Jump to content

Controller came on-line during taxi


Carl Selin
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello, just had my first couple of flights on VATSIM yesterday and it was absolutely fantastic! A small issue came up on the third or fourth flight where there initially were no active controller on the departure airport and no active center. Half-way to the runway during taxiing I get a PM call to contact tower (I was on UNICOM). Didn't notice it at first but after some nervous sweating I dialed to tower frequency and asked for IFR clearance.

 

It's probably covered somewhere (although I couldn't find anything on this specific topic) but is the general rule to stop everything you're doing and dial in the active controller before proceeding if a controller comes on-line? My common sense would say yes but it felt a little awkward standing still, taking up space on the taxiway for several minutes while communicating with the controller.

 

Another scenario would be if tower comes on-line just before I touch down on an airfield. Would I just vacate the runway, stop the aircraft, dial in tower and request taxi to the gate/stand? Yes?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 61
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Welcome to VATSIM!

 

There is nothing "right," but if you are following the COC strictly, then you need to technicallly contact them ASAP. Now here's what I do/expect as a controller...

If I come online while someone is taxiing, I expect them to contact me ASAP, but just before they takeoff. As long as it doesn't take 5+ minutes (it has before) and they contact me before they enter a runway, I'm all good. What usually happens is that someone contacts me, like you, halfwayish during taxi. I'll usually at rhat point give them taxi and tell them to expect clearance during the taxi. I give them clearance while they're still rolling down the taxiway and everyone's happy.

Now for arrivals. I will send contactmes until around 5-7 miles out. And I know many will disagree, but I don't think it's unreasonable to have to contact tower on a 5-7 mile final ([Mod - Happy Thoughts]uming the weather's okay). Inside of that ring, I just expect a pilot to do what you said. Contact me after vacating.

 

Hope this clears some stuff up!

Josh Glottmann
Deputy Air Traffic Manager
Oakland ARTCC
[email protected]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Carl,

 

I've had a similar thing happen to me on occasion, upon which I contacted the controller, advised him of my planned departure with an "If you can accommodate" request and without fail the controller was happy to do so.

 

I would advise that you plan as if there was a controller and ATIS online and if in doubt I check on Flightradar24 to confirm the active arrival and departure runways.

 

Speaking to the controller adds to the experience IMO.

 

Enjoy flying online!!

Deon Mathews

VATSIM Marketing & Communications Team

1188217

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if you are on the ground its much easier to switch over

 

in the air, in an aircraft thats often meant to be flown by 2 or more people, different story and itll all come down to what you can handle. inside 10 miles in a fast jet, im not likely to call until im clear of the runway as im not on autopilot at that point. if i had the hardware to tune the radio by hand, again itd be a different story, i dont however have that kinda money, so playing with the radio in the VC, having to zoom sometimes, etc.. not going to happen. on some aircraft i can simply use the dot command to tune the radio, and some others wont take the command. if im in a slow prop even at 1 mile i can call.

 

remember all ASAP means is "as soon as possible", not instantly. when you are able to call, call. (within reason). there is no hard and fast rule on this simply because every situation is different, most controllers will understand that. you may get the occasional uptight user who's too wound up on themselves, if they get out of control, .wallop and let a sup handle them, take screenshots if its by text and docomeent it. the network will handle those users. ive had it happen in the past myself where several staff had to get involved. overall though, most controllers are understanding, there are always a few though, so just be mindful of that

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Worst I've had happen like that was a ground controller coming online while I was in my takeoff run and instantly start yelling at me that I didn't have clearance and he was going to report me and get me banned.

Yep, similar except I didn't see him until around the time I would've switched to departure, and shot him a quick apology via PM before he got upset and contacted me. He responded with a kinda terse tone but ultimately I guess he understood. It's gonna happen from time to time that you look at your ATC list and no one's there, you turn your attention to something else, and suddenly you're getting a PM. Just be gracious and usually the controller will shrug it off.

Cheers,

-R.

fvJfs7z.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
Worst I've had happen like that was a ground controller coming online while I was in my takeoff run and instantly start yelling at me that I didn't have clearance and he was going to report me and get me banned.

 

Ignored the guy and completed the flight without incident. That was years ago though.

Hillarious calling for the ban. I once had a ground controller sending me private messages where he was instructing me to land on the other runway while I was on short final at EGLL trying to land Concorde. Concorde is not an easy plane to land by anyones standards, nor is a ground controller supposed to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ign runways to pilots in unicom airspace. It wasn't a pleasant experience, but at least nobody threatened me with a ban lol

Somehow rated s3

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But, always file a flight plan if no controller is online! I've seen many people fly without flightplans.

