PILOTS

Pilots play the major role in virtual aviation as this is the biggest group in community and that is for whom all the work is done.

DURING YOUR FLIGHT YOU MIGHT NEED THIS

To perform successful flight as well as completely enjoy the process through the authentic procedures and premium-class view out of cockpit, you might want to take our proposition to download sceneries and aerodrome charts for those airports, you going to visit in Ukraine. We doing our best to keep this section updated according to latest navigation information as well as we involved in developing new, better sceneries for our airports.

We provide scenery on a free basis and do not claim for copyrights as all this products belongs to their developers.

Most of the sceneries are cross-platform which means that you may try to use scenery that was not developed for your flight simulator.

UKBB Kiev Boryspil' CHARTS FS9 FSX P3D XPL
UKDD Dnipropetrovsk CHARTS FS9 FSX P3D
UKDE Zaporizhya CHARTS FS9 FSX
UKHH Kharkiv CHARTS FS9 FSX
UKKG Kirovohrad CHARTS FS9
UKKK Kiev Zhuliany CHARTS FS9 FSX XPL
UKKM Kiev Antonov CHARTS FS9 FSX
UKLI Ivano-Frankovsk CHARTS FS9 FSX
UKLL Danylo Halytskyi L'viv CHARTS FS9 FSX
UKOO Odessa CHARTS FS9 FSX P3D XPL
UKLU Uzhgorod CHARTS FSX XPL

HOW TO START?

Step 1

Firstly, you need to register on VATSIM network. Just follow our link here. We will bring you right to the registration form, where you just need to put some information about you. Please fill in all the fields with true information about yourself and wisely choose your division.

Step 2

Get yourself a flight simulation software. Nowadays there are a plenty of different kinds of simulator – Microsoft Flight Simulator, Prepar3D, X-Plane. Which one you going to use is up to you. Unfortunately, this step you have to complete yourself. Just get your own copy of software and install it.

Step 3

Download and install client software. Every version of software meant to be used with the proper version of simulator, so we provide you a few choices. Pick one according to simulator you are using.

Flight Simulator 2004 Flight Simulator X X-Plane Prepar3D
SquawkBox SquawkBox XSquawkBox vPilot
FSInn FSInn
vPilot

Step 4

Go to you flight simulator, open your client and adjust the settings: put in your name and callsign, and insert the correct VATSIM server IP address based on your current location.

CANADA 69.42.61.44
CZECH 212.67.73.150
GERMANY 1 138.201.76.151
GERMANY 2 212.227.11.18
INDIA 139.59.2.4
AUSTRALIA & OCEANIA 180.200.247.40
RUSSIA-W (St.Petersburg) 84.52.109.230
SINGAPORE 128.199.91.34
SWEDEN 176.124.148.55
UK1 178.79.154.95
UK2 178.62.97.26
USA-C 198.58.118.229
USA-E 97.107.135.245
USA-W 50.116.3.203
USA-C2 65.175.82.12
UAE 185.93.245.200

Step 5 

You are ready to fly now, what is left is to connect to network start you engine and take off...

THE BASICS OF FLYING

KNOW WHAT YOU'RE FLYING

Keep in mind that while flying on-line you should be sure you would not make any mistakes operating the plane. This requires you to study the aircraft you are flying, know its systems and how to control them.
So spend some time learning the manuals for the aircraft of your choice. If manuals scares you away you may try find some tutorial videos on YouTube and try to follow them.

PLAN YOUR FLIGHT

Before you take off you have to decide where you fly and how you fly there. Planes do not fly in a straight line, as any other transport they need route, which includes turning points and airways. As well as you need to choose the altitude, you going to fly, according to the rules. In Ukraine all the westbound flights should be performed on even numbered altitude, all the eastbound flights should maintain odd numbered altitude.
Read more about planning...

ADJUST THE CONDITIONS

As you are flying among other pilots you have to consider how not to cause a conflict. This includes adjusting the weather conditions, for example while choosing the runway - always remember that airplanes taking off with a headwind. Other thing to take into a count is that there are many other pilots, and if there are no controller on-line, they cannot be coordinated. For those reasons, pilots report their actions via text chat on Unicom.
More about weather...

LEARN MORE

Do not lazy around! This "big deal" hobby gives you limitless opportunities - from practicing your English to studying aviation laws and procedures. Always keep learning new things and improving your flying skills. We will help you on this way as long as you wish. And one day this may not only master your ability to flight in the flight simulator, but also may help you in your daily life.
Documents...

FLIGHT TRAINING

In addition to all the information, we offer you to join our Authorised Training Organization, where you can learn the basics of flight operations and get a pilot rating.

