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NRiese

Vatsim and aircraft - how much knowledge is needed?

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Hi!

 

The last couple of days I have been watching several videos, reading Vatsim guides and trying to figure out what's needed in order to start flying.

 

Apparently it's literally every single mechanism you need to know which makes me pretty frustrated as I only know the basics and a little more in my iFly 738. Has someone got any experience with Vatsim? I guess I might be too impatient to learn and read on forums and websites how and what to do. I preffer watching a 5-hour-video telling me everything I need to know about the plane and Vatsim, but these videos don't exist ;-)

 

Anyway, I guess everyone's been there. How did you study and learned everything about not only vatsim but also your aircraft? Right now I just feel like giving up on Vatsim and flying offline casual, and maybe that's the right thing to do for now. But I just wanted to hear how you guys got there. Right now I am at a point where I just can't control the aircraft, listen to the ATC and undestanding the ATC, taking notes etc. all at once.

 

Happy New year!

 

- Nikolas

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I would focus on mastering (or at least becoming proficient enough with normal operations) before adding the VATSIM piece to it. Learning the aircraft, ATC procedures and rules, and the VATSIM network interface piece all at once is likely going to be daunting enough to burn almost anyone out.

 

Aviating and airmanship are absolutely the core skills you need to develop first. If you can't control the aircraft on the network proficiently (for aircraft like the 737 on an IFR flight plan, this includes understanding how to fly SIDs/STARs, holding, and multiple types of approaches beyond ILS and visual), you'll more than likely frustrate yourself and cause problems for the other pilots and controllers around you.

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Vatsim or Ivao are probably the most underrated parts of flight sim and are without doubt must try options for all simmers.

 

I agree its a steep learning curve but addictive once you reach a fairly basic level, ...if you can handle FSX  ATC then you are just about there...have a pen to write down instructions and put newbie in flight plan remarks and maybe avoid events to start with and select quiet areas  to gain confidence where ATC may not even be there but at least you are getting familiar with the pilot client and seeing other simmers online.

 

Go for it....join now.

 

Vatsim has a FNO event every friday night and  its kzfw tonight.....park up at kzfw and put monitor in the remarks and listen to the event on several frequencies.

 

Vatsim and IVAO  are easily the best freeware you will find and its human interaction with other enthusiasts..

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I tell people that when you are first starting with vatsim, use something simple like a 172.  When you see a center controller in the US, it generally means that center controller is controlling a large region of airspace and so you can pick two small airports within that region and get full atc coverage.  In the mean time, spend some more time offline flying the Ifly 737 and watching youtube videos about how to operate it.

 

The two most important things you need to have a good handle on when flying an airliner in the sim are use of the autopilot and using the FMC.  When you feel comfortable in those areas, only then would I recommend flying the 737 on vatsim.  VATSIM has a lot of resources to help get you started if you visit their main website.  

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To fly on Vatsim you need to be comfortable with the following:

 

1) File a valid flight plan (easy to find online at flightaware.com for North America).

2) Fly the flight plan and be able to go direct to a specific waypoint.

3) Holding is required but very rarely.

4) Be able to follow basic directions.....turn left 240 degrees, descend 5000, etc.  (it sounds strange but lot of pilots seem to have trouble with this part).

5) Read and follow a SID and STAR chart.

6) Intercept ILS and land.  Fly visual approach.

7) Readback instructions.

8) Enter squawk code in your transponder.

 

 

You don't need to know every detail of the aircraft you are flying but you should know how to fly it, follow directions, not bust an altitude restriction, etc.  The main thing once you can do the above is actually listening carefully to what is asked and reading it back.  Clearances should be written down so you remember what to read back.  

 

I would suggest you start at a quiet airport with a tower controller and fly to another quiet airport with same.  Most likely the controllers on tower are also new to controlling (or into their training) and looking to practice with some traffic.  Download Vatspy to find the appropriate airports.

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Hi!

I'm also new to VATSIM. In fact, I just did my first two days ago from TNCM to TBPB in the PMDG NGX for my VA, Worldwide Virtual. And it was a success surprisingly  :lol:

There was no ATC at TNCM, but there was other traffic, but at TBPB, they had ATIS, tower, and ground. When I was about 15NM from TBPB, ATC told me to do a 360 degree turn so this way I could follow an A319 to the runway. This was a bit odd, but I handled it. Yesterday, I did a complete flight from JFK to KMIA with almost full ATC (no delivery though at JFK). It's honestly not that difficult. I'm not even old enough for a driver's license and I still managed  :P. There are a few things I would recommend though before your first flight.

