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Where to begin?

Graham Freeman 1365684

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I want to become a fully certified ATCO within VATSIM. preferably in my home country Canada and preferably in my home airport, YYZ. Actually it's CNC4 (Guelph) but I'll take any ATC position anywhere on the planet.


I have Microsoft Flight Simulator X:Steam Edition, plus X-Plane 10 Global. My computer is on the higher end of graphics/speed/memory, and at the moment I have just a mouse and keyboard.


What programs should I be installing to get me going on the ATC training track, and what extra hardware should I be looking at? I am willing to invest a few hundred dollars into this hobby to kickstart it, and would like to get my feet wet sooner rather than later.

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Hello Graham, and welcome! In order to kick-start your ATC training and to become an ATC controller, ensure you enroll with us at http://www.vatcan.ca


Once we have your application, you will be [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned to the FIR region of your choice and to an instructor. Your instructor will be your essential resource and help you with installing the proper software.




Mark Walsh, Vatcan2

Deputy Director

Mark Walsh

Vatsim Network Supervisor

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To add to Mark's welcome, the only other piece of hardware you will need for ATC is a good USB headset (e.g. Logitech or Plantronics or equivalent). It effectively gives you a second sound card that will let you send communication to either your speakers or headset. We do not use FSX or X-Plane for controlling but if you want to start flying on the network, a good joystick or yoke is definitely recommended! Enjoy your imminent ATC training!

Tomas Hansson

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Thanks guys.


I will dig out my headset from my EVE playing days. It worked very well for 2-way comms.


I see myself in the NTU controller list as "Observer", so I [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume that's all I need to do for now - wait for a mentor to be [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned to me?


Impressed by the quick replies!

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  • Board of Governors


I can see myself listed in the Toronto FIR - CZYZ as Observer. I've been [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned a mentor - I emailed him, awaiting response. I signed up for the Toronto FIR Forum and the account is awaiting activation. Euroscope installed, and now trying to read up on NTU courses.




Send me an email: vatcan1[at]vatcan,ca if you do not hear anything over the next few days. Toronto does have a large training Backlog as indicated on our registration form.





Matthew Cianfarani
Vice President - Network Infrastructure
VATSIM Board of Governors

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  • 1 month later...

I actually just (re)joined myself. I used to fly on here years ago but I'm starting to get back into it again. I'm looking at becoming a controller with CZYZ and my home aerodrome is CYKF (Waterloo Region Int'l...Westjet has daily service to CYYC Calgary from there). I did take a couple flying lessons with an instructor years ago too in a Diamond DA-20 A1 Katana (C-FPMC) out of National Flyers (I don't know if they're still there or not).

I'm interested in becoming a controller with VATCAN under the Toronto FIR because I'm looking to go back to school to go to Seneca for their Aviation Operations/Management program to eventually become a dispatcher.

Anyway, if you can tell me who I should e-mail to get the ball rolling on this, please let me know.




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