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Microsoft Flight Simulator: ATC “Altimeter” Message Explained

Microsoft Flight Simulator Altimeter
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Microsoft Flight Simulator: ATC “Altimeter” Message Explained

In Microsoft Flight Simulator the “Altimeter” code you’ll often receive from ATC may confuse you if you’re not familiar with aviation or flight simulators.

Microsoft Flight Simulator has finally been released and it’s fantastic. Unfortunately, it doesn’t explain many of the concepts you’ll need to know to master its aircraft: one of these is what the “Altimeter” ATC Message Means in Microsoft Flight Simulator.

Often, the air traffic controller in Microsoft Flight Simulator will send you a message that reads “Altimeter” followed by a number. 

Here’s What the “Altimeter” ATC Message Means in Microsoft Flight Simulator

If you’re not familiar with aviation or flight simulation, you may think that the “Altimeter” message may have something to do with your altitude, which is likely to confuse you.

When ATC tells you “Altimeter” it’s actually providing the “QNH Code,” which is actually the atmospheric pressure at your location adjusted to mean sea level.

That reading is required so that you can periodically adjust the atmospheric pressure in your altimeter so that it provides you with the correct altitude above mean sea level at any given location.

When you receive the QNH Code you should check if it matches your atmospheric pressure setting on your dashboard, and change it with the new value if it doesn’t.

Unfortunately, each aircraft has that value in a different location and the knob to turn to change it somewhere nearby. Below you can see an example.

At times, things are made easier by the fact that the tooltip on the control itself will read the pressure setting, so you don’t need to look for it elsewhere on the dashboard or on the multi-function displays.

Do keep in mind that there are some aircraft in which this is not functional and the pressure setting cannot be changed. At the moment, it’s unknown whether this is a bug or the setting is handled automatically.

That’s it for what the “Altimeter” ATC Message Means in Microsoft Flight Simulator. You can also check out our growing guide wiki that includes more information that can help you get started.

If you want to learn more about Microsoft Flight Simulator, you can check out our review that will tell you everything you need to know about Asobo Studio’s new and groundbreaking game.

Microsoft Flight Simulator is already available for Windows 10 and Steam. An Xbox version is also planned for the future but has no release date for now.

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