 

As a GA pilot who mostly flys VFR (in the US), I rarely, if ever file flight plans. I guess to say, I would gauge it by saying if I would file in real life with FSS, then I'd probably put something on Vatsim just to emulate that level of communication that would occur. Otherwise, not necessary or required.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

But, always file a flight plan if no controller is online! I've seen many people fly without flightplans.

 

As a GA pilot who mostly flys VFR (in the US), I rarely, if ever file flight plans.

 

I was mainly talking about pilots flying IFR in Europe. Nobody knows where they're going. Also VFR flightplans are required here, a departure and destination airport and altitude is sufficient.

spacer.png

ACCNL5 (Assistant Training Director) - Dutch VACC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...Also VFR flightplans are required here, a departure and destination airport and altitude is sufficient.

 

I would [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume by "required here" you are speaking of the real world situation in Europe, because I don't believe VFR flights "require" plans anywhere you fly VFR on VATSIM and that is, after all, what we are discussing here, VATSIM.

 

Don't misunderstand me, I like the level of realism on VATSIM to be the best it can be, but at the same time I acknowledge that I and many, many others here are doing things we cannot do, either physically or legally, in real life. I think I handle a B767 or B747 or B737 or Cessna 182 very well on the network, but I would never presume that I could do so in real life.

 

I've noticed in several of your posts that you have had to repost a retraction or clarification that you are speaking of "real world". I would be more careful, I think. For a first time VATSIMMer to come here and see some of the things that are written as "gospel" can be confusing to them and, a few times, embar[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ing when they take what is said here as "the way it must be". We owe it to them to always caveat a situation we describe as "real world" vs VATSIM here for their benefit.

 

I took a glance at your statistics, Thimo. You have 300 hours as a pilot and some hours as EHAM Delivery. Most of your flights are EHAM to the London, England area and return to EHAM, yet you speak of "here" as if you mean all of Europe and, indeed, all of VATSIM. Even more disconcerting is that I glanced at your EHAM_DEL sessions and was shocked to find you amended well over half of most of the flightplans you saw as Delivery. I'm not a controller, never have been, although that seems a bit much, but perhaps is perfectly normal for all controllers. I fear you are "forcing" real world conditions on a group of hobbyists from all over the globe to meet your conditions of realism.

 

VATSIM's motto is something along the lines of "As real as it can be", yet I would be perfectly within the boundary of VATSIM requirements to file a flight from EHAM to EGLL in a B737 as "B737/A" and "SPL-LAM" at FL120 as my route. Are there more appropriate plans? Absolutely! Is this one valid? Absolutely. Does it need to be amended? Not in any way! Will I encounter delays while I am "fit" into the flow of "more appropriate"? Probably, but I'm okay with that. Makes the flight "fun" and that is what VATSIM also stands for...Fun.

 

Teach me, but do not force me. At the end of the day when the flights are done and the computers shut down this is still a hobby. If I file SPL-LAM and you have me on your radar client you know exactly where I am supposed to be versus where I am. You may have to give me vectors from EHAM to SPL and from LAM to EGLL, but isn't that more interesting than "Cleared for Takeoff. Fly the RNAV Departure" and then watch me do so with no interaction at all? Maybe not, as I said, I have never controlled. Seems to me, though, issuing vectors is "controlling" and watching a pilot on your scope fly an RNAV departure is...well, "watching".

 

I personally try to be a realistic as I can be. I research the day's flights on the web and file an appropriate plan from that day for the city pair I am flying. Others may not like or want that level of immersion. That's okay, too.

 

Besides, real world on a normal day, controllers do not suddenly "pop up" and demand you contact them.

 

Randy

Randy Tyndall - KBOI

ZLA I-11/vACC Portugal P4

“A ship is always safe in the harbor. But that’s not why they build ships” --Michael Bevington ID 814931, Former VATSIM Board of Governors Vice President of Pilot Training

1087023

Link to comment
Share on other sites

have to agree Randy, just the other day I had to correct another user, and this one was a seasoned user, who was under the misguided belief that VATSIM enforced real world regulations (FAA, CAA, etc..) and was having a fit because someone broke "separation standards" (yet pretty sure hes not an ATP 737 pilot flying around a 737, alone without a second crewmember, which was kinda ironic)

 

and that wasnt the first time this month ive had to correct someone about what the network is and isnt

 

far too many myths about what VATSIM is out there and they all tend to stem from people often making the mistake of mixing up the real world with VATSIM

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Ernesto and Markus. Appreciate that.

