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VATSIM ATIS versus Flight Radar 24


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If there is an ATIS transmitted on VATSIM (not the default FS one), there is also a corresponding ATCo, who is in charge of this airspace. And therefore, the ATIS always takes priority. However, during low traffic, a request with the ATCo for a different runway may be possible.

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There is no such thing as "standard VATSIM ATIS", you probably mean the METAR, which broadcasts weather information only. It does not set any active runway. You can select a suitable runway by looking at the wind in the ATIS, but there are sometimes more components to that decision like available instrument approaches, etc.

 

But anyway: When no ATC is online, you should try to use UNICOM (122,800 in most areas) to communicate with your fellow VATSIM pilots approaching the airport and agree on the current runway or at least to avoid collisions when using opposite directions.

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Encountering many instances where VPs are trying to use live active runways when VATSIM ATIS shows different.

 

By VP do you mean virtual pilots? If so then no single - or indeed group of other pilots are pilot in command of your aircraft. If there is no current controller covering the airspace of the airport in question then there is no specific runway in use.

Norman

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As Norman says, the important thing to remember is that when there is no active controller there is no ATIS and no 'active runway'.

 

I would always suggest that the starting point is the wind direction from the VATSIM METAR (.metar in your pilot client) and any preferential runway configuration etc listed in the charts.

 

Flight Radar is a useful guide but bear in mind that real work operations may not always reflect what is appropriate in our simulated world for a variety of reasons. Changing runways at an airfield in real life is a fairly major exercise often involving significant disruption and delays to traffic so it is generally avoided until absolutely necessary, plus there may be additional considerations (interactions with other airfields, noise, upper wind etc). Because VATSIM has much lower traffic levels changing ends is generally less of an issue, and my experience is that VATSIM pilots often have a much lower level of tolerance for tailwinds than their real-world counterparts.

 

As such, the most important thing to do at an uncontrolled field is not to try and determine which is the "right" runway, but establish what the majority of other traffic is doing and fit in with that. If for some reason you need the other end etc then that is perfectly OK also but if it's you against ten other aircraft then courtesy would suggest that you should hold until there's a suitable gap -- co-ordination is the key, just as at uncontrolled aerodromes in real life!

Vice President, Pilot Training

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Encountering many instances where VPs are trying to use live active runways when VATSIM ATIS shows different.

 

By VP do you mean virtual pilots? If so then no single - or indeed group of other pilots are pilot in command of your aircraft. If there is no current controller covering the airspace of the airport in question then there is no specific runway in use.

 

Yes: Virtual Pilot, not to be mistaken with Vice President!

 

Was taking off from VHHH earlier on 07 with no ATC and 90 degree cross wind, and hence no bias for any runway but following my FS ATIS, to be told in no uncertain terms by another inbound aircraft that I should be using the 25 active runway as shown on FlightRadar24. That's the first time in 3 years on VATSIM that I have encountered this idea to use FlightRadar24 for runway selection, hence my query.

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Was taking off from VHHH earlier on 07 with no ATC and 90 degree cross wind, and hence no bias for any runway but following my FS ATIS, to be told in no uncertain terms by another inbound aircraft that I should be using the 25 active runway as shown on FlightRadar24. That's the first time in 3 years on VATSIM that I have encountered this idea to use FlightRadar24 for runway selection, hence my query.

 

Ah yes, people will do that. I smile and nod and keep banging on about my above point (i.e. Flightradar is a useful guide but look at what everyone else is doing in the VATSIM world and co-ordinate) and hopefully one day the message will percolate through...

Vice President, Pilot Training

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to be told in no uncertain terms by another inbound aircraft that I should be using the 25 active runway as shown on FlightRadar24. That's the first time in 3 years on VATSIM that I have encountered this idea to use FlightRadar24 for runway selection, hence my query.

 

Don't worry I've had pilots say that to me as an ATC with an ATIS up, that "I should be using what they're using in Flightradar24".

 

I usually reply with "you should be flying like the pilots on Flightradar24"

 

Point being, do what you believe is right given the conditions in your simulator.

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I usually reply with "you should be flying like the pilots on Flightradar24"

That's brilliant! I'm shamelessly going to steal that one!

 

There's nothing quite like saving 50 trackmiles while blatantly ignoring the non-conflicting members on UNICOM who helpfully informs you that the runway you're approaching isn't being used on FR24. Makes it more enjoyable, really.

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