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Some great times on VATSIM


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Cross posted from the VATUSA forums (http://forum.vatusa.net/index.php?s=&showtopic=3672&view=findpost&p=22594). Just thought I'd share for those folks that might not check out the VATUSA forums all that often.

 

 

What an awesome pick-me-up! Some great VATSIM times.

 

Coming off a gruleing, but great, experience with Cross the Pond a little over a week ago, where I participated as a controller, I have just had two more great experiences in a row as a pilot.

 

Although I've wanted to for years, last night was the first time I could participate in the ZLA Suicide Ops event. I had a great time flying between KSAN and KLAX last night seeing lots of opposite direction traffic at both airports. There was a perfect amount of traffic at KLAX -- the controllers wre busy, the ramps and taxiways had plenty of traffic, the rapid staccato on frequency was perfect -- it felt like I was really flying into LA. The controllers were very skilled, as were most of the pilots (like 97% of the pilots I heard were spot on; I was worried that I'd end up bringing down the average!). This high quality led to an awesome VATSIM experience. Quality is the main reason I joined VATSIM, and I was so enthused by both the quantity and quality of everyone in the event -- pilots and controllers alike -- that it was just a fantastic event. Thank you to everyone!

 

I've also never been able to experience joining the WorldFlight experience. I'm in, today, for just one leg, KSLC to KMEM, though I wish I could do more. There are currently 70+ aircraft participating in this leg. I'm somewhere in the middle. I got to experience 20 people calling tower at once for their clearance, totally swamping him while he tried to still launch aircraft and land a few, too. Then, thankfully, ground came online, and the 20+ people flooded him asking for clearance (poor guy). Most folks knew the controllers were swamped, and were patient. Most, anyway. When I got into line for takeoff, I was number 8, and there was a steady stream behind me. Being from the US, and knowing US procedures and terminology better than many of the international pilots participating, I was able to time things and get them as efficient as possible. And every single controller (of the 10 or so I've talked to so far, and I'm not done yet) has been absolutely fantastic. Quality is excellent (my only complaint for a few guys, and it's a pet peeve of mine that all of my former students have had to endure, is "oh" is not a number, "zero" is, so it's not American Thirty-Six Oh Nine, it's American Thirty-Six Zero Nine). I've controlled every Cross the Pond event since I've joined VATSIM, and never flown it. But all I can think of this entire time is "this is seriously what it must look/feel like to fly CTP (except for the huge overwater piece, of course )." And, it's great for the controllers in the middle of the country to experience the insane traffic levels the guys who have controlled Cross the Pond experience twice a year. Best of all, in addition to being a great experience for everyone who participates, it's a charity event with the proceeds going to a great cause. I'm so glad that us from the USA can support this great VATSIM cause.

 

EDIT: Got another leg in, KRDU to KMIA. Similar wonderful experience with great quality ATC. My hat is off to everyone who participated. Thank you!

 

Great experiences like these are the things that help me recharge my battery from the drains like [insert all the garbage that goes on here], etc. It makes me more proud of all the VATUSA members that step up to make our events a success. It renews and refreshes my love, p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ion and dedication for VATUSA and VATSIM. Thank you!

Don Desfosse
Vice President, Membership

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Yeah I did the RDU-MIA last night as well. It was a lot of fun. RDU was interesting since most had different sceneries. Also felt bad for RDU GND he had to taxi aircraft and provide clearances very quickly. He did an amazing job. Even with lots of stepping on each other by pilots.

 

While flying the leg with full ATC was great, even just sitting and watching/listening was fun. Almost like real ops with lineups for departure and constant landing aircraft.

 

Might jump in on whatever leg they are on tonight. Hopefully near LEMD or EGLL.

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I really felt for KMIA Ramp Control (DEL) last night; it was after midnight, maybe around 1am, he was deftly handling the clearance requests and getting the WorldFlight flights turned around fairly quickly, but then there were two newbies from other countries that popped on and required a SIGNIFICANT amount of help. I've been there before, and would have wanted to blow my brains out, but the controller was patient and kind (admission of guilt -- more patient and kind than I have been on occasion in the past), and helped the newbies get what they needed and get going. They were stepping all over the controller and pilots, had bad flight plans, and probably were so new they had no idea they were right in the middle of a significant VATSIM event. The controller did a fantastic job. Luckily, we had quite a few experienced controllers online to handle the significant workload (I never saw fewer than 40 aircraft on the WF legs in the USA, and many had 65-80). It was also good to see some newer controllers -- what an experience to learn from! Thanks to everyone - pilots and especially controllers - who staffed up to support the WorldFlight event.

Don Desfosse
Vice President, Membership

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I really felt for KMIA Ramp Control (DEL) last night; it was after midnight, maybe around 1am, he was deftly handling the clearance requests and getting the WorldFlight flights turned around fairly quickly, but then there were two newbies from other countries that popped on and required a SIGNIFICANT amount of help. I've been there before, and would have wanted to blow my brains out, but the controller was patient and kind (admission of guilt -- more patient and kind than I have been on occasion in the past), and helped the newbies get what they needed and get going. They were stepping all over the controller and pilots, had bad flight plans, and probably were so new they had no idea they were right in the middle of a significant VATSIM event. The controller did a fantastic job. Luckily, we had quite a few experienced controllers online to handle the significant workload (I never saw fewer than 40 aircraft on the WF legs in the USA, and many had 65-80). It was also good to see some newer controllers -- what an experience to learn from! Thanks to everyone - pilots and especially controllers - who staffed up to support the WorldFlight event.

 

 

Great to hear that our ramp guy provided excellent customer service. In fact, that's a new position we created for large scale events. It worked so well for us during CTP that we decided to make it a permanent position for these type events. That, plus the south FL experience of normally dealing with newbie South American pilots with language difficulties, seemed to pay off for us last night. ZMA also had the distinct pleasure of saying goodbye to our WF gang as they departed US airspace. It was close to 3AM when we finally shut down after getting the traffic over to MDSD CTR.

 

All in all, it was a great time and event. Kudo's to all pilots, controllers, and WF organizers for making it happen!

Ken Bambach

ZMA ATM

VATSIM Supervisor

 

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Yeah, great work Ken. You are one of the best out there. I did tell the UK guys I was chatting with know they would be taken care of by an experienced controller when they hit MIA CTR. The spacing was really well done. Even with the guy in front executing a missed approach. Ramp control was a nice touch, I bet the RDU GND controller wish he had that [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istance.

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