Concorde Training for ATCOs

Gareth Moore

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Concorde Training for ATCOs
« on: June 02, 2020, 08:22:53 AM »
Hello Canadian friends!

First of all I want to thank you guys for all the great work you do, flying over Canada in VATSIM is always a positive experience and you guys do a brilliantly professional job.

I've been flying Concorde on the network since 2007 and have never had any issues with getting any supersonic clearance over land in Canada as I always fly along the route Concorde flew supersonic over Canada in real life.

Very recently however during the Cross the Prairies event I was confronted by a young man who's name isn't important cause that's not what this is about and he demanded that I slow down because super sonic flight was illegal despite me filing my FP correctly and having already received supersonic clearance from another Canadian Controller. 

I then tried to politely explain to him that supersonic flight over land on VATSIM is not illegal despite it being illegal in real life (this is a game after all) and that the route I was flying on was the real world route that Concorde had flown super sonic on.

Despite this however he reported me to a supervisor and I was forced to disconnect from the network, which I did to avoid any further conflict despite knowing that I was not the person in the wrong. 
Sadly the said controller had informed the Sup that it was essential for me to obey his instruction as I was interfering with his traffic pattern, despite me being at 60,000ft and some 400nm away from the closest aircraft ( I did not follow the subsonic traffic on the fly in route but went to the high north for the super sonic transit instead). 
So I had to disconnect not on the basis that I was supersonic over land (which is not illegal on VATSIM) but on the basis that the controller 'needed' me to slow down (which he didn't) because he incorrectly believed it was illegal for me to be supersonic.
I understand that having aircraft supersonic over major population centres is not at all suitable and should be prohibited, however the real world routes don't go near any major towns or cities and are well out of the way of all other traffic.


I believe it could very beneficial for pilots and controllers if there was some kind of documentation regarding Concorde supersonic operations over Canada that controllers could reference to aid in dealing with Concorde transits as she visited Canada many times in her life and many people including myself get a huge amount of enjoyment out of simulating these flights and really enjoy being in Canada even if its only virtually.

I would kindly like to submit the real world Concorde Flight Plans (some WPs are old) that could be possibly referenced by new VATCAN controllers to see where she flew in real life and on what routes so that they are not caught off guard as the young man was in my case.


Concorde Supersonic Canada Overland Routes

New York – Vancouver
-N0566F280 JFK J37 MSS DCT YMW/M095F320 J524 YUY C/5055N08200W/N0750F320F600 5159N08700W 5208N08900W 5215N09100W 5219N09300W 5222N09500W 5222N09700W 5220N09900W 5217N10100W 5211N10300W 5204N10500W 5155N10700W 5155N10900W 5155N11100W 5155N11300W 5155N11500W DCT WASEN/M095F380 J503 YNY J508 BOOTH

Heathrow – Toronto
-N0560F260 CPT L9 MALBY C/UPGAS/N0740F260F450 SL2 C/LESLU/M200F450F600 UM142 MALOT DCT 54000N020000W 56000N030000W 57000N040000W 57000N050000W PRAWN DCT LOMTA N402 TRIPE 505106N0750412W DCT YXI YSO.SIMCO2

Toronto – Heathrow
-N0530F310 DCT YEE C/50551N075042W/N0740F310F450 C/TRIPE/M200F450F600 N402 LOMTA DCT PRAWN 57000N050000W 57000N040000W 56000N030000W 54000N020000W 52000N015000W BARIX SL3 PITEM UP2 NIGIT OCK2F

New York – Seattle
-N0555F300 JFK J37 MSS DCT YMW/M095F320 J524 YUY C/5055N08200W/N0755F320F600 5700N8700W 6000N10200W 5900N11100W 5400N1200W DCT YWL/M095F380 J528 YVR.JAWBN9

Seattle Tacoma – Halifax
-N0545F290 KMORE1.KMORE DCT IWACK J503 YNY J527 C/BOJAM/M200F290F600 J527 YMM 5700N10800W 5700N09900W 5630N08700W 5400N07500W 5100N07200W/M095F410 DCT YBC J561 PQI DCT YSJ J506 YHZ DCT IGTAS LISCOM6
-CYHZ0320 KBGR


Thank you for your time and consideration and keep up the great work!