> Sit at an airport gate with nearly full ATC (JFK's always busy). Just listen in and take in everything you're hearing.

> Be sure you know how to fly a SID and STAR (although, in modern planes, this is pretty easy)

> Know your aircraft. Be sure you can fly it by hand. I usually capture the localizer so the plane will line itself up. I'll just fly it down manually.

> If anything, there's always autoland!

> Use a tablet. I have all the airport charts, SID charts, etc. on my tablet to make it easier so I know what regulations have to be followed in the area... and to save paper.

> Just follow ATC's directions and repeat what they say, except when they tell you to standby. Don't forget your squawk code!

> When using UNICOM, I like to report my altitude, where I am, where I'm going and what I'm gonna do. Of course, it's less "formal" than talking to ATC.

 

I've also created a quick start guide (because I have no life) on the ground for my own reference, but I'll put it here:

Top-Down Hierarchy

1.      Delivery = [iCAO]_DEL

2.      Ground = [iCAO]_GND

3.      Tower = [iCAO]_TWR                                                          

4.      Approach / Radar = [iCAO]_APP

5.      Center / Area = [iCAO]_CTR

 

Clearance Checklist

1.      Callsign

2.      Aircraft Type

3.      ATIS (gives all relevant information) Letter Received at the end of ATIS

         Example: Listen to ATIS - look for weather, runway in use, QNH, “information _”

Then, tune to DEL

 

Delivery Clearance Conversation Example

·         ME: “[ARPT] Delivery, good evening [AIRLINE] ####, [AIRCRAFT TYPE] with information ____, QNH of ####, request clearance to ____.”

·         CONTROLLER: “[CALLSIGN], [ARPT] Delivery, cleared to ____ over ____ departure, runway ____, squawk ####.”

·         ME: “Cleared to ____, ____ departure, runway ____, with squawk ####, [CALLSIGN].”

·         CONTROLLER: “[CALLSIGN], readback correct. Information is ____, QNH ####, report when fully ready.”

·         ME: “Report when fully ready, [CALLSIGN].”
**If there’s no DEL, talk with higher up.

 

I may finish it later on, but I feel like I understand what's going on now. And don't forget: It's OK to make a mistake!

 

I hope this helps  :BigGrin:

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I would focus on mastering (or at least becoming proficient enough with normal operations) before adding the VATSIM piece to it. Learning the aircraft, ATC procedures and rules, and the VATSIM network interface piece all at once is likely going to be daunting enough to burn almost anyone out.

 

Aviating and airmanship are absolutely the core skills you need to develop first. If you can't control the aircraft on the network proficiently (for aircraft like the 737 on an IFR flight plan, this includes understanding how to fly SIDs/STARs, holding, and multiple types of approaches beyond ILS and visual), you'll more than likely frustrate yourself and cause problems for the other pilots and controllers around you.

 

I do know the basics of SIDs and STARs, how they work, how to put them in your route (FMC) etc. Sometimes it tells me that the route is inconsistent, which I have no idea why it should be. Things like these I definitely need to somehow find out what I am doing wrong. The iFly forums is always telling me to study manuals, and rarely a manual is helpful, at least in my opinion, where video tutorials are a lot more helpful. I'll see if I can find some complete-flight tutorials for iFly 737 and check how to handle things I am unsure of.

 

 

 

I agree its a steep learning curve but addictive once you reach a fairly basic level, ...if you can handle FSX  ATC then you are just about there...have a pen to write down instructions and put newbie in flight plan remarks and maybe avoid events to start with and select quiet areas  to gain confidence where ATC may not even be there but at least you are getting familiar with the pilot client and seeing other simmers online.

 

I know how to handle the in-build FSX ATC when flying offline if that's what you're talking about. This is in my opinion a lot more different as you get every message on text and with a understandable, 'clean' voice, while the videos I've watched on YouTube and several guides it appears that the controllers mic's are pretty bad. I am not sure if that's just me, if it has something to do with the quality of the videos or whatever, but to write down what they say and how to readback correctly is one thing - another thing is to actually understand the nato phonetic alphabet and all the numbers. Sometimes I think it goes very fast and there's a lot of these to remember. If the voice isn't very clean combined with the fast-speaking ATC's I find it too hard to understand 100%. 

 

 

To fly on Vatsim you need to be comfortable with the following:

 

1) File a valid flight plan (easy to find online at flightaware.com for North America).

