Welcome to the ZLA
Pilot Certification Center. The Los Angeles ARTCC has made
available a voluntary testing and training program for VATSIM pilots to help
improve their skills. Informally, ZLA (along with other ARTCC's) has always done
its best to help impart knowledge to pilots at all levels of the spectrum. The Center represents a formal attempt to
help pilots improve their flying abilities in a more structured setting.
Down to the nitty gritty....what's this all about? It's actually a very
simple concept. Pilots fly in our skies, receiving ATC service from qualified
ZLA controllers, performing tasks ranging from VFR pattern work, to VFR Bravo
transitions, IFR tec routes, IFR SIDs/STARS, and a range of different instrument
approaches. The ZLA controller will then make a determination if the task was
completed successfully, and if so, the pilot passes that particular test. The
pilot will then have the opportunity to move on to increasingly complicated
There are no written tests, everything is handled through
practical tests in the airplane, and will hopefully provide a source of
education and fun for all involved.
Pilots who successfully complete
each rating will be publically recognized and added to a visible roster of ZLA
Who is the audience for this program? It actually
spans a reasonably broad spectrum from brand new pilots who are just getting
started on VATSIM, to intermediate pilots who are looking to sharpen their
skills and learn more advanced VFR and IFR concepts. Real world instrument rated
pilots are probably the only ones who will not directly benefit from this
program, but may still enjoy the tasks all the same.
For brand new
pilots, this program attempts to provide a structured, PRACTICAL, step by step
learning environment for pilots who are new to the world of VATSIM. Pilots who
join VATSIM are often hungry for knowledge, and willing to learn, but can't find
practical material that shows them what do do.
Similarly, there are many
intermediate pilots who are already conducting successful IFR flights on VATSIM,
but are uncomfortable flying anything other than a fully coupled ILS approach
after receiving vectors to final. The thought of visual approach, or a
non-precision approach sees them reaching for the disconnect button. This
program seeks to help raise the bar for these pilots, introducing them to a
broader range of skills and techniques for VFR and IFR alike.