The 3 things you need to know about air traffic control in X-Plane 11

Hi! This is the next email in the course on getting the most out of X-Plane.

Today I’d like to share with you 3 things you need to know to use the X-Plane ATC. Without further ado, these are:

  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 window, then clicking on 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. (If those frequencies are a bit bewildering, don’t worry—you can also let X-Plane tune your radios to the right frequency at the right time by checking the Auto-tune recommended frequencies box.)
  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 air traffic control, check out the section of the X-Plane 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 full version of X-Plane 11, but maybe unlimited time in the simulator and full global scenery aren’t strong enough draws for you. Here’s why I think you should consider the full version:

If you’re a real-world pilot, you need to keep current. X-Plane can help you keep your stick-and-rudder skills sharp, but more than that, it 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.

If you’re a sim pilot or flight enthusiast, X-Plane is the most advanced flight simulator you can buy. X-Plane uses “blade element theory” to calculate the forces on each piece of the aircraft to make it extremely realistic and responsive. The X-Plane team includes certified pilots and flight instructors who are constantly using their real world experience to enhance X-Plane, which is one of the reasons we can bring you new features via free updates multiple times a year.

Whatever your interest in X-Plane, I promise you won’t be disappointed. Order X-Plane 11 today and take your home flight simulator to a whole new level.

Until next time,

– Team X-Plane

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