Plan a flight with other members
By Matthew Hodgkins 1131836
#324893 I am new to VATSIM and not used to communicating with live ATC. I'm only fairly decent at flying and prefer the larger planes (737) over small GA planes. Is there anyone that would like to do some training, either as ATC or a flying partner that can work with me and get me up to speed on ATC communications and flying procedures? I'm not new to flying, but I would like some additional practice with a human to reiterate what is taught in the in-game tutorials. Special attention given specifically to holding patterns and intercepting courses. I know the basics, but would like some help to get more comfortable. I want to be able to fly with VATSIM but not mess anyone up that is more experienced. I also need to work on ATC communications and my listening skills. It seems from my first flight last night that I must have been nervous about communicating because I stumbled my words and had to stop to think, and I had trouble hearing ATC clearances and instructions (I think my engine sound was too high -- I fixed that today). Is there anyone that has extra time one or two nights a week that can assist me with this? It would be appreciated.
By Gary Claridge-King 1116826
#324907 I was in the same boat as you a few months ago, I now fly all over the place with great confidence. I don't know how your fixed for time, but I started off at EGFF, both TWR and APP will give you all the help you need. I went from flying VFR circuits in a cessna to transatlantic crossing in a 757 within a month. I sat for days listening in at airports and writing things down to make myself a worksheet to follow.

The stumbling block is that your in the USA, an some of the 'ATC Chatter' is different to that of Europe. Just depends on where you plan on doing most of your flying.

As I said if you want a starting place, hunt down Wycliffe or Mark at EGFF, i'm sure they'll be as willing to help you as they were me. Just remember, Patience................... Is doesn't happen in a heart beat.

If you want PM me, I'll try and send you a copy of what I used in the beggining.

Gary
By Matthew Hodgkins 1131836
#324952 That would be great if you could send me some notes, if it isn't too much trouble.

My biggest issue is speaking to ATC, not necessarily anything else to do with flying, though some practice would be helpful. I find the flight training in FS9 to be to finicky. I have to do everything just right or I fail. I'm sure that's the way it is in real life as well, but with no room for error, how can I learn?

Normally, I don't even like talking on the phone because I have difficulty speaking without having a "script" in front of me. Once I say something, it's out there and I can't take it back. I don't like the default ATC because it is not reliable or realistic. Plus, some airports I go to have no ATC at all. I have Radar Contact which I love for single player, and in combination with FSPassengers, I have a great time flying. It is a very realistic experience. However, the only flaw with RC is that you can't speak to ATC yourself, you still have to press keys. Nice program and more realistic than the default, but still is a hassle to communicate when trying to land a 737.

I downloaded the demo of VoxATC for the purpose of wanting to practice speaking with ATC, but I can't get it installed. It fills one bar on install, then fills 75% of the second bar (second pass) before reversing and giving me an error. Maybe it is because of Windows 7. However, this isn't a tech support forum. I wanted that program to work so that I could practice ATC speaking without having to embarrass myself, but since I can't do that, I have to find other means. I wanted to join VATSIM for some time but because of my unpreparedness with speaking to ATC I didn't... until now.

Any tips to get over my fears of messing up so badly that the FAA bans me from even riding a plane? Last night I couldn't even pronounce my callsign right. I was flying as N3879 but kept saying "November 3789" or something else and ended up confusing the poor departure controller. Very embarrassing.
By Johan Grauers 1113891
#325019 I think the trick is that there is a script to what you and the atc say. And I can regonise that I also find it difficult to hear what the atc is saying when you don't know what to expect. But if you stay around and listen to communication you'll soon learn that 95% of the time you know what's comming. E.g
For clearence you quickly learn a routine, like (making something up so probably the SID will be wrong for heathrow and the squawk wrong and stuff but you get the idea)

Gardermoen tower Fedex527 requesting ifr to Heathrow airport with information Lima.
Then there are only a few answers you can get back, like
Fedex527 please stand by (nr 3 for clearence)
Fedex527 you're cleared to destination as filed via the Sotir6charlie departure, squawk 3672, call when ready for pushback.

