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Canadian Xpress® Flying Online Basics
Flying on an online network such as VATSIM or IVAO is probably one of the most satisfying things for a virtual pilot as you interact with virtual air traffic controllers & other online pilots all in real time.

These lessons will help new pilots get started flying online and allow seasoned pilots to brush up on their online skills.

While the lessons below reference the VATSIM network, most of the content also applies to the IVAO network.

DOWNLOAD AND INSTALL ESSENTIAL SOFTWARE
Download and install essential software that is required to fly on VATSIM network that consists of the following:
  • Flight Simulator Software: Microsoft Flight Simulator, Lockheed Martin Prepar3D or Laminar Research X-Plane.
  • VATSIM Pilot Client: vPilot, XSquawkBox, etc.
  • Software To find ATC: VATSpy, vRoute, etc.
  • Install Visual Models: vPilot or XSquawkbox Model Set.
  • Install Flight Logging Software: CXAcars.

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FLIGHT PLANS
How to file a basic flight plan on the VATSIM network including:
  • Fill in the appropriate boxes in the pilot client.
  • Find acceptable routes.
  • Useful Newbie comments.

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WEATHER
Understanding weather including:
  • Where to find it, why online network weather might be different than your weather and different from flight simulator to flight simulator as it renders differently in each PC.
  • IMC vs VMC.
  • Runway selection.

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FACILITY WEB SITES
Knowledge of facility web sites:
  • Basics, information for pilots, contacts.

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CONNECTING TO THE NETWORK
Know how to properly conntect to the VATSIM Network:
  • Where to connect.
  • Transponders (STBY vs Mode C).

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MAPS AND CHARTS
Where to find map and charts and know the basic description of the following:
  • Airport Diagrams.
  • VFR Sectionals.
  • Lo/Hi Enroute.
  • Terminal Charts.
  • IAPs.

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CONTACTING ATC
Understanding on how to contact ATC on the VATSIM network during the following phases if flight including:
  • Clearance.
  • Push and Start.
  • Taxi.
  • Take-off.
  • Departure.
  • Enroute.
  • Approach.
  • Final.
  • Land & Taxi.
  • Park & Shutdown.
  • Emergencies.

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NAVIGATION BASICS
Aware of the equipment and map symbols used in basic navigation including:
  • VOR.
  • GPS.
  • FMC.
  • ILS.
  • VFR Out The Window.

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VATSIM BASICS
Understanding of the basics that every pilot that flies on the VATSIM network should be aware of including:
  • VATSIM Pilot Learning Center.
  • Forums.
  • Supervisors.
  • Conflict Resolution.

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GOOD VATSIM CITIZENSHIP
A good VATSIM citizen is aware of the following:
  • VATSIM COC, COR, UA.
  • VATSIM Web Site.
  • Membership.
  • Virtual Airline and VATSIM's VA Partner Program.
  • ATC Training and Ratings.

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COMMUNICATIONS
Communications with the following:
  • With ATC.
  • With other pilots (Unicom, text, voice).
  • Private channel.
  • Private messaging & Contact Me’s.

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