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Advise you have DELTA.........

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Guest franksalot

I'm fairly new to Online flying. One aspect continues to baffle me no end. ATC will often ask to "Confirm you have DELTA.... or some other Codeword" Now I'm aware that he/she wants to know if I have the latest METAR Report, I think it's to confirm I have the QNH :). But what I would like to know is, what is the criteria for changing this Codeword i.e. in the above case it's Delta. I'm not sure if Metar Reports are hourly or less frequently; if they are hourly, we are in trouble, because there are 26 letters in the alphabet (one of which is taken up with Zulu time) :Sorry my question is a bit of a tangle, I hope you get my drift.KenSomerset, England

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The letter code is changed whenever a new METAR is released that's different from the previous one.In theory (during rapidly changing conditions) this could happen every few minutes, but half an hour to an hour is more common.Once they reach Zulu (or at a set time) the coding is reset of course. By then noone should still have a very old report anyway.

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That's the signifier for the current ATIS broadcast. So by ATC confirming you have Delta (Or whatever the current signifier is) it lets ATC know you are aware of the current airport and weather conditions.


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To be more clear, the controller asked you that because more than likely when you made your first callup you probably did not state that you had "D" or "information". My guess is you also forgot to tell him where you were on the airport as well.The ATIS identifier "A-Z" has nothing to do with the metar so to speak. The weather conditions are included in the ATIS which has the METAR decoded verbally recorded already along with any active RWY's, NOTAM's, etc., if that airport has a recorded ATIS to begin with. Some have ASOS's, some don't have anything.An example of a good callup would go something like this if you're online:"KC Center, g'eve, UAL 545, on the ground at KMCI (if no actaul KMCI controller online) at gate/stand 26 (use terminal # or letter if not sure what gate you're at), with A, IFR to KLAX, ready to copy"Basically it's: who, what, where, and what you want or need to do.That's a brief rundown. Every situation is different. You may be flying GA or whatever, but that should get you started.

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It just occured to me that I may have confused you even more.In the real world the ATIS is verbally recorded by the controller. The pilot tunes the ATIS when he approaches or before he leaves that airport and listens to the ATIS first.In the online world that ATIS is entered by the controller and the weather part of his/her ATIS has a METAR string in it because it's easier for him/her not to have to re-write it every time it changes.That's why you see a METAR in someone's ATIS while online.Most controllers actually do not record their ATIS properly though to begin with so you kind of have to take it with a grain of salt.If a controller asks you if you have "D" on board but does not have any conditions in his ATIS you can politely tell him that he has no recorded weather information or that you've pulled the lastest information (weather) from inside your SB or FSinn.You'll run into that more with Center controllers because they're controlling more than 1 airport but mistakenly ask you if you have "D" not realizing what they've done.Myself, I do not put specific weather information while controlling the center level, I just put the landing and takeoff directions for the major airports.If I'm controlling an APP facility or lower and the pilot does not state that he has info, then I ask him, because I'll have it in there.It is the pilots' responsibility though to get current airport information before departing or landing.That should be about as clear as mud. :-)

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Guest guyjr

Just an additional note... when you tell ATC you have "Delta", you're basically relieving them of the obligation to give you the ATIS information, which cuts down tremendously on radio traffic. That's why they broadcast that information on a separate frequency instead of requiring each pilot to receive it individually from controllers. But the onus is on ATC to insure that you actually do have that information, so if you call up approach and you're 15 miles out and haven't said you have information "Delta" (or whatever the current one is), they're tecnically not supposed to clear you for an approach until you get it. I believe there are FARs that require ATC to make sure you have the latest ATIS, and as soon as you say you have that information, they're off the hook, so to speak.Also, one other thing that saying "information Delta" does is prevents you from having stale data. If the METAR changes between the time you actually hear it (some can be heard from 50nm out and beyond) and when you inform ATC of the report you have, they'll either give you the update on freq, or ask you to go get it and report back once you do.(edit - sorry, dunno if the first paragraph above applies to the U.K., just going by my experience here in the U.S. and what my instructor told me)

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Guy,In the US as far as I know, it's the pilots' responsibility and requirement to get the ATIS and report that he has the ATIS.It's not required that the controller give you the ATIS if you don't have it. The controller can 'probably' not let you in to his airspace or proceed forward if you don't have the current info if he wants to be mean about it. I'd have to check that one, but I'm sure it's not the controllers responsibility at all.Now, most may in fact give you the information as a courtesy, but that's all it is. Online most controllers do it out of habit because about 99.9% of all pilots never report with the latest ATIS. In fact most give out the altimiter settings even when a pilot does happen to say he has info...LOL. There's a little overlap there for ease of use when it comes to online flying and FS.

