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Online Controllers Flights to/from ZLA

Departures (27)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
JAL61 KLAX RJAA Enroute 0258
AFR2857 KLAX LFPG Enroute 0402
THY10 KLAX LTFM Enroute 1106
AFR23 KLAX LFPG Enroute 0704
AAL1504 KLAX KDFW Enroute 0218
AAL53B KLAX KDFW Enroute 0311
AAL134 KLAX EGLL Enroute 1104
AAY14 KLAX KMEM Enroute 0218
SWA312 KLAX KDEN Enroute 1149
MSR57 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1248
AAL974 KLAX KSFO Enroute 1154
FFT3132 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1131
FFT892 KLAX KPHX Enroute 1052
FDX1981 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1108
DAL2202 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1134
N700CP KLAX KLAS Enroute 2132
UAL511 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1600
PMD231 KLAX PHNL Enroute 1600
QFA94 KLAX YMML Enroute 0003
AAL1847 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1600
FDX113 KLAX KMEM Enroute 1404
AAL73 KLAX YSSY Enroute 0849
JBU897 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1600
RPC2263 KLAX CYVR Enroute 1600
DAL7321 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1600
SWA361 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1600
DAL361 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1600

Arrivals (20)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
PAL102 RPLL KLAX Enroute 1044
AFR20 LFPG KLAX Enroute 1604
TAM8086 SBGR KLAX Enroute 0829
CPA880B VHHH KLAX Enroute 1201
UAL28 KORD KLAX Enroute 1600
AAL960 KMIA KLAX Enroute 1032
NKS194 KLAS KLAX Enroute 1600
NKS1786 KORD KLAX Enroute 1252
UAL71P KDEN KLAX Enroute 1153
AAL4025 KRNO KLAX Enroute 1337
NBL288 CYYC KLAX Enroute 1134
DAL3703 KGEG KLAX Enroute 1312
N9099C KSAN KLAX Enroute 1600
JBU943 KRNO KLAX Enroute 1144
CPA872 VHHH KLAX Enroute 1847
AAL950 KMIA KLAX Enroute 1050
DAL317 PHNL KLAX Enroute 2334
UAL1413 KLAS KLAX Enroute 0745
N74H KLAS KLAX Enroute 1600
SWA2615 KABQ KLAX Enroute 1101

Los Angeles (SoCal) 47

Departures (1)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
SWA427 KONT KLAS Enroute 1723

Arrivals (2)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
ASA1234 PAFA KONT Enroute 1112
N3558E KSNA KAJO Enroute 1600

Empire (SoCal) 3

Departures (9)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
UAL2221 KSAN KIAD Enroute 0216
NKS2878 KSAN KPDX Enroute 1513
XACHR KSAN MMVR Enroute 0314
EAL769 KSAN KSFO Enroute 1209
ASA1061 KSAN KSJC Enroute 1156
N9099C KSAN KLAX Enroute 1600
FDX1839 KSAN KOAK Enroute 1600
UAL2800 KSAN KDEN Enroute 1600
N447DA KSAN Enroute 1600

Arrivals (8)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
HAL58 PHNL KSAN Enroute 1022
NKS4569 KSTL KSAN Enroute 1009
FDX1207 KOAK KSAN Enroute 1700
UAL2309 KDEN KSAN Enroute 1121
DAL2427 KSLC KSAN Enroute 1130
SWA3151 KLAS KSAN Enroute 1516
BAW265 EGLL KSAN Enroute 1033
ENY224 KLAS KSAN Enroute 1600

San Diego (SoCal) 17

Departures (3)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
UAL1403 KSNA KSFO Enroute 1412
N960WC KSNA Enroute 2102
N3558E KSNA KAJO Enroute 1600

Arrivals (2)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
EJA393 KMCO KSNA Enroute 1012
AAL2637 KPHX KSNA Enroute 1057

Coast (SoCal) 5

Departures (1)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
XALEO KPSP KLAS Enroute 0043

Arrivals (1)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
ROU1735 CYYZ KPSP Enroute 1224

