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I'm deaf, can I fly on VATSIM?

Marcos Leal

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Hi guys good morning. I'm new to VATSIM and I have some questions. I recently had an accident and unfortunately I was deaf in both ears. My question is about this, can I fly on VATSIM being deaf? Is there any rule on this issue?

My biggest fear is breaking some rule or disturbing people because of my problem, is there any way to communicate only text?

Thanks, sorry for my english, it's not my native language.
Have a good day!

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All frequencies allow both text and voice comms, so you're in luck!  Just keep in mind the above -- when ATC frequencies are overwhelmed, it's easy for a controller to accidentally miss a text call.  Don't take it personally and feel free to jump back in with a polite reminder if you believe you're being overlooked.

Text is often used as a crutch by new folks too nervous to talk by voice, so you may inevitably get the occasional controller or pilot encouraging you to switch to receive-only or to voice.  Anyone who suggests this will obviously be ignorant to your situation so again, please don't take it as you being unwelcome to use text.

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In addition to what said above, per VATSIM CoC controllers must provide ATC services also to text only pilots at all times. So if a controller denies text only communications with or without reason, report that to a supervisor. 

Kind Regards,

Edited by Filippo Genoni


S2 - San Juan CERAP (VATCAR)
VATSIM Virtual Airlines Senior Audit Manager


 [email protected]

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33 minutes ago, Filippo Genoni said:

if a controller denies text only communications

You are correct, but I think it's much more likely that ATC will simply not see a text message, with absolutely no intention to ignore the pilot. Rob has it right: when it happens, the pilot should try to make allowances - not easy, of course, and it's good to know that most ATC are totally understanding of the pilot in these occasions. It is of course made more tricky by pilots who use text -only when they are hearing - enabled, because it might make ATC less willing to accommodate them, knowing that it means much more work for ATC, but that is nevertheless allowed.

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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Hello @Marcos Leal,

An option is to make a note in the RMK section of your flight plan, or even during your initial contact with ATC. Those controllers that do look at your RMK section will be aware of your situation from the start. They will know you are not abusing the text-only feature and keep an eye on you. Having good communication with controllers will make the flight more enjoyable for both sides.

Happy flying, and welcome to VATSIM!

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Hello guys, good night!

First I'd like to thank you for the answers and advice, I'm really happy now. I intend to make my first flight tomorrow, I will plan somewhere calmer, to test myself and so that I don't disturb anyone. I already have some flying experience, but my deafness took me away from real aviation permanently.
Anyway, thanks for the messages and tips, I will use the RMK to signal that I am deaf.
I wish you all good flights. Goodbye! 😀

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