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Controllers coming on line while pilot is on short final.


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I don't know if this has been mentioned lately but when a controller comes on line and there is a pilot on final approach to the runway he should be allowed to continue his landing and not have to try to change radio frequencies and talk with the controller who will only be able to confirm his landing clearance. I know this has been posted before but I hope it is posted again. I have had two incidents one at Denver and one at Vancouver in the last two weeks. Can be very trying to multi-task at decision height. Larry Horton 2351020

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I don't mind if a controller sends me a "contact me" message when I'm on short final, though I would prefer if they wait until after I land. If it happens, I just tune the frequency and call the controller as soon as I'm able to safely do so. If I'm at decision height, I will call the controller once I've landed and exited the runway. If a controller complains about this, they are being unreasonable in my opinion.

 

Aviate, navigate, communicate.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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I know part of the issue lies with what's considered "short final" to some pilots. Personally, send a contactme whenever; I don't mind - it's just a ding. I've had pilots get upset when I send a contactme on a 10 mile final, which I find to be unreasonable. I'd say anything within 5-10 miles is pretty much fair game. Basically covers where you would be speaking to a Tower controller.

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I know part of the issue lies with what's considered "short final" to some pilots. Personally, send a contactme whenever; I don't mind - it's just a ding. I've had pilots get upset when I send a contactme on a 10 mile final, which I find to be unreasonable. I'd say anything within 5-10 miles is pretty much fair game. Basically covers where you would be speaking to a Tower controller.

 

Ridiculous...

 

We operate an actual simulator whereas one person is flying, physically controlling radios, reading a checklist, etc. etc. A workload that was designed for (2) pilots let alone one. I'm sure it is not much different for the desktop pilot who is doing the same. Then to have a controller come on when the pilot is on a 5-10 mile final and request for contact is simply ignorant to say the least. And frankly, MOST controllers understand this and never pull a stunt like this. That is why I applaud the vast majority of controllers on the Vat network.

 

In my opinion, yes my opinion, let the aircraft land. He/she has already accomplished placing themselves on final without [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istance and are concentrating on wind & weather to get the aircraft down.

 

Be logical.


 

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In my opinion, yes my opinion, let the aircraft land. He/she has already accomplished placing themselves on final without [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istance and are concentrating on wind & weather to get the aircraft down.

 

Sure, I will let the aircraft land. But I will also try to make him aware of me. I do not expect the pilot to call me instead of landing his aircraft. But I will offer him the possibility to make his own judgment, whether he is capable of calling me now or after landing.

 

Speaking for myself, I am mostly using the iFly 737 together with FS2Crew and it is easy for me to let my virtual Copilot tune the radio, so I can get a proper landing clearance. If you have a similar setup, fine, go ahead and call ATC. If not, also fine. Land your aircraft and call ATC after leaving the runway.

 

ATC knows, that you have a high workload. Don't think a "contact me"-Message is an angry shoutout to discipline you. It is mostly a text hardcoded in the Client (At least for EuroScope) that mind sound a little bit harsh but is solely meant to inform you.

| Enroute Controller |

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I know part of the issue lies with what's considered "short final" to some pilots. Personally, send a contactme whenever; I don't mind - it's just a ding. I've had pilots get upset when I send a contactme on a 10 mile final, which I find to be unreasonable. I'd say anything within 5-10 miles is pretty much fair game. Basically covers where you would be speaking to a Tower controller.

 

Ridiculous...

 

We operate an actual simulator whereas one person is flying, physically controlling radios, reading a checklist, etc. etc. A workload that was designed for (2) pilots let alone one. I'm sure it is not much different for the desktop pilot who is doing the same. Then to have a controller come on when the pilot is on a 5-10 mile final and request for contact is simply ignorant to say the least. And frankly, MOST controllers understand this and never pull a stunt like this. That is why I applaud the vast majority of controllers on the Vat network.

 

In my opinion, yes my opinion, let the aircraft land. He/she has already accomplished placing themselves on final without [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istance and are concentrating on wind & weather to get the aircraft down.

 

Be logical.

