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Tips for a newbie.


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Hi all. 

I've been wanting to try using VATSIM for a while now. I'm definitely a newbie, I'm used to flying offline by with no ATC (or the in-game ATC), I understand the basics of flying and basics of Autopilot etc (I mainly fly short haul routes in a a320. 

However, I have been observing vatsim for the past couple of days and I am itching to do a short flight in a cessna. 

I have been watching a ton of ATC tutorials, as well as writing down in my notebook anything that will be useful for my first flight (I'm planning a VFR flight). 

Can anybody here recommend a good place to possibly just practice touch and goes or very short flights from A to B without worrying too much about a very busy airspace?

I'm a little bit hesitant to do any real flying as I am currently using an XBOX controller which means I really have to keep my hands on the controller and I'm worried about changing frequencies in case I stall my plane in the proces (My yoke unfortunately broke, and I gotta wait at least two weeks till I can get a new one).

 

Any tips and help would be appreciated! 

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8 minutes ago, Michael Jaroszczak said:

Can anybody here recommend a good place to possibly just practice touch and goes or very short flights from A to B without worrying too much about a very busy airspace?

You can do that offline! Practicing aircraft control is not an ATC issue. HAVING aircraft control, is, however, necessary in order to take full advantage of VATSIM's ATC.

If you have the abilty to fly a circuit pattern VFR, ie.touch-and-go flights, then the next step is to do it online. If you can't fly like that, my suggestion is that you practice ofline first! :)

Once you have the flying skills, it really doesn't matter which airfield you choose, unless it's a very busy airfield in Class A airspace which in real world doesn't accept VFR traffic. VATSIM ATC welcomes VFR traffic, and if you study the basic VFR phraseology for ATC communication you'll be OK almost anywhere.

Alistair Thomson

===

Definition: a gentleman is a flying instructor in a Piper Cherokee who can change tanks without getting his face slapped.

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1 hour ago, Alistair Thomson said:

unless it's a very busy airfield in Class A airspace

You mean class B? Cause to my knowledge no airports exist within class A airspace, at least inside North America (I could be very wrong about this when it comes to other parts of the world though).

Josh Jenk

CZVR I1 controller

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Posted (edited)

I know of one, LEMD / Madrid - Class A. But indeed, there aren't many

 

oh, and Barcelona - LEBL, even though it's Class D, has this:

Approved traffic: IFR; AD closed to VFR operations except: ambulance, rescue, and state flights or those serving the Autonomous Communities and other local entities, provided they carry out non-commercial public services. AD closed for operations with maximum take-off weight (MTOW) aircraft of 2000 kg or less, except: ambulance, rescue, and state flights or those serving the Autonomous Communities and other local entities, provided they carry out non-commercial public services.

Edited by Raul Ferraz
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11 hours ago, Alistair Thomson said:

You can do that offline! Practicing aircraft control is not an ATC issue. HAVING aircraft control, is, however, necessary in order to take full advantage of VATSIM's ATC.

If you have the abilty to fly a circuit pattern VFR, ie.touch-and-go flights, then the next step is to do it online. If you can't fly like that, my suggestion is that you practice ofline first! 🙂

Once you have the flying skills, it really doesn't matter which airfield you choose, unless it's a very busy airfield in Class A airspace which in real world doesn't accept VFR traffic. VATSIM ATC welcomes VFR traffic, and if you study the basic VFR phraseology for ATC communication you'll be OK almost anywhere.

I've been flying simulators for at least 10 years now, so I definitely have an idea of remaining in the pattern etc. I'm not worried about flying, I'm mainly worried about using the correct phraseology when doing it online with ATC. That's what daunts me me the most. I'll read about the VFR phraseology to teach myself before jumping into the server I guess! 🙂 

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1 hour ago, Michael Jaroszczak said:

I'm not worried about flying, I'm mainly worried about using the correct phraseology when doing it online with ATC.

Yes, reading up is good, and you can also connect as an Observer to listen to ATC at a fairly busy airfield without getting in the way :) .

