Sign in to follow this  
Gregg_Seipp

Flying on VATSIM is pretty cool

Recommended Posts

I've been flying on VATSIM this last week and it's really cool.  Real people talking to real people.  The controllers were really nice and understanding.  I put a comment in my flight plan that I was "Pretty new at this" and, if you're nervous about it, like I was, it can help them to understand.  They like pilots...most of them do anyway.

 

So I flew from Toulouse France to Geneva in the A320, a short flight.  The weather at Toulouse was fine but just above minumums at Geneva.  I took off without ATC.  I was descending toward Geneva, aware that ATC was online, pretty unsure of what to expect or how I'd do.  They contacted me and changed my STAR as I was coming in...first unexpected thing.  Then they asked me to slow for traffic, descend without delay and I was so nervous about mucking up I couldn't remember my name much, let alone all the headings, frequencies, etc.  They told me to maintain 190 knots until 10 DME on the STAR.  I did my approach checklist.  When I got to 10 DME I slowed to final approach speed and then noticed my altitude...what?  I was lined up on final and expected to get the approach straightaway but...nope.  The STAR actually brings you over the top of the airport and back around on downwind and they were expecting me to fly it.  Ah...okay.  No problem.  So then they turn me on a heading off the STAR and explain they're switching runways.  New plan.  They vector me on downwind to the opposite runway, take me across final once and then, yes(!), I'm cleared for the approach.  Still haven't screwed up...things are good.  Then it got soupy...can't see crap.  Mountains on both sides.  My framerate dipped into the gutter near short final (turn off AI before connecting next time!).  I managed a reasonable landing, turned off and got some help from ground finding a place to park.  Wow, what a ride!

 

I'd do it again.

 

That's the way I like it.  Things happening, real requests for real reasons...not sterile at all.  I hope I keep flying to their standards.  Still a lot to learn but, that was an experience!

  • Upvote 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Hi Gregg,

 

yep, Vatsim is really cool. I will never forget my first flight, I think I've never sweated that much in my entire life :)

 

See you on Vatsim,

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 


yep, Vatsim is really cool. I will never forget my first flight, I think I've never sweated that much in my entire life :)

 

Is it busier lately or am I imagining things?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On my second flight I flew from Zurich to Hamburg.  Weather was not as bad at Zurich (but still bad) and about 2.5 miles with rain at Hamburg.  I'd screwed up and put the SID in my filed plan...they probably expect that from Americans and didn't say anything.  Took off from Zurich (with AI disabled) with ATC and it was pretty ordinary...got some views of the mountains as I was leaving, then I was dropped off to UNICOM for half the flight.  Pretty landscape down below in Germany.  Getting closer to Hamburg, ATC picked me up and gave me vectors on downwind.  I was turning base when my virtual copilot decided another heading was much better so I was fighting with that, overshot final...no problem...they just assigned me a new intercept heading and all was good.  Got switched to tower late on the approach, accidentally clicked off my autopilot changing frequencies (should of turned it back on).  Tower held my landing clearance while another airplane cleared the runway sloooooowly in front of me...me thinking about pressing TOGA, about the missed approach altitude that I always forget to dial in...got cleared to land over the approach lights...whew.  I don't know Hamburg so I messed up when I got to the ramp...no problem...ground helped.  I made it in...2 flights...no major screwups yet. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, VATSIM /PilotEge for me is the only way to fly. Canned ATC (no matter how well the logic works) is still canned ATC.

 

By far the best ATC on VATSIM are controllers in the UK, Germany, Netherlands, USA and Oz - all highly professional sounding - and they know what they're doing. The downside is, you don;t always have controllers, but sometimes a break between controllers is also good for a breather.

 

Generally speaking, the discipline on VATSIM is very good - sometimes you get an absolute moron doing stupid things - or an 10 year old who really doesn't know what he is doing - but we all have to start somewhere.

 

VATSIM ensures much more discipline with your flights because it forces you to be situationally aware and refer to the data you should be referring to for every flight.

 

Flying offline and simply doing what you want is completely boring now - and if I no longer had an online ATC environment in which to fly, I might not even bother simming anymore.

 

Welcome to VATSIM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the post Gregg :smile:   It's so refreshing to see a new positive post for an exciting positive New Year for flight simulation.

 

Agreed that VATSIM is the way to fly and I only fly offline when learning a new aircraft.

 

I wish to thank ALL VATSIM CONTROLLERS and ALL the (behind the scene) contributors like ADMINISTRATORS and Developers (especially Ross Carlton) !!

