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Welcome to IVAO!

Before, you continue, please take the time to view our slide show at http://ivao.co.za, just to provide you with what we have to offer!

This tutorial will show you the steps required to join IVAO as a virtual pilot. It is meant to give you a short overview about the tools used, and some very basic instructions how to “behave” in this new environment.

If you have not yet done so, you will need to join IVAO to create your personal user account.
Note that this is required only once, and valid for both ATC and pilot career!

More specifically, we will show you how to…

  • Download, install and set up the required software
  • Connect to the IVAO Network (“IVAN”)
  • Submit a (basic) flight plan
  • Interact with ATC, or how to act in absence of ATC
  • Obtain further information and training

Download IvAp

The first thing you need to do is download our pilot client, IvAp, which will allow you to connect to the network. This can be downloaded from HERE.

  • FS 2002 and FS 2004 users should download “IvAp v1 (for FS2002 and FS2004)”
  • FS X users should download “IvAp v2 (FSX Only)”
  • X-Plane users should select the proper version found HERE. Look for IVAO X-Plane Client. Note that the operation of the X-Plane Client differs from the IvAp for Flightsimulators 2002/2004/X, the basic priciples are the same however.

Once you have downloaded the program, you should run the executable file and install the program.

During the installation process you will be asked if you wish to install TeamSpeak and FSUIPC. We are using TeamSpeak for our voice communications, so if you intend to use voice for your communication with the Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) and you do not have TeamSpeak 2 installed on your computer, you should select also TeamSpeak to be installed. FSUIPC is a small module necessary for your online flying. If you do not have FSUIPC installed on your computer (or if you do not know what it is), select also FSUIPC to be installed.

When it has been installed, you should visit the configuration settings (Start Menu → All Programs → IVAO → IvAp – IVAO Virtual Pilot Client → IvAp – Configuration) and set the required options. Check the IvAp manual for a detailed description on each of the settings.

MTL (Multiplayer Traffic Library)

MTL (Multiplayer Traffic Library) will enable you to “see” other aircraft around you by installing hundreds of aircraft and their liveries into your flight simulator.

The MTL package is included in the IvAp download and will automatically install itself when installing IvAp. After installation of IvAp has completed, the MTL Downloader will run automatically and ask yout to initiate download of the MTL files.

Press the green “Full Install” button to install all the MTL aircraft. Alternatively, you can select the MTL you wish to install from the list.

If you are installing all the MTL, there are over 3000 models to download so this may take some time. Once the aircraft have been downloaded, an MS-DOS window will open – do not close this window. Allow it to complete its tasks.

You may notice that Flight Sim takes long to load up due to the amount of MTL installed. You can reduce this time by hiding the MTL, which will not affect your Flightsim or IVAO experience. This can be done by visiting Start Menu → All Programs → IVAO → IvAp – IVAO Virtual Pilot Client → MTL Hide Aircraft. The following program may take a number of minutes to complete so even if it looks like your PC isn’t doing anything, it is. Eventually, the MS-DOS window will open up again.

Tip: Execute your MTL installer periodically to download the latest MTL updates.

TeamSpeak

We use the TeamSpeak 2 program for voice communication. Text communication is the default but voice is preferred. Teamspeak (or TS as we refer to it) is included in the IvAp download package, and will be installed automatically during the installation of IvAp.

Important: IVAO is only compatible with TeamSpeak Version 2! Should you have TeamSepak 3 installed already, install our version, too.

Once you have Teamspeak running, there are some settings you must change. Open Settings → Sound Input/Output Settings.

You should select the “Push To Talk” (or PTT) method and select a key by pressing “Set”. Here you can see that Mouse button 2 (mouse scroll wheel) has been selected as the push to talk key. Now, every time you want to transmit in the Teamspeak channel or “frequency”, you must first press and hold the push to talk key, speak and then let go once you’ve completed your transmission. Avoid using the “Voice Activation” method as this opens your microphone whenever noise is picked up so background noise and even you breathing, may set it off. You could then be transmitting in the channel without realising it.

