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Messages - Tom Seeley

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News / Re: Tom Seeley retirement
« on: August 29, 2016, 10:15:23 AM »
Thanks to everyone for the kind comments. It's been a good run, six years as a VATUSA staff member, and it's just time for someone else to take a crack at it. Now I'm looking forward to being just another regular member of the VATSIM system. I'm confident Ira will do an even better job than I did, so VATUSA is in good hands.  8)

NOTAMs / Re: Away
« on: April 14, 2016, 09:30:31 AM »
Tom and I will both be out of the office on travel 15-23 April

Um, but not together. I mean, we work closely 'n' all that, but not THAT close.

General Discussion / Re: Rejoin VATUSA
« on: February 28, 2016, 07:16:27 AM »
Ah, misunderstood. I thought his account was inactive in VATSIM.

General Discussion / Re: Rejoin VATUSA
« on: February 28, 2016, 01:04:29 AM »
You can self-reactivate your account here:

If you have problems you can create a membership ticket here:

NOTAMs / vERAM Released!
« on: February 27, 2016, 12:20:08 PM »
Good news! vERAM has been released. The only recipients of a NOTAM on this were VATUSA controllers rated S3 and higher. This was considered the target audience for the new software. [Decision not made by VATUSA]

It is worth noting that this software includes a fairly considerable learning curve. Also please note that you must have a configuration file for the facility you wish to control ... like a sector file for VRC, only quite different. In most cases, that means it will be necessary to wait for your Facility Engineer to put one together, or you can possibly steal one from another ARTCC which has one available. (None at this time, AFAIK)

In the event you did not receive the announcement, it is copied here:

Ross Carlson and VATSIM are proud to present VATSIM's newest air traffic control radar client: vERAM.
vERAM is a high-fidelity simulation of a real-world enroute radar system used in many US ARTCC facilities. The vERAM client has many of the features of its real world equivalent, such as:

* Full-screen mode for enhanced realism.
* Toolbar with movable tear-off buttons.
* Movable list views including area altimeter settings, METARs, beacon codes, and check lists.
* VSCS (Voice Switching and Control System) simulation.
* Conflict detection.
* Reduced separation airspace.
* Full radar coverage volume simulation.
* Geo Maps with adjustable brightness and separate map groups.
* Top-down mode for VATSIM controllers also covering local and ground positions. (Allows aircraft on the ground to be visible.)
* Multiple display windows for covering large areas of airspace or for close-up view of terminal or airport surface areas.
* Automatic tracking of departures.

vERAM is a challenging and realistic tool designed mainly for VATSIM enroute controllers. You can visit the vERAM site to learn more and download the software at

Thank you Ross for yet again producing an intricate and realistic software for VATSIM users!

The Flight Deck / Re: Next Question: What's this?
« on: February 21, 2016, 05:46:32 PM »
Celsius. AIM 7-2-3

The chart in the 4-GEN-14 left out the legend along the left side.

The Flight Deck / Re: Next Question: What's this?
« on: February 21, 2016, 12:32:36 PM »
Yep. Pretty involved complex process for a pilot.

The Flight Deck / Next Question: What's this?
« on: February 21, 2016, 10:30:47 AM »

This is a symbol that was never on the approach plates when I earned my living flying. For reference, this one is on the VOR/DME-B Approach for Salmon, ID (KSMN).

Anyone know? (This was established by the FAA in October of last year)

Events / Re: Houston Overload
« on: February 21, 2016, 07:29:08 AM »
The link above works, but the signup process doesn't, possibly because it indicates 100% signups.

The Flight Deck / Re: Question: Missed Approach Procedure
« on: February 13, 2016, 07:45:28 AM »
Good answer, thank you.

The Flight Deck / Question: Missed Approach Procedure
« on: February 12, 2016, 11:25:31 PM »
It's been a long, long time since I did my instrument training (we're talking decades here) although I have thousands of RW hours, I have a question.

