David Zhong's Content - VATPAC | VATSIM Australia Pacific Jump to content

David Zhong

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Posts posted by David Zhong

  1. The DCT is technically required under ICAO standards.

    The departure airport is technically the first point on the route and it is technically a requirement to insert some sort of route between the airport and the next fix, whether that be an airway, SID or DCT. There are actually some airports that are connected to airways, e.g. Mount Hotham, and you can file the airway as the first element in the route (e.g. "Z82 TEMIS V169 ML DCT" could be a route from YHOT to YMML). Similar thing at the destination end.

    For those interested, reference is PANS-ATM Appendix 2.

    That being said, any parser worth its salt survives fine without the DCT and nothing is going to fall over if you leave it out, particularly in the sim world.

  2. Thanks Will. I see now that on the eastern runway SIDs there is indeed an immediate turn away from the other runway. Would I be correct in understanding that "Finals" is purely monitoring (i.e. transfer after turn for intercept) and does not do final vectoring (e.g. from downwind like "Director").

  3. @Will Reynolds I notice in the independent parallel approach user instructions page, it talks about finals controllers monitoring the approach paths for deviations towards an NTZ. I was originally under the impression that the increasing spacing of the runways (c.f. Sydney) meant that this was not necessary and I haven't seen that this is something that is discussed in documentation for similar airports overseas. While I have since found ICAO documentation prescribing this, is this done anywhere else overseas (i.e. where runways are spaced far enough apart to forego PRM)?

    I notice also the SIDs don't provide for diverging departure tracks... is this not required for independent parallel departures or are independent departures not planned to be used?

  4. Not sure what you are trying to achieve here Will... on this flight sim forum, some people have expressed their opinion and you have expressed yours. It is probable that no one here is an air law expert, so if you choose to take legal advice from the people here, then that is at your own risk, but I would suggest that there are people who are better positioned to advise (as Greg as mentioned). If you are hoping that someone is going to validate your thinking, then I would suggest that that is inviting confirmation bias.

    In terms of behaviour in a real aircraft, most people would err on the side of caution. If you choose a different strategy, no one here is going to try and stop you from doing whatever it is you are planning on doing.

    • Like 1

  5. You are right that the AAT's jurisdiction is limited to reviewing decisions made by bureaucrats. They are not a court of law and their power is limited to that of the officer who made the original decision.

    Your last post makes me less suspicious that you are asking for academic purposes... you would be a lot braver than most here if you are going to risk criminal sanctions over what some might describe as a technicality...

  6. While I suspect Will is asking this question more as an academic exercise rather than to obtain legal advice, I would point out that in many industries, cowboy operators try to push the boundaries of what is possibly technically legal and eventually when it gets out of hand and the public demand action, politicians and regulators are forced to tighten things, to much cost and frustration to all involved. So the point is (and to paraphrase Marge Simpson), just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

    • Like 2

  7. Is the 15 mile limitation for the case where there is no ground station or just for 122.8... haven't seen this in any other source? If the former, how does the system know there is no ground station (e.g. there could be one set up on the other side of the world... does this count or is there another range check here)?

  8. On 10/1/2019 at 2:13 AM, Russell Diehl said:

    I wonder how many times aircraft will be inadvertently allowed to lose radio contact because they haven't been handed off to a sector the same controller is also overseeing. I think pilots will need to take initiative by recognising when this is about to occur and politely requesting a frequency change, and at worst, when they do lose contact, realise they can change frequency and reintroduce themselves to an apologetic controller that has neglected to have the pilot change frequency to ensure comms remain active.

    As you might imagine, this is a pretty easy mistake to make. A practice that is used to mitigate this error is to have a letter or code represent each frequency used by the controller and insert this into the aircraft tag as a memory aid. For example, you might use a few key digits of the radio frequency... say you are controlling SNO and WOL, you may have "24" and "25" (for 124.0 and 125.0) as your codes, if you see a "24" at Canberra heading east, this would remind you that you need to change that aircraft to 125.0.

    • Like 1

  9. While the comments regarding participation being seasonal are spot on, something that I would suggest is looking at the overall movement, e.g. by comparing year-on-year numbers for the same time of the year. 

    The loss of members beyond regular season movements has always been present. Life happens and people change their priorities. This gets balanced by new members coming in, but recruitment is something that has always been difficult to manage on a divisional level. Major events attracting international crowds, major developments such as the release of new sceneries (e.g. FlyTampa Sydney) or the upcoming AFV are all opportunities to try to draw people in (or back in) if we capitalise on them. Experience from many years ago was that recruitment drives at airshows, conferences, etc. had generally been unsuccessful in actually getting conversions into new members but of course is something that can be tried again with new strategies.

    When it comes to stuff like training policy, there has to be a big picture view. There are plenty of great ideas and management will always say that there isn't the resources to do it. There is a balance between spending people's time on something vs the benefits. Growing the membership and attracting more people to join the staff is the best way to shift that balance.

