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its already bad enough it happens on 1 frequency. pilots stepping on each other on 2 or more frequencies at the same time is nuts …

 

Actually, there is no practical difference between the two. People stepping on each other on frequency comes from understaffing and network delays, and has nothing to do with the number of frequencies used.

 

No.. People stepping on eachother comes from too many pilots not waiting for an open moment when they know for sure that another pilot or controller won't say anything before calling out on the frequency. Same exact thing that happens in the real world. Has nothing to do with delays or understaffing.

 

BL.

Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

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Here's my view...

 

Yes, multiple frequencies should be able to be used, but only in cases you REALLY need them.

 

I.E. I'm on IAD_APP (Potomac Approach - SHD Area) and DCA_APP (Potomac Approach - MTV Area) is on. If DCA_APP signs off and he has a lot of traffic on his frequency, I should be able to set his frequency to be primary as well and work the two frequencies. If another signs off, I feel it would be necessary. Once all the traffic has cleared from one sector, close the frequency. Soon enough you will (should) be back to your original. You can do the call signs on the ATC Voice Channel, which (and I'm NO expert here) should allow you to have mulitple frequencies.

 

Thoughts?

 

JM

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You CAN work on multiple frequencies. I've done it often when I'm working an approach position and then move up to take center.

 

If I am relieving a center then I hand them all off to his freq, move up, get a brief, and we're done, but that is not what I'm talking about.

 

Sometimes the guy above you poofs out (for whatever reason). If I don't see him back for 5-10 mins I'll simply move up to that position and use his frequency as my primary. Then I'll also keep my approach frequency open. Eventually everyone will be on my primary, but for the most part I'm able to have multiple frequencies open without an issue.

 

I'll also do the same if working a radar position and my tower signs off. Rather than have them all call me on the new frequency, I'll keep his frequency open to reduce confusion.

Ian Elchitz

Just a guy without any fancy titles

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i usually do that aswell if a controller below me disappears and im already monitoring or if a controller needs to step away for a few ill take over the comms on theyre channel until they return.

 

if the controller disconnects tho, youll only keep the pilots already on his channel. any new pilots in the area wont see the channel as active and wont be able to join the voice channel. least thats how its been when ive done it on vrc.

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A few months ago, Jared Shure and I did a little experiment. In this experiment we took a controller, myself, and Jared. Jared got in a plane and switched to one of our controllers frequencies... we had that controller log off while I was controlling using my frequency and his. When he left, Jared was able to hear me and I was able to hear him for about 10 seconds and then the channel disconnected. We were told that this was a pilot client issue and it was on the "to-do" list for a later date.

 

JM

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I had to Edit my original post, first point already made by Dan Everette in regard to pilots stepping over eachother on multiple frequencies

 

"Things need to be hyper-realistic, and it has to be done this way, because that's how it's done in the real world" in one thread, and in another thread the comments are along the line of "Relax, things need to calm down, this is a game and people are not going to die if you don't do things right all the time".

 

Thats me! It's OK to call me out, you won't hurt my feelings if you would have read my original post in this forum it starts with "my technique". A personal VATSIM only technique. A technique that I don't train controllers on. A technique that I don't force upon others. A technique that I use that keeps me working like I'm busy all the time. Which again brings me back to my question that has yet to be commented on for debate ---

 

Why not let the decision on how realistic you want to be lie in the hands of the individual controller?

 

This is a hobby, it is what you make of it. You don't need ultra-realistic policies in writting... have the basics in writting and then let the controllers themselves decide how they want to work the airspace. Maybe I'm sounding unreasonable?

Nick

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Why not let the decision on how realistic you want to be lie in the hands of the individual controller?

 

This is a hobby, it is what you make of it. You don't need ultra-realistic policies in writting... have the basics in writting and then let the controllers themselves decide how they want to work the airspace. Maybe I'm sounding unreasonable?

 

That works, to an extent... but pilots will come to expect a certain level of skill and realism from the controllers. If they stop getting that excellent service on a consistent basis, they will probably find somewhere else to fly.

 

I think it comes down to technique vs. procedure. Each controller's technique (how they work the airspace, prioritize, etc) is different, and that's a good thing. It lets us show our personalities and do the things that work well for us. There should be room for controllers to put their own technique on things.

