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What's happening with the Approach phase of VATSIM?


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Good day to the VATSIM community:

 

In the hope of good dialog and not a flame war, I am writing the VATSIM community today to give some feedback regarding a few VATSIM procedures. Most but not all of the issues I will bring up relate to the Friday Night Ops (FNO), especially over the past three months.

 

I have been a VATSIM pilot for many years now, I fly for a VA, and have attended around 90% of the FNO's over at least the past three years. I think I know what I am doing, and I feel qualified to discuss the content of this message.

 

Having said that, I am increasingly aware of problems encountered by the pilot during the later parts of a flight, specifically the DESCENT phase. Specifically:

 

1. I am having to increasingly remind CTR controllers that I will need a lower altitude, or that I am at TOD when flying a STAR. A few times if I didn't chime in and remind ATC that I have to start down, I would have just kept on going. I realize ultimately it is my responsibility to have situational awareness, but I can't descend unless I am cleared to, right?

 

2. CTR has descended me to 14000 feet, and switched me to APP. APP vectors me to a downwind within visual sight of the airport, but forgets to lower my alt. Incredibly, the same controller tells me at 14000 feet to follow the traffic in front of me (6 miles ahead @210kts and 3000 feet alt) and maintain seperation! How am I supposed to do that-with a parachute?

 

3. CTR has descended me via an RNAV approach which places me in a downwind position at 6000 feet. An approach controller picks me up on the downwind and vectors me a bit later to a base to final turn but forgets to descend me. The base leg was only 8 miles out and now I am at 6000 feet and less than 6 miles to the runway. The Rwy chart says I should have been at 3000 feet.

 

4. CTR descends me via a STAR to 11000 feet. APP1 picks me up and gives me a turn to roughly put me on a dog leg base. He forgets to descend me. I get switched to APP2, who informs me "you're a bit high", and then proceeds to instruct me to descend and intercept the LOC. This occured during a localizer approach!

 

5. CTR (the sole controller) descends me on a STAR to 10000 feet. He forgets AGAIN to descend me but does rememnber to turn me onto the base leg within visual range of the airport at 10K. I end up getting vectored around for the next 10 minutes to lose alt.

 

6. The latest ATIS for the airport (I checked for it immediately prior to being switched from CTR to APP) stated to expect landing RWY 28. I get set up for rwy 28, and you guessed it-APP gives me a LOC 19 approach.

 

I could go on and on and on.

 

Most of the problems I have described have occured during FNO's during the past three months. The FNO's I flew were not particularly busy with aircraft, nor was their attention split to give clearances, etc. Most of them occured during visual approaches, but I am not sure if this is a remote issue. It seems more like a training thing.

 

Practically, the reason that these situations were cause for concern was that I needed to descend like an F15 to make the runway in time. I mean full speed brakes the whole way down. In the real world, I would have no choice but do a missed approach due to high rates of descent and high approach airspeeds. If traffic was really high, there would have been no way to slow down to correct approach speeds, even with everything hanging out. Since we are flying single pilot IFR, rushed final approaches are not conducive to proper flying either. I just wonder what's going on and if anybody else has had similar "luck".

 

I honestly haven't noticed any such problems during weekly regional flights and I have had no other issues with any other VATSIM staffed position. I just was a bit surprised with as many problems in the same phase of flight.

 

Kind thanks for the opportunity to speak and say my experiences.

 

Joe Swier

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Good day to the VATSIM community:

 

 

 

1. I am having to increasingly remind CTR controllers that I will need a lower altitude, or that I am at TOD when flying a STAR. A few times if I didn't chime in and remind ATC that I have to start down, I would have just kept on going. I realize ultimately it is my responsibility to have situational awareness, but I can't descend unless I am cleared to, right?

 

 

6. The latest ATIS for the airport (I checked for it immediately prior to being switched from CTR to APP) stated to expect landing RWY 28. I get set up for rwy 28, and you guessed it-APP gives me a LOC 19 approach.