Tip: As a PTT button, select a key that does not have any function in your Flight Simulator. If this key has any function in your Flight Simulator, every time you press it to talk in TeamSpeak, the Flight Simulator function will be activated.

First Connection

The following steps are based on FS 2004. Still, FS 2002 and FS X users should be able to follow the guide.

Load Flightsim and create a flight.

You will notice that a new menu has appeared in the flight sim task bar called “IVAO” (FS X users: Addons → IVAO). Select this menu and then press “Start IvAp”. The IvAp program will now load and you will see an icon made up of green and red dots load in your taskbar, near to your PC’s clock.

Note: FS X users will not see the green and red dots.

You may see various things loading in flight sim (IvAp program/multiplayer connection), just leave these to complete what they need to do. When you see 3 green dots and 1 red dot, like in the image above, the program has finished loading.

You will now see the IvAp window in the top left hand corner of your Flight Sim.

Some important things to do before connecting to the network:

  • Make sure that when you are connected, your aircraft is parked at a gate. Do not connect on the runway or on a taxiway. When choosing your airfield within the Flight Sim menus, it automatically places you on the active runway so ensure that you have selected a gate in the appropriate drop down menu.
  • Do not use the slew option in flight sim to slew around the airport once you are connected. If you have to change gates just after you connected, use the options within flight sim to load your aircraft at a new gate.
  • If connecting with an airline callsign, you must use the airlines ICAO code followed by the flight number, i.e. BAW123 not BA123.

To connect, press the “CONN” button. You will then be presented with a new window.

Enter the details:

  • Callsign: The callsign of your aircraft, this could be your aircraft registration or flight number for example.
  • Real Name: Your full name that you registered with IVAO.
  • VID: Your IVAO VID that was assigned to you when you joined.
  • Base Airport: An airport close to where you live, your VA base, or any airport you would class as your “base airport”.
  • Password: The IVAN password you were assigned when you joined IVAO.
  • Aircraft Type: The type of aircraft you are flying.
  • MTL Model: The aircraft and livery you want other people to see you as.
  • Server: The server you are connecting to. For best performance, use the one auto selected.
  • Port: Leave this box as it is!
  • If you can transmit and receive on voice, select that option. If you can receive voice but cant transmit voice, select that option. If you are text only, select no voice.

Once again, make sure your aircraft is parked at a gate before connecting! When all of the above details are correct, press the “Connect” button.

When you have successfully connected, the sign “OFFLINE” will change to “ONLINE”, and you will receive a welcome message in the IvAp dialog box and all the dots in your taskbar will have turned green.

Note: FS X users will not see the green dots.

Flight Planning

On the IVAO Network, it is mandatory to file a flight plan for every flight. Before or after connecting to IVAN, open IvAp and press the buttons “ACARS” and “Send Flightplan”, then fill in the form. Most fields will be unknown to you. For your first flight it is sufficient to fill flight rules, departure aerodrome, route and destination aerodrome.

Some airspaces are very compact, complicated and get very congested. We recommend that your first flight is a local flight at a quiet airport (and not the big international field of your capital!) in order to start with a simple setup. The easiest way is a local flight according to Visual Flight Rules, that is doing traffic patterns around the airfield and flying in the vicinity of the airport.

For such a flight, fill in the flight plan as follows and refer to the picture for the location of the mentioned items:

  • Field 8, Flight Rules: “V” for VFR flight.
  • Field 13, Departure Aerodrome: Enter the ICAO-Code of your departure.
  • Field 15, Route: “LOCAL” or “DCT” for your local flight.
  • Field 16, Destination Aerodrome: Enter the ICAO-Code of your destination, in this case the same as departure for your local flight.

Later on, you might want to fly a route from A to B, employing Instrument Flight Rules. To find your way, you should follow the “motorways” in the sky, or airways. There are many different sources to find these routes. The best place to get routes is from the IVAO ZA Route Database, which lists many popular city pairs. The routes found in this database are the routes that real aircraft follow through the air.