    • Like 3

  10. Something that I will clarify is that during the period of the standing approval (i.e. MRM times), a controller may log into a Dep position instead of the App position. Where only one TMA controller is online, that controller will cover the whole TMA. However, if a controller prefers Dep, then he/she may log into that position so that when a second TMA controller arrives, he/she may retain the Dep position. This is similar to our routine operation of SNO/WOL.

    The context of the standing approval is that at the time we had pretty healthy activity levels during this event. You actually couldn't get an ATC spot if you turned up after say 6pm. Canberra and Avalon were being staffed because people wanted to control. This was a way of allowing more people to have the opportunity to participate on the ATC side and was only made more permanent after a trial period and feedback from the community. The feedback supported our decision to restrict the approval to Dep and not Director.

    While there is certainly great novelty in additional positions (and there was also some desire to build "TMA team" skills to better support major events), from an Ops side we felt we were restrained in that this also introduces complexity. The kind of complexity I'm talking about is easily seen in the controller documentation for major TMAs in the US (e.g. SOCAL, New York, etc... as an extreme case) This complexity must be adequately documented so that controllers can prepare themselves in advanced. 

    Further to Greg's comments on maximising coverage... while it is up to the management of the day to set the policy direction, I would suggest that if there is tower, TMA at each airport and 1 en route, the opening of a second TMA position at one airport is probably no better/worse than opening a second en route, but of course would depend on the traffic situation.

  11. The handling of a large number of connections to a single server is non-trivial and is not necessarily resolved by better hardware. There is work in (very slow) progress to improve the way FSD handles and processes connections, from the network level (how connections are treated - i.e. forked process, threaded, event driven, etc.) to things like how range-checking are performed.

    These are important to the scaleability of FSD - for example, decreasing the update interval for clients from 5s to 1s is not possible today because the range checking (which is done with every position update) has to be done roughly n^2 times (where n is the number of total connections to the network) and this is not achieveable within a reduced update interval (geodesic calculations are far more computationally expensive than calculations on a Cartesian system).

    There are ways to get around this issue, but they are non-trivial and of course requires someone to put in the time to make the change. In the past 12 months, there have probably been less than half a dozen people contribute to the code and most of those people have been too busy to make more than minor changes. (We need help!)

    • Thanks 1

  12. I'm a bit late, but I would point out for those who haven't been around as long... Sean is spot on that for our purposes the COR is the ruling document on which region a chunk of airspace belongs to and then the RD then decides on the split for divisions. You will note that there are plenty of non-Australian territories within VATPAC airspace, most notably in the past we have had French nationals attempt to make a claim on New Caledonia and the French Polynesia.

    • Like 1

  13. It is with regret that I advise the community that Eoin Motherway and Dan Martin have resigned from their positions citing real world commitments. Both of these gentlemen have made an enormous contribution to our organisation and on behalf of VATPAC I would like to express our gratitude.

    An announcement regarding a new division director is imminent and the incoming division director will be making the arrangements for the transition period while we find suitable replacements.

    • Like 1
    • Sad 6

  14. It is with pleasure that the Board of Governors announces the appointment of Aidan Stevens to the position of VATGOV6, Vice President of Web Services and the formal move of Matt Cianfarani to the position of VATGOV3, Vice President, Network Systems. 

    Aidan has been serving as the Assistant to VP Web for the past 12 months and is the lead tech behind several VATSIM tech projects currently being rolled out. His dedication and proven leadership will make him an excellent addition to the team. 

    We look forward to seeing the continued development of VATSIM Technology over the coming months!


    • Like 1

  15. 2100354105.png

    It's been a busy few months for the whole developer community on VATSIM, as we speed towards release of VATSIM's new voice technology. We are also making excellent progress on other modernizations and enhancements which will ensure VATSIM remains the biggest and best online flying network.

    While we continue to make this progress, we have had some staff changes as well. I'm saddened to announce that Jamie Fox has recently stepped down from his role as Vice President, Network Systems due to personal commitments. Jamie has played a central part over several years in getting VATSIM's server infrastructure in order and in a stable state, as well as contributing to numerous projects across VATSIM in that time also. On behalf of the Board of Governors, I'd like to thank Jamie for his work and wish him the very best for the future.

    Jamie’s departure gives us an opportunity to reevaluate the needs of technical positions on the Board of Governors. While we complete that evaluation, Matt Cianfarani will execute the responsibilities of Vice President, Network Systems and Vice President, Web Services.

    These two roles are closely intertwined, and it makes sense that in this critical stage of our delivery of Audio for VATSIM, we have an aligned approach to launching this and other projects in the community.

    Aidan Stevens has been appointed Director of Web Services to assist Matt with his additional responsibilities. Aidan has been critical in the past year assisting VATSIM development assisting or taking the lead on many of our improvement projects. Thank you to both Matt and Aidan for stepping up.

    In tandem with this announcement, Zach Biesse-Fitton, our Vice President Technical Development, has published a blog post which gives a more detailed update on Audio for VATSIM amongst other topics. I would urge you to read it here, as it's sure to be of interest!

