VATSIM Germany" (vACC Germany) is part of the worldwide onlineflying organization VATSIM, that has currently more than 170,000 members in its records. VATSIM stands for Virtual Air Traffic SIMulation Network and our goal is to simulate the world of civil aviation as good as possible.
Basically the game has two sides: pilots and air traffic controllers (ATC).
Pilots sit at home in front of their computers or in their homecockpits and by using a client they connect their Microsoft Flightsimulator, X-Plane or Precision Simulator 1.3 to VATSIM, while ATC are using a special radar control software, which is connected to VATSIM as well. Using a combination of a headphone with a microphone pilots and ATC communicate with a software that transmits their voice, so we are actually talking to each other which boosts the level of realism significantly!
We offer pilots navigation charts that are either selfmade by us or that are available freely on the internet. We also do have a huge database of flightplans that are up to date and validated with realworld EUROCONTROL and pilots can file them directly online with VATSIM! Finally we do have a local Pilot Training Chief, who organizes regular online pilot training sessions and you can also receive direct help in our VATSIM Germany Forum.
Our ATC receive personal training, navigation data (so called sector files) and training manuals, that will help them perform their duties as good as possible. Their objective is handling the traffic as professional and safe as they can. This is based on a career-scheme, that candidates run through step by step and make their way from being a student to the rating of a senior controller. At each step they need to complete lessons and theoretical but for some also practical checks, where they have to show what they have learned so far.
To avoid boredom and the everyday-feeling local groups and also the whole of "VATSIM Germany" organize every now and then big events. These are usually attended by a high number of pilots and ATC and they all need to show their skill and they also have an excellent opportunity to test their personal limits!
And finally the most important and probably for some of you also the most surprising information:
Except for the flightsimulator software and optional and sometimes recommended aircraft and scenery-addons everything at VATSIM is COMPLETELY FREE OF CHARGE ! The network finances itself through donations of individuals or nice people who just allow us to run software on their internet-servers. All the time and effort that keeps things running is invested for pleasure only, which makes it even more important to be extremely thankful to all these great people behind the scenes!!!