👨‍✈️ [VATSIM] How to talk to ATC and example of communication

Before you talk to ATC
Before you talk to ATC make sure you filed your flight plan on vPILOT, or what ever you are using, my clicking on ‘‘Flightplan’’ tab and filling the information there. So then the ATC will see you’re route etc.

vatsim


What does each ATC do?
If there is no atc around you, you can check via the left side of vPILOT, or on http://www.vattastic.com/ . You simply tune in to 122.800 (unicom) and just say your actions there.

  • Area Control ATC; This ATC is in charge of a sector, for example London Control has i think 5 sectors, North,East,South,West and Central.
  • Airport Approach; From this ATC you will recieve a STAR to an airport, or vectors depending on the situation, you will also be informed about airport information, traffic etc.
  • Airport Tower; Tower will simply give you clearances for Takeoff / Landing.
  • Airport Ground; This ATC is in charge of the ground, it will tell you what stand ( gate ) to taxi to, what holding point etc.
  • Airport Delivery; This ATC will give you IFR clearances to an airport you flying to.
    Airport ATIS; This is an automatic message, no human behind it, this gives you the airport
  • METAR, so the airport information ( airport information is important e.g. Delta ) it will give you the weather, wind etc.
  • UNICOM (122.800); This is no ATC, but its a frequency that you should be on when thers no atc around so you can inform other pilots of your actions.

Who to talk to?
Now, this can get confusing to some.
( p/s = Push And Start )

  • if you at an airport with no ATC not even centre, you just use the UNICOM on 122.800

  • If there is just Delivery at an airport, you ask him only for the clearance and then move to Unicom on 122.800.

  • If there is only Ground, you ask him for clearance and P/S, Taxi etc.

  • If there is only Tower, you ask him for clearance, p/s, taxi, takeoff / landing clearance.

  • If there is only Approach, you do the same as all things above, plus you get an approach phase from him. Also if there is no Centre, you should contact Approach after takeoff.

  • If there is a Centre, make sure first the centre operates top down, which means he operates airports and in the air actions, some Centres only operate aircraft above FL245. if its Top Down service, you ask the centre for everything, Clearance, Taxi, Takeoff, Landing. Pretty much everything. Which is why this is the hardest ‘‘job’’.




How to talk to ATC ( Departure ) :flight_departure:
Things in BOLD Change depending on situation and place.

ATIS

  • First Listen to the atis to get the information !!!
    Once you get your information e.g. Alpha you can proceed. If no ATIS available simply say no Information or dont mention it, Listen out for ‘‘on initial contact say you have xxxx’’


Delivery

  • With Information:
    Template: Departure Airport Name Delivery, this is Callsign at Stand Number Aircraft type Aircraft Request IFR Clearance to Arrival Airport with information ATIS information
    Example: Gatwick Delivery, this is Easy 2281, at stand 109, Aircraft type a320, request IFR clearance to Frankfurt, with information Alpha.
    With no Information:
    Template: Departure Airport Name Delivery, this is Callsign at stand Stand Number Aircraft type Aircraft Request IFR Clearance to Arrival Airport
    Example: Gatwick Delivery, this is Easy 2281, at stand 109, Aircraft type a320, request IFR clearance to Frankfurt

ATC You are clear to Destination Airport via Airport STAR Departure, Squawk

  • Template: Callsign Clear to Destination Airport via Airport Sid Departure, Squawking Squawk
    Example: EZY2281 Clear to Frankfurt, via BORI 2J Departure, Squawk 5512


Ground

  • Tip If you not aware how to move on ground at certain airport, google airport ICAO and chart eg. EGKK Charts, and find ground charts, there you will see taxi ways and holding points.


Pushback :tractor:

  • Template: Airport Name Ground, Callsign at stand Stand Number , Aircraft Type request Push and Start
    Example: Gatwick Ground, this is EZY2281 at stand 109, A320, request Push and Start.

ATC Callsign Push and Start Approved facing South

  • Template: Push and Start Approved facing South callsign
    Example: Push and Start Approved facing South EZY2281


Taxi :airplane:

  • Template: Airport Name Ground, Callsign Pushed back from stand Stand Number request taxi.
    Example: Gatwick Ground, EZY2281 pushed back from stand 109, is ready to taxi.

