Mode C Transponders

Owen Bliss

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Mode C Transponders
« on: December 09, 2018, 08:59:40 pm »
There is a lot of talk about realism on Vatsim lately. So why do all pilots have to have their transponder in mode-C when in the class G, and E airspace, and clear of the mode C vail? As an approach controller its more realistic when I can’t identify a primary target on my radar scope. The only thing a Mode C transponder does when in G, and E airspace is displaying the altitude, and speed of the target. I find it more interesting when I must vector aircraft around the primary targets as if It was real life.

Josh Glottmann

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Re: Mode C Transponders
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2018, 10:18:24 pm »
I always leave my transponder on when flying in the real world. There is no benefit to turn it off unless you are trying to hide from ATC. If I'm not speaking with anyone, I sure want them to be able to see where I'm at better in case they're pointing me out to someone else. I'm not really sure what realism you're trying to go for here... There are planes without transponders and I guess some people leave it off, but I'm not going to turn my transponder off just because I left a Mode C veil or entered class E airspace.

Ryan Barnes

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Re: Mode C Transponders
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2018, 10:39:03 pm »
VATSIM COC requires that pilot's not squawk standby.

COC A.B.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."
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Matthew Kosmoski

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Re: Mode C Transponders
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2018, 10:43:07 pm »
Per 91.215(c), if you're equipped with an operable transponder, you're required to squawk mode C in E, anyways:

Quote
(c)Transponder-on operation. While in the airspace as specified in paragraph (b) of this section or in all controlled airspace, each person operating an aircraft equipped with an operable ATC transponder maintained in accordance with § 91.413 of this part shall operate the transponder, including Mode C equipment if installed, and shall reply on the appropriate code or as assigned by ATC.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/14/91.215
Matthew Kosmoski
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Nickolas Christopher

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Re: Mode C Transponders
« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2018, 12:14:33 am »
Note that a Mode C transponder reports altitude, not speed.

And, if you have a Mode C transponder, use it even if you technically don't have to. Why withhold information that can make the controller's job easier?
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Dhruv Kalra

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Re: Mode C Transponders
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2018, 12:43:35 am »
Everything above is accurate.

That being said, if someone wants to simulate flying an old Cub or similar around without an electrical system or a transponder, I’m not going to go frantically go running to enforce the CoC either.
Dhruv Kalra
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Owen Bliss

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Re: Mode C Transponders
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2018, 07:00:25 am »
Everything above is accurate.

That being said, if someone wants to simulate flying an old Cub or similar around without an electrical system or a transponder, I’m not going to go frantically go running to enforce the CoC either.

This is my exact point. I got suspended for 48hours from vatsim a few months ago for flying whilst simulating no mode c transponder. I was forcibally removed from the network by a moderator that was buddies with the controller.

Rick Rump

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Re: Mode C Transponders
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2018, 07:04:02 am »
You violated the CoC, you could have requested to simulate it from the controller and if they were fine with it then you would have been gravy until the next controller.
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Matthew Kosmoski

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Re: Mode C Transponders
« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2018, 10:24:28 am »
Everything above is accurate.

That being said, if someone wants to simulate flying an old Cub or similar around without an electrical system or a transponder, I’m not going to go frantically go running to enforce the CoC either.

This is my exact point. I got suspended for 48hours from vatsim a few months ago for flying whilst simulating no mode c transponder. I was forcibally removed from the network by a moderator that was buddies with the controller.

Is that all there is to the story?  Most of the sups I know wouldn't issue a 48 for that without there being a little more going on.  Typically, you'd get a message telling you to turn on your transponder and hit the mode C button.
Matthew Kosmoski
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Owen Bliss

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Re: Mode C Transponders
« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2018, 01:02:41 pm »
I'm having a hard time conveying my point. My point is, the rule regarding Mode C transponders is slightly absurd. There is no rule in real life stating that I must have my transponder on when I'm clear of the Mode C Veil.

Owen Bliss

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Re: Mode C Transponders
« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2018, 01:14:49 pm »
Everything above is accurate.

That being said, if someone wants to simulate flying an old Cub or similar around without an electrical system or a transponder, I’m not going to go frantically go running to enforce the CoC either.

This is my exact point. I got suspended for 48hours from vatsim a few months ago for flying whilst simulating no mode c transponder. I was forcibally removed from the network by a moderator that was buddies with the controller.

Is that all there is to the story?  Most of the sups I know wouldn't issue a 48 for that without there being a little more going on.  Typically, you'd get a message telling you to turn on your transponder and hit the mode C button.

