Occasionally Asked Questions

If the answers on this page don’t work for you, please write to me at jeff@ATCcommunication.com for a quick and personal response. Unless I’m asleep or flying, I’m here for you.

1. I can’t get the Aircraft Radio Simulator to work. When I click on the link to the sim, all I get is a series of dots that move left to right on a white screen.

2. In Firefox, the simulator main screen–the cockpit console–shows, but the enhanced radio stack won’t appear.

3. You said the Aircraft Radio Simulator works best in the Chrome web browser, but it ain’t working for me.

4. Where is the interactivity in the Aircraft Radio Simulator? I was expecting to talk to air traffic controllers, but all I can do is listen to recordings on three channels.

5. I want a “Say Again” button on all of the simulators you offer. Why haven’t you installed that feature?

6. What the heck is taking so long with the Aircraft Radio Simulator? Every time I check in, the thing seems to be in the same stage of development?

7. Why don’t you offer a version of the simulator for the iPad or the iPhone?

8. Will the Aircraft Radio Simulator always be free to access?

Back to the Insider’s page.


1. I can’t get the Aircraft Radio Simulator to work. When I click on the link to the sim, all I get is a series of dots on a white screen that move left to right.

Answer: Ah, the dreaded dots. What you are seeing is a loading indicator, meaning, the simulator is loading in the background. If the loading goes on forever and the sim never appears, try this:

a. Switch web browsers. Not all web browsers are created equal. While the sim will work in all web browsers except Safari, this is the order of performance, from best to worst:

1. Chrome

2. Firefox

3. Internet Explorer

b. Make sure your web browser’s pop-up blockers are turned off. That means all pop-up blockers. You can have add-on pop-up blockers installed on your browser, but most web browsers have a built-in pop-up blocker. Check your browser’s preferences and make sure the internal pop-up blocker is selected off, or add an exception for http://atccommunication.com.

c. While you are investigating the preferences for your browser, make sure Javascript is enabled for the browser.

d. Make sure you have the latest version of Flash Shockwave Player installed. The simulator will only work with Flash Player version 10 or newer.

e. Some plug-ins and extensions that you might have added to your web browser may interfere with the loading of the simulator. Try turning off/disabling your web browsers plugins or extensions, one at a time, and then retry loading the sim.

f. Some corporate firewalls and other router firewalls will block websites that use Javascript. Check with your corporate IT person to see if that is true. (Does your supervisor know you are messing around with the simulator on company time? Maybe asking the IT person is not such a good idea.)

g. I have tried everything I could to get Norton Internet Security (anti-virus program) to make the Aircraft Radio Simulator not show up on my computer. In every case, the sim worked perfectly. While it’s possible Norton, or other anti-virus programs may block the sim, I have not found that to be true. However, check your own anti-virus program to see if perhaps there is a setting that might block the sim.

h. If you have tried all these steps and the sim will still not appear, before you give up, give me a shout at jeff@ATCcommunication.com. I don’t claim to be a computer genius. (Mangled quote from Star Trek: “Dammit Jim, I’m an airline pilot, not a computer science professor!”) But I will give your problem my best shot.

Back to the Insider’s page.


2. In Firefox, the simulator main screen–the cockpit console–shows, but the enhanced radio stack won’t appear.

Answer: After clicking on the radio stack in the main simulator, the enhanced radio stack should pop up in a separate window. It is the interface for selecting radio frequencies and setting the transponder. If in Firefox, the window opens but nothing shows up in the window;  or, if the window never opens, here is a possible fix:

a. In Firefox’s address bar, type  about:config

b. This will open a window warning you that messing with the internal structure of Firefox may cause drowsiness, lack of appetite, coma, or death. This is baloney. Click the button labeled “I’ll be careful, I promise.”

c. Search for the preference labeled  dom.max_script_run_time. Click that preference.

d. In the Change Integer box, which should have the number 10, change the number to 20. This will give Firefox 20 seconds to connect and load the window with the enhanced radio stack.

Back to the Insider’s page.