ATC
Callsign Taxi to Holding point Via Taxiway
Example to what ATC might say, EZY2281 Taxi to Holding point Juliet 2, via Kilo, Qubec, Juliet.

  • Template: Taxi to Holding point Via Taxiway , Callsign
    Example: Taxi to Juliet 2, via Kilo, Qubec, Juliet EZY2281.
    ONCE YOU APPROACH THE HOLDING POINT YOU GET TOLD TO CONTACT TOWER


Tower :tokyo_tower:

  • Sometimes when you contact tower he might tell you to go to another holding point.

  • Template: Callsign With you, taxing to Holding point
    Example: EZY2281 with you, taxing to Juliet 2.

  • ATC Callsign taxi to Juliet 2 and hold.

  • Template: Taxi and Hold, juliet 2. Callsign
    Example: Taxi and Hold juliet 2. EZY2281

ATC Callsign You are clear for takeoff Runway Runway Number

  • Template: Clear for takeoff runway Runway Number , Callsign
    Example: Clear for takeoff runway 28R, EZY2281

Once you take off you will get told to contact a Centre if online, if not you get told to monitor unicom on 122.800

ATC Callsign No Further ATC service available monitor unicom on 122.800
Template: Callsign Moving to 122.800, bye bye.
Example: EZY2281 Moving to Unicom on 122.800, bye bye.


How to talk to ATC ( In Air ) :cloud:

In air you wont get much atc, only Centres.
Once in air if there is some Centre Online and you will approach his sector, you will most likely get a message on vPILOT to contact him on given frequency, if not, message him and ask if you should be in his sector.


In Centre
Just a note, sometimes centres might give you a new squawk code.



On First Contact

  • Template: Centre Name , Callsign With you at Flight Level Inbound Waypoint
    Example: Langen Radar, EZY2281 With you at Flight level 360, inbound GASKO.

ATC Callsign Identified.

  • Now sometimes the atc might tell you to direct to another waypoint due to traffic or him being bored, e.g. :

ATC Callsign Identified, Direct to Waypoint

  • Template:Directing to Waypoint , Callsign
    Example: Directing to POBOR, EZY2281

  • Once you Leave a Sector you get told to monitor unicom, or if available contact another sector

If you are reaching T/D ( Top Of Descent ) Simply by informing the controller:

  • Template: Callsign approaching top of descent.
    Example: EZY2281 approaching top of descent.

ATC Callsign Descent to Flight Level

  • Template: Callsign Descending to Flight Level
    Example: EZY2281 Descending to Flight Level 210

If you are approaching your airport after Top Of Descent and still in Centres sector, he will tell you to contact the arrival airport Approach if available, if not he will help you with the approach, that is of course if the sector control is controlling your area.


How to talk to ATC ( Approach ) :flight_arrival:
If Approach is Available you would contact them
Tip: If you dont have a certain STAR because your AIRAC is outdated, simply say unable to do that arrival, something in those lines.

  • Template: Callsign With you Descending to Flight level
    Example: EZY2281 With you Descending to Flight Level 110

What ATC might say?
ATC Callsign Identified, expect STAR Arrival for runway Runway Number
ATC Callsign Identified, expect vectors to runway Runway Number

  • How to Reply?
    Template:Expect STAR Arrival for runway Runway Number , Callsign
    Example:Expect POBI 4H Arrival for runway 25L, EZY2281

  • Template:Expect vectors to runway Runway Number Callsign
    Example:Expect vectors to runway 25L EZY2281

Once you approach the runway, and around 25 miles away or so, you will get told to contact tower
( If tower is available )

ATC Callsign Contact Arrival Airport Name Tower on Frequency

  • Template: Contacting Arrival Airport Name Tower on Frequency , Callsign
    Example: Contacting Frankfurt Tower on frequency 123.250, EZY2281


BEFORE CONTACTING TOWER
If ATIS for arrival airport is available make sure to listen to it as you will need the information code for arrival too for a landing clearance, if no atis, simply dont give the atis code.
Also if you didnt get a STAR, simply just say you on vectors


