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Vatsim cross the pond Westbound - 4th of april  

Postby Isaak » Wed Mar 18, 2020 9:24 pm

On the 4th of april 2020, thousands of virtual pilots will cross the Atlantic from Europe to the US. Bookings for the bi-annual Vatsim 'cross the pond' event open this Saturday, 21st of March at 1200Z on https://ctp.vatsim.net/. In spring, pilots fly from Europe to North America, during autumn they return.

If you want to participate, be sure to know all the relevant procedures (including obtaining Oceanic clearance and filing position reports), make an account on VATSIM well in advance, get Swift and FlightGear 2019.2.x and be ready to book fast: the slots will be occupied in a matter of minutes.

Don't know what I'm talking about? Look at this timelapse from the last event, in October 2019 ;-)



And this one from 2018:



The big question: any other FlightGear pilots that will attend?

I'm hoping to obtain a KLM-slot from Amsterdam, and take the 777 to the skies.
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Re: Vatsim cross the pond Westbound - 4th of april

Postby Isaak » Sun Mar 22, 2020 6:30 am

It seems no FG-pilots will join? I obtained a slot for KLM607 from Amsterdam to San Francisco yesterday, departing at 1335Z on the 4th of April. Looking forward to it!
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Re: Vatsim cross the pond Westbound - 4th of april

Postby legoboyvdlp » Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:55 pm

Oh no - I had planned to be online when the slots opened but didn't manage it :( So unless I manage to find one over the next few weeks looks like it will be non-event traffic again!

Last year I took a 777 from Boston to Shannon as I also missed the slot - only to find on approach that Shannon airport was missing in action in my custom scenery :D

This year I would expect traffic to be even higher - and last year was a record - so prepare for some busy frequencies :)
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Re: Vatsim cross the pond Westbound - 4th of april

Postby Isaak » Sun Mar 22, 2020 4:59 pm

A year ago I didn't have time to participate, instead made a flight from Amsterdam to Barcelona, right through all the east-west-traffic. That was fun too, numerous reroutes and level changes :D
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Re: Vatsim cross the pond Westbound - 4th of april

Postby legoboyvdlp » Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:04 pm

What I'm wondering - is anyone else seeing constant crashes with the A320 and swift? I'd really like to fly the A320 and see if the aircraft's range is accurate as well as using the new MCDU - but it kept crashing a while back, it seemed stable with the 777 however. I can't think why juut the A320 would crash.
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Re: Vatsim cross the pond Westbound - 4th of april

Postby Isaak » Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:22 pm

What do you mean exactly: is the program crashing or the A320 in sim? I would definitly post in the swift topic for bug reports. If the aircraft itself is crashing: check if no-one spawned upon you, collision detection is on by default and I didn't find a way yet to switch it off, which means that if you touch another aircraft, your plane crashes. That's a tad too realistic in my opinion :-P I've only had it twice now, but there's funier things than having to restart the sim because someone decided to taxi through you.
Last edited by Isaak on Sun Mar 22, 2020 8:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vatsim cross the pond Westbound - 4th of april

Postby legoboyvdlp » Sun Mar 22, 2020 7:28 pm

The A320 is crashing - there's no error messages, so I take it that there's something wrong in the simulator internals, caused by some oddity in the A320 - it usually happens after about 40 minutes or so - indicating a potential memory problem - but why it would only happen in the A320 is beyond me :?

It certainly doesn't happen in any other aircraft bar the A320 and it doesn't happen in the A320 without swift. I think I'll do a few flights with the latest version of Swift and see if it hasn't been improved / corrected.
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Re: Vatsim cross the pond Westbound - 4th of april

Postby Isaak » Sat Apr 04, 2020 4:08 pm

I 've transitioned in Reykjavic Oceanic airspace now, so I 've got some time to post some images.

First of all, finding an empty parking spot wasn't easy, but I managed.

