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Help for Rookies ; support script that changes on the fly.


Paul Robson

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Hi. I'm a real beginner on 'real' ATC supported flights (VATSIM et al). It is somewhat nerve racking.

I found several online "scripts" that one could use, but I had a concept for making something that could change on the fly from a basic outline, with the script being updated as you go.

This is nothing more than a demo of an idea knocked together in half and hour at present, and is visually very rough and ready, but it does work well enough to show the idea.

A simple demo is this https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1UW55kfTeKYuo5N2XTeLOuRbhgJsqEDVc6Z__-t2JnMI/edit?usp=sharing - the script is on the left, and the optional values are on the right. The values can be edited on the fly as and when you like. It's a spreadsheet with words (and works AFAICS with most spreadsheets, including online ones).

Spreadsheets don't do words very well, so this is spreadsheet is generated from a script https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AGEjiu7HzzPdoozgPBuS2i8r1RRrQZm7wm2jp1s2MHE/edit?usp=sharing which is simple text subsititutions e.g. $CALLSIGN where you want a callsign.

As designed there is of course no flexibility to it ; the idea is more as a fallback for new pilots who aren't sure where to go or what to say next.

Worth thinking about ? Maybe not worth the effort ?

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While crib sheets are helpful, I would suggest it's probably a touch too far to build exact words to repeat for a few reasons.

1) If you are just reading off a page and not really understanding or taking in what you're saying, you will not learn it and will be reliant on that crib forever.

2) What happens if someone is following the crib and gets something that doesn't fit with the verbatim in there? For example "taxi P, hold short of R".

3) The clearance is also missing from the crib. Is it a VFR clearance that they'll have? An IFR clearance? What are they allowed to do in each situation?

4) What if you need to cross the runway before departure? (e.g. parked at the south side, cross runway 08R to the north side and taxi down to the start to depart.

There are just too many variables to reliably create a crib of this type.

I would suggest instead it would be better to look at the Pilot Resources that are available and perhaps take the P1 course which will cover some of the Radio Telephony you would encounter in VFR flight.

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Hiya Paul!

I'm currently looking into creating a VFR Phraseology Guide (like the old P1 Guide) and/or a video lesson dedicated to it on Moodle. But by all means, create guides as it does help! CAP413 is a nightmare for someone if you don't know what you looking for 😛

Edited by Darren Hill
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10 hours ago, Luke Peters said:

While crib sheets are helpful, I would suggest it's probably a touch too far to build exact words to repeat for a few reasons.

1) If you are just reading off a page and not really understanding or taking in what you're saying, you will not learn it and will be reliant on that crib forever.

2) What happens if someone is following the crib and gets something that doesn't fit with the verbatim in there? For example "taxi P, hold short of R".

3) The clearance is also missing from the crib. Is it a VFR clearance that they'll have? An IFR clearance? What are they allowed to do in each situation?

4) What if you need to cross the runway before departure? (e.g. parked at the south side, cross runway 08R to the north side and taxi down to the start to depart.

There are just too many variables to reliably create a crib of this type.

I would suggest instead it would be better to look at the Pilot Resources that are available and perhaps take the P1 course which will cover some of the Radio Telephony you would encounter in VFR flight.

All of theses are fair points (apart from 3 which is a misunderstanding). This isn't something that someone is going to follow forever. It's a support system. When you first fly "real ATC" it's entirely different to doing it theoretically. The number of things you have to do has effectively doubled overnight - fly the plane and do the transmissions (unless you've used something like Pilot2ATC, possibly). It's more about boosting confidence by providing a fallback when people get lost.

One cannot guarantee an ATC will follow the script exactly, but it won't be too different, and decoding what the ATC is saying has to be done anyway (and remembered/written for echoing). One would hope the ATC would be relatively sympathetic towards a beginner, if said beginner has the sense to avoid airports which are very busy. (One could also provide (as I believe happens) events which are aimed at the beginner which could actually be more on script)

The crib isn't a crib. It's a crib making system. You can change the text, responses, substitutions to anything you like. I wouldn't suggest anyone actually uses this crib as it's almost certainly wrong. You can do the same thing on a spreadsheet, it's just incredibly messy and error prone. =CONCATENATE(E3," tower, taxi to ",E2," using runway ",E6)

 

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As someone who in my previous employment, did a hell of a lot of radio and comms training, having an idea of what exactly the process is, is always a great place to start, and any help that we can give a new pilot/user is something that I can get behind.

We always taught our new users how the radio transmissions should sound, but also recommended that they listen to how the traffic is handled as well, so a demonstration video or the like is a great idea.

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