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Hey pilots!

 

I tried all the tips and tricks, I watched all the videos, I hanged around as observer.... I just dont understand lets say 70% to 90% of things transmitted via VATSIM. Maybe my brain and ears are not calibrated for this, maybe it is just because english is not my native language. But I love the feeling of flying online. Flying between other real people, sharing this awesome field of interest. But it feels better for me when I use text because I dont have this nagging stress of "gnaaah, again nothing understandable".

 

What I want with this thread is info about how other text flyers fly online? There are tons of tips and hints for voice, what are your tips for text? How do you manage the "higher" workload? Do you fly online events? I just want to know if there are others, how many are we?

 

If you think text flyers are just disturbing, please read and answer to another thread. Haters gonna hate and are not welcome.

 

Thank you!

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Vatsim pilot and controller here.

 

I think you just need more time listening to the controllers and eventually it will be quite easy to pick out what they are saying.  Certainly setting up Voice Receive is much easier for controllers to handle as the test slows us down, takes our eyes off the scope and half the time we type to the wrong plane (controllers are constantly selecting an aircraft's tag to update).   It is OK to just say "say again" when you don't understand.

 

Some pilot tricks that will help.

 

1) Listen to what instructions are being given to other pilots....chances are yours will be very similar or the same.

2) When given "proceed direct waypoint"....scroll through your flight plan legs in the FMS/MCDU and chances are you will see it there down the page or on the next page.

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I think you just need more time listening to the controllers and eventually it will be quite easy to pick out what they are saying

 

Thank you, but I tried it often enough, it is just frustrating. My plan is to stick with text, I still hear the voices, maybe I understand it a bit better over the next years :-)

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Thank you, but I tried it often enough, it is just frustrating. My plan is to stick with text.

 

Wrong plan my friend.

 

Text when it gets too much it often ruins the fun for Controllers and I have been witness to many cases where ATC disconnected just because they lost the fun part of the simulation by having dozens of text messages coming in all too often in few seconds.

Also text ruins the fun of other pilots in your area.

Instead of watching their cockpit they have to check the quick scrolling messages in the Pilot client window so that they keep their "situational awareness" in regards to other pilots in the area.

 

The only exception to this is the use of Unicom 122.80 where there is no ATC. There pilots need to keep an eye on that text scrolling down as pilots transmit their intentions. The key there is to add first the ICAO code of the airport you refer to so as to help the other people reading.

 

There is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong in saying to the controller on voice:

  • Say Again
  • Say Again, I don't understand you
  • Say Again, speak slowly and clearly, I don't understand you

I have insisted on repeating the above in MANY times to the point they complied.

 

Sometimes its not intentional but its their hardware/software like a microphone boost setting or a wife sleeping next door :smile:

Trust me it works.

I prefer to irritate a controller by asking him the above than to do so by text bombing him.

 

Ok this was me talking as a Pilot.

 

Now as (Center) Controller.

 

There is nothing I dislike more that Text service BUT I know its a fundamental part of the hobby and I provide it.

I also respect some users need to be in text for various personal reasons.

The problem is when in some ATC sessions this becomes the majority rather than the minority.

Then my hobby gets ruined and I may indeed disconnect since we cannot force anyone to use voice and I am here to have fun not the opposite.

 

In cases where I detect a user may be "afraid" to use Voice I encourage it if I find the means and I certainly NEVER bash someone on the channel because he said or did the wrong thing. Its a simulation for fun, not real aviation.

 

So this is not hate talk but simply the facts from a user point of view.

 

Last but not least, with the exception of nowadays CPDLC systems, still in 2017 the ATC service is provided exclusively by voice communications. This is what we have to try to simulate. Even unintelligible (non understandable) transmissions are part of the real aviation but all problems are soon solved when one of the two sides insists on "Say Again". It happens all the time, simulate that too. :wink:

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Wrong plan my friend.

 

Yeah I think youre right in some points... I will trie again with voice. I do some Training now with "LiveATC" and "Flightradar24".

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Be sure to seperate the ATC channel from the flight simulator sounds. so for example flight simulator through your speakers and ATC through the headset. this helps a lot to understand them more clearly. btw it is much more realisitc as well.

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These are VERY good sources for you to help self train in radiotelephony. That's a good point I did not mention.

