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First timer saying hello & a quick question!


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Hello all!  Decided to take the next step in my hobby and join up here.  I'm also looking forward to getting my PPL and figured every bit will help.

So I have a quick question.  Obviously vatsim cant be staffed to real world levels and I get there's overlap, but Im confused even after reading the General lessons on the PRC.  It was going over the different controllers and all but there was something that mentioned if a tower isnt manned, it may be controlled by whose working the approach frequency - makes sense.  The part I'm confused on is - do I tune the local ground/tower frequencys, and it auto routes me to whose working the approach?  Or do I tune direct to the approact frequency and request taxi/departure ect?  Or do I treat that airport as untowered, tune to the RW ground/tower frequencys announcing as per normal untowered procedure - and then tune approach once airborne?  Hope my questions make sense.  Stay well all and happy landings!

 

Edit: I reread the VFR departures/arrivals page (half asleep last night when I signed up) and it states to treat as untowered and use unicom.  That makes a little more sense.  Can't wait to get flying!

Edited by Chris DeGroat
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Hello Chris!

First of all, warm welcome to VATSIM! 

36 minutes ago, Chris DeGroat said:

do I tune the local ground/tower frequencys, and it auto routes me to whose working the approach?  Or do I tune direct to the approact frequency and request taxi/departure

You would tune directly to the approach controller's frequency and he/she would provide delivery, taxi and takeoff clearances as well as climb or course instructions if outbound. If Approach was not online, then the CTR controller would handle these extra responsibilities as well. This also works vice-versa when arriving into an airport.

In the case that there are no controllers online, you shall monitor unicom-frequency(122.800)

I hope this answered your questions.
See you in the skies!

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19 minutes ago, John Koranteng said:

Hello Chris!

First of all, warm welcome to VATSIM! 

You would tune directly to the approach controller's frequency and he/she would provide delivery, taxi and takeoff clearances as well as climb or course instructions if outbound. If Approach was not online, then the CTR controller would handle these extra responsibilities as well. This also works vice-versa when arriving into an airport.

In the case that there are no controllers online, you shall monitor unicom-frequency(122.800)

I hope this answered your questions.
See you in the skies!

Ahh gotcha!  That makes sense.  So one more question, if no towers were online for your airport would you pick the closest CTR I assume?  Right now im on the ground in Hilton head, SC, and I have NY CTR and JAX CTR currently online.  I assume since Im closer to JAX, Id tune them for delivery, taxi and takeoff?  

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There's no autorouting of frequencies; most controllers listen on one frequency, and it's up to you to tune to the right one.

So when you first start up, you first check whether DEL is online; if not, you check GND, then TWR, then APP, then CTR, until you find a controller that is online. And then you contact that controller on their current frequency.

However, top-down coverage (APP down to individual airports) isn't provided for all airports. Untowered airports are not generally covered at all, and for other minor airport, it is up to the controller whether they are willing to provide top-down. E.g., EHAM APP may or may not provide coverage for EHLE; if they do, then they will provide DEL, GND, TWR and APP for EHLE, if not, they will treat EHLE like an untowered airfield. When that happens, you are supposed to depart on Unicom, and contact the controller when entering their airspace. Sometimes, the controller will mention the top-down coverage they provide in their remarks, but not always.

If unsure, you can also contact the controller (by private chat message or on frequency) and ask.

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2 hours ago, Chris DeGroat said:

would you pick the closest CTR I assume?  Right now im on the ground in Hilton head, SC, and I have NY CTR and JAX CTR currently online.  I assume since Im closer to JAX, Id tune them for delivery, taxi and takeoff?  

You'd pick the one whose airspace that airport is actually within.  In the case of KXHD it is indeed ZJX's.  Looking at a VATSIM activity tool like VAT-Spy, you can often eyeball it and figure it out -- but sometimes for ones near ARTCC borders it's helpful to pull up its AFD facility entry (for example, by finding it on SkyVector and clicking on its link) and seeing which ARTCC it lists under. 

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Cheers,

-R.

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Awesome info.  Had a great time on today.  Jacksonville CTR went off line when I was getting ready to go, so head a venue change to Farmingdale in NY.  Sat in GA parking for a bit listening to the NY airspace madness and then as I was going to give it a go NY Center went off for a bit lol.  No worries, worked on Unicom, and then spoke with Islip Approach for the class C transition eastbound towards East Hampton.  Then back on unicom for landing at HTO.  Was good fun and practice.  Thank you to all the controllers for your service!

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