 

You know, though, on my way to take the grandkids to school I realize why the number of amended flight plans in Europe is higher than I would expect. The controller has to attach the departure procedure and/or arrival procedure to the plan since plans in Europe are submitted without those, unlike in the U.S. where I live and do most of my flying. That is probably the reason for so many amended flight plans so I stand "corrected" on that...and I figured it out myself...

 

Randy

Randy Tyndall - KBOI

ZLA I-11/vACC Portugal P4

“A ship is always safe in the harbor. But that’s not why they build ships” --Michael Bevington ID 814931, Former VATSIM Board of Governors Vice President of Pilot Training

1087023

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Ernesto and Markus. Appreciate that.

 

You know, though, on my way to take the grandkids to school I realize why the number of amended flight plans in Europe is higher than I would expect. The controller has to attach the departure procedure and/or arrival procedure to the plan since plans in Europe are submitted without those, unlike in the U.S. where I live and do most of my flying. That is probably the reason for so many amended flight plans so I stand "corrected" on that...and I figured it out myself...

 

Randy

 

But you're also a "big enough boy" to recognize your mistake (if it is one, I've no idea) and admit to it and educate the m[Mod - Happy Thoughts]es so we all learn.

Mr.

VATSIM P2

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Board of Governors
VFR flightplans are required here, a departure and destination airport and altitude is sufficient.

 

Not in the UK they aren't; only if you are entering Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] D airspace (and a few other criteria relating to crossing interational borders/flying in remote areas etc), and even then in real life one would normally just file the plan over the RT rather than filling out a paper/electronic form, (p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ing 'the message' is enough info).

 

However, that said almost everywhere you fly to is PPR (Prior Permission Required): in other words, you are expected/required to phone the destination airfield before departure and let them know you are coming. Obviously this is not practical on VATSIM, but I know that the view of our virtual controllers in the UK is that it is very helpful to them if you file a VATSIM flightplan even if you are VFR.

 

No, it is not 'required' and no, nobody can force you to do it. But because I have asked the question and been specifically told that it is helpful for ATC, I always do file a basic flightplan when VFR, and I train people to do so as well.

 

I could dig my heels in and say 'it doesn't say I have to file a plan anywhere, so stuff you', but that's not very in the spirit of cooperation with our ATC colleagues, is it? I just treat it as the VATSIM version of 'booking out' or PPR.

 

I would be perfectly within the boundary of VATSIM requirements to file a flight from EHAM to EGLL in a B737 as "B737/A" and "SPL-LAM" at FL120 as my route. Are there more appropriate plans? Absolutely! Is this one valid? Absolutely. Does it need to be amended? Not in any way! Will I encounter delays while I am "fit" into the flow of "more appropriate"? Probably, but I'm okay with that. Makes the flight "fun" and that is what VATSIM also stands for...Fun.

 

Of course, but (at the risk of taking this in a different direction), 'fun' for whom? Is VATSIM just about 'fun' for the pilots at the expense of the 'fun' of the controllers who just have to put up with whatever pilots want to do?

 

We're all in it together. Pilots or ATC, we all have to be flexible and accomodating of course, but we also all need to be prepared to learn and follow the procedures for everybody's fun. Otherwise what's the point of flying online, if we don't want to interact with other people or modify our plans to fit in with what others are doing?

Vice President, Pilot Training

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I completely agree Simon. I have never controlled, so I have no idea what is "fun" for them. My idea of what might not be fun for them is the same thing that is not fun for me...letting my aircraft follow the magenta line of the FMC and by extension, watching a bunch of aircraft with "gosh darn, gee whiz" FMCs and flight plans following a magenta line.

 

When it all goes right there's not a whole lot for either side of the scope to do. Throw in that odd ball SPL DCT LAM guy trying to land at Heathrow and needing inserted into the flow, now that sounds like fun for both sides, at least to me with no controller experience whatsoever. I envision holds for that guy...always fun to fly...for me anyway. I envision "RYN123, best forward speed please" and "RYN456, slow to 180 please" as well as a whole host of other opportunities that make fun for me and, I would hope, way more interesting for the controller and other pilots. All we have to do, as a group of pilots and controllers, is be tolerant, a trait that is sometimes severely lacking on the network.

 

That's the direction I was going...toward "fun".

 

And I, like you, always try to file a flight plan, even for VFR, just so the controller knows my intentions...or other aircraft if they bother to look.

