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Which flight rules would be best?

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I used to do a lot of IFR airline flights on VATSIM so I do have experience on the network.

These days I don't have much free time so have been touring various regions of the world in smaller aircraft typically flying a PC-Porter, BN2 Islander or the SR 22. I fly through everything from international airports to remote dirt strips, with leg distances being anything from 10 miles to 200.

I'd like to do these flights on VATSIM. Would I be better off or indeed able to stick to IFR rules which I understand well, or would VFR fit better, bearing in mind I only have Navigraph and littlenavmap and not any specific VFR charts, or any VFR ATC interaction experience (although I have been reading up on it)?

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Posted (edited)

Keeping in mind visibility, VFR is best. If ATC is online simply ask for Flight Following (optional). You get the best of both worlds, ATC communication and more direct flights (except in B, C airspaces). Even then being vectored around is online-fun.

Edited by John Stockton
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N313GM, P0: X-Plane 12.b14, Windows 10, Intel I7-5939K 3.5 GHZ, NVIDIA GTX980 4GB, 16GB DDR4 2400 RAM,

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Also you can fly anywhere IFR. If you approach a grass strip with no ILS or VOR or even NDB your approach will be visual but you can still fly IFR. Separation from terrrain and other traffic will be your responsibility outside controlled airspace.

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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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  • 5 weeks later...

Hello Matthew,

Being that you have limited free time to "sim", why not fly both VFR and IFR. Let your mood that day determine how you fly. Sometimes I don't want to spend a tone of time planning a full IFR flight, so I file a VFR flight plan and enjoy a little more freedom as well as the beautiful sim scenery. The VATSIM environment is inviting for all, as long as you perform your responsibilities before connecting. IFR flights are very structured and complex at times. Some days you might just want to have fun (with appropriate planning of course). Generally, ATC controllers are receptive to both IFR and VFR flights. Nothing wrong with flying VFR! 🙂

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