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What about VATSIM?

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I'm curious if anyone knows if a more user friendly version of VATSIM might be on the horizon soon? I really love the concept of VATSIM, but I find it takes forever to get it set up. Also I find the learning curve to get all of the different applications working together can be a bit akward.As well, i'm wonding why none of the programming guru's out in the community have come up with a basic FS server that works like a napster/gnutella network. I think it would be fantastic to have a dynamic web of servers that would help make one gigantic ATC/voice/online community.Any comments are welcome!

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David:You've hit on what I find is the most annoying thing about VATSIM. I too think it's a great idea, and find myself coming back over and over again to give it one more try, only to be infuriated by having to type to the tower or approach controller in busy airspace like KORD on final in IMC conditions, and then getting reprimanded for not responding in a timely fashion. Je-sus. It's just not worth the setup hassle, I agree. When I see that they've gone to "all voice" I'll be sold. The other thing I've been looking for is a relatively short hop between to ATC controlled destinations operating with all voice controllers, and sticking with that when I'm in the mood for the setup headaches of VATSIM. I f you know of such a route, let me know. Regards, http://www.expedia.com/pubspec/images/airlines/smNW.gifAlex ChristoffN562ZMinneapolis, MN

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I could not agree more,I have flown many, many hours on vatsim network but finally have given it up in favour of offline flights.I found the abuse and sheer nastiness toward some newer pilots from controllers especialy in a certain European country was absolutely to me, unbelievable.Why oh why does the control freak and elitist attitude have to creep into something that is supposed to be there for relief!Sorry for the bad attitude but someting will need to give hereLiam

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Liam:Wow, that's terrible. I have not experienced that for myself, but you're right it's not worth it. I think pilots are drawn to the skies, virtual or otherwise, to in a sense escape - gravity, the stress of life on the ground, control, etc. It's not appealing to have to jump through the complex software hurdles one has to master to set up for VATSIM, and then to be exposed to that kind of attitude.Well, I better stop. We don't want to fan any flames here.Goodday!http://www.expedia.com/pubspec/images/airlines/smNW.gifAlex ChristoffN562ZMinneapolis, MN

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I agree that the whole process is very confusing. I've had a VATSIM ID since the beginning, but have never actually used it. Just recently I tried setting up the programs, and I think that I actually talked to a controller via text...LOL.It would be a pretty big undertaking to write one all inclusive software package, but it would be a step in the right direction. One benefit from the current system is that disruptive pilots (ie people that want to ruin others fun) are kept to a minimum. Because you can't just click and connect so to speak, the system is left to the more serious gamers.What I would like to see is a training route that is set up and manned specifically for new members just cutting their teeth on the VATSIM network. A relatively short IFR route that allows the pilot to have a low workload but high learning environment. It would be cool to even have a tutor that would be monitoring ATC and the pilots so that they could jump in with helpful tips and solve problems without the ATC having to divide their attention between controlling acft and helping newbies.JMHO.Tim13

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I got over 900hrs on VATSIM and find it very enjoyable. It is serious but relaxed when flying in North America. When I fly overseas to Europe, I make sure I got the right charts and procedures down beforehand cause I do find that the controllers in Europe are no-nonsense which is fine with me. Great thing about VATSIM that you will never get offline is the real-world interaction from different parts of the world. Here I sit in America but I could fly to Germany and actually be talking with a real live person in Germany who is controlling say at EDDF. Once I got into doing that, I could never go back to offline flying. BTW, SB3 is on the horizon.

