By Rares Fratean 1352761
#501559 I have a couple of questions(newbie here):
1. If I depart from a non-controlled airport and into an airspace that doesn't require two-way communication, do I need to contact CTR when approaching an airspace that requires clearance?(provided that there are no other ATC controllers other than CTR).
2. If I want to depart from a controlled airport (with no ATC online other than CTR), do I need to get clearance from CTR? Or stick to unicom and contact CTR once I am airborn?

Thanks in advance :D
By Lindsey Wiebe 1101951
#501560 Hi Rares,
I'm assuming you are flying and filing IFR (if VFR if you clear of controlled airspace then you can pretty much do what you want (within the rules of course) without contacting CTR.

1. Yes, you would need to contact the CTR PRIOR to entering their airspace, obtain your clearance then continue as cleared. Give yourself time so you can get your clearance figure it out, smooth out any wrinkles and setup to abide by the clearance BEFORE entering the controlled airspace.
2. Depending on how busy the controller is or what they want to do, (if not busy and bored they can control you the whole time) if they are busy or want to stick to normal ops then you would contact them on the ground for your clearance, they would give you a clearance void time (so something like "clearance is valid until or clearance is void if not airborne by 0300z time now 0230z"). So that means if you aren't airborne by said time then you no longer have a clearance to enter controlled airspace. Once they give you clearance normal ops would be to go back to Unicom (again they will tell you to do this or tell you to stay with them) state normal intentions on Unicom and then once airborne contact CTR again who will then radar identify you. In RW here in BC, Canada we have VERY large mountains (i.e. 10,000'+ peaks) so radar coverage may not begin until you are 5,000' or something.
By Simon Kelsey 810049
#501563 VATSIM operates a 'top down' system, so yes, if there is no GND/DEL online, you go to the next service up (TWR for the airfield you are at, APP for the airfield you are at, or if neither of those are available then they overlying CTR position).

In the UK if you are departing from an airfield in controlled airspace, you would call ATC and get your clearance on the ground. If you are departing from an airfield in class G, however, you would normally get your clearance once airborne IF you are going to enter CAS -- if you are planning to remain in class G, however, there is no requirement to be in communication with ATC.

As Lindsey says, if you are planning to enter CAS, whether IFR or VFR, you must remain outside until cleared. Outside CAS you are in bandit country - you can get a basic, traffic or deconfliction service but ultimately it is not a known traffic environment and it is up to you to see and avoid -- there could be other aircraft buzzing around quite legitimately not speaking to ATC and possibly (in real life) without either a radio or transponder installed. Beware!