Image

And this was the situation on the ground. ATC controlled takeoffs from three runways (18L, 24, 36L), and one landing runway (27). Luckily I departed runway 18L, as this was the traffic jam building up to runway 36L :p

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I departed EHAM with only 6 minutes delay to my calculated takeoff time (CTOT), thanks to the great guidance AND planning of ATC. Planning Cross the pond takes a lot of skills, as I saw during a presentation the DUTCH VACC gave at FSweekend two years ago. I had only two aircraft in front of me when lining up runway 18L at E5. (we didn't use E6 as we all would have to cross the active landing runway 27).

Image

And off we went. From lining up to contacting final center controllers, I talked to 4 controllers (Tower, Approach and two Maastricht Radar controllers) in about 10 minutes. Speak about overload :p In Danish airspace at FL300 I flew directly below PSV105, another flight to KSFO at FL360.

Image

I'm currently approaching Iceland, and I 've talked to not less than 11 different controllers, but I 've still got a lot of them to go :) In order of appearance:
EHAM delivery (to get my clearance), EHAM planner (to plan the departures for aircraft that are fully ready for push and start and let them contact ground in a orderly fashion to reduce traffic jams on the way to the runway), EHAM ground (one of three ground controllers active at the time), EHAM tower (for takeoff), EHAM Approach, Maastricht ACC and Maastricht UAC, Denmark CTR, Scottish CTR, Reykjavic Clearance (to obtain my Oceanic clearance), back to Scottish (didn't count this one twice) and finally Reykjavic Oceanic. Below you see the madness that's currently going on on VATSIM :) I'm the first aircraft in the blue circle). The overloaded tracks are people who didn't manage to get a slot for Cross the pond (there are about 4 specific NAT-tracks that are not controlled and where those pilots have to maintain separation themselves.

Image

I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has contributed to make this possible: Developing FlightGear, developing wonderful aircraft, developing Swift to be able to connect to Vatsim. For me it feels like a great accomplishment that I 've managed to participate in CTP.

If you're interested, I 'll keep you posted about the rest of the flight. I also captured my screen and audio from clearance to climbout, but I did the narrative in Dutch as it 's mainly intended for my family. If any Dutch speaking/understanding FlightGear aviator is interested I can always send a link :) It provides a nice insight in the 777's operation too. I 'll try to think about doing the approach in English if anyone is interested in that phase.
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Re: Vatsim cross the pond Westbound - 4th of april

Postby Icecode GL » Sat Apr 04, 2020 6:03 pm

I want to express my gratitude to everyone who has contributed to make this possible: Developing FlightGear, developing wonderful aircraft, developing Swift to be able to connect to Vatsim. For me it feels like a great accomplishment that I 've managed to participate in CTP.


Indeed, being able to participate on this event kind of feels like a culmination of all FlightGear related efforts. A huge community that together managed to create something as big as other proprietary sims, and there is a small plane flying across the Atlantic to prove it! :) Thanks for representing FG on the event.
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Re: Vatsim cross the pond Westbound - 4th of april

Postby V12 » Sat Apr 04, 2020 7:33 pm

After a 6 month break I pulled out of the hangar my old bird and made EGLL-KJFK in standard BA time 3:20 hours, but only in FG MP environment. ATC service on both airports was perfect.

Image

Image

Despite a long break in flying with Concorde, I managed to land in one piece :)
Fly high, fly fast - fly Concorde !
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Re: Vatsim cross the pond Westbound - 4th of april

Postby Isaak » Sat Apr 04, 2020 11:45 pm

Alas, I had a lot of fun, but after 11 hours non stop behind the pc, 1 hour prior to landing, FlightGear decided to quit. I 'll post some more screenshots tomorrow, and will consider this an opportunity to get in bed a bit earlier (it's almost 2am here atm), but it's a pity I couldn't finish the flight, It was a fun flight, in the last hour I had a lot of reroutes for spacing and enroute holding. It would 've been a very nice approach into KSFO, especially since about 50 other aircraft would still land before it was my turn, but it is what it is. I 'll leave you with the screenshot below for tonight, cruising at FL380, approaching the rocky mountains.

Image
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