How to Join a Flight
Joining in a VFR Flying Club event is simple. Show up at the starting airport before the starting time. Join the ZLA Teamspeak server
, and wait for the event leader to kick things off.
It's that simple, and that's on purpose. LA VFR Flying Club events are easy-going, fun events that are ideal for meeting friends, teaching and learning about VFR flying and enjoying the scenery. We're all here to fly, teach and learn.
"Joining a Flight" Q&A
Q: Who may fly in a ZLA VFR Flying Club event?
Q: May I fly in formation?
A: Yes. Vatsim specifically allows formation flying, provided that all pilots in the formation are willing. Pilots flying in VFR events implicitely grant permission for formation flying (but see the next question).
Q: Flying too close crashes my software. May I ask that pilots not fly formation on me?
A: Yes. Politely ask for more distance.
Q: What if ATC asks us not to fly in formation?
A: If asked not to fly in formation, you must comply immediately. It's a Vatsim rule.
Q: Can a pilot do anything they want during a VFR event?
A: Yes. A VFR event is a voluntary gaggle of pilots flying a common flight plan. However, pilots may deviate from the flight plan as they please, just as they may in real life. Nobody may require another pilot to, for example, fly a certain route or use a certain airplane.
Q: But the pilot is breaking Vatsim rules. What do I do?
A: If needed, .wallop. But first try education and reason. VFR events are a low-stress, easy-to-join way for pilots to enjoy flying together. We expect and want to get new pilots who may not know all of the rules. Be tolerant and understanding, and only resort to .wallop when it's clear that the rule breaker is a meanie.
Q: How should we communicate?
A: For voice chart, please use the ZLA Teamspeak server
. If you need text chat, use 122.90.
Q: What if we have to talk to controllers?
A: Be sure not to use the private voice channel to communicate at any time the group is using ATC services: It makes it too difficult to hear ATC instructions. Also, do not make any transmissions to the group over the ATC frequency. Reserve group chatter for those times when we are not talking to ATC. Typically, talking to ATC will be only during takeoff, departure, approach, and landing at fields serviced by ATC.
Q: What if I show up late?
A: No problem. Ask the group which airfield the flight will pass over or near next. Take off there and join the flight.
Q: I won't be able to stay for the whole flight. May I still fly?
A: Of course! Fly when you can, for as long as you can. When you have to leave, bid the flight farewell. You may land at the nearest field, land off field, or just disconnect.
Q: What if the event planner doesn't show up?
A: Stuff happens. If the pilot who planned the flight doesn't show up, check the thread he created in this forum to see if the planner left notice. Also check vRoute or ServeInfo to see if the pilot is logged on. Maybe one of you is at the wrong airfield. In any case, if the planner doesn't show up after some reasonable amount of time, the other pilots are free to begin the flight. Hopefully the planner will be able to join enroute.
Q: This flight is at night, but my airplane doesn't have lights. Or I just want to see the sights.
A: No problem. Just set your time to daytime. If you've filed a flight plan, add "Daylight conditions" to it as a courtesy to the controllers.
Q: I'm at full throttle and I can't keep up with another pilot in the exact same plane. What gives?
A: Vatsim weather is not an exact science. The variety of weather programs (SB3, Active Sky) and weather settings (e.g. FSUPIC wind smoothing) will sometimes cause one pilot to have different winds than another pilot. One or both of the pilots may elect to turn of Vatsim weather. Or you could just pretend that your plane's engine is close to TBO, tired and worn out, and the other plane's engine is a fresh factory rebuild.