 

Procedures however, need to be set in writing and they need to be realistic so that we set a consistent and high standard of service. While it's perfectly ok for controllers to use their own technique doing it (for example, how to vector in the Las Vegas TRACON), they still must follow a written, realistic procedure (for example, using the correct runway flow, and departure/arrival gates, as well as coordinating properly with adjacent sectors).

Jim Johnson

VP - Membership (VATGOV12)

j.johnson(at)vatsim.net

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You CAN work on multiple frequencies. I've done it often when I'm working an approach position and then move up to take center.

 

If I am relieving a center then I hand them all off to his freq, move up, get a brief, and we're done, but that is not what I'm talking about.

 

Sometimes the guy above you poofs out (for whatever reason). If I don't see him back for 5-10 mins I'll simply move up to that position and use his frequency as my primary. Then I'll also keep my approach frequency open. Eventually everyone will be on my primary, but for the most part I'm able to have multiple frequencies open without an issue.

 

I'll also do the same if working a radar position and my tower signs off. Rather than have them all call me on the new frequency, I'll keep his frequency open to reduce confusion.

 

Ian, curious what client you are using. I tried that same thing during an event, and the non-primary frequency disappears and kicks all the pilots out of the voice room on that frequency. What that in ASRC or such?

Bryan Wollenberg

ZLA!

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its already bad enough it happens on 1 frequency. pilots stepping on each other on 2 or more frequencies at the same time is nuts …

 

Actually, there is no practical difference between the two. People stepping on each other on frequency comes from understaffing and network delays, and has nothing to do with the number of frequencies used.

 

It actually does make a difference. The same thing happens when you get VHF guys stepping on UHF guys and UHF stepping on VHF, etc. They can both hear the controller, but can't hear each other. We actually get the same thing rw based on aircraft locations. On one side of the mountains, we'll get VFR guys and other low-flying folk coming in on one radio site, and the big jets on the others. Both step on each other, but can't hear each other at all.

Bryan Wollenberg

ZLA!

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No.. People stepping on eachother comes from too many pilots not waiting for an open moment when they know for sure that another pilot or controller won't say anything before calling out on the frequency. Same exact thing that happens in the real world. Has nothing to do with delays or understaffing.

 

On VATSIM, it comes mostly from both network delays and understaffing.

 

While traffic is much lower on VATSIM than it is in real life, it can still become quite high for a single controller, and inevitably time runs short on frequency and people step on each other.

 

Network delays for voice can exceed half a second, which is considerably greater than the time that people naturally wait before speaking, and this causes people to step on each other on frequency. It's the same problem that used to afflict long-distance telephone calls in the old days when they were often carried by satellite instead of land lines (satellites produced very long delays as well).

 

Overall, I hear far more simultaneous transmissions on VATSIM than I hear on LiveATC.

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I had to Edit my original post, first point already made by Dan Everette in regard to pilots stepping over eachother on multiple frequencies

 

"Why not let the decision on how realistic you want to be lie in the hands of the individual controller?"

 

If there aren't some guidelines though then it gets real interesting when more than just that one controller is online. It could quickly turn to chaos. By having things defined a certain way then everyone is on the same page when someone logs on a position adjacent, above or below them in the structure. The process will be consistent for both pilots and controllers all the time. Although I agree there are ways to put our own personality in to the way we control and that can be very beneficial as long as it is within some sort of a structure.

Kevin Henderson

Anchorage Air Traffic Manager

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Thats me! It's OK to call me out, you won't hurt my feelings if you would have read my original post in this forum it starts with "my technique". A personal VATSIM only technique. A technique that I don't train controllers on. A technique that I don't force upon others. A technique that I use that keeps me working like I'm busy all the time. Which again brings me back to my question that has yet to be commented on for debate ---

 

Why not let the decision on how realistic you want to be lie in the hands of the individual controller?

 

This is a hobby, it is what you make of it. You don't need ultra-realistic policies in writting... have the basics in writting and then let the controllers themselves decide how they want to work the airspace. Maybe I'm sounding unreasonable?

 

So when you sent us the real world XXX/XXX LOA at the facility you work for in real world, asking us to use it because you were tired of all the coordination you were having to do between CTR and APP on VATSIM... that was a mistake? Just curious.

 

I don't think I'm following what you're trying to say, which is why I'm asking.

 

[Edited 11/19/08 on request, GM, 830104]

[Edited 11/19/08 for ND, EE, 856101]

Edited by Guest

-Dan Everette

CFI, CFII, MEI

Having the runway in sight just at TDZE + 100 is like Mom, Warm cookies and milk, and Christmas morning, all wrapped into one.