Gareth

Ben Stevenson

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Re: Concorde Training for ATCOs
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2020, 08:56:48 AM »
I think this is falling into a bit of a grey area.  Yes supersonic flight over land in Canada is illegal, and yes this is just a game, but it is one we try to emulate the real world as closely as we can. 

The controller in question would have been more appropriate informing you that exceeding mach 1 is illegal in Canada and speed is at your discretion as controllers aren't there to play cop. 

Saying he didn't need you to slow down, you don't know that, you can't see the whole picture and going almost Mach 2, 400 miles gets covered real quick.  If they are dealing with a whole bunch of other event traffic and trying to slot you in then your speed is going to be an issue.

As for your point about receiving supersonic clearance from another controller, that's irrelevant, they don't control the other's airspace.

The controller was not in the wrong entirely for reporting after asking you to slow down.  I'll refer to the VATSIM Code of Conduct, section B8

B8 - A pilot must comply with all agreed (read-back) air traffic control clearances and all issued instructions, or notify air traffic control without delay if unable to do so. Additionally, compliance with the following ATC instructions is mandatory, unless operational safety (e.g. TCAS conflict resolution) is compromised:

- Holding position when on the ground at an airport.

- Flying at a speed.

- Flying a heading.

- Flying at an altitude or flight level.

In reality though, this probably could have been handled better all around, from both sides.  The controller probably didn't need to get a SUP, at least not yet, and what would be the harm in you complying and slowing down. 
Ben Stevenson
Chief Instructor
Toronto FIR (CZYZ)
torontofir.ca


Gareth Moore

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Re: Concorde Training for ATCOs
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2020, 07:20:00 AM »
I think this is falling into a bit of a grey area.  Yes supersonic flight over land in Canada is illegal, and yes this is just a game, but it is one we try to emulate the real world as closely as we can. 

Which is exactly why I was flying the real world Supersonic route and not some random routing across Canada sir :)

The controller in question would have been more appropriate informing you that exceeding mach 1 is illegal in Canada and speed is at your discretion as controllers aren't there to play cop. 

Saying he didn't need you to slow down, you don't know that, you can't see the whole picture and going almost Mach 2, 400 miles gets covered real quick.  If they are dealing with a whole bunch of other event traffic and trying to slot you in then your speed is going to be an issue. 

I understand that you are trying to defend your colleague sir, I totally get that but to reiterate, I was 400nm+ from the nearest traffic and he specifically told me I needed to slow down because it was illegal (which it isn't), there was no other reason he required me to slow down, so we don't need to worry about arbitrary reasons like, "it could have been for traffic integration".  It really wasn't that complicated at all, he didn't like me being supersonic because he incorrectly believed I was not allowed to do so and decided to play sky cop.


As for your point about receiving supersonic clearance from another controller, that's irrelevant, they don't control the other's airspace.

You can see how ridiculous this is right?  One Canadian controller clears me supersonic, then hands me off to the next Canadian controller who then looses his cool, raises his voice at me on frequency and demands I slow down because it is illegal on the network.   Again sir, I completely understand your position and trying to defend your colleague sir, but no, this is not irrelevant at all but in fact, a little silly :)

The controller was not in the wrong entirely for reporting after asking you to slow down.  I'll refer to the VATSIM Code of Conduct, section B8
 

I can't agree with that at all, I would likely to kindly remind you that the code of conduct states that a pilot must comply with all instructions and notify the controller if unable to do so.  Which is exactly what I did, I was not able to make my destination unless I was supersonic and I was not breaking any rule by being supersonic and this is my point that you and the young controller seem to be missing here sir.  It is not against the VATSIM rules to be supersonic over land and I was flying over the real world supersonic route.


In reality though, this probably could have been handled better all around, from both sides.

Correct much better, I also don't really appreciate being addressed as if I am somehow in the wrong here.  I did absolutely nothing wrong, I filled the correct Flight Plan, I received the correct clearance and I flew along a route I've done so many, many times in my 17 years on VATSIM.

This is a simple case of someone playing sky cop when they should not have been, there were no valid reasons for the way he acted or treated me and I find it very disrespectful that despite me taking the time to be as polite and as helpful as possible that you have reacted in a mildly hostile way and tried to educate me on the network rules as if I am somehow in the wrong here.

