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VATSIM Pilot Ratings 2020

Daniel Crookes


Hi all,

Yesterday, VATSIM.net announced that the pilot rating system will be restructured from June 1st. The new system will more closely emulate the structure of ‘real-world’ pilot training, and will increase the consistency of training provided by all Authorised Training Organisations (ATOs) through more strictly defined course syllabi.

P0: Basic VATSIM Member

An eLearning course, hosted and administered by VATSIM.net, which all new members will be required to complete before connecting to the network. The course will cover topics from the current P1 (Online Pilot) course such as:

  • Basic organisational structure,
  • Network etiquette,
  • Where to find help/further training (ATOs).

P1: Private Pilot Licence (PPL)

This rating will cover all of the topics of the legacy P2 (Flight Fundamentals) and P3 (VFR Pilot) ratings. This rating will be conducted in a non-complex single engine piston aircraft.

P2: Instrument Rating (IR)

This rating will cover the topics from the current P4 (IFR Pilot) and P5 (Advanced IFR Pilot) courses. This rating will be conducted in a non-complex single engine piston aircraft.

P3: Commercial Multi-Engine Licence (CMEL)

This rating introduces multi-engine aircraft into the training programme where students will focus on asymmetric air-work and look at aircraft performance in more detail. Some other topics include:

  • Multi-engine theory
  • Minimum control speeds;
  • Commercial flight planning.

P4: Airline Transport Licence (ATPL)

This rating focuses on the operation of a turboprop or turbojet aircraft in a commercial air transport environment. Students will cover normal and non-normal procedures including:

  • Normal and non-normal takeoffs and approaches;
  • Low visibility operations:
    • Takeoff,
    • CAT II and CAT III approaches;
  • Go-around and baulked landings;
  • Noise abatement departure procedures.

What does this mean for your current pilot ratings?

All existing members of VATSIM who have logged onto the network will be granted a P0.

All existing members with a P2 or P3 will be granted a P1.

All existing members with a P4 or P5 will be granted a P2.

We are currently waiting for clarification on whether students who have obtained their P4 and P5 ratings with VATSIM UK's ATO will receive a P3.

Our Plan!

  1. What material do we have? What material do we need? ✔️
  2. Assess whether our current method of training is appropriate for the new ratings. ✔️
  3. Develop new lesson structures for each rating. ✔️
  4. Transfer our new lessons onto our Moodle platform. ✔️
  5. Develop our new 'online video lessons'.  ✔️
  6. Make the necessary changes to our web infrastructure.
  7. Update all public facing mediums with information about the new pilot ratings.

Our new courses will include a number of one-to-one mentoring sessions and new online video lessons with the aim to reduce the strain on our mentoring resources, and will provide students with the autonomy to progress at their own rate. This is an approach that we have never taken before so we are expecting it to take a considerable amount of time and effort to create and assess the effectiveness of these online video lessons.

Currently Training for...?

P1 (Online Pilot Rating) - we will continue to run seminars for the P1 (Online Pilot) course until  18th May. Even though the 'numbers' won't count as such, the 1-2-1 mentoring opportunity that they get at the moment is priceless and genuinely makes a difference to the network.

P2 (Flight Fundamentals), P3 (VFR Pilot) and vIR(A) course -  we will not be issuing any more P2, P3 or vIR(A) training places and will be focusing on completing students who currently have a training place.


Currently on a waiting list?

On August 18th we will wipe our waiting lists clean, and anyone wishing to train will be required to express their interest via our helpdesk.

From August 18th to September 18th, students currently on a waiting list will be able to express their interest in the new equivalent course, and will retain their place in the waiting list. This mitigates against student being disadvantaged who have been waiting a considerable period of time for training.

If you hold visiting status in the UK for the purpose of pilot training, you will be required to notify us that you wish to retain that status. 


Daniel ✈️

Edited by Daniel Crookes

  • Like 2


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Richard Keen


For someone who isnt not interested in taking any of these courses does that mean i can't connect and fly on the network any more?

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Trevor Hannant


From:   https://www.vatsim.net/news/restructuring-pilot-rating-system


With this we are also pleased to announce a completely new rating we call “P0”, which is an all new automated training program that each new VATSIM member must complete prior to being able to sign into the network. This is for new registrations only; existing VATSIM members will automatically be awarded the P0 rating.


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Michael Quinn


What happens to the theory exam results  passed in CTS?

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