Pilot Discussion With a Global Perspective
By Martin Loxton 1410004
#525446 Hi, this is probably a stupid question that has been asked a billion times, but I can't find the answer anywhere... I know that we're supposed to monitor the unicom frequency when not within an active ATC area, but how do we handle communications with the destination airport - or just generally, when needing to get a clearance of some sort - without a live controller? Is there a method that we're supposed to be following when not within range of an active controller (again, I can't find anything in the Code of Conduct about it), or is switching to using the in-game method permitted under these circumstances?
By Steven Perry 810054
#525447 It won't be in the CoC, but you might find something at the Pilot Resource Centre / Center. www.vatsim.net/pilot-resource-centre

In the USA at least, I just operate as if ATC had cleared me exactly as I requested. I don't just monitor unicom, I self announce my intentions on unicom.

I applaud you for reading up and asking the question. It seems like your head is in the right place, so go fly and have fun! Some "VATSIMism" things you will learn along the way.
By Robert Shearman Jr 1155655
#525462
Martin Loxton 1410004 wrote:how do we handle communications with the destination airport - or just generally, when needing to get a clearance of some sort - without a live controller?

If you're enroute without ATC and headed toward an area with an Approach controller, you can give them a call once you're on descent and nearing 10,000 feet. Usually I'll call once I'm descending through FL180 -- a little early, maybe, but it's good to get in touch & let them know you're on frequency.

If you're headed toward an airport with a Tower but no Approach, you should check the ATIS to get active runways/approaches but it will be up to you to get yourself established on the approach. Once you are, or are in a visual pattern, contact Tower for your landing clearance.

If you're headed toward an airport with no ATC, just make your best guess as to the appropriate runway (sometimes the ARTCC or FIR website will have some guidance on usual runway operation configurations based on current reported winds, but, other times, just do what you think makes sense) & coordinate with other aircraft via text on 122.8. Then just proceed as though you are cleared to arrive & taxi to your gate of choice.

Hope that helps!