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  1. Dear Members, There has been much discussion in various mediums recently about issues on our network relating to pilots using aircraft that they are unable to properly operate which in turn causes disruption on the network. The VATSIM Board of Governors has been monitoring this, and while this is not a new problem, it has been exacerbated recently by the release of some amazing new aircraft simulations. This post is to address this issue. In 2010, I bought my first PMDG product - the MD-11 for FSX. It was a complicated product, and even as an ATPL rated pilot, I flew it offline for a couple of months before connecting to the network with it. I have purchased numerous products since, and for each one, I mastered the systems offline before connecting to the network. As PMDG, Leonardo, Fenix, and other manufacturers bring their newest and most advanced products to the MSFS 2020 platform, it is important to remind all of our users that VATSIM is an environment for virtual pilots and virtual controllers to come together to simulate the real world of aviation. The absolute prerequisite to this is that pilots must know how to fly and property control their aircraft before connecting to the network. For these advanced aircraft, this is not limited to knowing how to fly a heading, an airspeed, and an altitude. If a pilot connects to the network using a simulated aircraft with advanced automation, they MUST also know how to use that automation. In almost every case, violating an ATC clearance and blaming it on your autopilot doing something you didn’t expect is a pilot problem, not a simulation problem. In a recent Facebook post, a VATSIM member and good friend of mine reminded us all what the “R” in “IFR” means. I would add that we all know what the “SIM” in “VATSIM” means. As I said in a post when I became President of the network, we are an educational network dedicated to members who want to simulate real world aviation. Connecting to the network to learn how to fly your aircraft is simply not why VATSIM exists. You cannot play in our sandbox if you don’t know how to use your shovel. Follow the Rules, respect the Simulation. The VATSIM Board of Governors is currently working on updates to our Code of Conduct to codify a stricter requirement for pilot competency on the network. Additionally, a pilot feedback program is in the final stages of development that will assist controllers in providing meaningful advice and education to pilots through our Pilot Training Department. In the meantime, network Supervisors and Administrators will be continuing to work hard to assist members. Please make note that if you connect to the network and are unable to adequately control your aircraft, you will be removed from the network and asked to either increase your skill level with your chosen aircraft offline before reconnecting, or connect to the network with a less advanced aircraft that you can adequately pilot without causing disruption to other members of the network. Ignoring these requests may require us to remove your ability to connect to the network for a period of time. As members of this amazing community, at all times I would ask you to please respect the enjoyment of everyone connected to the network. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to e-mail me president(at)vatsim.net Tim Barber, VATSIM President
    97 points
  2. I'm really confused at OP's post. VATSIM pilot ratings were redefined and realigned a couple of years ago. To the best of my knowledge, none were removed. If you're talking about a Px rating becoming a Py rating, that's not a removal, it's a realignment. If you have any examples of true removals, please provide them (to me via email (preferred) or PM please). One initiative implemented by the Pilot Training Department a couple of years ago was to make it easier to have RW pilot credentials recognized by granting equivalent VATSIM pilot ratings. However, to the best of my knowledge, there were no, or should have been no, awarding of pilot ratings to controllers on the basis of being a controller. If you have any examples, please provide them (to me via email (preferred) or PM please). Speaking in generalities, there has been a growing concern in the controller community about pilot quality. Things like the release of MSFS2020, and now the release of study-level aircraft for MSFS2020 have reduced the barrier to entry and/or novelty to the flight simming world. This is really good news for the flight simming world, but because it's so much easier for just about anyone to buy MSFS2020 and/or shiny new release airplanes and hop on VATSIM and make a mess of things for the others that are trying to enjoy the network. VATSIM leadership has been very concerned recently about the apparent, or even perhaps perceived, shift in pilot quality, and wanted to send essentially a reminder to the community what our network is all about. We aspire to be better than "just entry level" and/or "just a game". There are certainly limitations and boundaries to making our network "as real as some people want." There are a lot of variables involved, but training, learning and patience all play a significant role. That includes self-study, off the network, to ensure that when you are ready to connect to our simulation network, you are adequately prepared. Not perfect, but have a fighting chance at doing things well enough that you don't cause a disturbance. VATSIM is not interested in a two-tiered network. We are interested in finding the right balance that is best for our community and our network. That sweet spot in the middle is so very hard to find, but by actively seeking it, we are making this network and this community better for all.
    11 points
  3. Soon a major change will come to the way vatSys works. Working in parallel to Ross’s CRC project, is a server project for vatSys. This server will see all flight data, radar, alert and coordination processing move from the client running on the users computer to a centralised server where all data is synchronised and distributed. Users will no longer be connecting directly to FSD. Divisions will be able to create and edit profiles that run on the server to define local data. These “partitions” - effectively processing islands for each division, will be a very realistic emulation of Eurocat / TopSky architecture. Peer to peer, visibility points and even callsigns will be a thing of the past. The current client will remain in open beta until eventually cutting over to server. I encourage those developing profiles to continue, as they will be useable with just a few changes on vatSysServer. More soon.