My issue is that VATSIM is not a dictatorship sir, I should not have to disconnect from the network because a young controller is accusing me of breaking rules that don't exist, and that I must obey him even if he is wrong, because I don't understand the full picture.

The controller probably didn't need to get a SUP, at least not yet, and what would be the harm in you complying and slowing down.
 

I would have ran out of fuel and not made my destination so that would have been rather harmful sir, plus I had flown the aircraft all the way from London on the same day to take part in this event, so although we don't see eye to eye on this issue I'm sure you can understand just why I was so frustrated to have flown all the way from the UK to take part in a Canadian Fly In event, flying a real world Concorde route only to be told by someone who doesn't know any better than I am not allowed to do that.

Regardless, thank you for taking the time to reply to me, I hope this incident highlights some issues that need to be addressed.

Gareth

Ben Stevenson

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Re: Concorde Training for ATCOs
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2020, 08:37:01 AM »
No, it's not ridiculous.  One controller may say it's ok, another doesn't have to.

Yes, the code of conduct say to inform the controller if unable, you were not unable, you were unwilling. 

I was not being hostile, i was providing you a point of view from the other side.  You are now being hostile with me and i'm going to request this thread be locked and closed now.

Maybe the controller behaved inappropriately and was raising their voice, i can't speak to that as i wasn't there, but you were not willing to comply with reasonable instructions.  It was not you were unable to, you were unwilling.

The controller does know better.  Exceeding Mach 1 over land is illegal.  End of story.  The CAR's state it.  There is no "supersonic route" over Canada, you know why?  Because the only time the Concorde flew across Canada was during it's world tour.  There was no regular route or regular service.

So again, could the controller handled it better, maybe.  You definitely could have as well.

FORUM ADIMNS:  Please close and lock this thread.  It's done.
Ben Stevenson
Chief Instructor
Toronto FIR (CZYZ)
torontofir.ca


Jagard Strong

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Re: Concorde Training for ATCOs
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2020, 08:43:36 AM »
Quote
Which is exactly why I was flying the real world Supersonic route and not some random routing across Canada sir :)

Not sure what a random route or filed route has anything to due with the CARS rule prohibiting aircraft operating greater than True Mach 1. Aviation regs in Canada is a very long document and NOT everyone is aware of what is in it. So from controller to controller will be a difference of knowledge.

What Ben said is correct, we are here to provide simulated ATC. We as controllers try our best to simulate every possible situation with the knowledge we have.

Reference:
Cars Rule: 602.33



Quote
I can't agree with that at all, I would likely to kindly remind you that the code of conduct states that a pilot must comply with all instructions and notify the controller if unable to do so.  Which is exactly what I did, I was not able to make my destination unless I was supersonic and I was not breaking any rule by being supersonic and this is my point that you and the young controller seem to be missing here sir.  It is not against the VATSIM rules to be supersonic over land and I was flying over the real world supersonic route.

Not sure what age has to do with anything here. An instruction is an Instruction. Also again "real world" doesn't change anything. 

Quote
I can't agree with that at all, I would likely to kindly remind you that the code of conduct states that a pilot must comply with all instructions and notify the controller if unable to do so.

That is if the safety of the flight is effected. Fuel planning does not fall into that category. It states in Transport Canada Aviation manual that if a pilot declares a fuel emergency he/she will not be guaranteed priority. An actual Emergency must be declared.

CARS 602.33 clearly states what is not allowed. So with that knowledge, it is up to the pilot to make adjustments as required. With that being said, maybe a flight permitted was granted. Who knows.



Quote
This is a simple case of someone playing sky cop when they should not have been, there were no valid reasons for the way he acted or treated me and I find it very disrespectful that despite me taking the time to be as polite and as helpful as possible that you have reacted in a mildly hostile way and tried to educate me on the network rules as if I am somehow in the wrong here.

My issue is that VATSIM is not a dictatorship sir, I should not have to disconnect from the network because a young controller is accusing me of breaking rules that don't exist, and that I must obey him even if he is wrong because I don't understand the full picture.