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>I could not agree more, >>I have flown many, many hours on vatsim network but finally >have given it up in favour of offline flights. >>I found the abuse and sheer nastiness toward some newer >pilots from controllers especialy in a certain European >country was absolutely to me, unbelievable. >>Why oh why does the control freak and elitist attitude have >to creep into something that is supposed to be there for >relief! >>Sorry for the bad attitude but someting will need to give >here >>Liam WoW Liam, I have been using this service for what seems like forever, and yet I can relate to what has been said here by all of you. I only hope that SB3 will be easier to integrate and use, as for the concept of VATSIM I still marvel at it, what else is there, the Zone, I don't think I could ever go back there.I remember all the times I would get clearance for a departure only to have some fool taxi / land in front of me or similar, so it's got to be VATSIM or nothing. by the way, that bit about the nastiness/abusive people you have encountered, I was sory to read that but then! this is an environment in which people from all over the world interact with each other,and I'm affraid some of them aren't very nice. but please don't let that put you off, there are a huge ammount of friendly and very helpfull people on the network, I myself have had experiances or even run-ins with some american controlers who may seem a bit sharp at times, and didn't like repeating them selves just because I didn't get their instructions properly the first time, sometimes they talk a little fast because of the dialect / language barriers this all adds to it,

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>I have flown many, many hours on vatsim network but finally >have given it up in favour of offline flights. >One less to take up our bandwidth :-lol>I found the abuse and sheer nastiness toward some newer >pilots from controllers especialy in a certain European >country was absolutely to me, unbelievable. >Never seen any abuse of pilots by controllers unless those pilots had it coming.If you're new, don't jump straight into a busy flyin but find a quiet spot and TELL the controller you're new. Most will be more than happy to help you get started and are quite forgiving of mistakes (a lot more so than can be said of most pilots I've seen and mistakes by controllers...).>Why oh why does the control freak and elitist attitude have >to creep into something that is supposed to be there for >relief! >Human nature. There will always be some controlfreaks everywhere. Seems you're one who can't cope with having to follow instructions yourself.ATC is there to provide positive control, if you can't handle that you don't belong in controlled airspace (or in the air at all).VATSIM software is indeed old and could use a major rewrite.From what I hear that rewrite is in progress but taking longer than expected.As to voice-only, that would be the worst thing to do.Until very recently I couldn't use voice at all because my hardware wouldn't handle it. Now I can but only intermittently (and not at all using Roger Wilco, even if I would install that piece of spyware-riddled garbage).

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May I suggest trying IVAO than ? I have like most of you started flying online with VATSIM, from the very beginning. But I have now found that IVAO is a more relaxed environment to fly in. This has been confirmed to be by some of the staff I met once at a meeting. So when I joined IVAO, I just kept on flying with them. They don't make a problem of it if you don't have the charts. You will be vectored in just like everyone else. As a designer I have had to do lot of test flights, which have also been done online. And no controller has made an objection to this. Not yet anyway.So go ahead and give it a try. Most controllers use voice, but you can use text if necessary.Take care,Udo.:-wavewww.YeoDesigns.com

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Hey JSome good points on here. The actual bad comments I saw over a period of days were not directed at me, the disbelief was at those who would discourage people who were try ing out VATSIM for the first time.Following instruction....mmmm....sweeping statement mate. 9 years in the military and 6 in EMS/Nursing. Flying, mmmm PPL 4 years, glider/sail plane pilot 10 etc etcDarn elitism creeping in again :-)Liam

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Who would not want a simpler VATSIM?? The problem is with MS. They don't give those codes out nor good SDKs so most of the time goes in finding out hooks and that too non-elegant ones. As a result its usually a roundabout solution drawn from trial and errors. The one gentleman dawson who figured out some hooks and made FSUIPC has been working on FS since ages. The problem is VATSIM directly conflicts with MS .net startegy. Through .NET microsoft want all of us to connect to microsoft only and no other network/shared resources/computers etc when we connect our machine to the net. Hence this pathetic zone.comComing to uppity controllers, well when I was persuing my PPL there was this one old lady twr controller who would put me in shorter and shorter final every day and get sadistic pleasure out of my tension and agony. Till one day..I took time off..climbed up the tower and met her everything was fine from then on. In sim also if you find an uppity, I know a lot, type controller act a novice and ask for help and guidance and see them melt like hot wax. Its very easy to handle guys with ego trust me.Santanu

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Hello,All I can say is this as a Pilot: After trying both networks (IVAO and VATSIM)...IVAO is 'far more' professional then VATSIM!..especialy the Europe divisions.Also, on IVAO the pilots have the change to increase there skills on a very professional way, including theoretical and practical exams by real Controlers and Pilots!In my opinion also the network is faster and all Controlers using a steady ip configuration that result in a better connection with Roger Wilco when you like to contact them.On VATSIM most of the time I have problems to connect with a controler.vortovorAhh, I forgot: At the moment we use on IVAO are own 'Voice Communication' program named TeamSpeak.