I was looking at the John Wayne (KSNA) ILS RWY 20R approach, and noticed that the procedure for the missed approach sends you to a fix with no further instructions, or a hold. That left me wondering
  • What a pilot is expected to do once reaching that fix, and
  • What does the controller expect the pilot to do reaching the fix.
There is an "alternate missed approach fix" ... the SLI VOR, with a published hold, but as far as I know, authorization to fly an approach includes authorization to conduct the missed approach, but not to leave the missed approach fix and continue to an alternate missed approach fix. FAR/AIM says this is for use when the specified missed approach fix is unavailable, implemented by NOTAM or ATC.

I'm accustomed to seeing a fix with a hold, so I'd like to know what the correct procedure(s) here is/are.

The Control Room Floor / Re: VOR Decommissioning
« on: February 12, 2016, 07:46:28 AM »
It's only a matter of time before VORs will be like coin telephones ... just a memory except maybe for a couple here and there. First NDBs, now VORs, next Localizers?

I was driving from Reno to Las Vegas recently, and on that trip I passed three VORs: Mina, Beatty and Tonopah. I got to thinking about the expenses of establishing/maintaining these facilities. Aside from obtaining the land, the actual structure and electronics, they have to build a road to connect to the nearest highway. They have to bring utilities in, with poles and infrastructure. Then there is maintenance, and possibly an emergency generator. Multiply those expenses by the number of installations across the country, and it's a pretty substantial cost.

But when the entire airspace navigation system is GPS based, I hope nothing ever happens to interfere with those satellites!

The Control Room Floor / Re: Pre Departure Clearances
« on: January 16, 2016, 01:04:17 PM »
That's interesting. I've handled route changes by sending the revised or preferred route to the pilot, asking if he can accept, making the change and letting the PDC alias just pick up the revised route. I have the impression (not proven) that the use of alias PDCs saves time and frequency usage, and allows me to multi-task more effectively.

Good point about having S1s become proficient at clearances before PDCs.

The Control Room Floor / Pre Departure Clearances
« on: January 14, 2016, 09:57:26 PM »
Great discussion tonight in the VATUSA "Town Hall" meeting relative to Pre Departure Clearances, enough that it was worth bringing it up here for further input and suggestions.

PDCs have been around for several years to the point where you can listen to a Clearance freq on liveatc and hardly hear anything. Here in VATSIM-Land, we're slowly adopting the use of PDC's, but we don't have the technology to do it the way it should be done, so the best option we have at the moment is the text alias.

ZNY worked very hard to design and implement an automated system where the departure was presented on the ZNY website and the controller could open the PDC and manipulate it as needed, then the pilot received a link to the completed PDC. That system went by the wayside due to server problems, if I recall.

At any rate, issuing a PDC via text is exceedingly simple. It isn't used for general aviation, but for airlines and corporate jets as a rule. The system that I use, along with the aliases provided to me by Michael Mund-Hoym and modified slightly, goes like this:
Pilot calls for clearance
Controller responds to pilot (voice or text) to expect PDC via PM
Controller checks clearance, route etc. just as is always done, assigns squawk
Controller opens chatbox with pilot, uses first alias, enters four items only: TYPE A/C, RWY, FRQ, DEP SID
Controller follows up with second alias, which tells pilot no need to respond unless he has a question, and to call ready to taxi with ATIS and SQUAWK only.

Even pilots who have not previously seen the process, especially European folks don't have any problems if they actually read the text.

Many ARTCCs apparently use PDCs. Some don't. Others allow it on an individual basis.

The Aliases that I use:

.PDC1 PRE-DEPARTURE CLEARANCE START | CALL SIGN: $aircraft | TYPE: ($1) | DEP: $dep | ARR: $arr | TRANSPONDER: $squawk | ALTITUDE: $cruise | APPROVED ROUTE: $route | *CLIMB VIA SID* | EXPECT RWY $2 | DEP FREQ ($3) | RMKS: $uc($4) DEPARTURE

I think ZLA uses these, or something quite similar.

The Classroom (Controller Tips) / Re: Another Newbie :D
« on: January 07, 2016, 06:59:24 PM »
Not sure what chart you're referring to, but this link is pretty complete and should help you to understand U.S. airspace:

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