PMDG 777 Auto Cruise and VATSIM

Hello all,

Looking forward to flying the 777 from PMDG when it releases this week.

Though my available sim time (and patience) won’t allow me to do real time long hauls, so I was pleased to see the auto cruise feature, making longer flights more manageable in shorter time frames.

I appreciate that flying at 2x or 4x on VATSIM would be a complete nightmare for all involved, so I was wondering, particularly from the perspective of a controller, if the following flow would work:

(Presuming ATC available at departure airport)
Get IFR Clearance & Squawk
Fly the Departure
Reach Cruise
Disconnect from VATSIM
Enable Auto Cruise
Fly The Cruise at 2x/4x speed
Disable Auto Cruise (returning to 1x speed)
Reconnect to VATSIM (ensuring not to cause an issue to others upon reconnection)
Fly Descent and Arrival on VATSIM as per usual

Appreciate the above could be difference if no ATC was online at the departure airport, so in that case, I guess I’d fly the departure on UNICOM, disconnect from VATSIM at cruise, enable auto cruise, then as above.

Be curious to get your thoughts on this.



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Perfectly acceptable. Actually, after disconnecting and before reconnecting, you can do absolutely anything you like, including abandoning the flight altogether.


Code of conduct B9: A pilot operating their simulator using acceleration/deceleration functions must continuously monitor their connection, and ensure that they do not cause disruptions to other account holders. If operating in actively controlled airspace, the pilot must have the express permission of the controller to operate using time acceleration/deceleration, and if a controller requests a pilot to return to ‘normal simulation rate’, the pilot shall immediately comply.

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Heaven help us if the VATSIM rules, policies etc apply all the time including when we are not connected to the network…. I believe the OP indicated that he was disconnected whilst changing their sim rate.

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And now they know they have the option to not disconnect. The more you know.

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Thanks all for the replies so far.

Sean, yes, I was intending to be disconnected when changing the sim rate via the auto cruise feature.

I guess my main concern would be whether it’s seen as “ok” to reappear again, potentially thousands of miles away from your last known location. Would your IFR clearance still be valid, and the squawk too?

After a transatlantic crossing you would anyway get a new squawk bit otherwhise the squawk would probably still be valid, the clearance anyways as aircraft airborne in the middle of an ifr flightplan are always treated as having a clearance even if their departure was on unicom, or offline.

If you are in unicom, recommecting will bother no one and if you are connecting under atc control, it is courteous to first connect as observer and report to the controller your position and ask if you are free of conflict to connect.

If reconnecting towards the end of the cruise, I would suggest first connecting as an observer to check if there is anyone around you. You would also need to refile your flight plan if you’re offline for more than 1 hour.

You may stay connected to VATSIM while being in time compression mode. You only HAVE TO monitor the airspace ahead of you for CTR controller activity. That’s all. Otherwise disconnect for cruise, as described.

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there is literally zero reason to be connected to the network if you are going 4x, even if it is allowed.

you are just going to show up as a ufo on other people’s tcas and cause irritation.

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I would dispute this. As long as one pays attention, going at 4x speed in remote and uncontrolled airspace is no issue.

why be online though. you arent interacting with any traffic.

you can monitor whether atc is on or not with vatspy or any number of other websites while disconnected.

i dont like seeing targets streak across my ND at 5 miles a second

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Not everyone is retired or unemployed to perform longhaul routes in real time…

How often do you cross the North Atlantic or other remote pieces of airspace?

And it does not matter what you or I do not like: it is allowed as per VATSIM rules, under certain conditions.


nobody said you have to do them in real time. i suggest you disconnect from the network while you do it. its one click. you’re not losing anything.

and i already conceded they are allowed to do it. i just think its rude.
just like you can technically use any runway at an uncontrolled airport but its nice if you use the same flow as everyone else.

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If it is allowed by the network rules, it is hardly “rude”. Lighten up, we are only moving bits and bytes here.

I am in complete agreement with Mike, their is no need to be on the network when you are going at 4x speed, they are not interacting with traffic and like I encountered twice yesterday, had two 777 fly right though me at over twice the speed of sound, talk about an immersion killer, just no need for it. Also using up network bandwidth.
But it does not matter what I say, I know nothing will change, just backing up Mike, as I am in the same mind as him on this subject.

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Sure, everyone is entitled to their own opinion - and that is absolutely fine. That’s why we got these forums where we can share and discuss these topics in a civilized manner.

There are other things that a are far bigger killers of immersion, e.g. the fact that a lot of pilots are either unaware of UNICOM/CTAF-rules or consciously ignore them. I personally think that this is a more relevant topic than a very small number of pilots criss-crossing remote and inactive pieces of airspace at Concorde-speed. But this is just my opinion and I think everything has been said here, hasn’t it?

Happy flying, happy landings!