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I've only tried VATSIM so far. It's been just over a year that I've been on the network and I haven't flown an offline flight since. I'm 100% devoted to VATSIM. IVAO seems to have a big following in Europe but I don't think I've ever seen a controller online in the US, which is where I do all of my flying. The only sample I've gotten of IVAO has made me very unlikely to use the network. About 6 months ago three unknown people came onto my voice channel (I was controlling) and started yelling that they had an emergency and were using one of my actual aircraft's callsigns. They then began yelling "stop using VATSIM, come to IVAO!" and used plenty of fowl language. It was pretty disturbing, and unfortunately made me never want to try IVAO.-Andrew

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Dear friends,Once again you fell in the trap of judging a whole organisation from a single local event. Be it VATSIM or IVAO there are always going to be flyingfreaks or controllerfreaks somewhere or newbie trainee Pilots and newbie trainee ATCOs. You have to understand that both organisations have big membership numbers and in all kind of big communities you have more and more chances of meeting "weird" people.What we always say is, try both and select the network that suits you best or use both actually. The original question was about VATSIM software and it ended up once again as one vs the other thread with totally irrelevant answers and most importantly missinformative facts.I saw some inconsistencies and I'll try to correct them :IVAO does not have its own voice client. "Team Speak" is just another voice client with the same user identification problems as RogerWilco. VATSIM have chosen not to move swiftly in panic to just another voice client, but rather support the programming of a brand new one right from the start custom made for our very needs. This is what is happening right now and you'll see the results very soon.VATSIM as a whole is not against voice usage. We have Text as our obligatory form of communication by respecting hearing disabled members or members with less equiped hardware. Voice though is widelly used in many parts of the World providing the controller is able to provide voice service at that time (just look for that _V_ in the callsign)IVAO or VATSIM as organisations have never been unhelpfull to "newbies". Training of members is more of a local thing usually related to national (or US state) Divisions, vACCs / ARTCCs. The organization (network) is what brings them alltogether but its the local "representatives" who do the training. There is excellent material locally wherever you look at. Just give it some time and browse around.The statement that newbie pilots are not welcomed is totally wrong.New pilots or ATC are greatly helped everywhere as long as they pick the right moments to request help or to expect patience from others. We have had some complaints from new pilots when they tried to join the network for the very first time right in the middle of an extremelly busy event. Yes, it was the event publicity that brought them there the first time, but do you know what's happening in a big event ? - Check for "OneSky2" below - answer : "chaos brought into order". This is always the worst moment to request the ATC "hello, am I ok to takeoff ?" or "hello, I am new here, how do I fly out of here ?".What I would like to also remind you is some simple facts about online flying & ATC irrespective of which network :- Real people in other aircraft arround you- Real people on the radar scopes & voice- Real weather in your FS- Widelly available training material (Pilots & ATC)- All of the above + addon software free of charge- Humans available to help newbies in training sessionsI find these, along with my experiences until know, comparable to nothing else in this hobby.Now to come back to the original question :VATSIM (like IVAO) is one network with many servers interconnected. Connect to anyone you like and you'll be in the same network with all others.Use ServInfo to find which server suits you best.http://avsim.com/hangar/utils/servinfo/Now regarding the fact that "it takes forever to get it set up" allow me to dissagree. It is few initial steps needed to connect to the network and then you are ready to communicate and fly as you should.I'll decribe you the procedure as to what kind of steps are done to fly online and not the technical part. For technical part see below :A)First comes multiplayer session host (as you would do irrespective of online flying). Just host a session in your MSFS.B)Then you launch SquawkBox which initially needs to be connected to that MP session in order to show you other pilots arround later. C)Then you connect SquawkBox to the network by submiting also a flight plan indicating your intentions. Its a "fill in the blanks" procedure.D)Lastly you contact the ATC of your area (if present) or else takeoff for your destination, navigate as you always would (as in offline), keep an eye in the TCAS for other traffic, and if ATC turns up along your route come in contact with each other and worry no more about separation with others or navigation assistance.Now the technical part is very well covered in tutorials arround the network. Just start from http://vatsim.net , select your Region, Select your Division and then find your local ARTCC / vACC with further local training material inside.There is also a generic startup tutorial in main VATSIM website.Have you seen it ?Regarding the future and wether all this procedure is going to be simplified ... YES it is with new SquawkBox3, custom voice clients and more to come.So here are some usefull links :VATSIMhttp://vatsim.netVATSIM Startup Tutorialshttp://linksmanager.com/vatsim/links12.htmlSoftware Download pagehttp://www.vatsim.net/downloads.htmlUnofficial FAQ pagehttp://users.adelphia.net/~jbartosh02/vat_faq.htmServInfo to see others and check network activity, weather etc.http://avsim.com/hangar/utils/servinfo/Upcoming SquawkBox3 websitehttp://www.squawkbox.ca/OneSky2 event - just to see what "live" stuff meanshttp://vatsim-eur.org/onesky2.htmWe are trying to simulate real aviation procedures here with real people onboard. If we wanted to just play a game we would not have so many things to checkout for before we were to go out and fly or ATC. Remember that.Have you seen our new radar client ?Check it out :http://www.asrc.info/This is no game stuff anymore.Its a real Radar simulator, freely available after endless hours of work in our hands.Kyprianos Biris :-cool[link:avsim.com/greece/hvacc]Hellenic vACChttp://vatsim-eur.org/images/VATSIM-EURs.gifhttp://vatsim.pilotmedia.fi/statusindicato...tor=OD1&a=a.jpg