Palm Springs (SoCal) 2

Departures (9)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
NKS194 KLAS KLAX Enroute 1600
UAL3910 KLAS KDEN Enroute 1250
SWA3151 KLAS KSAN Enroute 1516
N5185Y KLAS KMEM Enroute 0457
GTI3627 KLAS KCVG Enroute 0248
DAL525 KLAS KTUS Enroute 0114
UAL1413 KLAS KLAX Enroute 0745
N74H KLAS KLAX Enroute 1600
ENY224 KLAS KSAN Enroute 1600

Arrivals (16)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
UAL2344 KSFO KLAS Enroute 1600
DAL659 KATL KLAS Enroute 0111
SWA427 KONT KLAS Enroute 1723
MSR57 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1248
FFT3132 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1131
FDX1981 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1108
DAL2202 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1134
N700CP KLAX KLAS Enroute 2132
UAL511 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1600
AAL1847 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1600
SWA4952 KOAK KLAS Enroute 1600
XALEO KPSP KLAS Enroute 0043
JBU897 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1600
DAL7321 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1600
SWA361 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1600
DAL361 KLAX KLAS Enroute 1600

Las Vegas 25

Departures (1)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
JTL624 KPMD KHOT Enroute 0309

Palmdale 1

Departures (1)

Callsign Dep Arr Status ETA
UAL2959 KSGU KDEN Enroute 1207

Other 1
  • Flights To/From ZLA: 101
  • Flights in ZLA Airspace: 50
  • Controller Schedule

    July 15th, 2024

    Socal Approach (West)
    Justin Nguyen

    Session with EY

    1500 - 1630 PDT / 2200 - 2330 Zulu

    Advanced Pilot Tips

    TIP 1: Advanced Flying Tips
    This section assumes you can fly a full approach. If you can’t, see the Intermediate section on approaches
    • DME Arc’s:

      A DME arc is a maneuver where a pilot will remain a fixed distance from a VOR as they fly part of a circle around it. These are most commonly used in approaches, but could in theory be assigned by a controller. Unfortunately for most pilots, an autopilot or FMS usually can’t fly a DME arc on flight sim, so this is a hand’s on maneuver. There are only 5 approaches into ZLA that have DME arcs (KBLH VOR DME Rwy 26, KTRM VOR DME Rwy 30, KVCV ILS Rwy 17, KVCV VOR DME Rwy 17, and the KLAS ILS 1L)

      So let’s get to flying, we will use the KVCV approaches for our 2 examples here. Let’s start with the easier one the KVCV VOR DME Rwy 17 (yes this one is easier from an Arc perspective). It’s available here. http://www.laartcc.org/charts/KVCV-VD17.pdf

      We will say you’re flying along nice and happy and the ILS is out of service (I don’t know why either), so you decide to shoot this approach, and you get the dreaded “7 miles from BASAL, cross BASAL at or above 7,500 ft cleared VOR DME runway 17 approach”

      Well from BASAL to TRNDL is straight forward, the fun happens as you approach TRNDL and you need to turn onto the arc. I will assume you have 2 VOR’s for this exercise in arcing. Your VOR 1 at this point should be set to the VCV055R your turn on point. I personally will set VOR 2 to your turn off point (the VCV352R inbound). Now a DME arc consists of several small turns. There are 2 ways to do it, first if you have a DME based ground speed readout (not GPS), and if you don’t.

      Either way you need to start your turn to the arc about .5-1 miles prior to the arc. A rule of thumb is .5% of your ground speed, or .5 miles per 100kts GS. In this case you will make a right 90 degree turn to a heading of 315.

      Now let’s assume that you don’t have a DME based ground speed readout, here is the procedure. As soon as you make this turn set your course to 045 on your number 1 VOR (10 degrees in the direction you are arcing). If you timed your turn right you will roll out on 13.5 DME, don’t worry if you aren’t right on. IRL you’re expected to hold an arc within 1 mile. When your VOR centers on 045 you should turn 10 degree left (to around 305, your heading should always be 90 degrees apart from the course you have set in the VOR unless you are not on course or have wind) and set the VOR to 035. Follow this progression of 10 degrees at a time until you reach the 005 Radial on your course (your heading should be around 275 at this point). You’ll note the VCV 001 Radial is depicted with a LR001. This is a recommended turn out point. So when your VOR centers on 005 set it to 001 and when that centers turn left to your inbound course of 172 (use the number 2 VOR to make sure your on track and intercept it).