But this is a lot of info, so to make sure I get it right I have a pencil and paper ready. Then when I sign on I start off by putting my callsign in BIG writing at the top of my paper. Then I tune in closest atc on com1 and listen in on the atis on com 2. I copy down the atis on paper (noting departure rwy, winds, qnh, everything I need).

Then I send away my flightplan, after doing that I open up the SID charts for the active dep. rwy. Then I preperare for clearence by writing
Dep *the dep I excpect*, sqwk *to be filled in * qnh *to be filled in*

Then I call up, so when I get the clearence all I have to do is check, is the SID the one I excpected. And note down the transponder code and qnh.

So as you can tell there is a script to what's being said, and I agree that when you go off that script almost every time I have to ask ATC to repeat again. But if you prepare for the communication before you get it, you'll soon have no trouble at all, good luck :)
By Brian Burns 1130305
#325299 I just started the other day and it was hard at first. No amount of practice with an artificial ATC program or MS ATC can prepare you. You just have to do it.

As a previous poster said, write your call sign down on the top of your note paper in huge letters, because even though you invented that callsign, you will have trouble remembering it the first time. Pick a plane you are VERY familiar with. Even though I have flown countless hours on flight simulator, the moment I had to actually communicate and respond AND fly, made the flying part that much harder.

What I did was pick a short flight, maybe 30 minutes or so in a Cessna. I wanted a slow plane so I had extra time to respond. Now, load up flight simulator and fly this flight without any ATC, and maybe fly it again, so you are very familiar with it. Then, try that same flight on VATSIM, obviously you will have to pick a spot that normally has ATC. I picked a short route near Las Vegas. This was a good first flight, in my opinion. Start at Boulder City airport (southeast of Las Vegas), this is uncontrolled airspace under 6,500'. Get the sectional for this area. You can get it on airnav.com put in KLAS and click on the sectional chart to open it. You will notice if you go north from Boulder city airport to the northwest corner of Lake Mead there is a little flag there that says WASH MARINA. Then there are some purple arrows that show a route to North Las Vegas airport. These purple arrows represent a VFR route through busy controlled Las Vegas airspace. If you look at the left side of the sectional chart, it will explain the route. This was fairly easy as I am familiar with Las Vegas, if you're not the El Cortez is a casino downtown. If you get to that corner of Lake Mead and fly roughly 271 deg, you will go right toward it. The "Spaghetti Bowl" is a big highway intersection right after the El Cortez, but it's not in Flight Simulator. Anyways, The nice part about this route is you can start VFR with no ATC, get up to altitude, and when you are over Lake Meade, call Las Vegas Approach and tell them who you are, your altitude, and you request clearance for the CORTEZ 1 approach to North Las Vegas. They will give you a squawk code and probably tell you something like, "approved for Cortez 1, report the field in site" So when you make visual contact of the North Las Vegas airport, you call them and say who you are and you have teh North Las Vegas field in site. They might give you a final heading change or tell you have clearance to land.

Anyways, this was a very good practice flight for talking on the ATC, in fact, I did it twice. Just make sure you fly it once or twice first so you know the route. It's a fun short route, if you are interested in flying it, let me know and I will fly it with you (ahead of you) so you can hear what's going on. I can always use more practice too!
By Charan Kumar 1078107
#325404 Hi Matthew/Brian,

Take a look at this page. It is over at ZLA where they have a pilot training program. It gives you a lot of phraseology for basic VFR and IFR flying. Just remember to add "newbie" in your comments section and go fly, you will learn in the process.

