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Guest Gordius

TO GET THE MOST REALISTIC EXPERIENCE

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Guest cactus

I have been a lont time member of VATSIM (Satco) in the day. I see that approx 90,000 members on the VATSIM site. Thats incredible. BUT whenever I look on Servinfo there is on average 500 people signed in. Thats not that impressive for 90,000 members. Thats just a bit under .05% of the total membership. I am wondering why there is not that much participation. I have it narrowed down to some things.1) To hard to hook into VATSIM. Well thanks to Joel he cured that. And amazingly I bet the participation jumped form an average of 250-300 to 500. Thats awesome. About an 70-80% increase. Thanks Joel.2) People find it intimidating or just do not "know" the IFR world. I think VATSIM is organizing a training department to introduce virtual pilots to learning how. Thats a spectacular idea.3)People are not aware of VATSIM. I have friends that went to the recent conference in San Diego. My friend was astonished by how few people even knew about it. I think he said about 5% of people even know about it. That suprises me. So the obvious thing to do here is get the virtual industry familiar with this astonishing realistic world of virtual air traffic. I should be running servinfo and seeing at least 1500-2000 people signed in at once. That should be the goal. Now how can do this. I know the guys in the FS development dept. have been given more insight to VATSIM. Now there is a way to get the popularity going. Maybe get MSFS to put an paper insert into the boxes of FS10 introducing them to VATSIM. Now instead of 5% of people knowing about VATSIM, 100% of people know about it. Guys if you really want to try VATSIM but are intimidated please don't be. there are great controllers out there that really help the new guy along. I for one am one. If there are any other ideas on how to promote this hobby in the world of virtual air traffic please leave the comments here. Maybe the BOG will take some ideas into account. Jack

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I second that, For those who are not familiar with vatsim you should really go over to their website and at least check it out. You have nothing to lose and IMHO a lot to gain.Im not sure if im allowed to post their url on her but its www.vatsim.net It is very amazing and makes it that much more realistic. And as mentioned above it is very easy to connect and get going(Thanks to Joel).


Gerry
Prepar3D V4 - PMDG 747/400- PMDG 737 - Majestic Dash 8 - Activesky 16 - ASCA - ORBX FTX Global base pack - ORBX NA LC - ORBX HD Trees - Precipitfx - Chaseplane - Carenado PC-12, QW 787, FT(CYYZ, KBOS, CYUL), FB (KIAD,KPDX,KSFO), FSDT (CYVR), FSimstudios (CYYC), Aerosoft A320 pro.

System: Intel I7 7700 / 12 GB Ram / Windows 10 - 64 bit / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB / 32" Acer Monitor

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Guest Jaguar XJ6

The basic problem is that there is no one there when you want them. And, when you do give it a go, you experience - for example - perhaps one controller for all of London, Heathrow and the surrounding area.If EC data protection laws were stricly observed, the 90,000 members you mention may be substantially reduced.Microsoft does promote VATSIM - but, even with that fillip, only 0.05% seem to participate at any one time. Truth is that VATSIM is a relic from FS 2000 and before. These days, FS 2004, Vox ATX and Radar Contact are all better.Michael

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Guest dolb

I used to not bother to get invovled, I thought it was too hard, However With SB3 it took minutes! And if your a beginner really, all you have to do is mimic the default ATC, Know Some basic flying skills and your on your way :(.I encourage everyone to use it :D!

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i cant say that VOXATC or Radar Conatct is better becuase Ive never tried either, But I can say that FS2004 default ATC is definetly not better.You are right though about one controller controling a huge area. But if vatsim had more active members there would be more ATC services. Controllers dont want to log on to watch an empty scope,hence the reason for the wide area of control. Their isnt enough pilots online to want controllers to control delivery, ground, approach and departure as well as center. although soemtimes in busy areas there are contorlers at all these facilities, but not often.Its like catch 22Pilots want controllers, Controllers want pilots.Not enough controllers for pilots to get interrested, Not enough pilots for controllers to get interrested.


