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I would first like to thank the Boston ARTCC for hosting this event, from what I saw there was a lot of traffic. However there were many that had a less than stellar experience like I did. I was coming in about 20 miles out and I am told to reduce speed...no problem. Then as I was 10 miles out app puts out a notam saying they are closed without any warning...they are gone. In fact there is no ATC online in Boston...it went from being fully staffed to totally vacant in 5-10 minutes. I realize that the "event" was over at 00Z and this was about 20 minutes after but do you have to willfully disconnect when there are over 70 flights still in the ARTCC and about 15 of them on their approach. I find that unnecessary and frankly puts a bad taste in my mouth...there were a few pilots that said they had just flown for 7+ hours to arrive to jack [Mod - lovely stuff]...

 

Not the way you build a good rep imho...

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I would first like to thank the Boston ARTCC for hosting this event, from what I saw there was a lot of traffic. However there were many that had a less than stellar experience like I did. I was coming in about 20 miles out and I am told to reduce speed...no problem. Then as I was 10 miles out app puts out a notam saying they are closed without any warning...they are gone. In fact there is no ATC online in Boston...it went from being fully staffed to totally vacant in 5-10 minutes. I realize that the "event" was over at 00Z and this was about 20 minutes after but do you have to willfully disconnect when there are over 70 flights still in the ARTCC and about 15 of them on their approach. I find that unnecessary and frankly puts a bad taste in my mouth...there were a few pilots that said they had just flown for 7+ hours to arrive to jack [Mod - lovely stuff]...

 

Not the way you build a good rep imho...

 

Keep in mind that this was done with all the controllers at a central location. I believe it was in Nashua NH at a hotel. Did you stop to think that either

 

a) The hotel kicked them out of the conference room.

b) They lost the connection there.

 

If they were doing it from a hotel, from past experience, I know that a conference internet connection ain't cheap and will be metered.

 

Just something to keep in mind after some people spent money to be controllers for this event and essentially give up four hours of their Saturday.

Mark Brummett

Website owner, http://www.zkcartcc.org

ZKC Events Co-ordinator

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That makes since..didn't think of that. A note for future events like this then where there is a hard cutoff time, make it known that if you arrive after xx time you will be on your own. I went and checked the info on the Boston Tea Party and no where did it mention that the event would cut off at 2200 sharp. I say that because at every other flyin I have went to and controlled there have been controllers stick around until the traffic leaves which usually adds an hour or so to the scheduled end time.

 

I still think it was pretty [Mod - lovely stuff]py how it was handled, there could have been messages sent out saying that the Boston ARTCC was going to close shop at 2200, not that the event is going for only one more hour. I think it is safe to say that most of the folks left hanging in the air around Boston had no idea why ATC up and left with no warning. A little communication can go a long way.

 

Also I said the wrong time above it should have said 2200z not 00z.

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Their banner says 1700 to 2200, so as said above - Pilots were made aware and they chose to arrive late. Controllers have real lives also, which means they can't always stick around for hours on end after an event (which should be seen as a nice gesture, not mandatory).

 

I certainly hope a reputation isn't ruined due to controllers ending their event at the exact time they said that they would.

Alex Bailey

ZMA I-1

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Before this goes any further let me re inter ate my main point from above. There was absolutely no communication between the ARTCC and pilots that said the controllers would be leaving. Somewhere above I said that all I got was a note from the controller that said he was leaving and he was gone the next second. Fault me for my misinformed views above but there is absolutely no reason for this to happen. If the controllers knew they were going to get off at 22z then they should have told the inbound a/c that they would be closing up, not just the event would end, and get the pilots pre paired to land in heavy traffic with no ATC. That could involve at a minimum of letting us know where you were in line, I had no clue I was on top of another a/c for my entire approach into BOS until he said on unicom he was on short final to the runway I was on short final to.

 

Fault me for my uninformed comments above but like I said above this could have been handled in a much better way with just a little communication between controllers and pilots.

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I was not flying in Boston at the time, but [Mod - Happy Thoughts]uming that there was no 5, 10, etc. -minute warning by the controllers, then I agree. They should have announced that they would be leaving in 5 minutes before their log-off.

 

Not all pilots read the forum, (I had been flying around for a month or so before I started reading the forums, and I think some pilots never do because it's not a requirement for VATSIM members), so, some pilots may have been quite confused as to why all of the Boston ATC would vanish without any (or with very little) warning.

 

It was right for Boston to leave when they said they would on the forum (I respect that they stuck to their times), but it was quite tasteless for them to leave without consideration for the pilots who don't read the forum.

 

However, if they did give adequate (5-10 minutes) warning to the pilots prior to leaving, then it is your complaints which are unjustified.

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First, some facts:

 

1) We were all in the same room at a rented facility. We had a distinct cut-off time at which we had to unplug and head out.