PLANNING THE ROUTE

The purpose of planning is to get general idea of how you going to fly from your origin to your destination. We will divide flight planning into three major parts:

  • Route planning
  • Flight level planning
  • Filling the Flight Plan

Let us start to plan your flight route. First thing to do is to decide which will be your origin and destination airport. In this example we will fly from Kiev Boryspil’ airport to Dnipropetrovsk. Therefore, now we can get the ICAO codes of these airports, they are UKBB and UKDD accordingly.

Now when we have codes we need to make up our route. To figure it out we need the navigational points (fixes) and airways that connects them. There are two ways to plan your route - use route charts or use route-finding software. Find your route on the chart is a bit difficult and require some time, so we will use automatic route finder provided by one of our colleagues here. Here we have our route:

PI L33 DEMER M70 ORSUS

As you can see, it consist of waypoints (PI, DEMER, ORSUS) and airways (L33, M70). We will need this to navigate manually or with autopilot.

After we had determined our route, we have to decide what altitude we will maintain during the flight. The rules are simple – if you fly westbound, your altitude should be even and if you fly eastbound, it should be odd. In Ukraine, we use Reduced Vertical Separation Minimums this means that the difference between opposite-directional routes will be 1000 ft. To visualize the principle of vertical separation we prepare a small table for you, the numbers may down till the ground and up to 66 000 ft.

WESTBOUND (179° - 360°) EASTBOUND (001° - 180°)
FL320 (32 000ft)
FL310 (31 000ft)
FL300 (30 000ft)
FL290 (29 000ft)
FL280 (28 000ft)

Our route goes eastbound so our flight level should be odd. We pick the number accordingly to the type of aircraft we fly – the bigger the aircraft, the higher it can fly. For example if we fly Boeing 737 we can easily take an altitude of 29 000 ft, what corresponds to flight level 290 (just cut the last two symbols from the number).

Final step is to file flight plan and send it to VATSIM. No matter what type of flight you perform, if you going to take off – you must file a flight plan. There are two ways to file the flight plan, either in your client when you are already connected to the server with your simulator or through the web-service there.
In any case, the fields will be the same, let us divide them:

Type of flight - IFR for instrumental flights and VFR for visual flights.
Callsign – your callsign, usually consist of either registration number of an aircraft (i.e. UR-PSA) or has an index of an airline with the number of flight (i.e. AUI72K).
Aircraft type – the 4 symbols ICAO code of your aircraft (i.e. B737).
True airspeed – the airspeed you plan to travel measured in knots.
Departure – the 4 symbols ICAO code of an airport of origin (in our case it’s UKBB).
Departure time – the expected time of departure in UTC (universal coordinated time).

Cruising altitude – the altitude or flight level you decided to maintain (in our example we decided on F290), altitude can be filled in next ways:

  • Flight level in feet - symbol F followed by 3 digits (i.e. F330);
  • Flight level in meters –symbol S followed by 4 digits (i.e. S1130);
  • Altitude in hundreds of feet – symbol A followed by 3 digits (i.e. A040);
  • Altitude in tens of meters – symbol M followed by 4 digits (i.e. M0840).
Route – the desired route that should consist of waypoints and airways. In case when waypoint taken has no index it can be filled in as a coordinates (i.e. 46N078W). If two waypoints are not connected by airway between them should be filled index DCT (short for direct).
In this section as well should be noted all the changes in altitude or speed on route. To do this pick the waypoint on which altitude or speed would be changed and right after it fill desired speed and altitude after slash sign (i.e. MAY/N0400F360 where N0400 – 400kts, F360 – flight level 360). Altitude should be listed as described above. Speed can be filled in knots (i.e. N0430), one hundreds of a Mach number (i.e. M085) or kilometers per hour (i.e. K0830).
Destination – the 4 symbols ICAO code of an airport of destination (in our case it’s UKDD).
Estimated time in route – estimated time that will take you to finish your flight.
Voice capabilities – set according to whether you will use microphone or only text with controller.
Remarks – optional field for extra information.
Fuel on board – the amount of time, in which you will run out of fuel.
Alternate – the 4 symbols ICAO code of an alternate airport.
Pilot name – your name according to your VATSIM registration.
VATSIM ID and password you got upon registration.

If you are filling the plan using the client in your simulator some of this fields may be hidden and you don’t need to fill them in. At this point the flight prearation is ended.

CONSIDERING THE WEATHER

The main source of meteorological information in VATSIM is meteorological coded information also known as METAR. This kind of information published every 30 minutes for most of the world’s airports and can be easily found in the internet. It consist of a few major types of information for the every specific airport – they are wind, visibility, weather phenomena, air pressure, runway surface condition and predictable changes. Therefore, you would understand how to decode this kind of information we provide you with the diagram as shown below.

