Do you need a weather client as well as a pilot client for your altimeter to work right?

I know the VATSIM environment has weather. The altimeter settings (QNH) from controllers and ATIS vary place to place and day to day like real ones do.

I thought vPilot was pulling enough real-world weather into the sim until today. I was flying on VATSIM in the middle of a big winter high pressure system. I entered 30.37 inches from the ATIS, and my altitude on the ramp read 400 feet too high. I started FSrealWX and the altimeter then read correctly.

I’ve been flying with just vPilot when on VATSIM. Have I forgotten something?

The software setup for VATSIM doesn’t say you need a weather client. I searched forums and the internet about VATSIM, altitude, and altimeter settings, and nowhere says, “You need a weather client.”

Here’s the setup I think I need:

  1. FSX:SE (don’t judge me)
  2. vPilot
  3. AND FXrealWX

This seems like a big deal, especially in winter.

What have I completely overlooked?

vPilot pulls absolutely zero weather into your sim.

The proper place to look for rules on this is the Code of Conduct, which says the following:

B13 Pilots are encouraged to utilize current real-world weather at all times. Pilots must utilize at least the following current, real-world weather parameters throughout all phases of flight:
(a) Winds
(b) Pressure
(c) Temperature

How that can be achieved depends on your sim. If the sim has a native solution to get the latest real world values then you don’t need to do anything other than enable the appropriate functionality. If your sim doesn’t have a native solution though, then you are required to use some third party real weather solution. I haven’t used FSX in ages, but I think it falls into the latter category.

Thanks, everything makes sense now.

I didn’t think to look in the CoC, and my search didn’t mention "pressure,’ only “altitude” and “altimeter setting.”

I hope this improves the learning journey for someone and improves altitude compliance on the network, even if only a little. It got me in trouble today!

You can always press “B” to set your “local” pressure that is generated by FSX. Another nice weather tool is FSGRW.

Pressing “B” resulted in a different altimeter setting than VATSIM’s.

Thanks for the recommendation about FSGRW (Global Real Weather). For those reading later, here’s a review and discussion.

Of course it does, but it will put your plane at the correct altitude and your pilot client will report the correct altitude to all other network users.

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