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Not a stupid question at all!

 

It is technically possible, just like any text flying on the network, but voice unicom is now available and certainly preferred. Pilots should try their best to be aware if there is a text-only person using unicom in their area, and ensure they are either not a conflict or accommodate those that must use text if need be, out of respect for those who (for some reason) must be text-only.

 

Knowing that voice unicom is new for many people, in the short-term until it becomes widely understood that voice unicom is available, voice pilots may simply even quickly and respectfully query the text-only unicom user on voice frequency if they are able to use voice on unicom. I would not be surprised if many such people would answer back quickly, cheerfully, and perhaps surprised that they are now able to use voice unicom. And, of course, if they reply back negative or do not reply, one should [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume they are text-only for some reason and respectfully accommodate that.


Don Desfosse
Vice President, Membership

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I find the level of immersion that voice UNICOM adds is amazing. But the 15 nm range sorts of force me to still use text to sync with odder planes.

No example on Monday, I was approaching CYUL from the West via HABBS4. 2 other planes where comming in from the east as I say in VatSpy. I was not obvious to me when were all around 15000 feet descending which runway they would use 24R or 24L. Should I extend my approach from to the east to place myself #3 for the possibility that we used the same runway or following the regular pattern [Mod - Happy Thoughts]uming difference runways. I was to far to be able to plan this on Voice. We ended up synchronizing via text, which is OK in the end.

 

But having been able to synchronize ourselves via voice would be been amazing

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Agreed Vincent, i think while the voice unicom is great for planes on final and on the ground. I think 30nm as opposed to 15 would be much better for communicating with others coming in as opposed to using text.


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Ben Stevenson

Chief Instructor

Toronto FIR (CZYZ)

torontofir.ca

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It is technically 30 NM as both airplanes have a 15nm ring. Literally just the tips of those 15 nm rings need to touch to be able to coordinate. As we gain more experience with how voice unicom will work, we will eventually be able to further raise that limit.


Matt Bartels
VP: Marketing & Communication
## vpmkt (at) vatsim.net
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Unless otherwise stated, opinions are my own and not representative of the official opinion of the VATSIM Board of Governors

 

 

 

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I think one particular issue with voice UNICOM on VATSIM is that unlike the real world, we use UNICOM a lot in airspaces that are always controlled IRL, and those include pretty much all airspaces where you can fly faster than 250 KIAS. Meaning that UNICOM on VATSIM is somewhat uncharted terrain in some situations.


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Well. in the real world, there are still enough countries where pilots will still broadcast their intentions on a "regional UNICOM frequency", although they are in touch with ATC on their number 1 radio set! Think of the IFBP (In-Flight Broadcast Procedure) in Africa. It's size has shrunk significantly over the past few years, but it still does exist.

 

And when you fly VFR outside Germany you will rarely find anyone sitting on a Tower/Info-position on small airfields, the majority of the world is uncontrolled for low and slow aircraft and you use UNICOM there to coordinate your movements. In the real world, though, there are regional UNICOM frequencies for certain areas, so one frequency will cover an area with several airfields.

 

I wish we had a regional UNICOM frequencies, too, and that AFV or some other piece of software would show all pilots what UNICOM area they are in.

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About unicom freq? is South Africa 124.8 or applied to 122.8? South America 123.45? whole continent or specific countries EU 122.80 North America 122.8 but if you look at the real charts most NAME airports are now 122.95


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Not a stupid question at all! but voice unicom is now available and certainly preferred.

 

Don much agreed! In fact, since the new voice server, I have noticed many folks on Unicom announcing their positions, intentions, etc. And that applies to text as well.

 

Michael



 

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I guess I spoke too soon.

 

Was flying out of Salt Lake City last night and announced on Unicom I was taxiing out to 35L for departure. As I neared the end of the taxiway (adjoining) 35L, someone came on the radio and said "Delta1502 runway 35L line up and wait. Well ummm, yea I responded and I advised I would line up and wait. As I turned on my lights and began entering 35L I was abrutly advised to "Stop" aircraft. (Different voice). Finally it occurred to me (long day at work Thursday believe me) that Unicom does not provide ATC services. I was cracking up. Whoever those two were got me good. After takeoff, I advised the two that I would be making a quick stopover at Provo to purchase lottery tickets.



 

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Seriously, i am not happy at all with this voice-UNICOM and find it a bad idea. I use text-mode most of the time simply because i am not in the mood at all to talk when i just wake up for example on a sunday morning. It is much more relaxed to use text and not to concentrate on so many different voices i have to listen.

 

And i used to always announce my intentions on UNICOM before when there was traffic around. Now, i barelay receive any information from the surrounding traffic. I guess a few of them use voice? But since i cannot hear it, it makes no sense anymore. That why i stopped writing about my intentions as well. Not to talk about the same idiots than before that never ever announced something anyway. Since i dont want to communicate if others pilots don't rshow any respect, i now stopped announcing my intentions as well.

 

UNICOM should be text-only or it should completely be forbidden to use text. Otherwise it makes no sense at all because now the communication beetween pilots is worst than before.

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Well, then that is your own choice. From what I have witnessed in the past months, the use of voice-UNICOM has been quite good, except for the usual suspects who either do not know what UNICOM is or - as you demonstrate - don't care and don't report anything anymore. I tend to ignore them and just line up on the runway anyway: no report = not existing traffic.