METAR UKBB 030800Z VRB02MPS 9999 BKN050 M19/M20 Q1028 86411040 36821040 NOSIG

Let us decode this code.

METAR – is an identifier of a meteorological code, it means that this is weather observation, not forecast.

UKBB – station of observation.

030800Z – date (03) and time (0800Z) of observation.

VRB02MPS – first three symbols - wind direction in degrees (VRB – means it has no specific direction) and the next 2 indicates the speed (02MPS).

9999 – visibility near the ground in meters, if 9999 – visibility more than 10 kilometers. If stated CAVOK – it would mean that the visibility is more than 10 kilometers and there are no significant weather phenomena. If there is no way to determine visibility, the runway visual range will be stated with the code RVR as shown as R36L/5000, which means that on runway 36L the visibility is 5000 meters.

BKN050 – cloud base in hundreds of feet, so this are broken clouds with ceiling of 5000 feet. Type of clouds you can encounter: FEW – fewer, SCT – scattered, BKN – broken and OVC – overcast. After the ceiling altitude the abbreviation CB could be stated which indicates cumulonimbus clouds are present.

M19/M20 – temperature and dew point in degrees of Celsius (-19° and -20°), symbol M indicates that the temperature is below zero.

Q1028 – air pressure in hectopascals 1028hPa.

86411040, 36821040 – runway surface condition.

  • 86,36 – number of runway if there are few runways present – 50 added to the right runway number, so 86 refers to runway 36R and 36 to runway 36L, if 88 – conditions are for all the runways;
  • 4, 8 – the type of condition that runway is covered with (rain, snow, slash etc.);
  • 1, 2 – percent of coverage;
  • 10, 10 – the thickness of coverage in tens of millimeter, 0.1 mm;
  • 40 – breaking coefficient in hundreds of present 0.4 – the larger the number – the better the grip.

To get more information about how to decode METAR you can use our special manual...


Now let us ask some questions...

CAN WE ACTUALLY FLY IN SUCH A WEATHER?

First, we have to decide whether the current weather conditions allow us to perform a flight at all. There are many visibility restrictions, especially for visual flights, and if the current visibility and cloud ceiling are below the minimum, we should not fly and wait for weather to get better. Despite we fly virtually, we strongly suggest you to consider this factors and evaluate your personal skills in marginal weather conditions. Here are some numbers to start with:

VFR CAT I CAT II CAT IIIA CAT IIIB CAT IIIC
CLOUD BASE 1000 ft <200 ft 200-100 ft 100-50 ft >50 ft 0 ft
VISIBILITY 5000 m <550 m 550-350 m 350-200 m 200-50 m 0 m

If current weather conditions are below them, it is better to postpone the flight.

WHAT RUNWAY SHOULD WE USE?

If there were a controller providing service for the airport of your desire, you would not be asking yourself the question about the runway in use – the controller will tell you, but if there is not a single controller, you have to decide which runway to pick for your operations. To determine this we need the direction of the wind.

You may already know that airplanes should take off and land in a headwind. We already got the direction from which wind is blowing from METAR and runway heading we can get either from map or simply by multiplying the number of the runway by number 10. Therefore, the formula is - the closer wind direction to the runway heading – the better. For example for wind 330 degrees will suit the runway 36, but if the wind is 200 – it definitely should be runway 18.

WHAT FOR DO WE NEED PRESSURE?

You measure your altitude with the barometric gauge so what you see on the scale is not actually an altitude - it is a difference between air pressure on different altitudes. For high altitude flights, we always set altimeter for the pressure of QNE 1013.2 hPa this gives, us that all the aircraft’s altimeters show the pilot’s correct altitude. However, close to the ground we have also take into a count ground obstacle and know their height. Unfortunately, because the air pressure always changes, the height of these objects will always be changed as well. And in order to this numbers be constant we should measure their altitude from the medium sea level MSL, to do this, every time we fly, we have to set our altimeters for QNH pressure – the current pressure on the aerodrome related to the medium sea level.

During the climb we will cross the transition altitude – this is the altitude where you have to switch from QNH to QNE and set on your altimeter the pressure of 1013 hPa, this altitude can be found on most kind of aerodrome chart, but in Ukraine transition altitude is constant through all the country 10 000 feet.

When descending there is a transition level – the flight level where we switch from QNE to QNH for the specific aerodrome we going to land at. QNH we can get from the METAR or it will be given to us by an air traffic controller. Transition level is always higher than transition altitude, in Ukraine it could be flight levels 110, 120 or 130 depending on the pressure.

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