Unicom usage required or not?

so is unicom usage going to be enforced or should i just stop bothering?

i’d guess less than 20% of anyone at a major us airport is using unicom at any given time.

ksfo right now is just a free for all

1 Like

Yes, please always use it. You can ignore those members who do not, because YOU coordinate on UNICOM. If they do not and come down the runway in the wrong direction, it is their problem, not yours.

2 Likes

That is partly because not everyone is even tuned to 122.800……

1 Like

I’m one of those pilots who is on some random unstaffed frequency, when there’s no ATC.
But why?

Cause I have always got a close look on VAT-Spy and on simaware.ca to see if there’s traffic or ATC around me. I just don’t see the point of being tuned to 122.8 on FL380, when there’s traffic coming the opposite way on FL370 in CRZ, someone flying at FL400 above me nowhere close to his top of descend or reporting my intentions on unicom flying into BIAR Akureyri when I’m the only plane in a 200nm range.

I use CNTL-left almost constantly when I’m not with active ATC to manage tabs in Firefox, copy and paste things in Excel etc.
If i was on unicom on FL380, everyone else tuned to 122.8 aswell would hear a transmitting sound every couple second.

When I see there’s no ATC in BIAR and I’m on inital approach and spot someone on ground who filed a FPL with DEP BIAR, I just get in touch with him via .chat ABC123.

Works like a charm this way for me and everyone else around me without any issue ever since.

I think it’s just about common sense.

I’d never ever taxi on GND at a busy airport without coordinating with the others around me.

my suggestion, again. make it known in the server connection message on login.

1 Like

I agree there should be a server message when you connect.

1 Like

“ * B5 Pilots flying through uncontrolled airspace shall monitor VHF radio frequency 122.800 or other designated “UNICOM” frequency until they come under air traffic control coverage. Where another pilot may benefit, a pilot shall transmit their intentions on the designated unicom frequency.”

You do not tune the “control” frequency if there is no “control” on. You are required to monitor Unicom until ATC service is available per CATSIM Code of Conduct as seen above. You can technically wallop a pilot blatantly disregarding operations while avoiding UNICOM.

4 Likes

You see more and more pilots not using unicom at all. Is it lack of English speak/text i don’t know.
How may times i have seen pilots arrive ,land, taxi to gate or leave the gate ,taxi, depart, without saying anything and there are multiple pilots around.

1 Like

Short answer is yes, you should use it when no ATC is available. The users that are not, are doing it wrong. You agreed to do that when you signed up for VATSIM. Pretty sure it was on the test…

Long answer and my opinion is the whole point of using VATSIM is to make the experience as realistic as possible. In the real world we always use the local UNICOM to communicate our intentions, position, etc. at uncontrolled airports, it does not matter if anyone is in the area and listening or if you get a response or not.

If you are flying in areas with no ATC and you don’t want to use UNICOM why even bother flying on VATSIM? If I have no interest in using the radio I’d just fly on my own local machine with AI generated traffic.

1 Like

What is different in real world conditions compared to VATSIM?
On VATSIM, I’ve got websites and programs that show me every traffic around me without exception. I do not have this when flying a real Cessna.

@1779304 I have to strongly disagree with your statement on “If you are flying in areas with no ATC and you don’t want to use UNICOM why even bother flying on VATSIM? If I have no interest in using the radio I’d just fly on my own local machine with AI generated traffic.”

I have even been thinking about how I get ATC coverage on 100% of my flights and ever improving my “system” for many years. That’s why I’m having quite a few bookmarks for that matter and a big excel sheet and that’s why I’m disappointed on the fact that there’s so little ATC scheduling in the US. I simply hate flying on VATSIM when there’s no ATC. That’s why I’m always commenting on forum topic where it’s about ATC scheduling, ATC coverage etc… see here:

@Shane, I care about online ATC more than most other VATSIM pilots. Yet I do not see the need for a pilot 300nm away from me to communicate a level change on cruise when there’s just no one around him.

Best regards

My understanding is that UNICOM is for airfield operations, approaches, departures, at and around uncontrolled airports. This is where it should be used, not during a cross country nowhere near congested airspace or a traffic pattern. I agree with you that it is not (or should not be) necessary to announce a flight level change at cruise altitude in the middle of nowhere, for example, and I don’t use UNICOM for that either and wouldn’t in the real world. UNICOM doesn’t have a range of 300nm but I get your point and I think we are on the same page with where it is appropriate to use.

As for flying in real life, we do actually have really good traffic awareness like your web sites with ADSB on board that is required almost everywhere now but just because I don’t see any traffic around me on my monitor when flying into our airpark that is uncontrolled, I still make UNICOM calls as the gadgets don’t replace peer to peer communication.

1 Like

Yes, UNICOM is primarily for pilots to announce and coordinate their movements/intentions at and around airports. Enroute there is no need to use it.

3 Likes

So why do it? This is a game. It’s supposed to be fun. If it’s not fun, what’s the point? If you hate Vatsim with no controllers, couldn’t you… Just log off when there’s no controllers, rather than insist there’s no reason for you to follow the Vatsim procedures?

This doesn’t make sense to me.

1 Like

Do you mean “use” it or monitor it. I thought we had to monitor 122.800 at all times when not under control, including enroute.

1 Like

It would be great if there were authoritive factual clear responses to member enquiries. If I was to use the responses so far, I’d be so confused as someone starting out.

It’s very clear in the CoC.

Pilots flying through uncontrolled airspace shall monitor VHF radio frequency 122.800 or other designated “UNICOM” frequency until they come under air traffic control coverage. Where another pilot may benefit, a pilot shall transmit their intentions on the designated unicom frequency.

3 Likes

My point is, the forums are now a place for every persons opinion.

Can VATSIM create a sub forum or channel to “Ask a Supervisor a Question!”

Rarely is there a response to anyone’s request that comes from a Supervisor or member in a position of authority. Seems that we used to seek members for positions in the organisation who were ‘active’ on the forums and accessible to the membership.

I move a motion that anyone in a position should be active on the forums, not just on the network (already a requirement).
image

1 Like

A SUP will just quote the CoC which has already been quoted.

2 Likes

Because you don’t have 100% ATC coverage on VATSIM throughout a whole flight.
On my last 93 flights, only 4 had absolutely no ATC, 54 flights were under ATC coverage either at the DEP or at the ARR airport and on 35 flights I had ATC both on departure and arrival:

So, Andrew, you say when I depart under ATC and land under ATC coverage, but there’s no ATC online enroute, I should disconnect?

What if ATC comes online right at the sector I’m flying through at the moment? Should I just reconnect? Is it better for ATC to have people reconnect in the middle of their FIR without a warning?

Provocative counter questions aside… my point is, you simply can’t do IFR flights with guaranteed ATC coverage from offblock to onblock (except for some events…) and that’s fine. But monitoring Unicom when simaware.ca and VAT-Spy don’t show any traffic around me is just ridiculous.
On FL320, it’s just useless information if VFR traffic has just entered the downwind for RWY26 at the airport right under me… :wink:

This tbh. Especially since B5 is very clear on this specific point