    10 points
  4. Luke, you have perfectly summarized my feelings about the Pilot Rating restructuring. I was CFI of VATSTAR at the time, and I felt very strongly that the old Pilot Ratings system was much more suitable for VATSIM's needs than the present one. Plus the notion that we had to take down everything we had spent YEARS building, and completely restructure it, felt like a kick in the gut. I had stepped down from my post there for other reasons before all that became final but it still felt like a slap in the face to what we had done, all to achieve an unnecessary fixing of something that wasn't broken. Most VATSIM pilots want to fly airliners. So why disassemble a training program built with VATSIM pilots' needs in mind, and replace it with something like the real world which forces you to start GA? In the real world starting GA is mandatory (military notwithstanding). In VATSIM, since Pilot Ratings are completely optional, a system which forces pilots to do something they DON'T want before letting them do what they DO want seems like a recipe for failure. I don't have stats to know whether the proportion of pilots with vs without ratings has changed since the shift, but I'm guessing it's still the case that most pilots who participate in Pilot Ratings programs are NOT the ones who really need the training as they probably already have the basics that WE need down. I.E. they already know what procedure charts are and how to fly what they are cleared to do.
    8 points
  5. I've made another major design change for CRC, this one even more impactful than the last. So it's time for another development update. Ever since I developed vSTARS and vERAM and learned a lot about how the real STARS/ERAM systems work, I've wanted to build my own server that the clients would connect to, instead of connecting directly to the VATSIM FSD network. This server would in turn connect to the FSD network in order to get a feed of all aircraft locations and their flight plans. This architecture would allow me to simulate how the real systems work to a far greater degree of fidelity. After numerous discussions with other developers that are helping with this project, and discussions with many VATUSA ARTCC staff members, I've decided that I'm going to take this approach with CRC. All logic for radar data processing, flight data processing, controller command message processing, conflict detection, etc. will be moved to the server. The CRC client will not have any "logic" at all, it will just be a UI showing the state of things on the server. The following is a list of some of the main benefits that this new approach will provide: Users will sign into positions, not callsigns. - FEs will define positions within each of their facilities, and CRC users will choose which position they are signing into. Users will not need to type in a callsign or primary frequency, as those things will be determined automatically by the server, based on the selected position. Multiple users can be signed into the same position. - This is to facilitate shift change, observing, and student/instructor scenarios. When one user makes a change such as initiating/accepting a handoff, that will be reflected on any other scope for the same position. Even small changes like the position of a data block will be mirrored across all scopes for the same position. Just like how the real systems work. Shift change will not require handoffs. - When you sign into a position to relieve another controller, you automatically have track control of all their aircraft, because it's the same position. No need for the first controller to hand off aircraft. All data blocks will be in exactly the same position for the incoming controller as they are for the outgoing controller. When the incoming controller is ready to take the position, they will enter a command or press a button to declare "my control". It'll be just like the real world when a relieving controller sits down at the same physical scope for the relief briefing. Track state will be properly shared. - All track state data (ERAM CID, scratchpads, ERAM 4th line data, temporary altitudes, handoff state, pointout state, etc.) will be stored on the server, within the simulated STARS/ERAM "computer". Track state data will be shared among positions within the same simulated computer, and will only transfer to other facility computers where it is appropriate and realistic for that to happen. You will be able to see a handoff occurring between two other controllers, just like you can in the real systems. Realistic beacon code assignments. - The server will assign beacon codes based on the real world NBCAP. (National Beacon Code Allocation Plan.) TRACON facilities will have their own internal code banks for flights originating and terminating within the facility. Recovery after unintentional disconnect. - If you lose your connection due to a client crash, brief power failure, etc. you will be able to reconnect and all your tracks with all their state will be intact, because it will be maintained on the server while you were disconnected. If you aren't able to reconnect and sign back in, another controller can sign into your position and take over, or the system will automatically drop your tracks after a certain period of time. Third-party tools can connect to the server. - Tools such as a simulated EDST or FDIO can connect to the server and sign into a position, allowing e.g. ERAM controllers to have a "D-Side" console using software external to CRC. You will even be able to provide D-Side services to another controller. The third-party applications will have full access to the server data, without needing a regular FSD connection. Server-based radar simulation. - The server will have a map of radar coverage for each facility. This map will be pre-generated based on real world radar site locations, facility surveillance coverage areas, and terrain. If an aircraft is flying in a valley where there is no radar coverage, you won't see it. This surveillance coverage map will also incorporate real world ADS-B coverage. That's a list of things that will be in the initial release version, and this new architecture will pave the way for many more highly-realistic features in the future. This probably goes without saying, but this is a very significant increase in the scope of work required to bring CRC to an initial release version. I was originally targeting an initial release date some time in the summer of this year, but with this change, I think an initial release is more likely to be toward the end of the year or even early 2023. It's very hard to say how long this will all take, because it's such a major change, but late 2022 or early 2023 is a good guess as to the absolute earliest time frame for anyone to expect release. As with any sizable software project, that date is likely to slip multiple times. I hope you'll all agree that the benefits listed above will make it worth the wait!
    8 points
  6. That was me! You're right, it was crazy busy. I have some Arrow time in real life, the "golf cart" analogy made me laugh. Great plane to fly. It was my pleasure to work you, hope to see you around on my scope soon!