Joe Swier

 

1. No you cant descend until told to. You have to inform ATC of any altitude changes. If a STAR says to cross XXX fix at 14k, The controller can cross you at 20K if he wanted to. Its just a reference not a mandated thing.

 

2.[Mod - lovely stuff] happens. Happens all the time. You can "expect" a runway, doesnt mean you are going to get it. Ive been told to expect 36R at Memphis and get 27 RW.

 

4. How far out where you? What was the FE? A localizer approach does not have a gildeslope so you dont have to worry about descending with it. If I remember correctly the LOC is reliable for 10NM. Im sure by the time you get close enough to catch the LOC you where low enough.

 

This type of thread should not be here anyway. If you want to critic approach controllers you should email the TA at the Local ARTCC not the VATSIM forums. Have a good day One other thing I should tell you. During FNO, traffic can sometimes reach higher peaks than their RW counterparts. So give non real controllers a break.

VATSIM Supervisor

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This type of thread should not be here anyway. If you want to critic approach controllers you should email the TA at the Local ARTCC not the VATSIM forums.

 

This thread is fine here ... he's not critiquing specific controllers ... he's raising a concern about the quality of ATC in general, and asking if others see the same trend. This is perfectly valid.

 

My answer is that it varies. You get different levels of quality ATC in different regions, and with different controllers within those regions. Events like FNO simply amplify the issue a bit since the traffic concentrations are higher, and this causes more mistakes. It's still going to vary from one FNO to the next, though. I've come to expect mistakes during busy events ... I just do my best to comply with the instructions I'm given, and if I can't (such as being way too high on an approach) I simply use the magic word: "unable". Worst case, I get vectored around for another try. And I hesitate to call that the "worst" case, since getting vectored around for another try means I get to fly two approaches in the same flight ... and the approach phase is one of the most fun!

 

Anyway, I don't think things are getting any better or worse ... it's just a reality of VATSIM, especially during events. My advice would be to expect glitches and do your best to deal with them. If you see a trend of mistakes in a given area, don't hesitate to send a note to the instructional staff at the ARTCC in question.

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

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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It's a learning environment. If you think the controller is leaving you too high or just plain forgot about you (it happens) -- speak up! Don't make him feel stupid or do it in a rude manner...but maybe he's new? Maybe he's got a heavy workload? Maybe his 6 month old just started crying?

 

Fortunately this isn't real life. All that happens is you arrive 10 minutes late.

 

Matt

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Here's another *possible* (meaning, in theory, it could happen, even though I'm a 10 hour PIC in real life and probably don't know what I'm talking about) explanation.

 

I read several airline pilot blogs and have seen on numerous occasions them describe trying to meet crossing restrictions.

 

Example:

 

http://flightlevel390.blogspot.com/2005/01/dark-to-dark.html

 

Approach clears them at 15000 feet for the 25 mile visual approach. Remember that Flight Sim doesn't match RW visual quality.

 

Maybe this is more of a standard practice. Ideal for MSFS pilots? No, but sensible for a controller looking at a (simulated) radar screen, MAYBE. Any controllers want to chime in here? Tell me I'm wrong? right? stupid? lol.

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Approach clears them at 15000 feet for the 25 mile visual approach. Remember that Flight Sim doesn't match RW visual quality.

 

 

Remember a controller is not able to clear a pilot for a visual app until the pilot announces they have the field in-sight.

Hence the word VISUAL. In the writings of the real life pilot he stated that the Airport Beacon Light was clearly visable from his location.

 

 

Joe i am sorry to hear about your problems in the virtual sky. As a S3 controller mostly active at CVG_APP i have been trained by all my instructors to have decent points through out my airspace. At ZID I have been instructed to makesure you do not have those problems. The following is how i control my airspace when online as CVG_APP. This is for Jet Airline Aircraft as they are our most common.