2) Fly the flight plan and be able to go direct to a specific waypoint.

3) Holding is required but very rarely.

4) Be able to follow basic directions.....turn left 240 degrees, descend 5000, etc.  (it sounds strange but lot of pilots seem to have trouble with this part).

5) Read and follow a SID and STAR chart.

6) Intercept ILS and land.  Fly visual approach.

7) Readback instructions.

8) Enter squawk code in your transponder.

 

1) Check

2) Check

3) Not exactly sure what this is actually

4) Check

5) Check - I do get SIDs and STARs and transitions, transition altitudes etc. but I am not exactly sure how detailed a SID and STAR chart is and therefore I can't tell you exactly if I can follow a chart like this.

6) I am pretty sure I got this right, too. Not too sure and this will be one of the things I definitely need to check some guides for.

7) Look earlier in this post :)

8) Check

 

 

 

You don't need to know every detail of the aircraft you are flying but you should know how to fly it, follow directions, not bust an altitude restriction, etc.  The main thing once you can do the above is actually listening carefully to what is asked and reading it back.  Clearances should be written down so you remember what to read back.  

 

So I do know the basics for flying and a bit more. I can easily startup the aircraft from cold and dark, fly, land, and shut it down. I just don't get a lot of these flightexpressions like ILS etc. I know it's Instrument Landing System (it is, right? :D) but what exactly is under this category I am not sure of. Also I am not sure exactly what in the cockpit overhead panel is for what. Again, more videos ;) Shouldn't be a problem at all when it comes to follow directions etc. If I get what the ATC says I shouldn't be having problems reading back correctly, but my problem is that too many informations and a fast-speaking controller I am lost :)

 

 

 

> Sit at an airport gate with nearly full ATC (JFK's always busy). Just listen in and take in everything you're hearing.

 

So, if I go to the airport the ATC won't speak to me if I tune the tower for example? ;-)

Thanks for the guide btw, I'll write it down. 

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Holding is basically a pattern to follow if ATC doesn't want you to land yet while keeping you in their airspace. I've personally never had to be put in a holding pattern, but it can sometimes happen if there's a ridiculous amount of traffic trying to land. There are probably some tutorials on YouTube is you need help.

And about listening to ATC. Let's say you go to JFK and tune to ground (121.9, I think?), as long as you don't hit your push-to-talk button (which is assigned via Squawkbox or FSInn, VATSIM clients) they shouldn't hear you.

 

Oh, and some extra tips!  :BigGrin:

> I always lower the volume of FSX before starting a flight in VATSIM (engine volume to 15-20%) so I can understand the controllers. Don't be afraid to ask them to repeat what they said too.

> Always have a pencil and paper on hand so you can remember what ATC said to do.

> I don't know if this is modeled on iFly's 737, but on the NGX, there are some rotating number dial thingys on the yoke. I use this to have quick access to frequencies so I don't have to memorize or write them down if things are moving fast.

> Download VATSpy so you know if you're entering controlled airspace. Plus, it has all the needed frequencies.

> On Android devices (idk about Apple), there's a free app called Vatalert that tells you if you're entering controlled airspace.

> Start off with airports that have little to no traffic like I did. It's a bit less chaotic and there's less noise, so it should keep you calmer.

 

That's all I have for now  :smile:

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Holding is basically a pattern to follow if ATC doesn't want you to land yet while keeping you in their airspace. I've personally never had to be put in a holding pattern, but it can sometimes happen if there's a ridiculous amount of traffic trying to land. There are probably some tutorials on YouTube is you need help.

And about listening to ATC. Let's say you go to JFK and tune to ground (121.9, I think?), as long as you don't hit your push-to-talk button (which is assigned via Squawkbox or FSInn, VATSIM clients) they shouldn't hear you.

 

Oh, and some extra tips!  :BigGrin:

> I always lower the volume of FSX before starting a flight in VATSIM (engine volume to 15-20%) so I can understand the controllers. Don't be afraid to ask them to repeat what they said too.

> Always have a pencil and paper on hand so you can remember what ATC said to do.

> I don't know if this is modeled on iFly's 737, but on the NGX, there are some rotating number dial thingys on the yoke. I use this to have quick access to frequencies so I don't have to memorize or write them down if things are moving fast.

> Download VATSpy so you know if you're entering controlled airspace. Plus, it has all the needed frequencies.

> On Android devices (idk about Apple), there's a free app called Vatalert that tells you if you're entering controlled airspace.

> Start off with airports that have little to no traffic like I did. It's a bit less chaotic and there's less noise, so it should keep you calmer.