    4 points
  7. A17 - The re-creation of, or organization of events recognizing real world disasters, tragedies, or other such events, particularly those which resulted in loss of life, are not permitted. Seems pretty clear to me, but, you do you.
    4 points
  8. There actually are relatively few calls. If you think about how infrequently a controller actually sends a command (handoff, pointout, flight plan amendment, temporary altitude assignment, etc.) to the server for processing, it's relatively rare. Even if we had 200 controllers online in the US, I doubt the server would be processing more than a few dozen messages per second. The server won't even notice the load from that. The vast majority of the server resource consumption will be for processing aircraft position reports and determining which VATUSA facilities can "see" each one, so that targets and tracks can be updated on any connected clients. I was surprised at how low the resource requirements are for this. I did some load testing by injecting 2,500 aircraft into the server, each sending a position update 5 times per second. I then ran range calculations against 1,000 radar sites every second. (That's the max update rate of the radar display in STARS or ASDEX mode.) So that's 2.5 million range calculations per second. If I use the haversine formula to do a great circle distance calculation, it takes about 300 milliseconds to do all 2.5M calcs. If I use basic Euclidian distance, it takes about 10 milliseconds. This is all on a single core virtual machine with 1 GB of RAM that costs $6/month at Digital Ocean. Pretty amazing. And I'm actually planning on simplifying the radar coverage calcs dramatically, by essentially simulating nation-wide coverage through ADS-B, which means each aircraft will just need to be checked to see if it is within a polygon defined for each facility, and no great circle range calcs will be needed. I may still do a more advanced radar coverage simulation in a future version, which would simulate terrain blocking, but that will be done with a geohash grid, which will optimize things even further. We will likely host the server on VATUSA's existing infrastructure, and I doubt it'll raise costs at all.
    4 points
  9. Dear VATSIM Members, I am posting this evening to report that Federico Navarro has announced that he will be retiring from the VATSIM Board of Governors. Fed will be officially stepping down upon appointment of his successor to the Board. Fed joined the VATSIM Board of Governors in October of 2020 as Vice President, Americas, and prior to that he represented South America on the VATSIM Executive Committee. He has spent many years and hundreds if not thousands of hours volunteering his time to the betterment of the VATSIM Network, and he will very much be missed around the board table. Fed intends to remain an active member of the network, and will continue helping the network when and where needed. On behalf of the entire Board of Governors, I sincerely thank Fed for his dedication to VATSIM, and wish him all the best in his future endeavors.
    4 points
  10. I trust that you are not suggesting the the CoC is a fandangle, and that your comment isn't intended as a contumely reference. It may appear that the document is somewhat crinkum-crankum, but I know you to not be a rapscallion and that you believe the document to be more palatable than a kickshaw! :)
    4 points
  11. I think the solution to this is more First Wings and similar events. Encourage as many vACCs as possible to host them. Promote them to new and recently jointed members. Encourage vACCs to have their own smaller scale events where it's not a big deal if mistakes are made. Nobody learns by getting things right. That way you (hopefully) don't have n00bs spawning on the runway at Heathrow or JFK in the middle of a big event.
    3 points
  12. I wanted to chime in on this discussion as a viewpoint from a "New" pilot so to speak on the network, and provide a bit of context from my viewpoint. Now, I've been a VATSIM member for a few years now, and I only have something like 3 flights on network under my belt. Two in the FBW A320 and one in the PMDG DC6. I also attempted at one point to become a controller myself in the Denver ARTCC which provided some valuable insight for me personally. I never completed it because real life got in my way. I hope to finish it at some point, but it's tough when you have young children, and dedicated time is hard to come by. I'll say it's intimidating for a new pilot to get on the network. You're super afraid that you'll screw something up, or say something wrong, or submit an incorrect flight plan or whatever else. I've personally made every effort to study up and do my best, but once you get on network your nerves get the best of you, and inevitably you'll do something incorrectly. It takes time an practice to become better at it, and that means you have to get on network and accept you're going to screw up at some point. I've watched a great many YouTube video's on how to work on VATSIM from people like British AVGeek, Flightdeck2sim, 320SimPilot, and others who do an amazing job of showing you how it's supposed to be done. They teach you everything from how to talk on network, how to submit flight plans, read Navigraph charts, and fly the various airplanes. All great information but it again can certainly be overwhelming to soak it all in. For me personally, I'm probably the most proficient with the FBW A320. I've logged the most flight time with it in the simulator and can with a high degree of confidence fly an IFR route pretty well. Can I deal with absolutely everything that comes my way? Probably not. I'm not the best at deviating from my filed flight plan, and if I start getting vectored or have my approach and/or runway changed without enough time to sort it out properly, I'll probably get flustered and fail miserably. There is a ton of information on what and what not to do on the VATSIM site or various YouTube/Twitch streamers, as well as training that can be done within MSFS 2020. We as pilots do need to be confident with the airplanes we fly, and need to know how to deal with most situations, but it's not very easy to simulate absolutely everything you would come across in VATSIM off network. A lot of that just takes practice and getting used to being on the network. I'll agree, that if you're new to a sim, or new to an airplane you should probably make every effort to become as proficient as possible with them. Study level aircraft are just that, so you need to know how to work it. Having said that however, there's no substitute to jumping on network and flying. I've been with some very patient controllers who are helpful and understanding and that's comforting for me as a new pilot to know. If I run into an inevitable situation and someone starts yelling at me over COMM's I'll probably just disconnect. Everyone can't be perfect but there needs to be a place where new pilots can practice and get used to things on network. The First Wings events are an excellent start, and if I get on network it's usually in a fairly low volume area where coverage is light or on UNICOM so I can just get used to the chatter that goes back and forth. I would love to have gone through some kind of training for pilots like the controllers go though, but that's something I'm sure that takes a lot of time and effort. It would probably make me feel more confident getting on network having a good feel for exactly what was to come. Right now you're relying on having some very skilled YouTubers/Twitch streamers to prepare everyone for getting on network, and they do an excellent job, but the fact is that it's up to the pilots to find and utilize these resources. The "basic exam" you have to take to get on network is not super detailed, and if that's not giving people enough training to be on network, that's the first place I would look for an improvement. Even with all the extra training I've done myself, and the countless hours I've spent in the sim with various planes it's still intimidating for me to get on because I don't want to screw up and get yelled at by a controller. Anyway I'm not saying I'm a terrible pilot, but I'm not a professional either. I'm an IT guy IRL and have never been to flight school, so the only training I've got has come from the various resources I've been able to find and follow. It's certainly out there, but as mentioned it's up to the pilots to find and utilize it. Perhaps some better guidance and more in-depth training options from VATSIM would be better suited to help alleviate the issues. That's just my two cents from someone who is new and trying my hardest to learn so I don't screw up.