Without these folks my enjoyment of flight simulation would be greatly reduced.

 

To ALL my fellow VATSIM pilots, please don't forget to thank those CONTROLLERS when flying.  :wub:

 

I always place this in my flight plan      REMARKS:  Thanks ATC ! 

 

Happy New Year !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started flying online around 2000-2001 and before that I started to find flightsimming dull. VATSIM really was  a revolution and I was fortunate enough to take my first steps with a good friend who was FO on a SAAB340 so he told me all I needed to know. Later when I got my license I had a huge advantage since I was so used to speaking on the microphone that I never got mic fright. Only issue was the first flight I did with RT during my training, I manage to call in as "Scandinavia 125" since that was the callsign I often used on VATSIM. I got a puzzled look from the guy in the right seat...

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps I should bite the bullet in 2017

 

 

Do it. The more people the better. That's what it's all about. It's really, really a rewarding experience when you have a fully controlled flight in congested airspace. Very immersive and will give your flightsimming a completely new perspective.

 

A caveat is that VATSIM is better suited to IFR than VFR flying - so you'll get more out of it if you're an Airbus or Boeing guy. ATC doesn't really know what to do with VFR traffic on VATSIM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just asking myself, if it possible to do the ATC via chat not via voice. 

May someone know how it is at ivao ;)

 

Also need to take a look into online flying.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps I should bite the bullet in 2017 :blink:

+1

I have a VATSIM account since '95 and haven't used it for a looong time.

I'm looking forward to get back into it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I manage to call in as "Scandinavia 125" since that was the callsign I often used on VATSIM. I got a puzzled look from the guy in the right seat...

 

LOLOL.  That's hysterical.

 

 

 

A caveat is that VATSIM is better suited to IFR than VFR flying - so you'll get more out of it if you're an Airbus or Boeing guy. ATC doesn't really know what to do with VFR traffic on VATSIM

 

It would make their ATC more realistic and challenging if they added VFR and people flew smaller planes.  Separation is tough when you mix it up.

 

 

 

Perhaps I should bite the bullet in 2017 :blink:

 

I'd say do it as well.  Keep a note in your flightplan comments that says "I'm new" or "Mistakes will be made."  I would say it doubles your simming experience.  You have events happening, other people to think about and all of it makes you learn and think.  They may ask you to do something you don't know how to do...you can tell them and maybe they'll offer you another option or you can disconnect and go find out how to do it.  You may hear Froogle Pete, Matt Davies (currently in a long line of BAW aircraft from Gibralter to Heathrow) or Blackbox flying with you.  Fly during the week on the quieter times where there's some ATC and then, if you're brave enough, fly on the Vatsim Events where people converge on an airport somewhere.  That's what my Hamburg flight was in though the traffic had died down some by the time I got there. 

 

I got started by downloading VATSPY so I could see where controllers were online and lurked for a long, long time, learning when places were more active.  You can hover over a facility to see how long the controller's been online.  There are letters:  A=ATIS, T=Tower, D=Clearance Delivery, a circle means approach, an area is a center.  Then you get vPilot for communication, log on as an observer and just listen.  You'll see people making some mistakes and controllers helping them.  You'll hear how the radio sounds and see people typing back and forth in text.  I learned all that by lurking.  But now it's a lot more exciting.  So far they've been helpful.

 

Just asking myself, if it possible to do the ATC via chat not via voice. 

May someone know how it is at ivao ;)

 

Also need to take a look into online flying.

 

Yes, download VPilot and sign in as an observer.  You'll see people typing text.

Question for folks:

 

I was on Vatsim.uk and I saw where controllers were reserving when they were going to be online.  Is there a central place where you can see that?...where you can see what airports will be active at what time?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did the same thing, Gregg.  I've flown on VATSIM off and on over the years but 99% have always used canned ATC(currently ProATCX).  Well, I think I have finally gotten to the point where I am just sick of canned ATC.  It's like following a script every time you fly.  There's no need to pay attention to anything really.  You know the altitudes you're going to get assigned, when they will be assigned, etc, etc.  Just so boring.  So, I think I'm VATSIM or nothing now.

 

Also, I do a lot of flying in the EU(more so than any other continent).  The hardest part for me as a typical American is understanding the EU controllers with their accents.  Combine that with the audio of VATSIM not always being the best quality.  But, after a week now, I'm getting better at that too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 


I did the same thing, Gregg. I've flown on VATSIM off and on over the years but 99% have always used canned ATC(currently ProATCX). Well, I think I have finally gotten to the point where I am just sick of canned ATC. It's like following a script every time you fly. There's no need to pay attention to anything really. You know the altitudes you're going to get assigned, when they will be assigned, etc, etc. Just so boring. So, I think I'm VATSIM or nothing now.

