Hi! This is the fifth email in the course on using a flight simulator to become a better pilot.

Today I’d like to share with you 3 things you need to know to use the air traffic control in X-Plane.

  1. You have to file a flight plan before interacting with the ATC. Do so by pressing Enter on the keyboard to bring up the ATC menu, then selecting “File Flight Plan.”
  2. Your COM1 radio must be tuned to the proper frequency for whatever ATC controller you want to communicate with. For instance, if you’re at KSEA (Seattle-Tacoma International Airport), this means you need to tune to 128.00 to request clearance, 121.70 to get ground (taxi) clearance, and 119.90 to check in with the tower before takeoff.
  3. Just like in the real world, you should check in with each controller as you get handed off to them. This tells the controller that you’re ready to receive instructions as necessary.

For a step-by-step guide through a flight guided by the ATC, check out the writeup in the X-Plane 11 manual titled Working with the Air Traffic Control.

Why buy the full version?

I talked a few days ago about why you might want to buy the pro-use version of X-Plane 11, but maybe you don’t need your sim for a home cockpit, or to qualify for FAA certification. You might be happy with the home-use version of X-Plane 11.

As a real-world pilot, you need to keep current. Either version of X-Plane can help you keep your stick-and-rudder skills sharp. More than that, X-Plane can help practice navigation techniques, proper procedures, and even emergency situations. If using X-Plane saves you just a couple hours with a CFI, it will have paid for itself. More than saving you money, though, sim time spent in X-Plane will make you a safer pilot.

X-Plane is the most advanced flight simulator you can buy. Month after month, we’re working hard to bring you new aircraft, new features, and a better looking sim world.

At this point, you’ve tried the demo. You know you won’t be disappointed by the sim. Order X-Plane 11 today and take your home flight simulator to a whole new level.

Until next time,

-Team X-Plane