The PRC should also be a good starting place!!
By Ryan Renz 1128692
#325662 There is no need to worry! If you read through the PRC ( I know lots of knowledge but we all went through the week long square eye's routine :D) it will help you lots and give pointers. One thing it does mention is going to an occupied airfield and type in "Noobie" or "observer/ new pilot listening" something to that effect and sit on the tarmac and listen to the chatter, also if the controllers aren't 'sloshed' then you can chat with them and maybe get a small circuit going just simple.

Also I believe that you can get Voice Recognition Software that will allow you to use RC with a microphone; just search it up online see what you can find!
By Larry James 901346
#330810 I started out with FS9’s default ATC (FSX wasn’t out at the time). I would read the user responses when flying Flight Simulator’s buitin ATC. I found it served as a great learning curb. Lots of people say they don’t see any similarity, but I see lots of similarity. I felt much at home on my first flight on VATSIM, having very little experience otherwise.

I soon saw the similarity before connecting, just by looking at the information presented in the PRC.

Also, like a number of others, I write get my pen and paper ready. I don’t think I’d understand well or follow what was being said unless I was prepared what to expect. If they would say something unexpected, I probably would have to ask them to repeat.

I write down a form on my paper when calling for clearance, then fill in the blanks.

The form is “CRAFT” (Clearance Limit, Route of Flight, Altitude, Departure Frequency and Transponder).

On the paper the form is:

C:
R:
A:
F:
T:

I got the CRAFT format from similar discussions like this.

-- L. James

--
L. D. James
ljames@apollo3.com
http://www.apollo3.com/~ljames
By Jason Thompson 872171
#330836
Matthew Hodgkins 1131836 wrote:That would be great if you could send me some notes, if it isn't too much trouble.

My biggest issue is speaking to ATC, not necessarily anything else to do with flying, though some practice would be helpful. I find the flight training in FS9 to be to finicky. I have to do everything just right or I fail. I'm sure that's the way it is in real life as well, but with no room for error, how can I learn?

Normally, I don't even like talking on the phone because I have difficulty speaking without having a "script" in front of me. Once I say something, it's out there and I can't take it back. I don't like the default ATC because it is not reliable or realistic. Plus, some airports I go to have no ATC at all. I have Radar Contact which I love for single player, and in combination with FSPassengers, I have a great time flying. It is a very realistic experience. However, the only flaw with RC is that you can't speak to ATC yourself, you still have to press keys. Nice program and more realistic than the default, but still is a hassle to communicate when trying to land a 737.

I downloaded the demo of VoxATC for the purpose of wanting to practice speaking with ATC, but I can't get it installed. It fills one bar on install, then fills 75% of the second bar (second pass) before reversing and giving me an error. Maybe it is because of Windows 7. However, this isn't a tech support forum. I wanted that program to work so that I could practice ATC speaking without having to embarrass myself, but since I can't do that, I have to find other means. I wanted to join VATSIM for some time but because of my unpreparedness with speaking to ATC I didn't... until now.

Any tips to get over my fears of messing up so badly that the FAA bans me from even riding a plane? Last night I couldn't even pronounce my callsign right. I was flying as N3879 but kept saying "November 3789" or something else and ended up confusing the poor departure controller. Very embarrassing.


Matthew.

I've just read your post and wondered what you mean't by having trouble speaking???. Do you have a Stutter / Stammer?
If this is the case I also have trouble at times speaking due to having a Stammer / stutter....but most times I'm fine unless I get flustered and then I just use PM'ng feel free to contact me if you like. I thought of that 'with you saying you have trouble speaking'.

Regards

Jason :)
By Jody Turner 1018734
#331184
Larry James 901346 wrote:...


Just remember you will have some of those not filled in in some occasions. At Toronto, unless you didn't have charts, A wouldn't be filled in, and F would never be filled in.
By Ryan Renz 1128692
#511800 With the advancements of technology I believe you could set something up with a netbook but I'm not sure about a tablet or a phone. However I would also suggest that you look at ACT.net where you can listen to real ATC/pilot conversations. Although most of us use VATSIM as a real world tool there's no substitute for the real thing.

Hope that helps.