Contacted via unicom voice

Last night someone tried to contact me via Unicom voice using my call sign (but omitting their own). This was in uncontrolled airspace, a few hundred nm away from the closest active ATC, and with noone around that I needed to coordinate with, according to tcas, vatspy and simaware. They used controller phraseology “xxx-xxx are you on frequency?”, except for some verbal abuse when I didn’t respond.

They didn’t try text messaging, possibly because then I’d know who they were.

Are there any legit reaons other than pilot-to-pilot coordination for trying to contact me this way? I assume that a call from a Vatsim supervisor wouldn’t be made on Unicom?

Hi Tom,

no, Supervisors will always try to get in touch with members by the use of private chat messages. Sometimes, when members do not react to those messages, SUPs will send a text message on UNICOM 122.800, hoping that the pilot will then see the request for contact (via private chat).

On top of it, SUPs would never throw any abuse at members, I think that’s self-explanatory.

Regarding your remark that the sender of these text messages omitted their own, this is not possible. Their callsign will always show at the beginning of the line. That’s also the reason why we do not have to mention our callsign (on text), because all messages are already preceded by our own callsign.

Lastly, the question for me would be why you chose to ignore them. Couldn’t you at least have replied with something like “hi, how can I help you? You do not seem to be close to me at all!?”. It was, of course, completely out of line for the other member to insult you. Next time take a screenshot (copy-pasting the text chat does not count) of the UNICOM messages in question and contact a SUP.

Thanks, but this was Unicom voice, not text. I don’t think there is any way to identify the caller in that case?

I didn’t respond for the same reason I don’t respond to cellphone calls with blocked caller id. Usually there is no point.

UNICOM voice on frequency 122.800 has a range of 15 NM from each sender/receiver only, not hundreds of miles. So, at the most the guy calling you on voice on 122.800 could have been 30 NM from you. You better had responded, maybe he was in “observer mode” and therefore did not show up in any of the programs that you are using to monitor traffic around you.

Please get into the habit of responding when somebody calls you on VATSIM UNICOM. This is not a cellphone network where Ranjid from Bangalore is trying to make you buy Amazon gift cards :slight_smile:

Observer mode could make sense (I didn’t realize that observers could actually transmit)

I sometimes get text messages about intentions etc, I respond to those. Anyone broadcasting on Unicom voice/text with positions etc I respond to if relevant. But someone calling me on Unicom voice, using my callsign without giving their own?

I suppose they could have forgotten, but this sounded like someone who was used to talking on Vatsim.

Yeah, sounds like a misunderstanding.

Except in Australia and New Zealand where it is hundreds of miles.

Has this ever been acknowledged by a VATSIM software developer?

At least doesn’t seem to corroborate that - the 122.800 circles are all at 15 NM, anything larger are other tuned frequencies (e.g. 121.500 for those in unicomland).

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I can’t speak for the algorithm behind the code for the map site, though I assume they are using the stated rules for unicom distance to draw circles.

I have personally experienced unicom being heard from well over 100nm in New Zealand and the South Pole, though.

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Not to my knowledge, but nobody in Australia is really complaining about it! 95% of Australia is uncontrolled below FL125 so the extra UNICOM range actually helps.

I have personally heard transmissions from 500nm away.