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  • Cross Community ATC Event

    Some people know me and some don't.
    I'm a long time simmer that likes to mostly control using FSX Steam and can be found floating around various servers in the hunt for traffic, although I mainly frequent here at and I've recently been chatting to the founder of

    I'm putting together a Multi Community ATC event in an attempt to get as many flight simmers together as possible and provide a GREAT FSX session for everybody no matter what community you have chosen to be apart of.

    The event will consist of numerous controlled airports and airspace with as many communities as possible involved providing both their pilots and controllers, making it a joint community effort.

    The event will take place using the FSX Steam platform and I am planning for it to be within UK airspace.

    I have already had interest in the session from a number of different groups and I will be contacting the admin of various Flight Sim communities shortly via email.

    As you know MSFlights are a big fan of Cross community events, even hosting the events in the the past and I hope to see as many MSF members as possible attending.
    More information can be found on the event webpage and I will post more information here once I have confirmed the full details.
    If you know of a community that is interested and would like to be kept in the loop please ask their admin to contact me.

    I hope to see as many communities as possible on the day.

    This has also been posted on the FSXMuliplayer and Steam Community forums.

    Pilot and Controller Information for the FSX Cross Community ATC Event!

    Starting at 1800z (1400 EDT, 1900 UK) on Saturday the 17th of October 2015!

    The info below is for guidance only which will help the session to run smoothly for all involved.
    If you don't understand anything below YOU DON'T NEED TOO but it will help you on the day if you know what to expect.
    Use the comments box on the home page to ask any questions if you are unsure of anything.

    ***THE SESSION***

    This session will have controlled airports in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales in the United Kingdom.

    Teamspeak Server Address: Our MSFlights Teamspeak server
    FSX Steam Server will be named FSX:SE Official Cross Community ATC Event in the Steam Multiplayer lobby.
    The FSX Server Password: Will be given out in Teamspeak on the day.

    As more controllers join, more Airports will open in the following order:
    1.Glasgow Tower EGPF

    2.East Midlands Tower EGNX
    FIR Scottish Control
    3.Dublin Tower EIDW
    4.Cardiff EGFF

    FIR London Control
    5.Belfast Tower EGAC
    6.Heathrow Tower EGLL

    If more controllers join after the above are open then airports will start to gain Radar and Ground controllers.
    The idea is to fly and land at all of the six airports above with ATC instruction.
    You can start and finish the event at any OPEN airport on the list.
    I recommend that all pilots start at and fly to airports with the least number of aircraft in the controllers Teamspeak channel,
    as you will be able to take off and land without delays waiting for other aircraft.

    Below are things you may want to do before the actual event so everything runs smoothly for you on the day.
    1. Make sure you have the Teamspeak 3 Client.
    2. Learn how to tune the radio and set a squawk code in the aircraft your planning to fly.
    3. Download the Teamspeak Simcom Plugin for which ever Teamspeak client you have and see how it works.
    (This is not essential if you don't want to use it, but it will make the flight easier and more realistic.)
    You can test both your Teamspeak Client and the Simcom Plugin on this test server and on both the MSflights and Maldair Teamspeak servers.
    4. Look up the information for all the airports (ILS frequencies etc) and have what you might need written down ready for the event.
    5. Know how to set your callsign correctly and download the extra callsigns if you want to use a realistic one.


    Firstly if you are unsure what to say, ask the controller in plain English.
    Air Traffic Controllers are renown for being exceptionally helpful and friendly,
    (well we have a sense of humour anyway ) so if you're unsure of anything just ask the controller.

    For example: "Hello Tower this is GABCD, I'm not sure what to say but I want to fly to Dublin".
    The type of ATC you receive will depend on how well you know Air Traffic procedures so don't worry, this session is for everybody so if you have no idea how to fly with ATC you will be given simple instructions.


    First decide if your IFR or VFR (See below).
    Next contact the Tower controller stating your
    For example; "Tower good afternoon, This is
    SPEEDBIRD123 ready to copy IFR clearance to GLASGOW".
    You have just asked the controller what they want you to do after you take off towards Glasgow.
    The Tower will come back to you with something similar to
    SPEEDBIRD123 this is EAST MIDLANDS TOWER good afternoon, Hold position, after departure fly heading 320, climb to altitude 4000 feet and squawk 1234."
    You then read back exactly what the tower has just told you, so if you don't normally receive a clearance when your flying, a pen and paper might be handy to write it down as the tower says it.
    The tower will need you to readback what they have said so that they know you have heard it correctly.
    Your read back would be: "Hold position, after departure fly heading 320, climb to altitude 4000ft and squawk 1234,
    ATC is easy in that whatever the controller says to you, you say the same back only with your
    CALLSIGN at the end.
    You would then setup your aircraft and input what the controller has given you, so you would set your autopilot heading to 320, altitude to 4000ft and squawk into the radio stack.
    When your ready to push back from the gate you ask the controller in the same way, "TOWER
    SPEEDBIRD123 is ready to Push back and start up".
    Then when you've pushed back ask for taxi, after your taxi when holding at the runway you'd ask for take off.
    Once in the air the controller will give you instructions (headings and altitudes) to get you to your destination.
    As you get further away from the first controller you will be asked to contact the next controller, and so on until your safely at your destination.

