Starting out on online flying

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Hi, I'm relatively new to Flight Simming, and as yet I have not ventured into the realm of online flight.
With this in mind, before I do take the plunge into it (or should that be leap?!), are there any hard and fast rules regarding Online flight that are useful to know before I start. For example - can I use whatever aircraft I fancy? What speed connection to the net do I need etc??

Any help would be greatly appreciated, and made full use of.



Steve welcome to the forum.

First of all an appology for taking a while to reply. I do still check this forum from time to time but not as often as I would like to im affraid.

With regards to online flying it is a very scary and almost un-nerving place to go. You are litterally venturing into a different world and facing almost real fears.

But It isn't as bad as you imagine. Its a warm, welcoming place and one where everyone helps out eachother and is there to help you.

You can fly any plane you like but it has to be within reason. For example if you were connected to a multiplayer network with a Eurofighter jet flying at the speed of sound then it would be more than likely that you would get kicked off.

But I am part of a VFR virtual club that is just like the real deal. It is called VBFC (Virtual Bristol Flying Centre) and is based on the real world Bristol Flying Centre at Bristol International Airport (BRS/EGGD).

The VBFC offers full training right from the very start up to IFR flights and helps you along every step of the way. This is only available on the VATSIM network unfortunately. But is well worth it to help you along with your virtual career.

with regards to speed you can use a 56K dial-up modem but a 512kbps broadband connection is reccomended for optimum performance. If your speed is higher than this then even better.

THere is another network around called IVAO but as I have never used IVAO I can not say what it is like, as I have only ever used VATSIM and found it to be a very enjoyable and VERY addictive hobby.

Hope this has helped convince you to take the plunge and Start online flying.

But be pre-warned! As I said earlier, This hobby is very addictive and once you start, you just want more and more of it! 

Hope this has helped

All the best


Some useful websites




Many Thanks for the reply Gareth.
Well, I have a 4meg connection at present, so that's no problem. What I do need to do is look into VATSIM and your Group too.

I shall check out the links you have given me, and take it from there.

Oh yes, my aircraft of choice at present is Mike Stone's fantastic Scottish Aviation Pioneer! Take off at 45 knots! Its a lovely little aircraft for me to practice in, so hopefully I shan't get kicked off for it. (Maybe too slow though??!! a Sukhoi SU-15 in the Hangar though..!)

Many Thanks


Thats no problem Steve we look forward to welcoming you to our squadron!!! 

Deffinately have a look into it.

Your a/c should be ok but in our club we tend to use PA28 and cessnas more




I can change aircraft if mine is likely to cause clashes, but I have found as a beginner that it is a really easy and stable aircraft to fly in. One thing i would like to query after reading the VATSIM website is the ATC interaction - Do I need to have a headset and mic to actually speak to ATC?? (Forgive my ignorance) or  can I type it? (I do not have a head and mic set you see).

Thanks once again



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