 

Curious to know how you manage to cope when Approach hands you over to Tower 5-10 nm out as you establish on the approach?

 

Expecting a pilot to contact a controller at 200ft is ridiculous. But at 5+nm out? Not remotely ridiculous or taxing to deal with.

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Thanks for all the input and advise, I find them all informative and helpful. The short final question is the one that I consider most important. Pilots know what they are capable of doing and what is required to land an airliner in virtual mode with out sliding off the runway or hitting the ground all together. I think most controllers know this and will govern their "contact me" alerts in such a way that a pilot will opt out of responding until safely on the ground. This being said I feel much better about how I will handle this issue in the future. Thanks for all the responses, I do appreciate them. Larry Horton 1251020

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Sure, I will let the aircraft land. But I will also try to make him aware of me. I do not expect the pilot to call me instead of landing his aircraft. But I will offer him the possibility to make his own judgment, whether he is capable of calling me now or after landing.

 

...

 

ATC knows, that you have a high workload. Don't think a "contact me"-Message is an angry shoutout to discipline you. It is mostly a text hardcoded in the Client (At least for EuroScope) that mind sound a little bit harsh but is solely meant to inform you.

This is basically where I am coming from.

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I know part of the issue lies with what's considered "short final" to some pilots. Personally, send a contactme whenever; I don't mind - it's just a ding. I've had pilots get upset when I send a contactme on a 10 mile final, which I find to be unreasonable. I'd say anything within 5-10 miles is pretty much fair game. Basically covers where you would be speaking to a Tower controller.

 

Ridiculous...

 

We operate an actual simulator whereas one person is flying, physically controlling radios, reading a checklist, etc. etc. A workload that was designed for (2) pilots let alone one. I'm sure it is not much different for the desktop pilot who is doing the same. Then to have a controller come on when the pilot is on a 5-10 mile final and request for contact is simply ignorant to say the least. And frankly, MOST controllers understand this and never pull a stunt like this. That is why I applaud the vast majority of controllers on the Vat network.

 

In my opinion, yes my opinion, let the aircraft land. He/she has already accomplished placing themselves on final without [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istance and are concentrating on wind & weather to get the aircraft down.

 

Be logical.

 

This is so far off the mark that I briefly entertained the idea that you were being facetious. Has the majority of your 600+ hours as a pilot on VATSIM been in uncontrolled airspace? That's the only way I could think of to give you the benefit of the doubt.

 

As Josh said, switching to tower at 5+ NM out is completely normal. At that point, you will generally be established on final and in a stable approach. You should have the tower frequency ready to go in your COM radio standby slot. If you're talking to approach and they send you over to tower, it's literally a single button press. If you're on UNICOM and tower comes online and sends you a "contact me" message, it's still a single button press. For extra bonus points, monitor UNICOM on COM2 and tune COM1 to tower, so if tower comes online, you're ready to respond to a contact me with no further configuration.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Ross,

 

While I hate to sound like I am agreeing with Mike, because I usually don't, I must question this comment of yours...

 

...For extra bonus points, monitor UNICOM on COM2 and tune COM1 to tower, so if tower comes online (italics mine), you're ready to respond to a contact me with no further configuration.

 

If "Tower" is not already online, how does one "guess" what frequency tower will be when they do "appear" to have that frequency pre-tuned? I know at some of the smaller airports there is only one tower frequency, so easier to guess, but at larger airports where there are several tower frequencies, depending upon different factors, to choose from. You definitely cannot go by the default frequency given in the sim. Nothing that I know of, although I certainly am not in a position to say with sureness, says a controller must use the real life frequencies at all is there?

 

Some of us folks without all the three monitor bells and whistles have to pan down...or up... to the radio (or open a view blocking 2D window), all the while hand flying the approach, to spin dials and push buttons with a mouse if we don't have a high dollar box or sim-pit. That time is spent not looking out the windscreen...at 150 KIAS or so...and that 5 mile final now is a lot shorter and I may or may not have "nosed in", veered left or right, or inadvertantly climbed while I was trying to establish communications instead of aviating.

 

So, although it rarely happens to me, it has a few times and each time I have chosen to Aviate and Navigate and once on the ground, communicate.