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No.. People stepping on eachother comes from too many pilots not waiting for an open moment when they know for sure that another pilot or controller won't say anything before calling out on the frequency. Same exact thing that happens in the real world. Has nothing to do with delays or understaffing.

 

On VATSIM, it comes mostly from both network delays and understaffing.

 

While traffic is much lower on VATSIM than it is in real life, it can still become quite high for a single controller, and inevitably time runs short on frequency and people step on each other.

 

Network delays for voice can exceed half a second, which is considerably greater than the time that people naturally wait before speaking, and this causes people to step on each other on frequency. It's the same problem that used to afflict long-distance telephone calls in the old days when they were often carried by satellite instead of land lines (satellites produced very long delays as well).

 

Overall, I hear far more simultaneous transmissions on VATSIM than I hear on LiveATC.

 

Not to say that you're wrong, because it might be a VATSIM thing, but the same exact situation happens in the real world, and it's because pilots are also in a rush to get in and out of airports. Planes taxiing to/from gates don't generate revenue; they generate revenue when they're en route from destination to destination (that is up for another debate, separate to this thread).

 

But have a listen to any ground control frequency, or an approach frequency that is continuously busy (LAX Tower/Ground, Boston Approach, or Las Vegas Approach are ideal), and you'll hear pilots stepping on eachother all the time, while a controller is trying to get his calls out. If the pilots (both RW and VATSIM) waited until there is an open moment on the frequency, there wouldn't be that much stepping on.

 

BL.

Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

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So when you sent us the real world XXX/XXX LOA asking us to use it because you were tired of all the coordination you were having to do between CTR and APP on VATSIM... that was a mistake? Just curious.

 

I don't think I'm following what you're trying to say, which is why I'm asking.

 

 

 

Now to address your point. Yes it was a mistake, and the way I relayed that information was in a very arrogant and cocky manner. I think at some point everyone is entitled to change thier views on a topic. I wholeheartidly have. I look upon VATSIM as a hobby and some might say thats a biased opinion. A hobby that in some instances resembles the real world. I belive that keeping things simple is means to keeping things fun. When you throw in hard-core super realistic procedures and make people abide by them its not that fun anymore. I have guilty of doing this myself on many occasions. I still feel that if individuals want to develop more realistic techniques... thats fine, thats OK, but don't force them down someonelses throat.

 

The approach position you mentioned, I kindly ask the center controller for a certian fix at a certian altitude. If they dont want to do it, or the pilot can't do it. who cares? At least the position is staffed. Someone flew into a different airport and hopefully I aided their entertainment experiance in the pilot having fun thus resulting in a positive outcome for both parties.

 

It's a change in my personal attitude toward VATSIM: I could give an example during the MSP FNO.... Chicago was sending me quite a few approval requests, I approved all of them. I aided that center controller in making his experiance realistic for him.

Edited by Guest

Nick

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The approach position you mentioned, I kindly ask the center controller for a certian fix at a certian altitude. If they dont want to do it, or the pilot can't do it. who cares?

 

It sounds like in this case you weren't very busy so the non-standard altitude wouldn't have been a problem. So what happens when you really, actually, need another controller to do something that is considered "standard" and they refuse to do it because "the SOP/LOA doesn't say I have to"?

 

It's a change in my personal attitude toward VATSIM: I could give an example during the MSP FNO.... Chicago was sending me quite a few approval requests, I approved all of them. I aided that center controller in making his experiance realistic for him.

 

You saying you don't think APREQs are a necessary thing for VATSIM controllers to know?

Jim Johnson

VP - Membership (VATGOV12)

j.johnson(at)vatsim.net

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It sounds like in this case you weren't very busy so the non-standard altitude wouldn't have been a problem. So what happens when you really, actually, need another controller to do something that is considered "standard" and they refuse to do it because "the SOP/LOA doesn't say I have to"?

 

Alright.. I didnt clarify enough again.. say that normally in the realworld aircraft is routed over and is [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned to cross fix ABCD at 7000. On VATSIM the pilot didnt file that fix in thier route. I have requested from the center controller if they could have N12345 go direct ABCD and cross at 7000. If the controller doesnt want to do it, or the pilot can't do it. No big deal. It's VATSIM.

 

You saying you don't think APREQs are a necessary thing for VATSIM controllers to know?

