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Nick Warren

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Posts posted by Nick Warren

  1. On 1/28/2021 at 11:45 AM, Kyle Rodgers said:

    Cool. Thanks Ross!

    In whatever interim there may or may not be, you can open up a chat window with the ATIS and type in there .subscribe.  It will at least pop up a chat when that field's ATIS updates.

  2. Honestly, ATC usually builds in a bit of a buffer for situations just like this, assuming you're on flight following.  You're really not going to go wrong at 105, or 115.  There isn't a need to climb and decend based on your direction on any particular leg.  There are several interesting real world discussions about this out there.  If you're VFR, it's generally not going to be an issue.  While you can certainly fly below the MEF as discussed above, you need to be at least 500 above any terrain in an uncongested area.  If that's a valley floor, then it is what it is.  Just be mindful of the terrain.

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  3. 7 minutes ago, Alistair Thomson said:

    If you didn't get all of what ATC says, the standard way of indicating that is to use the phrase 'say again', eg. "Xxxx Tower, say again <followed by your callsign."

    But if the problem is simply that ATC is speaking too fast (which is very common), your standard phrase is "speak slower" rather than "say again." 

    The rate of speech from ATC shouldn't be more than 100 words per minute, and that's pretty slow.

    "Say again" is fine, or even ask the controller to please speak a little slower.  Worse case scenario, if they are issuing you, say, a flight plan reroute, have them send the plan via text.  Again, my rate of speech is pretty standard and consistent.  That rate will go up as needed if there is a lot going on.  It will also go down as needed to accommodate those in need.

  4. 4 hours ago, Gabor Szász said:


    I am planning to fly on VATSIM, but I affraid of speaking with ATC. I used to listen when I parked and for me, however I can speak English, and mostly I understand the phraseology, my biggest problem is that the speed of the conversation is very fast. Is there any ways to sign for the controller that I am beginner and if he is not busy then speak with me slowly and in a very much understandable way?

    Do you have best pratcices?

    Thank you for your answer.



    Answered your question in your other thread as well, however, to be honest, it's usually pretty obvious when someone is a beginner.  I'm going to go my usual pace, however if I can tell someone is struggling (again, usually obvious and early in the encounter), I will slow down and cater my instruction set accordingly  🙂

  5. Certainly don't take it as degrading if a controller offers you a visual approach though.  I'll hand out visual approaches like candy if conditions permit and it has nothing to do with pilot quality.  Actually, I've found newer pilots tend to struggle more with the visual approaches than ILS ones because it removes the automation component.  Visual approaches significantly reduce the controller and the pilot workload.  They don't take nearly as long to execute, and we can slide more traffic in.  They really are a good thing.

  6. You can try manually entering the waypoints of a given arrival or departure.  That will at least give you LNAV capability.  Utilizing published departures and arrivals are certainly commonplace and helpful, but they are not required.  Most facilities have provisions for No SID/STAR aircraft that allow vectoring in ir out of a sector gate while not conflicting with others.

  7. In 2018 at the virtual Oshkosh event, ZAU hosted the vSOA Virtual Blue Angels for an airshow.  It ruffled feathers and caused a lot of drama with VATSIM and VATUSA management prior to and after the event.  In the end, they pulled it off, and it was one of the best things I have ever witnessed on the network.  Not to mention, those guys are amazing simmers.  One day, we'll look outside the box...errr...C.o.C again.

    This wasn't from the Oshkosh event, but it is the same caliber show they put on there. 


  8. On 4/14/2020 at 8:18 AM, Samuel Rey said:

    Nick, I disagree with your reasoning. I find lots of C1-3 controllers treating pilots like they are working for them - and yes, we're both users of VATSIM wanting to enjoy a hobby, but you have to remember that as ATC, you're there to help pilots. So I find the practice of not sending .contactmes to a pilot 'because they're supposed to know to contact me' completely wrong. If the pilot doesn't realize that they're in your sector, it's your turn to push the home key and click on the plane. That's it. If you don't do that, and then complain that they never contacted you, I'd consider the controller to be at fault. To me, it's like if you refused to correct wrong readbacks 'because pilots are supposed to understand English!' - if they've read back, say, their assigned altitude wrong, you correct it and move on. You don't wait until they climb more than they should and cause a collision, and then complain that, no, you assigned the correct altitude, it's the pilot who did it wrong!

    I understand that with busier positions, you don't have time to bend down to every pilot that doesn't understand something to teach them - something I try to do when I'm on TWR with 2 a/c on the ground. But understand that most sector splits are really complicated -  and it's much easier for you to press a key and actually help the pilot.

    Are we still discussing this?  Okay.  So my statement that you chose to quote, which is fine, was part of a larger earlier discussion.  Essentially you became the fork in a spoon and knife discussion.  That's fine though.  Look, I understand what everyone is saying.  I send plenty of .contactme's.  Actually, I don't even routinely send the default .contactme's because I personally believe the wording of them is rude and intrusive.  I generally send a much kinder personal message.  I certainly do this if I just come online and have aircraft in my airspace.  Now, if I've been online for some time, and I have aircraft drift into my airspace without contact, I have a bit more of an issue with it as the there are plenty of resources out there to know that I'm online.  This especially goes for departures.  I cannot tell you the amount of times I've been online for sometime, had an aircraft spawn up at one of my controlled fields, and then just start taxiing and taking off without contact.  I mean c'mon, really?!?  So maybe we can forgive a bit of the not knowing airspace boundaries for those airborne.  In the US, the ARTCC and Tower levels are very obvious on the charts.  The TRACON level is not necessarily on there, but the 40-50nm generalization is a pretty good rule of thumb.  So, bringing it full circle.  Yes, I got in a bit of a heated discussion with another user, which you chose to use a quote from.  That's fine.  In the end, I'm happy to do my part within reason, but the pilots have to do their part too.  I'm more than willing to help, and I have the feedback to show that.  I'm not into hand holding the obvious though.  That's the balance.

