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Flying on Line....as real as it gets?

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Im sorry to ask this, I dont wanna look stupid....but the true is, I have NEVER had on-line flying. I would like to know how it is, what I need to do it, (hardware software, etc). I know there would be plenty of info somewhere... A link to learn THE BASICS would be greatly appreciated!!Thaks!!

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You don't need anything more than you already have other than an internet connection. Just go to www.zone.com and register for an account if you don't already have a MSN username.As to the "as real as it gets." Not even close. I always turn aircraft collisions off as you sometimes get the idiots who don't know what they are doing or just like to crash into people.Roger Wilco is a must as typing and flying just don't mix. If you go online anytime soon, look for "Around the World" which is a game I host almost nightly on my IP address. I usually get pretty good pilots who act professional.

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Hey Stephen that looks like a great site. Would you recommend it over the zone?

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Looks bigger than I thought... I'm really impressed....when flying can I see the curent weather displayed and other aircraft flying approaching and landing?(Sorry, I have Tons of more Dumb Questions)

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I can only answer for the zone. Yes you can get real weather (I always fly with real weather) and you do see the other players landing or flying next to you. With the option selected you also see their name above there aircraft. Just remember to turn aircraft collisions off... ;-)))

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Although 'The Zone' is one solution for online flying, it cannot be compared at all with the online flying with VATSIM or IVAO.Both are organizations with thousands of members each. Their purpose is to provide the most realistic possible environment for your online flights.You don't only get to see the other pilots... You get a lot more.Here's a small list of what you benefit :1. See the other aircraft that fly in the same area as you2. Have real weather for the area you are flying3. Have REAL Air Traffic Control, by REAL people.I can't emphasize the real ATC enough... This is the heart of the online flying with VATSIM or IVAO. Real people providing ATC to real people.It's very easy to setup and it's absolutely 100% free of course!For more information point your browser to http://www.vatsim.net/http://www.ivao.org/I am a member of the Hellenic virtual Area Control Center (http://www.avsim.com/greece/hvacc/) since 1996.A warning though... Once you try it, you are hooked! There's no escape! You WILL be adicted!Enjoy your flightsGeorge DorkofikisAthens, Hellas

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Get yourself some 3D glasses, log onto VATSIM, turn the multiplayer names off (so that you only see planes close by), replace the default sound file of your favorite aircraft with a good freeware addon (like Skysong Soundworks), tune in your roger wilco - and you will be so close to the real thing that it will scare you.RegardsHK

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Well, I can understand why you prefer Vatsim over the Zone. However you do get real weather with the zone and if you are looking for a more relaxed aptmosphere then I would suggest the Zone. With that said, I am thinking of signing up with Vatsim, but reading all the guidelines and procedures, it sure seems like quite a process just to fly online. I'll look into it when I have a day to waste. ;-)

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THANKS FOR ALL THE RESPONSES.EVEN TOUGH FS2002 HAS GIVEN ME THE CHANCE TO LEARN THE BASICS OF ATC, (I HAVE NEVER BEEN IN A REAL COCKPIT) THE POSSIBILITY TO HAVE REAL ATC, STILL MAKES ME NERVOUS, I HAVE TO ADMIT. I'M GOING TO GIVE A TRY, WHO KNOWS, SURELY I WILL LIKE IT.

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If you know the basics of ATC, the dynamics of communicating, etc, you'll get the hang of VATSIM pretty fast. The only thing to really think about is that you actually have to remember everything that's said (or write it down of course) - no one will automatically set your squawk code! And it's also a very good idea to know and have SIDs and STARs for where you're flying, or else controllers might be a little annoyed. But if traffic levels allowed most will be happy to give you radar vectors if you don't have the SID/STAR procedures.MartinIt's a lot like life and that's what's appealing

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Just one little bit of extra advice Gabriel to add to that of Martin's.As a new pilot don't be tempted to join one of the large fly-ins you'll see 'advertised' on VATSIM, the controllers on these events are dealing with heavy traffic and won't have the time to give you all the help you'll need.Have a look at the VATSIM site in your local area (for me that would be VATSIM-UK as I live in the UK) and see if they offer any kind of pilot training. A lot of the VATSIM areas have on line flying tuition from smaller, quieter airports.http://www.vatsim-uk.net/vatsim-uk/ has some good beginners guides if you click on the 'Pilot information' link.If UK time is not a problem for you Andy King at Hawarden does quite a lot of on line pilot training, check outhttp://www.hawarden.org.uk/As George said, once you have got comfortable with on line flying you will be hooked, and you will not have a life :-lol Enjoy it and have fun.

