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Help please. Vatsim Novice Helicopter Pilot 😱

Malcolm Harding

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Malcolm Harding

Hi All

I’m a newbie to vatsim. I’ve read the docs, downloaded the software (Xpilot) and listened as an observer to Lon_Ctr….. but I have a bunch of questions before I make a complete fool of myself “on air’.

1) can I choose any call sign or do I have to use the aircraft registration? e.g. Heli01 or G-XXXX

2) I want to fly VFR from Biggin Hill to a private site north of White Waltham routing heli lanes H9, H2, H10 with a Heathrow transit south to north. When filing my flight plan what’s the destination ICAO for a private site?

3) do I need to request “start’ and ‘ready-to-lift” from the lon_ctr if there’s no ‘twr’ online at the local airport?  

Everything I’ve heard so far has been heavy jets hence my concern/fear/questions.

Any guidance would be very much appreciated.

Thank you in advance. 

Edited by Malcolm Harding
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Hi Malcolm.

First of all, welcome to VATSIM! I'll try and answer your questions as concisely as I can.

1) You can operate under any callsign on VATSIM, real or fictional, or you can use any valid tail number. If you're using a fictional callsign, it's advised to include the radiotelephony pronunciation in the remarks of the flight plan. "CS/ SPEEDBIRD", for example. The only exception to this is the published restricted callsigns.

2) For an ICAO flightplan as is used on VATSIM, any site without a designated ICAO code is filed as ZZZZ, and an "ORGN" or "DEST" is included in the remarks to specify the destination. For example, a Stoke Golding arrival might file "DEST/ STOKE GOLDING AERODROME".

3) VATSIM works on a top-down principle. That is, a position will cover every single position underneath it if they aren't online themselves. Thus, London will also work Biggin ground, tower and approach. You would therefore speak to them to request those things. Notably, VATUK does not cover top-down for FISO or A/G services.

Hope this helps.

Edited by Josh Seagrave
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