 

At Cincy all STAR's have an expect clearance to cross at 11,000 feet at an intersection just as you enter KCVG approaches airspace. We were trained to develope our own method, but be consistant and have most of all aircraft follow the same procedures. As all jet aircraft are handed off to me the first instructions they recieve are CVG alt, desent to 8,000 (CVG bravo tops at 10,0000), and expect radar vectors to active rwy. If we are landing 36's (most common) any traffic from the south recieves a desent instructions about every 15nm to decend from 11 to 8 to 5 to 3,000 turn and join the ILS for final. Any traffic approching from the north recieves the same instructions just more spread out as they fly to the field, downwind, and base legs. Starting with, decend maintain to 8,000 into the bravo. then turn downwind but keep them at 8,000 untill they cross the dep or app end of the east and west runway 27-9 mostly used for departures, as departure aircraft are instructed to maintain 6000 after takeoff. This leaves me at least 2,000 ft seperation between app and dep aircraft. After crossing midfield downwind desend to 6,000 and the fun part of merging with south approaching traffic. Turn base and go down to 5000. Turn 20-30 degrees off the ILS decend maintain 3000 to join cleared ILS.

 

So hopefuly this does give you some hope that it is not system wide per myself and the ZID controllers. As i am not a real life controller, human, and very busy, yes i have made the mistake of missing an instruction. I will do my best to try and get an aircraft to where it needs to be but at any time a pilot calls missed or i see that i will not be able to get the aircraft down, simply out of line you go, an apology sorry my mistake, and will reseqence for another try.

 

But please feel free to leave any feedback of myself or any ZID controller at VZIDARTCC.org any constructive critisism is greatly appriciated as this is use to make our selves better controllers. Keep in mind any hateful remarks would be addressed but would be unproffesional and look bad on the pilot leaving the feedback.

Edited by Guest

The above pertains to United States

 

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Thanks to one and all for the mostly courteous responses. I usually hate the public forums because inevitably, someone will get their dander up and argue instead of discuss. However, I prefer to discuss a point and not argue.

 

The point of the post simply was to report a perceived trend. If VATSIM wants to "bark with the big dogs" and push ultra realism (which I think is fantastic btw), then occasionally there will be issues to fix. Of course you can't fix unforseen things like a controllers phone ringing or that baby crying. Point taken there, good response. But other things ought to be tweaked to make this hobby better for all of us and how is that going to happen if nobody points problems out?

 

I try to leave feedback occasionally at the various ATC Center websites. I can't say I do that often but it has been useful when I tried that. I try to be reasonably [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ertive if I see things are going awry during a flight but I don't want to overload the controller either or come off as a wise[Mod - Happy Thoughts]. I can try to do better here.

 

As a pilot I take as much pride as the VATSIM controllers do in "getting it right". I study the approach charts, know my airplane, and respond within a few seconds to an ATC command. But poorly set up approaches from ATC only complicate the flying side GREATLY and then any semblance of reaslism goes out the window. (not to mention the fun part of making a good approach).

 

So again, kind thanks for the feedback.

 

Joe Swier

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Joe - I think this was an excellent post in terms of content and style.

 

Hopefully the controllers can all work on improving their skills. We have to remember that aside from being a learning environment, the FNO events are especially busy and stressful for most controllers.

Ian Elchitz

Just a guy without any fancy titles

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A lot of good points here, Joe. Thanks for posting... I also want to add a few comments as both a pilot and controller on the network.

 

As a pilot, I can contest to a lot of what Joe is talking about... I've witnessed it plenty. Obviously we're not going to be perfect here on VATSIM, but there is a very skewed perception of what controlling is all about... I'll touch more on this later. As far as the insanely-sounding high approach clearances mentioned, which I think are more relative to A) controllers not paying attention to or with unreasonable expectations of aircraft characteristics, or B) still in training, not paying attention to altitude, I'm not sure what to say about that other than... that's just poor control technique with unreasonable expectations from you, the pilot, to comply effectively.

