General Discussion Concerning Military Type Flying
By Jacob Smith 1384525
#524631 Hi, so I've recently got into military flying in flight sims, and I was wondering how I would go about getting the correct training to carry out military operations. I've seen I need to join VSO and be trained by them. I'm wondering if, for example, I join the Virtual American Air force, would I be able to conduct military operations in places like Canada, or the UK? Or would I be limited to just America?

Also, after training, can I then conduct things like mid-air refuelling by myself (With AI) on the network, or must it be a planned event by the VSO?

Thanks in advance.
By Tomas Hansson 840812
#524642 Yes, you are correct. You cannot perform military ops on the network unless you are part of a vSOA.
Short answer: All military flights must be with the vSOA and they will not allow you to do "free flights" on your own. All military flying on VATSIM must be as part of the vSOA and only as explicitly authorized by your Chain of Command.

For the long answer you would need to consult each vSOA's rules and regs. :)
By Brad Crockett 921002
#530594 Hey, Thomas!

We're looking at putting on a simple Cold Lake to Comox event March 9, 2019, so I've been doing a bit of research on the VATSIM policy around military stuff.

Looking at section 1.7, the following operations are restricted to VSOs:

  • Conducting joint training exercises with other approved VSO organizations
  • War games
  • Air to air refueling
  • Carrier operations
  • Flying low level military training routes
  • Flying escort missions
  • Executing air combat maneuvers
  • Interception/scramble of other aircraft
  • Having access to special use airspace
  • Search & Rescue and Firefighting

However, there's nothing in the policy to stop military flights from being conducted on the network. The policy goes on to say:

VATSIM does allow anyone to fly military aircraft on the network, as designated on a filed flight plan with separate departure and destination locations.

So it's the activity that's restricted, not the fact that it's a military flight.

By Mats Edvin Aaro 1227980
Brad Crockett 921002 wrote:So it's the activity that's restricted, not the fact that it's a military flight.

That is right, however one might be fooled by the 1.7. Whereas the 1.7 includes the general categories of operations sanctioned, inlcudes a more detailed list:

1. Conducting joint training exercises with other approved VSO organizations
2. Simulated online military activities such as: Peacetime military exercises, range practice, and any other non-hostile event or activity implied or expressed as military in nature.
3. Online Air to air refueling
4. Carrier operations
5. Flying low level military training routes
6. Flying escort missions
7. Military transport operations (using military aircraft or their civilian equivalent, i.e. (737-700/C-40, 747-200/VC-25, 757-200/C-32). NOTE: The flying of civilian airliners for CRAF purposes is not considered to be a VSO activity since it is what it stands for; a Civilian Reserve Air Fleet flown by civilian airlines/companies. (777,767, DC-10, etc)
8. Executing air combat maneuvers
9. Interception/scramble of other Aircraft
Note:​ Although intercept operations are allowed, the interceptor organization must have a letter of agreement (LOA) on file with the intercepted organization detailing procedures and the LOA must include signatures by all parties including Air Traffic Control. A copy of the LOA must be submitted to vapartners(at) for final approval.
10. Search & Rescue and Firefighting
11. Formation flying expressly for the purpose of simulating any military/paramilitary activity.

The one you should look out for is article 11. A lot of people look at 1.7 and decide it's okay to fly in military formations, and get confused when confronted with this article. Not saying the event will go against this, but it's just good to have in mind :D
By Robert Shearman Jr 1155655
#530621 Mats, I think 1.7 is worded more like "you CANNOT do these if you're NOT in a VSOA" while (errrr or however many .1's it is, LOL) is worded more like "you CAN do these if you ARE in a VSOA." Those have similar but not identical meanings. My understanding from years of discussion on this topic is that ANY VATSIM member can take ANY aircraft type, military or not, and fly it A-to-B on a regular VFR or IFR flight plan as long as no special nor priority ATC handling are involved and nothing happens which would tend to disrupt another member's use of the network. just doesn't strike me as indicating "you can't fly a military cargo airplane on a regular A-to-B flightplan if you're not in a VSOA." True? False? Up for debate?