Taking the Tests
Change Log

Home > Overview


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 tasks.

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 Certified Pilots.

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.

This site is NOT affiliated with the FAA, the real Los Angeles ARTCC or any of the Airlines listed. The information contained in this site should NOT be used for real world navigation.