    3 points
  13. If that is truly the case, you could make a lot of money being a cybersecurity consultant for companies that don't want to transition away from W7. Then you could buy whatever caliber system is necessary to run FS2020...
    3 points
  14. The fun of operations on VATSIM is simulating the realism found in the real world. Operations like Air Force Proud conducts would not be welcome on VATSIM at any time. When you want to conduct such operations, the MSFS multiplayer server is a better option. When you want to come back to the more realistic experience, sign back onto VATSIM.
    3 points
  15. With release of Velocity, VATSIM developers claimed they can provide with required coding tools to improve refresh rate of situation display, e.g. surface movement (ground) radars would benefit from 1 sec refresh rates for better awareness. Are there plans to include this in the nearest update(s)?
    3 points
  16. I haven't spent this much time in a dictionary since 7th grade! Love it!
    3 points
  17. I would also suggest that you simply temper your expectations for realism when flying on the network in situations where controllers would ordinarily be present but are not. And while sending someone unsolicited advice for improvement might seem tempting, in my observation it often isn't well received. The best you can do in my opinion is model the correct behavior and hope the others on frequency learn from it for next time.
    3 points
  18. An FAA Certificated Dispatcher has a more through understanding of IFR flight planning concepts than an airline pilot an controller combined. They have to know exactly the same information including regulations, aircraft systems, air traffic procedures, etc that an ATP needs to know and are presented with a written and practical exam requiring the same knowledge.
    2 points
  19. Wow! I was flying a "golf cart" (Piper Arrow) for 1.8 hrs in CHI CTR space. I was west of congested area, but I was tuned in. Your ATC was awesome! Never a moment to breathe but he nailed it. A true professional. It was entertaining to listen to him control traffic, GND, TWR, ATC, CLR, BATHROOM, lol, you name it. Just a shout out for him, 1437414, (could not find name). At the end he still had time to land my golf cart in an otherwise non occupied airport.
    2 points
  20. Absolutely agree in some sense. Interestingly VATSIM were so keen to be an MSFS release partner (see embed if you've not seen it - over 100k views) yet then failed to put much in place to ensure new pilots were able to connect and fly confidently without training. From personal experience I'd not been on VATSIM for around 10yrs and MSFS and that video below brought me back to simming. That's a great thing - MSFS brought me back into this Hobby. Sure, it had it's fair share of issues in its early days but it's exceptionally good as a sim with wonderfully complex aircraft now being released. To address a point further up about MSFS kind of being part of the problem due to altitude issues etc - that's not our fault. It's also not MSFSs fault that they're trying to actually simulate the pressure around the aircraft and in the world properly when no other sim does it. I started my channel as a way to try and help people figure out how to fly on the network, understand how to fly their different aircraft well enough and read the charts. Every live stream has some element of trying to educate and help in it. I also completed my S1 with VATUK and found myself running ATC streams purely for new people to connect without feeling embarrassed by mistakes. I have to say too that during those, the controller's whom I spoke with to arrange these were always exceptional - always patient and had the same ethos as I as we tried to help - and we had plenty of new pilots connect for the first time and gain confidence from it and thank us for it. Fast forward many months and I find myself applying for the VATSIM Partner thing that came out. Over a year later it still hasn't been processed yet immediately some streams who don't really do much to help educate instantly got it (obviously their mates) and enjoyed a lot of hype and success from it... All well and good but again, more advertising of VATSIM without the emphasis on education or helping others within our hobby. I haven't controlled in months - why? The barriers. I'm S1. I can control Manchester. I want to control Heathrow, I even work at the airport and would be happy to just do ground as my S1 allows but red tape prevents me from doing so until additional endorsements are achieved (same with LGW). Whilst I can understand why they are in place, it creates a structure within a structure. What I find frustrating is when you get angry controllers at LHR (though rare but they stand out) shouting at people because they're stressed they have no ground or delivery support. I'd love to help but I can't... and so even more work is required even though I can control Manchester... And I don't have the time for it to set aside. Sadly some controllers are quick to get angry when people mess up - I've heard it on numerous occasions and the element of Educate isn't there for a few. The "I'm sorry my autopilot is doing something different" excuse sure doesn't wash - those pilots should wait and learn more of their aircraft before connecting but at that stage we should aim to try and help them understand it too if we can. We should be celebrating new pilots joining. We should be helping new pilots understand what is required, how to access resources, how to learn their aircraft and all the rest of it. We should be actively thanking those who go out of their way to support new pilots and try to help the network improve as fellow users. In my opinion, VATSIM was quick to jump on the bandwagon with the MSFS release and was very slow to respond to the growing number of pilots joining in the sim. Yes the training centre exists to help, but when I speak with people off stream, most don't know it exists or can't be bothered to check and instead would rather learn in other ways. We should be working out how to support this too. As for the P1... I also don't see the point if there is nothing to mark the vast majority who fly airliners. If you're a new pilot reading this. - get the charts - pick the aircraft you're confident with and know properly how to operate (including manual flight) - do not connect to busy airports, it just adds to the stress you are under yourself and especially avoid events until you're super confident on the network with your comms and the aircraft - don't be worried about making mistakes - give it a go... I'm still learning every time I connect to the network!
