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Request for an official statement regarding shared cockpit


Felix Urbasik 1336798
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I've done way over 20 shared cockpit flights now in X-Plane. And I've seen everything from controllers being okay with it, over controllers yelling at me, to controllers calling supervisors to tell me that one of us has to disconnect.

 

Seriously. What's the deal here? Right now I'm not even sure if shared cockpit is allowed anymore on VATSIM. Because I have to argue with people and beg them to let us fly almost every single time. Someone tell me. Tell me what to do here.

 

And don't tell me to use observer mode. XSquawkBox doesn't have it. It just flat out does not have it. So either you'll see two aircraft which - as I said - some controllers are totally okay with, or you'll see nothing at all.

 

I just want a definitve answer here, is shared cockpit allowed for X-Plane users? If yes, how should I do it without getting yelled at me? And if no, then you can just as well strike X-Plane from the list of supported platforms. Good luck with that.

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Hi Felix,

 

I do understand your frustration, absolutely. Tell me, whenever a SUP was summoned, did he tell you or the controller off? And: if you ever get in the situation that an ATCO asks you to cut the shared connection, please call a SUP to get it straightened out. It is not your concern when an ATCO does not know how to handle this situation.

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Thank you for your reply.

 

Most controllers are okay with it once I explain what we're doing and why we can't use observer mode. Is seems to be okay as long as one of the aircraft is on squawk mode standby.

 

But once, first the controller and then the supervisor he called both instructed me to cut the second connection. We ended up both disconnecting bescause we were upset.

 

I'd just like to know who did something wrong here. If they made a mistake, I can live with that. If I did, tell me what the rules are here. Sometimes I wish I had a "Approval of Shared Cockpit Operation" or something that I could hold right up to their nose.

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Most controllers are okay with it once I explain what we're doing and why we can't use observer mode. Is seems to be okay as long as one of the aircraft is on squawk mode standby.

 

 

 

Why can't you use observer mode?

Ryan Geckler - GK | Former VATUSA3 - Division Training Manager

VATSIM Minneapolis ARTCC | FAA Miami ARTCC 

Cross the Pond Planning Team

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Most controllers are okay with it once I explain what we're doing and why we can't use observer mode. Is seems to be okay as long as one of the aircraft is on squawk mode standby.

 

Why can't you use observer mode?

 

The OP stated that XSB doesn't offer observer mode. I also just went on their docomeentation page, and there's no mention of the feature there. And according to the forums, users have been requesting the feature for over 1.5 years with no response from the developer.

 

I agree with the others that the "second pilot" should ensure his transponder is set to standby, the second pilot (or maybe both pilots) should file remarks in his flight plan (even though controllers are not required to read flight plan remarks), and if ATC or Supervisors challenge the OP, my suggestion would simply be to state that they are flying shared cockpit, XSB doesn't support observer mode, so this is the only way they can do it, and refer them to this thread for more information if necessary. Not perfect, but probably the best he can do until XSB decides to develop an Observer mode and/or until swift comes out.

Don Desfosse
Vice President, Membership

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I'm a programmer myself, at this point I'd even implement observer mode myself in XSB. But it looks like it's just a matter of time until Swift is ready to use on the network, which solves all problems.

 

It's nice to hear some support from you all. At least I can be sure that it's allowed inside german airspace

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It's allowed anywhere at VATSIM, as VATSIM permits shared cockpit flights. If ATC objects to your mode of operation (shared cockpit in SQ STBY), ask them to call a SUP and refer them to this thread or to the VP SUPs.

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  • 10 months later...

Hi John,

 

could you please elaborate? Please do NOT share here WHERE it happened and what SUP or ATCO, this is private information. You are welcome to send this piece of information to me through a private message on the forums.

 

Here, in public, just confirm that one pilot was connected normally and the shared connection had its transponder on STBY MODE.

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Hi John,

 

could you please elaborate? Please do NOT share here WHERE it happened and what SUP or ATCO, this is private information. You are welcome to send this piece of information to me through a private message on the forums.

 

Here, in public, just confirm that one pilot was connected normally and the shared connection had its transponder on STBY MODE.

 

Hey Andreas, sent you a private message with the info. I think it's a real knowledge issue regarding xsqwakbox and observer mode... they dont know the limitations...

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Hello Martin, hello John,

 

I have received all the necessary information and I will forward it to the VP SUPs to address this. I do not think that anybody was trying to be mean to you, but you just became victims to a gap of knowledge. It should not have happened and I am deeply sorry that you had to make this experience.

 

Keep on flying as a shared flightdeck, it is all good. Refer ATCOs/SUPs to this thread should you run into trouble again.

Edited by Guest
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Hello Martin, hello John,

 

I have received all the necessary information and I will forward it to the VP SUPs to address this. I do not think that anybody was trying to be mean to you, but you just became victims to a gap of knowledge. It should not have happened and I am deeply sorry that you had to make this experience.

 

Keep on flying as a shared flightdeck, it is all good. Refer ATCOs/SUPs to this thread should you run into trouble again.

 

Hey Andreas it's a great relief. Thanks! This thread is now favorited

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It makes me wonder if the majority of Supervisors even know what a shared cockpit connection looks like, or how it is even accomplished. I will fess up and say that I don't think I have ever seen one on the network. So if I were called to one I don't know how I would react.

__________

Ira Robinson

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Hi Ira,

 

well, they don't fly around in groups of a dozen, but I regularly come across them and I never had any issue. Someone who is not in the know of it, it may be surprising or even irritating to see two targets on top of each other, one following the other - just like a two ship formation. Basically you'll see two separate connections with two similar callsigns (e.g. AAL123 and AAL123A), but one being on SQ charlie and the other on SQ STBY.

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It makes me wonder if the majority of Supervisors even know what a shared cockpit connection looks like, or how it is even accomplished. I will fess up and say that I don't think I have ever seen one on the network. So if I were called to one I don't know how I would react.

 

I've come across a few of them while working a sector, usually the only time you actually realize it's a shared cockpit is when XSB is being used (because of the problems [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ociated with that client which have been pointed out). When a client which supports "observer" or "stealth" is being used, the only indication is perhaps a user on the ATC list with a pilot callsign (you may not even notice unless you're looking for it). It can be a bit alarming when you suddenly have two targets on top of each other, this is where clear communication between the ATCO and the pilot(s) is needed. I'd expect any experienced controller to be able to engage in a conversation, and be able to handle it without need of a supervisor. Furthermore, if I was to engage in such a flight and an ATCO wouldn't even attempt to understand, I'd definitely be sending feedback to the local FIR/ARTCC and/or Division so that some retraining can be accomplished.

 

Anyway, those are my thoughts on the matter, for the $.00001 it's worth. Glad you got an answer which you can point to John, and hopefully a few other people on both sides of the aisle will see this post and keep it in mind.

0

Anchorage Deputy Air Traffic Manager

VATSIM Senior Supervisor (Team 1)

Have a question or concern? Email me at [email protected].

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  • 1 month later...

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