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Alex Ying

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Posts posted by Alex Ying

  1. This topic has come up before on the VATUSA forums before as well, not much agreement there in the discussions I've seen.


    The main issue I see is that how much more helpful is it if you see *_EH_CTR vs *_7_CTR? Sure, if your'e coming from the east, you'll probably want to call *_EH_CTR, but what about if you're coming from the south? Where's the E/W cutoff line? Also, high-low splits vary depending on the area and sector. A high sector may have a floor of FL210 in one part and FL240 in another part, and so on.


    Same goes for approach. Sometimes you'll see more descriptive subsector names (like NY_CAM_APP for arrivals over CAMRN or NY_RBR_APP for arrivals over ROBER), but there's no corresponding LENDY subsector. In fact, the LENDY arrivals into JFK switch between CAM and RBR depending on the runway configuration. I think other places also run into the character limit for callsigns so they're even less able to apply descriptive subsector names than NY.


    The last point is something someone else already brought up, shift changes. Sectors get split and recombined during events. Suppose EH, EL, WH, and WL were all online and then WH closes and is combined with EH (but you as a pilot don't know this). If you're coming from the west and at cruise, who do you call?


    As far as I've seen, many subsector names are aligned with real world sector numbers or names. It makes it easy on the ATC side to see immediately who has what sector if you're familiar with the sectors. Instead of having to go to a table and remember does the actual 05 or 11 sector belong to E or N or whatever. I've also seen where the splits are ad-hoc and E in one event isn't necessarily E in another event.


    The overall point here being that I personally don't see that much of a benefit even if you switch to more geographically obvious callsigns because it's still a guessing game unless you already know the sectors anyway. On top of that, there's the callsign character limit so you can only add 2 letters anyway for a ***_[sector]_CTR or ***_[sector]_APP anyway.

  2. To echo what Don said, VATSIM isn't anyone's job. We all do what we do and contribute to this shared community because we like to and want to. Sometimes other commitments to family or work or school come up and VATSIM gets pushed to the background.


    ZNY is quite active and both the ATM and DATM are great people but also busy people. Sometimes things just take a bit longer than expected and it's nothing out of the ordinary. As an aside, ZNY is one of the largest ARTCCs in VATUSA so sometimes things take longer on the administrative side. That's just a fact of how many people there are.

  3. To echo what Steven said, in the US, STARs may or may not be runway dependent, depending on which airport you're flying to. In general though, STARs are designed for and used on arrivals from specific directions. At Kennedy (KJFK), arrivals from the west use the LENDY6, south use the CAMRN4, and north/east use the IGN1, ROBER2, or PARCH2. SIDs are often similar where they're names after the exit fix that they lead to. The US also has SIDs named for the airport such as the Kennedy 3 Departure (JFK3) which is a general SID that applies to all runways and most if not all exit fixes available from that airport. Kennedy Charts Here


    For an example with STARs, Boston (KBOS) has RNAV and non-RNAV arrivals. The RNAV arrivals have runway specific transitions, but the non-RNAV ones don't. For the RNAV STARs, you'll get an instruction from the center controller to "descend via the [sTAR Name] runway [Runway #]." In those cases, you'll have to be ready to select and fly the correct transition when it's [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned to you. For the non-RNAV STARs, you'll fly the STAR with center giving you descent instructions and then get vectors to the approach from the approach controller. In either case, you can determine which runways are in use based on the ATIS which you should always listen to before contacting the approach controller for the first time. Boston Charts Here


    At other airports, such as Kennedy (KJFK), all of the arrivals just get you to the approach airspace. There are no runway specific STARs. Again, you can listen to the ATIS to know which approaches are in use and the approach controller will [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ign an approach to you.


    In your flight planning process, you can sometimes determine what's in use based on the weather or by checking the ATIS before doing your programming. Of course, the weather and runways in use can always change. The other thing you can do is check the Preferred Routes Database or look up what is flown in the real world.


    FAA Preferred Routes

    Flightaware IFR Routes


    Of course, if you fly outside of the US, little to none of the above applies.

  4. What subjects in high school are the most important for air traffic controller?





    I wouldn't say any particular subject or cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] is "the most important." What's important are various skills that can be applied to the task of air traffic control. ATC is about maintaining safety and efficiency in a 4 dimensional environment (latitude, longitude, altitude, and time). Therefore, spatial reasoning ability is critical. You can't maintain separation if you can't form a coherent mental picture of what the airspace looks like and how the aircraft are moving through it.


    Understanding some basic physics and meteorology wouldn't hurt. A good understanding of arithmetic, geometry, and basic algebra is in some ways necessary (vectoring is essentially geometry), but I would argue that things like good vectoring and sequencing is more a skill that is learned through experience and becomes and intuitive practice over time.


    Developing your spatial reasoning and visualization skills is far more important than becoming a math wiz, although that certainly wouldn't hinder your ATC ability.

  5. I think all major airports have such a thing? Schiphol has arrivals descending to FL70 while departures have an initial climb of FL60 to keep them clear. It's just a safety thing.


    Depends on the airport and airspace layout. KEWR departures climb up to 10000 or 11000 in a small rectangular airspace near the airport above arrivals at 7000 flying in a loop farther out around the airport. I think KLGA departure generally climb above arrivals.


    KJFK on the other hand has a arrivals and departures crossing above or below each other depending on the particular configuration and departure or arrival fix. There are cases where a departure goes under an arrival flow and then over the same arrival flow in a different location and vice versa. For example, on the 31s, arrivals from the north and west (via LENDY) descending from FL190 to 8000 cross over departures just off the runway climbing to 7000. That LENDY flow then descends further and on final crosses under the north and east departure flow to the climbing up to 11000 or 17000.


    These are all examples from New York which has notoriously complex airspace, so it may be the exception, I'm not familiar with other TRACON airspaces.

  6. I had this happen to me today. I was controlling KEWR, and then about an hour in, vATIS crashes for me, but not for KLGA who was also online. I can start it and fetch the D-ATIS offline, but if I fetch the D-ATIS while connected to VATSIM, it crashes. I noticed that the VATSIM weather also stopped updating for me while vATIS was unusable (about an hour and a half to 2 hours). After that, the weather on VATSIM updated, and vATIS started working again.

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