 

That's all I have for now  :smile:

Thank you! :-) I'll check out some videos on YouTube explaining holding. Not sure about the numbers on the yoke, I'll check it out later. Would indeed be nice to have quick access to frequencies.

 

I guess I'll have to watch some videos on YouTube now on some iFly guides. I'm thinking of buying PMDG 737 soon when they make the PMDG planes compatible with FSX-SE. A bit more guides and hopefully I'll be flying soon!

 

I have already setup VATSIM and vPilot, downloaded VATspy and joined Norweigan Virtual. All needed now is some more knowledge of the ATC and a bit more knowledge of the plane itself :)

Oh, and I passed my first VATSIM PTD exam pretty easy, hurray!

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As for SIDs and STARs, being able to select the procedure in the planes FMC is definitely not enough. You need to be able to read the charts and understand what they are telling you. You need to be able to fly the procedure manually completely without the help of the flight computer. A lot of the time the flight computer is simply not flying the procedure correctly, you need to be able to identify this in your fmc and manually fix it (or just fly the segment manually). You are excepted to be able to fly the plan that you filed, that means being able to hand fly a procedure like a STAR, or at least understand every little aspect about the procedure that you filed. If you don't know how to fly a procedure then don't file it!

 

In Europe you rarely file the procedures, you get assigned them by ATC while in-air. If you don't know how to fly a procedure that you have been assigned then let the controller know about it and he'll find some kind of workaround (vectors for the approach). Don't read back something you don't understand, if you don't understand then tell the controller to clarify. 

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If you don't know how to fly a procedure then don't file it!

 

This times 1000.

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I think the main thing with the SID's and STAR's is being able to meet altitude and speed restrictions and also knowing which sections of the SID / STAR you will be given vectors.  So for example the SID's out of CYYZ there is a first waypoint but you get vectors to that first waypoint.....it tells you this on the chart.  Same with the LOOP7 out of KLAX (

 

Based on your comments I think you are ready to jump in.  A lot of Vatsim is attitude and if you are willing to ask for clarification when unsure you will be fine. 

 

One more thing with regard to comms.  I would suggest you bite the bullet and use voice comms as much as possible.  Some new pilots are shy but that will go away in a few flights and you will find it sooo much easier talking and flying rather than typing and trying to fly.

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You are excepted to be able to fly the plan that you filed, that means being able to hand fly a procedure like a STAR, or at least understand every little aspect about the procedure that you filed. If you don't know how to fly a procedure then don't file it!

 

Let's say this: I am assigned a specific STAR for a specific airport. I find the airport chart and it tells me that when passing the waypoint X I need to reduce my speed to X knots and decend to FL X. Is this what you mean? It might be a stupid question, but I am not really sure. I can read charts pretty easy, put the route into the FMC and I know how to edit waypoints, airways, SIDs and STARs, RWY's etc. 

 

 

 


Based on your comments I think you are ready to jump in.  A lot of Vatsim is attitude and if you are willing to ask for clarification when unsure you will be fine.

 

I feel pretty confident, but at the same time I know I have to see a couple of more videos regarding the ATC on VATSIM's website. Also, I need a few more videos for the iFly 737! I guess it's positive though, thank you :-)

 

 

 


One more thing with regard to comms.  I would suggest you bite the bullet and use voice comms as much as possible.  Some new pilots are shy but that will go away in a few flights and you will find it sooo much easier talking and flying rather than typing and trying to fly.

 

Yup, sure thing! This has been my plan from the start.

 

Just to clarify - the ATC is giving me vectors for a specific runway, right? I need to type it into my ILS frequency etc. Is this the same place I enter the frequency for any atc?

 

Thanks again for all your help. Really appreciated! Don't know what to do without help from you guys  ^_^

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When they give you the ILS frequency, you have to put it in the NAV radios. It's right under the radios you use for ATC and says NAV on the left side of the panel. And yes, the charts will tell you speed and altitude requirements/restrictions.

I think you're ready!

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Yeah, hopefully! Still need to watch some more ATC vids and jump in and listen as you requested. I'll do that tomorrow.

Yeah, hopefully! Still need to watch some more ATC vids and jump in and listen as you requested. I'll do that tomorrow.

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Don't know what happened to the post above. Probably my mobile :-)

 

Anyways, one more question! Right now I have turned Indicated Airspeed on in FSX. However, when I am looking to file a flightplan by using the vatsim.net/fp it says I need to enter the speed in True Airspeed. I know how to calculate online what 350 IAS is in TAS if we're flying FL320 and the temperature is 20 degrees F. But do I need to change the speed settings in FSX to true airspeed when setting up VNAV etc.?

