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Hirgab

Anyone here refuse to fly online? If so, why?

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I've tried VATSIM a couple of times in the past, but have never gone back since then. The lack of ATC coverage, the lack of traffic over any given area (except during events,) and the terrible UI (FSInn/Squakbox) turned me off for good. I'm curious if I'm alone in this category or if there are others out there that feel the same way. Surely I can't be missing out on much.Regards,

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Depends on what you mean when you say flying online. I've done a few Vatsim flights, but the coverage was patchy and so i use Radar Contact for airliner flights. It's not that I'd 'refuse' to do it with Vatsim, it's just that it wasn't very realistic with such intermittent coverage.But if you mean flying online with friends, I do that fairly often in FSX, sometimes with shared cockpits, the IRIS T6A Texan II is a good one to do that in - I even flew an A2A B-17G across the Atlantic in formation with a friend in another A2A B-17 in FSX (which takes a while LOL) and I fly online in other sims, Apache Air Assault is a good one for that, as is DCS A-10. Most of the FSX Air Hauler flights I make are 'online' in the sense that you can use the map in Air Hauler to see other people's aircraft and chat to them if you like whilst doing so.Al

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Hi,I never have and I started with FS4 on an Apple 2e. I just don't have the interest especially with RC4 installed.

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Never fly online...as above no interest in doing so.Don't really go online for any games

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I love it, BUT and it is a big BUTif and when you can get coverage it is truly awesome! quite a gut wrencher for sure... I usually fly online when there is some sort of sponsored fly in and fly in those areas that are covered. but yes I agree most of the time, there just isn't enough of coverage!

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I have flown several times on VATSIM. The thing (IMHO) with vatsim is what everybody has already stated.... limited coverage. On the flip side with VATSIM is that when it has an event it is great! One of my best experiences with VATSIM was the London Heathrow Fly in. That was a great time with lots of aircraft comming and going. With that being said I can take it or leave it mainly due to limited coverage but I still do a VATSIM flight from time to time.Jim

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I never have and never will. My main interest in flight simulation is to work out difficult situations like landing at some dangerous/difficult airports under different weather conditions, or flying between islands using dead reckoning during all or part of the flight. ATC is necessary in real life for safety reasons. It is limiting your freedom. If you like free flight, like me, it is a burden. And please, don't take me wrong, I am not trying to convince anybody that my way of doing this hobby is the best, it's just my preferred style of flying FSX.Jean-Jacques

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I never have and never will. My main interest in flight simulation is to work out difficult situations like landing at some dangerous/difficult airports under different weather conditions, or flying between islands using dead reckoning during all or part of the flight. ATC is necessary in real life for safety reasons. It is limiting your freedom. If you like free flight, like me, it is a burden. And please, don't take me wrong, I am not trying to convince anybody that my way of doing this hobby is the best, it's just my preferred style of flying FSX.Jean-Jacques
Your comment clearly explains why FSX is so great. We can all use it in the way we see fit and use it to simulate various situations. Very well said Jean-Jacques! :( Jim

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You guys that don't fly online, is it because you prefer big iron and like to fly long routes? If so I can understand the lack of coverage issue. But usually during USA evenings and weekends you can find at least two ARTCC's online that border so flying a longer route shouldn't be an issue. I do admit the US is normally better staffed than EU and the US is indeed where I fly. You could always try IVAO - I hear they staff more in EU.I fly online very often, but usually small GA props, and limit my flights to 200 mi or less, depending on type of plane. And the way I fly is to target an area with a controller online (use Vatspy http://www.metacraft.com/VATSpy/ ) then plan my route accordingly. There's a few benefits to this method:1) Explore new places2) Meet other fs addicts, and also I've met a lot of rw pilots and a few controllers (or they've met me lol)I don't have an issue with the GUI for Squawkbox4, it's pretty simple to work with imho, tried FSInn back in the day -crashed my game, never looked back.Events are obviously fun but ZLA has a pilot program where you can go through levels - I highly recommend that for a mission-oriented goal. I'm doing it myself just for fun - most of the lessons I can already handle but it gives me something to do outside of the norm. ZLA website:http://pilotcerts.laartcc.org/page/ratings.htmlEither way I urge guys to give it another try (seriously use vatspy to see whos online), and every friday night in the US is friday night ops which always brings a bunch of traffic if that's what you crave. Or you could always try the controlling side of things!