Also, I do a lot of flying in the EU(more so than any other continent). The hardest part for me as a typical American is understanding the EU controllers with their accents. Combine that with the audio of VATSIM not always being the best quality. But, after a week now, I'm getting better at that too.

 

Yeah, I've tossed two ATC programs and, honestly, I don't want to try another.  We should stay in touch. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, I do a lot of flying in the EU(more so than any other continent).  The hardest part for me as a typical American is understanding the EU controllers with their accents.  Combine that with the audio of VATSIM not always being the best quality.  But, after a week now, I'm getting better at that too.

 

Being Swedish speaking I actually find it much easier understanding the European controllers despite their accent. They usually speak at a leisurely pace whereas eg a ground controller at say KJFK sounds like a machine gun spitting out the taxi instructions although you are the only airplane at the field! :D The problem then starts when I try to read back at the same speed and everything becomes jibberish!  uuummm say again?

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being Swedish speaking I actually find it much easier understanding the European controllers despite their accent. They usually speak at a leisurely pace whereas eg a ground controller at say KJFK sounds like a machine gun spitting out the taxi instructions although you are the only airplane at the field! :D The problem then starts when I try to read back at the same speed and everything becomes jibberish!  uuummm say again?

It's all relative to where you're from and what you're used to hearing, I'm sure.   :smile:   For me, US/North American accents I can understand with no problem - even if they are fast.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 


Just asking myself, if it possible to do the ATC via chat not via voice. 

 

It is possible but to be honest, get a headset and do voice.  It's an immersion killer doing txt chat for ATC on what is essentially a network designed for voice comms - and that's ultimately what you should aim to do.  Nothing wrong with text  but its like going to a steak house and ordering the salad...

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phil,

 

I can ONLY speak for VATSIM (have not used IVAO).  VATSIM does allow  text for pilots without voice capabilities.  Keep in mind VOICE is strongly recommended.  I have used TEXT in emergency when mic issues arose, but I find it definitely decreases the overall excitement received from online flying. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phil,

 

I can ONLY speak for VATSIM (have not used IVAO).  VATSIM does allow  text for pilots without voice capabilities.  Keep in mind VOICE is strongly recommended.  I have used TEXT in emergency when mic issues arose, but I find it definitely decreases the overall excitement received from online flying. 

 

Alright thanks for the headsup

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I fly regularly on Ivao. If  flying online scares you I recommend you get over it. Do your home work. Get manuals on phraseology, watch videos on youtube , park your plane somewhere at the airport and listen,read their forums,etc... Everyone makes mistakes but as long as you are respectful they are going to help you a lot. Honestly, nothing gets more immersive than that. Well actually it does when I use my oculus rift to fly on Ivao. Sometimes in combination with FS2crew. 

 

I am cabin crew for Qantas and when possible sit on the flight deck for landing at Heathrow or Dubai, put my headphones on and listen to the conversations. They are almost exactly what we do online. When I discuss with the pilots about the approach ect, they are shocked to see how much I know

 

By the way I would love to fly on Vatsim but the horrible, robotic voice puts me off. Maybe I should get over it and give it a go.

The more people the more fun.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Greg, and all others..what program do you use to connect with VATSIM...I haven't been online for a few years and I was using  Squawkbox... What is the preferred???

 

Thanks, Bob

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Flying online is absolutely amazing...is is amazing how close to reality it is with all procedures and phraseology....and once you have run the learning curve and you can master comunications and  procedures while flying the airplane you will no longer use the Sim without it....it is a total game changer....and forget about text ...it kills the immersion... 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

 


Hey Greg, and all others..what program do you use to connect with VATSIM...I haven't been online for a few years and I was using Squawkbox... What is the preferred???



Thanks, Bob

 

I think vPilot is preferred and it's good...stable and nice features.  Some people still like FSINN but I could never get it to work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way I would love to fly on Vatsim but the horrible, robotic voice puts me off. 

 

I have to respectfully disagree with that. Some pilots have equipment that really makes it sound very bad but it's not the fault of Sqauwkbox (that I use). Also it's not like everything is crystal clear IRL, VERY far from at least not with the equipment I've flown. Personally I use a Flightsim X soundcard as an interface between my Dave Clark headset and the computer. The sound I then get is exactly like IRL.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this