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For example, as a center controller you need not send a contact me to any aircraft within 20 miles or so from their destination. They are going to arrive before you get a chance to provide any real service.

I don't know. The terminal area can be pretty dangerous. I could see conflicts happening within 20 miles. If you're addressing controllers sending multiple contact me's to pilots over the numbers, then I completely agree.

There's no reason anyone should be complaining about a controller wanting to provide service to a pilot when the pilot is near/within 20 miles of the destination airport.

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There's no reason anyone should be complaining about a controller wanting to provide service to a pilot when the pilot is near/within 20 miles of the destination airport.

 

Sure there is ... take the case of the over-eager controller sending multiple contact me messages to a pilot on short final.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Agreed. What I was implying was if someone is landing at an airport and is 20 miles out -- probably not even on an approach yet -- there's nothing wrong with setting him up with vectors to final or vectors onto an approach. If the guy's on a 5 mile final, then don't bother, but 20 miles is a pretty significant distance to go hands-off on an aircraft, especially if there's traffic around.

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And...... if you set up your VRC. or radar client to show callsigns... as Ross suggested, then asking a pilot for a position report, after you have already sent a "contactme" seems rather moot. You sent the contactme, you know where I am. vatsimism... entering the airspace where the en route controller is already on and established is entirely different, just calling and saying "Center, AAL5, FL350" is not acceptable, the controller has absolutely no idea where you are and if you are not in his/her airspace, then identifying the aircraft is nearly impossible. A relative position is necessary.

 

If I'm flying along, and don't use any type of mapping addon or side program (FSNav or FSCommander) and don't sit at my desk with a lap full of charts, the only position I may be able to give is the next waypoint on my FMC, which the controller may or may not know where that is, depending on their familiarity with the entire ARTCC airspace, and whether or not the sector file is updated with the latest AIRAC. Fixes change frequently.

 

 

Scott DeWoody

CEO - American Virtual Airlines

joinava dot org

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if you set up your VRC. or radar client to show callsigns... as Ross suggested

 

For the record, I didn't suggest that myself ... I was rephrasing Wim's suggestion.

 

Not that I'm against using cheats like displaying callsigns for unidentified aircraft ... I understand both sides of the story. Some controllers like the realism of properly radar identifying every aircraft, and some prefer to ignore the unrealistic situation of a bunch of unidentified aircraft up in the flight levels when they first log on. Personally speaking, I don't work Center enough to have come down on one side of this fence. I do work Approach fairly often, and I generally go through full radar identification procedures, but it's usually not that many at a time.

 

I will say, however, that I think pilots should always be able to give their approximate position relative to a VOR or airport, and thus there is no reason why a pilot shouldn't be able to respond with a proper position report if a controller sends a "contact me."

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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  • 3 weeks later...
You sent the contactme, you know where I am.

That's the case when there are 2 planes in the airspace. When I log on and there's 10, and I send out those things rapid-fire, I will not remember anything about anyone's position. To prevent a case where a squawk code is improperly [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned to an aircraft, or not [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned at all, the client should be configured using realistic data tag mode, using the beacon methods to establish radar identification. That was we don't run into the issue of handing aircraft off to other centers when they're squawking 2200.

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bad part about sending out contacts in quick succession like that, they usually all end up trying to contact you at the same time at that point. now your radio gets clogged with about a dozen people trying to call and more radio time is wasted trying to clear the jam.

 

i usually started with those that were absolutely necessary, then worked my way out to the overflights if they havent already contacted me by the time i was done with the more important targets

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i usually started with those that were absolutely necessary, then worked my way out to the overflights if they havent already contacted me by the time i was done with the more important targets

 

That's what I do as well ... it's not the end of the world if some targets wander through your airspace uncontrolled for a while as you're working on establishing contact with the higher-priority targets.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Or... we just keep influencing the idea that it isn't so hard to tell a controller where you are in relation to a navaid? It shouldn't be that hard, even for the magenta line followers. Find a waypoint on your route that is 3 letters, and tell me how far away from it you are.

 

Is this in response to what Ernesto and I posted in the previous two replies? (It's hard to tell because you didn't quote anyone.)

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Is this in response to what Ernesto and I posted in the previous two replies? (It's hard to tell because you didn't quote anyone.)

It couldn't have really been said to you as I am basically reinforcing your post from above.

I will say, however, that I think pilots should always be able to give their approximate position relative to a VOR or airport, and thus there is no reason why a pilot shouldn't be able to respond with a proper position report if a controller sends a "contact me."