 

As a controller, one thing I try to do is mentally focus on preparing for the position I am about to work, whether it be something large (SoCal Combined, LA Center, etc.), or smaller (An individual SoCal sector, tower position, etc.) busy or not busy... whatever, take the same steps every time before simply jumping in, as tempting as that feeling may be. Part of that preparation, and this is something we live almost religiously by at ZLA, is the position relief briefing (reference this here: http://laartcc.org/operating_procedures/35/Position+Relief+Briefing). This takes a few minutes to complete, and is seriously a critical part of controlling effectively when first opening a position or relieving a controller for a shift change. Following the same steps every time limits the amount of errors possible and makes the change smooth to eliminate a lot of the confusion Joe mentions here with being forgotten about and what not with descents...

 

Part of this briefing involves familiarizing yourself with traffic flows, whether relieving someone or not, I always try to check to see what the pilots are setting themselves up for, how I can plan resolutions for conflicts I may be seeing, and how to cause as few problems as possible when first jumping in for both the pilot and myself.

 

Weather is also critical, and I don't mean simply checking on the weather panel of VRC/ASRC... Aviation Digital Data Services (ADDS - http://adds.aviationweather.gov/) works wonderful for getting a quick weather brief with the tabbed format of the site in checking overall weather patterns of the area, what things are expected to do throughout the day, and what is causing any of the adverse weather conditions for the region so I can know what to expect and what I types of approaches I'll need to prepare to run.

 

The ATIS comes next... I always check to see who has the ATIS up, what fields are covered, what fields could use an ATIS (due to traffic flow/congestion/etc.). I'll then record one where necessary and ensure the correct information is included... staying up to date with ATIS is important and should work to your benefit as a controller. If for some reason I find myself falling behind with it, I will disconnect it if it's way out of date to prevent the confusion with pilots as Joe has mentioned... no point in keeping outdated information up, especially if the traffic flow of an airport has changes or weather is different. The weather conditions, runways in use, advertised instrument approach(es), and NOTAMs... straight and to the point. Keep a steady voice with it, consistent, and clear... clear being fairly important. My advise, listen to it after you record it, if it sounds horrible to you, it likely does to the pilot as well - re-record it then. Practice this while observing to get quick with your recordings. (I find keeping a word docomeent open with a guide format to "fill in the blank" for the major fields of my sector helps to keep things very consistent and quick) some of the ways I've heard people record the ATIS... only thing I can say is... wow?

 

Finally, to tie back into my first point regarding the skewed perception of what controlling is, it's not all about simply barking commands out to pilots on the radio... sure, that is what the pilot hears, but half of the job (if not more) lies within the coordination behind the scenes... what the pilot does not see or hear. Too many times I've bared witness to mistakes made due to failures in coordination between controllers (mostly at the approach level, when things start moving a bit faster with the transition phases of flight, and, additionally, when more controllers are involved, the more problems I've seemed to notice with lack of coordination). The mentality of "oh, I'll just do this and hope the next controller notices" or "if I change this, it won't matter - the next guy will just fix it" need to end. Part of the reasoning the position relief briefing was designed by the guys here really helped to eliminate these problems. As a controller, you should be thinking about it from a perspective of what information do others around me need to know. What is critical to the operations of my sector and how can the other controllers help me to make that happen. If I change this route, or can't make this restriction with this aircraft, I should probably let someone down the line know about it to devise a resolution rather than "hope" it gets caught. Coordination, coordination, coordination. This needs to be taught more on VATSIM... not sure how many times I can say it!

