Why some aircraft’s have ‘Generic’ as their call sign?

I was wondering about it. When an aircraft gets the ‘Generic’ call sign in MFS 2020? Does Someone know?

According to MSN beginners guide and tips page, it does this when it detects “profane” language.

Read - Have fun with the ATC options section
I suspect it might also happen if the name contains non Roman characters too.

Thanks. I got it.

MSFS also applies Generic to offline traffic?.. :wink:

There does seem to be more than this to it - I did wonder if it was applied to 3rd party addon aircraft. I can’t say I have taken much notice until looking at this post - I just assumed it was online players with no callsign or wihen they all used the same callsign for their aircraft.

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2 things here. You may have misinterpreted what that article is saying, and the author of that article is 100% wrong.

First, you don’t hear “generic” because of other peoples’ profane call signs. ATC is client side only. You don’t hear ANY ATC comms from other live players. 100% of the ATC chatter you hear is either directed at you, or other AI / RTO planes. Other real life players “don’t exist” in your instance of the game other than visually.

You hear “generic” when AI traffic doesn’t have an actual airline call sign + flight number (like American 345, United 452, Lufthansa 649) and said traffic is using a generic plane model. When referring to a plane without a proper call sign, It would normally say the model of the plane + the last 3 characters of the tail number, like “TBM 1 Tango Bravo” or “Cessna 1 Mike Charlie” for traffic that uses an actual “known” plane model. When a plane uses one of the generic models without an actual airline name and flight number, which make up a large number of the models we see for AI traffic, the plane gets called “Generic” + last 3 characters of the tail number.

And secondly, the author of that article is wrong. I’ve put some pretty messed up, profane ■■■■ as my call sign just for laughs back when the sim first launched, and if it was an actual word, every single time ATC has said it while communicating with me, no matter how profane it was.

Now when it comes to tail numbers, I suspect they blank them out for that very reason though - to keep the game G-rated. It’s hard to do that if you can read profane or offensive stuff on other peoples’ planes.


Duly Noted.

2 things here. Slow down. I didn’t write the guide, just passed it on. It is on an MSN site after all, I didn’t mention ATC coms at all, & I didn’t misinterpret this:-

Short names and words work great, though we found that profane language gets replaced with a generic call sign.”,

In this:-

Secondly, If they are wrong, and I have no reason to doubt this, then you are free to contact the site with this information and ask for a correction. :+1

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I have some doubt regarding what u Say about ‘other live players non existing in one’s game’.
For instance, in the simulation once I was Landing at Brussels airport, and was at short finals. One Player with a Dreamliner and a United Airlines livery on his plane was holding short of the runway and asked for take off clearance to Chicago from the ATC. And then he was advised to hold short and wait for my A320N to land. I could hear this conversation with the ATC as we were on the same tower frequency.

After I Had exit the runway, I didn’t change my frequency and waited near the runway to see the plane took off as I was excited to see someone going to travel such long distance. And there I saw the ‘United’ livery.

Also, I have noticed other live players asking for clearance to various airports. Like a couple of days earlier at Zurich airport, one player with a KLM call sign was departing from Zurich to Amsterdam. I could see him on the map as well as taxing and then taking off.

So this looks pretty live conversation.
I wonder how it’s possible what u say about non-existing Players in one’s sim as far ATC communication is concerned.

Sorry my friend, but those United, KLM, and other call signs you’re hearing are Real Time traffic, not other players. They act real because they’re based on actual real world flights that are happening in the real world.

This is very easy to verify. Next time you see that, go check FlightAware.com (an online tracker that tracks real flights, and the data source MSFS uses for injecting real traffic into the sim) and search for that flight number (like KLM 345 or United 385). You’ll find it will be a real flight in the real world injected into your game. Keep in mind that real-time online traffic in game is 5 to 15 minutes behind where the traffic actually is in the real world. But if you look up that plane in FlightAware, you’ll see that it will have taken off or landed at your airport within that last few minutes. I’ve checked it out and confirmed it.

Now, I can’t speak for this since I’ve never done it. MAYBE if you’ve set up a defined multiplayer group, perhaps you’ll hear ATC for people within your set group. I don’t know if it does or not. But with generic online multiplayer, there’s no interaction between you and other players or your ATC.


