By Daniel Crookes
There will be an exam on Luton Tower (EGGW_TWR) on the 26th September, commencing at 1800Z. The exam is expected to last 1hr 15 mins but the exam may end earlier/later, depending on whether the competencies have been sufficiently assessed.
A good number of IFR outbounds as well as some IFR inbounds/VFR are essential to making this exam a success.
Please, no funny business without first speaking to EGGW_X_TWR. Pilots wishing to fly to ensure that they are familiar with the pilot guidance for ATC exams.
Good luck to the candidate!
By Harry Sugden
There will be a Gatwick Director exam (EGKK_APP) this coming Tuesday, 21st September, commencing at 1830Z (1930 local). We should be online for around 90 minutes, but this may vary depending on the traffic and whether we are able to cover all the required competencies.
Plenty of IFR is required for the exam to be a success, as well as some VFR in and around the Gatwick area.
Please, nothing funny without first asking EGKK_X_APP. If you haven't flown for an exam before, make sure to familiarise yourself with the following guidance:
Please join me in wishing the candidate the best of luck!
By Ben Wright
VATSIM UK is happy to invite you back to our weekly Midweek Madness rotation.
This second week of the rotation takes us up North to Manchester. This is a major hub for Ryanair and easyJet, so has plenty of short connections to Europe as well as domestic links in the UK. It also sees a large amount of international flights from the likes of Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Saudia, and Virgin Atlantic. Our controllers will be online to guide you in or out of one of Manchester dual parallel runways!
Midweek Madness takes place from 1700-2000z every Wednesday, following the rotation below:
London Gatwick Manchester London Heathrow Feature Week (Open to vote) The event always proves to be a hit with pilots and ATC, we hope to see plenty of you joining us on the localiser this Wednesday.
Controllers please note that this will be a rostered event, an expression of interest will be posted shortly.
By Alex Hodgkinson
You know that virtual airline that flies yellow and blue planes around the South West and other places around the world, the one that the posh London TMA controllers loathe? The one called "Severnair?" Well here is a little thread about how we all managed to host a successful one-day event despite Covid putting a downer on our traditional 'secret location' meetup.
For those of you that remember our ‘Weston’ events from years gone by, we have since turned the event from a ‘public’ display (as unfortunately the museum decided to route away from Flight Sim) to a ‘secret location’ where we all (as in, ATC and pilot types) sit in a big room with lots of ale and drink our way through two days of FS related activities.
Obviously due to this global pandemic, this usual routine obviously couldn’t happen, so we had to improvise.
So the first thing we had to do was invest in cleaning materials, so after our individual workspaces were thoroughly sterilised, we then upgraded the flight progress display.
Then, after the flight strips were done, we logged on. I was on Jersey Control for most of the day (I think from about 1100 till 2100). A familiar position for me but a not-so-familiar position for some others as it’s sadly a position that’s been neglected but is seeing a resurgence. Which is great to see!
After much drinking (I mean, what else do you do during lockdown?!) and a Chinese, I handled 108 individual aircraft across the Channel Islands (Including 4 from Alderney)
I would like to thank all the pilots who flew because you were all brilliant! Secondly, thanks to the adjacent ATC (East and West) who helped me out and stopped three ORIST arrivals arriving on top of each other.
Enjoy the pictures, here’s to the next event...
Well done BAW2216, first ac of the day!
This was the bin at 13:46...
This was the traffic at 14:57...
By Andy Ford
If you're reading this, then there's a good chance that you're interested in flying to support an ATC practical exam in VATSIM UK. First of all, thank you for supporting our controllers by providing them with the crucial traffic required to show off their skills and obtain their next rating, it wouldn't be possible without you! The purpose of this post is to offer some guidance to you, the pilot, about what to expect when flying around an exam and some of the do's and don'ts of the process. Exams in the UK can often be a fairly busy affair, with lots of people all wanting to do a variety of different things.
Come prepared. Make sure you have charts handy for the aerodrome that you will be visiting so that you don't forget the ILS frequency or get caught unawares with a taxi route that you weren't expecting. Be patient. Exams in the UK are often busy and frequencies can become congested. Try to avoid transmitting over other pilots and please don't transmit when another pilot needs to read something back to the controller. As a general rule, if it's a clearance (IFR/VFR, Taxi, Takeoff), the pilot needs to readback before the next one transmits. Ask the examiner if you're unsure. The lead examiner for an exam will always use the "X" callsign, for example, EGKK_X_TWR. If you're not sure if you should be doing something, or if you just want to know what type of traffic might be useful for the exam, ask the examiner. Aviate, Navigate, Communicate. This is especially important if you're flying using text only for radio transmissions. Make sure that you fly the plane before responding on the radio - if that means you need a second to turn the heading dial before responding, that's better than starting your turn much later after you've done your readback. Fly standard procedures. An exam should reflect a fairly busy but normal scenario - plenty of normal IFR traffic, with the occasional VFR or non-standard movement to integrate, is usually all that's necessary. We can't assess a student if we only have VFR zone transits! Don't:
Declare an emergency. Emergencies are not an exam requirement under VATSIM GRP and can be very disruptive both to the exam candidate and other pilots. If you experience a significant issue with your aircraft, it would be better to resolve it and complete your flight offline. Please do not ask the examiner if you may conduct an emergency, the answer nine times out of ten will be "no". From time to time, an examiner may ask for an emergency, in order to generate a particular traffic situation - but the examiner will come to you if you're the lucky person. Conduct unnecessary missed approaches. In order to assess exam criteria, we only need a total of one missed approach per exam. Pilots who constantly go around without good reason can be disruptive to the exam and often do not allow the candidate to demonstrate any additional skills. If the missed approach is genuine or you're conducting training circuits that have been approved by the controller, then this does not apply to you. In all other cases, if the examiner would like a missed approach, they will ask. Make long, unnecessary transmissions. The controllers don't need to hear your life story. If they give you an instruction, read it back as it was given. If it's your first transmission on a new frequency, keep it short and only give relevant details - what you had for dinner doesn't count. Expect the candidate to grant your every request. Exams are busy. If you request something like a full racetrack procedural approach, expect the candidate to decline your request or make you wait until the traffic allows it to happen. If time is of the essence, consider accepting vectors to final approach for your approach of choice. Take the biscuit. Aircraft such as Blimps (this really happened!) aren't productive in 99.9% of exams - as they really don't reflect VATSIM traffic. Really. We're not here to ruin someone's night, we're here to facilitate them in demonstrating their skills. Once again, thank you for supporting our ATC exams and we hope you have a pleasant experience.