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Had an interesting experience at KJFK


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I saw they were having a mid winter event, going from KJFK to KMIA and back. It looked fun, so I started reviewing charts and routes to be prepared. On the announcement, two RNAV routes were listed, one for a KJFK departure, and one for a KMIA departure. These were for advanced planning, since the actual route clearances had changed a bit during the event.

 

Since I exclusively fly the FlyJSim 727, which is not RNAV capable, unless you buy the CIVA addon which I don't have, I started looking for a "/A" route for the event. FlightAware has a great tool on their website called the "IFR route analyzer." You plug in your departure and arrival airports, and then you get the most common real world routes that have been issued by ATC, along with a detailed breakdown by individual flight. Very useful for flight planning. Anyhow, KJFK issues a pretty common "/A" route to KMIA that essentially overlays the RNAV route for the first 2/3'rds of the flight, then the routes diverge a bit as you get close to Miami. I decided to use the real world "/A" route as my filing.

 

Time to file and go, or so I thought. I filed my plan for FL260, and awaited my turn for clearance. When it came my time, I was issued the prevailing RNAV clearance. I informed CLNDEL I was unable to accept because of my "/A" capability, which I made very clear in the flight plan code, and remarks section. After a short "stand by", I was told that because of the high volume of traffic, they could not accept a "/A" flight plan.

 

The above kind of threw me for a loop. In the real world, I've never been given the ultimatum of RNAV or nothing. This was especially strange because the RNAV and /A routes were virtual overlays heading out of KJFK. Knowing I was going to be an outlier, I even filed for FL260, because every FMS button pusher was going to file FL320 or higher. I figured filing lower would make things easier for ATC. Nope. That was it. I thanked them for their time, disconnected from Vatsim, and then made the flight offline. Not as fun, but I had been working on the flight planning for a few days, and had blocked off the time to make the flight.

 

I briefly thought about repositioning outside of NY centers airspace, file, take off, and then byp[Mod - Happy Thoughts] KJFK, and deal directly with center to get the real world "/A" route, but that wouldn't have been in the spirit of the event, so I didn't.

 

In the world of Vatsim, all of the USA centers seem to stress realism. Denying a clearance TYPE because of workload, is not congruent with the realism quest.

 

I guess my point is if a center wants to host an event with the exclusionary routing of RNAV only, then please make it clear in the event posting, as this certainly deviates significantly from real world operations. I have no problem with KJFK only wanting RNAV capable aircraft at their event, but give the courtesy of announcing that information ahead of time.

 

The funny thing was that while my "/A" route was denied which ended my night, there was a Cessna 172 that jumped into the que requesting a VFR departure clearance southbound out of KJFK during this high volume event. It was approved....LOL. It was OK to mix a VFR 172 into the burst of airliners leaving KJFK, but not an airliner on a "/A" flight plan.

 

Anyhow, I plan on emailing any event coordinator in the future to make sure my non-RNAV 727 will be welcome at their event.

 

I did leave feedback on NY center's website regarding this. Hopefully they will include "/A's" in future events.

 

Tim

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I don't see anything that you did wrong. In my opinion, you did everything by the book. You filed a valid route out of JFK that matches the departure flow, (you claim anyways) you made a remark stating you are not RNAV capable, (which I applaud since lots of people fly routes that their airplane shouldn't even be able to fly) and you didn't argue with the controller. I must admit, I would've had a talk with whoever was issuing clearances asking why.

 

I get that the folks at JFK yesterday were busy, but come on. Not every airplane is the same. Not every airplane is going to be able to fly that nice RNAV arrival so that you can be a lazy bum and just clear them to descend via the STAR and clear for the ILS once they get to a waypoint without any work needed. (as nice as they are sometimes) Not every airplane is going to be as fast as another. It's a puzzle, and that's what controllers in the real world are paid to do... to fit that guy flying a 2 seater Cessna into the queue along with several other aircraft going 3x faster carrying 10x more people. If the guys at JFK were turning down pilots simply because they weren't quite like the other airplanes in navigation capabilities, but were still capable in keeping up with the pace (A 727 in this example) sorry, but they are lazy bums who don't want to deal with someone who needs a couple extra vectors before sending them via own navigation.

 

I'd send feedback to their website. (nyartcc.org) That's just ridiculous that they turned you away like that.

Joshua Black

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First off, you did everything properly, period. I apologize that you didn't have the abilty to fly during the event.

It seems strange that this would be a reason to deny a flight or delay them. I think I saw maybe 3-4 non-RNAV departures out of Miami and thinking about it now, none arriving from JFK.

 

I understand if they don't want to do a VFR GA departure from LGA to JFK for example, but not a non-RNAV jet.

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Totally agree. This sounds like a poor decision made in a challenging and busy circomestance by the ZNY controllers that I hope will be reviewed in the future.

 

I briefly thought about repositioning outside of NY centers airspace, file, take off, and then byp[Mod - Happy Thoughts] KJFK, and deal directly with center to get the real world "/A" route, but that wouldn't have been in the spirit of the event, so I didn't.

Thank you for that! As much as it may be annoying, sometimes there's a reason (good or bad) for why you get denied a certain route, etc...and re-connecting outside of the airspace can really cause issues down the line if there was a good reason for the denial. In this case it sounds like there was no good reason, but it could be different in other circomestances.

 

All in all, sounds like you did everything right (as others have echoed) and I'm sure you'll get some replies to your feedback from ZNY directly.

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Evan Reiter
Boston Virtual ARTCC/ZBW Community Manager

 

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If everything you say is true, you did everything by the book and I applaud you for that. There are many pilots on the network who would be lost without their RNAV procedures, as they are what we like to call "children of the magenta line." They follow that pink line of their MFD map and don't know how to do anything else.