Just to be clear, no disrespect intended here. Just wanted to point out what the case actually was. I realize you just passed on info you read.

And I can’t be bothered to go through the PITA to submit change requests to a 3 month old online article I don’t care about.

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That looks plausible. It means we are all alone In live traffic and live ATC and no one listens to our ‘cool’ call signs. I have noticed that I am using my own call sign, but Hear others using the real life call Sign from various airlines. I hv never heard some fancy call sign.
I did not expect that. But there is far less real traffic in the simulation than the actual airspace.
I have flown to areas where there was dead silence throughout the journey- No live traffic at all.

There’s nowhere near as much traffic in game as in real life. And atm it would seem that Live Traffic is working about as well as Live Weather - either not working very well, or only working sporadically. That too can be verified by using FlightAware. It will show you all flights (commercial, military, private) that are being tracked by ATC over the entire planet. Typically, I’ve found that we only see about 10% of real world traffic in game, and it gives priority to airliners (and typically certain airlines depending on the region you’re in) over small GA aircraft.

However, real world GA aircraft do appear in game as well. If you see a small plane taxiing, take note of the ‘name’ in the name tag. That’s actually the real world plane’s tail number. You can look that up in FlightAware and it will be there as well. It may not be the same type of plane you see in game, but will typically be of the same class (like small single engine prop, dual engine prop, business jet, etc).

If we heard other people “talking” to ATC, you’d hear all kinds of call signs like Timmy Air 69, Bob’s Bonanza 45, etc. You never hear that. It’s either real airline flight numbers or “Generic”. And like I said, 100% of those Generics (if you can get their full tail number by seeing their name tag) are real planes in the real world.

I can understand this can come as quite a surprise when you thought all those other planes were real people playing. I thought so too when I started. But there’s no reason to take my word for it. Everything I’ve said can easily be verified via FlightAware and confirmed as correct.

Yes. Also there is an altitude increase/decrease request In the ATC window, which I use a lot but have never heard someone else asking for it.
But I do have heard some airplanes being advised by the ATC to maintain their assigned altitude, which they were not maintaining. I think it’s a little show they have put up to sound more realistic.

It’s really a surprise. I thought others could hear me.

Well, it’s time to try VATSIM for a more close to real ATC conversation.

I signed up for VATSIM, but I haven’t used it yet. Honestly I’m pretty intimidated by the thought of having to have real world radio comms and messing it up, or just not understanding or being understood due to international accents and such because I tend to fly in Asia, India, and the Middle East a lot.

Plus I like to do IFR flights, and you need to “graduate” to that level in VATSIM from what I understand.

“Generic” is an aircraft type (like Airbus or Cessna) in the simulator. Like @Crunchmeister71 said, you will hear real call signs for live traffic, but there is also AI traffic which is not live and therefore not associated with a callsign. In those cases, you will hear ATC use the generic as the call sign, since that represents the aircraft type. That is also the reason that you will hear ATC say things like “follow the generic on short final,” even when that aircraft might have a live callsign, such as “United 214”.

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Well, it would have been better if ATC were functional for the players in sim.
MFS is all about graphics, I would say. Even Not all cockpit switch works.

Since ATC runs client side vs server side, it’s simply not aware of other planes from other players.

And honestly, considering all the planes spawning on runways, players with no desire to learn proper ATC procedures, or just griefers that get off on ruining games for other people, I can completely understand why it was done this way.

After all, MSFS are partners with VATSIM, so I’m pretty sure those that want proper multiplayer ATC are going that route.

ANYTHING would be better to hear in the SIM ay “generic” even if the plane is a “generic AI model” – its just sound so unreal !!!
call Them “Sky Blue” or any one of a list of “Fictitious Name” (or maybe even real names ) , but not “Generic”

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I have just started giving a try to vatsim but haven’t get a hang of it. It looks promising though. They even take a short exam before they let you connect to the network. As far as accent is concerned, we can always look up to the real world international pilots who fly across the world overcoming all the accent barriers and safely moving people and goods.
I think vatsim would be quite an experience if it works smoothly.

I can confirm that you can hear radio comms from other aircraft in a group. For this exact reason we have the lead pilot handle ATC when flying formation, otherwise you have constant chatter repeating the same stuff. Having multiple aircraft in formation all using flight following also causes a constant, “report traffic in sight”.

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