 

Randy

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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

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Just pick a tower frequency and tune it. If there are multiple, put the other one in standby. It's just for bonus points anyway.

 

And yes, nothing requires VATSIM tower controllers to use the real world frequency, but as far as I know, most (if not all) do.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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I know part of the issue lies with what's considered "short final" to some pilots. Personally, send a contactme whenever; I don't mind - it's just a ding. I've had pilots get upset when I send a contactme on a 10 mile final, which I find to be unreasonable. I'd say anything within 5-10 miles is pretty much fair game. Basically covers where you would be speaking to a Tower controller.

 

Ridiculous...

 

We operate an actual simulator whereas one person is flying, physically controlling radios, reading a checklist, etc. etc. A workload that was designed for (2) pilots let alone one. I'm sure it is not much different for the desktop pilot who is doing the same. Then to have a controller come on when the pilot is on a 5-10 mile final and request for contact is simply ignorant to say the least. And frankly, MOST controllers understand this and never pull a stunt like this. That is why I applaud the vast majority of controllers on the Vat network.

 

In my opinion, yes my opinion, let the aircraft land. He/she has already accomplished placing themselves on final without [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istance and are concentrating on wind & weather to get the aircraft down.

 

Be logical.

 

Curious to know how you manage to cope when Approach hands you over to Tower 5-10 nm out as you establish on the approach?

 

Expecting a pilot to contact a controller at 200ft is ridiculous. But at 5+nm out? Not remotely ridiculous or taxing to deal with.

 

That is different and you know it. When you are expecting to be handed off you make adjustments.

 

Mike


 

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Sure, I will let the aircraft land. But I will also try to make him aware of me. I do not expect the pilot to call me instead of landing his aircraft. But I will offer him the possibility to make his own judgment, whether he is capable of calling me now or after landing.

 

...

 

ATC knows, that you have a high workload. Don't think a "contact me"-Message is an angry shoutout to discipline you. It is mostly a text hardcoded in the Client (At least for EuroScope) that mind sound a little bit harsh but is solely meant to inform you.

This is basically where I am coming from.

 

Fair enough. I wasnt aware the ATC software generated this. Thanks for the explanation.

 

Mike


 

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I know part of the issue lies with what's considered "short final" to some pilots. Personally, send a contactme whenever; I don't mind - it's just a ding. I've had pilots get upset when I send a contactme on a 10 mile final, which I find to be unreasonable. I'd say anything within 5-10 miles is pretty much fair game. Basically covers where you would be speaking to a Tower controller.

 

Ridiculous...

 

We operate an actual simulator whereas one person is flying, physically controlling radios, reading a checklist, etc. etc. A workload that was designed for (2) pilots let alone one. I'm sure it is not much different for the desktop pilot who is doing the same. Then to have a controller come on when the pilot is on a 5-10 mile final and request for contact is simply ignorant to say the least. And frankly, MOST controllers understand this and never pull a stunt like this. That is why I applaud the vast majority of controllers on the Vat network.

 

In my opinion, yes my opinion, let the aircraft land. He/she has already accomplished placing themselves on final without [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istance and are concentrating on wind & weather to get the aircraft down.

 

Be logical.

 

This is so far off the mark that I briefly entertained the idea that you were being facetious. Has the majority of your 600+ hours as a pilot on VATSIM been in uncontrolled airspace? That's the only way I could think of to give you the benefit of the doubt.

 

As Josh said, switching to tower at 5+ NM out is completely normal. At that point, you will generally be established on final and in a stable approach. You should have the tower frequency ready to go in your COM radio standby slot. If you're talking to approach and they send you over to tower, it's literally a single button press. If you're on UNICOM and tower comes online and sends you a "contact me" message, it's still a single button press. For extra bonus points, monitor UNICOM on COM2 and tune COM1 to tower, so if tower comes online, you're ready to respond to a contact me with no further configuration.

 

Pat yourself on the back Ross. You must be proud of yourself. Sorry if my reply offended you. Many folks your age are these days. That said, us in the "REAL WORLD" know how things are.

