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does anyone find that some controllers can be short tempered/rude if you mis hear an instruction? am new to vatsim and enjoy my flying in VR but i think when your kinda new they should give you a bit of slack even though i put in the remarks section in my flight plan am new. 

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Hi David,

in an ideal world we all should be patient and understanding with each other. Well, our world is not ideal, so someone might have had a few "special pilots" already and then you connected and misunderstood or missed an instruction or two. Also, some context may be important: as a newbie it might not be a great idea to connect at a busy airport, but rather begin your career at smaller/less busy airfields with ATC. Chances are that the controllers will then have more capacity to correct your calls and explain some things. If it is really busy, 2 or 3 new pilots can really max out a sector and other pilots might suffer by receiving late instructions.

But in the end there's no excuse for being rude. Short tempered, well, see my explanation above.

Edited by Andreas Fuchs
typos...
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Andreas is, as usual, spot on.

I thought I would add one other point, though.  Much like the real world, at least in the USA, though I imagine that all of the global clients are similar, controllers don't initially have any visibility into what you put into your flight plan comments.  They don't know, and they don't necessarily care, at least initially.  They have to consciously go looking for your flight plan comments.  When you're one controller working 16 aircraft to 4 different airports, that's certainly not a given.  I will go looking for such flight plan comments when, particularly when busy, I come across a blatantly challenged and/or inept pilot.  Usually there are healthy doses of 1. patience and 2. helpfulness included first, and if things don't suddenly get better, I'll look for your flight plan comments to see if you're a newbie.  That will come faster if it's slow, or may come later if it's busy.  So I do agree that including those comments in your flight plan can be helpful, please don't expect those comments to turn your radar tag pink and heart-shaped. 🙂 🙂 🙂   On this network, *most* (but not all) controllers automatically assume a certain level of competence, and try to determine root cause and appropriate corrective action if that level of competence is not displayed.  That's particularly true since there are *SO MANY* training resources available to you prior to connecting, never mind prior to attempting flight in busy airspace.  

There is a fine line between being rude, and having an initial expectation of a certain level of competence trashed and providing "firm feedback".  Most controllers I know, hopefully myself included, are professional (acting, even if we don't get paid for this in real-life), very much dedicated to and passionate for the success of the network and all of its members, and helpful, but can occasionally provide short, targeted constructive feedback when busy/stressed.  Please don't automatically assume rude, and please try to keep all of the above in context. 

I wish you safe and enjoyable flights to come!

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Don Desfosse
Vice President, Membership

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Also -- don't take it personally if you mess up and get called out.  Speaking as a Tower controller, if you land on the wrong runway, then taxi across another runway without permission heading into the terminal, I'm definitely going to tell you -- and I may not have time to preface it with a lot of softening language.  I'm telling you because you need to know you messed up and should try not to mess the same thing up next time -- but even if I'm a bit short, that doesn't mean I'm mad.  Learn from your mistakes, try again next time, and instead of repeating them, make all new mistakes instead.  It may take a handful of flights before you can get through one without an admonition on something, but, you'll consider it a fine accomplishment once you do!  There's a lot to learn here, and we're blessed that we can do so the hard way without hurting ourselves or bending any metal. 

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Cheers,

-R.

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I wish to thank all who has replied and i will take on board your advise, and some good education there also. i guess be thicker skinned and learn from it. well am going to jump in my Airbus in VR and have some great flights. Happy flying to you all.

kind regards

David 

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Like our friend David Wilson, I am also new to Vatsim -- but I'm fascinated with the system and hope some day that I can navigate it like other pilots whom I encounter on-line.  That said, I thought it might be fun and instructive to recount some of my many mistakes and challenges, perhaps to get comments from the veterans here and guidance on how to do better:

  • My biggest challenge has been to understand and comprehend instructions that are not pre-ordained in the flight plans I file.  Often controllers will provide unexpected departure routes, transitions and STARS.  While I try to keep my Navigraph page up so that I can find those data points, more or than not I need to have them repeated or spelled out.  This has been compounded by the fact that at times my MCDU does not have the same data, so for example, I cannot find a SID.  The problem can be especially acute on arrival.  Invariably, I get a different runway, STAR and/or transition that the ones mapped out in Navigraph.  I feel like a clown trying to fly the aircraft, while searching for new coordinates in the MCDU.
  • At the beginning of my "internship,"  I could not taxi correctly at all.  That's when I signed up for Navigraph, so that I could get good airport charts.  It has helped, but I still find myself on the wrong taxiways at times.  To the credit of ground controllers, they have been very nice in giving me the necessary corrections.
  • I fly the A320 and A330 fairly often when I am using VATSIM.  But the models have a couple of real challenges in terms of setting  autopilot altitude and autothrottle in that the dials tend to spin.  I have moved to keyboard strokes for altitude and it helps.  But a similar problem in dialing COM frequencies doesn't seem to have a keyboard solution (and in the two Airbus models, it is very hard to see the COM settings to begin with).  This leaves me flailing to change frequencies, especially on approach.  And lately, the Approach Hold on the aircraft doesn't seem to be working, forcing me to hand fly from fairly high altitudes and of course mess up my VATSIM while distracted.
  • I've made plenty of other mistakes -- failing to realize that when I engaged the autopilot, I would navigate to my departure, when the tower had told me to stay on runway heading; inadvertently crossing a runway without permission, etc.

Will appreciate any feedback.

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These are all overcome with practice and familiarity.  Remember that the real world has these things crewed by two people with hundreds or thousands of hours of experience, and countless hours of classroom and sim time on top of that. 

One thing that helps me with radio frequencies is to listen out for what the guy in front of me is given and dial that in to the standby frequency when I have a free second - -- because I may not have that free second, later, when I'm given the handoff.

Some preflight prep helps with waypoint familiarity, too.  Make sure you glance through the charts for your SID and STAR -- not just for the critical instructions (like an initial heading, or that initial level-off altitude so many new pilots miss), but to get a sense of the waypoint names you might hear, in case you get shortcutted to one further down the line.

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Cheers,

-R.

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13 hours ago, Peter Rodgers said:

But a similar problem in dialing COM frequencies doesn't seem to have a keyboard solution (and in the two Airbus models, it is very hard to see the COM settings to begin with).  This leaves me flailing to change frequencies, especially on approach.

There is a quick way round this problem (that a great many have at first), in the text box you can type .com1 xxx.xx then Enter to change frequency (obviously where the xxx.xx is the new frequency). Not terribly realistic but it does the job while flapping around as a new boy.(Note the . on the front!)

There are other Dot Commands you can use in the text box if struggling, for example .x XXXX  to change your squawk code.

Bill Casey

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17 hours ago, Robert Shearman Jr said:

One thing that helps me with radio frequencies is to listen out for what the guy in front of me is given and dial that in to the standby frequency when I have a free second - -- because I may not have that free second, later, when I'm given the handoff.

I'd second that.   Also, before you call ATC take a bit of time and listen to what he/she is saying to other pilots and what their clearances are.  That may give you some idea what to expect.

Edited by Andrew McCabe

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