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Tobias Dammers

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Everything posted by Tobias Dammers

  1. Use the callsign they are listed as in your pilot client, vatspy, or whatever you use to find active stations. Though you won't be scalded for addressing center as "ground" or "delivery", they'll just quietly correct you by responding with their correct callsign explicitly.
  2. It is very common for ATC to change SIDs in Europe, to the point where, in most places, you aren't even supposed to file a SID, but rather just put your first enroute fix, and ATC will then assign you a SID. This is because most European SIDs are runway-specific, so in order to determine the correct SID, you need to know what the active runway is, which you often don't when you file. Some airports also have separate sets of SIDs depending on traffic flow, which in turn may depend on day of week or time of day (for noise abatement reasons), or active runways at nearby airports. The SID will be
  3. I might actually do that, thanks for the hint.
  4. My approach is that I won't file a flightplan when connecting as observer: being in observer mode already means "I'm just observing, please ignore me"; whether I will be flying or not is completely irrelevant, because as long as I'm an observer, it is 100% clear that no interaction is required or intended. When I want to spectate while being visible on the network, for whatever reason (which is extremely rare), then I WILL file a flight plan, because the expectation is that when you spawn at a gate, you will at some point file a flight plan and fly, and having a flight plan that says "EHA
  5. IMO, changing routes after the fact is enough of an integral part of normal operations that it's a reasonable demand. And besides, if you can't comply, then you can file "no SID/STAR" and request vectors. This is a bit unusual for airliners, and you may experience some delays if things are busy, but it's perfectly fine as far as rules go. In fact, an FMS isn't mandatory at all; what *is* mandatory is being able to fly according to your flight plan - ATC doesn't care *how* you do it, as long as you do it. I have, in fact, flown published (non-RNAV) procedures in a steam-gauge DHC6, do
  6. Well, I, for one, am holding back on diving into Hoppie support for the Flightgear E-Jet I maintain; it's all unpaid open-source work, and I'm unwilling to sink a lot of time into a project that might be obsolete a few months from now. If those "background efforts" were happening in a more visible way, I could make more informed decisions, and maybe even add Hoppie support now, but design it such that a switch to a different backend would be easy (if not trivial) - but knowing nothing at all means it's better to wait and see.
  7. So AFAIU, the situation is that the Hoppie system is the closest to a working system that we have, and probably the one that enjoys the most adoption. But it has a couple of intrinsic problems: It is a third-party effort, not linked to or affiliated with VATSIM in any way, and this means that there is no proper coordination. The Hoppie system isn't exclusive to VATSIM, or even linked to the VATSIM network in any way; Hoppie traffic from other networks, or even people using ad-hoc connections between their sims, cannot be distinguished from Hoppie traffic intended for the VATSIM net
  8. The problem with this is that we would be left with a very small number of active pilots on the network. Some back-of-the-envelope math. At any given time, we typically have about 10x more pilots than ATC on the network, and this ratio is roughly on par with what makes for a desirable experience on both sides - if 25% of these pilots are under active ATC surveillance, then that means that each ATC is handling 2.5 flights at once on average, which is pretty OK. I believe that the vast majority of pilots on the network does not have a pilot rating, and I think it's reasonable to assume that
  9. Sounds like a great project to get you started, except for one caveat - V-speed calculations are different for each aircraft type, and the algorithms are not generally public information. For the E-Jet I built for FlightGear, I ended up typing over V-speed tables from the FCOM, and programming multidimensional lookups into those - this isn't difficult at all, but very tedious. And that was just 5 aircraft types, with only two sets of lookup tables (because E170/E175 are largely the same, as they share aero surfaces and engines; and so are E190/E195/Lineage 1000). A similar project you mig
  10. And none of this is relevant. Again, this isn't about which aircraft is "better", and the only one trying to insult people on purpose here (and failing, in case you hadn't noticed) is you. I don't care what your opinion is on any aircraft type, I'm just trying to explain to you why the STARs used on VATSIM in 2020 may not be suitable for Concorde. Well-meant advice; take it or leave it. On a side note: it's not "my" A380, and I have absolutely no opinion on its economic merits, its significance for the history of aviation, or how cool or uncool it is to pilot that thing. (Well, actua
  11. The A380 is a special snowflake too. Both aircraft require procedures that differ from your standard airliner, though for different reasons (for Concorde, those reasons are noise, fuel burn, and speed; for the A380, it's size, weight, and wake turbulence). The reason the A380 procedures are still available is because the A380 is still flying; Concorde was decommissioned in 2003, and the type-specific procedures were scrapped IRL. I was making absolutely no comments about the merits of either aircraft - depending who you ask, either type is the best aircraft ever, or a horrible failure; I
  12. Who exactly are you yelling at? Eurocontrol, for publishing procedures that are challenging to fly in an aircraft type that last flew 17 years ago, and that was a special snowflake even back then? VATSIM for using official real-life procedures? People who fly normal airliners for being insufficiently compassionate about your self-inflicted problems? I don't understand what your problem is, what you want changed, and who you expect to make those changes.
