Starting your career as a virtual airline pilot in flight simulator is like learning any new skills, and virtual airline pilot to Air Traffic Control interaction is no different, takes time and study in order to be proficient. SimMiles has many resources to help you along your path to proficiency as a virtual airline pilot in flight simulator and will be with you throughout your virtual airline and flight simulation career. You can help yourself by doing some reading and research in order to possess the knowledge and understanding of the processes and procedures that are simulated by SimMiles virtual airlines every day. Microsoft Flight Simulators 2000, 2002, and 2004 have built-in flight training and flight simulation programs that also teach interaction with ATC. The lessons are designed and taught by Rod Machado, an internationally recognized real world flight simulator instructor and author. Start with the Private Pilot lessons and practice them until you can pass the built-in check ride. Then progress from the Private to Instrument, Commercial, and lastly try the Virtual Airline Transport Pilot (vATP) material and check ride. These will not only build and test your flight simulator online flying skills; they will also prepare you for the online flight simulation world of online flying and simulated Air Traffic Control.
Virtual Airline pilots connecting to a network as pilots use add-on programs or pilot clients, such as FSInn (for SimMiles only) or FSInn for most other networks, to provide the link between their flight simulator program and the online flight simulation network. This offers virtual airline pilots many advantages over a standard Microsoft Flight Simulator type of multiplayer session. The software courses here on these SimMiles pages provide the detail information about flying in general and about the required software for your particular flight simulation program. After everything is properly configured, your system can be connected to a Flight Simulation server or Online Flying Network. This allows you to see any aircraft within a certain distance of your position, and allows those players staffing virtual air traffic control positions to see you on their simulated radar screens.
As a virtual airline pilot you are expected to plan your flights up to, but not in excess of, your ability. If you don't have or know how to use VFR or IFR charts then you can find that information here on this web site, but you can also say so in the Remarks section of the flightplan. Virtual Airline pilots are also expected to plan their virtual airline flights prior to logging onto the flight simulation network of their choice. Sitting on the ground for more than 30 minutes is not acceptable on most flight simulation networks unless you are a new virtual airline pilot trying to learn the flow of Simulated Air Traffic Control communications. If that is the case, insert something like New Virtual Airline Pilot just observing in your flightplan so the simulated controller or supervisor knows what you are doing. Virtual Airline Pilots should always be respectful of other participants of the flight simulation network they are connected to, both virtual airline pilots and virtual controllers. We are all here for the enjoyment of this online flying and flight simulation hobby so keep that in mind at all times when flying with your virtual airline. Take the time to express your appreciation to the virtual controllers with a Thank you, job well done when it is appropriate to do so. That goes a long way in bringing a sense of accomplishment to the other players who take the time to become highly proficient at providing the Simulated Air Traffic Control services that make flying online and flight simulation networks great.
One great resources available to virtual airline pilots is the SimMiles Virtual Airline community. Many of them have very good virtual airline pilot training programs on how to use the online flight simulation networks as well as lessons on how to fly with Instrument Flight Rules or IFR. These flight simulation networks also have a web pages full of Virtual Airlines who are Partners, which means they have virtual airline pilots and instructing staff flying for them. You will need to look at their individual virtual airline pilot training programs and their virtual airline flight operations to find the Virtual Airline that suits your online flying needs and flight simulation styles. When you join a flight simulation network the local staff of the Division you join will also have people that can help you learn how to fly and assist you with connecting to that flight simulation network so that you can start flying on it for your virtual airline as soon as possible.