Flight Simulator "DEFAULT" Air Traffic Control

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Mark Kusiak
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Flight Simulator "DEFAULT" Air Traffic Control

Post by Mark Kusiak » Tue May 14, 2019 11:30 pm

There has been allot of discussion on flight simulators and the Air Traffic Control (ATC) that is provided with them.

I wish to try and document the general issues and concerns regarding ATC and how it is implemented in all flight simulation
packages. To say the least, new flight simulation enthusiasts determine very quickly that all simulator ATC, as the sim comes out
of the box, leaves allot to be desired. it is not a criticism to point out that none of them are stellar in how ATC was implemented.
The simulator's developer concentrated on the mechanics of the airplane and how that flies. In early development of the original
Microsoft Flight Simulator (MSFS), you flew a Cessna 172 around Meigs Field on the Chicago shore line, with about a 100 NM radius
for a world. Unfortunately, as the aircraft and world got bigger, the ATC was left pretty much as it initially existed in the late
1970's. To say the least, Meigs no longer exists and ATC was eclipsed by the scenery and aircraft updates. It just didn't get any

For that person who may be trying to make a determination which simulator is best; ATC should not be used as a criteria. All of them
are not anywhere close to be able to provide a "realistic ATC experience" as the come newly installed. To approach anything close to
a realistic ATC experience, one will need to look elsewhere for that ATC adrenalin rush. You will either end up flying on one of the
on-line ATC services, VATSIM or IVAO, installing a third party add-on to enhance the simulator's ATC, continuing on with the default
ATC, or completely shutting down the ATC and flying without it.

There is no perfect solution that fits everyone's needs or wants in this area. The usual process is to identify that the default ATC is
bad, continue flying with it until you become frustrated with the poor ATC and then settle on one of the options highlighted above.
WestWind has pilots who are flying with all of the options highlighted above and are perfectly happy with it. The key to dealing with
the ATC is to determine what will make you happy, ask questions of other pilots on the forum and make an informed decision about
what to do.

Default ATC will not permit you to fly a Standard Instrument Departure (SID) or a Standard Terminal Arrival Route (STAR). Departures
and arrivals into all airports are where ever the computer will send you. While intriguing to begin with, the intrigue does ware off
quickly. The airline is neutral on the way you depart and approach an airport. We would hope that you would strive to conduct all
flights in a close to the real way as you can possible get. But, we also recognize that everyone's simulator situation is different and
that not everyone can afford to or wishes to spend upgrade or addon money on ATC functions.

The ATC subject has many different facets. My goal was to highlight general ATC functionality in all of them. Save to say that getting
a simulator to be a "real airplane on your desk" is a labor of love, but well worth the journey of research and exploration. I hope that
this article will be helpful to the pilot seeking to understand how our flight simulators work. :wtf: :crazy: :ugeek: :clap:

PPL, Single Engine Land, FSX_SE, ASN, REX Soft Clouds, iFly, PMDG, FSCommander

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Re: Flight Simulator "DEFAULT" Air Traffic Control

Post by BobSturm » Fri May 17, 2019 3:52 pm

Thanks Mark! There is a limit to all areas of flight simulation: flight dynamics, instrumentation realism, scenery, weather, ATC, etc. there needs to be priorities. We can't have it all; and even if we could, we couldn't afford the necessary computing power. I think all of us old guys who started out with the 1980's simulators can better appreciate how far flight simulators (as well as computers) has progressed.
Bob Sturm
Senior Command Captain +5

20 years with WestWind
X-Plane 11, ActiveSky-XP
Retired WWVA Exec. Officer
Sr. Master Scenery Designer Award
50,000,000 lb Cargo Award
20 Year Service Award
Computer: Intel i7-8700k 3.7GHz 6 Core 16GB / NVIDIA GTX-1080

Scott D. Williams
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Re: Flight Simulator "DEFAULT" Air Traffic Control

Post by Scott D. Williams » Fri May 17, 2019 9:03 pm

PilotEdge is supposedly the most realistic ATC experience as the controllers are compensated and quite serious about the job. I have no experience using this service because I like Vatsim with or without controllers on line. Also, one must pay to use PilotEdge, nothing exorbitant but still there is a monthly charge. I do not know personally about PilotEdge other than it seems to be extremely realistic yet restricted to a certain airspace. I thought it was worth mentioning as an option however.
Scott D.Williams
Hub Manager-Miami
Commercial-CFI-Multi-Instrument-real world

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Re: Flight Simulator "DEFAULT" Air Traffic Control

Post by wwa3631 » Tue Jun 02, 2020 8:34 pm

Personally i like VOXATc. ( https://voxatc.com/ )

It is able to act on voice responses and it closely follows RT rules.
It even implemented the different R/T language for europe and US.
It has multiple voices, improving the immersion as you will have different controllers (both male and female) and pilot voices during your trip.

The only disadvantage is the lack of response from the developer.
The developer can only be contacted through AVSIM forum but will often not respond.

The product is being maintained and has recently been upgrade for use with Prepar3D V4.

It introduces additional traffic, both at the airport and underway and you will be correctly transferred from controller to controller all the way from startup to shutdown.

Note: i have no shares in voxatc nor any other commercial interest. Just sharing my experience here. :D
Hardware: r3700x, 32Gb ddr4-3200, MSi MPG x570-gaming wifi MB, Sapphire R9 Fury
Software: Win10, Prepar3d V4.5, PMDG 737Ngx, FS2Crew, NL2000 scenery, PFPX, Avlasoft EFB, Active Sky P3d,VOXAtc

Fred Koch, wwa3631, pilot on Amsterdam Hub

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Re: Flight Simulator "DEFAULT" Air Traffic Control

Post by wwa659 » Tue Jun 02, 2020 10:33 pm

I use Pilot2ATC myself,
Voice Recognition, and should voice recognition fail you can select a phrase close to what you want in the say it menu. You can also declare emergencies. while not 100% accurate, it is a lot better at not directing your descent into terrain on approach.
Can plan VFR and IFR With SIDS and STARS and you also get a moving map while in flight.
Edit: Also works with FSX/P3D via FSUIPC(Free version) and X-Plane 11 via XPUIPC(Free version)
P3Dv4, X-Plane 11, VATSIM-P1, FSCaptain, ProATCX, Active Sky P4, and REX textures Direct, Real World Private Pilot.

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