 

Understanding, as many have already said, that obviously people are just learning and what not being that this is VATSIM, this is a step I would recommend many facilities should take to improve upon these issues, teach your controllers how to coordinate (it's half of a controller's job, at least!), develop a position relief briefing SOP to reduce confusion... this will nearly eliminate most of the issues mentioned by Joe with getting late descent instructions, and lastly, before you controllers jump on position, take a breath, familiarize yourself with your sector, and keep a clear, steady voice while you control. And, even if you don't know what you are doing (I've been there plenty of times too) - if you sound good (clear and confident) while you are learning, the pilot is not likely to notice, and is more likely to be trusting of your instructions even if you aren't sure. The radio fright ends when you become a controller...

 

Having just completed a m[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ive research project on pilot and controller interactions (much of what this can be tied into along with Ingo's post on communications), I'll leave it with one comment I learned from the research. It's just as important for the controller to put himself in the pilots shoes as it is for the pilot to do the same. Whether it be communications or coordination or whatever - we've got to help each other to be a successful team! That applies not only in the real world, but to these exact problems mentioned here as well...

 

 

 

Regards,

 

AJ

Andrew James Doubleday | Twitch Stream: Ground_Point_Niner

University of North Dakota | FAA Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) GraduateGPN_Horizontal_-_Tertiary.thumb.png.9d7edc4d985ab7ed1dc60b92a5dfa85c.png

 

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Holy cow. That's a book ya got going there, AJ! Anyways, on the pilot side of things, in the RW we're constantly given visual approach clearances at altitudes that make the Space Shuttle approach look like a 172 coming in at full power. However, there are numerous times in the RW that approach does not give us an airspeed to maintain, and it is up to the pilot to see where you are in regards to the approach, who you may be following, and adjust your airspeed and/or configuration as needed. But descents with the boards out and the thrust at idle are not abnormal, when said configuration is not extended p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed the FAF in IMC or p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed your "stabilized approach point" in VMC (usually 1,000 feet above TDZE). Runway changes, steep approach descents, bad ATC...sounds like a normal day at work for me...LOL.

 

On the controller side, AJ brings up probably the hardest thing for me, as CIC, to organize. When we have these huge events, and we're controlling remotely, we're limited to using VRC messages, override features, and Team Speak clients, which inevitably distract us from our primary focus - separation. At live events, we also have the frantic yelling "HAND HIM OFF ALREADY" that litters the atmosphere. In some of our events, we've been using a controller working off-position as a full-time CIC, and also having [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istant CIC's in separate facilities, such as TRACON, Tower, and Enroute, and we've noticed that coordination issues tend to be minimal.

 

I think it's great that we have the ability to provide feedback so easily here on VATSIM. If you felt you were given an improper clearance, head to the ARTCC site and let them know. That's a great feature we need in the Real World. Too many times I'm tempted to tell approach "Hey, got a pen and paper ready, I have a number for you to copy" but bury my head in the sand and wait for it the next week.

Roy Evans II

ZDV_RE, C1

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Thank you AJ and Roy.......Wow, can you guys write.

 

Again, excellent points made one and all. I could not have been happier with the results of this post. It was fascinating to read the controllers perspectives and that viewpoint proved to be most insightful. You both gave alot of thought into what you wrote and I enjoyed reading your ideas and opinions. It was wonderful discussing ways to BETTER something we both enjoy.

 

I look forward to flying with all of you in the future.

 

Cheers......Joe

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1. I am having to increasingly remind CTR controllers that I will need a lower altitude, or that I am at TOD when flying a STAR. A few times if I didn't chime in and remind ATC that I have to start down, I would have just kept on going. I realize ultimately it is my responsibility to have situational awareness, but I can't descend unless I am cleared to, right?

 

You got it. Pilots responsibility. It's not the CTR's job to plan your descent, plus I really doubt CTR knows where your TOD is and all that.

 

I've noticed that it seems like some pilot expect me to know exactly where they should start their descent.

Then there are some that won't say a thing and just keep cruising at Altitude no matter how close they get to the airport.

 

 

Other than that, everyone else has said it all.