    Every time you contact a new controller state your
    DESTINATION and if you're IFR or VFR!
    Example: Scottish Control Good afternoon,
    SPEEDBIRD123 with you IFR to DUBLIN.

    Communications will take place by using a Teamspeak 3 server and not the default FSX radio as the sound is rubbish.
    By using the SIMCOM teamspeak plugin you will be able to use your aircraft radio to change frequencies and contact the next controller.
    If you don't want to use the plugin that is not a problem as you will still be able to change channels in Teamspeak as normal by clicking on the channel name.

    Make sure you set your Callsign correctly as ATC will see this and won't be able to keep track of everybody that isn't using a Callsign on their screen.
    Any Pilots looking to use a realistic Callsign can get a list of callsigns to use in FSX from here.
    Just drag and drop the file airlines.cfg into your Steam FSX folder (usually c:\SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\FSX\) and select the callsign you want to use when selecting your aircraft.
    ATC will give you a squawk which will remind them what you are doing if they get busy.
    For instance if a controller has 10 aircraft on their frequency instead of asking each one what they are doing, they can quickly look at the squawk on their radar screen.
    Certain squawks mean certain things!

    To keep this session as simple as possible....
    IFR aircraft will get Headings and Altitudes in which to fly all the way to their destination.
    VFR aircraft will be told a direction to turn after take off and may be issued with altitude restrictions so not to hit other aircraft.
    For example Cessna n123, after departure left turn out, VFR, not above altitude 3000ft and squawk 1234.
    VFR means you fly to your destination using your own navigation which may be quicker,
    but controllers may not tell you that your about to hit another aircraft as they do not have to worry about your separation.
    They also won't tell you which way to go, as it is up to you to find your own way.
    IFR means the controller will give headings and altitudes to get you to your destination the fastest possible way without hitting anything.
    If you don't normally fly with ATC I recommend asking the controller for an IFR service.
    If your flying VFR you will need to know extra information such as how to join the pattern at your destination airport
    (GABCD Join and report left base for runway 32).
    Where as IFR aircraft will be given simple instructions all the way to touch down.


    If you don't understand all of it, don't worry just do your controller thing.

    General Information:
    All UK airspace will be classed as controlled airspace meaning everything getting airborne will need a clearance.
    Keep all aircraft high for as long as possible.
    There is no point dropping an inbound to 2000ft when you have an outbound climbing to 3000ft.

    Flight Levels:
    To make it easier the transition altitude for the whole of the UK is 5500ft.
    This means anything below 5500ft flies on the local airport Altimeter setting (or QNH for those in the know).
    So 6000ft is called Flight Level six zero and any altitude above that is a flight level, FL70, FL80 etc etc.
    Where as 5000ft and anything below that is said as five thousand feet with the airport QNH afterwards.

    For example: "Easyjet123 descend FLIGHT LEVEL SEVEN ZERO".
    and then "Easyjet123 descend to ALTITUDE four thousand feet QNH 1008".


    All aircraft will be given a squawk with their departure clearance relevant to their destination as below.
    Any controller then looking at an aircraft on their screen will know the destination of that aircraft.
    This is handy for controller planning purposes as they will have a good idea of what the aircraft is doing without having to ask it.

    Any IFR Aircraft flying to....
    Glasgow will have a squawk starting with 1
    East Midlands will have a squawk starting with 2
    Dublin will have a squawk starting with 3
    Cardiff will have a squawk starting with 4
    Belfast will have a squawk starting with 5
    Heathrow will have a squawk starting with 6

    The 2nd digit can be anything but not a 6, with the last 2 digits being anything you like.


    VFR squawks are a little different but still easy.
    Because VFR aircraft are flying under their own navigation they could end up anywhere.
    They need the Squawk code of which ever controller they are speaking to at that time, so basically if they get in your way you know which controller to contact in order to ask them to move.

    If the Aircraft is VFR and talking to ATC the first digit of their squawk will be the controller they are speaking to.
    We already have numbers given to airports so we will use them and add a second digit to the Squawk of 6 for VFR.