      That assumes you can fly an arc perfectly on your first time, which isn’t the easiest of accomplishments. If you start to drift outward (by more then .5 or so), then you should correct inwards by turning towards the VOR more (turn sharper in the direction you’ve been turning, left in this case). If you drift inward turn outward (more towards the right). Also wind can affect your ARC, usually arc’s aren’t long enough to figure out wind exactly, so just compensate if it makes you drift a lot.

      If you have a DME groundspeed indicator still use the above procedure. However to refine your heading make your ground speed read 0 at all times. This will ensure you are on the arc.

      These take some practice, so don’t worry about messing them up the first few times.

      Now let’s look at that ILS approach. http://www.laartcc.org/charts/KVCV-I17.pdf

      The arc is the same arc, and you fly it the same, the difference is in the VOR setup. You are turning onto a localizer, not the same VOR, so you need to have your ILS frequency in your number 2 VOR (or ARC off the number 2 VOR, your choice) with the course set so when you turn off (remember to start that turn at the 001Radial) you can intercept the ILS inbound instead of a VOR radial.

      That’s all there is to an arc, try it sometime.
    • NDB Navigation:

      NDB (Non directional Beacons), are the father of the VOR system still in common use today. NDBs are simply a radio beacon which transmits a signal in the LF/MF band between 190-535 KHZ (you can also pick up AM radio stations from 540-1750 KHZ). The aircraft tool to detect NDB’s is a ADF (automated direction finder). Most modern aircraft will display this data on the HSI along side the VOR indications. After you tune and ident the NDB (you should have the ident on as long as you are using the NDB for navigation as they are less reliable than a VOR. To Ident a station you should active it on your comm panel, just like switching to comm2, you will hear a Morse code ident). We will only cover the most basic NDB navigation here, going direct to an NDB. For those wanting a more advanced course see Lesson 311 in the PRC

      Once tuned and idented the needle will point at the station. To fly direct just turn the amount of degrees that the needle is from vertical. For example if you are on a heading of 300 and the needle points 30 degrees to the right, you would turn 30 degrees to the right and end up on a heading of 330.

      In ZLA the main NDB that gets used is Petis (SB) which is near KONT. There are also a couple of NDB approaches around ZLA.
    • Contact Approaches:

      Contact approaches are a rarely used approach on VATSIM. A contact approach is an approach that is similar to a visual approach but with lower weather minimums (and more risk). The requirements are as follows.

      Only a pilot can request one (ATC can’t assign it or even suggest it)

      The visibility must be at least 1SM.

      You must be able to remain clear of clouds

      You must see the ground

      The airport must have a normal Instrumentapproach procedure

      In a contact approach you will follow the ground and known landmarks on your own to the airport. This should only be used if you are familiar with the area (and can find the airport on your own). To request one simply say “N12345 request contact approach”.
    TIP 2: IFR Reports
    When IFR you should make the following reports to ATC. This assumes radar contact which is a given within ZLA, additional non-radar reports are also required.
    • Leaving an altitude or flight level
    • Altitude change when VFR-on-top
    • Missed Approach (with intentions)
    • Change in TAS of 5% of 10kts (whichever is greater) from filed TAS.
    • Entering a Hold
    • Leaving a Hold
    • Equipment Malfunction
    • Safety of Flight Issue
    • Un-forecast Weather
    TIP 3: Advanced Flight Planning
    Ok for this I will assume you can find a good route based on the weather and runway configurations. Including J/V routes and SID/STAR’s. Let’s talk about some of the nuances with flight planning and the flight plan.
    • Where do I stop if there is no STAR?

      A flight plan should have 1 of 2 endings to it. A STAR or an IAF to an approach into the airport you’re landing at. So if you are going to KCRQ (Carlsbad) your flight plan can end at either HOMLY, JLI (from the ILS RWY 24), GAYGE, ICUGA (From the GPS Rwy 24), or OCN (From the VOR-A). Now what about MZB from the GPS Rwy 24? That’s not an IAF, but a feeder route to the approach. If you wanted to fly that route you should file MZB.ICUGA and you can expect approach clearance before MZB.
    • How do I determine my True Airspeed?

