I am right now piloting a 757 from SEA to MCO (Orlando for those of you airport code challenged!) I’m just crossing into the NE corner of Wyoming. 3 hours to go!
I am amazed at what the Internet can offer (and I work with it daily!) You see, I’m not just flying flight simulator on my computer alone. I’m connected to VATSIM, a virtual aviation network. Real “virtual” human air traffic controllers are directing my flight, using voice and headsets and virtual radar just like in real life. I’m talking to Denver Center right now. In a few minutes I’ll be handed-off to Kansas City Center, just like in real life. When I get close to Orlando, Orlando Approach Control will decend and “vector” (turn) me onto the final approach course and Orlando Tower will clear me to land. All different virtual, yet real people. I hear them. I talk to them. They see me on their scopes.
I’m a member of Pacific Airways, a virtual airline. I’ve made the rank of Captain recently because of the hours I’ve flown. My Call sign is PAY1837 – “Pacific eighteen thirty seven” is how you’d hear it on the “radio”
I’m an Instrument-rated pilot, and the level of reality this brings just astounds me. What I say, What I do, the rules, etc…are almost completely in sync with what the real world does.
Is this healthy? Debatable. But I’m having fun. So what’s wrong with that, eh?!
below you can see a screenshot of the current VATSIM general status– I’m the airplane in the upper-right, traversing through Denver’s airspace now (The green Circles represent Denver Approach and Tower’s Airspace) GOD I’m a GEEK!!