    2 points
  21. It's funny you mention that, it brings back some memories. The virtual airline I belong to does not rely on hours/flights for promotions and has had asynchronous practical examinations since 2003. A few years later we put together a pilot training program of our own. When VATSIM initiated the ATO program and Pilot Ratings, we were an enthusiastic participant and if memory serves me correctly gave out more ratings than any other outside of VATSIM itself. There were a number of written examinations, then a practical check ride on VATSIM that recorded aircraft operations, ATC coverage and what frequency/controller you were interacting with. Once the course was completed, VATSIM had a webhook where we could give you the rating programatically (thanks Mike Evans!) and all of the information was recorded if anyone from VATSIM ever wanted to audit it. It was a nice system, it by and large worked and I think we gave out just under a thousand ratings, P1 to P3 I think. Then we got a new VATGOV14, the entire model got taken down, re-evaluated and replaced with something that insisted on specific airframes, VFR first and while it may match "the real world" caused significant friction with our operating model. We were asked to rewrite all of our documentation and resubmit, the webhook stopped working, we had to make significant technical changes to support airframes only used for ATO operations, and at some point we just shrugged, said "screw it" and stopped doing anything. I'm not even sure if we're officially an ATO anymore, but I don't think anyone has told us otherwise. 🤷‍♂️ While the old model may have had issues and missed the mark in areas (it was v1 after all), it had two significant strengths: it focused on the basics of getting pilots comfortable operating their airframes of choice in VATSIM, and it considered third parties outside of VATSIM and the controller organizations as full partners. While many of you may disagree with Mark, he is 100% correct in implying that VATSIM has always been an ATC organization and working with Pilots is not in its DNA. When the system got replaced, we attempted to provide feedback on our thoughts and what had worked with the old system, but it's clear that leadership at the time had their own ideas and started with a completely clean slate, policy-wise and technology -wise. The drawback of that approach is that it left us at least with the impression that anything we would do would get wiped away again when a new VATGOV14 took over in another year or two. I am curious to see how many ratings have been released in the new model, or how many external ATOs there are, compared to before. I tried taking a look around but I need to login (which was denied) and like most of our ATO efforts, it wasn't worth the effort. There are a lot of organizations outside the VATSIM space interested in and focusing on pilot experience and competency. We've tried to help over the years, and probably still would if VATSIM would meet us half-way. Cheers Luke
    2 points
  22. And that's a minimum, many candidates for S1 through to C1 requires much more than that for solo readiness. Everyone learns in their own tempo, and being a hobbyist environment we don't tell people "no" when they don't have the capacity to learn at minimum pace. Over the years I've seen cases where students for both S2 and S3 ratings reach 15-20-25 sessions before solo or student-initiated ceased training happens. Then of course, like Karl says, many disappear shortly after having received all that training, giving nothing back in terms of training or staffing for all the effort put into them. I can only assume you're meaning well, Mark, but how long you've been on the network doesn't really mean anything unless you've actually contributed with some significant time put into teaching towards official pilot or ATC ratings. Any bright ideas put forth without that insight will at best be misguided, and more than likely be construed as a punch in the face by anyone who has that insight. Want to change the system for the better? Great, join a training org and help the stats shift in our favour.
