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Dustin Rider

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Everything posted by Dustin Rider

  1. Well, yes and no. You could lose the ability to use voice communication, but we have text as a backup. Even if all of your radios go dark in the cockpit, you should still be able to send and receive messages through your pilot client. Simulating radio failure on VATSIM is sort of pointless, though, since the whole idea of the network is to work with human controllers.
  2. The short answer is no. The elongated answer is for departures or arrivals to towered fields, you are supposed to call the facility having jurisdiction over the airport. If you departed BJC up north, for example, you would call BJC tower, or Denver approach, or Denver center. However, since CO4 is non-towered, so long as you remain outside the Class C airspace, you can maintain VFR and operate as desired. Fun fact: Look at KFNL. Notice how the airport is blue (denoting a towered airfield) but lies within a Class E surface area. There is a portable tower in operation at that airport
  3. Our individual experience notwithstanding, what I'm saying here is that from my point of view as a controller, if you are on my frequency, on a discrete beacon code, and declare an emergency because you're number 2 engine just had an uncontained failure, there is nothing to be gained by squawking 7700 because I already know where you are. The only things I really need to know are your intentions and what type of assistance is needed. There are other things, like fuel and souls, but those can be obtained when time permits. To be clear, I'm not saying don't do it, I'm saying under most circ
  4. No, it's not really necessary in the real world, either under the circumstances in my previous post. I worked at a center and all I had to do was call for the sup, let them know what was going on and what the pilot's intentions were, and they'd coordinate the rest. Controller-to-controller coordination is a matter of a phone call, which is even easier if I have a D-side. If someone I'm already working declares an emergency and changes their discrete beacon code to 7700, it pops up on everyone's scope, which places an obligation to surrounding controllers and facilities to call me and ask if I
  5. If you're declaring an emergency while in communication with ATC and have already been radar identified, there really is no need to squawk 7700. The controller already knows who and where you are and will effect coordination with other facilities as needed. That code was designed to facilitate expeditious identification of an aircraft in distress when they call out of nowhere. I've had a handful of pilots declare (or ask if they can declare) an emergency and I'll accommodate if I can, which is most of the time.
  6. Most of the time I give it a few minutes to see if they were disconnected due to a brief internet or network issue and might be back. Since vERAM keeps the datablock until I drop track, if the plane comes back online, it should auto-acquire again and I can re-establish radar contact. However, more often than not, once the aircraft disappears it's usually for good and I just drop the track anyway, since I can only assume they CTD, had to disconnect for some reason, or had more significant internet interruptions. The only thing that's helpful from my perspective is that if you have to inten
  7. The only thing I can think of is to double check your audio device settings in vPilot (or whichever pilot client you're using). Make sure you have the proper output device selected on the pilot client. For example, on mine, my flight sim sounds are going to my external speakers and I use an Mpow headset for voice comms. Make sure you have the volume turned up on whichever device you're using for ATC comms--check the device itself for volume control and you might have to go into the Windows audio mixer and select the intended device and adjust volume. Lastly, as one of the first commenters on t
  8. Ah, mistakes are the most effective way of learning in my opinion, and I've learned a lot on this network.
  9. Was the remark something you saw on the controller's info or did they tell you they were only covering FL180 and above? If it was in the info, that may have just been information left over from an event where that controller was working a center split that only covered higher altitudes and the controller forgot to update the info afterwards. I'm assuming there was only one center controller online at the time you were flying? If there are multiple center controllers on, they will sometimes split the airspace vertically so one covers the airports and the other primarily has the enroute aircraft
  10. When you fly below transition altitude, always use the altimeter setting ATC gives you. If you're not talking to ATC, just find an ATIS or AWOS/ASOS (or their VATSIM equivalent: .metar [ICAO] in your pilot client) every hundred miles or so and readjust your altimeter to the local station. I'm not sure to what extent the relationship between mode C altitudes and ATC computers (our radar clients) is modeled here on the network. In the real world, Mode C-equipped transponders send encoded pressure altitude data to the FAA, whose ATC computers take that and, for aircraft below FL180, correct
  11. If you've made any changes to your account, or recently passed the P0 rating, it takes anywhere from 24-48 hours for that propagate across all servers. If you haven't, then make sure you have entered all of your login credentials carefully and correctly. The password is case-sensitive.
  12. Your callsign is pretty much up to you. The only requirement is that you comply with the appropriate format for the type of callsign you use. That is, you may use your tail number or an ICAO-appropriate three-letter airline identifier. If you fly using your tail number, you can use whatever is on the side of your plane, like the one you have pictured, which would make it easy to remember what callsign you used to log into the network; however, you can also make up a tail number if you have one you like to use. Just make sure it corresponds to some country-appropriate format (i.e. US civil
  13. Agreed. Ideally, I would like to have A/G and G/G communications handled by the same application for auto-routing capability as well as more efficient controller-to-controller coordination. As much as I appreciate Discord and Teamspeak for intra-ARTCC coordination, I'd really like some kind of landline capability with my neighbors, with most of which I have no TS or Discord permissions. I like coordinating by text about as much as I like controlling with text--and I don't like controlling with text.
