Approach frequency not showing

Hi, I started flying with VATSIM about a month ago and so far it’s really good. Except for one single thing: I use vatspy to see where the controllers are and to see which frequencies they are on. Every time, when I see that someone is, for example, on the tower frequency, that frequency shows on v pilot too, so I know it is available. I usually fly to London Gatwick and most of the times there are controllers on the approach frequency. Now almost every time, even if vatspy shows that the approach frequency has a controller, that frequency doesn’t show on v-pilot therefore I can’t connect to it.
Is that a glitch or is it something I’m missing out?

Hi Luca,

a frequency not showing in the ATC-list on your pilot client does not mean that it is not available. ATCOs are able to use secondary frequencies that are “cross-coupled”, but not listed. On VatSpy and similar information services only primary frequencies are listed, so the frequency of that controller should have been listed in vpilot. The only sensible reasons for this is not being the case are “controller not online anymore” and “pilot too far away from ATC-station (=out of range)”.

In the situation described you above, were you at Gatwick airport or at least within 50 tgo 100NM?

Yes, I was about 55 nautical miles from Gatwick

But, if the use cross-coupled frequencies, how do I know which one to contact ?

This happened today also. As you can see, vatspy says there is someone at the approach frequency, but v pilot says otherwise.

This little A on VATSpy, Simaware, etc. indicates that an ATIS is online for the airport. An approach unit would be shown with a green-ish circle (in the normal color scheme). The only map tool - that I know of - that does this differently is VATGlasses, where the A would indicate that an approach unit is online.

You would only by reading the controllers “Controller Information” (by clicking on the ATCO station in the ATC list of “Controllers in Range” or by being instructed to contacted a frequency.

And as David has pointed out this seems to be a case of misinterpreting the information on VatSpy. The “A” in this case stands for “ATIS”, not “Approach control”.

If you checked VatSpy right now (1355z time), you’d notice the difference with an actual approach controller being active.

Ohhhh, sorry😅 I didn’t know that:)