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First Vatsim Flight

Pro Member Chief Captain
Kareem El-Sadi (crosscheck9) Chief Captain

Currently on my first Vatsim flight. I'm a little confused though. I departed from KDFW with clearance, then I was transferred to Unicom, where there is no controller. What do I do in such instances?

Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

This is one of the downfalls of Vatsim; there aren't enough controllers Sad In this situation, keep flying, and concisely announce what you are planning to do, especially near airports at low altitude. At that point, hopefully a controller will join you and carry on with your flightplan Wink

Good luck Wink

Guest

If there's a controller within in range him/her a call and they will tell you whether you've called the wrong station or not. Otherwise if you have the route charts, they should tell you when to call a certain controller. Otherwise just sit back, relax and enjoy the flight online with Vatsim.

Anyway as CC9 says, just notify on the unicom where you are and what your intentions might be.

P.S please tell us how the flight went.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Kareem El-Sadi (crosscheck9) Chief Captain

So your saying that if I keep announcing my position and intentions, a controller will almost always eventually pick up on me. If nobody does, do I land alone? Also, how do I know what station to tune. Do I have to keep referring back to squakbox to see if there are any controllers on?

Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

Just keep flying announcing your intentions on Unicom (122.80 I believe). When a controller comes online, his/her frequency will appear on the right hand side of the small box if they are close by. Very often, if I am in their airspace, they will make contact with me one they are set up, and ask for me to tune into their frequency. If they don't, I keep flying on Unicom. If you are flying towards an airport, then tune into the correct controller at your designated airport or any controller that is online at that airport if the correct one is offline. In short, if a controller comes online when you are in their airspace, then they will shortly contact you with details of what to do Wink

Pro Member Captain
John Hodges (originalgrunge) Captain

The guys are right, if you are released to UNICOM the controllers will call you, you needn't call them (as long as you are squawking normal and not standby in that little box). The list on the right hand column will not only show you what controllers are on line in your area, but also near your area. So if I am flying in LAX airspace, I will also usually see OAK, ABQ, and possibly even DEN or some other miscellaneous approach controllers. If you are in their airspace, they will send you a message on private chat to contact them. If you aren't, then just sit tight on UNICOM and fly as professionally as you can. Contacting them when you're not in their airspace usually just ends up giving them more aggravation during busy times.

I've flown plenty of flights on VATSIM start-to-finish on UNICOM, and those are usually some great flights! It really tests your skills in reading and understanding charts, approach procedures, and descent/speed management.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Kareem El-Sadi (crosscheck9) Chief Captain

I see. It is a shame that there aren't enough controllers though. Often, when I get clearence, I'm told to climb and maintain 10,000, holding for 10 minutes, then continue climb to FLxxx. If I'm on unicom, it feels strange flying at that altitude for 10 minutes. All in all though, Vatsim has been great. I often don't understand the controllers, and have to ask for them to repeat the transmission. In busy airports, they get annoyed, but I can't help it if I don't understand their accents Rolling Eyes . Laughing

Pro Member Captain
John Hodges (originalgrunge) Captain

Yeah, I caught a full line of controllers over in the netherlands area one day for a United flight. I departed EHAM and must've asked all the controllers about 12 times what my clearance was!

konib Guest

crosscheck9 wrote:

I see. It is a shame that there aren't enough controllers though. Often, when I get clearence, I'm told to climb and maintain 10,000, holding for 10 minutes, then continue climb to FLxxx. If I'm on unicom, it feels strange flying at that altitude for 10 minutes. All in all though, Vatsim has been great. I often don't understand the controllers, and have to ask for them to repeat the transmission. In busy airports, they get annoyed, but I can't help it if I don't understand their accents Rolling Eyes . Laughing

Actually it's more realistic that way. In real world operations during busy times you'll often sit at an alitude until the way is cleared for you to continue your climb. ATC is all about traffic seperation and that's probably why you flew at 10,000 for 10 minutes.

Also your clearence may have been from a tower which only controls the airport it is at and nothing more. Which is probably why you were quickly sent to UNICOM. Depending on where you are flying and at what time of day it is, the traffic levels can be huge and controllers are plentiful. It all depends on who's flying when. A big help in knowing who's online is download ServInfo which tells all about who's around on VATSIM and IVAO. Just Google and it should return results of where you can download it.

Enjoy VATSIM, it can really be a great time.

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