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Guest wisesteward

Proper use of Unicom frequency

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I was flying Winnipeg to Vancouver and there were no controllers on at the time during the entire flight. In preparing to land I announced to "Vancouver Traffic" via unicom my position, altitude and STAR / Runway. Shortly after that I was sent a message by a controller in England (a tower position) that it was improper to use Unicom to announce intentions. I replyed that I had read the Vatsim training documents and listened to numerous other pilots but I am still new and would he tell me the proper use of the Unicom frequency. He replied but my squawkbox connection was lost just at that same time and I missed all of it including the rational except him starting to say that only text was the proper way to announce intentions. Please comment and let us newbies know the proper use of the Unicom frequency when there are no contollers. Thanks, Jerry.

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Jerry,Text is definitely the way to go whem announcing your intentions in uncontrolled areas. When making critical announcements, such as, when entering a runway for takeoff or making your approach for landing, it is most important that your message be seen by everyone in the area, including those that are text only. There is no official voice UNICOM on VATSIM, and the only real purpose the existing one should serve, is maybe to check your comms. It is *way* overused, for now anyway, by many pilots who seem to like to announce everything from what runway they are departing to what color socks they are wearing at the time, but this is wrong, and can at times be very distracting. I can also go one step further, in my case. First, I have voice capability. Many flights I fly will begin in controlled airspace and end in uncontrolled airspace. When leaving the controllers airspace that I originate form, the only thing I do is switch my radio freq. to 122.8 to allow me to recieve UNICOM text messages. I DO NOT switch my voice channel, unless I have another CONTROLLER to switch over to, I just turn down the volume on my headset and proceed while monitoring text. In this situation, we both are voice capable, but I would not hear you UNLESS you use text.Finally, and this is completely a personal opinion, use of the voice channel for UNICOM announcements is really annoying, lol, mainly because unlike text UNICOM, the voice channel has no range limits. When you make an announcement on voice UNICOM, the whole "world" hears you. There is no reason, while flying over southern Florida, I need to hear what you are doing in western Canada. There is no reason the UK controller should have to either. See what I mean ? On text, the range is limited so that only those a/c in range of you will get your message. I hope this helps, and please forgive me if I come off a little grumpy on the topic, it's kind of a sore spot for me, lol. At the very least, if you "must" make your voice announcements, please follow them up with a quick text message for the benefit of those who may not be monitoring the frq., like me, and for those that may not have voice capability at all.

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Yes, that's why I leave the voice channel while on UNICOM. Voice UNICOM has no use because it has no proper range limit.

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