      There are many kinds of airspeed used in real world. Here is a quick list:

      Indicated (IAS): What you read off your A/S indicator

      Calibrated (CAS): Indicated airspeed corrected for position error (basically errors due to positioning of the Pitot tube {the Pitot tube is used to get information for the airspeed indicator}). This is not modeled in flight sim to my knowledge and therefore can be considered the same as IAS.

      Equilivant Airspeed (EAS): Calibrated corrected for the compressibility of the air. This is modeled in flight sim according to my experiments. This only matters at high altitudes (above 20,000ft) or high speeds (above 250 kts CAS). The formula for this is extremely complicated and rather then provide a chart; it can be assumed that for normal airline operations (35,000ft at 300 kts). You subtract 20 knots from your CAS to get EAS. The subtraction will be lower if you are lower or slower, and you subtract more if you are higher or faster.

      True Airspeed (TAS): This is your actual speed through the air and is EAS corrected for non-standard pressure and temperature (this affects the Pitot tube readings).

      Ground Speed (GS): TAS corrected for wind, this is how fast over the ground you are moving.

      Ok so we have CAS and a quick and dirty way to get EAS. Now we need to get TAS from EAS. There are a couple of ways to do this. The math way is that TAS=EAS/(the squareroot of the density ratio). The density ratio based on the density altitude you are at. Ok that’s a bit beyond our purposes, and beyond what real world pilots do to get TAS. In the real world pilots will use a flight computer (like a E6B or my personal favorite, the CR3). Odds are you don’t have one of these handy, so the Internet proves its usefulness and here is a website that will allow you to enter the values are get an answer.


      Note this website has an EAS calculator, but it goes backwards from TAS and not forwards from CAS. Same with its CAS calculator.
    • How do I determine my Time Enroute:

      Ok armed with your true airspeed it gets pretty simple to get a time enroute. If you want a quick and dirty way to do it, just figure out your distance, and divide it by your true airspeed. This gives you time in hours, multiply by 60 for time in minutes.

      Now for those who want a more exact numbers, you need the winds aloft to get your speed over the ground, GS. Well that’s good, now how do I get that? The answer is via the weather and a winds aloft chart (see the advanced weather section on how to get and read a winds aloft chart). Once you have your winds for the flight you can use another Internet tool to get GS from TAS. You can once again also use a manual flight computer if you have one.

      This website http://www.csgnetwork.com/e6bcalc.html has a ground speed calculator. It also has a TAS calculator, but it is not as precise as the one previously given. Once you have your ground speed replace it with TAS in the formula given in the first paragraph.
    • When can I file direct:

      There are certain situations where you can file direct. However let me preface this with saying, it is never legal to file direct airport to airport. Let’s start with when direct is allowed. Note, this relates to the actual filing of flight plans.If you can get ATC to approve direct KJFK while you’re over Kansas, that’s perfectly legal if you can actually fly there on your own.

      Direct is allowed during the enroute stage of a flight. The average flight can be broken into 4 phases. Departure, Enroute, Arrival, and Approach. The departure stage will either consist of a SID and transition, or from the airport to the first fix on your flight plan. The enroute stage is from the end of the departure stage to the arrival stage (short flights may not have an enroute stage). The arrival stage is either from the last fix to the approach, or a STAR including transition. The approach stage is just the approach into the airport. So let’s look at some flight plans.


      The departure phase is the LOOP4 Departure until you hit DAG.

      There is no enroute stage.

      The arrival phase is the KEPEC 1 arrival starting at DAG.

      The approach phase is the approach you are given into KLAS, usually a visual or ILS.


      The departure phase is the VTU5 Departure until you hit RZS.

      The enroute stage is from RZS along J501 to BSR.

      The arrival stage is from BSR along the BSR2 arrival.

      The approach stage is whatever approach you get into KSFO.


      The departure phase is from takeoff until you hit IPL VOR.

      The enroute stage is from IPL along V66 to MZB then along V23 to OCN.

      The arrival stage is from OCN to the approach. Depending on which approach you do, there may not be an arrival stage.

      The departure phase must either have a SID or a close-by VOR in it (usually the closest).

      The arrival phase must always either have a STAR or should end at an IAF.

      When filing direct you can’t mess with the departure and arrival stages.

      You can mess with the enroute stage.

      There are technically 2 types of direct as defined by the FAA. VOR to VOR direct and RNAV direct. We will start with VOR to VOR direct.