    2 points
  23. Hi Mark! I'm sure you wrote this with the best intentions but I'm left confused. Could you give some examples on how VATSIM is favouring controllers over pilots? I feel like it's quite the opposite. With regards to your proposed solution, I don't think that could work. From a pilots perspective a starting controller is going to confuse new, insecure pilot with their instructions. And from a bunch of pilots who are overshooting the ILS, taxiing the wrong taxi ways, turning the wrong way, ... a student controller won't learn/train anything. Putting the two together is an even bigger recipe for disaster. Also don't forget sweatbox sessions are scenario's. The mentor is actively creating situations to see how the student controller handles them to train or learn new techniques. Regards, 1385143
    2 points
  24. Having all read the words of our VATSIM president, let this song be another reminder of our common identity. Let's be proud about the niche we've build and let's always strive to make it better. Some background about the song: The artist, Alexander Rybak, is a Belarusian-Norwegian who won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 with the song "Fairytales". Alexander performed "Europe's Skies" during the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2010 and at the Finnish national finals. Eurovision's mission and values are equal to those of VATSIM. They bring an international audience together for entertainment and are non-political. Their values are, just like VATSIM, universality and inclusivity. Lastly, the music video was shot in Crimea, Ukraine and there's also a Russian version of the song. Alexander Rybak - "Europe's Skies" (Official Music Video) - YouTube I hope you can all find yourselves in my interpretation of the verses. Pilots and controllers, inhabitants of Earth, unite! Blue skies! 🍪🕊
    2 points
  25. Regardless of the legalese here I think it is generally accepted that we shouldn't touch this conflict in any form within the VATSIM environment. We weren't doing events centred around delivering ventilators for COVID patients either (at least I think people didn't?). It's not worth the potential political and social flare up in the respective region and it doesn't contribute much to our hobby that is for many an escape from a world filled with discrimination, hardship, and violence.
    2 points
  26. Nice story....if you want to stir sh**, then please do it elsewhere, but don't mess with our community.
    2 points
  27. We are pleased to announce today that the VATMENA Helpdesk is officially fully operational! This ticket system shall be used to speed up and streamline the current process for things such as: transfer requests, reporting any technical issues/bugs and any aids to do with ATC Training in the division. With this new Helpdesk, we aim to move away from the current emailing system we have been using in the past and help to achieve a goal of a smoother experience for current and future members of VATMENA. Thank you all for your time!
    2 points
  28. The more I read about this, the more excited I get 😄 VATUSA is going to get an influx of visiting controllers when this gets finished 😛
    2 points
  29. SOLVED. By changing the VMware network adapter to Bridged instead of NAT, I was able to determine the local IP address for ES and make the connection. Tower view works very nicely.
    2 points
  30. Yes, eventually. Once the server is up an running the client is effectively just a GUI which makes emulating different HMI’s much easier. There are a one or two things that are missing from server still that the modern topsky has, but yes down the line
    2 points
  31. Very cool ... I hope this will be the future of VATSIM. Each area having a simulation of their own specialized ATC system, with communication between them where necessary. All just like the real world.
    2 points
  32. I think LeafOnTheWind has blown away from the forest...
    2 points
  33. Regardless of how quiet an airport is, I wish people would still use unicom to announce their intentions. If it was just one user, then I would have just thought maybe they were new and did not know about unicom, but this was not a one off, this was 5 different users at the same airport 2 days in a row. On one occasion, I saw an aircraft line up on the runway ahead of me when I was 9NM away on approach, and had already announced on final at 21NM and established at 12NM, even after slowing right down I ended up having to go around. When I finally made it on the ground I asked for a radio check and got back a "loud and clear" and text was working too. Okay maybe one persons radio was not working and they had not realized it, it has happened to me, but what about the other 4 users. I normally try and fly in and out of airports that are covered by ATC, during an event for example, but I had been wanting to fly into a few airports which are usually very quiet and are rarely controlled for quite some time.
    2 points
  34. Oh my god, you guys are rich. The same ones telling me not to make a comment on a forum (which at least used to historically be the place for these types of discussions), are chiming in their own opinions on it. Let me clarify. I have zero issues being on unicom (a wrongly used term in itself here) in the terminal environment (within 20nm or so of the field). I have zero issues communicating as well in that area. What I don't need to see, and always see is people either chatting about this and that and/or announcing their intentions from the flight levels 100nm plus out and every 5 minutes thereafter, therefore "shall" monitor doesn't do a damn bit of good outside the terminal environment. No, I'm not going to be a part of the problem and start an awareness campaign on frequency. No I'm not going to be petty and involve a supervisor. I am going to be a part of a discussion though at a place where a discussion is meant to be had. If this venue of discussion is antiquated, then can it, but the last time I checked the header, it says "Pilot Talk". So I revert back to my original statement. Either foster an education campaign that teaches people how to utilize the frequency properly, limit the text range, so not everyone within 300nm has to see the misuse of the frequency (and people use text for the sole purpose of gaining more range), or utilize the correct CTAF method for the respective airfield, so that the only individuals impacted are the ones who are sharing that field and it's surrounding airspace. Or we can just keep dumbing down the standard....because...VATSIM.
