VATSIM: The Place for You?
Before you enter the world of VATSIM, it is a good idea to determine for yourself whether this is really the place for you to be. VATSIM is a very professional network on which pilots and air traffic controllers simulate all kinds of aspects of aviation using real-world procedures. This professionalism comes with it’s benefits: it allows you to become a professional virtual pilot, which might be useful in later life as you start flight training, and, above all, once you know how it all works it is a lot of fun!
There is a downside though: you will have to do quite a bit of work and flying can be quite stressful, especially during your first weeks on the VATSIM network. The thing is, you are allowed to make mistakes, but not to mess things up really bad, because this will irritate other pilots and controllers. Don’t worry though, as in this guide you will find many tips on how to prevent yourself from disturbing pilots and air traffic controllers who want to create a very realistic environment.
There are a couple of points to take into account, of which the first one is very important:
- Are you willing to learn?
- Are you willing to stick to VATSIM’s rules?
- Are you willing to contribute to a realistic virtual aviation environment?
- Are you able to cope with the stress involved in flying an aircraft in Flight Simulator?
Why is point 1 so important? If you are not willing to learn, you are not going to get very far and you will soon be disturbing others. Make sure you know from yourself you are able to learn from your mistakes, that you are willing to read aircraft and procedure manuals and that you are willing to take information from experienced VATSIM members. If you know you can handle all that and if that makes you enthusiastic, then VATSIM can be a great place for you to be! If not, take some more time to get enthusiastic about aviation and flying and try to change your mentality: when you get enthusiastic about aviation, you will find that you are more willing to learn about it!
Point 2 and 3 speak for themselves. You will have to obey some important rules, as this will contribute to a more realistic virtual aviation environment. Make sure you are able to respect other pilots and air traffic controllers. Of course, VATSIM is not a playground, so make sure you follow the rules, it is not that hard.
Learn more about what VATSIM exactly is and how it was founded by watching this video from the P1 Pilot Rating course!