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Undeserved Public Criticism

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John Pettit

I have just flown EGLL to EGPD. Scottish Centre were on line. An aircraft (details available) was having difficulty obtaining clearance from Scottish on 'voice' comms. I was able to hear Scottish but unable to hear the aircraft, although Scottish were able, intermittently, to receive the aicraft on voice. This resulted in the following transmission via text from the aircraft:

08:22:03 "Callsign" OK you can just ignore me while I try to get ifr clearance ima have a word with your supervisor and i have this all recorded on video of u ignoring me and ill be giving you a very bad review gday (text as sent - ed)

I was on frequency and I did not hear ANY of the offended aircraft voice transmissions. It appears to me that the problem lay with that aircraft's equipment rather than with ATC. Nonetheless, the reply from the aircraft was totally out of order, and not in keeping with VatSim philosophy. He should be ashamed of his response. This is a hobby and we should all be tolerant of the mishaps of others when they occur.

The end result was that ATC went offline to check his own equipment, but never came back. A loss to all concerned.

Edited by John Pettit
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Kai-Leon Bagtazo

It's a shame this happened, and let's face it, IFR clearance to an enroute controller is a very hard thing to do (I'm assuming this a/c was on the ground) and is understandingly a low priority task considering other things. It's just lack of foresight at this point, and I know the controller on duty at the time in passing so hats off to them and I am sorry if you were 'encouraged' to log off because of this incident because no one should ever feel like this.

"a very bad review" - well, we'll see about that.

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Harry Downton

Hi John,

Cheers for bringing this to our attention.

We do the have the feedback function which a lot of people are using, so if this comes through the system we'll take your notes on board and action it accordingly. We do however look through almost all and review each item of feedback where possible, to ensure what's submitted has integrity.

I note you have redacted the callsign, would you be able to send this to me: harry.downton[at]vatsim.uk?


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Andrew Horeckyj

It seems the offended - and perhaps offending pilot, has got the wrong-end of a tech issue situation, and attributed it to poor ATC behaviour.

Was anyone able to respond to the pilot's text-rant, to explain that they could hear ATC perfectly but not him? This might have completely defused a rage-quit in progress?
We all get occasional tech issues leaving us either deaf or mute on frequency...usually when the PC does something we just don't require right now....like update that antivirus software.

Sometimes the inbuilt (and quite nice really) range-limiting feature of the new AFV comms, can catch folk out - especially those on the ground, who might want to talk to a distant controller but can't.


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John Pettit


Yes - I did try and explain to the pilot via text what the problem might be. So did the Controller. We both tried to explain via text exactly the possibilities you have described, but without success - he was having none of it. He was determined to have a rant.

As I said above I could not hear the other pilot’s voice transmissions and ATC could only hear occasionally. ATC tried to assist via text but the pilot would not respond to his suggestions. Almost certainly the pilot was at the range limit or had other comms issues.

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