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[Oct 27 10-23z] Cross The Pond Eastbound 2018


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DLH471P

 

Delays at departure from CYYZ but it is normal

 

Excelent ATC in Toronto FIR!

 

After that horrible, UNICOM in Montreal, no oceanic clearance and ATC doesn't respond to position reports.

 

I hope when reaches Radar Controlled EU Airspace gets better

 

This event is all about oceanic stuff and I'm getting more bored than usual!

 

In the last CPT, it worked fine in all airspaces!

 

I hope you get this right in the next time!!

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Pedro, I participated last year and was exactly like you said, couldn't manage to do position reports and also got UNICOM at one point. Amazingly this year it worked fine for me, and thanks to having decided to push back 40 minutes before TOT I managed to get only 8 minutes delay, and avoided that UNICOM, which on CTP shouldn't happen. Guess I was lucky this time.

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Washington guys were terrific. Zurich controllers were sublime. No issues enroute. However, I too gave up on position reports during the Atlantic portion... which isn’t anything new, so I’m not even disappointed. I fully expected it. Can’t blame the controllers... the oceanic guys do a great job considering what they have to work with.

Joshua Black

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Finally great event!

 

Half an hour delay for departure in CYYZ and some problems for obtain the oceanic clearance, (finally I entered without clearance and obtain it p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ing entering point). After that all has worked like a charm. Perfect work of Gander, Shanwick, Scottish, Maastrich, Langen, and finally all Frankfurt staff. My 747-8 arrives without problems.

 

Thanks to all and see you in march!

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In the last CTP, it worked fine in all airspaces!

 

A small correction: last CTP it worked fine for you

 

The issues you experienced today happen in every single CTP, but at different times and in different places, so not everyone experiences it. I [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ure you that the issues you had with controller saturation on Oceanic have happened for the last 20 CTP events at least, last time you were just lucky to not be in the affected area.

 

Thanks to all of who flew, controlled and organised. I imagine we'll put something up a little more detailed in the coming hours and days, but for now, it's time to sleep.

 

GUNNAR LINDAHL 
President
## [email protected]
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DLH471P

 

Landed at 2150z (on time) at EDDF, no problems and my pax got a peaceful trip

 

Great ATC at EU Airspace.

 

There was only the problems I mentioned earlier with Oceanic and Montreal!!

 

But congratulations to the CTP planning team and to all envolved in making this awesome event.

 

See you next time!

 

Keep improving!!

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Many thanks to the flight sim enthusiasts involved in this event - you all did an amazing job!

 

However, having in mind the slogan "as real as it gets" for the events coming-up I would like to propose to reduce the number of slots in order to make CTP a realistic event other than "The pond overloaded". I flew from KORD to EDDP on the non-event track U; due to the m[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ive amount of flights it was almost impossible to transmit position reports and some controllers were hardly able to properly manage basic handovers, not to mention more complex tasks. Capacity issues were also caused by pilots which do not properly monitor the frequency. And no, on both sides speaking faster does not solve these issues - far from it

 

Perhaps, less would be more in order to emulate realistic real-life operations.

 

Best regards

Morten

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In the next time, they should make it more "real".

 

Transforming every OCA clearance and Position Reports to an automatic CPDLC message (or text)

 

Make no sense that people can't speak or can do a Position Report because it is overload.

 

The frequency should be only for instructions or any special request.

 

VATSIM has already the websites and the tools to do it, make it happen!

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I will start my post by saying a m[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ive Thank You for all of those pilots that participated during the event wherever it was on Cross The Pond routes and to those that participated in their own way.Thanks to them and everyone else VATSIM had another record breaking Cross The Pond editions.

 

On the other hand I think a HUGE,M[Mod - Happy Thoughts]IVE,ENORMOUS Thank You message should be sent to all Controllers and Staff that added their own bits and bobs into the event either by planning it or providing Air Traffic Service for the duration of the event.

 

From my personal side I would like to apologise...

I have been regularly participating within Cross The Pond editions for last few years. I been usually helping out on Moncton Control or Shannon control or behind the scene my responsibilities were to find available volunteers for variety of positions that needed to cover some ''no-shows'' 48 hours in prior to event and I always manage to fill out and find as many available people as possible.However this edition was somewhat different - we seemed to had enough volunteers for all positions but to be on a safe side I have decided not to participate as a pilot today but rather to stay around as a observer on the network just in case someone would need immediate [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istant or a position would need to be covered(even thought I already been [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned a Shift on LFFF_W_CTR starting at 17:00z)

 

Unfortunately we came to a situation where there was a few of ''no-shows'' on Shanwick position and I was asked if I can help them out - I am not going to lie I been controlling on VATSIM for more than 1700 hours since I joined but I have never provided Oceanic Service and I have been given estimated of 10 minutes before my ''cover shift'' was suppose to start. In all honesty for the first 30 minutes I had a phraseology sheet open on my 2nd monitor just so that I cannot make myself look like a fool. I am aware that practice makes perfect but in this case there was little to no chance of practice and I been given first of all Shanwick Tract T position shortly to followed by Shanwick Track X station...

