VATSIM is a global organization of flight simulation hobbyists who use donated network resources to create a virtual on-line ATC environment. All members are volunteers and there are no fees or membership dues. Although some of the controllers are real world professionals, amateur hobbyist controllers who enjoy giving their time to provide ATC services to the pilots of the VATSIM community provide the vast majority of ATC services. Most VATSIM members are dedicated to participating in an “as real as it gets” online ATC environment using real world procedures and practices to the greatest extent possible.

The following items are minimum expectations of VATSIM Pilots and are discussed in detail in the VATSIM Pilot Resource Center:

  • A basic understanding of piloting skills, and to safely perform all of the following:
    • Taxi
    • Take-off
    • Maintain an assigned altitude, heading, and airspeed
    • Navigate to and from an airfield in VFR flight, or navigate to and from navigation aids such as VORs when in IFR flight
    • Fly a basic traffic pattern
    • Land on an assigned runway
  • Understand the difference between VFR and IFR flight
  • Although IFR skills are not required, learning to file and fly on an IFR flightplan greatly enhances the VATSIM experience later
  • Understand valid altitudes for direction of flight
  • Be familiar with the Pilots’ Etiquette Guide
  • Understand basic ATC phraseology
  • Tune to different radio frequencies and effectively communicate with a controller
  • Answer a private message (or “hail”) from a controller or supervisor
  • Follow instructions from VATSIM air traffic controllers
  • Ask questions or get clarifications if you do not understand
  • Set up the software required, join the network with your real name, choose a callsign, set the aircraft type, and be able to file a flightplan
  • Be courteous and respectful at all times
  • Operate within the limits of the VATSIM Code of Conduct, User Agreement, and Code of Regulations

All of these requirements are discussed in detail on the VATSIM Pilot Resource Center and are covered in the P1 VATSIM Online Pilot training which is fully automated to help you gain the knowledge and rating quickly and get online to enjoy the experience.  You can find the Pilot Training Department HERE..