It should be easy for any pilot to tell you where they are, no matter the navigation equipment. Whether a "contact me" is received or not, know where you are and tell the controller where you are on the initial contact from uncontrolled airspace. The pilot should really be pretending they didn't receive the "contact me" in my opinion.

 

Here's a big bonus to knowing your position. Likely, if you know where you are, you'll have a pretty darn good idea as to when to contact a controller and won't rely on having to receive the "contact me" message! I think a lot of pilots do forget that the message is a courtesy. I too often get disappointed receiving a PM from a pilot who just transitioned from one side of my ARTCC to the other asking why I didn't send the message. I usually point them to the Code of Conduct B3 and they don't reply after that.

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I originally thought that .find DAL2 would be a neat feature
It's actually ".findac" and is apparently for supervisors only.

 

EDIT: The alternative I use is to select the aircraft, anchor them to some random point (in an empty area - I pick MMM since it's easy to type quickly ), then follow the anchor line to find the aircraft.

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I originally thought that .find DAL2 would be a neat feature
It's actually ".findac" and is apparently for supervisors only.

 

EDIT: The alternative I use is to select the aircraft, anchor them to some random point (in an empty area - I pick MMM since it's easy to type quickly ), then follow the anchor line to find the aircraft.

 

Why not ask the pilot for his position? Much more realistic on both sides of the scope.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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VRC offers a relatively quick way of easily locating aircraft on the scope. Simply type a part of the call sign (as long as there are no two aircraft which are using that same part of the call sign) or the full call sign of the aircraft you are searching for into the chat bar and hit the plus key (+) on your number pad. That will highlight the aircraft in the way as if you would click on it. This method is also not any type of radar identification, it is simply a fast select/highlight function. I am not sure if any of the other radar clients support this function.

 

Regarding the .findac command, it is for use by VATSIM Supervisors and Administrators only.

Michael Mund-Hoym
Assistant to the VATSIM Vice President of Membership
VATSIM Network Supervisor


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That will highlight the aircraft in the way as if you would click on it.
... unless you're using realistic data tags and a VRC radar mode that doesn't display datablocks when the aircraft is squawking standby or a non-discrete code.

 

Or squawking their [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned code in general. You can [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ign a non-discrete code to an aircraft and still have the datablock display, as long as the [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned squawk matches what they are squawking. You can definitely get their datablock to display with any discrete or non-discrete beacon code.

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  • 1 month later...

Interesting discussion - in general I support the OP's opinion, call in with your position. When logging on at CTR, I don't send a whole pile of contactmes out at once, as that just floods the incoming calls - but what I do find happens is that pilots will quickly call in on their own as soon as they see you come online. Great, that they are aware enough to call in, but a problem when you get 5-6 calls just as you log in, and have not even had time to scan the scope (or even finish setting up yet). A position report at least gives me a chance to know which sector I need to look in (and in my case, which sub window on which monitor to look at )

 

Last justification, is callsign, position, altitude is what is required in real life. Whenever I call up ATC that is what I give them, wait for the code to come back and then get the magic 'radar identified'. With a busy terminal with a lot of VFR traffic flying just outside, that is the only way he will know which VFR return is me. We are simulating real life, so why not just keep with it?

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CZYZ FIR/VATCAN4 - VATCAN DCRM/CZYZ FIR Chief (Retd)/ZLA Pilot Rating I9/CVA1409/RW Private Pilot

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To summarize.

 

This is a game/simulation/hobby and there are two ways to partake, but it takes a TEAM to make it enjoyable for everyone.

 

- Controllers logging on should log on as an observer and STUDY their airspace to determine an order of services required

- Pilots should keep familiar with where they are along their flight plan, and with regards to VOR stations within 40-50 miles

- Controllers when logged on should contact those aircraft requiring services immediately (conflict resolution) and work through their plan from there

- Pilots should keep monitoring the ATC channel list and VATSPY to determine if there is an ATC coming online

- Controllers should expect delays with aircraft in cruise because the pilot may be away for up to 30 minutes

- Pilots should be ready to provide position reports

- Controllers should not contact aircraft in pivotal phases of flight such as approach (within 10nm) unless there is a conflict

- Pilots should be aware of controller work load, especially during initial logon contacts, and be patient to file position report

- Controllers should monitor unicom initially to see if pilots have already figured out a plan which happens quite often

 

We've had enough threads about eager controllers, non-responsive pilots, monitoring ATC channels, and who needs to contact whom when.

 

Again, it takes a team to make this hobby fun. Just remember that and don't get yourself in a huff if things aren't perfect. You want perfect, go do it for real (and then tell us how perfect that is!).

 

Here, the idea is to learn from each other, and have fun doing it.

Jeff Thomas

VP-IT

https://joinava.org

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