Matthew,

As far as that goes, I was flying a Piper Cub around a class delta airport in the SLC airspace. The Controller that 'walloped me' at the time was live streaming (not with my knowledge) and assumed that my intent was to mess with him. After the incident occurred I found a clip of the conversation he had with one of his friends (which was the supervisor that popped me). The controller was heard saying over the stream and I quote, "“Sign on to get this guy to go away and to make him stop flying the pattern." The supervisor logged onto a center position that he was not certed for and sent me a "ContactMe" message. I forgot to switch back to the tower freq after he abruptly signed off, and I was then kicked from the network then I received an email stating that I am being banned for 48 hours for Not squawking mode C when airborne, and Failing to contact controllers when asked to. To sum it up, the controller was working against me because I was flying a non mode transponder equipped A/C. It's not a big deal. I just feel like it's a stupid rule.

Kenneth Haught

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Re: Mode C Transponders
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2018, 01:23:00 pm »
If the information you stated is in fact what happened Owen, I would highly suggest that you send any relevant information via email to supervisors@vatsim.net so that it can be looked at for misuse of supervisory privileges. As was pointed out it is not typical for a supervisor to give a 48hr suspension for the first offense, unless the member involved is violating a major foundation of the network (swearing, harassing someone, etc), or has a significant history of similar infractions.

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Have a question or concern? Email me at k.haught@vatsim.net.

Matthew Kosmoski

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Re: Mode C Transponders
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2018, 02:48:17 pm »
I'm having a hard time conveying my point. My point is, the rule regarding Mode C transponders is slightly absurd. There is no rule in real life stating that I must have my transponder on when I'm clear of the Mode C Veil.

Reread my post about the law, and you'll see that there are requirements real-world outside of a mode-c veil for aircraft so equipped.

Matthew,

As far as that goes, I was flying a Piper Cub around a class delta airport in the SLC airspace. The Controller that 'walloped me' at the time was live streaming (not with my knowledge) and assumed that my intent was to mess with him. After the incident occurred I found a clip of the conversation he had with one of his friends (which was the supervisor that popped me). The controller was heard saying over the stream and I quote, "“Sign on to get this guy to go away and to make him stop flying the pattern." The supervisor logged onto a center position that he was not certed for and sent me a "ContactMe" message. I forgot to switch back to the tower freq after he abruptly signed off, and I was then kicked from the network then I received an email stating that I am being banned for 48 hours for Not squawking mode C when airborne, and Failing to contact controllers when asked to. To sum it up, the controller was working against me because I was flying a non mode transponder equipped A/C. It's not a big deal. I just feel like it's a stupid rule.

While in the real world you'd be exempted if that Cub was never originally equipped with an electrical system, VATSIM is not the real world.  If it was, we wouldn't need to make that differentiation.  I know you know the rules:  Choosing to ignore them, regardless of the rest of the story, is going to earn consequences.   VATSIM made the choice a long time ago to "simulate" **all aircraft** being equipped.

I'm not going to second guess the action through speculation, but if it's as unfair as portrayed, Kenneth has the right solution to address it, so I hope you follow up as he suggested.  Be sure to send them copies of the clips or whatever you have to substantiate the quote, etc.
Matthew Kosmoski
Air Traffic Manager | ZHU ARTCC
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James Hiscoe

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Re: Mode C Transponders
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2018, 04:22:17 pm »
I'm having a hard time conveying my point. My point is, the rule regarding Mode C transponders is slightly absurd. There is no rule in real life stating that I must have my transponder on when I'm clear of the Mode C Veil.

In real life they also don't have a contactme feature to instruct hapless pilots who have no idea where they are to check in. However as pointed out there are rules beyond the Mode C veil, but clearly that's separate from desiring to simulate a thing like a Cub.

I'm honestly not bothered by non mode C or even non transponder if it were one out of many with one and I've had to deal with it occasionally due to apparent pilot error or some kind of bug in their client so its actually a necessary situation to be able to handle skill wise in my opinion. You can't just argue that reality lets you do this so on the network you should expect to be able to though. The CoC has no requirement to match reality exactly. I'd personally be happy if we had a provision put into the CoC that allows non ModeC/transponder operation as a controller consent thing just like emergencies. Until then though....
James Hiscoe
Minneapolis ARTCC | Instructor | Cynic

Ryan Pitt

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Re: Mode C Transponders
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2018, 07:07:37 pm »
VATSIM COC requires that pilot's not squawk standby.

COC A.B.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."

If that is indeed the rule, the word "should" means that it is recommended, not required.