      VOR to VOR direct:

      This is legal for any aircraft as long as you stay within the service volume of VOR’s. Ok well what’s the service volume of a VOR?

      This of course depends on the VOR. There are 3 kinds of VOR’s. They are listed below along with there SSV (standard service volume).

      Terminal: 25NM starting at 1,000ft to 12,000 ft. The following ZLA VOR’s are terminal class.




      Low: 40NM starting at 1,000ft to 18,000 ft. The following ZLA VOR’s are low class.





















      High: 40NM starting at 1,000ft to 14,500ft . 100NM starting at 14,500 up to 18,000ft . 130NM from 18,000ft to 45,000ft. 100NM from 45,000ft to 60,000ft. The following ZLA VOR’s are high class.





















      If your VOR isn’t listed here, look it up at www.airnav.com

      As long as you can stay within the SSV of these VOR’s you can file direct VOR-VOR. Note that if you look at V and J airways it may appear that these VOR’s have a range greater then the SSV and they do.Some also have restrictions which are listed at www.airnav.com However you may not assume that a VOR has range greater then its SSV even if you can prove it with an airway. That’s why sometimes it’s better to fly airways.

      So for example if you want to fly from KIPL to KSBA without using an airway you could file the following legally: IPL (remember you have to start at a nearby VOR) PGY (75 miles from IPL so you remain within both SSV (note you could also file V317 here and have the same route, you can’t file IPL.JLI as that will go though restricted airspace. You always have to avoid restricted airspace and MOA’s unless they won’t be operating. From PGY to OCN (about 40 miles). From OCN to LAX (about 60 miles, note you can fly though R-2503A as it only goes up to 2000ft). From LAX to RZS (about 70 miles). And finally from RZS to ZACKS (RZS isn’t an IAF to any approach, it does have a feeder to ZACKS for the VOR RWY 25).

      So this is your final legal route. KIPL IPL.PGY.OCN.LAX.RZS.ZACKS KSBA

      As for an altitude, for any direct route you have to use the Off route obstruction clearance altitude which are found on low enroute charts. These are published for each quadrangle (box surrounded by the lines of longitude and latitude) and are labeled in thousands and hundreds of feet. Look at each quadrangle and determine the highest one. That’s the lowest legal altitude. In this case you get 11,100ft around RZS. So use that and the NEODD SWEVEN rule and you can use 12, 14 or 16 thousand. You can’t go above 18,000ft because you used a low class VOR (PGY).

      Now a final note, just because it’s legal doesn’t mean you will get it approved by ATC.

      Now for RNAV direct. RNAV direct can only be used for aircraft that have a GPS, FMS, or other RNAV equipment and can file one of the following suffixes.





      Now let’s talk about what you can and can’t do under RNAV direct. You can’t file KLAX direct KJFK. You also can’t file outside a VOR SSV range except as specified below. You can however file direct to a VOR DME fix from a VOR like LAX030045. That means LAX030 Radial 45 DME fix for those who don’t know. So let’s say you want to fly direct from KLAX to KRNO, the following would be a valid route.

      Starting at KLAX you have to file a SID. Remember direct is only allowed enroute. So going up to KRNO the best SID is the GMN4.EHF so that’s the start of our flight plan. Looking over the arrivals a good one is the SWR.CANN2 arrival. So we now draw a straight line from EHF to SWR. Note that you can’t file EHF.SWR because it is outside the SSV for SWR (which is a low VOR).So we can draw a line between the 2 VOR’s on a chart (or just guess) and we come up with the following for a route.


      This make the complete route KLAX GMN4.EHF.CZQ090010.CZQ330100.SWR.CANN2 KRNO

      As for an altitude, for any direct route you have to use the Off route obstruction clearance altitude. These are published for each quadrangle on the low altitude enroute chart (box surrounded by the lines of longitude and latitude) and are labeled in thousands and hundreds of feet. Look at each quadrangle and determine the highest one. That’s the lowest legal altitude. You should get 15,300 ft just north of CZQ. That’s your lower limit, also because we used SWR which is a low VOR we can’t go above 18,000ft. That gives us either 16,000ft or 17,000ft. Using the NEODD SWEVEN rule you get 17,000ft.

      Once again just because it’s legal doesn’t mean you will get it and I did this rather quickly and didn’t check the VOR restrictions so use this route at your own risk.

