A Controllers Reminder and Request

Mike Willey

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A Controllers Reminder and Request
« on: April 15, 2020, 03:41:00 am »
The current significant increase in VATSIM traffic has been terrific.  However, it has motivated me to reiterate some reminders that we should be using all the time but certainly more important than ever now.  This is my personal request and I am not pronouncing any general direction or policy of VATSIM itself, but these do make sense and I hope you will help by following them.

As a Center Controller and very active Pilot I would like to emphasize the proper way to communicate on frequency especially when there are a lot of pilots and the center controller (or others) are working top down.  The one thing to remember when operating in this mode, (much different than in the real world with multiple sectors and many more controllers) is that the one thing that the controller does not enough of is time on frequency to adequately control all of the aircraft in his/her space.  Given that that is the problem you can follow the following guidelines to help:

•   LISTEN FOR 30 SECONDS once you switch to the controller frequency before you transmit.  You will get a lay of the land of what is going on and NOT interrupt an ongoing conversation or required readback.

•   Make one call and wait some time before repeating your call.  Your call may have required coordination / communication with other controllers or some searching of the scopes to understand your call. Do not immediately assume that the controller has not heard you as your subsequent calls will only jam up the frequency and contribute to the problem.

•   Most communications from the controller to an aircraft requires read-back.  DO NOT call between the controller’s instruction and the aircraft read-back.  This, again, just adds to the problem.

•   LISTEN and respond to the controller when called.  Making multiple calls to pilots when there is not enough time in the first place is another contributor to the problem.

•   When a controller asks aircraft to “STANDBY”, do not respond with “STANDING BY” or other communication.  The reason for the request is to silence the frequency for other traffic.

These are simple rules that will help everybody.  The purpose here is not to blame or shame anyone.  I also need to remember these items when I am flying as your perspective as a pilot is much different than the controllers and you want to get the attention and response to allow you to fly in the system.  If we ALL remember these items in these busy days of high volume VATSIM traffic we will all be much more satisfied with the results.
Mike Willey - WY
vZBW Training Administrator (Retired)
mwilley@gfgroup.net

Matthew Kramer

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Re: A Controllers Reminder and Request
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2020, 12:00:24 pm »
Great post, Mike.

I would like to add for any pilots around, radio checks are unnecessary unless you suspect an actual problem. Maybe it's AFV, maybe it's something else, but the last center session I did nearly every pilot called for a radio check before their actual request.

Just make the request!
Matthew Kramer
ZLA DATM

Antony Radley

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Re: A Controllers Reminder and Request
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2020, 03:13:07 pm »
Great post, Mike.

I would like to add for any pilots around, radio checks are unnecessary unless you suspect an actual problem. Maybe it's AFV, maybe it's something else, but the last center session I did nearly every pilot called for a radio check before their actual request.

Just make the request!

Im getting quite a few hot mics lately as well, not sure whats going on there.
Oakland ARTCC - Events Coordinator

Andrew Morkunas

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Re: A Controllers Reminder and Request
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2020, 08:54:20 am »

AVIATE  - NAVIGATE - COMMUNICATE
Andrew Morkunas
Cleveland Deputy Air Traffic Manager
VATSIM Supervisor


Charles Messina

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Re: A Controllers Reminder and Request
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2020, 07:05:08 am »
Great post, Mike.

I would like to add for any pilots around, radio checks are unnecessary unless you suspect an actual problem. Maybe it's AFV, maybe it's something else, but the last center session I did nearly every pilot called for a radio check before their actual request.

Just make the request!

AMEN!

And if you're going to call for a radio check, have a little class.  Say your callsign first.  Don't just scream "Radio check" into the mic.
Charles Messina