You will need to have en-route and aerodrome charts at your disposal to follow those routes. Controllers use these charts as well and will expect you to have them. Charts for your flight can be found HERE. Another good method is to query your favourite internet search engine for the words “[ICAO code] charts”, replace “[ICAO code]” with the code of your departure/destination airfield.

Tip: You can visit the IVAO HQ Training Department and see in more details the parts of the flight plan and how to fill it out.

Interaction with ATC

The purpose of IVAO is to fly online with virtual Air Traffic Controllers guiding you through the skies. You should therefore have an understanding of how to communicate with controllers.

For IFR flight, please refer to HERE

For VFR flight, please refer to HERE

When connected and ready to start your flight, you have to make sure if there is an online ATC station in your airport or area. To do so, type in your IvAp .ATC and a list will appear with all active controllers in your area, including their respective frequencies. See the example below:

Tune the proper frequency of the controller in your radio shack. From now you can communicate with the controller.

If you have selected to use voice for your communications, when you have selected the ATC’s frequency, you will also automatically join the controller’s TeamSpeak channel.

Before contacting the controller you should retrieve his ATIS. Knowing the information of the controller’s ATIS will help you communicating and flying in his airspace. To retrieve the ATIS, you can follow the steps below:

The primary form of communication with ATC is voice. However, text communication may be used. When communicating via voice, there are some important things you should remember:

  • When a controller or another pilot transmits on the frequency, wait until the other station has acknowledged and replied to the transmission before you transmit something.
  • When you first connect to a new frequency, wait for a few seconds before transmitting. You may inadvertently interrupt a conversation.

Tip: If you have trouble tuning to a controller’s frequency using your airplane radios, you can type in your IvAp .c [the proper frequency] and hit enter, example: .c 132.975.

Unicom

If there is no ATC online in the area where you are flying, you should tune to the Unicom frequency of 122.800 (a text only frequency) and broadcast your intentions. When flying using Unicom, keep a good look out for other traffic that may be operating in your area.

The “UNICOM” frequency here on IVAO is a text-only frequency. This means that all your transmissions in this frequency are done only by text. Hence when you select this frequency, you will not automatically join a TeamSpeak channel.

Although Unicom channels exist on each Teamspeak server. These channels are NOT to be used as a chat channel. It should not be used. You must use the private message feature within IvAp to chat to individual people.

When you first load flight sim, the default frequency is 122.950. If there is no ATC at your departure aerodrome, please remember to first of all tune to Unicom 122.800 or you may transmit your intentions on the wrong frequency.

Tip: The UNICOM frequency is not meant to chat with other pilots. If you wish to chat with another pilot or ATC, type in your IVAP .chat [airplane or ATC callsign], hit enter and a chat window opens.

 

TeamSpeak Setup for our ZA social channel

Please refer to HERE

Further Information

Please refer to our home page at http://ivao.co.za

You may find our IVAO ZA Forum (opens in a new window for better readability) incredibly helpful. You can use it to ask any questions or post about any problems you are having. There are lots of people willing and able to help you make the most out of your online flying experience. Another useful source is the IVAO HQ Training Department, where you can find a lot of useful information.

Tip: If you cannot find what you are looking in the forum or a division site, you can use your favorite internet search engine to find what you want.

 

Training/Advice

If you would like to extend your understanding with regards to online flying, please feel free to contact the ZA division staff HERE.

 

And Finally…

This is an incredibly addictive hobby. As soon as you start flying online, you will never go back to offline flying and will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!
Have fun!

 

Welcome to IVAO!

Before, you continue, please take the time to view our slide show at http://ivao.co.za, just to provide you with what we have to offer!

This tutorial will show you the steps required to join IVAO as a virtual Air Traffic Controller (ATC). It is meant to give you a short overview about the tools used, and some very basic instructions how to “behave” in this new environment.

If you have not yet done so, you will need to join IVAO to create your personal user account.
Note that this is required only once, and valid for both ATC and pilot career!

More specifically, we will show you how to…

  • Download, install and set up the required software
  • Add and load a sector file for your favourite airport
  • Connect to the IVAO Network (“IVAN”)
  • Set up an ATIS
  • Obtain further information and training

Download IvAc

The first thing you need to do is download our ATC client, IvAc, which will allow you to connect to the network. This can be downloaded HERE.

