Questions form a noob

Hello, so I have probably only done a couple of flights on Vatsim and that was several years ago. I want to get back into it and had a couple of questions

  1. I don’t have a mic, so would have to use the text chat. How does this work. I know how to dial the frequency I want but once I’m on that freq do I just type into the messages box?

  2. What frequency should I be on if there are no controllers for the area I am flying, so I can at least notify other pilots of my intentions?


  1. Yes, it is really is a simple as that - I take it you use vPilot.
  2. Well, that depends on where you’re flying. Outside the US you use 122.8, but the VATSIM USA started a test of using realy world CTAF freq. So you’ll have to look them up, either on the official charts (for airports, which have RW CTAF freq) or use new the .ctaf command. Alternatively look it up on the VATSIM ressource page.
    Regardless, I would recommend you to get a mic. Today they are really cheap and makes your VATSIM life so much easier.


May I also strongly suggest you get a microphone. Even the most basic USB microphone can likely be obtained, new or used, for just a couple of USD (pick your equivalent value in local currency). Your friends might even have spare cheap microphones and/or mic/headset combinations kicking around that they could loan, give or sell you. Voice is very much the preferred method of communication on VATSIM. Everyone should use voice if able to do so. It makes the experience for everyone a tremendous amount better. And, if I remember correctly, at least one of the pilot clients requires a microphone to even connect to the network.

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Thank you for the help. Although I realize that I should have been more clear on some things.

  1. Yes, I plan to use vPilot, and it’s what I used before.

  2. For now, I plan to mainly fly in the US and from what it sounds like I should use the real world CTAF freq for the airport I am landing or taking off from, is that correct? Also, what freq should I be on once in the air when there are no controllers? Can I just use guard, or is that just for emergencies?

For unmanned airports use the published ctaf. For airports without a published ctaf, use the tower freq or if multiple twr freq use the freq vatusa has announced to be the ctaf. The dot command in vpilot should give it to you, .ctaf KJFK.
Do NOT use the guard freq. It is not allowed on VATSIM. Use 122.8 in the enroute portion of the flight.

Thank you, this helps a lot.

Just type .ctaf KXXX for the airport in vpilot and it gives you the frequency.

Wonder why you send this to me. I was informing Jason that there is a dot command for ctaf and used KJFK as example.

On VATSIM, lacking a mic, utilize text chat. On uncontrolled frequencies, like Unicom (122.800), communicate intentions. Review pilot protocol for effective interaction.