    2 points
  35. VATSIM is happy to announce that vATIS version 4.0 Beta 1 is now available to download from https://vats.im/vatis A key new feature of the beta is that Terminal and Enroute Controllers now have the ability to host an ATIS at more than one airport during a 60 day trial period recently authorized by the Board of Governors. This trial period runs from 19 April 2022 0000 UTC until 18 June 2022 2359 UTC. The trial period grants controllers relief from VATSIM Code of Conduct C7 which only allows a controller to make 1 ATIS connection to the network, to allow instead up to 4 ATIS connections along with their controlling connection. Currently the vATIS version 4.0 Beta only allows for creation of additional ATIS frequencies at individual airports. However should functionality be added which allows for controllers to create multiple ATIS frequencies at the same airport, (such as in cases where an airport has a departure and an arrival ATIS on separate frequencies,) this action would be allowed in the trial period. Creation of 2 ATIS frequencies at the same airport would still count as 2 connections of the maximum 4 allowed. The additional ATIS frequencies must still conform to the VATSIM ATC Frequency and Information Management Policy found at https://vats.im/atcfmp and only contain operational information that is applicable in the VATSIM environment. Real-world operational information that cannot be effectively implemented on VATSIM such as but not limited to lighting and/or navaid outages should not be included in any ATIS information. Thank you to the vATIS Team for development of this feature, and we look forward to seeing the results of the trial!
    2 points
  36. Perhaps I misunderstand you, but on VATSIM there is no such thing as an unmanned ATIS. Someone must put it online. However, this could be someone controlling a CTR position, giving you the impression that the airport is unmanned. If there is a VATSIM ATIS available, please use it, instead of its real-life counterpart. Crucial information, like active runways, might be different, for many - valid - reasons.
    1 point
  37. Disassembly of the replacement which followed the original disassembly after just a couple of years was probably viewed as unacceptable. I was involved with Luke and others in designing the original ratings structure and while it was by no means perfect it had its points. The leadership of the current pilot training department is crucially aware of the shortcomings of the current structure, and the currently-being developed new Member Orientation Course will have content which may address some of the complaints about the skills/knowledge of new pilots. Fundamentally, though, the focus on a requirement for VFR piloting skills as a prerequisite to further ratings seems to be at the core of the current dissatisfaction. That is easily fixed and it may be worth considering. I'm really only guessing here, but it would seem that a change to the hierarchical nature of the current structure might not adversely affect the hard work already under way within the ATOs to meet the course requirements of the current ratings system. Bottom line? I know that the Pilot Training Department are on the case, but I also know that it takes time and the BoG is rightly flagging the issue as being addressed at an attitudinal level with work on pilot accountability and performance centre-stage. The outcomes, I'm certain, will lead to a better experience for all members.
    1 point
  38. I think the title should be "Why has VATSIM turned into the arguments based entirely off hyperbole and flawed anecdotes network under current cultures?" the Facebook group as of recent is not a true reflection of this networks and especially controllers and the leaderships attitude towards pilots. We welcome and strongly love and appreciate when new people join our small hobby and come to enjoy how empowering and rewarding learning this complex hobby can be. What we don't like, and I don't think anyone likes, is when we allow for quality of the hobby to be reduced. Our motto is aviate, educate, communicate. This inherently requires a standard and people don't feel like its being met. That isn't the fault of new pilots, the Dunning-Kruger effect exists. We all just need to work together to help new pilots and be welcoming while upholding standards. Tim's statement was entirely correct, this post title and the recent Facebook Daily Mail like comments don't help at all.
    1 point
  39. The five key knowledge questions to ask yourself: 1) do I know where to find the charts for all the components of my route? 2) do I know how to adhere to charted and/or cleared altitudes? 3) do I know how to make this plane follow the cleared route? 4) do I know how to comply if I'm vectored off of that route, and back on again? 5) do I know how to comply if my assigned arrival runway is different than what I expected? A very high proportion of pilots on the network on any given day right now can't answer yes to any more than two of those.
    1 point
  40. It actually doesn't. If we had a global database that included the 3D airspace volumes that each controller is covering, then pilot clients or tools like VAT-Spy could be enhanced to show the controller that you should call when you are predicted to enter their airspace. If you are already in controlled airspace, then it's up to the controller to tell you which frequency is next, of course. Unfortunately, we don't have such a database, and creating one would be a very complicated job. The way airspace volumes are activated/deactivated when different controllers log on/off, plus the way some airspace volumes change shape depending on which runways are active at one or more airports, makes this a logistical mess. This is done in the real world, but even there, at least in the US alone, it's messy and error-prone. The system often gets it wrong, requiring controller intervention. We may get there some day, but I'm not holding my breath. This is something we've wanted for as long as I can remember, and it hasn't happened yet.
    1 point
  41. @Gergely Csernak Regarding the "Auto METAR of active airports fixed", the METAR list now lists any active airport, where it previously had only airports in it with an active runway. This is quite a significant change as the lists got even longer now with all airfields where I get flight plans from, even if they are uncontrolled and will never show an ATIS. I definitely preferred the previous behaviour. Any chance this can be reverted, or at least give the user a choice? Controlling top-down gets really nasty with this long list, especially as it cannot be even sorted (by alphabet)? So it's difficult to find the right ATIS/QNH quick enough.