Once you have downloaded the program, you should run the executable file and install the program.

A manual has been installed, too. Make sure you read it during you first online hours to acquaint yourself with the operation of the software.

TeamSpeak

We use the TeamSpeak 2 software version for voice communication. Text communication is the default but voice is preferred. TeamSpeak (or TS as we refer to it) is included in the IvAc download package, and will be installed automatically during the installation of IvAc.

Important: IVAO is only compatible with TeamSpeak Version 2! Should you have TeamSpeak 3 installed already, install our version, as well.

Once you have TeamSpeak running, there are some settings you must change. Open Settings → Sound Input/Output Settings.

You should select the “Push To Talk” (or PTT) method and select a key by pressing “Set”. Here you can see that Mouse button 2 (mouse scroll wheel) has been selected as the push to talk key. Now, every time you want to transmit in the TeamSpeak channel or “frequency”, you must first press and hold the push to talk key, speak and then let go once you’ve completed your transmission. Avoid using the “Voice Activation” method as this opens your microphone whenever noise is picked up so background noise and even you breathing, may set it off. You could then be transmitting in the channel without realising it.

Obtain and load a sector file

A sector file contains the information to be displayed on your radar screen. It contains various selectable maps with information about airport location and layout, navigational data e.g. VORs, NDBs, navigation fixes and airways as well as airspace boundaries. Depending on the detail provided, it also shows geographical information like runway/taxiway layout at an airport or coastlines, rivers.

To work as an ATC, it is essential for you to use the correct sector file. Please refer to HERE

Once you have downloaded your sectorfile, you have to load it with your IvAc. Press the PVD button and then Load SectorFile and select the appropriate sectorfile.

First Connection

We will now connect you as an Observer at your favourite airport. As an Observer, you are free to watch the traffic fly around and you may listen to active ATC. You have no duties, that means you are not in charge of any traffic yet.

Load IvAc and open the desired sector file, as described in the step above.

An important consideration before connecting to the network for the first time: Your first connections should be as an Observer, without actual ATC duties. This will help you to make yourself familiar with the software and IVAO while avoiding trouble with pilots who will contact you for a clearance sooner or later. Use the chance to listen in on active ATC frequencies and learn!

Now, press the CONNECT button.

Enter the details in the connection window:

  • Callsign: Your callsign. At this time, you will connect as an Observer, so the callsign can be anything, but must end with “_OBS”. We suggest you use your division abbreviation followed by your initials, for example: ZA_MR_OBS.
  • Real Name: Your full name that you registered with IVAO.
  • VID: Your IVAO VID that was assigned to you when you joined.
  • Password: The IVAN password you were assigned when you joined IVAO.
  • Server Address: The server you are connecting to. For best performance, use the one auto selected. Do not use the Training server. It is for scheduled training sessions only!
  • Port: Leave this box as it is!
  • Voice: Select on to have IvAc connect you to a TeamSpeak server automatically.

Once all of the above details are entered, press the Connect button.

When you have successfully connected, you will receive a welcome message in the MSG tab of IvAc’s COMMBox, and the CONNECT button will now read DISCON.

Tip: You can find the manual of IvAc on your IvAc installation folder to find answers to your questions and explore the capabilities of the program.

Connecting as Air Traffic Controller

Your first connection as an Air Traffic Controller on the IVAO network requires a basic understanding of the procedures employed at the place you will control. Check you division’s website for those procedures and charts for the aerodrome.

Some important things to consider before connecting to the network:

  • Before connecting as an active ATC position, make sure you have the proper sector file and required documents and charts ready. Pilots will rely on you having a basic knowledge of your airspace and airport as well as its procedures.
  • For your first steps it is strongly recommended that you connect as a Ground or Tower Controller at a less crowded place (which might not be your favourite airport, and clearly not the fancy big international field of your capital!) to get used to your new environment and duties.

