[jhb_airlines] Re: Online Flight

  • From: "Peter Dodds" <pdodds@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2007 18:12 +0100 (BST)

I think you've summed it up pretty well, John.  The only point I would
disagree on is re VFR traffic.  VFR on Vatsim UK is growing and several
airports now open with significant VFR traffic, and they do handle the
VFR traffic correctly, because they are getting used to it.  I was
listening in at Birmingham last night and the controller made a couple of
very minor errors with a GA aircraft he was handling, compared with what
I am used to at Liverpool anyway, but that was all. 

My main theme really when putting vatsim forward as an option in this
debate, is that our club is just like JHB, friendly, almost a family,
doing our own thing, going off somewhere together, or just bumbling
around the local area as we choose, just like JHB, but all within the
vatsim umbrella.  This is possible because we selected two bases with
controllers who know us.  They also know that we bring new pilots in on a
regular basis, so they treat them gently (!).


> *From:* "bones" <bones@xxxxxxx>
> *To:* <jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> *Date:* Tue, 10 Jul 2007 02:46:21 +0100
> VATSIM evolved from SATCO. I used to control on SATCO at lot and I 
> wrote
> some of the very early sector files for them (along with Andrew 
> Espeland).
> Trouble at SATCO (politics) saw it rebranded as VATSIM - much the 
> same way
> that IVAO.AERO has evolved from ICAO.ORG.
> I moved over to VATSIM as did everyone else but a few months later 
> I rebuilt
> my PC and the software went weird - I could never establish a proper
> connection to their servers for longer than three or four minutes. 
> I gave up
> for a while but as it was the time I was working on the VFR England 
> and
> Wales scenery the period of absence extended for several years. It 
> was only
> after another PC rebuild that I was able to get back into VATSIM 
> but, by
> that time, things had changed a lot.
> The trouble was that VATSIM had grown enormously and was handling 
> traffic
> levels that were getting silly. To process this traffic the system 
> had
> become complex and procedures were incredibly detailed. In effect 
> it was
> like being at work rather than fun and so I stopped enjoying it. 
> Add to that
> the fact that the staff were  constantly asking if I'd join the 
> team and
> take up a training or mentoring position and I couldn't see any 
> future with
> the organisation.
> Peter may disagree with me but here's what I think of VATSIM. It's 
> about as
> close to real world ATC simulation as anything - that is why so 
> many real
> world pilots use it to pre fly a new route they may be assigned. 
> Adherence
> to real world procedures is pretty good - great for seasoned 
> aircrew but
> more difficult for beginners. If, like a real world pilot, you are 
> prepared
> to start off at a small airfield and learn the local procedures 
> first then
> you are likely to enjoy the simulation. Flying to bigger airports 
> or flying
> IFR requires more knowledge and so, like a real pilot, you have to 
> learn
> about navigation and airspace limitations and the procedures for 
> operating
> in these areas. It takes a while to build up this knowledge in real 
> life and
> the same is true at VATSIM - you can't learn it all overnight.
> If you are more interested in IFR operations than VFR it takes 
> longer to
> know all the extra rules and regulations. If you try to fly in 
> VATSIM at a
> level that is outside your comfort or knowledge zone then it's 
> likely that
> any errors may result in a retort from the controller. For this 
> reason users
> have reported VATSIM as unfriendly and difficult to settle in to. 
> In a way
> they are right but it is also true that running a simulation at 
> such a level
> of accuracy means there is less tolerance of errors. Look at it 
> from the
> controller's point of view - if he is vectoring in a sequence to a 
> major
> airport he needs to concentrate, and his expectation is that all 
> pilots he
> is working know what they are doing (some real airline pilots). Add 
> a pilot
> who has lousy R/T and is unsure about what he is doing and doesn't 
> respond
> correctly to ATC instructions and you can see why the controller 
> will be
> less than happy. Again he doesn't have time to help the newbie 
> because his
> workload is too high so the easiest option is to get him off the 
> frequency.
> It's sad but high workload situations don't allow for friendliness.
> I left VATSIM because it was getting too like my work and it had 
> evolved
> into a mainly IFR environment. There was little support for VFR 
> operations -
> few controllers actually knew HOW to handle VFR traffic - and so it 
> denied
> VATSIM the ability to have new pilots join in the fun and learn in a
> progressive manner from VFR newbies to IFR professionals. Peter 
> says it has
> changed but I'm not convinced that this is other than in small 
> pockets.
> Don't get me wrong. I'm not against VATSIM - but it tends to 
> support pilots
> who are aiming to learn the full procedures for correct real world
> operations. This isn't a bad thing and it can be very rewarding for 
> pilots
> who are happy to go through the full learning curve - but it isn't 
> for
> everyone.
> bones

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