to altitude, all is well.. nice and stable. I have the runway lined up.. just waiting for the glideslope.. and waiting.. waiting some more. (conditions were total IFR) I pop out of a cloud - all I see is ocean where there should be airport (and presumably some kind of landing surface) Nosing down hard, I see the runway and four white lights. Full spoilers, crash descent! Much to my surprise, I managed a decent touchdown. (even on the right runway)

 

Next one will be easier, right :]

 

B

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I am relitivly new and I still get the experiance. Whenever I get messaged by an ATC, I know I did something bad. I see everyone in the chat know exactly what they are doing, and it's real embarrasing having messed up infront of people like that

 

I still have problems and reservations getting online. Only tried a big, busy airport once and was turned off it because I felt my lack of knowledge would affect others.

 

What I need is a 'co'-pilot trainer to help through to get the feel. I can read till my head hurts, but I have to learn by doing.

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I am relitivly new and I still get the experiance. Whenever I get messaged by an ATC, I know I did something bad. I see everyone in the chat know exactly what they are doing, and it's real embarrasing having messed up infront of people like that

 

I still have problems and reservations getting online. Only tried a big, busy airport once and was turned off it because I felt my lack of knowledge would affect others.

 

What I need is a 'co'-pilot trainer to help through to get the feel. I can read till my head hurts, but I have to learn by doing.

 

My msn and aim are available in my profile. Feel free to send me a message about any questions you have. (This applies to anyone as well.)

Ryan Flynn

Southwest Virtual Airlines

www.swavirtual.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

I registered at VATSIM last August but never left my initial parking positions. The few times I logged in to observe, I would notice the poor performance of my computer first and foremost, which could barely handle my surroundings, let alone added traffic. A few months and a new computer later, I decided to return to VATSIM, now that I could run FSX decently. I went throught the basic guides here and there, took the impressive Navigation course at http://www.navfltsm.addr.com/index.htm , because I didn't even knew how to use VORs and NDBs, or how to read and follow a SID, STAR or IAC chart, and that website taught me all of it and persuaded me into practice more and better than FSX's Rod Machado's lessons or any lesson elsewhere, a truly superb website, recommended to all lazy GPS pilots. Flying Navaids and following STARs is buttloads of fun. I also downloaded a virtual E6-B computer off that site to help me convert MB to HG and find TAS and Wind correction angle.

 

After searching the web for some terminology and ATC procedures I felt unsure about, I thought I was ready to go. I wanted to fly in controlled airspace, obviously, and so I fired up vroute and searched for controllers in the US. I found them only at large airports with hundreds of SIDs. By the time I finished studying the runways and taxiways on the ADC, the SIDs for the active runway and figuring out a random route with a sectional chart, the controller was no longer online. Bummer. After repeating this procedure twice, I decided to check hotspots in South America. Being less m[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ive than the US, with smaller and simpler airports, and more concentrated traffic, but without the bastard airways of Europe, it should allow me to just jump in a hotspot and find a controller sooner or later. Afterall, SBSP won a gold mic award. And so I went to the Brazilian VATSIM division to find myself some charts. On the front page, I found a banner for an event on the Jan 26th. Well, isn't that the perfect opportunity to find some seriously staffed ATC? I checked the available Arrival and Departure flights, and felt disappointed upon noticing only flights for large planes were available, from 737/a320 up. Except for one arrival and one departure flight involving an EMB120. Should I reserve these flights? I reserved a 737 flight but didn't had time to practice on the following days. Realizing I wouldn't be able to hone up my skills on time, I cancelled my reservation. However, those EMB120 flights were still open. Apparently nobody wanted to fly small. Oh well, what the hell, I decided to reserve those flights and learn how to fly properly untill the 26th this month.

 

