The Club's Air Traffic Services Manager's tutorials dealing with Radio Telephony (R/T) for Club pilots are highly detailed (and perhaps a little daunting on first inspection - like many things in aviation so no surprise there!) They will, however, once digested, enable Club pilots to be highly professional when connected to VATSIM or IVAO and talking to an Air Traffic Controller. The tutorials accessed via the links below are suitable for use on VATSIM or IVAO or for other pilots who do not have or wish to take the VATSIM Pilot Ratings.
|VATSIM Course||R/T Tutorial||Test Procedure|
|P1 Rating||CIX P1 R/T||Conduct of P1 R/T test|
|P2 Rating||CIX P2 R/T||Conduct of R/T Desk test|
|P3 Rating||CIX Full R/T|
|General VFR Flying||Aerodrome Flight Information Service||None|
|General VFR Flying||The Overhead Join||None|
The Club also has a comprehensive Air Traffic Control Manual which covers the whole range of information for pilots flying VFR on VATSIM or IVAO.
Until pilots have gained practice and experience of talking to Air Traffic Control at its various levels, they are likely to use many non-standard phrases (including err..., and um...!) To help avoid this problem the Club has created a set of Dialogue Cards for the different phases of flight - taxiing, departure, en route and arrival. If printed on A4 card or 100gm/sq.m. paper and then cut along the borders, they can be stacked in order, and each one used in sequence. Download the Dialogue Card set.
Aviation is full of mnemonics like this. Some are designed to help remember actions, such as checklists, but others are just convenient ways to avoid having to write or remember a long title. ATSOCAS means "Air Traffic Services Outside Controlled Airspace", and is a system used only in the UK. However, it is an important system for General Aviation where aircraft fly outside controlled airspace i.e. in Class F and G. It is not mandatory for a pilot to be in contact with an air traffic service outside controlled airspace, and pilots are responsible for their own navigation, collision avoidance and terrain clearance. Unlike the real world, where all airports will have an Air Traffic Service of some kind, only some airfields will have ATC on VATSIM and IVAO,. Pilots are therefore more often than not unable to receive a service, because none exists in the area in which they are flying. Should a pilot be in a position where he can receive a service, then the following levels of service will be provided by VATSIM or IVAO controllers. Below is a summary definition for each of the four levels of service. For complete information on the system, see the CAA's CAP774.
A Basic Service is an air traffic service provided to give advice and information useful for the safe and efficient conduct of flight. The controller will provide information to assist the safe and efficient conduct of flight. This can include weather, changes of serviceability of facilities, conditions at aerodromes and general activity information within a service unit's area of responsibility. Basic Service is available under Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) outside controlled airspace in any meteorological conditions, or under Visual Flight Rules (VFR).
A Traffic Service is a radar surveillance based ATS, where in addition to the provisions of a Basic Service, the controller provides specific radar surveillance derived traffic information to assist the pilot in avoiding other traffic. Controllers may provide headings and/or altitudes aimed at achieving deconfliction, although he is not required to achieve deconfliction minima, and the avoidance of other traffic is ultimately the pilot’s responsibility. A Traffic Service is available under IFR outside controlled airspace in any meteorological conditions, or under VFR.
A Deconfliction Service is a radar surveillance based ATS where, in addition to the provisions of a Basic Service, the controller provides specific radar derived traffic information and issues headings and/or altitudes aimed at achieving planned deconfliction minima against all observed aircraft in Class F or Class G airspace, or for positioning and/or sequencing. However, the avoidance of other traffic is ultimately the pilot’s responsibility. A Deconfliction Service is only be provided to flights under IFR outside controlled airspace. VFR traffic should not request a Deconfliction Service.
A Procedural Service is an ATS where in addition to the provisions of a Basic Service, the controller provides vertical, lateral, longitudinal and time instructions which, if complied with, shall achieve deconfliction minima against other aircraft participating in the Procedural Service. Neither traffic information nor deconfliction advice can be passed with respect to unknown traffic.A Procedural Service will only be provided to flights under IFR, irrespective of meteorological conditions.