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wb5okj

Looking forward to this improved ATC in COF

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I was just thinking about some of the new improved atc features of CoF with now being able to request approaches to different airfields and was wondering if some real world pilots could remark on some of my questions as to how it works in the real world.Senerio#1 Your flying VFR and want to shoot an approach at a Class D airfield. Who do you contact for this approach? Would you contact a controller outside of the class D airfield or do you make your request with the tower? #2 Your flying VFR and make your request to shoot an approach at an non-controlled airfield and the approach or center controller provides vectors. Your still VFR correct? You would expect to get vectored to the first fix correct? Would the controller then vector you around other traffic or just to the first fix?Thanks for any input. It would be great if when you file a VFR flight you could open it with FSS and then when you contact Center or Approach for flight following they hand you off to the tower at the arrival field in the next version. I really believe that the next version will be a very welcomed 2nd release of the ATC but hope that we pick up more controllers like FSS,121.5 for emergencies and Flight Watch. I think ActiveSky RE shows that we could have a Flight Watch offering a useful service. It would be nice if unicom allowed you to order fuel and it just opens the fuel prompt. Emergencies would just allow one controller (121.5) to provide a direct heading to the closest field with distance to that field. Since you might have an engine failure theres no since in line you up with a 5 mile final just provide a heading to get there and a distance to travel with the added feature to hold all traffic for take-off (like how it works in 2002 when once your cleard to land atc doesn't allow take-offs) and since ATC might provide seperation in the next version then atc just considers you number one to land in which hold all landing traffic or vectors them fly the pattern at TPA.Kilstorm

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It would be nice to hear more about the features of ATC in the upcoming release. Changes in course for weather? Changes in altitude for turbulence? I did read that ATC is weather conscious and terrain conscious and will give vectors based on these factors. How much choice will we have as individual 'virtual' pilots?I'd just like to hear a little more on the subject. I'm used to a certain standard as suggested by my banner. Just hoping that the new FS will be as detailed in the ATC arena.Adam

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Dont know much about scenario 2, but for scenario 1, you'd call the tower before you got into their airspace and make your request. There are some exceptions to this, such as at the airport I fly out of (Westchester County - KHPN), where you call New York Approach and they sequence you before handing you off to the tower. Approach will provide vectors if need be, but most of the time they just say "cleared direct to the field." Westchester is the only airport that I've been to (not many in that category) that has that procedure, but I'm sure there are other such cases, such as at airports in class B that aren't the primary airport.xiphanopoulous

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>Senerio >#1 Your flying VFR and want to shoot an approach at a Class >D airfield. Who do you contact for this approach? Here in the San Francisco Bay area I have to contact Bay approach first. They are the ones who would give me vectors for the approach. They would tell me to switch to tower once I was well established - perhaps beyond the GS intercept.>#2 Your flying VFR and make your request to shoot an >approach at an non-controlled airfield and the approach or >center controller provides vectors. Your still VFR correct? > You would expect to get vectored to the first fix correct? >Would the controller then vector you around other traffic or >just to the first fix? Got lost here. If you are VFR you can't "shoot" an approach. This is contradiction in terms. But assuming you are IFR they normally vector you to the final approach course - so no procedure turns are expected. You really can't talk about 'fixes' because it depends on the gemoetry of the approach - in some for example there is no FAF or no IAF or they overlap.Michael J.

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Re #1)-I am sure it depends on where you are-but in my area we have two class D airports-Oakland pontiac, and Jackson, Mi. The proper way to request an approach is not to contact the tower but the controlling agency-in pontiac's case-Detroit approach, and in Jackson's case-Lansing approach. You would find all this out with readily available information and charts-or if you called the tower like a "greeny" they might instruct you to contact the approach controllers. You would tell them a "practice approach vfr"-(my first instructor stressed this (vfr vs. ifr)-gives you leeway for practicing vs. ifr where non precision on your part could end up with a phone call at the end of the flight.Re #2-Depends on traffic position etc. Could be all or none of the above depending on real ifr traffic and congestion.I have had more than my share of emergencies (call me lucky to be here or unlucky to have had them-lol). Never did I use 121.5 as I was already on a controllers frequency. Emergencies can also be quite elusive-lining up with the nearest field isn't necessarily the way you want to go. e.g.-some of mine:Gyro/vacuum out in imc-need a par approach at nearest facility with the ability, altimeter/static malfunctioning-need altitude callouts from atc, landing gear malfunction at uncontrolled field-(need a pair of eyes to check it), rough engine-need to climb as high as possible and make high approach to airport, prop overspeed-need vectors and long slow descent, alternator failure-informing atc you may not be able to communicate. etc. etc.To do properly emergencies would need a logic almost as complex as the basic atc imho.Who knows what is in store?-but it does sound like a big improvement!http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/Geofdog2.jpg

