Overcoming the Fear of Talking to Air Traffic Control

Overcoming the Fear of Talking to Air Traffic Control

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How does a student pilot overcome the fear that they experience when having to communicate with an Air Traffic Controller (ATC)?

For many student pilots, overcoming the fear of talking to ATC usually stems from a lack of confidence, which is supported by a need for more knowledge and practical experience.

Imagine if you could practice communicating with ATCs from the comfort of your home or workspace.

Imagine that such an experience would transfer to the cockpit, resulting in confidence rather than fear when engaging ATC?

Air Traffic Control Simulators

Imagine no more! There are two popular Air Traffic Control Simulation Platforms that you can use to learn, practice, and gain the confidence that you'll need to confidently engage with ATC.

Founded in 1998, the International Virtual Aviation Organization, or IVAO for short, provides an online platform for flight simulation enthusiasts.

The Virtual Air Traffic Simulation Network (VATSIM) is a free online platform which enables virtual pilots to connect their flight simulators into one shared virtual world.

If you're wondering which ATC to select for your needs, Microsoft's Flight Simulator Community currently has an active discussion comparing these two ATC simulation platforms.

Final Thoughts

General Aviation pilots and enthusiasts have a good selection of free and paid ATC simulator applications that can be used to practice and become proficient in this important aspect of aviation.

Commercial airline pilots, who invest many hours in flight training and log thousands of hours flying, face the same challenges in communicating effectively with ATC and ground controllers. Though exchanges between ATCs and flight crews can be heated, they can sometimes be hilarious.


Jim Intriglia, Student Pilot and FlightSim Enthusiast

I became a General Aviation student pilot in 2015, realizing a lifelong dream to learn more about aviation and learn how to fly various aircraft.

If you would like to learn how to fly, contact Walter Matthews, Certified Flight Instructor, Skyward Bound Aviation Services.


Screenshot Courtesy: Jan Kees Blom, New Zealand Flightsim Forum
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