Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Greetings,

 

I am a pilot who loves to fly heavy metal. The bigger, the better.

Atm the biggest quality airliners available for us pilots is the B747-8.

 

Now as most of us know the 748 is a Category F aircraft (like the A380). This means that due to its size (wingspan etc) that at most airports it is restricted in which runways/taxiways/gates it can use, these are usually depicted on the airport charts.

 

Unfortunately, in 9/10 of my flights I find myself having to correct the controller and pretty much having to tell him what taxi instructions I want/need... Neither I nor him (i would imagine) like being put in that position because it sounds like i'm "telling off" the controller and/or being condescending when that is not at all my intention..

 

My question therefore to you controllers is the following (I have zero insight to what it is like to be a controller so apologies in advance):

 

Do you guys have access to docomeentation instructing you which taxiways etc are/aren't compatible with Cat F aircraft?

Is this something you are trained for during your controller training (I've heard that one must p[Mod - Happy Thoughts] some tests to become a controller on vatsim however idk how in depth those tests go)?

 

I am curious to understand why it is that this happens so often.

 

Sincerely,

Tristan Hancock

Chief Operations Officer

d6XDSNa.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Tristan,

 

just speaking for myself, but I would not take the simulation that far that I also check what taxiways are suitable for CAT F airplanes. Most of the time we are very content when pilots read back the instruction and then actually follow the taxi route as instructed. On top of this, charts that contain these details are not available for free in all parts of the world, because some countries (e.g. Germany!) do not offer the standard AIP to the public, despite the fact that tax payer money has been used to produce them. It's a shame.

Link to post
Share on other sites

To add to what Andreas says - whilst often (but not always) this information probably is available somewhere and might be mentioned in training, one has to remember that unlike their real-world counterparts VATSIM controllers are not normally trained as specialists at a specific airfield and rather are trained and examined in much a much more general set of competencies. The emphasis is much more upon moving traffic safely and expeditiously than the minutiae of a specific airfield's procedures (remember, the exam is to confirm that the controller is basically competent to open any airfield's TWR/APP position with a general expection that controllers should try and self-brief on local procedures to the greatest extent possible). For example, depending on the division and the trainers themselves the trainee might well be expected to have a general awareness that not all taxiways are suitable for all aircraft, but it's generally not worth spending hours and hours on the specifics.

 

When you then consider that the top-down system might mean that a controller is handling traffic at multiple airfields and they may not be intricately familiar with every taxiway on each of them you can see the issues!

 

Just as in the real world, the answer is basically to deal with it as you are -- "Unable taxiway due to aircraft category (request X Y Z instead as appropriate)". Provided you are polite and professional about it there is no issue with this at all and nor should any controller take offence to it. Especially remember that most Ground controllers are right at the start of their VATSIM careers and may have had relatively little formal training at the point at which you speak to them, thus are more likely to be focussing on the bigger picture and just like with new pilots they may occasionally need a helping hand with specifics like this.

uc?export=download&id=0B7VIvxpWVbGuemJEQmVPOUh2U2M&revid=0B7VIvxpWVbGuQUdOREp3TGtiZFZXSXd2WDdUcVpvRzk5NWs0PQ

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you both for the insight, this does clarify things if such information is not publicly available for free to controllers (a small part of me had [Mod - Happy Thoughts]umed that the respective vACC would provide its controllers with this info).

 

I fully understand the argument made that checking which taxiways could be used for aircraft XXX can be too much of a h[Mod - Happy Thoughts]le in a busy airspace/airport, therefore I commend those few controllers that I have met that take the extra step in realism and consider aircraft size when giving taxi instructions, especially since IF one has access to charts it only takes a quick glance to figure it out (due to color coding).

 

Example KMIA:

pJt9e0B.png

 

P.S

Andreas, I must compliment you german controllers especially since so far you guys specifically seem to take this into consideration every time I fly to/from EDDF or EDDM (Maybe because LH uses both 748 an 388 so you handle them everyday?)

 

Either way, thank you again for the explanations!

Tristan Hancock

Chief Operations Officer

d6XDSNa.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Simon and Andreas hit the nail on the head. Unless a controller has a Navigraph subscription or access to the r/w Jeppesen charts, most of them aren’t going to be aware of taxiway use restrictions for B748/A388 ops.

 

I’ll try and apply them where I can, but I’m also not going to hang a pilot for taking his Cat F plane somewhere it couldn’t explicitly go, either.

Dhruv Kalra

VATUSA ZMP ATM | Instructor | VATSIM Network Supervisor

878508.png878508.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
I’ll try and apply them where I can, but I’m also not going to hang a pilot for taking his Cat F plane somewhere it couldn’t explicitly go, either.

 

I fully appreciate that way of thinking, it avoids unnecessary clogging of the frequency where I would have to deliver a lengthy explanation why I am unable to taxi via XXXX etc, I do find it a shame though that this info (and by extension a lot of other info) isn't provided to the controllers as I think this would greatly improve realism, which I would imagine is something we all strive for.

Tristan Hancock

Chief Operations Officer

d6XDSNa.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Tristan,

 

that's all a question of perception and opinion: what greatly improves realism? In my real plane I care for the correct taxiways, here in a simulation not so much. There are other things that need improvement and more emphasis, in my opinion.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Tristan,

 

just speaking for myself, but I would not take the simulation that far that I also check what taxiways are suitable for CAT F airplanes. Most of the time we are very content when pilots read back the instruction and then actually follow the taxi route as instructed. On top of this, charts that contain these details are not available for free in all parts of the world, because some countries (e.g. Germany!) do not offer the standard AIP to the public, despite the fact that tax payer money has been used to produce them. It's a shame.