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Not to throw cold water, but I wouldn't get my expectations too high.We are lucky that any company woud even try to simulate ATC on a large scale. It calls for some very complex logic and decisions to make. I remember in Pro Pilot, all the griping and belly aching that went on with that early version of ATC. I thought it was geat,and to tell the truth, I have had some real world instructions from controllers that would drive a crazy man sane, or vice versa. :DI guarantee that in the next version one will hear griping about the nitpickinest things. I guess that's what makes it fun.

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As Geof helped me out with I meant Practice Approach. When I wrote this I was thinking about a VFR day when you would want to practice an approach espically now since CoF will offer the ability to request an approach. What I am kinda wondering is how close the the real world we can expect with this pop up filing and the ability to request approaches. One thing I disliked about 2002 VFR flying is even if you compiled a VFR flight the atc never "knew" where you were landing. So you pick up Flight Following but you never get the hand off to tower evenif you fly into their airspace. At least they could of let the approach controller say "leaving my airspace squawk vfr and contact tower on..." So with the ability to have Cof allow requesting an approach (under vfr condition for practice) I'm wonder if we can expect to get vectored direct to the field, like how someone wrote happens in the real world, or will we get vectored like crazy far away to set for a 10 mile final like how we have in a way in 2002. I'm not trying to guess what we will get in CoF because time will tell but I am trying to see how its done in the real world. However I never considered that a pilot would request an approach when it is IFR condition but they would just fly whats given or what is being used to accomidate the active. It seems that during VFR condition a pilot would request an approach like wanting to shoot a back course on rwy 6 while the active is rwy 24. Another thing is how in 2002 when you can opt to request the visual I see no difference in how you get vectored. It seems like the controller still sets you up on a 10 mile final with a 30 intercept or something to those numbers. Also when you shoot a practice appraoch the controller will ask how will this approach terminate. I wonder how CoF will model that. Kilstorm

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>>expect to get vectored direct to the field, like how someone >wrote happens in the real world, or will we get vectored >like crazy far away to set for a 10 mile final like how we >have in a way in 2002. Not sure who this someone is but you normally practice IFR approaches during a VFR weather when you fly with someone in the right seat (safety pilot) but you are under the hood. So no matter how great the weather might be you are under the hood and you see NOTHING except the panel. So of course you want to be put on a long (normal) final. There is little benefit in practicing IFR when you can see outside world. You can't log it in your logbook. This someone was obviously not correct or he never practiced IFR. So yes, you better be vectored like 'crazy'. ;-)Michael J.

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You know I never thought of it when I am flying and listening to the traffic on the radio. I am not a pilot and am working on getting my privates but I fly very often as a passenger since I work for an airline. The planes we use are Cessna 402 and I always plug in and listen to the radio. When I hear on the radio someone talking to Cape Approach wanting to practice a certain approach and its on a VFR day I never think that he has someone next to him and hes under the hood. Of course now it makes sense that he would be but when you only hear one pilots voice and its a clear day out side you get the idea that its just him wanting to practice his navagational and procedure skills not that hes sweating bullets and having someone next to him either grading him or instructing him. I've been on one of our pilots company check rides and he was under the hood the entire time so I have no idea why I thought when I heard someone asking for an approach, they would be any different. I'm sure you can simulate the hood without changing the weather with fs by just using the shift enter or backspace key so that you are just looking striaght up and seeing only blue sky no matter the roll or pitch. The whole vectored crazy thing comes from the fact that in 2002 the atc will change your heading from direct to the field to a new heading 40 miles out. The exact time the atis comes in range. Its one thing if your flying in a jet but if your in the 172 and are being vectored to enter on a downwind leg the flight takes forever because they also set you up on a long base leg. I would prefer that they let smaller a/c get closer to the field before doing this especially since all the vectors still don't seperate you from AI. So now that CoF will have improved ATC rumored to provide seperation then at least I know that I should be getting vectored to blend with traffic. Otherwise in the real world if your flying IFR and know that you will break out high a pilot could request a tight turn or a short final if the conditions allow. Hope this makes sense.Kil~

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