I never have and never will. My main interest in flight simulation is to work out difficult situations like landing at some dangerous/difficult airports under different weather conditions
Try this with decent ATC and you'll find the challenge and workload increases. Go missed and hope you had an alternate or pickup an IFR on the go. The computer software will act much differently than a human.

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Two big reasons for me:- I like my AI traffic- I like to use time acceleration at cruise

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VATSIM is great. Never fly offline, with or without ATC. If you haven't tried online flight on a secure network like VATSIM, you really should give it a try.

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All been stated.- AI- Limited coverage- Difficult to understand the controllers when there is coverage- Limited patience for those that aren't "pros".- Too restrictive.- Required add-ons are a pain to learn, and a paint to keep working correctly.All adds up to far too many downsides for me.

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Never fly offline, with or without ATC.
If you are worried about the ATC experience you could try FSX ATC, laugh as it wobbles you in to an airport, taking a good 45 minutes, cry as it requests you go around for the 3rd time.

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I've used RC4, I'm flying VATSIM exclusively without any AI installed.So might name this unrealistic, since I don't have any AI on my airports, so pretty empty...But, I've flown in Katana couple of months ago, my first real flight experience, and someone said "hard to understand what ATC is saying" - you think it's better in real flight? I was really having a hard time understanding what ATC was saying... that said, my Sennheiser headset is really good and I understand online ATC really well.Flyins are great, I LOVED the Heathrow Flyin event - was definitely one of the best.It's really like this for me - FS is for me simulating real life, and can't simulate real life with a computer voice. They make mistakes, they shout if you make a mistake... way better :(

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All been stated.- AI- Limited coverage- Difficult to understand the controllers when there is coverage- Limited patience for those that aren't "pros".- Too restrictive.- Required add-ons are a pain to learn, and a paint to keep working correctly.All adds up to far too many downsides for me.
1) I can see plenty of AI when I'm flying online2) Agreed, can be an issue as I stated above3) You're a pro then I take it? There's always an opportunity to learn, whether it be rw aviation or virtual :)4) How is it restrictive? All aircraft types are accepted. If you want to do barrel rolls with your friends, offline or gamespy is the place for that lol!5) Let's see for vatsim you need Squawkbox 4 OR FSInn, and of course flight sim ;) So basically you have one extra piece of software. There are forums for vatsim if you need help, or just ask, there are lots of guys around here that fly online.
and someone said "hard to understand what ATC is saying" - you think it's better in real flight? I was really having a hard time understanding what ATC was saying... that said, my Sennheiser headset is really good and I understand online ATC really well.
100% agree with this - I work rw traffic and let me tell you, sometimes it's impossible to understand pilots. Crappy headsets, crappy avionics, turbulence, weather, confidence level of pilot. Not to mention my side of the mic - crappy headset, distance and position of our ground transmitters to the aircraft, stuff breaking... the list goes on. If you feel the computerized voice of FSX or RC4, PFE etc is better than a human, you're missing the fun of a human interaction.

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Oh yeah, and downsides (or problems, if you want) are all in your head.One of the things I've learned on our last seminar: problems are in your head, you create them. Problems are not in the world. It's only your perspective of things. And only you can influence it.

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On principle I'm interested in trying it but unfortunately I have cockpit security issues (cat intrusions) that require pausing the sim, so my setup isn't ideal. Sticking with RC4 for my IFR and FSX ATC for my VFR.

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On principle I'm interested in trying it but unfortunately I have cockpit security issues (cat intrusions) that require pausing the sim, so my setup isn't ideal. Sticking with RC4 for my IFR and FSX ATC for my VFR.
This is a valid point! I absolutely hear where you're coming from because I became a daddy just a few months ago. Sometimes I just have to disconnect :)

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Cats are pretty intelligent, dogs too, you should employ your cat as a co-pilot. I let one of my dogs be my co-pilot all the time, he is good at flying dog leg courses.Al

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Last night I flew ZGSZ to OMSJ. I really don't think there would have been any coverage, at any time of the day, or any day of the week. However, my RC was there and ready to go, with one little click of an icon!!Also, I don't use a mic on a computer!