Gerry
Prepar3D V4 - PMDG 747/400- PMDG 737 - Majestic Dash 8 - Activesky 16 - ASCA - ORBX FTX Global base pack - ORBX NA LC - ORBX HD Trees - Precipitfx - Chaseplane - Carenado PC-12, QW 787, FT(CYYZ, KBOS, CYUL), FB (KIAD,KPDX,KSFO), FSDT (CYVR), FSimstudios (CYYC), Aerosoft A320 pro.

System: Intel I7 7700 / 12 GB Ram / Windows 10 - 64 bit / NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB / 32" Acer Monitor

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Guest bobsk8

I had tried Vatsim years ago and it was really difficult to get everything together. Now with SB3, it is really simple. Once you fly with a real live controller, you will never go back to the robotic ATC. It takes a bit of work to get used to it, but it takes alot more work to learn to fly in the real world ATC.

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Guest cactus

Hey Jaguar. I beg to differ. I can tell you now NOTHING replaces the human. Not any ATC that anyone develops. Humans put the "unknown" into things. I have used the computer ATC and oh how freakin boring. I like it when the human factor is in place. You use any of those ATC programs and see if you declare an emergency if you hear ATC put 10 planes in a hold, etc.I do agree immensely with the catch 22 thing. Have you ever seen some of the flyins VATSIM holds? Some are incredible. The calscream is a legendary one. We held an awesome one quite a while ago in the CZEG airspace. All positions manned right down to FSS. It was great. Now i do think to spike the interest some things should have been done better. Just like building a company you start small and work big. for VATSIM it would have worked better if the same was done initially. work in a smaler area and expand from there. BUT you will always have people saying "i don't want to control there" or "i don't want to fly there". those things kind of kill the big picture. but thats my opinion. but lately there has been the TGIF where every friday a little flyin is planned. the thing is though it has become pretty big. to the point of looking at the radar screens and you have 40-50 planes in trail. and like i said currently there is about .05% of members logging on. If only 5% of ppl know about vatsim and there is say 50,000 members (as jaguar was stating about reduced membership) it doent take a brainiac to figure that if 100% of people knew about it that that would equate to 1,000,000 members. now if only .05% of the 1,000,000 members logge on that would equate to 5000 people on at one time. but then again that is to the extreme of things but to try and get the participation to 1000-2000 members at any one time is not unreasonable.There was that many the day Joel released SB3. Its kinda cool looking at your TCAS seeing traffic at you 9 oclock for 5 miles knowing there is someone in the world actually flying that plane. Now as for AI at my 9 oclock for 5 miles.........who cares.

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Guest

Those used to be reasons maybe, but no more (or to a far lesser degree).My current list:1) loss of interest. How many of those 90.000 have simply stopped using FS but are never removed from the memberlist? Despite the statements you MUST fly at least once a month or get your account cancelled I was pleased to find yesterday mine still worked after 6 months of inactivity. I know people who signed up years ago and couldn't get it to work who simply retrieved their password and were underway when FSInn was released.2) being scared away by rude and agressive controllers. We're getting awfully close to the end days of SATCO with controller behaviour. Ever more seem to think those pesky pilots are there only to be bossed around by them and chewed out for every smallest deviation from what they (the controllers) think the rules to be. Some regions are worse in that regard than others.3) lack of controllers where you want to fly. There seem to be hotspots where there's always controllers online (mainly Europe and a few places in the US and Asia), the rest of the world is bare. As I fly mainly in South America it's a rare day I find a controller within a thousand miles of my track. At least with FS ATC there's always something even if it's not as good as a well trained VATSIM controller could have been had he been there which he isn't.