    So a VFR Aircraft talking to.....
    Scottish Control could Squawk anything between 0601 and 0677
    Glasgow could Squawk anything between 1601 and 1677
    East Midlands could Squawk anything between 2601 and 2677
    Dublin could Squawk anything between 3601 and 3677
    Cardiff could Squawk anything between 4601 and 4677
    Belfast could Squawk anything between 5601 and 5677
    Heathrow could Squawk anything between 6601 and 6677
    London Control could be anything between 7601 and 7677

    VFR Aircraft Not talking to any air traffic will squawk 7000.
    There should never be an instance when an aircraft isn't talking to a controller, but if for some reason this does happen a 7000 squawk shows that they are not in contact with ATC and they should be monitoring the Unicom freq 122.800.

    I know this looks confusing but you don't need to know all of it.
    All you need is the number of your airport.
    If an aircraft calls you up saying VFR give them your squawk.
    Example: "Cardiff Tower GABCD VFR inbound to you".
    "GABCD, CARDIFF TOWER hello, join and report left downwind for runway 30 and squawk 46 blah blah"

    and if your Glasgow Tower "......squawk 16 blah blah" etc etc.

    Tower Controllers:

    You will control all aircraft under 7000ft whether they are airborne or on the ground,
    Although 7000ft is a guideline and you can hand departing aircraft over to the next controller before then.
    But you shouldn't expect to get your inbound aircraft until they drop through 7000ft.
    You will be issuing Departure, Taxi, take off and landing clearances to all your aircraft.
    So chuck the aircraft to the next controller ASAP, for instance as soon as they are airborne and not in confliction with any other traffic under your control.
    For example if you have an inbound descending towards your airfield, you may want to keep your departure under your control until it passes the inbound aircraft.

    IFR Aircraft:
    It's your job to vector IFR outbounds away from your airfield and up out of the way to the FIR ASAP.
    It is also your job to vector IFR inbound aircraft that come out of the FIR towards the runway in use so that they can land.

    VFR Aircraft:
    You do not need to vector VFR, they will need to know how to join your traffic pattern and then will want clearance to land.
    For example: "N123 join right base for runway 23", That is all they need.
    How they get there is up to them.

    All aircraft both VFR and IFR will be given a clearance from the Tower controller before departure.
    How a clearance is said is up to you, but it must include a squawk, direction and altitude information relevant to the pilots destination.
    IFR Example:
    "Speedbird123 after departure fly heading 340degrees, climb to altitude 3000ft, Squawk 1234 and the next frequency you can expect to switch too is Cardiff radar on 123.450."
    The pilot will then be able to setup their autopilot and know what to expect after take off.
    VFR Example:
    GABCD after departure make a right turn out, VFR, not above altitude 3000ft (or you could have no altitude restriction depending on what traffic you have on) and squawk 1234.

    Radar Controllers:

    There will be no Radar Controllers until each airport has a Tower controller.
    Once radar is open they will be responsible for putting inbound aircraft on to the approach.
    Once the aircraft is on final they will be asked to contact Tower for their landing clearance.

    For outbound aircraft as soon as the aircraft is airborne, Tower will pass the aircraft to the Radar Controller.
    Radar will then point it in the right direction, give it a higher Flight Level and chuck it to the FIR.
    Radar will still only operate up to FL70 unless the FIR gives them an early handover of an aircraft inbound, or Radar has negotiated with the FIR to control aircraft higher than FL70.
    Radar will only need to tell VFR Aircraft how they would like them to join the pattern (as above in the Tower description) and the aircraft will get their landing clearance from the Tower Controller.

    FIR/Area Controllers:
    Both Scottish and London Control will control every aircraft above 7000ft (FL70) unless they negotiate a different FL with another controller.
    For example Cardiff might be busy and London Control might say to Cardiff Radar "You can control everything under FL100".
    The FIR Controllers will also be responsible for any aircraft that is too far away from a controlled airport (around 40nm or more give or take) at any altitude.

    The map above shows the Scottish and London Flight Information Regions.
    Basically anything south of Manchester is London Control with anything north Scottish Control.

    Why is the line not straight?
    This is similar (not exact) to how it is really, it also allows for each FIR to have 3 airports underneath them.
    Again the line is not a strict you must handover aircraft at that precise point,
    but you should aim to send you aircraft to the other FIR around about that line.

    VFR Aircraft:
    Any VFR aircraft contacting the FIR will be given the FIRs squawk (06XX for Scottish and 76XX for London).
    When handed over to the next controller VFR aircraft will be asked to squawk 7000 and Freecall the next controller.
    When they contact the next controller, that controller will give them their squawk, etc etc.

    VFR Aircraft will not need vectors from the FIR controller but can be given restrictions such as altitude and speed.
    The FIR controller should aim to have each aircraft descending through FL70 before handing them to the Tower (or radar if available) Controller.
    It would be a good idea for FIR controllers to speak to the three Tower/Radar controllers beneath them and arrange a place in which they will send all the inbound traffic for that airport.
    For example: London Control might say to Cardiff "I'll send all your inbound aircraft towards BCN and have them at FL60 before I hand them to you."
    This means that the Tower controller could make sure all their outbound aircraft could stay clear of BCN VOR
    Last edited by ATC_ROO; October 15, 2015, 12:04 AM.
    If you don't use BOINC or World Community Grid then you should!