Alistair Thomson

===

Definition: a gentleman is a flying instructor in a Piper Cherokee who can change tanks without getting his face slapped.

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Michael -- get yourself set up with VAT-Spy, map.vatsim.net, vattastic, or one of the other sites or apps which show VATSIM activity on a map.  Then find ANY airfield where there's ATC but not too much traffic.  Where this is will vary day-to-day, or really hour-to-hour.  But controllers (particularly Tower controllers) at airports that don't have a lot going on would love to have you, and are generally more than happy to slow things down and explain stuff when the frequency's not overwhelmed.  Hope that helps.

Cheers,

-R.

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13 hours ago, Robert Shearman Jr said:

Michael -- get yourself set up with VAT-Spy, map.vatsim.net, vattastic, or one of the other sites or apps which show VATSIM activity on a map.  Then find ANY airfield where there's ATC but not too much traffic.  Where this is will vary day-to-day, or really hour-to-hour.  But controllers (particularly Tower controllers) at airports that don't have a lot going on would love to have you, and are generally more than happy to slow things down and explain stuff when the frequency's not overwhelmed.  Hope that helps.

Thank you Robert! I'll have a look around today and hopefully do a flight. I think I'm in my head for sure! My new yoke system is coming today so once I've got that, i'll be less worried as the xbox controller can be a pain to use. 

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On 7/7/2021 at 7:14 PM, Michael Jaroszczak said:

Can anybody here recommend a good place to possibly just practice touch and goes or very short flights from A to B without worrying too much about a very busy airspace?

 

Any tips and help would be appreciated! 

Yes. In fact, I can. It's called KSFO. There controller will actually tell you whether,  or not, to announce your downwind leg when flying VFR for your touch and go's. Just stick to your pattern. Besides my own home port, KFSO has been about the most user friendly  controlled area I've ever seen on here. Plus, quite a few options to break things up, such as going to  Moffett field. It doesn't get any better. That way, you will be in touch with KSFO and/or Oakland constantly till you get the hang of whatever it is that you're trying to get the hang of.  I don't know what the "issue" is with this, really. When I first got on VATSIM, people did it constantly. Fixed wing and rotary wing, actually.

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16 hours ago, Jim Rish said:

I don't know what the "issue" is with this, really.

The "issue" is that KSFO is a large airport with lots of runways and taxiways and stands and procedures, and it's the 15th busiest airport on VATSIM - if you're looking for a simple airfield that doesn't get too busy, then KSFO might be just a bit overwhelming. YMMV though.

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On 7/8/2021 at 7:21 AM, Michael Jaroszczak said:

 I'll read about the VFR phraseology to teach myself before jumping into the server I guess! 🙂 

And you could also intermingle listening in on the following along with your reading as well, right?  https://www.liveatc.net/

Certainly. Thew philosophy is pretty simple. To keep a semblance of order in the airspace, and hopefully, out of the airspace, AND, being as predictable as you can be. You're not an expert at stealth, like my cats, that will never allow you to see them, until they feel like allowing you to see them, with reflexes and speed people can only dream of having. You WANT to be seen, and you want to see them, don't you? That's the whole point of ATC in a nutshell. You want them to know what you're doing, or what you're gonna do. Whatever "grades" you get for using "phraseology" like some kinda "special" code, to impress people, doesn't impress me in the least. Never has, never will. Just like the "circle to land" routine, or Cactus jack "side steppin'" rwy 5R, or whatever else. Unless you and I are flying in formation, which sometimes I'm real good at, and other times, I completely fail and can't seem to get my edge, the philosophy is quite simple. You want to stay out of my way, and I want to stay out of your way. That's it.   What is blatantly obvious is not discussed in these internet forums. Never has been. And I don't really have a clue as to why that is. 😏

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19 hours ago, Tobias Dammers said:

The "issue" is that KSFO is a large airport with lots of runways and taxiways

I had to stop it right there. This is absolutely beyond the pale. What pale, is anybody's guess. 😆

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