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Just do what I did. read and start small.A small visual flight in a cessna is a great way to start and if you let the controller know you are just starting out, he will be very helpfull.Once you start, you'll never fly with computer planes again.RonCVA1701

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but let me tell you why!... I flew regularly for about two months in the old SATCO system (pre-VATSIM I believe), and I totally agree that the realism is striking and quite exciting and when the system works, it is quite appealing. I finally gave up however after the unpteenth time that I was within 100 miles or so of my destination and the controller left the game. And I dont for one second blame the controllers. It's just that real life has a way of interfering with our flight fantasy world and let's face it, that's what VATSIM, ect are, "flights of fancy" as I call them. Other somewhat equally irritating and unsolvable problems were having to fly where the controllers are as opposed to where YOU want to fly. I wanted to fly in Seattle/Portland area. Guess what, at that time anyway, seldom did a controller show up in that space, not to mention flying in more exotic realms. NOW!!.....please tell me I'm now deadly out of touch and there are controllers in ALL airspaces 24/7 and I can safely return to online flying, the above problems having been somehow solved, but I don't think I'll be hearing that. And by the way, flying on msn.zone... a complete fiasco, often populated by irritating idiots who have no intention of treating the airspace with respect and flying by the rules of the airways. This is true, by the way, for most all of online gaming, and I've tried many different games and venues. I'm just biding my time for good ATC AI via FS2004 or whatever.

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I would recommend to someone starting out on VATSIM to study the VATSIM website and choose a time and region of the world to fly in, since only a few places have alot of ATC coverage.This was a simple choice for me, since I love LA and find the Socal region/LA basin to be one of the busiest regions online. Chicago Ohare is probably the busiest, and UK/Europe show quite a bit of ATC as well.Friday, Saturday & Sunday evenings (USA Western Seaboard Time) are busiest for flying in the States, which will depend upon where you live. Luckily for me LA is a convenient time zone, living in Sydney.Would I love Sydney ATC almost 24/7? - you betcha, but unfortunately I have to accept some limitations of VATSIM. I love lots of traffic and controllers.Another limitation of VATSIM is that the aircraft movements are a little jumpy and of low quality (not the quality of FS2002 AI planes). But this is only a small problem and doesn't detract from the realism of it - at least for me.I can easily say that VATSIM is the best addon invented for FS, in my opinion. I never fly offline or in 2D - The only way I could be happier is if I was sitting in a real plane.My advice is give it a go.HK

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Well, the ATC on VATSIM and IVAO are all just sim freaks as you and me and the rest of us. No one can guarantee that you will have 24/7 coverage, and no one can guarantee that your preferred areas will be covered the time you want to fly. They all do it for free, out of interest, as a hobby.So you have to adapt to whats beeing offered, select an area where there is ATC when you want to fly, send a short personal message to the controller to ask if he/she will be there when you depart/arrive if you want to be sure of 100% coverage for your particular flight.If you accept these limitations you will have a GREAT time on line. I have been flying online with VATSIM occasionally (logged some 20+ hours). I always start by taking a look at the situation with ServInfo and then select my flightplan according to whats available. I am fortunate in having an extremely active VACC in my area (Finland) so there's ATC available for areas and airports several times a week. And I can assure you - It's fun, it's addicting, and as soon as you have made your first, nervous flights with lots of errors and become confident in what you're doing you will always enjoy it!BamceEFHN

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You're in the wrong room then. ;-) come to my room and you will have professional people who respect the rules. ;-)Lance

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We need an easy going laid back sort of place, probably based here where I am in Southern California, where of course, there is no weather!After reading newsgroups over a long time I know that the zone is not worth even trying. Silly adolescents trying to crash into you and giggling like the little girls they are :-). I know, I've had kids like that!

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