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Alistair Thomson

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  1. Thanks Andreas and Brad. Very interesting. Brad, your info is from the US bible, so I tried to find similar exceptions in the Canadian publication, but failed. The folks at CYYZ RW may be able to use similar abbreviations but I can't see where that is acknowledged in the docs. There is no such exception in the UK. Indeed, a UK controller reading out a frequency like that would likely be taken out behind the tower and shot. :) Different worlds, different emphases.
  2. I've recently started looking at Euroscope, and living in Canada now, I also have Canscope installed. I've spent a little time observing Toronto activity and as a RW flying instructor from the UK I was impressed by the quality of Vatsim ATC there. Dor Bashan in particular was very precise and coherent (both as pilot and ATC), obeying all the phraseology rules very nicely. I'm sure that there are many others In VatCan who also do the job properly, but I haven't listened in enough yet to confirm that. However, when I went on to RW Toronto using liveatc to see how the pros do it, I quickly discovered that, well, sorry, but RW ATC at Toronto could learn a thing or two from the Vatsim guys. Sloppy isn't the word for it. One guy in the GND position simply rode roughshod over the IFR Phraseology document from Nav Canada, which is the ATC Bible in Canada and is equivalent to CAP413 in the UK. His favourite ploy was to repeatedly omit the leading "one" from a frequency change notification, as well as the "decimal" separator, and then also ignored the digit readout phraseology. So "one one eight decimal three five" became "eighteen thirty-five" which obviously can be read as a time, or maybe a squawk, but NOT as a frequency, crashing through the deliberately precise disambiguity built in to the official document. And when that ATC officer passed the "eighteen thirty-five" instruction, every RW pilot read that back verbatim. Are things so rushed in RW that folks simply are unable to get out what appears to them to be overly verbose instructions? Or are they just lazy? My RW experience tells me that it is not the former. I was shocked. Maybe it's just me. But maybe Vatsim folks actually care more about realism than the real guys.
  3. Andreas, are you sure that this a public forum? I do agree that the VACC needs to take action here, but from my perspective it's good to know that Vatsim ATC can be just like Vatsim pilots some times … :)
  4. For VFR planning in RW and on VATSIM I use two paper docs: one for flight planning and one for flight execution, but I don't think they're very relevant to commercial IFR work. However, I've attached them anyway :).
  5. As a flying instructor flying with a student from Glasgow Airport to the local flying area or on cross-country exercises, we always flew VFR. The rules were different in the open FIR compared to the control zone: in the control zone we flew standard entry-exit lanes between the airfield and the designated reporting points, but outside controlled airspace we simply reported position on request from ATC or as a courtesy when arriving at a significant point en route, updating our time of arrival at our destination. CARPACER was used extensively. :) So our VFR booking-out procedure, completed on the telephone to ATC, was to specify the exit point from the zone and our destination outside, eg. "Perth via Alexandria" where Perth is a small town on the east coast and Alexandria is a standard exit point from the zone. In that "Perth" case, ATC often offered a non-standard exit route if traffic permitted, going due North via a valley landmark known as "the Strathblane gap" from the airfield to the LFA, which was a more direct route. No navaids were mentioned, but visual references were used in position reporting.
  6. Quoted texts and some images in signatures don't appear here (Firefox 48, OSX 10.6.8, and yes, I know, these are old specs so you'll tell me to upgrade my machine, which I can't without losing important apps). Attached is a screenshot of what I got from Nick Marino'v's recent post, which misses both of these things:
  7. Hi Andreas! Long time no talk. I trust you are well. There are several excellent beers from Belgium which match wine for strength. Piraat, for example, is 10.5%, I believe, and Duvel is a close second. And the bubbles increase the rate of absorption of the alcohol so the stuff has a more immediate effect than wine. Or so I've been told… :)
  8. They say, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" so something about the previous forum setup was broke. Can you tell us what that was?
  9. Anders is absolutely spot-on. Below is how it looks on my Mac. Incredible that this flaw was missed or ignored. And I really, really, don't appreciate getting notifications at 1:00am while I'm trying to sleep. I had to reset all my settings. The migration process has clearly not been given much attention. Finally, the forum takes up too much space on the screen. Good for visually impaired but annoying for others to have to wade down endlessly to scan the posts. I haven't had time yet to see if I can choose a different layout. Once I've done that and looked at the re-hash I'll no doubt have other things to say.
  10. That's often the case. It's well established among educationists that, generally, girls mature emotionally earlier, and faster, than boys, and there is a perception that females often reach a higher level of maturity than males. They stop playing with toys at some early stage, whereas us males never quite manage that (speaking personally, of course .
  11. +1 Andreas. The English language is blameworthy in this regard. Many European languages have genderless personal pronouns, which is really needed in English, but "they" just doesn't do it for me, since that applies in the plural. I've met the use of "she" substituting for "he" but that's just as bad, although it does make a point! However, I don't think the use of "he" or "sir" etc. is a deliberate attempt to belittle females: it's simply a product of a faulty language.
  12. It's all here, I think: http://www.schiratti.com/dowson.html
  13. I read that as sarcasm, sorry. I AM trying to help. Where did I get it wrong here?
  14. I didn't actually answer these questions - but Richard did, and I suggest again that you take his advice. But here's the nub of the matter: What do you actually NEED to know to fly online? Basically, don't connect to the network while on a runway or taxiway. Do your best to comply with ATC instructions, but if you can't, for any reason, say "unable" and ATC will try to find a way round your problem - they have full training, unlike most pilots on VATSIM at the moment. Do your own work on this - until you enroll in a pilot training programme, you can't be sure that you won't get things totally wrong, which ATC are used to, but they really prefer not to have to engage in that process if they are very busy. But they will do their best. You can reduce that workload by clueing yourself up. And you are an educationist - so treat this environment as a learning experience, since that is how it is set up. At your age you are able to understand that you, as the learner, are in control of your learning.
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