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Well said KyprianosPlease extend my personal gratitude to everyone at VATSIM for endless hours of fun flying myself and just watching Servinfo while doing other stuff).I personally have never, even as a Newbie, been treated badly by anybody, on the contrary, I always found staff very helpful in all cases. afterall not everybody is perfect.I personally can relate to people when they think that the whole process is very long. I have timed it a couple of times and from sitting in a parking position until actually being connected and able to file a FP it took me sometimes 10 or more minutes. Having said that, a big part of that lag actually comes from firing up the MSFS Multiplayer part....SB3 will be great, because from what I hear about it's development there will be some really cool features included, any hints when we can expect it? Before or after FSCOF hits the market. I'd hate to not be able to use FSCOF online straight away.Happy flying Ralph Hummel Staff Reviewer AVSIM Online

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Guys, I think the original poster and a few others are totally off the ball when judging Vatsim. Remember,Vatsim is a free service. You arent compelled to use it so it is YOUR responsibility to look for the required tutorials and information. Remember that the aim of this service is be be as real as it gets. When you're put in the hold over BNN(Bovingonton,London) and told that you're number 6 for the approach,most people would find this thrilling and realistic(London being one ot the most congested in the world) but I can assume by some of your earlier comments that you would find this a hinderance. You're damn right that Pilots are expected to have charts,particularly when they are usually available FREE. The pilot shouldnt have any excuses,but In MY EXPERIENCE, controllers have no problems vectoring pilots without them.I fly on Vatsim,I control on vatsim.I really do have so much time for vatsim,and thats my right. You not liking Vatsim,thats your right. But please,when giving your reasons-MAKE SURE THEY ARE ACCURATE!I'm sorry for my attitude,but some of the content above really does get at me :-madWith that said,I really do recommend flying on the vatsim network,get past all the "awkward" parts and you'll find its worth it.In fact,try flying in Ireland.I control EINN_V_APP(Shannon) quite frequently and would be delighted to help some "fresh meat" }( If interested-gimme a shout!RegardsJohn Mc AvinueP.S Another tip would be to put "first flight on vatsim" or something similar in the comments line on your Flightplan,the controller will definatly see this and will then "take it easy" on you;)http://www.bavirtual.co.ukP 2.53 GHZ512 RAMWINXPGFORCE 4 128MB Ti4600http://vatsim.pilotmedia.fi/statusindicato...tor=OD1&a=a.jpg