 

I know there has been people waiting but as some of you may imagine with all the communication,coordination and filling out spreadsheets it was not an easy task for a rookie like me that has been thrown into the deep end and provide Shanwick Radio Air Traffic Service as a first timer on an Oceanic position...

 

So all I want to say towards pilots that have been flying under EGGX_T_FSS between 14:30z to 16:00z and under the control of EGGX_X_FSS between 17:00z until 18:50z I believe you deserve a honest and deep apology from me. I believe you deserved a better quality of service from someone that has actually been trained and validated on the position. Unfortunately I tried to do my best but I don't believe it was quite enough at the time. All I can say is that I promise to get better and at some point in future make it up for you during future editions of Cross The Pond

VATEUD ATC Department Lead | Senior Divisional Instructor [i3]

For any queries contact me on [email protected]

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Michal,

 

I think you’re the last one that should be apologizing. I’m sure that 95% of the pilots that you dealt with were just happy to at least have a controller online rather than be sent off to Unicom, which sounds like something some pilots had to deal with. The ones who should be the most sorry are the ones who didn’t show up to do something they volunteered to do. (Without a legit reason)

 

It sounds like you take your duties (VATSIM or not) very seriously... I’m the same way. So I know how you feel. In the end, it was out of your hands, and you made the best out of a stressful situation. Don’t beat yourself up.

Joshua Black

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Michal, I was on X and later on Brest inbound ZRH, you did a great job. I didn't even notice it was your first time on Oceanic.

CTP over the NAT is with so many aicraft is always a bit chaotic, but thats how a typial CTP is.

 

Also many thanks to BOS, it was a great departure airport, with such nice ATC, and only 10 min. delay.

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Okay, nice one.

 

Had lots of fun with the colleagues in VATFRANCE and great pilots flying thru my sector.

Thank you all for participating and for doing this stunt. And thanks to our Web and Servers team for creating a real stable setup. Better than ever.

 

Can't wait for the next one. Oh wait, its already 1st week on November: World Flight

 

Flo

Florian Harms

VATSIM Europe Division / DCRM

Supervisor

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Evaluation of the CTP 2018 event as seen from the cockpit - by Torben Andersen (CID#861112)

 

I participated on the Cross the Pond 2018 event and flew from Washington Dulles International (KIAD) to Manchester, England (EGCC) as Jettime1027 (JTG1027) in a Boeing 737-800.

Initially I discovered that the available slots were nil - taken in a very short time. But a couple of days before the event a free slot emerged departing KIAD at 1157z. After booking it I read through the docomeents for the 2 airports, KIAD and EGCC. Very nice and comprehensive material. Also the docomeents for the Oceanic crossing were printed, especially the Transatlantic Radio Operations Checksheet.

In the morning of the event I received the flight data for my flight. I was [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned NAT X and the route was:

WOOLY1 SWANN DCT BROSS J42 LLUND DCT BAYYS DCT LARIE DCT KANNI N253A JOOPY NATX GISTI DCT LIFFY UL975 MALUD MIRSI2B.

NATX: JOOPY 4950N 5240N 53330N 5320N MALOT GISTI

Having found a free stand (D10) at KIAD using the excellent tool provided by https://vzdc.org/iadgates.php I logged in at 1100z. Not long hereafter I received a PDC from delivery with the clearance for my route, likely runway for departure (Rwy 30) and Squawk code. The procedure followed very closely the procedure described. Upon contacting the ramp controller a small deviation from the clearance emerged as the [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned rwy for departure was changed from rwy30 to rwy01R. As this would give me a little bit extra work on the FMC I asked for rwy30. While this was accepted, it ended up with a departure from rwy01C due to traffic. I pushed back at 1145z, but due to the high amount of traffic my departure time was 1209z. The delay of 12 minutes was to be expected in an event like this. The very high standard of the controllers at KIAD and enroute made the flight out of KIAD and along the east coast of USA a nice experience.

The Canadian controllers also had their hands full. And I must stress that we, the pilots, do have a responsibility to pay attention to the radio and follow radio communication procedure. At times the controllers had to repeat their message several times - either because the receiving pilots weren’t paying attention, or the transmission was interrupted by other pilot. However, the lag in the system naturally means that interruptions can’t totally be avoided, when so many pilots need to contact the controller. Especially the last Moncton controller before Gander Oceanic had a high workload as pilots asked to leave the frequency to get their oceanic clearance from the Oceanic Clearance Delivery and again, when the pilots reported back on the frequency. There was some confusion on which oceanic controller to contact in order to get the clearance. I think it could have been written more clearly in a docomeent, just as the information for the airports. As I only have a very small section of the vpilot window visible, I can see only the top most controllers and not the delivery controllers in the bottom of the list. I could hear from other pilots, that they tried to contact the track controller for obtaining oceanic clearance, adding to the radio congestion. While the organization as such were structured excellently (CZQX_X_DEL being the track X clearance delivery, and CZQX_X_CTR being the track controller) the information didn’t come through to all the pilots. In the end the domestic controller handed pilots with an oceanic clearance somewhat early to the oceanic controller to be able to handle the amount of traffic on the last part of the domestic airspace.