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It's not only my choice. There are many other like that. So the problem is that all users using text won't be able to listen to the voice-UNICOM. This problem didn't exist before when everyobdy used UNICOM with text. So the quality of interaction on UNICOM dramatically decreased.

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And I have made exactly the opposite experience. For me it has improved, whenever I had to use UNICOM. On top of it, your pilot client may have a radar type screen to show you other pilots, so you can see what's going on without reporting.

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Seriously, i am not happy at all with this voice-UNICOM and find it a bad idea. I use text-mode most of the time simply because i am not in the mood at all to talk when i just wake up for example on a sunday morning. It is much more relaxed to use text and not to concentrate on so many different voices i have to listen.

 

And i used to always announce my intentions on UNICOM before when there was traffic around. Now, i barelay receive any information from the surrounding traffic. I guess a few of them use voice? But since i cannot hear it, it makes no sense anymore. That why i stopped writing about my intentions as well. Not to talk about the same idiots than before that never ever announced something anyway. Since i dont want to communicate if others pilots don't rshow any respect, i now stopped announcing my intentions as well.

 

UNICOM should be text-only or it should completely be forbidden to use text. Otherwise it makes no sense at all because now the communication beetween pilots is worst than before.

 

Nah, it's fine the way it is. Here's how I handle it:

 

- Configure sim and client to dump text messages as in-sim popups

- Use voice UNICOM myself

- Expect other pilots to also monitor both text and voice

 

Alternatively, if you prefer using text yourself, just do that, and p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ively monitor voice UNICOM.

 

IMO, most pilots should be able to at least p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ively listen. If you absolutely can't do that, and you're about to fly into (or spawn in) an airspace where you may need to coordinate, you could send a text message to advise other pilots of your limitations - I, for one, would try to accommodate that, and do transmissions that I think might concern you by text.


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Right now, 28% of VATSIM pilots online are tuned to 122.800. Compliance with everyone being on 122.8 is worse now than before.


Sean

C1/O P3

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So what? When I make my voice reports on UNICOM at an uncontrolled airfield, I [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume that everyone else will listen. In the absence of other pilots reporting anything, I [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume that the runway is clear and I do my thing. If not, the others will have to learn that they are not alone on the network AND that they have to use UNICOM.

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Right now, 28% of VATSIM pilots online are tuned to 122.800. Compliance with everyone being on 122.8 is worse now than before.

This number says nothing. No reason to be on 122.8, if in controlled/manned airspace. Yesterday flew out of ENBR with TWR online. During climb I was on 122.8, then entering ENOS airspace and later EKDK with full ATC. No 122.8 needed there.

 

I ONLY use voice unicom now. Having a hardware cockpit with limited access to a keyboard, I'm not able to produce a lot of text messages in a hurry. Everybody ( without a hearing disablility) should at least be able to hear me on voice. The few, who can't, are usually very observat on what's going on on the network and rarely have issuses (to my experience).


Torben Andersen, VACC-SCA Controller (C1)

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Especially lately, there's a record amount of activity on vatsim, so it's quite reasonable to see lots of people being tuned to some ATC frequency rather than UNICOM.


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For me it's also about respect. Every pilot can report on text but not every text-pilot can use or receive voice. Since the voice-pilots don't report on text anymore, i am not able to know their intentions. So i completely stopped reporting anything as well, because it makes no sense otherwise. So the situation for everyone at the end is worse than before. I don't want to argue which is better or more realistic but to point out that it made the general situation becoming worst than before as everyone was using text on UNICOM and there was more respect. I dont like the fact to be forced to use voice as long as Vatsim offers both possibilities. So when i write a text everyone can read it but NOT everyone can receive a voice-message or can understand it (which is the biggest part of the problem by the way). This makes the new situation on UNICOM qute absurd if 30% of pilots cannot hear the intentions of other pilots . Thats why i would prefer having UNICOM as text-only. Just my 2 cents.

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I certainly can't wait for Jun 1 when the new standards are implemented for pilots! There is an argument to be made that voice UNICOM has lessened the textual traffic which can inhibit someone's ability to maintain situational awareness provided they are hearing impaired. That said, the ratio of those impaired to those not is so minute I don't foresee VATSIM making any m[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ive swings at changing the voice UNICOM. To those who think the old text only UNICOM was utilized more frequently/accurately - you need to share some of what you're on cause it's good stuff! As to the range on UNICOM being increased?! Why? I don't need to know you're on a 10nm final let alone a 30, when I'm on the ground and as was pointed out earlier, those in the air are able to communicate with 30nm separation...WAY more than enough room/time to coordinate if you're paying attention and making accurate/timely calls. Remember, ATC can squeeze you in with 3nm - pretty sure 10 times that is plenty even for those not familiar with spacing techniques. Keep UNICOM the way it is VATSIM! It took long enough to get what we have now! ;P

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I certainly can't wait for Jun 1 when the new standards are implemented for pilots!

 

Cliff, I am not sure what you are referring to. Yes, there will be new pilot ratings available as of that date but they will all be voluntary! There will be a basic knowledge test required for new members only. Nothing will change for existing members so don't expect any new "standards" whatsoever on June 1!


Tomas Hansson

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