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In the real-world ZDV, controllers will sometimes, when it's quiet, ask pilots, usually F9 pilots, what kind of descent they are planning. A part of a lot of major and regional airline's operations now include steeper descents to minimize use of fuel in the descent. Even with the boards tucked in, 3,000 to around 4,000 feet per minute can be achieved, depending on weight, altitude, and airspeed.

Roy Evans II

ZDV_RE, C1

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1. I am having to increasingly remind CTR controllers that I will need a lower altitude, or that I am at TOD when flying a STAR. A few times if I didn't chime in and remind ATC that I have to start down, I would have just kept on going. I realize ultimately it is my responsibility to have situational awareness, but I can't descend unless I am cleared to, right?

 

You got it. Pilots responsibility. It's not the CTR's job to plan your descent, plus I really doubt CTR knows where your TOD is and all that.

 

But if you are not cleared for the STAR as in "Cleared to descend Via" you can't descend and I think that's his point.

Thank you,

Lance W.

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One thing I would like to point out also...

 

When controlling a CTR position on VATSIM the controller is most of the time working the entire ARTCC by himself on a normal night, when an event comes along some ARTCC's split it more up then others depending on what they think is necessary. If you were flying into a major airport in RW every possible CTR sector is manned (relatively speaking they do combine/decombine based on traffic loads but lets just say everything is open)...Kevin you are right the CTR has no idea what your TOD is nor he doesnt need to know. If you are cruising along at FL360 you will be controlled by a controller usually owning somewhere between FL240 and up (varies)...That controller can only descend you to FL240 before handing the plane off to the lower CTR sector, most ARTCC's airspace is designed so that when this takes place it leaves the pilots with plenty of time to switch frequency's and have the next controller give him the final descent on he STAR.

 

This might sound like "N1234, descend and maintain FL240" Once pilot is reaching or getting close to FL240 most likely they would say this "N123, contact XXX_CTR on 123.45" Now the pilot is on the LOW CTR freq for the area and now the CTR can give descent instructions on the STAR or whatever the case is...

 

The main point im trying to get across here is that this is not the real world and we all have to realize this from time to time, sometimes during our events traffic gets so intense that it gets way busier then a single controller would work in the RW. As others have responded just use your best judgment and have fun!!

Matt Bromback

Air Traffic Manager

N[Mod - Happy Thoughts]au FIR

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Thanks again for the responses. I wanted to respond in turn to a few of the comments.

 

Kevin, indeed I was trying to make the point that I cannot descend from an [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned FL unless CTR clears me to "descend via" or [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igns me a lower alt. I do not expect CTR to be my navigator-that's my job! I was more concerned that lately, a TREND has been that many CTR controllers don't say a word when I descending via a STAR. So that means I have to call TOD, and thats fine, but doesn't the CTR controller see my FP strip and notice that I have a crossing point restriction? It was my experience that when during a STAR arrival, the CTR controllers advised me to "descend via the Lendy5 to cross LENDY at 19K/250kts". This allowed me to descend at a reasonable ROD if done manually or via VNAV. Are you saying CTR positions are not supposed to do this? Is advising of "descend via" done as a courtesy or as a procedural item? I thought it was done as a procedure when a STAR was filed.

 

Roy, yes some RW flights are descended at high rates, but I have to question if they keep up the high descent rates during final approach segments. That was my point about not being descended in time to avoid high rates of descent at low alts. It's just very difficult to maintain appropriate speeds at high descent rates, and spacing........well forget that too. I keep adequate fuel reserves on board and so that inertia is hard to overcome, even in the sim.

