HI - I’m new to VATSIM but have completed a couple of simple departures from Edinburgh (EGPH} and have received notification that, on take-off, no further ATC is available and tuned to UNICOM. I’m not clear if I should then complete my flight on UNICOM? Will I be automatically be contacted to tune to ATC as the flight progresses or do I need to proactively tune to ATC on route, for instance if flying over London airspace en-route to say Gatwick? Also do I need to contact approach myself as I prepare for landing? Any help would be much appreciated as would recommendations for tutorials etc.
We can say that :
1^ Case = When ATC say “No Further … monitor/switch to Unicom 122.8” you have to set the frequency 122.8 and monitor this frequency or talk in this freuency if you need it, to make a better coordination with anothers pilots.
2^ Case = When there are no ATC availables you have to set, monitor and eventually talk with the another pilot in the Unicom Frequency (122.800)
3^ Case = If you are on Unicom and you are going to be in a controlled airspace you have 2 options, you can contact for first the controller when you breach his airspace or you can wait that the controller ping you and send the “contact me” message.
Hope to have help and have good day,
Many thanks Alex that’s really useful! Can you just confirm that, if I enter an ATC airspace I have to contact them when pinged and, if so, would I just call them on the advised frequency and announce my call sig or any further information? I was recently automatically disconnected as I didn’t respond to Sottish centre as I missed their ping when flying on Unicom!
Great to hear from you!
Yes John, you can contact the controller when he ping you, but it’s more efficient if you, already have set the frequency of the controller in the frequency panel or i think it’s more efficient if you set and put in use as the main frequency, the frequency of the next controller and just monitor it until you breach his airspace or until you’d like to contact him.
Very Happy to have help you
According to the CoC it’s your job as a pilot to make proactive contact with ATC:
- B3(a) Pilots shall monitor their flights at all times. It is the responsibility of the pilot to check for, and make timely contact with appropriate air traffic controllers. This includes making prompt contact when requested to do so.
There are definitely regions on VATSIM that would rather see you wait for a contact me than to guess who you need to call, but on paper it’s a pilot’s job to check for ATC rather than to just wait for a contact me. If you get a contact me you should, of course, actually contact the controller
Alex/Lars - Thanks for the advice which is appreciated. I can now try to develop my skills on VATSIM with more confidence!
@1537716 what’s even more efficient than broadcasting every intention on 122.8 throughout your whole flight: Just keeping an eye on VAT-Spy and simaware.ca and check if traffic is a potential threat to you.
When I’m enroute at FL360 northbound through currently uncontrolled airspace, I check VAT-Spy if there’s any other traffic on FL360 about to cross my flightpath within the next 5-10 minutes or so. If not, I can do something else while cruising without broadcasting anything on unicom.
Even if I’ve got traffic on the same level, I just reach out to the other pilot via “.chat ABC123 text” and tell him I’ll do a step climb or whatever to get out of the way of each other
Works perfectly that way since 15 years or so.
When I’m approaching an uncontrolled airport, I go to simaware.ca as you can see ground traffic on that site aswell (with a minute delay or so). If there’s no one on the ground and no one departing either, I don’t see the need to broadcast on unicom.
Just when I see there’s someone about to taxi for departure or someone else is approaching the airport, I tune 122.8
As mentioned previously, some Countries do have a rather complex airspace structure like Britain and Germany.
Check vatglasses.uk/ for a correct airspace overview to know who to contact
Thanks for the Advice Reinhard it all helps to improve my flying experience.
In my area in Pennsylvania beliw 12k we have Harrisburg approach. I found out one evening when I departed Capitol City/Harrisburg east for Allentown KABE. I departed on UNICOM because Harrisburg Approach and KCXY were not manned. As soon as I crossed into New York Center airspace I was pinged by New York Center which was manned. I accepted Flight Following and vectors for ABE finals.