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It's been almost a year since I flew in the real world (a bad case of lackoffunds that is being fixed this week), but I know they'll pester you if you don't have the current ATIS coming into Spokane, and if you don't have it. They'll either tell you to get it if it's busy, or tell you the winds, ceilind, and altimeter if it's slow.----------------------------------------------------------------John MorganReal World: KGEG, UND Aerospace Spokane Satillite, Private ASEL 141.2 hrs, 314 landings, 46 inst. apprs.Virtual: MSFS 2004"There is a feeling about an airport that no other piece of ground can have. No matter what the name of the country on whose land it lies, an airport is a place you can see and touch that leads to a reality that can only be thought and felt." - The Bridge Across Forever: A Love Story by Richard Bach


John Morgan

 

"There is a feeling about an airport that no other piece of ground can have. No matter what the name of the country on whose land it lies, an airport is a place you can see and touch that leads to a reality that can only be thought and felt." - The Bridge Across Forever: A Love Story by Richard Bach

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Guest franksalot

Thanks everyone for your replies.My question was poorly constructed, but I have received a wealth of helpful information in response to it :)It seems to me that the METAR designator is applied by the Airport Controller as he/she thinks fit. This morning I had a flight from London to a Scottish Airport; the London Controllers ATIS had a Quebec whilst 45 minutes later in Scotland the designator was Alpha, doesn't seem to be much logic there. None of this really matters, I suppose, just a matter of Controller/Pilot at an Airport being assurred they are 'as one' with regard to the Metar Report, which is vital.Jeff, I realised about only about 3 weeks ago that I should be advising the Controller as to which Gate and/or Terminal I was parked at; so I just escaped your wrath by a hairs breadth :)KenSomerset, England

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No wrath here Ken, it will help in the controller maybe having to ask you where you are if he's on another part of the scope. It just cuts down on the extra and uneeded transmissions especially if its busy where you are.As far as the different identifiers for different airports as it applies to online controlling: It all soley depends on when the controller came online as to what letter he's 'on' at the moment. If London was on "Q", my god, they must have been online for ages if they were using the ATIS maker function...LOL. I've been online at times for 6 hours, but never got through "Q".There's probably a way to standardize it, I don't think that anyone has addressed it in depth as of yet. I'm sure someone will think of a way as we progress into later versions of scopes and the technology progresses as we get deeper into the hobby itself.Keep in mind also that it depends on what level or facility the controller is controlling as well. Some of it really blurs the lines when it comes to online flying.:-) You may see an ATIS and you may not. If you don't, then don't worry about it, just give the controller as much information as quick as you can so that he can pin point you quickly, without tying up the frequency. As you go along you'll start to pick up on the phraseology. There are also resources to help you out, hopefully, at your division or ARTCC level for your particular part of the world.

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Guest franksalot

Thanks Jeff, I'm gong to print this topic, I've it very interesting.Ken

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Guest av84fun

<>As earlier posts have suggested, the letter-named "information" the tower controller asks you if you have is not a METAR...it is an ATIS Information that is recorded in the tower and may or may not agree exactly with the latest METAR data which is released hourly.ATIS broadcasts generally are recorded every half hour or so but if the vital information changes...such as wind direction and speed or altimiter setting, for example, the ATIS information will either be re-recorded or the controller will verbally override the ATIS information.The controller is required to determine that the arriving pilot has the latest ATIS and will tell the pilot who does not volunteer that he/she has it to go get it or if really slow, and really friendly will speak the information to the pilot.To conserve airtime, the words ATIS and INFORMATION really shouldn't be spoken by the pilot. The arriving pilot should merely state...Jones Tower, Cessna 2345Golf. Ten Southwest landing with Delta (or whatever the current identifier is.)But the central point is that an ATIS is not a METAR and a METAR is not an ATIS...in the US anyway.Regards,Jim

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Guest Carl Hackman

One important point about having the correct ATIS, more for approach controlled airspace than Tower (who would take over when you are established on the ILS or on Finals for non ILS approaches) is that if you are below the transition altitude and you have not got the correct ATIS information you could be at the wrong Flight Level/Altitude as your QNH may be incorrectly set. http://environments.flight1.net/gepro/GEPRO_BANNER_CARL.JPG

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Guest franksalot

Hiya Carl, long time no see :) I've noticed you have moved on the greater things.There has been some very informative replies to my query. As an Online Controller yourself (hope it's not ex Controller), maybe you could explain how an Online Weather Report at an Airport gets it's signifier e.g Bravo; I'm thinking of the Controllers Information Window, which, mostly, contains the latest ATIS report. I know that a Controller will ask if I have Bravo; if I don't inform him first, and why :) What I'm interested in knowing, is how he decides which signifier to give?I'm still not 'comfortable' with Online flying, but I'm getting there, albeit slowly.KenBAW0088Somerset, England

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Ken,His ATIS ID probably automatically rolls over to the next letter in sequence if he's using a special program to do so. Other than that he'll have to do it himself.The basic reason he asks you the specific letter is because he wants to make sure you have the same info that he and everyone else has.Things like the ALT setting in real aircraft have to be manually entered instead of hitting the "b" key in FS. Some FS users also do it manually for good practice and realism. The correct ALT setting can make a huge difference for the safety of the flight so that you don't run into the ground, especially for those who aren't flying with a radio altimiter. That's just one major issue that comes to mind right off.

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