  14. Audio routing is a much, much higher priority to me. Muting, which is technically not allowed since our beloved 7110.65 says ATC must maintain constant watch on our assigned frequencies, would become irrelevant if I were able to send A/G radio traffic over my loudspeaker with the click of one button. And Gary, if you still happen to be checking this forum, may I reiterate a clarification of this particular audio-routing feature request? It would be most useful if there was a way to route all audio (with one button) in addition to routing individual frequencies to loudspeaker or headset.
  15. I can't think of any scenario where pilots need to be able to transmit on two frequencies at once, especially on the network. Even in real aircraft, it's not possible for one pilot to transmit on more than one frequency at a time. The closest equivalent to this is with multiple pilot crews which can make simultaneous use of multiple radios, if the aircraft is suitably equipped, but even then they run the risk of each transmitter desensing the other receivers. In your first scenario, the call you make on CTAF, is going to be different than the one you make to the departure controller beca
  16. This is great news. Thank you for the update, Gary.
  17. VATSIM's Learning Center has a chapter on this very subject. Step 1 isn't as important if you already know where you are (i.e. if you're on the ground at a specific airport). Step 2, however, is crucial because it recommends looking at the airport charts for guidance. If there was any one piece of advice that is underrated on the network, it's to check the charts. Skyvector.com is one of the best (free) resources for this information for US airports. In the US, there are a lot of airports served by overlying approach controls that are infrequently staffed on the network, so sometimes the
  18. (Also not affiliated with AFV) This sounds related to my experience using AFV--particularly the part about the program crashing when setting a new PTT. What I've been doing lately is opening up AFV as administrator (before connecting to the network), clear out the current PTT then set the new PTT, click "Apply", and finally "OK". My PTT is a foot pedal that I recently bought and for some reason I have to go through this process every time I start AFV. This has been the most reliable method of getting AFV up and running that I've been able to figure out, so far.
  19. The answer can be found here: FAR 91.159, VFR Cruising Altitude. What that essentially says is that if your magnetic course (not your indicated heading while you're actually flying, mind you) is anywhere between 0-179 degrees, fly odd altitudes plus 500; between 180-359 degrees, fly even altitudes plus 500. This is frequently referred to as the NEODD/SWEVEN rule (north thru east is odd/south thru west is even). Let's apply this to your flight. Altitude selection is based on your magnetic course, so on that route you posted, everything up to KIMBL would be flown at an odd altitude, plus 5
  20. The biggest risk I associate with a slot system is the under-utilization of airport and airspace capacity when people cannot make their slot times. Yes, canceling one's slot reservation is the appropriate thing to do so that others may sign up, but there are going to be situations where something happens last-minute and a pilot is unable to cancel his or her slot. This is arguably the most realistic method of operation. Airlines are constantly descending (pardon the pun) on their respective hub airports in a relatively short time span, multiple times a day, every day of the week. That
  21. If you go into AFV settings, is the "Disable Realistic ATC Audio Effects" box checked?
  22. This sounds like typical behavior for a flight management system under most circumstances. Take my example about already having passed the initial fix on a procedure, but ATC has to change your STAR. In order to load it, you'll likely have to pick some fix on the new procedure that's already behind you in order to load up the whole procedure and select the correct one that is (hopefully) in front of you. Now, most FMS's won't execute a new path until you tell it to, but it sounds like the one you're dealing with will. In that case, all you should have to do is sync your heading bug to your pre
  23. I still haven't made the switch to MSFS2020, so I'm only tangentially familiar with how these aircraft behave in the simulator. Most of what I know is informed by word of mouth or word of forum, and that's where these questions are coming from. What kind of edits are you referring to? Can you proceed direct to a waypoint that's somewhere in the middle of the procedure? For example, take the POWDR1 STAR; if you've programmed the HBU transition, but ATC clears you direct POWDR, will that work? What if you're still on the procedure over BASEE and given direct POWDR? How about if ATC had you
  24. Center controllers, especially on VATSIM where we're typically working the entire facility combined, have lots of options to effect MIT separation (if it's required) besides slowing faster aircraft down--most of the time. Say, for example, I have two aircraft at separate altitudes but on the same route, and the second aircraft is overtaking the first by 70 knots. Say that I need to give the next facility 15 MIT. Even if the trailing aircraft is 15 miles behind the leader, with that overtake, it will take less than a half hour for the trailing aircraft to be 15 miles in front of the lead. Say t
  25. The green tape on the top of the screen is the simulator's built-in ATC system at work. I'm still an FSX user, and the green tape shows up for every controlled field I go into or out of, but I just ignore it and either listen to the voice ATIS, or grab a text ATIS from vPilot--assuming there's a live ATIS available for the airport, of course.
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