 

Matt, I do not want you to think that this VATSIM pilot expects ATC to be perfect. This is a very complex business and there are numerous errors made by pilots and ATC. Again, I was referring to TRENDS. I just saw/see a slippage in the quality of the APP segments I flew. I could probably write a book on the number of pilot errors I saw during the same time too. I try not to lose track that this is for fun, but alot of use VATSIM as a RW training device, both for radio skills and piloting, and maybe some of you are, or want to become RW controllers. So I guess the frame of reference is different for all of us too. But I for sure do not expect to be controlled by perfect robots. I enjoy the VATSIM controllers too much and to be honest, in the last 5 years I have not done ONE flight with artificial ATC. I hope that tells you how high of a regard I place the controllers in.

 

Thanks again all,

Joe

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It was my experience that when during a STAR arrival, the CTR controllers advised me to "descend via the Lendy5 to cross LENDY at 19K/250kts". This allowed me to descend at a reasonable ROD if done manually or via VNAV. Are you saying CTR positions are not supposed to do this? Is advising of "descend via" done as a courtesy or as a procedural item? I thought it was done as a procedure when a STAR was filed.

 

Joe, the LENDY5 that you specifically referred to is not a 'profile' arrival. "Descend via" should ONLY be issued for arrivals that contain explicit crossing instructions (see the KEPEC arrival into KLAS, for example). The controller should not have issued such an instruction. The rules we follow as controllers SPECIFICALLY say that 'descend via' should not be used for arrivals containing EXPECTED crossing instructions.

 

Similarly, "descend to cross" is not approved phraseology, although I continually hear it used by many ARTCC's.

 

An appropriate instruction would be "cross LENDY at and maintain FL190" (7110.65 4-5-7 d). This allows the pilot to initiate the descent at any time to cross LENDY at FL190. Time and traffic permitting, it's typically issued well before a common TOD to allow for a variety of descent profiles.

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good posts joe.

 

as kieth said tho, remember theres a difference on a STAR between "cross XYZ at 10000" and "expect to cross XYZ at 10000". the first one is obvious, you get cleared to descend via the arrival. the second one just means to expect it, doesnt mean you will. if they need you higher for whatever reason, thats out the door. happens alot with the STARS into miami, none of them are profiled descents, but many pilots tend to treat them like they are.

 

same with SID's. until your told to fly it, ATC expects you to comply with whatever instructions are given until that point. take the HEDLY1 out of miami, if the tower tells you to maintain runway heading, instead of fly the HEDLY1, then we'll need you to maintain runway heading until we clear you onto the procedure. you may get told to maintain runway heading for traffic, then once you are clear of traffic you may get told to proceed direct CIMBA and resume the HEDLY1 from there. most people online get told to maintain runway heading and theyll still fly the procedure instead even on vectored departures like the MIA9 which is not an RNAV departure, people treat it like it for some reason

 

just some differences. i definitely dont doubt there are those on both sides who make mistakes. ive had controllers bring me in alittle higher then i was expecting. if its too high for me tho i use the magic words to bring me around alittle lower

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Thanks Keith and Ernesto for further educating me!

 

This is great stuff and I can surely say I learned something/s today. Now I have another job to do and that's to find out what a profile descent is! I reviewed the Lendy 5 chart and sure enough, it says "expect to Cross @FL190/250 kts. I really thought it was a hard alt crossing point. Very educational! Thank you for educating me.

 

It's amazing how much there is to learn with this hobby.

 

Cheers.......Joe

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Joe, it's my pleasure. Sharing information is what it's all about. Here is an article describing a profile arrival into KLAX: http://pilotcerts.laartcc.org/object/howto_fly_riivr1.html

 

The arrival has since been replaced by the RIIVR2, but the concepts are the same. The article focuses on how to fly it without an FMS, but in either case, it does explain the concept of a 'profile' arrival.

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Just to throw more in to the equation, just because an arrival is a profile arrival does not mean that's how you will end up being cleared. For instance, the real ZAB has been doing RNAV arrival tests that included profile descents, and quite often for pilot using the RNAV/profile arrival the center would use a standard crossing restriction that coincided with the non-RNAV arrival.

Fred Clausen, vZAB ATM

ZAB real life

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