I am not sure how you can accuse Ben of being disrespectful? Just because he does not agree with all your points made does not mean he is being disrespectful. He is trying to tell you some rules, and some possibilities for the scenario. \

"playing skycop" and "young controller" is not the way to go about this. Matter of fact I know there are people smarter & younger than me on the virtual network when it is about aviation, and I am an airline pilot. It is my job to now certain things. But I Don't know it all.

Quote
...flying a real-world Concorde route only to be told by someone who doesn't know any better than I am not allowed to do that.

Regardless, thank you for taking the time to reply to me, I hope this incident highlights some issues that need to be addressed.

Saying that someone doesn't know better doesn't improve this. Stop accusing this controller of misguidance and turn it into a teaching discussion. We are not here to bicker about who is right and who is wrong.

I am a virtual controller at CZQM. I can not count the number of errors I make or see other people make during normal operations and Oceanic operations.

It's a learning environment for all.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Moncton FIR
Events Coordinator
www.czqm.ca


Rob Nabieszko

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Re: Concorde Training for ATCOs
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2020, 11:03:31 AM »
This is an interesting topic that has come up from time to time.

I think Gareth makes some good points (though not all).

At the end of the day, it boils down to a few issues:

1) Is supersonic flight permitted in Canada on VATSIM?
2) Can we provide a consistent answer to this question across Canada?
3) Should controllers 'police' the network?

1) Is supersonic flight permitted in Canada on VATSIM?
Is supersonic flight permitted in Canada? The answer is no in the real world. Hands down. No permitted routes. Just no.

But VATSIM is always a special animal where we all live in a bit of a fantasy. For some people, this fantasy involves flying 747s with PanAm written on the side, or in some cases, flying the Concorde, a type that has not flow in the real world in nearly 20 years. Nowhere does VATSIM prohibit us from flying fantasy routes and aircraft, so it is not a stretch to say that we can perhaps bend some other prohibitions. Since sonic booms are not an issue online, we could permit violations of CAR 602.33 that do not affect others?

2) Can we provide a consistent answer to this question across Canada?
I feel the frustration over inconsistent policies. This is something I have attempted to address in my tenure as VATCAN3, by providing a consistent baseline of training for all the FIRs to build upon. Having someone say yes to have the next guy say no can be frustrating, especially if it is seemingly arbitrary.

Regardless of the outcome of this discussion, I think we should endeavour to find a policy that works for everyone and apply it consistently.

3) Should controllers 'police' the network?
My general answer to this is NO. Controllers are not here to police pilots, any more than pilots are here to police controllers. And this emulates the real world. In the real world, controllers do not police pilots. They coordinate air traffic to ensure traffic moves safely and efficiently. If someone violates a regulation, the controllers may politely inform the pilot of the regulation, but they cannot prevent a pilot from performing an action the pilot feels is necessary. NavCanada has provided specific guidance on this. If a pilot wishes to knowingly violate a regulation, controllers must still provide as much information as necessary.

For example, if a pilot wishes to depart in Canada below the minimum allowable visibility, the controller must still provide the pilot with appropriate traffic, weather, wind information, and tell them they can depart at their discretion, even if both pilot and controller know this is a violation of the regulations. The controller cannot prevent a pilot from doing what they choose to do.

All the controller can then do is file a report with Transport Canada, who are the "police" of the skies, and let them deal with the situation.

Likewise, VATSIM controllers are not police. They are traffic coordinators. In this case, calling a supervisor may have been heavy-handed, but was not totally wrong. Supervisors are trained to find compromise and enforce the rules of the network. They may have a network wide policy.

And so....
So at the end of the day, the question becomes, what do we do about Mach 1 in Canada? And I think this is a decision that will need to be reached by a consensus of FIRs and dealt with consistently.

That will be the key to harmony between pilots and controllers.

(For what it's worth, I am not against it if it doesn't cause conflicts with other traffic. I have never approved supersonic flight, but permitted it at "pilot's discretion". But I am willing to aquiesce to the will of the majority of FIRs.)

Rob

P.S. And while we're at it, do any other Divisions have a policy about supersonic flight?

Rob Nabieszko | VATCAN3
Director of Training, VATCAN
rnczyzcontrol@gmail.com