    1 point
  42. Hello all, Attached to this post you will find the VATSIM Europe, Middle East and Africa Region quarterly region report for Q1 2022. On behalf of the Regional staff team, thank you to all the staff members, mentors and other volunteers within the region that help and contribute towards VATSIM and the Region! Should you have any questions about the report, don't hesitate to contact us at any time! 🛩️ Q122.docx_1.pdf
    1 point
  43. At risk of keeping this going; what am I violating? That I “shall” monitor unicom at all times when not in controlled airspace? I stated I utilize it in the terminal area. I monitor and actively communicate on it. What possible good does monitoring it outside of the terminal area do? What am I trying to coordinate at the flight levels? A controller knows how to get a hold of me, although I’m regularly looking for them as well. I know where other aircraft are in proximity to me, so what good does listening, or better yet, watching the text madness do? If I’m flying VFR IRL, in class E (controlled) airspace, and I’m not receiving radar services, am I bound to monitor any particular frequency? No I’m not. Anyway, I’ll wrap it up there. I’ll do things my way, others can do it theirs, and I promise we’ll all coexist just fine when it matters.
    1 point
  44. To be honest I am not one to raise my voice at anyone. I always try and avoid any kind of direct confrontation, but next time I will consider sending the person a friendly PM as you suggested.
    1 point
  45. Hi all, For quite a while, I've been wanting to expand vPilot's model matching capabilities. Currently, it looks at the first three characters of the callsign to determine the airline. This works well for most situations, but there are some cases where the callsign prefix doesn't correctly identify which airline should be shown on the model, such as when a regional airline is flying for a mainline airline. For example, if the callsign is RPA123, the callsign prefix (RPA) doesn't indicate which mainline airline the pilot is flying for, and it could be Delta, American, or United. vPilot supports the ability to map a flight number range to a specific model, and this covers most of the regional airline situations. However, this flight number functionality is only available if you load a custom VMR file. vPilot's automatic model scanning does not support the flight number range capability. Since the FLAi project was shut down, model matching has been back to the way it was before FLAi ... it's a bit of a free-for-all, and you don't get decent model matching unless you make your own VMR file, or you use a model set that vPilot "knows about" such as the World of AI models or the payware My Traffic models. This leaves P3D v5 users and MSFS users out in the cold, and they have to use third-party tools like ModelMatchingMagic in order to get decent model matching. I want the process to be more automatic. To that end, I'm considering two major changes to improve the model matching process: First, I would expand the Connect window so that you enter not only your callsign and aircraft type code, but you can also enter an airline code and livery code. The airline code would be optional, of course, and you would leave it blank if you're flying a General Aviation aircraft. If you're flying an airliner, you would obviously enter the ICAO airline code in the airline box. This airline code would be used by other pilots' pilot clients (not just vPilot) for the purpose of selecting a model to represent your aircraft in the other pilot's sim. This will improve model matching not just for vPilot users, but also for other pilot client users when they are displaying aircraft flown by vPilot users. If you leave the airline code blank, and your callsign looks like an airline callsign (three letters followed by one or more digits and then optionally one or two letters) then the airline code will be set equal to the first three letters of your callsign. If you fill in the livery code, that code will be sent to other pilot clients to allow for more fine-tuned model matching. Since we don't have a standardized database of livery codes, this will primarily only be useful for people that build custom VMR files for their VA. Eventually, I would like to build up an "official" database of livery codes, and provide a list of those codes in a dropdown for the user to choose from. This list would be filtered based on the aircraft type code and airline code that was entered. This would allow pilots to specify that they are flying the "Mosaic" livery for JetBlue, or the Fox livery for Frontier, or the Shamu livery for Southwest, to name a few examples. We could also establish standard livery codes for GA aircraft in order to represent the colors in the paint scheme more accurately. When you fill in these fields, you will have the option of saving the aircraft details in your "hangar" for easy recall later. There will be a dropdown on the Connect window where you can choose a previously-saved aircraft. Note that the callsign would not be saved with the aircraft, as it is subject to change each time you fly any given aircraft, but vPilot will remember that last callsign you used with each aircraft and pre-fill that callsign when you select the aircraft from your hangar. I may also have vPilot remember which aircraft you selected for each flyable aircraft that you have installed in the sim, and then automatically select the appropriate aircraft from your hangar when you select an aircraft in the sim. If vPilot doesn't recognize the aircraft that you selected in the sim, the Connect window fields will be blank and you'll need to enter the data. vPilot will then remember the values that you entered for the next time you select that aircraft in the sim, even if you don't save the details as a new aircraft in your hangar. I might have vPilot pre-fill the aircraft type, airline code, and livery code if the aircraft you've selected in the sim is found in the model database. Second, I would have vPilot utilize the database of model information that the developers of swift and the community have created and given me permission to use in vPilot. vPilot already has its own database of model information, but it hasn't been updated in a long time. The swift community have done a great job of populating their model database, including many of the models that are available for MSFS. Using this database to supplement the existing model scanning process will allow vPilot to automatically identify many more of the models that you have installed in your sim, especially for MSFS users. So, that's what I'm currently considering. Please let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions for changes. Thanks!
    1 point
  46. With documentation now mostly complete, we're pleased to announce that vatSys is officially in Open Beta. There are a number of concepts used in operating vatSys that while used every day in real life, may be foreign to new users. Please ensure you read the documentation prior to requesting support here in the forums. You will encounter bugs. Please press send when prompted to forward along detailed error information. Visit https://www.virtualairtrafficsystem.com/ to get started. Enjoy!
    1 point
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