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Guest cactus

I somewhat agree to that. There are some controllers that are too aggressive. Sometimes is justified and sometimes not. If I was a new pilot going on vatsim i definately wouldn't pick the busiest airport out there. Try picking one that has a few airplanes. It doesn get frustratng controlling when youare busy and some guy steps on your comms all the time but that is just learning when to talk and when not to. You mention the lack of controllers where you want to fly. question is why do you want to fly where you do? i bet it is because you are used to that place. ask yourself if there is any fun in going to the same airports over and over and over again. try something new. why not just go to where the atc is. it is a LOT easier for a pilot to change airports than an ATC to change them. i couldn't just pick up and atc at say KATL without knowing the airspace but i sure could fly there without any problem even if it is the first time going there. i am trying to find what will increase the participation on vatsim so keep the input going. thx.

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Guest ssurjap

I think another reason why people are reluctant (or afraid) to go online is also the computer they have.I have a low-end computer (P4-1.6) and, during one of the system-wide fly-in, I was down to single digit frame rates. This is also due to the fact that I was running ActiveSky and Squawkbox.

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Oh, I could write a book about the things that you have described!While VATSIM and IVAO are great tools and I could easily could get hooked on flying online all the time, I don't fly online very often. Why? Very simple, because 90% of the time when I fly there is spotty or no ATC coverage on my routes at all and I am flying all alone as in FS2000 5 years ago.I do like realism and I do like to see my $30 richly-detailed airport swarming with airplanes. I don't want to be the only gig in town.Ultimate Traffic and (soon) RCv4 will give me all I need in terms of realism. I have close-to-real traffic all around me and have an excellent ATC program with non-robotic voices.The problem is that it takes a lot of time to learn how to work ATC and how to do it right. Another big minus is that some VATSIM ARTCCs are extremely unflexible of letting controllers work a position outside their ARTCC (ATC area) and with that you'll get very densly populated ARTCCs and very deserted ARTCCs. This topic alone could fill a book from the VATSIM purists, because I do also agree at the same time that a controller is probably better, if he knows his area inside out, than being overwhelmed in an area that he is only vaguely familiar with.I can also speak from experience from the other side, as ATC. There were times when I was bored to death controlling an airport, because there was NOTHING for me to do. After weeks of training, I spent basically entire evenings/weekends staring at my ATC interface and had no traffic at all. That's why I gave up controlling.Plus, the creation of two independent ATC online systems (VATSIM and IVAO) does not help the cause at all. IMHO, they should merge and take the best of each others (virtual) organization. That should be easy to accomplish, no?Sure, I would love to see every airport buzzing, but it ain't gonna happen like that. Certainly not with two competing organizations. In real life you have an average of about 2500 planes in the air in the US alone per hour. At peak times with VATSIM/IVAO combined, we would've maybe 500 in the entire world.What would be extremly cool, would be a merge of the offline/online systems, so that a pilot could use MSATC or Radar Contact when no online ATC is available and preferably merge offline AI traffic ala Ultimate traffic with online traffic ** Developers: Hint, hint! **

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I'm not talking about controllers who get a bit antsy when someone does something stupid, I'm talking about controllers who hit on pilots for no reason at all (or for all the wrong reasons).Example: Was approaching EHAM from SSE which warrants a HELEN arrival which is exactly what I had selected. Controller insisted I had the wrong arrival selected and that it should have been a DENUT arrival (which is SSW). Either he had the charts wrong in his mind (unlikely as he was a highranking controller with years of experience on the station), he hadn't checked where I was coming in from, or he was just out to make trouble.Went so far as to threaten to ban me from the network over a supposed incorrect STAR.Worse yet, the only difference between those two is the entry points, and those are maybe 20nm apart...Worse still, as soon as I passed the DENUT (I decided to humour the guy) he threw me off the arrival and guided me direct to EHAM and into heavy traffic for the approach controller to sort out who already was juggling 5 aircraft that were (because of that sector controller) in no proper lineup whatsoever.Given the experience level and seniority of that controller I can only surmise that he was on a serious powertrip both towards pilots and other controllers, considering everyone else to be online only to humour him.Had I been a new pilot instead of one with several hundred hours on VATSIM and thousands in FS over the last 6 years that one experience might well have scared me away from the network for good.

