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Tobias Dammers

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Everything posted by Tobias Dammers

  1. Apart from vatspy, there are also these maps: https://map.vatsim.net/ https://vau.aero/fsmap/?va=vau Both give a good idea of the current activity on the network, though of course it is always possible that a controller logs off right around the time you pop up in their airspace. Another resource to watch is the event calendar: https://www.vatsim.net/events (or the "events" forum here, though that one isn't sorted by event date). Participating in events means that you can be more confident that the stations you expect are actually staffed when you expect them to be.
  2. Yeah, this is what I meant by "published" callsign. Basically whatever the remarks / description on their frequency says. And ofc if they use a different one themselves, just go along with that.
  3. Address controllers by their published callsign; although IME if you use the wrong one, it's not usually a big deal either, they will casually correct you, and that's that.
  4. Right, so even without all the rule-waving, it is the pilot's responsibility to initiate contact; contact-me's are really intended as "Plan B", for when... ...the airspace structure is such that it is not obvious which controller a pilot should be talking to (this can be the case when, for example, multiple controllers are logged onto the same kind of position, e.g. two TWR controllers at the same airport; but also when sectors are subdivided in a way that isn't straightforward for pilots to understand, e.g. in the German FIRs). ...a controller wants to assume control a flight bef
  5. This just happened today; I was happily cruising along, but shortly before reaching my TOD, the controller handling me disappeared from the ATC list, and two others before me made requests for descent clearances that went unanswered. Having noticed the absence of the controller, I waited about a minute to make sure it wasn't just something like temporary packet loss, then made a brief "all stations" call on the ATC frequency about the situation and switched to UNICOM. Is this what one is supposed to do in such a situation? Or just quietly switch to UNICOM?
  6. XPlane is somewhat unique in how it handles low frame rates: when you drop below 20 fps, it will slow down the simulation rate. This means that when, for example, you're getting 18 fps, in-sim time runs 10% slower than real-world time, and this in turn means that all the time-related data your simulator produces (including velocities, airspeed, ground track speed, vertical speed, ETAs, etc.) will be 10% off, and your position will drift from your expected position at a rate of 10% your ground track speed. The experience is going to be terrible one way or another. Say the controller asks y
  7. Yes. In the programming world, we call this a clbuttic filter.
  8. There's no autorouting of frequencies; most controllers listen on one frequency, and it's up to you to tune to the right one. So when you first start up, you first check whether DEL is online; if not, you check GND, then TWR, then APP, then CTR, until you find a controller that is online. And then you contact that controller on their current frequency. However, top-down coverage (APP down to individual airports) isn't provided for all airports. Untowered airports are not generally covered at all, and for other minor airport, it is up to the controller whether they are willing to prov
  9. RNAV means that your navigation equipment can follow arbitrary flight paths with sufficient accuracy. The navigation information for this can be based on a variety of sources: GPS/GNSS, classic ground station based area navigation (which is where the term "RNAV" comes from), etc.; it is generally augmented with inertial navigation equipment for faster responses and better precision. RNAV procedures are mainly defined as sequences of waypoints, each given as a lat/lon pair. Traditional, non-RNAV, procedures, by contrast, assume navigation equipment that can only perform limited navigation
  10. Don't know if the vatstats.net folks are reading this, but... OpenStreetMaps is a thing, tile data is available for free, and using it through e.g. leaflet.js isn't rocket science.
  11. From what I've seen, FS2020 looks like it aims to be a realistic simulator to at least the same degree as FSX; yes, it probably also appeals to "gamers", but as long as it can provide the realism that is needed for something like vatsim, I don't think there is a serious risk. We kick people for doing grossly unrealistic things no matter the sim, I don't think this will be any different with yet another simulator on the network.
  12. This VATSIM map is a starting point. You can also use software like VATspy.
  13. It helps if you are the one to initiate contact, then you get to tell them the right callsign straight off the bat. I have yet to see a controller responding to an initial contact call with the wrong callsign like that.
  14. Also, check the remarks for those ATC stations if online - often, controllers will explicitly list airports for which they are willing to provide top-down coverage.
  15. Yeah, so basically, be a nice citizen, don't get into anyone's way, stay responsive, and you'll probably be tolerated doing this; and when you're asked to disconnect, do so and don't throw a fit.
  16. Case in point; the VATSIM network and its clients are clearly designed to reflect the current state of the aviation world, and while there aren't any rules that forbid the use of historical callsigns (or even historical aircraft, like, say, Concorde), you will have to accept that not everything is prepared to handle those. The software has to map ICAO codes to aircraft models and airlines, and if at any point any of those gets reused, as a programmer / administrator, you have to decide whether you want to use the current assignment or the historical one. I've actually run into a case
  17. Technically: sure, just connect your sim as observer, spawn at a suitable vantage point, and start shooting. Legally: it's a bit of a gray area, you're hogging a connection without actually flying or controlling, and whether this is allowed according to the VATSIM rules is a bit debatable; there's been a little discussion about this on another one of these topics but personally I think it should be OK, if not for the letter of the law, then for the spirit.
  18. Indeed. Also, you have to draw the line *somewhere*. Follow-mes, pushbacks, sure, but then we might also want to allow SAR vehicles, and why not buses and people movers and catering vehicles and marshallers and fuel trucks, and why stop at the airport boundary, how about normal road vehicles too, and oh my, ships too. It's a flightsim, not a world sim.
  19. A few thoughts here: - A13 exists, but if, hypothetically speaking, the community were to agree that human-operated followme vehicles were desirable, then the rules could be amended. "We cannot change the rules because of the rules" is circular reasoning. - Bandwidth is a valid reason at least in theory, though I don't believe the impact would be huge. The person who's driving the followme would, most likely, have connected as pilot or ATC otherwise, so I'd expect bandwidth impact to be negligible, if any. - Note that IRL, follow-me's are generally used in situations where ungui
  20. Lovely! If this became a regular service, that would be super awesome 🤩
  21. The new billing system is subscription-only, but you can buy a monthly subscription and cancel it immediately, this will have you pay 1 monthly rate, and you retain access for the full month. The software is provided as a convenience; you can also download the raw data, but you will have to figure out yourself how to install it and what to download. As a FlightGear user on Linux, this is what I have to do anyway, because navigraph supports neither, but I still get the data and it all works fine. For charts, you can use the web viewer, which unfortunately only remains accessible while
  22. Only reasons I can think of would be a) training / test flights aimed at practicing things below 10,000 feet, and b) flights too short to climb beyond 10,000 ft, probably repositioning flights - for example, Transavia sometimes needs to ferry 737's between EHAM and EHRD, BAW ferries Embraers between EGSS and EGLC, stuff like that. And even when the flight is technically long enough to climb beyond 10,000 ft, airspace restrictions might still make this impossible - e.g., many SIDs from EGLC keep you below 10,000 ft until you reach the coast, so as not to disrupt other traffic in the area.
  23. If you're willing to pay for it, you could buy 1 month of Navigraph.
  24. One more thing worth noting is the rule that says you can't simulate real-world emergencies / incidents. So if the real-world NOTAM is due to an ongoing incident, propagating it into VATSIM would, at least technically, be a violation.
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