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IVAO is like a beautiful car....It don't need that much explenation ;)vortovor

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I've flown online since the SATCO days and find it very enjoyable. Sure I've run across some not so good controllers and some not so good pilots but as long as they don't run me into a mountain I remain patient.Some time ago I wrote a comment on the VATSIM forum regarding why all controllers weren't voice rated, especially at the approach and tower positions. I don't remember who replied but he very politely reminded me that VATSIM is designed to accommodate everyone, including those with hearing disadvantages.Usually, if I get a text controller at those positions I inform them that I will perform any action requested but confirmation response may be slow or not at all based on how busy I am with the aircraft. Usually they understand.As for the complexity of the various programs needed, it takes me a good 15 to 20 minutes to get everything ready to go (SB Host, FSChat, FS2002, SB, ServerInfo, etc). However, let's face it, in the real world you don't just hop into an aircraft and take off either.

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It is all a matter of how close to reality you want to get.If one's only interested in driving an airplane, then by all means - go for an offline flights.If you like the company of others, then use multiplayer or IVAO, which are actually quite the same.Yet if you want to get as close to reality as possible, you will have to choose VATSIM.Those are 3 different things - IVAO is more about medals, ranks, competitions and other entertaining stuff. VATSIM is about aviation.Being a real ATC and interested in aviation, I naturally chose VATSIM.One thing I must add, about nasty controllers misbehaving towards newbies. This is a totally unacceptable behavior, on neither networks. It is usually done by ATC's which think they know everything while, let's say, this is not exactly true. I experienced this kind of (mis)conduct long ago on IVAO by a German ATC, which was talking total rubbish. If it happens to you - complain!I'll conclude by reminding I am not here for the "who's the best network" fight - I just express my opinion. My experience showed the "beautiful car" is having engine problems lately. sorry had to say that one ;-)Ilan JonasIsrael On VATSIMProject Director

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> Remember that the aim of this service is be be as real as>it gets.For me , this is precisely what the problem is with VATSIM. It is TOO real -- and if it is going to be this real , then better pilot training facilities need to be provided by whoever is in charge of the various VATSIM country areas. (I know that your Virtual BA has a good training system - but not much good for me here in Australia because of the time difference.) I have , in the past, managed to work out how to connect to and use the VATSIM network. But , nowhere can I find any quiet slow training opportunities that are appropriate to the area that I live (Australia). My local VATPAC system assumes that I am a fully trained CPL who knows everything about the various ATC restrictions in everypart of the country ( like the location of different classes of airspace, the air routes between various points on the globe , etc) and have a full set of aeronautical charts for everywhere in the world!! As newbies , we need to be able to connect to the system and fly from somewhere to somewhere while being directed by the various ATC positions (Tower, Approach, Ground, Centre, etc)without having a complete knowledge of the ATC restrictions in the area of the flight.Barry

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We accross the ditch in New Zealand are newbie-friendly. We are always looking for new people to come on board.You can get more information at www.fiwifly.org.RegardsRussell Jourdain (NZL007/ZK-RHJ)