I fully understand that flightsimmers coming from the "AI world" with text comm's are reluctant to take the next step and come out on voice.

 

Voice is so LIVE that it is an important part of this hobby, on line (live) flying & ATC.

 

It was the same for me in my first Private Pilot flying lessons (real) in the 90's. I was scared to press the Tx button to talk to tower.

I was afraid in case I would say something wrong.

 

The key question is: so what if you do ? There is no harm.

 

At some point much later I realized the following: the person talking to you on the other side of the Radio (Tower) is just a humble guy sitting in a chair handling traffic.

So what if you say something wrong. Its not the end of the world. You can even joke about it.

 

The important point is not to get instructed something and do something else (in controlled airspace). If the read back is wrong and then its corrected there is not harm to anyone.

 

Another tip: have a plain piece of paper and a pen and write down the key numbers of instructions you receive so then you can read them back without problem and be sure you copied them properly, things like Departure, Squawk, initial altitude, heading etc.

That is what real pilots do (until they become really experienced and able to memorize them all by heart)

 

Usually humans can remember 3 sets of data from a radio transmission. More than that you need to write them down.

An ATC giving more than 3 instructions at an initial ATC clearance is natural because you are not flying and expected to note them down.

An ATC giving more than 3 instructions during your flying is bad ATC. There you just ask to "Say again".

 

NEVER be afraid to do a mistake in readback. Its never an issue.

NEVER be intimidated by the style or the tone of the voice of a Controller on the frequency. Try to imagine him as a simple guy like you just sitting in front of a screen.

They do mistakes as well. That is why the "SAY AGAIN" request is so common and never to be misunderstood.

 

Last but not least, (this comes as you build experience) try to "occupy" the frequency the least possible (Clear talk without ehmmm's uhmmm's, long pauses etc, just the basic facts with clear and swift talk back.) because others may be waiting to also talk and before transmitting make sure there is not an ongoing exchange you will interrupt (when you check in a new frequency wait for a couple of seconds before transmitting).

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After watching a few vids on youtube I loaded Euroscope and and VatSpy and listened to my near airports (Austria and Germany) ...I have to say the sound is not that bad as I thought. Yes, sometimes it is not clear but I think this could work.

 

Thank you Kyprianos Biris! I think you have converted me ^^

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My pleasure Klaus !

 

I think the main reason from stopping users to talk on voice (and rather prefer to use text) is the attitude of some Controllers that sound as if they are too professional and no mistakes are allowed. Its too simple, if you don't understand something just ask them to say again, speak slower etc.

Most controllers are trained to cater also for the newbie. An entry at the FLIGHT PLAN remarks "New on Voice" or similar also helps.

 

Remember, they ALL where at some point in time where you are, in their first steps.

 

The only thing a controller can complain for is if he/she gives an instruction, you acknowledge it properly but then do another thing. This is not related to voice though but piloting practice.

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When you ask to repeat, the controllers will usually speak slower and more pronounced. This can be mistaken as them getting grumpy with you.

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On 2/12/2017 at 7:09 AM, Chrjs said:

Be sure to seperate the ATC channel from the flight simulator sounds. so for example flight simulator through your speakers and ATC through the headset. this helps a lot to understand them more clearly. btw it is much more realisitc as well.

Exactly.....After I separated two and flying for month or so i got clear sound and understanding of everything, now I am fine either way......Little patience as well. Now, I can't imagine flight without VATSIM.....

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As an en-route controller I can say, 'Yes, text can be frustrating.'  but it is also helpful.  I know that there are pilots who may not understand an instruction.  In fact yesterday I had a pilot PM me saying, 'you Yanks talk fast.'  When I know that a pilot is having difficulty understanding a voice instruction I always follow up with text.  For controllers alias commands are your best tools -> use them.

I have had great text only pilots who fly better than voice pilots and I sign their praises loudly.  Whether you are a text pilot or voice pilot remember the pilot's mantra - AVIATE, NAVIGATE, COMMUNICATE.  I need you to execute your maneuver when I release the PTT.  Waiting an additional 10 seconds for a read back wastes critical time especially when working aircraft on a final approach vector.  For example, the pilot should know that the next instruction will turn him onto the localizer.  Don't fly through the localizer because you took too long to read back.  [I am off my soap box now]

Cheers

 

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