      You are allowed to file a route that is beyond the SSV of VOR’s if your can file one of the following suffixes. (Note that this is a gross oversimplication of very confusing real life requirements)





      Using this equipment you could make the above route


      For longer routes you must have 1 fix within each center you transit.

      Finally, for flights above FL390 within the continental US, coordinates may be used. Coordinates should NOT be used at or below FL390 for continental US flights.
    TIP 4: Beyond IFR and VFR
    There are 2 other kinds of flight plans which can be filed on VATSIM, they are DVFR and SVFR. Also there is VFR-on-Top which is a special case of IFR
    • DVFR (Defense VFR) is used for certain aircraft transiting the ADIZ (USA Mexico Border). We do not simulate these operations in ZLA and I will not cover details.
    • SVFR (Special VFR) is used in certain conditions when the weather is poor. Remember basic VFR weather (to takeoff and land under VFR is 3SM visibility and 1,000ft ceiling). If you want to fly VFR when the weather is below this you still can under SVFR. Here are the restrictions for SVFR.

      Weather must be at least 1SM and you must be able to dodge the clouds (fixed wing only)

      SVFR is only valid to enter and exit a controlled airspace surface area (class B, C, D, or E)

      SVFR must have ATC approval

      SVFR by fixed wing aircraft is NOT allowed at KLAX

      SVFR at night is only allowed if the pilot and airplane are IFR equipped

      IFR gets priority over SVFR

      For helicopters you must have enough visibility to see and avoid other aircraft.

      When you request a SVFR clearance you will be cleared SVFR out of a surface area, with an altitude restriction if needed. Once clear of the area your services will be terminated unless you want flight following.
    • Finally there is VFR-on-Top which is a combination of IFR and VFR. You will fly an IFR flight plan and request clearance normally, except you should request “VFR-on-top” either with your first call up for clearance, or first airborne call.

      You will be given a clearance like this “climb to and report reaching vfr-on-top conditions, no tops reported (or a ceiling report if they have it), if not vfr-on-top by X (an altitude), maintain X and advise” Here are the VFR-on-top rules.

      You must maintain a proper VFR altitude.

      You must remain in VFR weather (see the other VFR weather minimums)

      You must follow the route in your IFR clearance.

      This is most commonly used to climb above a cloud layer and then cancel IFR. The use of “on-top” does not limit a pilot to being above all cloud layers, you can be VFR-on-top and be above, below, or in-between cloud layers.
    TIP 5: The Other VFR Weather Minimums:
    Most VATSIM pilots only care about basic VFR weather minimums (3SM visibility and 1000ft ceiling), however there are in flight weather minimums for VFR pilots also. This assumes you are not under SVFR.
    • Class A airspace – VFR is not allowed so there are no weather minimums
    • Class B airspace – 3SM visibility and to remain clear of clouds
    • Class C airspace – 3SM visibility and remain 500ft below clouds, 1000ft above clouds and 2000ft horizontally from clouds
    • Class D airspace – Same as Class C
    • Class E airspace

      Below 10,000ft MSL – Same as Class C

      Above 10,000ft MSL – 5SM visibility and remain 1000ft below clouds, 1000ft above clouds, and 1SM horizontally from clouds
    • Class G airspace


      Below 1200ft AGL: 1SM and remain clear of clouds

      Below 10,000ft MSL: 1SM and remain 500ft below clouds, 1000ft above clouds and 2000ft horizontally from clouds

      Above 10,000ft MSL: Same as Class E above 10,000ft


      Within ½ SM of an airport in the traffic pattern: 1SM and clear of clouds

      Below 10,000 ft MSL: Same as Class C

      Above 10,00ft MSL: Same as day Class G
    • A final note on this, if ATC is vectoring you (in class B for example), it is NOT a waver to violate these minimums.
    TIP 6: Advanced Weather:
    A metar is one of the many tools a pilot uses to get a picture of the weather. Pilots will usually call flight service before a flight to get a briefing. Don’t do this for a VATSIM flight. What you can do is the next best thing and do it virtually (which a lot of pilots also do). http://adds.aviationweather.gov/ Is a website for aviation weather used by pilots on a regular basis. It has every piece of weather information you could ever want. We will go over some of the more basic ones. Click on the standard briefing button on the left menu. A direct link is http://aviationweather.gov/std_brief/ . This gives you a list of weather information that a pilot would get for a normal flight. We will only cover a few of the weather pieces available on this page.

