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how to get post landing taxi/parking instructions?


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Hi, just completed  my 5th flight on Vatsim, 3rd with a controller at the landing field.  The first two times I just informed I was going to disconnect after I cleared the rwy.  However I decided to really up the difficulty level tonight and fly into KSMF for the FNO event.  Went pretty well I think though I continue to mess up readbacks as I get super nervous, but one thing I'm not sure how to do is get taxi instructions to a gate.  I was in an A320 and when Ground asked where I wanted to go I said "wherever you have room" or something to that effect because it was an event and I didn't know which stands were taken (there were quite a few open though).  Instead in a A320 I got sent to the south GA parking.  I mean, I got down there but it seemed odd and would have preferred a gate at the terminal.  I'm not sure what the correct way to do this is, but I'm 95% sure I was at fault here lol.  

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This is really weird but I'd say it was not your fault, if it was FNO maybe all the gates were taken. In the USA they often let you taxi at pilot's discretion or they may ask where you want to park and send you there. In Europe you usually get assigned a specific gate. 

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This sounds like sloppy ground controlling - if you don't request a specific parking, they should assign you a suitable one. Some controllers will go so far as to pick one that the real-world equivalent of you flight would use, matching on airline (giving you a gate that "your" airline would also use IRL) and departure airport (e.g., in Europe, Schengen-area flights will often use different terminals or concourses than non-Schengen flights). At the very least, though, they should give you a gate or apron that fits the aircraft type and type of traffic (cargo / commercial pax / private).

However, if you fly with a private callsign (tail number, like N320AB) rather than a commercial one (ICAO airline code + flight number, like DAL123), they may have assumed that you're a bizjet, and those do go to the South apron at KSMF.

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Ah ok.  I’ll start flying with an official call sign then. I do sometimes but last night KSBA to KSMF there’s not really any real routes so I went with an airline call sign I made up for use with non standard liveries.  So it wasn’t just a registration number but it’s not a valid 3 character airline code either. 

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