ive been playing for a while and i need to join a VA
but i dont have a clue how they work
i understand the basics
do i need a program to work with a va
ive picked a few i like but how do they know if i am actually flying
No offense but you do not actually NEED to join a VA... it's not like they validate your virtual flying existence... they are fun (so I hear), but not needed in order to fly.
I have joined a VA called Vancouver Island Virtual Airlines
I think everyone gets a different "thing" from VAs. I enjoy it because it gives me routes and assignments that are far off my usual beaten path and I fly to places I likely would never normally fly.
There is also a core group of like minded sim nuts, which makes it fun.
If you need any downloads they will most likely provide it.
You may also want to consider FS Economy, which simulates the economical elements of flight sim. I have joined and really enjoy it.
I think the best advice I can give (the same advice I got once) is to first practice and get good at flight basics using the Cessna and Beechcraft aircraft in MSF. Diving right into a VA and not really understanding or being good at flight basics such as navigation & landings will be less fun.
Also, think carefully about what kind of flights you want to do. I prefer short hop regional flights in smaller aircraft. I am not interested in long 7 hour hops in a 777 or 747. That makes a huge difference in what VA to join.