3. You said the Aircraft Radio Simulator works best in the Chrome web browser, but it ain’t working for me.

Answer: Chrome is odd because installing Flash on your computer does not automatically make a connection to Chrome. Try this:

a. In Chrome’s address bar, type about:plugins in the address bar.

b. Click the plus sign next to “Details” in the browser window’s upper right corner.

c. Check to make sure the latest version of Flash is enabled.

d. If not click “Enable,” and restart Chrome. If “Enable” is active, try cycling “Disable” then “Enable” and restart Chrome.

Back to the Insider’s page.


4. Where is the interactivity in the Aircraft Radio Simulator? I was expecting to talk to air traffic controllers, but all I can do is listen to recordings on three channels.

Answer: Right now, the Aircraft Radio Simulator is in testing phase. The current test phase does not have interactivity with ATC programmed. The current test phase is designed to make sure the user interface works in all cases. Shortly, I’ll be adding interaction with ATC. Please realize that when the Aircraft Radio Simulator becomes fully operational, meaning it leaves the testing phase, access to the finished product will no longer be free. If you have further questions on this topic, please write to me at jeff@ATCcommunication.com.

Back to the Insider’s page.

5. I want a “Say Again” button on all of the simulators you offer. Why haven’t you installed that feature?

Answer: While it’s true you can always use “Say again,” with air traffic control in real life, I want you to learn how to hear and understand ATC instructions the first time they are given. You will notice, after you make an attempt to understand a clearance the first time in any of the simulators, the clearance will repeat if you get it wrong. There is a built-in say again feature for each sim, but the say again feature requires you to make an honest attempt to understand ATC the first time. It’s good training. If you disagree, write to me at jeff@ATCcommunication.com and tell me why.

Back to the Insider’s page.


6. What the heck is taking so long with the Aircraft Radio Simulator. Every time I check in, the thing seems to be in the same stage of development?

Answer: While I wish I could stop flying at my airline job for a year and just finish the Aircraft Radio Simulator, the airline job equals dinner. I still work on the various simulators anywhere from 2 to 6 hours a day, even on layovers during my airline trips. When the Missus is out of town and there is no one around to make sure I mow the lawn, and do the hundred other household chores I’m supposed to do, I may put in whole days working on the sim.

While you see one simulated aircraft control panel, I see hundreds and hundreds of lines of code that need to be written; along with hours and hours of audio recording, graphics drawing, and a million other tasks to reach a finished product. This type of project, when undertaken by a big gaming company, involves hundreds of people and a budget of hundreds of thousands of dollars . Unfortunately, you get only me and a budget that hovers just above zero. Which is why it’s taking so long.

Back to the Insider’s page.


7. Why don’t you offer a version of the simulator for the iPad or the iPhone?

Answer: First, let’s finish the huge goal of just getting the thing to work on a regular desktop or laptop computer. I’ve spent more than a year learning and developing the Flash code for the simulator. Translating the sim to the iPad or iPhone is like starting over because the code is 100% different from Flash. Yes, HTML 5 code will work in both the iPad/iPhone environment and in the conventional computer environment, but HTML 5 does not yet have the full animation/automation features required for a aircraft simulator.


8. Will the Aircraft Radio Simulator always be free to access?

Answer: In a word, no. In more words, the finished sim will cost money to access. Why?

The finished sim will be a valuable training device that should save you hours and hundreds of dollars of flying time in a real aircraft. It normally takes months or years of flying experience to encounter all of the radio training you will get from the simulator. While the sim will have a fee to access, the experience you gain per hour of sim time will cost pennies on the dollar compared to the cost of actual flying time.

It’s an absolute pleasure for me to provide free information, advice, and other goodies at ATCcommunication.com. That information will always be free to you because it is almost effortless for me, I enjoy doing it, and I know it helps because I’ve received many emails saying so.

The sim has cost me a lot of time, effort and some expense. So, the fair trade is, you get a great product that makes your flying skills better. I get compensated for working, just as you do at your job. (I haven’t set a price. We can discuss that later.)

Back to the Insider’s page.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment