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I've always wondered... but never tried. It just seems like a daunting task with all the ever changing Virtual Airlines and whatever VATSIM is and talk of other additional utilities... Well, now that Im pretty comfortable in the cockpit, I'd love to give it a try.Any guides on how to get started with SquawkBox and Fly! II?ThanksBradThought of an additional question: What kind of performance can I expect using voice over 56K dial-up? (I usually connect 48000+)

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I don't know about flying with a modem. You'll just have to try and see how it is relative to a cable. If you go to the Vatsim site, you'll find plently of docs to get you started. Once you've registered with Vatsim and have the latest SB and Roger Wilco(for voice), the fun begins. The most important thing to remember is to let the controller know that you are new, and to not start in a busy airport. Find an airport where there's a student controller and very little activity. Here, you will be able to familiarize yourself with basic sb and real life procedures. It's easy, but you need to slowly get to that point. As you reach a point where you're stuck, feel free to talk about it here. we will then help you continue. Also, go to the Vasim forum and read some of the other messages. It, too, helps one familiarize with basic issues regarding online flying.tony

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Hi Brad,The following are my thoughts in addition to the excellent advice from Tony.I don't use Fly! so I can only advise on general VATSIM flying.I have been a member of the on-line flying community for 3-4 years now and try to help new pilots when they join the UK VA I fly for.One of the biggest problems is learning the 'talk' and getting over mike shyness.1) Make sure you really can handle your aircraft, remember there is no pause button on VATSIM ;) 2) Work load will increase with using ATC3) Get familar with both SB & RW, a few practice runs will soon get you there. Once these programs are set up there is nothing, or very little else to do.4) Get ServerInfo, a great free program that helps you identify what ATC is on line.http://avsim.com/hangar/utils/servinfo/5)After logging in to VATSIM but before 'connecting' make sure you are not sat on the runway or a taxiway. (See note below).6) Spend some time listening to the ATC 'chatter' so you know what to expect. For this, once registered with VATSIM, find a fairly busy airport and park up out of the way.If the 'file flightplan' window use the airport code you are at for both departure and destination airports. File '0' (zero) for flight level.In the flight plan remarks box put something like 'Newbie. Learning R/T. No flight'. You can substitute 'Student pilot', 'pilot under training' or similar, in place of 'Newbie' if you don't like that term.Basically you are telling the controller that you are new to all this and do not intend to fly.From the SB drop-down menu tick 'squawk standby', then 'connect'.When you hear the 'bing-bong' and see the welcome message open the drop-down menu again and re-file your flight plan.Again from the drop-down menu select 'ATC directory' and double click on one of the controller names. This will connect you to that controller and automatically tune RW to his frequency so you can hear both the controller and any pilots connected to that controller.If you spend some time listening to each controller you will have a good idea how the ATC 'chatter' works.7) See if there are any pilot training schemes at an airport you would normally fly from.8) For your first few flights do not go for one of the major fly-ins, ATC are usually far too busy to help new pilots. Find an airport with ATC and a little traffic so the controller has more time to help you. Also put in the flight plan remarks box something that indicates you are new to all this.NOTE: (See 5)When I am going to fly with vatsim I start FS and position my selected aircraft at a gate of my choice. I then go into slew mode and hover about 50ft above that gate.I then connect to vatsim, go to spot view and check if there are any other a/c near by. If there are I can easily move my a/c to an empty gate and come down to ground level without parking on top of another a/c.Now because I don't use Fly! I don't know if you can easily do slewing, but I guess there is a similar mode.Performance on a modem is OK. Until getting Broadband last year I used a modem and had very few problems. Main one in the UK was a 2hr cut-off for virtually all the ISPs.HTH And if you feel in need of more help feel free to drop me an e-mail via the icon.One thing I can say, once you have flown this way you won't want to fly any other way :)

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Thanks for the replies guys!I did some reading at VATSIM and a few of their links. There used to be another online system (squawkbox related) that had all sorts of documentation re: controlling, and flying which I'll have to find again so I can read up on certain things. (holding patterns and procedure turns are two things I could use some practice at). Anyway... my point was that after looking into it, it looks like it will take a bit more time to adjust than I am ready for right now. While I felt confident a few weeks ago with Fly!2k, I just switched over to Fly! II, and think I'll wait until Im a bit more familiar with it before jumping into something else new.Thanks for the suggestions. I particularly like the one about just listening in, which I wasnt aware you could do. Hope to give it a try soon though!Brad

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