Pilots FAQs

  • Which Clients can I use to connect to VATSIM once Audio for VATSIM is launched?
    • New versions of vPilot or swift for FSX/P3D and xPilot or swift for X-Plane. Squawkbox, XSquawkBox and FSInn can also be used if you’re using the standalone Audio for VATSIM client.
  • Why can’t the controller hear me/why can't I transmit?
    • Have you selected “COM1” in your radio panel? Are the batteries on? Audio for VATSIM requires you to properly configure your radios!
      • Some addon aircraft may require you to enable the MIC button on your COM1 panel as well
  • I am on a frequency with ATC, but why is it completely silent?
    • Either no one is transmitting, or someone is transmitting, but you cannot hear it. Double check you are not actively transmitting or having an open mic and that your radio volume knob is turned up in the cockpit.
  • I’ve done all this and I still can not hear the controller and he still can not hear me.
    • You may actually be in a radio dead zone where your aircraft is not in the range of any of ATC’s radio towers. Private message the controller to verify this and if you are, request further instructions from ATC over private message. As you climb your radio range will increase and once high enough your radio range will be within that of an ATC radio tower.
  • I can hear other pilots but not the controller, and the controller can’t hear me either. What’s going on?
    • See above. It is possible that you may be too low to be in range of an ATC transceiver but you may still be in range of other nearby aircraft.
  • Why don’t I hear a blocking tone when I transmit over somebody else, or somebody else transmits over me?
    • Radio is half-duplex, so you either receive or transmit. Anyone else on the frequency will hear the blocking tone if two or more people transmit at the same time. Please be mindful of this before speaking on frequency.
  • Why don’t I hear other people transmitting when I am?
    • Aviation radios are half-duplex. You cannot receive at the same time as transmitting. Be mindful of this when you start to transmit and make sure you listen carefully to ensure you are not going to step on somebody else’s response to a transmission.
  • Why can I transmit on any frequency?
    • Frequencies do not “open” or “close”. They are used or unused, and you can always transmit voice on any frequency. To figure out which frequency to transmit to, check the ATC in your area and which frequency they are using. If there is no ATC in your area, use UNICOM (122.800).
  • If all frequencies are available, why can’t I use the local frequency for my airport when no ATC is online?
    • To ease the transition to Audio for VATSIM, we are sticking with the legacy UNICOM (122.800) to start. We are planning to move to discrete (local) Common Traffic Advisory Frequencies within 6 months of Audio for VATSIM’s launch.
  • Can I use the new voice codec to chat with my friends?
    • As before, bandwidth and server capacity on the VATSIM network are donated resources. Do not use radios for anything other than ATC communication or traffic coordination when no ATC is online. Unauthorized use of the frequencies could lead to certificate actions under VATSIM Code of Conduct A1.