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Although I've been registered here at VATSIM for a long time, I've never flown online. I'm starting to read through docomeentaion here, but have a few basic questions...

Do I need to use X-Plane scenery addons that do NOT have 'static aircraft' ?

What's the best (easiest) site or program to see what areas have controllers?

Do I need to change any ActiveSkyXP settings to accommodate xSquarkbox?

Should I turn OFF XP11 AI traffic?

When I connect using xSquarbox, I'm getting black or grey aircraft, even after installing the CSL folder from X-Plane.org. What do i need to do?

What's the 'order' of controllers - who can give IFR clearance?

What the best things for me to read?

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Hi Phil,


for static aircraft you can leave them in and just advise ATC if you happen to get a gate/parking [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned that is occupied. I recently learned how to remove/hide static aircraft in sceneries through X-Plane's WorldEditor: https://developer.x-plane.com/tools/worldeditor/

It is rather easy to use.


There's a new pilot client on the market that is still in beta, but already useable. I have been flying with it since last year and I am very happy with it. It is called swift and I suggest you give it a go: https://dev.swift-project.org/w/help/installation/

Just make sure you follow all the steps, there's also a checklist before your first flight with swift: https://dev.swift-project.org/w/help/useswiftchecklist/

Important: you will have to disable XSquawkbox through your plugin-manager or simply move the XSquawkbox-directory out of the plugins-directory of X-Plane. Otherwise other pilots won't be displayed to you.

Don't give up if it does not work out on the first attempt, stick to the instructions and checklist and you'll be fine.


A nice and simple program to check who is online is Vatspy: http://www1.metacraft.com/VATSpy/

I personally use Qutescoop: https://sourceforge.net/projects/qutescoop/


For your other questions you can consult VATSIM's Pilot Resource Center PRC: https://www.vatsim.net/pilot-resource-centre

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Order of controllers. Vatsim is based on topdown coverage. So all controllers will cover down from their position to Delivery.


so an Arrival controller will cover Departure, Tower, Ground and Delivery. There are some rare cases where this does not happen but for the most part this is true. Center would cover Arrival, Departure, Tower, Ground and Delivery.


you just need to check with Vatspy who is online, confirm with Swift and contact the most appropriate controller. If you get it wrong they will send you to the correct controller frequency.


I would recommend you park at an airport with some traffic and just listen to the various frequencies for a while to get the idea of what is going on. Once you start to fly, pick an airport that is not crazy busy like Heathrow. Pick somewhere quiet where the controller can work wth you. In a few flights you will get the flow of things and will be on your way.


Only other suggestion is if you don't understand an instruction, clearance, etc. ask for clarification and don't just readback and accept blindly what is said to you.

And please try to at least be able to hear voice. I would strongly suggest you get on voice right away, its so much better and the fear of it will go away in 2 flights.


Good luck and enjoy!

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