By Alex Jakovljevic 1313555
#515649 Is it possible to engage in VFR flights in controlled airspace without a transponder? The plane I'm currently playing around with is the Fairey Swordfish, which is a 1930s biplane and it of course doesn't have a transponder.

This link (https://www.aopa.org/training-and-safet ... quirements) has written, under subsection "Flying into a Mode C Veil Without a Transponder" that such a flight is possible if an ATC clearance to do so is requested beforehand.

So, can it be done in VATSIM?
By Andreas Fuchs 810809
#515650 Hi Alex,

you have to look at your pilot client: it does come with a transponder. As a consequence, at VATSIM you will always have a transponder and on top of it our rules (VATSIM Code of Conduct) say
VATSIM CoC wrote:B. Pilot's Conduct

4. Except while on the ground prior to making initial contact with ATC or upon request of ATC, a pilot should not squawk standby. A pilot should not squawk standby while flying to his destination, even when there is no appropriate Enroute air traffic control available.

So, whatever you do, you HAVE TO have a transponder and operate it. In case that you are using vPilot, there are a number of dot-commands: http://vpilot.metacraft.com/Documentati ... t-commands
One of them is to set a transponder code.
By Simon Kelsey 810049
#515656 In fairness, however, the CoC says should not, not must not, and in the 'spirit of the game' I don't see why simulating a vintage aircraft with no transponder should be an issue if coordinated with the relevant ATC unit.
By Andreas Fuchs 810809
#515657 I am just saying what us SUPs do. If I see a flight with SQ STBY, I contact the pilot and ask him to check his transponder mode.
By Daniel Hawton 876594
#515662 And I don't respond unless a controller wallops saying a pilot won't turn on his transponder because of the word "should" instead of "must" or "shall". But then again, I don't actively scan the scope and look at every target out there. As a controller, I enjoyed having no transponder guys come through as it gave a separate challenge and it's still realistic.
Last edited by Daniel Hawton 876594 on Sat Jul 08, 2017 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By Bradley Grafelman 1242018
#515663
Simon Kelsey 810049 wrote:the CoC says should not, not must not

I tried pointing that out once before (can't find the thread now), but was basically met with the opinion (from VATGOV, IIRC) that the verbs were simply haphazardly chosen and that the intent that will be considered by SUPs is "must" (or "shall" if you're a software requirement writer like myself).
By Andreas Fuchs 810809
#515665 Correct.

Don't misunderstand me, nobody will get "chased to death" for squawking standby, but they will be asked politely to check their transponders.

The main thing is that effectively everyone has a transponder available and is able to turn it on. So, why not? We are not living in the 19th century with pre-first-world-war-equipment, but nowadays everyone is able to simply buy and install a transponder - in some countries it is even mandatory (but I won't go down that road).
By Daniel Hawton 876594
#515666 Come to Alaska.. 60-70% of the GA guys have 1940s planes without transponders and many don't even have electrical. Some only use hand held radios.
By Daniel Hawton 876594
#515671
Andreas Fuchs 810809 wrote:But that does not work with VATSIM's rules, you know it 8)


Says should. So long as they aren't in airspace the requires it and there isn't a controller complaining about it.. more important things to worry about.
By Simon Kelsey 810049
#515683
Andreas Fuchs 810809 wrote:The main thing is that effectively everyone has a transponder available and is able to turn it on. So, why not? We are not living in the 19th century with pre-first-world-war-equipment, but nowadays everyone is able to simply buy and install a transponder - in some countries it is even mandatory (but I won't go down that road).


Still plenty of aircraft (mainly Permit to Fly rather than EASA, granted) in the UK without transponders and quite a lot of resistance from those operating such (mainly historic and/or homebuilt) aircraft against Transponder Mandatory Zones and the like (and let's not even get started on 8.33 and mandatory mode S...)

In any event -- why do we even have a rule on VATSIM? The average jetliner pilot squawking standby has almost always made a straightforward omission easily rectified with a message from the affected controller. Apart from that, if someone is simulating an aircraft with no transponder, has gone to the trouble of filing the correct equipment code and is not operating inside airspace where carriage of a transponder is mandatory then why do we need to over-regulate (although I know that is something VATSIM is very effective at!)? As Daniel mentions, it adds to the mix and the realism -- yes, controllers might have to think a bit more occasionally, but isn't that part of the fun?

And on VATSIM, of course, even squawk standby aircraft still appear on TCAS!
By Andreas Fuchs 810809
#515685 In this case I do NOT care about the real world. Look, when you logon to VATSIM as a pilot, you will ALWAYS be visible to other pilots and to all ATCOs, no matter what mode you have set on your transponder. This is NOT realistic at all. So why not use it, at VATSIM you ALWAYS have one on board, it is a tool that improves safety and efficiency. Who the hell wants to fly "standard procedures" when you can get a nice radar vector onto final approach? It is a complete waste of time and when I fly in the real world I usually curse at airports that do not provide radar approach control, making us waste our time and fuel in standard procedures.
By Kieran Samuel Cross 1298134
#515689
Andreas Fuchs 810809 wrote:So why not use it, at VATSIM you ALWAYS have one on board, it is a tool that improves safety and efficiency.


Whilst logged into VATSIM, every aircraft will have a transponder "on-board", as it is forced by the ATC client. Just because it's on-board, does not mean that we must simulate it. If an aircraft with no transponder is being simulated, the pilot, as long as it is understood by ATC, and they are following the proper procedures, is at no requirement to utilize it. This is backed up by the Code of Conduct, B4, as pointed out above, as it stated that a pilot should use it. The Code of Conduct does not require a pilot to use it, otherwise it would say the pilot must use it.

If a supervisor is to contact someone who is purposely simulating an aircraft with no transponder, attempting to get them to turn it to Mode C, that's the pilot's choice. The supervisor, in this case, either due to the poor wording of the Code of Conduct, or due to the intentional choice of language, has no jurisdiction to hand out disciplinary punishments.

If a supervisor was to attempt to discipline a pilot, operating in this way, then obviously something of it should be made known to the Vice President for Supervision, after the contact with the supervisor.
By Kyle Ramsey 810181
#515691 I see the internet lawyers are out in force.

The clients all have a transponder and pilots should/shall/must use it. Supervisors aren't going to go hunting for these but when they are brought up by ATC the Supervisor is expected to address the issue as a violation of CoC and so is the pilot. No member, including supervisors, are empowered to decide which CoC/CoR rules they will not enforce today.

VATSIM is designed to join ATC members with pilot members and while we do try to emulate many RW situations there are also VATSIM online adaptations that deviate from the RW. This is one of them. If you aren't here to be a members of this larger community and interact with it, why are you here?