  • #2
    Below is an email I have sent to various communities regarding this event.
    Hope to see as many MSF members as possible on the day.

    I am writing to update you on the time and date of the above event as I said I would do.

    The Event will take place from 1800z (1400 EDT, 1900 UK) on Saturday the 17th of October 2015!

    I must stress that ALL communities are invited including ones I have not been able to get details for!

    The idea has seemed quite popular and I have had many people email me wanting more information.

    Because of this and as it is a multi community event, I have created a very simple webpage (meant as a no mans land as it were) in order to keep everybody up to date and answer any questions people may have.

    This can be found at

    This is a Steam event so the Steam version of FSX will be needed, although if all goes well I do plan on creating the same event using the Boxed version of FSX in the future.
    But I have no plans to create any more events after this, so look forward to joining in with other communities who may create similar events in the future.

    Please do post this event on your communities forum as even if you yourself don't plan to attend, a member of your community may want to.

    I plan on sending one last email with regards to this event, with the FSX and Teamspeak server connection details in which to join so don't worry about spam.

    Again I do hope to see as many communities as possible represented on the day and believe that this event is a great way for simmers from all over the world to get together and enjoy a very good FSX session as it should be.

    ATC Roo
    If you don't use BOINC or World Community Grid then you should!


    • #3
      The session information has now been posted for this event.

      You can find it here but don't worry I will also be keeping everybody up to date with IP addresses etc in this thread.
      If you don't use BOINC or World Community Grid then you should!


      • #4
        Ok so this event has crept up on me!

        Below is an email I have just sent to all groups.
        It's easier for us as the event will take place using our usual Teamspeak with a dedicated server for the event not the MSF FSX servers.

        I hope to see as many MSF memebers as possible on the day.

        "As I said I would I am updating you with one last email regarding this event.

        This event will take place at
        1800z (1400 EDT, 1900 UK) this Saturday the 17th of October 2015!
        ALL communities are invited to take part.

        The main reason for this event is to meet and say hello to others that share our interest of Flight Simulation.
        There is no alterer motive other than to say hello and fly with people you would not normally meet through your group.
        It's also to try and get controllers from variuos groups more traffic whilst also offering pilots looking for ATC controllers in more than one position.

        There are lots of clever and talented people within the flightsim world, so this would not only enable your controllers and pilots to show off their skills but also once you get chatting to others you may find somebody with a solution to something your group has been looking for.

        This event is for the Steam version of FSX and I do plan a boxed version in the very near future, but besides that I have no plans to create any other events.
        That said I do look forward to joining similar events created by your community in the future.
        Maybe if your group runs a DAFSIM server or similar an event could be created for more flight sims to join together?

        The server for this event can be found in the Steam lobby on the day under the name FSX:SE Official Cross Community ATC Event

        The teamspeak server address we will be using is:

        The FSX session will have a password which will be given out over voice in Teamspeak, so it may be a good idea to join the Teamspeak server first.

        Once you join the Teramspeak server you will find a room for pilots and a room for controllers.
        It might sound obvious but if pilots can join the pilots room and controllers join the controllers room ATC positions can be offered out and pilots can have a quick but simple briefing.
        You will also be able to ask questions before the event.

        I have created a very simple website with information for the event which can be found at
        This website is slightly temperamental as it is hosted by a free web hosting provider, but the site does work so if you have problems persist in reloading the webpage.

        I do hope to see as many of you there as possible and if you have any further questions please don't hesitate to contact me via this email address or by using the chat on the website homepage.

        And if you know of a community that I haven't managed to invite please forward this email on to them.

        Have fun,


        If you don't use BOINC or World Community Grid then you should!


        • #5
          The link for the 64bit simcom isn't working for me.


          • #6
            It should work now Airwolf and it's here if you want it.
            If you don't use BOINC or World Community Grid then you should!


            • #7
              Thank you.


              • #8
                Thanks to everybody that turned up yesterday.
                The event seemed successful with all ATC positions manned even if some controllers did get slightly overwhelmed at some point. 😊

                Hopefully we can arrange a similar multi platform event in the future.
                If you don't use BOINC or World Community Grid then you should!


                • #9
                  Thanks for hosting Roo Great job sorry i couldn't join life is hectic atm with the house move. Looked at the teamviewer and seemed a good turn out.If your planning anymore id love to offer any help you need just let me know.


                  • #10
                    A bit hectic this way too atm mate with 3 months to go.
                    I'd love to get another together but multi platform next time to include those that couldn't join this one.
                    If you don't use BOINC or World Community Grid then you should!


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