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Beginner Questions

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This is my first post!  I have flown many flights on FSX before now, however every single one of them have been offline and not on a network such as Vatsim.  I'm thinking about going online soon but first I have a few questions:


  • How do I decide what my callsign should be?  Can it be something I come up with randomly or does it come with the flightplan?
  • Leading on from that, how do I decide what the flight number should be?  I use Simbrief to plan my flights and it asks for the airline and the flight number - is this random as well or does it come from somewhere else?
  • Also, how do I determine what the registration of the aircraft I'm flying is?  I use a PMDG 737 NGX most of the time and if I wanted to add it to another program and it asks for it's registration, how can this be identified/changed?

I hope this makes sense and if you need anymore information please don't hesitate to contact me


Thanks in advance :)

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Hi there,


You can choose any callsign you want. If you're simulating an airline route, you should use the appropriate three-letter ICAO airline identifier (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airline_codes) and related callsign on voice, followed by a flight number (e.g. BAW123). If you're simulating a particular airline's routes you could find the real callsigns on a site such as FlightRadar24, but there's nothing to stop you making it up -- as I say, I'd start with the airline code and then some numbers. The only restriction is that two pilots on the network can't have the same callsign (it just won't let you connect and will tell you why) -- the solution in this instance is just to modify your callsign. Some just add an A in this situation (e.g. BAW123 --> BAW123A) -- I personally would recommend changing it a little more (say, BAW123 --> BAW12AB) to avoid confusion should you both turn up on the same frequency!


Non-airline (i.e. GA) flights generally use the aircraft registration. The only thing to note here is that, strictly speaking, dashes shouldn't be used -- so G-EGLL painted on the side of the aircraft should be entered as GEGLL in the 'callsign' box when you connect to VATSIM. That's certainly not a rule, but it is in keeping with real-world practice.


In Simbrief, there's no distinction between commercial flight number (what you see as a passenger, i.e. BA208) and ATC callsign (what's used on the radio/ATC flightplan, i.e. BAW34N) and most OFP formats seem to interpret it as the ATC callsign, so I'd put in the numerical bit of the callsign you intend to use on the radio (so in this case, I'd enter BAW in the airline field and 34N in the flight number field).


In terms of registration -- I don't own the NGX, but from my experience of PMDG products to physically change what's on the side of the aircraft you'd probably need to install a new paint scheme. From an airline flying point of view, it's not particularly important as the aircraft registration isn't used on the radio and doesn't need to be included in a VATSIM flightplan.


Hope that helps.

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