 

Anyway, I'm extremely surprised that ZNY would turn you down just because you aren't RNAV-capable. I've never heard of a situation like that at any event in the past. With that said, as people have stated previously in this thread, I would get in contact with the higher-ups at ZNY to get an explanation.

 

You are entirely correct regarding the realism of the situation, and approving a C172 into a stream of IFR jets is way less realistic than a non-RNAV capable 727. Most controllers would love the opportunity to handle non-RNAV, seek an alternative route/plan of action, and sequence you accordingly. Doing so adds to the realism, fun, and challenges! For me, having non-RNAV capable aircraft is equivalent of a pilot who requests a VOR approach, NDB approach, or something along these lines. Just because it's not the norm on VATSIM doesn't mean it's not welcome, it simply invites more challenges and fun.

 

Again, I applaud you for your realism along with your patience during the situation. Some would have gotten angry and frustrated, but you stayed calm and collected and simply took it offline. We're sorry that you had to do so, as that is definitely not as fun of an experience. I'm not sure if it was simply a miscommunication between the controllers at ZNY, but I want to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ure you that those actions aren't the norm on VATSIM. As controllers, we cannot exclude anyone due to a type, equipment suffix, or anything along those lines. I've had people file DIRECT from Boston to Los Angeles and have had to talk it through with them step by step. That said, I'm surprised you were thrown to the back of the line. Again, I'm hoping it was simply a miscommunication or something along those lines.

 

Hope you get in contact with the guys at ZNY and I hope this doesn't happen again the future!

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As others have correctly said, there is no reason a non-rnav aircraft should be excluded from any event such as this. Since you indicated that the denial was by a Delivery controller, I would like to believe that it was someone new and inexperienced, although ZNY is pretty comprehensive with their training since there are four Bravo airports in their airspace. But I think this was just a mistake, and not a standard practice in New York. A more experienced controller would have accommodated you without question. In fact, ZNY's Delivery SOP contains the following: "In all cases if a pilot is unable to accept an amended clearance, coordinate with the proper controllers as necessary for the pilot to fly "as filed."

 

I'm sure you will receive a response from your feedback to ZNY, and this should not happen again.

 

I also applaud you for flying a great old jet while /A. I'm sorry you experienced this incident, and hope to see you doing your thing at future events.

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Tim,

 

I really wish you would have given ZNY a chance to respond to the feedback you sent via our website. The event was less that 24 hours ago. We did see your feedback, we greatly appreciate it, and we had planned on responding to you directly, but I guess we owe an explanation on the forums now as well.

 

First off, let me start off by telling you that you did absolutely nothing wrong. You should have been cleared via the amended route WHITE J209 SAWED, which was required for traffic demand at JFK, and via the JFK2 Breezy Point Climb. This is a non-rnav cable departure procedure and route.

 

What you experienced was completely controller error. Just like there are very new pilots (and there are a lot of them), there are also very new controllers as well. You happen to run into this situation. You may ask why wasn't a more experienced controller on the position? Well ZNY tries to give new controllers a chance at high volume positions during events. In many cases, new controllers rarely see this much traffic and it is a great learning experience for them. The downside to this initiative is that sometimes you have situations like this occur where the controller messes up and makes the event difficult for one or more pilots. I deeply apologize for that, but I hope you understand why it happened.

 

Let me [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ure you, your experience will be a huge learning experience for this particular controller. Although your experience was bad, you have greatly helped this controller because he will always remember this moment.

 

I want to thank you for your attempt to participate and hope that it does not deter you from flying again. If you ever have any future problems during events, please email me directly. datm at nyartcc.org

 

Thanks

Andrew Heath

DATM NY ARTCC

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Hi Andrew,

 

First off, no apology is needed from you at all. This is just a hobby to everyone, and nothing more than that.

 

I posted the experience, not to run down ZNY, but, instead, to shed some light on the (admittedly...)minority of pilots that still fly with only VOR/DME technology on Vatsim. It's pretty much [Mod - Happy Thoughts]umed by all, that everyone has a FMC on board nowadays.

 

I don't blame the controller(s) working CLNDEL either. They had their hands full for sure. This event brought out a lot of pilots! I guess Miami in January sounded pretty good to a lot of us pilots that live in the rust belt....LOL.

 

Will I fly in ZNY again? You bet! My first Vatsim flight ever was a VFR flight from KJFK to KDXR in Connecticut, on a day where there was light traffic. It was a great first experience on the network, and the controller working that day was very patient when I had to restart due to a "taxiing incident."

 

Thanks again for putting on an event like this. Keep an eye out for me in future events. I usually fly my 727 as either Air Florida flight 26 "Palm 26", or Northwest Airlines flight 1066.

 

Take care,

 

Tim

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In situations like these, I find calling a supervisor (.wallop) is a good idea. Not to punish or yell at any one, but to be a communications link between pilot, inexperienced controller and experienced controller (which sometimes is the SUP, sometimes not). Having a pilot telling a new controller how to do stuff over PMs whilst dealing with a bunch of traffic can come off the wrong way, and logging off rather than trying to work the problem just makes your flight less fun than the one you planned for. Remember that there are supervisors available almost any hour of the day (always someone on during EU and US peak hours) to help you resolve issues on the network, and that they're there to help in any kind of problem, dispute or misunderstanding, not just kick the 'bad guys' and the AFKers out. As a former sup, I found much more fulfillment in the cases where I could help people work with each other than what I got kicking AFKers off the network after 30 minutes.

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I agree 100% with Magnus. A SUP may have been able to clear up the situation. You cannot be denied a clearance for not being able to fly RNAV. At least a vectored departure could and should have been [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned to your flight.

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