Everyone can make a user at Eurocontrol's EAD Basic and access the AIP of any EC-connected country for free. It's not a super convenient user interface, but it works well enough with the search function.

 

https://www.ead.eurocontrol.int/cms-eadbasic/opencms/en/login/ead-basic/

 

Edit: Just checked a random airport, ended up being Hamburg, and the code E/F chart was readily available.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hm? What do you mean "possibly"? I wasn't really arguing anything, just spreading the word that you can find pretty much all of European charts (IFR) in one place with one sign-in for free from an official source, and I quoted you specifically since you expressed frustration of the lack of a German AIP. It's not lacking anymore (hasn't for years), the next time you come across someone requesting free charts for Europe, you can let them know EAD Basic is an option

 

As for actually doing E/F code routes on the network, that for me falls under the "depends on the person"-umbrella. After some time on the network you get pretty good at guess-gauging people's ability from their phraseology and actions on VATSIM, and if requesting/offering anything beyond magenta-to-ILS-flying is worth trying.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Magnus,

 

sorry, language barrier. I used "possibly" in terms of "people could use those AIP charts". As reported here on the thread, obviously my virtual ATC colleagues in Germany DO use special taxi routes for those F-birds. I rather don't make any research for this and so far nobody has asked me for a re-routing or even complained about my incompetence I think it's more important to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ign correct cruising levels, for example.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Tristan,

 

Come fly to EHAM

 

We use a tool to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ign gates based on availability, aircraft dimensions, Schengen and cargo/pax. If you use a real-life callsign, you'll even get the corresponding gate.

 

We [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ign correct cruising levels as well

 

Martijn

Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Tristan,

 

Come fly to EHAM

 

We use a tool to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ign gates based on availability, aircraft dimensions, Schengen and cargo/pax. If you use a real-life callsign, you'll even get the corresponding gate.

 

We [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ign correct cruising levels as well

 

Martijn

 

Dutch efficiency, nice touch!

 

I do fly through EHAM from time to time, sadly when I fly the 748 I primarily fly the 8i and irl routes so that limits me to Lufthansa, Air China and Korean Air but that's just me being picky

Tristan Hancock

Chief Operations Officer

d6XDSNa.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Same in Sweden, it's a feature of our Ground Radar plugin. But while it does [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ign an appropriate parking stand automatically, and the plugin does give a warning if selecting a runway that is not available for the aircraft type, we don't have an automatic way of [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igning the correct taxi route. And the restrictions can be quite complex, for example see the AIP text from ESSA below:

 

3. Operations with large aircraft

Large aircraft is considered as aircraft with wingspan with

more than 65 m.

 

3.1 A380 operations

• RWY 01L/19R and RWY 26 will be used landing.

• RWY 01L/19R will be used for take-off.

• RWY exit Y1, Y2, Y9 and Y10 are approved.

• RWY entry Y1 and Y10 are approved.

• RWY exit X2 is approved.

• Idle thrust shall be used on outer engines when

taxiing.

• All taxiing will be marshalled.

• TWY Y, PA and X between Y-ZQ, U between Y-UE

and UE will be used for taxiing.

• Judgemental oversteer shall be used.

• Parking will take place at F36R Pier F or at stands

R9, R9C, R10 on apron R.

• A380 towbar is not available at the airport.

Operator shall secure for arrangements with own

equipment.

• A380 operator is responsible for contracting handling

company before using the airport.

 

3.2 An-124 operations

• RWY 01L/19R and RWY 26 will be used landing.

• RWY 01L/19R will be used for take-off.

• RWY exit X2 is approved.

• All taxiing will be marshalled.

• TWY Y, PA and X between X2-Y, U between Y-UE

and UE will be used for taxiing.

• Judgemental oversteer shall be used.

• Parking will take place at R9C.

• An-124 operator is responsible for contracting

handling company before using the airport.

 

3.3 B747-8 operations

• RWY 01L/19R and RWY 26 will be used landing.

• RWY 01L/19R will be used for take-off.

• RWY exit/entry Y1, Y2, Y9 och Y10 are approved.

• RWY exit X2 is approved.

• All taxiing will be marshalled.

• TWY Y, PA and X between Y-ZQ, U between Y-UE

and UE will be used for taxiing.

• Judgemental oversteer shall be used.

• Parking will take place at F36R Pier F or at stands

R9, R9C, R10 on apron R.

• B747-8 operator is responsible for contracting

handling company before using the airport.

 

Unfortunately there is no AIP chart published to show the different routes, and there's unlikely to be a Jeppy chart as well since the commercial chart providers these days tend to take exactly what's in the AIP and avoid "making up" their own chart depictions.

 

For a B748 for example, our system would not give a warning if [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igning RWY 08 as departure runway, since it allows B748 on RWY 26 for landing. The correct taxi route would need to be referenced by the controller, and this could easily be forgotten since we have very limited B748/A124/A388 operations at ESSA, and most taxi clearances are "standard" - pilots are expected to follow the arrows depicted on DEP/ARR taxi charts so each individual taxiway is not specified by ATC normally.

Martin Loxbo

Director Sweden FIR

VATSIM Scandinavia

Link to post
Share on other sites

Interestingly, based in part on this post and others like it that I've seen, I make that effort when controlling. The other night I had a 744 spawn up on the GA ramp of the primary field I control. I PM'd the pilot, and very politely said that if he valued the realism aspect, that the GA ramp nor the taxiways leading out of the GA ramp could support a 744, but I'd be happy to work him anyway. Said pilot promptly disconnected not to return. Oh well.

Edited by Guest
Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...