    Let’s start at the top and work our way down:
    • Convective Sigmets/Sigmets/Airmets:

      Clicking on one of these links will take you to the main page for all 3. These are used as warning to advise pilots of hazardous conditions. Airmets are the least severe, then Sigmets, and finally Convective Sigmets (which are only for thunderstorm activity). The map will show what areas are affected and text is available on the right side. These are issued for turbulence, icing, IFR conditions, convective activity, and finally volcanic ash.
    • Weather Charts:

      These are a variety of charts used to show current and forecast weather. The weather depiction chart is used to show general areas of VFR/IFR conditions and cloud cover. The rest are self explanatory.
    • Metars:

      You should already know how to read these, this is another place to get them
    • Pilot Reports (PIREP’s)

      http://adds.aviationweather.gov/pireps/ will take you to the pirep page.

      Pilot reports are submitted by pilots and show real world conditions live. In theory if you give ATC the weather, this is what is generated. Here is the basics on how to read them.


      SBP – Area where the PIREP was received

      UA – Type of pirep UA means normal UUA means urgent

      /OV SAN-SBP – Location, in this case between SAN and SBP. This is usually in the XXX000111 format.

      /TM 2303 – Time in Zulu

      /FL200 – Altitude (always given as FL even if below 18,000ft)

      /TP BE20 – Type Aircraft

      /SK SKC – Sky conditions, sky clear

      /TB NEG – Turbulence Negative

      You can also have /RM (remarks) /WV (wind) /IC (icing) and /TA (temperature)
    • TAF:

      Terminal Aerodrome Forecasts (TAF), are used as a forecast tool and use the same contractions as a Metar. They are good for 24 hours and issued every 6 hours.

      KLAS 012336Z 020024 VRB06KT P6SM VCTS SCT120CB BKN250
      TEMPO 0001 20012KT
      FM0400 23007KT P6SM FEW120 SCT250
      FM2100 20011KT P6SM SCT120 SCT250
      Here is a TAF for KLAS, here is how to decode it.

      KLAS – Location

      012336Z – Date and Time of issuance, same format as a Metar

      020024 – Valid Date and times. Valid on the second from 0000Z to 2400Z

      VRB06KT P6SM VCTS SCT120CB BKN250 – Weather forecast for 0000Z until 0400Z, same format as a Metar P6SM means greater then 6SM visibility.

      TEMPO 0001 – Temporarily from 0000Z to 0100Z

      20012KT – Weather that will exist at time between 0000Z and 0100Z

      FM0400 – From 0400Z

      23007KT P6SM FEW120 SCT250 – Forecast for after 0400Z until 2100Z

      FM2100 – From 2100Z

      20011KT P6SM SCT120 SCT250 – Forecast for after 2100Z until 2400Z
    • Winds and Temperature Aloft Forecast:

      This is a forecast of upper level winds. Here is an example

      (Extracted from FBUS31 KWNO 012009)
      DATA BASED ON 011800Z
      VALID 020000Z FOR USE 2000-0300Z. TEMPS NEG ABV 24000 3000 6000 9000 12000 18000 24000 30000 34000 39000
      BLH 9900 9900+26 9900+18 0805+09 3407-07 9900-18 202133 202344 231553

      The top section is the header and shows valid times and issuance times. There is also a note stating that all temperature above FL240 are negative.

      The bottom part shows the winds for various altitudes. The format is AABBCC

      AA Wind direction in 10’s of degrees (34 is 340)

      BB Wind speed in knots

      CC Temperature in Celsius

      So 202133 Means Wind 200@21Kts Temperature -33 (above 24000ft)

      9900 Means winds light and variable (less then 5 knots)

      Temperatures are not given for the 3000ft level or for any level within 2500ft of the airport

      Winds are not given for any level within 1500ft of the airport

      All altitude are MSL or FL at and above 18000ft.

      If the wind is above 100kts the following is done. Only the last 2 digits of the speed are shown and 50 is added to the direction.

      For example 724543 means Wind 220 (72-50=22) @ 145 kts temp -43

      Winds above 199kts are coded as 199kts.