  13. Indeed - the idea is that when a controller issues an instruction, the pilot should either do whatever it takes to make the aircraft do the correct thing and read back the instruction, or reject it (saying "unable") and negotiate an alternative instruction with ATC. Controllers should accommodate the latter: that is, if you're flying on MSFS2020, and cannot accept a STAR or approach that is different than what your flight plan says, then you can say "unable", and ATC will vector you onto a visual approach, or figure out some other way of getting you down. You can not, however, accept the
  14. Well done you! If you like the King Air and feel comfortable flying it, I'd just stick with it for a while. Remember that to ATC, you are no less important than those tubeliners, and it is their job to make it work. You most certainly shouldn't need to maintain 250 knots on final. In fact, that would be pretty fast even for a large jet - typical speeds for intercepting the localizer are 180-210 knots, and most jets will be able to slow down to 140 knots or so at least.
  15. Connecting as observer is fine, especially when you do it for learning purposes. The COC states that being connected as an observer for "excessive" amounts of time is not allowed, but in practice, as long as you don't keep the connection unattended or use vatsim as a "screensaver", you'll be fine. Observers are not visible to others as traffic or active ATC (though some clients do list observers as such), so you're not disrupting anyone, even if you move / fly around. You are essentially invisible. The only thing to keep in mind is that an observer connection still uses bandwidth and server ca
  16. Yeah, best bet is to look at something like vatspy or simaware to see where there is ATC, and make your pick. Your best bet is probably a local hop between minor airports when CTR is staffed: you'll get top-down coverage for the entire route, and by avoiding the major hub airports, you avoid things getting overly busy on the ground and through the approach. And don't worry about getting in the way: that's for ATC to figure out, and AFAIK most controllers actually enjoy a bit of a change of pace between all the tubeliners.
  17. It kind of baffles me that nobody thinks of reporting this as a bug to Apple.
  18. So, with a couple days to let things sink in, some constructive feedback from my end, as a first-time CTP pilot (and also a bit of professional perspective from a programmer of 30 years). First of all: this was by far the best and most impressive event I've been part of in my (relatively short) VATSIM career so far. Great work from everyone involved - organizers for making it happen, controllers for providing excellent service, the tech people for setting up all the infrastructure and software the event needed, and fellow pilots, with and without slots, for making this an incredible exper
  19. Also maybe worth noting that contacting the wrong controller isn't the end of the world - they'll tell you to contact someone else, or monitor UNICOM, and that's that.
  20. My $0.02 on that matter: the lottery is hands-down the better system; what caused this "frustration" was mainly this quirk of the human psyche where anything you receive repeatedly will be perceived as a habitual right, and changing it feels like something is taken away from you. And so any CTP veteran who got used to just grabbing a slot ASAP when the booking opens would get this subtle feeling of being "cheated" out of "their" slot. Apart from this weird psychological effect, the bottom line is the same in both events: some people get a slot, others don't, and those who don't will feel
  21. Because nobody really knew what was feasible, and the organizers wanted to avoid a situation like last time, so they erred on the conservative side.
  22. I didn't mean that as a question that I need answered here, but rather, that answering these questions clearly beforehand would have helped reduce the confusion around Gander when technical problems got in the way of radio comms.
  23. First-time CTP pilot here. Big shout-out to the organizers and controllers, you folks pulled off an incredible operation. Professional ATC, great job handling the rude, the impatient, the incompetent, and the uninformed. Awesome planning and logistics - I expected to be delayed at least 30 minutes on the ground, and an hour or so in the air, but actually got out of KBOS and into LSZH with zero delay. Absolutely amazing. AFAICT, the lottery did a great job too; painful for those who didn't get a slot, but IMO the best, sanest, most respectful way of going about it. Please keep.
  24. I think this was in reference to the ideas outlined in the famous "Children of the Magenta Line" lectures, especially how he emphasizes that the first response to unexpected automation behavior should be to drop to a lower level of automation. If the FMS doesn't fly where you want to go, don't try to fix the FMS - switch to HDG mode, turn the knob until the aircraft goes where you want it to go, and THEN fix the FMS. If the autopilot does weird things, don't try to fix the autopilot - disconnect it, hand-fly the aircraft, regain stability, and THEN assess the situation and fix the au
  25. The four most important phrases: "Standby", "Say again", "Unable", "Request vectors". And the two most important rules: Aviate, Navigate, Communicate. If you're too busy flying the aircraft (aviate) and figuring out what's going on (navigate), push the communication to the bottom by saying "standby". Never accept / readback instructions you are not comfortable executing. Saying "unable" when you can't comply is 100 times better than trying to wing it and messing up. And finally: task saturation is real, and cockpit workload is a perfectly valid reason to reject or postpone
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