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Having flown online for many years and being in VA management the one issue I hear more about than any other (apart from the odd abusive user) is pilots on approach to to the correct "into wind" runway only to find another approaching from the opposite direction. Naturally this is happening in uncontrolled airspace but it is so often the cause of conflict between pilots.

Sometimes it may be caused by Vatsim METAR showing a direct or variable winds making the options for landing runway open to choice but equally open to conflict.

 

Clearly the best situation is to have an ATIS available as the landing and departure runways are invariably given. However as the vast majority or airports do not have an ATIS at any given time I am wondering if there is any way, in this day of modern technology and incredible software developments, that preferred or defined runway use could not be available to all pilots at any time when no controllers or ATIS are available.

 

I use the Vatsim charts very often which I find excellent and very clear. Where there are preferred use runways (often the case when there are parallel R and L runways at major airports) it would be simple to point this out. I have forgotten how many times I arrived at an unfamiliar major airport not knowing about the preferred runway system there and having a hell of a job trying to Google it whilst in the cruise! Same for runway rotation systems like Heathrow which those of us who know it well will always have the docomeent handy but a simple link to that docomeent in the Vatsim chart page for Heathrow would make life easier for those that may not know it even exists.

 

As for wind driven runway choice this should be simple for the pilot to decide but where it isn't I am wondering if some clever techie might come up with a simple solution that can define a runway everyone will use and display it where all can see. Perhaps a step too far right now but with what I suspect will be a large uplift in our hobby's community with the release of a certain platform shortly the problem may only get bigger!

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Tony,

I use Virtual AWOS most of the time. Occasionally I might use a Google search on 'METAR xxxx' using the ICAO for xxxx.

Then a pilot should encounter aircraft on opposing runways only if the other pilot has not used available wind conditions.

Failing all that, we should encourage pilots to announce their intentions on 122.800.

Cheers, Richard

You are the music, until the music stops. T.S.Eliot
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Thanks for the reply Richard

 

I hadn't seen the AWOS software before. It says it is only tested on Windows XP so it must have been around some years. I have Windows 10.

 

I agree I always use Unicom to announce from initial descent, through ILS to landing my intentions and in fairness most do. Unfortunately you will often get someone particularly taking off thinking they are all on their own at an airport and not looking at the messages to see someone is inbound on the ILS. Happens quite a lot.

 

Golden rule is always announce intent from pushback onwards whilst leaving or arriving any airfield.

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The most into the wind runway is not always the one that will be used for landing and taking off.

 

Reciprocal runway operations are a real thing, opposite direction runway operations are also a real thing.

 

Unicom is a place to announce your INTENTIONS, those intentions dont have to be the same as everyone else, if a pilot makes it clear that this is what they are going to do, then there should be no problems, A pilot announcing landing on 16 and you are ready to go on 34, just wait for them to land and clear and then go on your way. There is no need for unicom arguments, or constant social media/foums posts about runway selections, remember order of priority is in the air, on the ground, if you are on the ground, you give way to anything in the air.

 

Everyone has different expectations from this network, some want a real as it gets experience and will do everything by the book, others just want a place to hang out and interact and fly casually.

 

Virtual AWOS works on Windows 10, also active sky will tell you what runways are the most into the wind runway's if you look up the airport on the conditions page, its at the very bottom, they do not take into consideration any airport SOP's

Kirk Christie - VATPAC C3

VATPAC Undercover ATC Agent

Worldflight Perth 737-800 Crew Member

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Just to add: Share time estimates for relevant fixes via unicom, if available.

 

I usually announce myself with my intentions and the ETO of the final approach fix and my ETA, so everyone knows which route I'll follow and when to expect me at a defined position.

 

Much better than to argue about the "correct" runway (since the only correct runway is the one I select for my flight).

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I announce my intentions and ignore everyone who doesn't. If people believe they can simply move on and complain later on - too bad. My crash detection is off

 

the only caveat here is that you need to check the text UNICOM in addition to listening to the voice channel before [Mod - Happy Thoughts]uming the person is not communicating. Thats being said always announcing intentions is good.

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I announce my intentions and ignore everyone who doesn't. If people believe they can simply move on and complain later on - too bad. My crash detection is off

 

the only caveat here is that you need to check the text UNICOM in addition to listening to the voice channel before [Mod - Happy Thoughts]uming the person is not communicating. Thats being said always announcing intentions is good.

That's what I do. Announce via voice, monitor text unicom. And my first announcement is usually via text since I'm too far out for voice unicom to be useful.

The one via text is usually the one that includes estimates and is meant for everyone else intending to land at my destination airport.

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Right. With no crash detection, does it really matter? If two users are landing opposite runways, and p[Mod - Happy Thoughts] through each other, then no harm, no foul. Immersion might suffer a bit, but in the end, it's harmless.

 

 

I agree but also wondering what's the benefit of flying online when there is no ATC present if it's not to interact with other pilots? The sole purpose of having the flight and hours recorded for the stats doesn't seems for me to be a valid reason and in accordance with the reasons of VATSIM to exist in the first place.

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