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Guest georg

This is a real good topic and thanks for starting it!I have been VATSIM member for several years and I'm NEVER flying offline except if I test some new addon first time. VATSIM has given the airliner pilot-like ATC skills to many who have gone into real world aviation including me and I think VATSIM together with the ATCs deserve great thanks from all of us.I've thought about the same thing - so many members, but so little participation. Yep, 2000 or so would be something which we would love to see.VATSIM should certainly get some more advertising and mention in different places, including real world aviation magazines like AOPA Pilot or AOPA Student Magazine. Another good idea is adding some information of VATSIM to the FS box.On the other hand, do we really want the huge masses of people to come to VATSIM without ANY knowledge of flying and not even talking about any radio comms? This is something to think about. VATSIM often demands skills similar to real airliner pilots, especially the IFR flights. It is even a bit harder with larger airplanes in FS, because you have to do two or three men work alone by yourself. As an addition to flying in VATSIM, I'm also ATC in London Heathrow and can currently take Tower, Ground and Delivery positions. I must say that it's often very painful at EGLL, because the new users want to fly from the largest airport they know (which is often EGLL) and as ATC I have to give them some instructions or explain why they shouldn't fly from Heathrow yet. Usually it goes alright, but sometimes they get a bit angry and cannot understand why I just don't let them fly by saying it's just a game. It gets especially bad when there is a lot of other traffic to control. I still stick to the opinion that FS+VATSIM is NOT A GAME, but it's more like a training device for people who want to get into real aviation, who just want to fly as real as gets and also for pilots who want to keep their skills fresh.I've usually forwarded the new users to http://www.vatsim.net/prc which provides pretty much all the basic information needed for beginning in VATSIM network. If there are some people here interested in joining, but don't know what to do, then check that website out.

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Guest

I enjoy the super realistic AI traffic I have put into the game way too much to fly with a few airplanes here and there. I am not familiar with the terminology or all the correct procedures to fly online either. Personally I don't mind the robot AI as the world is full of traffic. Just today sitting at the ramp at Anchorage watching all the cargo birds come in was amazing

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Guest bobsk8

Being relatively new on Vatsim, but flying online for many years off and on, I am really impressed with the present Vatsim experience. Just some comments I would like to add:1. In general, almost every controller I have met in Vatsim has been friendly, and helpful, especially to the newbie. All you have to do is post on your flight plan you are new, and they will go out of their way to help you get going. 2. There are probably more bad pilots than there are bad controllers ( and I am not a controller) . I have observed people flying though controlled airpsace, without even trying to contact ATC, slewing around busy airports, popping up on the active as someone is coming in for a landing etc. In addition, I see pilots that can't even follow a heading or altitude instruction, flying 747's and Concordes. You should see some of the real time landings when you park by the runway at a busy airport, on Vatsim. 3. As far as activity, using Servinfo you can always see who is online, as far as both pilots and controllers. If I want to fly where their is alot of activity, I just look at the airspace that is heavily manned and fly there http://www.avsim.com/hangar/utils/servinfo/4. Several times a month, they have fly-ins in different parts of the world. The airspace really gets crowded, and if you want realism , this is pretty close to the real thing. In my Virtual Airline Web Site ( UPSVAC.Com) they have a weekly Vatsim VA flight called TGIF, that happens every friday night. You might fly into San Diego with possibly 30-50 other aircraft, and see about 10 controllers on line in that airspace along the flight route. I tried a program over a year or so ago that was supposed to simulate ATC, and I found it to be very unrealistic. I think the default ATC in FS9 was much better, but it still lacks the humam touch. Since I started on Vatsim, I fly almost all the time online, even when there isn't much activity. It just feels "more real".

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