Welcome, an easy step-by-step guide for new VATSIM pilots!
At some point in your life you might have decided to buy a PC flight simulator, such as Microsoft Flight Simulator, X-plane or Prepar3D. Later on as you got more into the world of flight simulator you might have expanded it for the first time with scenery and aircraft addons. Addons which have allowed you to make your flight simulator look as realistic as possible while flying high quality addon airplanes, such as the Level-D Boeing 767 or the PMDG 737 NGX.
Does it stop there? NO! You can do a whole lot more with flight simulator than just flying your aircraft from A to B. This is where online flying comes in! This allows you not only to fly together with fellow pilots, but also to let hobby air traffic controllers guide you through the virtual airspace!
VATSIM, the Virtual Air Traffic Simulation Network, is a place where this type of online flying is possible. In fact, VATSIM is a highly realistic and professional network where both sides of the aviation spectrum are simulated: pilots and air traffic controllers. This guide will give you all the steps you need to take in order to start flying on the VATSIM network. This guide is more extensive than the quick guide on the VATSIM website. Although reading this may take longer, it should be a lot more clear and this guide includes many tips along the way that you will not find in any other quick guide. Please use the navigation buttons below to go through each step. Reading this takes about 30 minutes.
Please note: often there will be referred to a video from the “P1 Pilot Rating Course”. This is a course from the VATSIM Pilot Training Academy for which AviationPro created the videos. By following this course you can achieve the P1 Pilot Rating. Getting a pilot rating is not obligatory, but it could be helpful to develop yourself as a virtual pilot. What is the difference between this guide and the P1 Pilot Rating course? This guide gets you started on the VATSIM network with a lot of textual explanation, while the P1 Pilot Rating contains much of what is stated in this guide, it contains a lot more and, in the case of the VATSIM Pilot Training Academy, is mainly based on videos.