P1: VATSIM Online Pilot
  1. VATSIM Online Pilot Rating Criteria (P1)

    1. Download and install essential software

      1. Your Sim – MSFS, XPlane

      2. Pilot Clients – SB, FSInn

      3. To find ATC – Wazzaup, Servinfo, VATSpy, VATSIM Stats

      4. Interpreting This Requirement

      5. The student should be able to download one of the accepted pilot clients, get it set up, and connect successfully to the VATSIM network.

      6. The student should be able to set up the files to create visual models of other pilot’s aircraft.

      7. The student should be able to use at least one of the common tools to locate ATC who are online in their area of operation and when they are in an active controller’s airspace or not.


    2. Flight Plans

      1. Fill in the appropriate boxes

      2. Find acceptable routes

      3. Useful Newbie Comments

      4. Interpreting This Requirement

        1. The student should be able to fill out the VATSIM Flight Plan form and understand what is expected and typical in each box.

        2. The student should be able to find an appropriate route, not GPS Direct, but may include VORs or Preferred Routes from ATC web sites

        3. The student should know appropriate comments to add to their flight plan to help ATC help them, comments common to newbie flight plans.

    3. Weather

      1. Where to find it, why VATSIM weather might be different than your weather and different from sim to sim as it renders differently in each PC.

      2. IMC vs VMC

      3. Runway selection

      4. Interpreting This Requirement

        1. The student should be shown where to find local weather information relative to that weather the VATSIM ATC will be reporting within their area of operation.

        2. The student should be able to determine if the airport(s) he/she will be flying to or from is under IMC or VMC conditions to anticipate the services available.

        3. The student should be instructed on how to handle a situation where they wish to fly in conditions different than what VATSIM is reporting and how to handle the communications and coordination with VATSIM ATC, i.e., if the airport is IMC and the pilot’s sim is VMC.

        4. The student should be able to select the appropriate runway to use relative to the prevailing winds as reported on the VATSIM network.


    4. Facility web sites

      1. Basics, information for pilots, contacts

      2. Interpreting This Requirement

        1. The student should be shown how to find local ATC facility web sites and locate the Information for Pilots section(s) and their normal contents (maps, charts, procedures, Preferred Routes) and how to contact local leadership for help if needed.

    5. Connecting to the network

      1. Where to connect

      2. Transponders (STBY vs Mode C)

      3. Interpreting This Requirement

        1. The student should be able to explain and understand the safe places to connect to the VATSIM network.

        2. The student should be able to use their transponder built into their pilot client and understand the STBY and Mode C functions and when each should be used. The student should understand what the transponder code is, where they get it (with or without ATC), and how to enter it into their transponder.


    6. Maps and Charts – where to find them and basic descriptions

      1. Airport diagram

      2. VFR sectionals

      3. Lo/Hi Enroute

      4. Terminal Charts

      5. IAPs

      6. Interpreting This Requirement

        1. The student should be shown where to locate these charts and be able to basically describe each one at a high level. It is not intended that the student be able to use or interpret these charts yet, just know that they exist and where to find them for their area of operations. The self-learners will figure out what to do with this information.


    7. Contacting ATC

      1. Clearance

      2. Push and Start

      3. Taxi

      4. Takeoff

      5. Departure

      6. Enroute

      7. Approach

      8. Final

      9. Land and taxi

      10. Park and shutdown

      11. Emergencies

      12. Interpreting This Requirement

        1. The student should be able to contact local ATC during any of the phases listed above and provide simple pilot to ATC phraseology and what to expect from ATC during each phase

        2. The student should be able to handle their aircraft and hold headings, altitudes, and airspeeds as instructed by ATC.

        3. The student should be instructed in acceptable emergency procedures on VATSIM, how to request them and what to do if their request is not granted. The student should know announcing a hijack or using the hijack transponder code is not to be done.

        4. The student should be able to handle loss of voice.

    8. Navigation basics – just introduce the equipment and map symbol, no requirement that they understand or can use them yet.

      1. VOR

      2. GPS

      3. FMC

      4. ILS

      5. VFR out the window

      6. Flight Plan Equipment Codes

      7. Interpreting This Requirement

        1. The student should be introduced to the instruments and procedures for any of the above that are applicable to their chosen aircraft (C-172’s don’t have FMS so don’t cover it). It is not expected the student will be able to program a GPS or FMC in great detail nor be able to track a VOR signal. A series of pictures and descriptions of each of these would suffice.

        2. The student should understand the various flight plan equipment codes and how ATC will interpret and provide services based on it


    9. VATSIM Basics

      1. Forums

      2. Conflict Resolution

      3. Supervisors (.wallop)

      4. Getting help on and off line

      5. Structure – Regions, Divisions, Facilities

      6. Basic Facility Structures

        1. CD

        2. GND

        3. TWR

        4. Dep

        5. CTR/Enroute

        6. APP

        7. Oceanic

        8. FSS

        9. ATM/RTS, TA, EC, FM

      7. VATSIM Pilot’s Resource Center

      8. Interpreting This Requirement

        1. The student should be able to log into the VATSIM forums to find information and ask for help

        2. The student should be introduced to VATSIM’s Conflict Resolution process and its role in enforcing VATSIM’s rules, the role of Supervisors, and how to contact a Supervisor if they need help and how to respond to a Supervisor if they are contacted.
          9.8.3 The student should be given a basic understanding of VATSIM’s structure relative to regions, divisions, and local ATC as well as the basic facility types found within their area of operations that may be staffed. An organizational chart would work well for this purpose.

        3. The student should be given directions on how to find the PRC and a basic outline of its contents to help students find information for themselves.


    10. Good VATSIM Citizenship

      1. COC, COR, UA

      2. Website

      3. Membership

      4. VA’s, Flying Clubs, VSOA’s, Partners

      5. Pilot Training and Ratings

      6. ATC Training and Ratings

      7. Interpreting This Requirement

        1. The student should be shown the CoC, CoR, and UA documents and encouraged to read them

        2. The student should be given a brief tour of the VATSIM web site with a focus on contacting Membership and using their ticket system to resolve email and other issues and finding pilot related resources.

        3. The student should be given instruction on how VAs and flying clubs interact with VATSIM and VATSIM’s VA Partner program

        4. The student should be given instruction in what activities are considered Special Operations and who may perform them. Also cover flying military aircraft online; the focus of the VSOA policy is the activity, not the airframe or callsign.

    11. Communications

      1. With ATC

      2. With Other Pilots

      3. UNICOM, text and voice

      4. Private Channel

      5. Private Messaging

      6. Contact Me’s

      7. Interpreting This Requirement

        1. The student should be given instruction in how to contact ATC and how ATC might contact them, including the “Contact Me” automated message when ATC signs on.

        2. The student should be given instruction on the use of UNICOM with text as mandatory and voice as an option, and also shown how to use the private channel to talk to other pilots

        3. The student should be given instruction about voice ATIS including how and when to listen to it.

    12. Remember, as an ATO you can choose to cover more than the basics above. We do not expect ATOs to ‘dumb down’ an existing or proposed program to fit these requirements exactly. Fit them inside of the program you feel is in the best interest of your pilots and organization’s method of delivery and discuss waivers with VATGOV14.