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Last night I flew ZGSZ to OMSJ. I really don't think there would have been any coverage, at any time of the day, or any day of the week. However, my RC was there and ready to go, with one little click of an icon!!Also, I don't use a mic on a computer!
You could of course have flown it online with RC and AI as well and turned off RC if ATC somehow showed up (altho I do agree that it is unlikely that you'll find ATC at weird places, especially during off-hours)

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3) You're a pro then I take it? There's always an opportunity to learn, whether it be rw aviation or virtual :)
I'm not a pro, that's my point. If you screw up or don't repond in what is deemed as a reasonable time you get a less than favorable response. My point stands.
4) How is it restrictive? All aircraft types are accepted. If you want to do barrel rolls with your friends, offline or gamespy is the place for that lol!
It's restrictive because offline I can fly as I wish. Choose my current flight level, change it if I wish, select a runway, choose another if I wish regardless of what the controller wants.
5) Let's see for vatsim you need Squawkbox 4 OR FSInn, and of course flight sim ;) So basically you have one extra piece of software. There are forums for vatsim if you need help, or just ask, there are lots of guys around here that fly online.
I've had a number of issues with FSInn. Conflicts with other software, disconnects, stops working, etc. I don't need another link in the chain to break.
I work rw traffic and let me tell you, sometimes it's impossible to understand pilots. Crappy headsets, crappy avionics, turbulence, weather, confidence level of pilot. Not to mention my side of the mic - crappy headset, distance and position of our ground transmitters to the aircraft, stuff breaking... the list goes on. If you feel the computerized voice of FSX or RC4, PFE etc is better than a human, you're missing the fun of a human interaction.
Just because the fact that having difficulty in hearing the controller is realistic does not suddenly make that an enjoyable fact. The whole point is to be able to effectively communicate the instructions, not play the "huh?" game back and forth.All this is just my opinion, and devout fans of online flying have always had a similar reaction when I state this preference. The beauty of this hobby is we have options and are all free to choose what we prefer, and can call enjoyment.

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I have found VATSIM coverage areas are actually pretty good in both Europe (in particular the UK, Swedish airspace, and Germany) and the USA depending upon time zone prime-time and fly-in's etc. Canada is very well covered too.I am not quite sure what there is to "refuse" regarding online flight as it is totally optional and being a sim one can enjoy it as you like. Personally I tend to do 95% of my flights with X-Plane on VATSIM (namely because the built-in ATC is laughable and the XSquawkbox plug-in is completely unobtrusive). With FSX I suppose I am now about 50-50 depending on if I wish to see my Ultimate Traffic stuff flying around and if I can stand the FSInn UI that does seem to affect framerates a bit although you can totally minimize the UI to a tiny single column strip and park it out of the way. Without exception I have found the volunteer controllers on VATSIM to be extremely professional at what they do and they work hard to learn that aspect of our simulator hobby. I also enjoy hearing the "real" chatter and practicing my various "hello's, thank you for great service etc" in ten different languages just to be friendly :(.Then again I don't normally "fly" more than 3 hours max for my routes and when I am on call for my real world job I avoid online flight as I need that "pause" button-it can be real frustrating to be on final and have the bleeper go off.I guess after this little ramble the best suggestion I could make is don't knock it until you have tried it!p.s. If I might suggest routings that have almost nightly coverage in EU prime time check out legs between London-area airports and Sweden (ESSA) or Germany. In the USA the PNW area from KSEA/CYVR is usually covered as well (nice for the ORBX junkies I imagine) and I think the Moncton folks are there daily too (do they ever sleep? lol).Remember you can always have fun by requesting VFR flight-following or touch n go's or whatever-online flight is not remotely restricted to IFR long haul. And even with no ATC about you can still practice all your procedures and communicate intentions with fellow pilots. Just my two cents/pence/currency of choice.

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I've flown quite some hours on vatsim and I fully recognize your complaints.Both SB and FSinn suck mayor ***:-Both kill FSAA-SB crashes with player.cpp errors-FSinn causes problems with wilco 737 etc.Let's hope the new client will be released anytime soonAlso, coverage isn't always great. Unlike some say, i think europe's coverage is actually better. Especially UK.Because the distances is so much smaller the chance of short-haul flights with ATC is bigger.And there are plenty of events btw.

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