 

No, I guess what I'm trying to get across is that I approve everything. I let the pilots do whatever they want so long as it doesnt disrupt other people on the network.

 

 

I apologize for stirring the pot and I'm going to stay in my sandbox from here on in.

Nick

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Nick IMO in your scenarios, thats more about adapting to the situation. if a controller has a cow because someone doesnt have a certain fix or cant make the descent by the time they reach the fix, then they really need to look back and consider if doing ATC is right for them at all adapting to new situations is apart of what you'd deal with even in the real world.

 

if someone doesnt have a fix, ill either vector them in the general direction until i givem new vectors or ill givem another fix. if a pilot isnt able to meet the altitude requirement, no biggy, if i have to, ill pull them off whatever arrival theyre on and vector them for theyre descent, if not ill let them continue on the arrival. if theyre REALLY high and vectors wont accomplish anything in time then ill hold them while they descend.

 

if a controller fails to adapt to a situation youll quickly start to see them making error, after error the minute they get that first odd request.

 

i think one thing we can all be happy about is we WONT get any phone calls in the middle of the night from neighbors complaining about that 747 that just flew over their house at 500ft at 1:00am

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its already bad enough it happens on 1 frequency. pilots stepping on each other on 2 or more frequencies at the same time is nuts …

 

Actually, there is no practical difference between the two. People stepping on each other on frequency comes from understaffing and network delays, and has nothing to do with the number of frequencies used.

 

That is incorrect. Multiple frequencies significantly increases the likelihood of pilots stepping on each other. Brad mentioned it when he brought up VHF/UHF. The reason is because when all pilots are on the same frequency, they have two criteria that indicate when they can safely start a transmission:

 

1) The frequency has been quiet for at least a few seconds.

 

2) Neither a pilot nor the controller has just made a transmission that normally triggers a response.

 

When pilots are split across multiple frequencies, neither of those criteria are available. Just because the frequency that the pilot is on is quiet, doesn't mean the other frequencies that the controller is on are quiet. And, since the pilots can't always hear each other, they cannot know if another pilot has just made a transmission that the controller is about to respond to.

 

Just like in the real world, having a controller open multiple frequencies on VATSIM can really only work when those frequencies are not busy.

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

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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You CAN work on multiple frequencies. I've done it often when I'm working an approach position and then move up to take center.

 

I just want to make sure everyone realizes that there is an important difference between covering someone else's frequency and opening multiple frequencies for yourself. When you cover someone else's frequency (after they have disconnected), then that frequency is NOT shown in the list of online ATC seen by pilots in their pilot program. Only your primary frequency is shown. So pilots that are already on that frequency (the frequency that you just began covering) can talk to you, but that's it ... no *new* pilots can join that frequency.

 

Also, as was alluded to in earlier replies, depending on the pilot client each pilot is using, they may get dropped from the voice channel after a short delay, after you begin covering their frequency. This is because the pilot client sees that there is no longer a controller that has that frequency as their primary, and thus disconnects from the voice room. This problem was brought up with the pilot client developers, but the issue still exists. That's why you can cover a controller when he steps away for a bathroom break, etc., since he is keeping his connection online, which keeps all the voice connections active. However, you can't reliably cover a frequency for a controller that actually disconnects from the network. Again, *not reliably* ... it does work for some pilots, depending on the pilot software they use.

 

"Opening" multiple frequencies is a very different thing, and it is 100% impossible on VATSIM, due to limitations in ATC client software, pilot client software, and the network server software. (In other words, limitations in the VATSIM networking protocol.) Opening multiple frequencies, so that any pilot could tune any of those frequencies and be connected to you via voice, would require the ability for a given controller to select *multiple* primary frequencies, and the server would have to store and p[Mod - Happy Thoughts] that list of frequencies on to each pilot entering that controllers range. (Currently the server only knows about ONE frequency per controller.) And the pilot clients would have to be able to show more than one frequency per callsign in their controller lists.

 

For example, at my local airport, KBTV, they often have one guy covering TWR and GND (there is no DEL frequency at KBTV), so when I hop in a plane and want to get a clearance, I tune 121.9, and I get the same guy that I would get if I was switching to TWR and tuning 118.3 at the hold short ready for departure. We have no way of simulating this on VATSIM. If I'm on VATSIM and I'm covering TWR and GND, I'd have to set 118.3 as my primary, and that's all that pilots would see in their controller lists. If a pilot tuned 121.9 for clearance, he would not be connected to me on voice.

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

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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