Contacting Tower

  • Template: Arrival Airport Name Tower, Callsign with a STAR Arrival, request landing clearance for runway 25L with information ATIS information
    Example:Frankfurt Tower, EZY2281 with a POBI 4H Arrival, request landing clearance for runway 25L with information Bravo

YOU CAN ALSO SAY YOU ARE ON FINAL, OR WITH YOU APPROACHING RUNWAY #/b][/u][/i]

ATC Callsign Clear to land Runway Runway Number ( ATC will also give some information about weather

How to talk to ATC ( At Arrival )

On landing ATC will probably tell you when to turn off, also depending on airport he will tell you what Holding point to turn off at and what side, which is why charts are important.

Once turned off Tower will tell you to contact ground if available

ATC Callsign Contact ground on Frequency

  • Template: Contacting Arrival Airport Name on Frequency , callsign
    Example: Contacting frankfurt ground on 152.200. EZY2281


Ground :airplane:

  • Template: Arrival Airport Name , callsign with you Holding point , request taxi to Say where you want to taxi to
    Example: Frankfurt ground, EZY2281 with you at holding point bravo 5, request taxi to gate/stand.

ATC callsign Taxi to stand Stand number via Taxiways

  • Template: Taxing to stand Stand number via Taxiways , callsign
    Example: Taxing to stand 155 via Bravo, Kilo, Juliet, Tango. EZY2281




I hope you guys enjoy, if is so, leave a like :heart:! Article from Steam community:

19 Likes

thank you.

You are welcome, hope this can help somebody! :wink: :man_pilot:t2:

You could experience what is like by spawning at an airport with active Vatsim controllers. Do so in a remote gate away from the runways and taxiways.
Then tune into the active frequencies and just listen for a while. That way you’ll get an idea of what’s going on.

1 Like

i was tempted to try just that for some while just to get a hang of what’s going on there and how its supposed to be done but i was kinda “scared” to do so because i thought they’d kick me as soon as i’m not really trying to get my plane to some runway and clutter their view of the airport.

no ?
i’m actually allowed to just park away from the main business and listen to them ?

Yes.
Log in as an observer.
Don’t move anywhere without a clearance but to sit at a remote gate and just listen is fine.
You can also do a radio check. Transmit on an active frequencies with your call sign and all for a radio check. They will answer with a read you (4 or 5) if they can hear you.

1 Like

awesome. i’ll try it out as soon as i can.

You are talking about IFR flights only, what is about VFR flying ?

It’s absolutely helpful! Thanks for spending your time to put it all together.

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You can fly a 172 or 152 on Vatsim under VFR rules. Just ask for a VFR clearance on the ground. You do not have to pre file a flight plan (I don’t think!). You can then request flight following. But make sure you know the regs regarding airspace around the airport you are starting from.
Here’s a Clumsy video which might be helpful.

Thanks :blush: !!! Sorry just a question about the taxi … Where do you read on the map of the airport, the taxi route?

Each taxiway has a letter next to it. Alpha (A) runs from the Tower apron to Rw 03 passing Foxtrot (F) along the way.

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I joined Vatsim and got vPilot setup this evening. I spent an hour listening to communications. I can see how this raises the bar, and I’m looking forward to trying this out in a few days. I hope to get over my apprehension soon, because this seems like it would take simming to an entirely different level.

1 Like

When I was getting started I used the Steam guide linked in the OP as well as this one to get familiar with VATSIM.

I really liked the templates that were given in the above link because it made it really simple to know what to say from departure to arrival. You just scroll down and then back up to know what to say! :slight_smile:

When you do file your first plan there is space in the remarks to say you are a beginner. Totally NO shame in that. We’ve all been there!

2 Likes

As a VATSIM controller, you are absolutely correct. It does take it to the next level. Even though MSFS improved over XPlane in the ATC category, it STILL is not correct.

Even when I fly VATSIM, I’m somewhat apprehensive, so I guess it comes with the territory. You get used to it after awhile :slightly_smiling_face:

2 Likes