 

Also, when I have my flightplan ready how do I deliver it to tower? Will they automatically be able to see my flight plan? Thanks again!!

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When they give you the ILS frequency, you have to put it in the NAV radios. It's right under the radios you use for ATC and says NAV on the left side of the panel. And yes, the charts will tell you speed and altitude requirements/restrictions.

I think you're ready!

 

Okay, so I just did a flight from EKBI - EKCH. Everything went fine until the descend. The VNAV didn't seem to work at all. What I did was open the FMC, go to legs and check the speed and altitude was set and finally execute. If I turn on VNAV shouldn't it do the job for me and descend, adjusting speed etc.? Also the localizer wasn't working apparently. I had set the ILS frequency for RWY 22R which is 110,90 and I double-checked on the map. The localizer didn't say so. Any idea what I did wrong here? 

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Have you already checked the VATSIM Training Departmnent at http://ptd.vatsim.net/ ?

There you can find a list of Authorized Training Organizations (ATOs) at http://ptd.vatsim.net/atos .

See if your division has one.

 

Marcelo Duran.

Yup, I have. I passed a test online, not sure exactly what it was but some kind of VATSIM pilot training. I'm pretty sure I can connect to VATSIM soon. I'll do a test flight later and pretend it's VATSIM. I still don't understand why VNAV isn't working though. If anybody knows please let me know if I might be doing something wrong or if it's a bug, I've done some researching but can't find a solution on this. 

 

Is there anyway to find a overview listed all the things I need to know about my airplane? I am really not sure what more I need if I need to know more. I guess autoland etc. isn't needed. 

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I can't talk for Vatsim as I use IVAO both for flying AND controlling from time to time. But when I'm at Amaterdam (Tower or Ground) I expect the pilots who come in to know what to do. Yes a mistake is possible and I make them as well, but when I tell someone taxi and hold short instructions I demand from my pilots that the obey those commands otherwise I have to guide other airplanes around last minute and with 15 moving aircraft I might oversea something.

 

When I am at Rotterdam Approach/Departure I have more room for new pilots as it's a much smaller regional airport so I can assist newcomers. So if your new to this I advise you to fly to smaller airports where they have more room for mistakes.

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...I am assigned a specific STAR...and it tells me that when passing the waypoint X I need to reduce my speed to X knots and decend to FL X. Is this what you mean?

 

This can get confusing sometimes, but it typically does NOT mean "when passing".  It usually means "before crossing".  Let's say you are descending on a STAR at 280KIAS and the next waypoint (we'll call it ALPHA) has a speed and altitude restriction of 230KIAS and 14,000 feet.  It does not mean you start to descend to 14,000 and start to slow to 230KIAS when you reach ALPHA.  It means BEFORE you get to ALPHA you have to be at 230KIAS and 14,000 feet.  That may have been what you meant, just the way you said it made it sound like you would be late.

 

As for VATSIM, I've been a member since 2008.  My first flight was terrifying, but the most fun I have had with Flight Simulator since I started this hobby way back when the Commodore 64 (you young ones will have to google that) had a B747 Simulator for it.  Definitely sit on the ramp at a busy airport some evening (away from the terminal so you are not blocking space) and just listen to the ATC-Pilot interactions.  That alone will increase your comfort factor as you learn what is being said, what will be said, and what your response should be similar to.  Understanding ATC becomes a lot easier when you can "predict" what they will tell you.  Biggest mistake I see new members do on VATSIM is they all want to fly into or out of LAX, JFK, Heathrow, ORD, and DFW.  High volume airports are fun when you get a little experience, but can be demoralizing before that point.  ATC is busier and has less time per pilot to help in the learning process.  I started at Boise/Gowen Field close to my real location and sort of "eased" into bigger places like Salt Lake City and Seattle.  I avoided LAX like the plague until I signed up for KZLA's Pilot Cert program and now you can't keep me out of there.  It's a step by step progression.  Baby Steps, my friend, Baby Steps.

 

As for learning nothing from the manuals, I disagree.  I print out and binder all the operating manuals I can get my hands on.  Worse thing in the world ATC will want to hear is "Hold on, let me check out a youtube video on what you are sking me to do."  The people in the youtube videos know exactly what they are doing...hopefully...and often times tend to gloss over or rapidly click that one switch or button that is extremely important.