 

I'm confident the forum was intended for both sides to share information, including educated opinions, to make the experience much more enjoyable.

 

Again, I stand by my original post: Logging on as a controller and "requesting" a pilot to contact you on a 5 mile final is absolutely ignorant. Unless as Josh pointed out, the software is generating this. If you cannot comprehend this then i'm honestly sorry.

 

>>Single button press<<


 

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This guy's a troll.

 

Pat yourself on the back Ross. You must be proud of yourself. Sorry if my reply offended you. Many folks your age are these days. That said, us in the "REAL WORLD" know how things are.

 

I'm confident the forum was intended for both sides to share information, including educated opinions, to make the experience much more enjoyable.

 

Again, I stand by my original post: Logging on as a controller and "requesting" a pilot to contact you on a 5 mile final is absolutely ignorant. Unless as Josh pointed out, the software is generating this. If you cannot comprehend this then i'm honestly sorry.

 

>>Single button press<<

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This guy's a troll.

 

Yup, time to let this one die. Though I will correct one misconception lest it spread:

 

Mike seems to have misinterpreted Josh's post to say that the "Contact Me" message is automatically generated by the ATC software. It is not. The controller still has to take manual action to send it. Josh's point was that the content of the message is hardcoded, and may sometimes seem harsh to the recipient. This is why I often type it manually myself when I've just come online and say something like "Just letting you know I'm online, please contact me on xxx.xxx when able."

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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This guy's a troll.

 

A troll? LOL. I've been called many things but not a troll. That's a first. Good for you.

 

Just because someone disagrees with you and provides an alternative view point does not make that person a troll. Read my other comments whereas I make a point to compliment controllers after a flight. Yea I know. You wont because it doesn't fit your agenda.

 

How about we all work together to make things better by being open to criticism which Ross is apparently unable to do. There are many of us out here with loads of aviation experience that top "your opinions" and are willing to share to make everyone's experience enjoyable. If you want perfection, apply to become a real world air traffic controller. If not, realize what most of us already know.

 

Food for thought.

 

Mike


 

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There are many of us out here with loads of aviation experience that top "your opinions"

 

I'm curious now, what real world experience do you have?

Ryan Geckler - GK | Former VATUSA3 - Division Training Manager

VATSIM Minneapolis ARTCC | FAA Miami ARTCC 

Cross the Pond Planning Team

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Mike, to clarify just a couple of things -- Ross isn't as young as you seem to be painting him -- he's 9 years your junior, RW pilot, and is certainly open to criticism. Having written most of the software in use on VATSIM, he's received plenty of it over the years, and used it constructively to benefit us all in our hobby.

 

Now, folks (in general), this thread has started to devolve into a name-calling, labeling, etc. thread that is absolutely not beneficial to the whole community. I respectfully offer that, as such, it should be allowed to die. This topic does, as most of us old-timers know, generally come about every 9 months or so....

 

Let's try to make it a great day, for ourselves and those around us. Cheers!

Don Desfosse
Vice President, Membership

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Once again Thanks to all that contributed to the discussion. I realize there will always be different lines of thought on any subject as there was on this one. What I got out of it is a consensuses that a pilot on short final has the option of changing the freq. on his radio if a controller comes on line while he is on short final or to wait until he has landed the airplane and then contact the controller. Everyone understands it's the pilots first priority to safely land the plane then communicate. Thanks again to my fellow pilots. Larry Horton 1251020

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Mike, to clarify just a couple of things -- Ross isn't as young as you seem to be painting him -- he's 9 years your junior, RW pilot, and is certainly open to criticism. Having written most of the software in use on VATSIM, he's received plenty of it over the years, and used it constructively to benefit us all in our hobby.

 

Now, folks (in general), this thread has started to devolve into a name-calling, labeling, etc. thread that is absolutely not beneficial to the whole community. I respectfully offer that, as such, it should be allowed to die. This topic does, as most of us old-timers know, generally come about every 9 months or so....

 

Let's try to make it a great day, for ourselves and those around us. Cheers!

 

Thank you Don. Well said & point taken.

 

Mike


 

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