After successfully practicing the real flight-plans off-line, it was time to go online. I don't have a mike yet at this new computer, so that was a relief: no need to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ociate my misbehavior with my voice. The flight was from SBGR to SBRP, a small airport some 100 and something miles to the NNW. The real-world flight-plans were ridiculously simple: direct to a fix, then direct to the destination. And so I logged on VATSIM with the proper callsign and filed the FP. Opening FSInn's ATC tab, I found out there was no control at all for SBGR, but there was a ground controller for the neighboring airport, SBSP. I thought perhaps the Ground at SBSP would accept clearing my FP since the airports are pretty close together, and so I went ahead to contact him, typing my message on text before tuning the frequency. Suddenly I receive a Private Message from a ground controller, telling me to contact him on X frequency. Obviously, because I initiated taxiing before requesting my FP's approval, he must've been mad, though I did so following a 737 who started taxiing on his own will aswell. And so I contacted him on the frequency and pressed enter to send the message I had typed. My message read: "Congonhas [sBSP] ground, [Callsign] requesting clearance etc. etc.". Well, guess what, that wasn't the Congonhas controller from the other airport, that private message was from a SBGR controller that had just logged on, but that in my panic and hurry I completely failed to notice. And so he replied: "Sir, you're at Guarulhos [sBGR]". Imagine my embarr[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ment, and the despair of the controller who must've slapped his forehead and thought that this lunatic pilot didn't even knew where he was! I repeated my message, but this time with the proper name for the ground controller. He cleared my FP and gave me taxi instructions, which I read-back and followed correctly.

 

Finally, it was time to contact tower. There was no tower, but an APP logged in. Ground handed me off to the APP and I contacted him. He told me to position and hold. That 737 had just took off. I sat there, nervours, waiting, waiting and waiting for my clearance for take-off. And then it came: "[Callsign], cleared to roll, winds X". Here we go. Roger winds, cleared to roll. I take off and attempt to maintain runway heading. Then I realize I received no further instruction. No "follow SID X procedure" or "transition X" or whatever. Not even altitude. Nothing. So I keep flying runway heading, more or less (Joystick rudder... too busy being nervous to trim) and decide to stop climbing at 6,000, which was the TA on the SID charts. The eastern exit of SBGR for NW-bound is very frightening, because the first fix for the transition to NW-bound is merely 8 DME from a VOR by the end of the ILS of the airport, so you have to line up to that VOR's radial quickly and be ready to turn about 100 to 120 degrees left after 8 DME and intercept a radial from another VOR. My EMB120 has the default Kingair panel, with no radial needle on the VOR2 (or even DME for the ADF), so I have to rely entirely on VOR1. Was I supposed to have turned on my own ages ago? Did I screw up and the controller didn't talk to me anymore because of it? I was getting nervous. Should I remain at 6,000 or climb? I decided to turn in the direction of my FP's fix. By the middle of the turn, the controller tells me: "[Callsign], ffs, radar following". I reply with an affirmative and stop my turn, remaining frozen at the heading and same 6,000 altitude. Shortly after, the controller announces that I'm leaving his airspace, frequency change approved, unicom. I'm not sure if he logged off or if he decided to ditch me, because later controllers wouldn't terminate radar service at this range. I hope he just had to log off, and was a newbie himself, for not providing me with clearer instructions, like every other controller I met did, always. Anyway, I then climbed and proceeded with my flight: http://www.vataware.com/flight.cfm?id=713499

 

Next I did another flight vataware didn't keep, and though this time I committed no mistake with ground frequencies, always tuning a frequency before typing anything, I forgot to activate mode Charlie on my xponder upon entering the runway and all the way after take-off, to which Tower told me to activate mode C. And I hope that was the last of my mistakes. I'm now flying this same route, back and forth, mistake-free, or almost. At least I wasn't the worst. On the same day I heard the controller talk to someone in quite a serious and grave tone: "Sir, you do not have the charts, you were not cleared for take-off, etc. etc., if you do this again I'll have to report you" and so on. It actually made it all feel more real and serious. No jerking around. Be serious, do things properly, or go practice off-line. Or else you'll be reported to the authorities.

 

And so that's it for me. I must say VATSIM is incredibly addictive. The feeling of having a real controller talk to you is quite an experience, and a million times more fun than FS's AI ATC, or more. It does not compare, really. Those still feeling insecure, go find a simpler airport, a shorter flight and a slower plane. As long as the controller doesn't come out garbled and can pronounce every word, even if he speaks fast, you'll be alright. Thanks to everybody who made VATSIM a reality and keep making it one everyday. Thank you controllers, for your dedication and patience.

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i have registered but how do i connect?

 

Welcome to VATSIM, Joshu,

 

If you already know how to handle your aircraft, go to this web page to find out how to connect. It will give you information on everything you need to fly here, including communication, navigating around an airport, how to connect, etc, etc.

 

http://www.vatsim.net/prc/

 

Enjoy

Rob Vanderkam

Canadian Virtual Airlines (CVA) - in operation since 1997

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