 

Charts, charts, charts.  I can't mention that enough and it's been said already.  There are many freeware sources for charts.  I have twelve binders of charts...and they are all current.  Having it available either in hard copy or digitally as you fly is important.  They are a quick reference and believe it or not, makes it easier to understand which "obscure" waypoint you are being directed to by ATC when they are hard to understand.  Hearing the name, even if you didn't understand, and then looking on the chart will provide you with visusal feedback for what you just heard.

 

okay, I'll shut up now, but you can see I'm passionate about this hobby and VATSIM.  Jump in...you're gonna love it!

 

Randy

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I can't talk for Vatsim as I use IVAO both for flying AND controlling from time to time. But when I'm at Amaterdam (Tower or Ground) I expect the pilots who come in to know what to do. Yes a mistake is possible and I make them as well, but when I tell someone taxi and hold short instructions I demand from my pilots that the obey those commands otherwise I have to guide other airplanes around last minute and with 15 moving aircraft I might oversea something.

 

When I am at Rotterdam Approach/Departure I have more room for new pilots as it's a much smaller regional airport so I can assist newcomers. So if your new to this I advise you to fly to smaller airports where they have more room for mistakes.

Understandable! I will of course start somewhere not as busy as the big airports. Thinking of EKCH - LSZH for example. I'm not sure about the traffic at LSZH though. Might bee too busy an airport.

 

 

 

This can get confusing sometimes, but it typically does NOT mean "when passing".  It usually means "before crossing".  Let's say you are descending on a STAR at 280KIAS and the next waypoint (we'll call it ALPHA) has a speed and altitude restriction of 230KIAS and 14,000 feet.  It does not mean you start to descend to 14,000 and start to slow to 230KIAS when you reach ALPHA.  It means BEFORE you get to ALPHA you have to be at 230KIAS and 14,000 feet.  That may have been what you meant, just the way you said it made it sound like you would be late.

 

Okay, thank you! Good to know that it's before crossing the point.

 

 

 

(away from the terminal so you are not blocking space) and just listen to the ATC-Pilot interactions

 

Where then? Am I able to jump in and listen without placing my aircraft at a gate or ramp? :-)

 

 

 

hat alone will increase your comfort factor as you learn what is being said, what will be said, and what your response should be similar to.

 

Yup, sure! So, I basically connect to Vatsim, go to let's say JFK and just sit there and listen? In my vPilot client there's a room called "Observers". Am I supposed to join this room? Or just the tower or ground or whatever?

 

 

 

As for learning nothing from the manuals, I disagree.  I print out and binder all the operating manuals I can get my hands on.  Worse thing in the world ATC will want to hear is "Hold on, let me check out a youtube video on what you are sking me to do."  The people in the youtube videos know exactly what they are doing...hopefully...and often times tend to gloss over or rapidly click that one switch or button that is extremely important.

 

It's not like I haven't checked the manuals at all. I am just not patient enough to sit for hours and reading through every bit as usually I know half the stuff and therefore I find it easier to look after the specific operations I want to know more about. As for the VNAV right now I don't get why it doesn't work when I am descending. I go to legs > put in the speed and altitudes for each waypoint > and activating VNAV. This doesn't work for some reason.  LNAV works which is weird. Heading select, level change etc. works as well. So, either in a case like this I find it much easier to ask here or at the iFly forums at least to start off with. People on Avsim are always very helpful! And the second thing I do is to check YouTube, make sure I understand every bit and if not the last thing I'll do is to check the manuals. FS2Crew is very helpful too I think. I'm using it for my iFly and by using that you'll get some extra hands in the cockpit and actually some help if you're stuck somewhere or has forgot to set something.

 

Looks like VATSIM has their own charts or at least have websites linked to where you can get charts. I am definitely going to get them every time! 

As for now I need some time to go through a couple more VATSIM ATC videos and find out what's wrong with the VNAV. And again, make sure that I know what's needed to know of my aircraft for flying online and at the same time being able to communicate with the ATC :-)

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I'll just use this one instead of making a new thread - I can't see where to turn squawking standby using vPilot. Do I have to do this inside the plane above the panel? Looks like you have a seperate button if you are using FSinn in the menu. 

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I used vPilot once. It's on the main menu/window thing. I think you can also choose your ident via FSX's Addons menu. I prefer FSInn, tbh. A LOT more user-friendly.

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I should have added to my original post, why jump right in with a 737?  If you want to explore VATSIM, why not try out VFR in a piston away from congested fields at first?

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