Once you have prepared those items, you can attempt a connection. Use the steps as provided in the chapter “First Connection”, with these changes:

  • Callsign: Enter [ICAO]_GND (for a Ground Position) or [ICAO]_TWR (for a Tower Position) accordingly. Replace [ICAO] with the proper ICAO-Code of your airfield.
  • Voice: As it is highly recommended to use voice procedures, tick the box and select a suitable server.

As all fields are completed, press the Connect button.

Two final, but important steps:

  • IvAc established a connection to the selected TeamSpeak server, but did not create your ATC channel. Do so yourself by selecting Channels → Create New Channel in TeamSpeak. Enter your callsign – the same you used in IvAc! – in the Name field and press Create Channel.
  • Switch IvAc to the proper frequency. Pilots will dial your ATC station’s published frequency to contact you. Make sure IvAc is tuned to it as well! To do so, select the first tab in the COMMBox and type //123.456, replacing the numbers with your frequency and hit ENTER. Observe the caption of the tab change to the entered frequency.

Set up an ATIS

The most important information about an aerodrome is included in the ATIS. “ATIS” stands for Automated Terminal Information Service. As an ATIS transmits important status information about an airfield, it is important to set it up properly. The weather data is included automatically. You should add runway information (the current runway in use for departures and arrivals), transition altitude/transition level and if necessary some important information (like “CTR is VMC” or “Runway 03R closed”).

Important: Even though runways are mainly assigned by wind direction, and the transition values can be obtained from charts, actual procedures might differ. You should therefore seek information from your local division about standard procedures beforehand!

 

Interaction with Pilots

In general, the two most basic ATC positions here on IVAO are “Ground” (xxxx_GND) and “Tower” (xxxx_TWR) positions. As a Ground controller you will be responsible for all the airplanes moving on your aerodrome surface, excluding the runways. This means that your duties will be to issue the IFR clearances and guide the airplanes from the gate to the runway and the opposite in an safe, regular and expeditious manner. As a Tower controller you are responsible for the airplanes taking off or landing at your aerodrome, and the airplanes flying in the vicinity of your aerodrome. This means that your duties will be to assign take off or landing clearances and to separate the airplanes from each other which are flying in the immediate vicinity of your airport. For more details of your duties as controller to the various ATC positions, check . Please refer to ATC OPERATIONS menu at http://ivao.co.za

As a controller here on IVAO, you will use your IvAc screen to “see” the online traffic, and use voice or text to communicate with them. Below you can see an example of how your IvAc screen will look like.

  1. The Flight Strip. When you select a flight, it will show a collection the most important parts of the flight plan (origin, destination, route, requested cruising flight level etc.).
  2. This is how every flight looks like on your radar screen – the radar target. It is composed of a small square (the actual position of the aircraft) and its label. The label consists of the most important actual information of this aircraft (current ground speed and altitude, type of aircraft and others).
  3. The Commbox. Through the Commbox, you can communicate with the pilots using text, retrieve the airport METARs, talk via private chat with other pilots or controllers (and more!).

Tip: Before you start your career as an virtual ATC, you could join the channel of other controllers and listen to the communications. This will make you more familiar to the controller’s phraseology!

 

TeamSpeak Setup for our ZA social channel

Please refer to HERE

Further Information

Please refer to our home page at http://ivao.co.za

You may find our IVAO ZA Forum (opens in a new window for better readability) incredibly helpful. You can use it to ask any questions or post about any problems you are having. There are lots of people willing and able to help you make the most out of your online flying experience. Another useful source is the IVAO HQ Training Department, where you can find a lot of useful information.

Tip: If you cannot find what you are looking in the forum or a division site, you can use your favorite internet search engine to find what you want.

 

Training/Advice

If you would like to extend your understanding with regards to online flying, please feel free to contact the ZA division staff HERE.

Also, please feel free to contact the ZA Division Training Directors at za-tc [@] ivao.aero and za-tac [@] ivao.aero

 

And Finally…

Have fun! This is an incredibly addictive hobby. As soon as you start doing ATC online, you will never go back to offline ATC simulations and will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!

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