Air Traffic Controller Discussion With a Global Perspective
By James Sandiford 1424826
#533255 I enjoy VATSIM as much as the next guy/gal.

I also enjoy simulating real life VFR ops, taking off from an uncontrolled airport, squawking 1200 and doing pattern work, VFR sightseeing or a quick cross country from one uncontrolled airport to another, staying clear of controlled airspace.

How, as controllers do you feel about such real world ops?

Do you feel it adds to the levels of realism or not?
By Steve Galasso 811389
#533258 VFR is part of the game. If you want to have a realistic environment then you have to accept the the good and the bad. The bad would include a VFR in busy Class E, squawking 1200 doing whatever he wants and just having to deal with it.
By James Sandiford 1424826
#533260 Certainly, but a good VFR pilot would either ask for flight following in such a circumstance or just pick up an enroute clearance if the traffic level were that busy.

I personally believe that VFR traffic adds to the total atmosphere of VATSIM, just as it would in real life. As long as those VFR were truly sticking to the rules.
By Joseph Jucha 1343412
#533261 VFR doesn't bother me at all! Texters that don't need to be texters, well...that's another story. :)
I wish we (controllers) could follow real world a bit closer. There is an airport in my artcc that IRW puts pattern work off to a far runway. They let you do 3 or 4 circuits and then shoo you off because it does cause issues with the primary dep rwy.
In vatsim it's all good, normally not enough traffic to worry about.
By Richard Quigley 885897
#533264
Joseph Jucha 1343412 wrote:VFR doesn't bother me at all! Texters that don't need to be texters, well...that's another story. :)...

Texters that don't NEED to be texters! Les bête noires de VATSIM.
Yes, there are some people that NEED to be text only.
There is a larger proportion that could well operate as receive only.
However, that would interfere with the sound from the Netflix/Foxtel show they were watching. (/sarc)
By Andreas Fuchs 810809
#533265 Please don't forget that we all live and simulate under different circumstances. Some of our friends here may have their partners and/or kids sleeping or napping in the same room and will not disturb their rest. I think that this is more than just a fair reason! So, although I am not a big fan of text-pilots (or rather this way of communicating!), I do accept that some of our VATSIM-colleagues rather use text, at least temporarily. I usually ask text-pilots (when they make their initial calls) whether they do have voice or not and they sometimes switch it on or actually take their first steps into the world of voice-communication. Just ask politely, don't be pushy about it. Maybe they'll agree to go /R (=receive-only), which helps us already.
By Richard Quigley 885897
#533267
Andreas Fuchs 810809 wrote:Please don't forget that we all live and simulate under different circumstances. Some of our friends here may have their partners and/or kids sleeping or napping in the same room and will not disturb their rest.

I did say NEED Andreas!
And I would include all to which you refer in that category and in addition grant some leniency to those who are not native English speakers.
Like you, I ask text only pilots if they are able to hear me on the frequency. I have a query in my alias file for that purpose.
You would be amazed at the number of replies one gets that say "My mic is broken." Indicative of their not having read the VATSIM Expectations and Requirements is the Pilot Resources Center https://www.vatsim.net/pilot-resource-centre/vatsim-basics/expectations-and-requirements-pilots and of them not understanding the workings of their pilot client.
That, IMHO, is discourteous not only to controllers but to other pilots as evidenced by the incident cited above.

To the point of the topic, I love VFR traffic - when it's OCTA! Even in the CTA it's fun sequencing a C172 doing circuits with arriving jets and maintaining wake turbulence separation!
By Robert Shearman Jr 1155655
#533270 VATSIM has, in my opinion, an unfair reputation as a network where everyone just flies airliners. There's a good amount of General Aviation, much of it VFR, moreso in the US than in other places in my observation. That being said, it's still not enough, and every bit is welcomed :-)
By Michael Pike 812012
#533275 I think there is more VFR GA flying on VATSIM than sometimes is apparent. That's because when you get outside CAS there is an awful lot of sky and small airfields to fill. The chances of one pilot encountering another one just at random are extremely small. It would take hundreds of times the number to become significant for traffic avoidance.

As a controller I welcome any kind of flight - variety keeps it interesting. We spend a lot of time learning how to control VFR traffic in Class D and integrating them into IFR arrivals so it would ne great if this happened a lot more and not just during mentoring and exams.

Bring it on!
By Chad Vienna 1195499
#533276
Robert Shearman Jr 1155655 wrote:VATSIM has, in my opinion, an unfair reputation as a network where everyone just flies airliners. There's a good amount of General Aviation, much of it VFR, moreso in the US than in other places in my observation. That being said, it's still not enough, and every bit is welcomed :-)


I've only every flown GA on VATSIM starting with a Cessna 421. After cutting my VATSIM teeth flying N5436L coast to coast a few times and becoming more comfortable in the IFR environment; I moved up to a Cessna 441 (I was hooked on Twin-Cessna's). The 441 allowed me to operate at higher altitudes (20's Flight Levels), get above weather when needed and was significantly faster than the 421. After extensive travel all over the U.S. and an adventure over to Europe; I decided it was time to again move-up to something a little faster and that can play in "Big Boy" airspace (30's Flight Levels); Where everyone has a FMC and a flight attendant to give them a shoulder/neck rub. Though I had never been a big fan of sim biz-jets; they were the next step up and would allow me to still maintain a GA demeanor and get from point A to point B a heck of a lot quicker. I found the smallest, fastest, and in my opinion the sexiest biz-jet ever made; The Learjet 23/24B ('Sinatra owned one so it had the "cool" factor by association ;) ).

'sorry got off topic.. VFR on VATSIM is fun and I would take our Bonanza or Mooney up for a flight every now again when I didn't feel like filing a IFR Flight Plan or going through an extensive pre-flight. I always filed a VFR Flight Plan as a courtesy to the controllers as well as request Flight Following. The controllers were always more than happy to provide the service (As I don't think that it was requested very often). During fire season I would saddle up a CalFire S-2 at KRNM and fly VFR to where things were getting hot. Once in the air I would contact ATC that "Tanker XX is VFR from KRNM to Xxxx and would like flight following if you can work it". By doing so it gave the guys on the scopes a heads up as to who I was and what I was going to be doing. Now THAT's a FUN time! and I never got hassled for using the callsign "Tanker". :)

I'm going take a guess that a lot of first time members are only going to be flying VFR as they don't know the diff between that and IFR (I Follow Roads) and haven't yet acquired higher skill sets. The problem is likely when "student pilots" (regardless of aircraft type) jump into a controlled environment; say a flight from Big Bear (L35) to Fullerton (KFUL).. Easy peasy until you fly into the Ontario Class-C or get a little off course and bust LA's TCA.

I don't believe that controllers have a problem with VFR.. As long as you know the flight rules.

'just my opinion