1.1 How to read the manual
In conjunction to this manual you should also read the GUIDE. The GUIDE contains material that focus more on practical ATC. Aditionally stand alone manuals covering each ATCO position can be found on this site.
Finally, we would like to point out that our motto is “as real as it gets”, but also always remember to have fun while aiming at that goal. Good luck!
VATEUD ATC TRAINING DEPARTMENT
1.2 The responsibility and role of a ATCO [S]
As a controller, you have a good overview over the traffic, but you never know how the situation is inside the cockpit where the pilots sit.
Your responsibility is therefore to the traffic situation.
You are not responsible to how the aircraft is flown. Every pilot has a responsibility for his aircraft.
Sometimes, there is a disagreement between you as as is the most important difference between real life and the virtual world. Try not to get angry, never argue with anybody, but rather point out the problem in a calm and constructive manner.
If a situation gets unpleasant or hatred, or if a pilot deliberately tries to sabotage our environment, you should try to contact a Supervisor (SUP) or Administrator (ADM).
These people have a responsibility to act in this kind of situations, and they are also the only ones who can expel pilots and controllers.
Let's move on from this boring but necessary topic and look closer on your task as a controller.
Apart from separation, you should also give service to the aircraft. Simply said, you should guide the pilots from point A to point B.
The pilots are in a never ending need of current information. They need weather acontroller and the pilot as to what is the right action in the current situation. Remember that it is the pilot who has final word in these situations.
This doesn't mean that he can fly his aircraft the way he pleases, but rather that you cannot give the pilot an instruction which he or his aircraft is physically unable to perform.
To avoid this kind of conflicts, it is always important to give the reason why unusual instructions are given.
It is very rare that disputes occur in our virtual world. We always try to help each other. If you end up in a dispute anyway, try to remember that we are real people in a virtual world.
If you or anybody else makes a mistake, no lives are at stake. Thind traffic information etc. It is your responsibility to deliver this information as correctly and quickly as possible.
There is one final task which isn't less important than the others. That is to have fun. We want you to enjoy yourself online VATSIM!
One of the most common mistakes made in the VATSIM environment is the misconception of a particular facility's function.
Tower is responsible for all take-offs and landings and gives instructions to effect proper sequencing and separation of aircraft for departure.
As a pilot or ATCO there is little need to know everything about the organisation as such, but from time to time you might want to contact someone from administration to get help or guidance.
Since it isn’t always easy to know who to turn to, a brief insight in the organisation-tree is presented here for reference. There is also a short description of the history of VATSIM at the end of this section.
It is not in the scope of this manual to describe the VATSIM organisation in detail and the best way of finding the right person is to start looking at your own vACCs homepage. There will be a staff-list with contact information on that page. The staff will guide you in the first instance if your request can’t be handled within your vACC.
You can also turn to the VATSIM forum and ask for help and further assistance.
1.5 About VATSIM [S]
The best part of all of this is that VATSIM brings real people together who share your passion for flight and air traffic control. When you contact that controller or pilot, you aren't contacting a computer generated voice or image - you will be communicating with a real person who shares the same interests as you!
All it takes is a few moments to register and join VATSIM. Once you do, prepare to learn and be rewarded with friendships that will span the globe. In addition, you'll receive the appreciation and thanks of the online flight simulation and air traffic control communities.