 

Randy

Randy Tyndall - KBOI

ZLA I-11/vACC Portugal P4

“A ship is always safe in the harbor. But that’s not why they build ships” --Michael Bevington ID 814931, Former VATSIM Board of Governors Vice President of Pilot Training

1087023

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not a controller either, but from what I've read, controllers have fun with pilots who are good at complying with their instructions and communicating with them, and an occasional mistake they'll inevitably make is enough, they don't need somebody who doesn't know what he's doing to make it interesting. Somebody who filed the kind of flightplan you mention would raise immediate suspicion for the controllers about his flying skills, too. It could well be that this pilot is not able to fly holds or even take a reroute and this is the type of pilot that controllers usually complain about.

KntU2Cw.jpg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am with Randy on this one, simply because the CoC is quite clear on this issue. Giving a vector to a pilot that cannot fly a SID for whatever reason is no different than giving a vector to a slow aircraft immediately after take-off, instead of having him flying a SID with a fast plane on the same departure just behind him.

 

However... 9 out of 10 times a 'SPL dct LAM' flightplan also means a pilot who hardly has a clue how to operate his aircraft. Most of them use text to communicate, giving them the false impression they are alone in the sky. Therefore, 'SPL dct LAM' is - at least for me - a clue to keep an extra close eye on that 'blib'.

 

Martijn

EHAM APP controller

 

@Randy: you are right about the DEL controller [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igning the SID, at least at EHAM. Therefore, 50% amended flightplans is surprisingly low actually

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe I should elaborate a little bit more on what made me like Randy's post so much. It became a bit lengthy - sorry for that.

 

When I'm already sitting in front of a simulator and not in the "real thing", I at least want to get the most out of it. This means to me flying the plane by hand as much as possible. This is one of the reasons I chose to stick with an aircraft that is not RNAV capable.

 

During flight planning, I look for places that have non-RNAV SIDs, STARs and instrument arrivals and enjoy hand-flying these procedures a lot. I'm not saying that I am such a good pilot (I am not a pilot at all), but I will give my best to follow the charted routes. When no controller is online, I will not "vector myself in" but follow the published procedures. When ATC is online, I imagine them moving their chair a bit closer to the screen and starting to enjoy the situation as much as I do because things just got a bit more entertaining.

 

This is what I liked about the "fun" part in Randy's post. Exactly as Randy pointed out this should not be understood as "just do anything you want, to the expense of the controllers and other pilots around you". It should be fun on both sides of the scope.

 

Unfortunately, in an aviation world that becomes more and more "RNAV only", at some places it leaves me no choice but filing "ABC DCT XYZ", at least for a part of the route. But still, I would like to be taken seriously (and always have been) and not to be confused with the few ones who seem to understand flying online as a kind of arcade game.

 

My experience during only a little more than one year with VATSIM was above all expectations. Till this day I only met controllers who not only accepted that "one of these non-RNAV guys" is doing something different but even seemed to enjoy it.

 

Thanks to everyone in the community who helps making this hobby so much enjoyable.

Markus

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Non-RNAV and other non-normal traffic is great as long as it's done with a hint of competency. The problem is of course, as several others have said, that such flights are typically non-RNAV because the pilot in question has no idea what's going on, rather than by choice. While I support that VATSIM is a learning environmenet, I do believe that having everyone obtain an understanding of the very basic concepts of flying and navigating with ATC would make life easier and merryer for every single one of us. Just the simple things, like that you should be able to handle your aircraft in all three dimensions, you should be able to do what you claim you do in your flightplan, and you should be able to communicate to your ATC what you can and cannot do.

 

However, I completely disagree with the "for fun" part when it comes to the example Randy described. If you want to fly EHAM EGLL via SPL dct LAM, and you want to do so with /A, for petes sake, please do it in an aircraft that warrants that type of a flightplan. Take a DC6 or C208 for a spin, you'll have a more fun time, and I'll have a more fun time. It truly makes my ATC session less enjoyable when pilots "suit up" as airline pilots in shiny new tubeliners, and then fly them as if the HSI is the most high tech avionics equipment ever created. Double so if the pilot in question actually is competent enough to do it the mainstream way, but just wants to take is airframe back 30 years for some reason.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Obviously the aircraft type and equipment is a clue for the controller as to what to expect, as is the rest of the flightplan. My point was, why not listen to what the controllers themselves say what is fun for them rather than trying to guess it based on your piloting experience because you may come to completely wrong conclusions. It's also true that a clueless pilot on the frequency can be amusing and fun for the rest of the pilots, but much less so for the controller who actually has to deal with him, especially when he's busy.

KntU2Cw.jpg
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i personally dont get my jollies off the normal routine pilots, in fact i find them kinda boring, its the ones that i actually have to do something with that i find more enjoyable. im more of a puzzle guy you could say, so vectoring, working the new guys, etc.. is what i prefer over 99% of the traffic on a SID/STAR. it gives me something to actually do instead of just being an observer for most of the session

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...