Pilot Training and Development

The Santo Domingo Flight Information Region is a proud partner of the VATSTAR ATO. For years VATSTAR has been assisting pilots to become proficient aviators on the VATSIM network. Within the flight sim communities, VATSTAR stands as the most proficient and reliable training service. In addition to offering pilots top-notch training, VATSTAR also gives everyone the ability to participate in year-round events. This allows for great giveaway possibilities and community exposure for us all. Below is a basic overview of the VATSTAR training program. Please feel free to visit our training partner at https://vatstar.com or by clicking the image to the right.

Training Overview

As much as flight simulation is a balance of realism versus accessibility for all, VATSTAR’s goal is equally balanced. We know that to bring the fun of flight simulation to as many people as possible, we have to keep the lessons as easy-to-understand as we can. Like we said before, we’re not attempting to be the simulator version of a full flight school. We’re trying to give you just enough knowledge to make flying on VATSIM less scary and more fun.

IMPORTANT NOTE: VATSTAR is based in the United States, and its curriculum focuses on US-based Air Traffic Control policies and procedures. Certainly the aircraft physics and much of the “flying guts” is applicable all over the VATSIM world; but, certain particulars about routing and charts, airspace designations, proper air traffic control phraseology, and other issues local to VATUSA and VATNA will be reflected in the curriculum and testing conducted here.

Our training program is broken into six main sections:

  • VATSIM Fundamentals (VATSIM P1),
  • Flight Fundamentals (VATSIM P2),
  • VFR Flying (VATSIM P3),
  • IFR Flying (VATSIM P4),
  • Advanced IFR Flying (VATSIM P5),

Each section is divided into numerous “Lessons” (the number of which will vary by section). Each Lesson covers one basic topic, and has seven parts:

  • An Introduction;
  • A quick self-test called “Can I Skip This Lesson?”;
  • A brief but explanatory list of What You Need to Know (broken into two subsections — Vocabulary, and Concepts);
  • More Detail –- i.e., information that you don’t necessarily need to retain every nuance of, but that may be of interest to you or that may help you remember the critical pieces;
  • A Summary of what it is you need to have taken from what you read, above;
  • Additional Resources which would be videos or other online tutorials that can help walk you through the Lesson’s concepts more interactively;
  • A final Quiz of the material in the Lesson -– slightly longer than the self-test at the beginning, but still just a quick assessment you can use to determine whether you learned and understood everything in that Lesson.

Then at the end of each section, after all of the Lessons, will come three appendices:

  • first, a Section Glossary, a list of the new terms you will need to have learned in order to pass the Section Exams;
  • then the Written Exam Overview, an review of all of the concepts that the written test will cover, so you can be sure you’re ready to take it;
  • finally, the Practical Exam Overview, a description of the checkride flight, the expectations for each part thereof, and how you’ll be graded.

We always welcome your feedback about any part of our training, and we strive to improve it constantly based on what we hear from our students and instructors. Remember: “Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing – if you happen to be able to re-use the airplane again afterward, it’s a great landing!” Fortunately in the sim world, we get to walk away from all of them. So with that in mind, best wishes for many great landings, and may you always learn something from the rest of them. Ready to get started?