Up to this point I was very impressed with the controllers and their ability to handle the huge amount of traffic in a professional and courteous manner. Unfortunately, I did not get the same impression of the oceanic controller. This may be caused by the procedure used by the oceanic controller, so I’ll try to explain, how I experienced it from the pilot seat.

P[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ing the first oceanic waypoint (JOOPY) I contacted the oceanic track controller by radio using the phrase: “Gander Oceanic, Jettime1027 with a position report”. I expected to hear a return like “Jettime1027, Gander Oceanic, go ahead”, but was met by “Jettime1027, please check the controller information for the correct procedure”.

Now, in my experience I did use the correct procedure and phraseology, but apparently a different approach has been used either by the present controller or by the event organizers on the Canadian side. Reading the controller info I was asked to contact the controller on the chat to tell him, I had a position report. While this might be a good move to reduce the radio traffic, it did nothing good in my experience.

In vpilots chat I wrote: pos rep and pressed send and in my vpilot client it wrote “JTG1027: pos rep”.

All should be good and I expected a call from the controller to give him the position report. IT NEVER HAPPENED!!!! I p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed 3 oceanic waypoints with out ever been contacted by the controller!!

Other pilots experience the same problem - some came through, but had perhaps 2 position reports to do (and off cause only transmitted the last one). This was really a big deroute for my experience with the controllers in the event. After a controller change I finally got through to the CZQX_X controller - I really had to talk with BIG LETTERS, but delivered my first AND ONLY position report to Gander Oceanic approximate 60nm BEFORE 53N030W - midpoint where I were to contact Shanwick Oceanic.

I would like to say that using a procedure like this, is NOT an option in my opinion - or it should as a minimum be presented much more clearly to the pilots. The majority of the reports I could hear be given by pilots to the controller were outdated and of no use for controlling purposes. In effect they could have been omitted entirely. But this compromise the nature of such an event. I didn’t check the controller info for the other track controllers, and I do not know, how it worked on the other tracks. But for me it was a disaster.

I think there are 2 possible solutions to these problems: You can either use a CPDLC (like given by Hoppie - http://www.hoppie.nl/acars/prg/atc/) or you can have multiple controllers on a track controlling eg. FL310-FL350 and another controlling FL360-FL410). But the last necessitates naturally more frequencies.

Or you can use the normal procedure, which is to contact the controller by radio ?? When p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ing 53N030W I contacted Shanwich Oceanic without much delay and handed my position reports to him without problems.

(BTW - two problems occurred during the crossing. Shortly after p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ing 49N050W an American Airlines plane p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed within 1nm in front of me at the same FL from south to north. Not traffic should cross NAT tracks at my flight level FL370. How he ended up in front of me is a good question. An other problem was heard on the radio - an Air Portugal not flying on a NAT track was not received any service from Shanwick Oceanic when he was in Shanwick Oceanic Airspace. The organization of having a controller controlling only the tracks means that other legitimate traffic could not get ATC service. As Shanwick and Gander Oceanic also has to deal with traffic on random routes, eg. traffic from the US to Scandinavia, which do not use NATs, I found this to be a situation to be dealt with in the future).

The rest of the flight through Shanwick OCA, Ireland and the UK went completely by the book. I’m really impressed by the controllers at EGCC, who handled the traffic admirably and gave good guidance to entering the holdings at EGCC.

However, overall the event was a good experience - I only had one disconnection from the server, so I think the VATSIM organization is able to handle such big events now and in the future.

 

Regards - Torben Andersen (861112)

Torben Andersen, VACC-SCA Controller (C1)

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I could agree with Torben. I flew from KJFK to EGCC. ATC in KJFK was well organized. Got off the gate around 20 minutes after first contact. Quite good for a CTP. Taxi time was fine and all in sequence. Handled very well.

Takeoff and departure was also no problem. Handed off to Moncton was a challenge. A lot traffic coming in in a short amount of time was unable to get sequenced. After some time I switched to oceanic clearance what was good handled and back to domestic.

I was told to contact the Gander controller for NAT X. When p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ing Joppy I tried to contact the controller. Same as Torben, I got the information to read the controller info, which vpilot does not show automatically when connecting to the channel. I did this and posted my callsign in the text box. Never got a call from him. This happened with 2 out of 3 planned position reports. The third one was halfway between the 30N handover. I know thats a lot of load on the tracks, but there is a still an I provement chance. Then with Shannwick it was, again as Torben mentioned, better. All pilots where able to post their position reports within a couple of minutes when p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ing the points.

Later on all the ATC was very fine. EGCC ATC was very informative of the situation and only 1 holding circle was flown until a smooth touchdown in Manchester 7 hours and 15 minutes after pushback in New York.

Sadly to CPDLC was offered on NAT X. Some other tracks had the system running. This would take away some voice traffic or the new voice codec to stop jumping in current communication.

All in all a fine CTP with a little disappointment on the starting of the crossing.

Looking forward into the next CTP event.

Best regards, Markus

greetings from Vienna / Austria

Markus Ristl

My Homecockpit

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