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To give you some perspective (perhaps), the original software has come a very, very long way since the days that Joe, Jason, and Marty wrote the various pieces. You can now connect with the network worldwide at extremely good ping rates (even on a dial-up) at one of 15 (at last count) servers. No longer do we have the 'lag' issue. As a pilot, you are not limited to MSFS (95), but you can fly with a variety of flight products as well as MSFS 95, 98, 2k, and 2k2 (not to mention 2k4 which is to be released later this year I understand). All through the same, basic interface.ProController has been overcome by ASRC on the Controller side. Development and testing work continues on SB3 on the pilot side. All the work has been done at no charge to the users. And it will stay that way.Now, I have belonged to most of the online flying networks at one time or another. Many have pretty websites. Each has it's own 'niche' for lack of a better term. It depends on what you want to do.Is VATSIM moving forward? You bet. Do the developers go through 'heck' to adapt to changes that MSFS, Fly, etc. make with their programs so that the latest ones can be used online? You bet. Do we still have room to improve? You bet.I might ask a question of those who would ask that the software be "turnkey". When was the last time you went to buy a new car and walked into the showroom, looked at a car from a distance, paid for it, and drove it away without having the salesman show you the features? When you purchased your flight simulation program itself, were you able to start it up, hit the switch and fly a B747 IFR in 1/4 mile visibility and a 100 foot ceiling into Aspen Colorado? (I know...there is no way you could do that...I was 'stretching things' just a little. )Learning how to fly requires some patience, skill, and training. Those of us within VATSIM (and I am speaking about each and every VATSIM member) I am quite sure can remember when we were "new" to the system. And trust me, we have ALL had our good AND bad experiences. Just as in the real world, it happens - like it or not. We are dealing with people and machines and neither are perfect. My Advice? - Start slow with a minimum of programs and work up from there. And tell the controller (or pilot) that you are new to the system.(OK, I shall step off my soapbox now. :) )Seriously, for those of you who have a bad experience with a controller or pilot, where you think they have been rude, used foul language, ignored you or 'deliberately messed you over', we have a complaints system. We work rather hard to ferret out the 'problems' and try to correct inappropriate behavior. I have a dedicated corps of Supervisors and Administrators who can help while you are online. VATSIM has a dedicated group of 'investigators' who are able to look into the complaints and take action as appropriate offline to correct inappropriate behavior. All you have to do is to contact us - the sooner after the incident the better - and we will go to work. Many times, we can actually resolve things online.I can assure you that the VATSIM leadership team is aware of your concerns and is working on them. Regards,Neal F. Truitt Sr.VATSIM VP, Supervisors

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nothing about vatsim....and nothing about ivao...they both rock,and if i could pay for a huge phonebill,i would fly there a lot...on both networks they've always been friendly and professional... to me anywayz,and i can assure everyone it helps to put "first time on vatsim" in your fp comment section...even at BUSY kmia they helped me out...btw,i really like flying to kmia....ah well...maybe somewhere in the distant future :-)

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Gentlemen:In my initial posts let me just say that my experience on VATSIM has been wonderful, for the most part. My problems have never been with how I was treated, which has always been exceptionally and professionally.I absolutely love flying real-world procedures with the appropriate charts, STARS, communication, etc. My problem is the still antiquated communication. For a service that prides itself on maintaining the 'as real as it gets' credo of MSFS, that we are more than just occasionally subjected to type-written ATC COM with busy approach and tower controllers in busy airspace during busy fly-ins or what-have-you is, at this stage in the technology game, just arcaic. You guys spend hours discussing your 2+ GHz CPU's and $400 video cards, bench test scores and frame rates in the forums, and you expect me to swallow that type-written ATC communication exists to be considerate to those flight simmers with inferior equipment setups? I don't buy it. Not in 2003 with 1 GHz CPU's quickly becomming "slow" machines. Who DOESN'T have Roger Wilco, wether you like it or not? Now as far as the hearing impaired among us are concerned, I can understand and support type-written communication. The solution here would be for those individuals to let the controllers know that situation exists WHEN YOU FILE YOUR FLIGHTPLAN, so that appropriate exceptions, granted well-deserved, can be made by ATC, not by all the other pilots trying to maximize their experience and enjoyment with verbal communication. For that I am all in favor. See You Online,http://www.expedia.com/pubspec/images/airlines/smNW.gifAlex ChristoffN562ZMinneapolis, MN

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>>I found the abuse and sheer nastiness toward some newer pilots>from controllers especialy in a certain European country was>absolutely to me, unbelievable.Spanish - perchance?That was my experience as a newbie

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