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The window flight plans are retained


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Normally, when I decide whether to fly on VATSIM, I fly only if I can meet one of two self-imposed criteria.

 

1) Either I take off from an airport that is covered by at least Center ATC, or

2) I fly to an airport where I have enough time from filing the flight plan to fly into controlled airspace within 2 hours. (I file my flight plans before I start the sim...so I have to start the sim, start the aircraft from a turnaround state, taxi and takeoff, and fly into controlled airspace all within 2 hours)

 

My question is, what if I don't fly into controlled airspace within 2 hours of filing the plan?

 

Here's an example: I want to fly from Newark to San Francisco, but Newark isn't staffed and the nearest center online is Oakland.

 

It's going to take me 5 hours to fly into controlled airspace in this case. So my question is: What's the procedure when it comes to flight plans in cases like this?

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Your flight plan stays with you while you are online. The "2 hours" is the amount of time the flight plan stays in the system while you are offline (e.g. to allow for pre-filing, to allow for connection interruptions, etc.)

David Zhong

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  • Board of Governors
Normally, when I decide whether to fly on VATSIM, I fly only if I can meet one of two self-imposed criteria.

 

1) Either I take off from an airport that is covered by at least Center ATC, or

2) I fly to an airport where I have enough time from filing the flight plan to fly into controlled airspace within 2 hours. (I file my flight plans before I start the sim...so I have to start the sim, start the aircraft from a turnaround state, taxi and takeoff, and fly into controlled airspace all within 2 hours)

 

My question is, what if I don't fly into controlled airspace within 2 hours of filing the plan?

 

Here's an example: I want to fly from Newark to San Francisco, but Newark isn't staffed and the nearest center online is Oakland.

 

It's going to take me 5 hours to fly into controlled airspace in this case. So my question is: What's the procedure when it comes to flight plans in cases like this?

 

I'm not quite sure I understand the question, but your flight plan is valid for the entirety of your flight. It does not matter if your flight is within 2 hours or 18 hours of your destination. I think you may be referring to the note that says your flight plan was filed and will be retained for 2 hours. When you successfully file a flight plan.

 

All this is saying is that you need to be connected to the network within 2 hours of filing your flight plan to have it be [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ociated to your flight. How long your flight actually takes is irrelevant. Once you connect, the network will [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ociate your pre-filed flight plan to your connection and it will remain active as long as you are connected to the network. If you do not connect within 2 hours of filing the flight plan, then the pre-file system will drop your flight plan and if you were to connect afterwards using that callsign, then you would have to refile your flight plan through your pilot client or refile via prefile before connecting.

 

Hope that helps.

Matt Bartels
VP: Marketing & Communication
## vpmkt (at) vatsim.net
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Unless otherwise stated, opinions are my own and not representative of the official opinion of the VATSIM Board of Governors

 

 

 

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Also, why don't you fly online even when there's currently no ATC? Somebody may see you flying and decide to connect. If not, you'll get to interact with other pilots on unicom (well, that's a bit hit-or-miss but still fun for the most part).

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Thank you for the clarification gents. I was under the impression that a controller was responsible for keeping the flight plan in the system. I did not realize that the 2 hour window was just to connect.

 

That is also my answer to your question Dace. I only fly when there is ATC because I thought that if a controller didn’t handle my flight plan within 2 hours of it being filed, it would get deleted. Now that I know my flight plan stays with me for the entire time I am connected, I’ll definitely be flying on VATSIM even when there isn’t a controller on.

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Even if your flight plan gets lost for any reason, you can always re-file it via pilot client (not on the webpage as long as you're connected), e.g. if you're doing long haul and disconnect for a longer period. ATC comes and goes, you can't rely on them to stay on at your arrival airport.

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