  9. Yeah. I mean with todays technology, maybe we can just have the controllers fly the pilots whole route for them too. It's bad enough that a large slice can't follow a simple flight procedure or something that deviates off the magenta line, it's now the controllers responsibility to make the pilot aware of where they are geographically at any given phase of their flight. I'm done man. If you're ever in my airspace, I'll just clear a wide birth where the FMS tells you decend and you can do it on your own....errr...the machine can do it on it's own. Thank goodness for autoland, or I'd question your ability to know where you were in relation to the runway too. You do it your way. I'll do it the way that doesn't coddle the ignorant and/or lazy.

  10. In vZFW we always try to staff more then just the fetured airport like you stated. So if we are hosting an FNO at KDFW, KDAL Tower and ground will most likely be online as well.




    Thank you for your response. Just to one point as quoted above. This, while just an example, is still in the realm of what I'm talking about. When I say cursory requirement to staff a tower at a secondary field for GA, I'm looking in the Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] D or maybe Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] C environment. So in the case of ZFW, if you're staffing up an event focusing on DFW, then also staff a tower at ADS or AFW for example.


    Also, one thing I can't believe I didn't add because it is a huge thing for me. More daytime events! FNO's are what they are. It's in the name. But weekends? Bring on the daylight events



  11. As a GA pilot on the network, my suggestions always lean towards GA.


    1. I think it should be a cursory requirement to staff at minimum a local (tower) controller at a secondary field during events (FNO, etc.) The emphasis on Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] B primary fields has become very commonplace and not welcoming for GA pilots. I understand the reasonings behind it, but I think it would go a long way to staff an adjacent Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] D field.


    2. More events catered to GA. A poker run between 5 or 6 fields is a great event and has been done. Or just do an event staffing Delta's and Charlie's.


    3. As suggested above, center events around real world happenings. Some larger ideas are Oshkosh and Sun-n-Fun. They can be smaller events though too such as following major sporting events or social gatherings.


    4. With voice unicom now in place, incorporate an uncontrolled field and staff services over the top of it. Great practice for the GA types.


    Some or all of these ideas have been incorporated by various ARTCC's on occasion. Let's keep it up and even expand on them.

  12. Why would you want to set a status in a flightplan that does no exist?


    Which is why I question why SVFR and DVFR exist as "flight rules" in the flight planning fields of the pilot clients. While rare, people are wrongly filing with those selected.

  13. Are you by chance receiving the default simulator ATIS on that frequency? It would sound like you are describing with the faint "air traffic" in the background. One way to check would be to fire up your sim, do not connect to the network, and tune an ATIS frequency and see if it is what you were hearing.

  14. This might clear things up: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_visual_flight_rules


    SVFR is just VFR as far as flight plans and airspace cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]es are concerned, and you file it as such. SVFR simply means that you get to fly VFR in IMC. You don't file a flight as SVFR, because you don't know what exactly the meterological conditions will be; instead, you just file VFR, and if the weather is such that you can't fly VFR, but you still meet the requirements for SVFR, you can request SVFR from ATC. The exact requirements vary per country, but you generally need to still be able to navigate visually, and you have to be flying in controlled airspace.


    Thank you, and I'm fully aware of what SVFR is, and again know that it's procedural and not a flight plan following. My thoughts going into this post were:


    1.) Do other countries actually file SVFR/DVFR flight plans. I doubt this as ICAO is the standard, and does not afford this option (nor should it).


    2.) If the answer to 1 is no, then it shouldn't be an option to file such in the flight planning system on Vatsim.


    To that, I agree with Robert's point that it should be removed, or at least memo'd to not file those flight rules until such time as future clients and/or updates can reflect this. Also to Robert's point, I don't think there necessarily needs to be an amendment by ATC. It just becomes subject to the procedural rules at that time. Although, SVFR conditions are rare enough as is, and a pilot actually requesting it on the network would be even more rare.

  15. I posted this in general discussion because the topic spans both ATC and pilot side clients. A pilot transited my airspace today (legally somewhat, sans the wrong altitude for direction under VFR flight) with SVFR as his "flight rules" category. This is not the first time I've noticed this. The conditions in my airspace were actually less than SVFR (<1 mile), but it isn't important here.


    My question is, as SVFR is procedural in nature and limited to the airfield surface area, then why is it a valid flight rules option in the flight plan. I know SVFR, and I also know it isn't anything one files a flight plan under. ICAO flight planning (which the US falls under now) dictates that aircraft is either IFR, VFR, IFR with change to VFR, or VFR with change to IFR. There is no such thing as SVFR or DVFR flight plans for that matter.


    Now, this is a US mindset speaking. I realize Vatsim is global, so do SVFR flight plans exist elsewhere in the world? Would a pilot actually file a SVFR flight plan outside the US? I know these options have been on the pilot clients forever, but I've actually just come to wonder why.

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