2) The event was advertised to end one hour before that cut-off time, so that we wouldn't have to all unplug at the same time.

3) All of ZBW did not just disappear within 5 or 10 minutes. Controllers logged off at various times from the event end time until about 30 or 40 minutes later.

4) Many controllers did give warnings 5 or 10 minutes prior to logging off.

 

Now for an apology:

 

I know that not every controller gave adequate warning on his frequency prior to logging off. On behalf of the ARTCC, I'd like to apologize to the pilots that were taken by surprise. We'll definitely try to do a better job of communicating the shutdown time for future events held in rented facilities.

 

And finally, thanks very much to everyone that came out to fly during the event, and congratulations in advance to the prize winners. We all had a fantastic time and hope the pilots did too.

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

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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I think the ZBW guys should be given a lot of credit for this year's tea party. Putting this entire event together takes a great deal of time, dedication and even money. Unfortunately, I did not fly in, but I was observing on the scopes for a good amount of time. I can say for a fact there was excellent coordination and an great positive effort to make an overall great and fun event. It is never easy to put together a fly in with 15+ positions together, now imagine getting everyone on the same page in a big room probably full of talking and pilot chatter. 5 or 10 minutes... so what? Knowing the ZBW guys, im pretty sure there were a couple that never left their chair, its all fun and games, cut 'em some slack. Great job Boston!

Todd Cole

Boston vARTCC, C3

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Yes, it was a good event from the huge turn-out I observed via ServInfo. The Boston ARTCC is truly one of the most well run ARTCC's, and I don't recall ever having a bad experience in the Boston area, unlike some other places.

 

Please continue to stick to your time tables for future events as well. I wish all events in all areas would be run like that so pilots would get used to it and not expect ATC to stay longer than they claim they will.

 

But just keep in mind that not all pilots may read these forums, so please don't forget to have all controllers notify pilots with a little bit of advanced warning of when they will be logging off.

 

Non-forum readers are VATSIM members too, after all.

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As one of the first ARTCC's that has done a "Meet in person event" (Fort Worth ARTCC, 2005)

 

I can tell you that you have to get out when the hotel/facilty tells you to get out, or there is BIG Trouble. Ross even said Boston had the 1 hour backup time, for those Late pilots.

 

I have a phrase most of you know.

 

You Snooze, You lose

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Yes, it was a good event from the huge turn-out I observed via ServInfo. The Boston ARTCC is truly one of the most well run ARTCC's, and I don't recall ever having a bad experience in the Boston area, unlike some other places.

 

Please continue to stick to your time tables for future events as well. I wish all events in all areas would be run like that so pilots would get used to it and not expect ATC to stay longer than they claim they will.

 

But just keep in mind that not all pilots may read these forums, so please don't forget to have all controllers notify pilots with a little bit of advanced warning of when they will be logging off.

 

Non-forum readers are VATSIM members too, after all.

 

 

That info was also on the boston website.

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Yes, it was a good event from the huge turn-out I observed via ServInfo. The Boston ARTCC is truly one of the most well run ARTCC's, and I don't recall ever having a bad experience in the Boston area, unlike some other places.

 

Please continue to stick to your time tables for future events as well. I wish all events in all areas would be run like that so pilots would get used to it and not expect ATC to stay longer than they claim they will.

 

But just keep in mind that not all pilots may read these forums, so please don't forget to have all controllers notify pilots with a little bit of advanced warning of when they will be logging off.

 

Non-forum readers are VATSIM members too, after all.

 

 

That info was also on the boston website.

 

And again, not required reading.

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Yes, it was a good event from the huge turn-out I observed via ServInfo. The Boston ARTCC is truly one of the most well run ARTCC's, and I don't recall ever having a bad experience in the Boston area, unlike some other places.

 

Please continue to stick to your time tables for future events as well. I wish all events in all areas would be run like that so pilots would get used to it and not expect ATC to stay longer than they claim they will.

 

But just keep in mind that not all pilots may read these forums, so please don't forget to have all controllers notify pilots with a little bit of advanced warning of when they will be logging off.

 

Non-forum readers are VATSIM members too, after all.

 

 

That info was also on the boston website.

 

And again, not required reading.

 

That isnt their problem, its the pilot. Just because someone is too lazy doesnt mean other people have to go out of their way.

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That's enough guys .... the point was made and well taken. There is no guarantee that a pilot inbound to event airspace has read any information about the event (web, forums or otherwise) and that the controllers should always do their best to warn pilots on the frequency of an imminent closure. Remember that some of the pilots may have simply seen a lot of traffic in the Boston area and decided to fly that way, oblivious to the fact that there was an event in progress.

 

As I said before, we did make an effort to inform pilots of the upcoming closure, but we can always do a better job of it, and we will strive to do so in the future.

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

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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