    Thank you for being a part of VATSIM.


    • Like 1

  16. On Monday 22 April 2019, VATPAC received a report that a publicly-accessible part of our Moodle system ("The Academy") displayed the email addresses of registered users. These email addresses were sourced from VATSIM when a user first logged in with VATSIM SSO (Single Sign-On). Upon receiving this report, VATPAC staff immediately disabled our Moodle until the issue could be rectified. The affected parts of Moodle have been permanently disabled and service has since been restored.

    Am I affected?

    You are affected by this incident if you have an account with our Moodle system and have logged in with VATSIM SSO. Note that upgrades to our Moodle have taken place over the years and some of these upgrades reset the user database. If you have never logged into Moodle with VATSIM SSO, you are not affected.

    What are the impacts?

    If you were affected by this incident, your email address may have been displayed on a publicly-accessible page on our Moodle and visible to all Moodle users. This was an obscure page and there is no evidence to suggest that more than a few people accessed it.

    The page has been publicly-accessible for an unknown period of time, likely since July 2017.

    There is a low probability that email addresses on this page were collected by marketing agencies. There is no evidence to suggest that this occurred. However, in this event, affected persons may receive spam or other malicious emails. If you receive any suspicious emails, you are recommended to avoid opening it or any attachments or links and either delete the email or use your email providers "report spam" function.

    What did VATPAC do in response?

    VATPAC took the following actions in response to this incident:

    • disabled the Moodle system immediately to prevent immediate access to the affected page
    • changed Moodle settings to prevent access to the affected page
    • restored service to Moodle
    • undertook an investigation into the circumstances that led to the incident

    What is VATPAC doing to prevent this from happening again?

    VATPAC has implemented the following measures to prevent similar incidents:

    • changed Moodle settings to prevent access to the affected page
    • reviewed other systems to ensure that they are configured correctly
    • reported the incident to VATSIM

    Who can I contact with further concerns?

    Tom Grozev, Director IT - it at vatpac dot org

    • Like 2
    • Thanks 1

  17. Some concerns have been raised regarding a post made in the public sections of these forums which advertises an opportunity for members to gain aviation-related employment. This post was made after that member contacted me for permission to do so. I make this post to explain the rationale for giving that permission as guidance to those with moderator powers.

    In the concerns raised, Clause 3.1C of the VATSIM User Agreement was referred to. It is my view that this clause has always been read loosely - a narrow interpretation would prohibit much content produced by our staff that refers members to payware flight sim products. With that being the case, there is a balance to be struck between enabling content that is useful and of interest to our members and prohibiting activities which exploit our platforms (e.g. spam).

    Permission was granted to make the post in question on the basis that:

    1. This was an aviation-related opportunity that is likely to be of interest to some of our members. I do not view it was objectionable for people to promote such opportunities here, provided that no discussion is permitted and the quantity of such posts is limited. An example of something that would be acceptable is cross-posting Airservice's annual recruitment drive for air traffic controllers.
    2. While the post was commercial in nature, the post did not advertise the sale of goods or services to members. This is not a major consideration - the benefit of the post to our members is a larger consideration. For example, a charitable organisation recruiting volunteers would unlikely be suitable for our platforms if they were not aviation related even though it is non-commercial. On the other hand, posts making members aware of the release of payware flight sim products is likely to be acceptable on the basis that it would be beneficial to our members.

    So to sum up, in considering whether a post similar to the one in question is acceptable, the question is on a balance of the usefulness to the membership and prohibiting content that tends to exploit our platforms.

    • Thanks 4

  18. Thanks to all that attended. Some of the highlights from last night...

    Q: are there plans for the smaller procedural airports to have local instructions?
    A: Yes, but not at the top of the list

    Q: What does the non exec directors do
    A: We currently have a young but passionate executive team leading the organisation. The role of the non execs is to support that team by providing them with guidance and wisdom and challenge their ideas.

    Q: Are there any plans for implementing a training system where controllers may access their own training notes and or use a roster a roster such as seeing other controllers and what rating they are
    A: Yes, we are developing a system that will allow students to access their training record. A controller roster will not be developed as this duplicates CERT. Members can access the latter by contacting VATSIM Membership.

    Q: Can e.g. a centre controller access tower information in Moodle without having to enrol in each course? E.g. quick reference guide as PDF
    A: We will explore this

    Q: Is there any plans for doing any Iron Mic's for pacific area airports such as Fiji, New Cali, Vanauatu and PNG airports?
    A: Yes, this is in consideration

    Q: Would the training department contemplate making the Procedural endorsement one that you have to do at least one sweatbox with? If I had done a sweatbox rather than just an exam or even mentoring sessions that would have been extremely useful.
    A: We are considering this at the moment

    Q: Any updates on discord
    A: A survey has been done recently on community views. The Board is continuing to consider this issue and there are a number of matters that the Board requires to be resolved before making a decision including how moderation will be improved.

    Q: Any updates on new codec
    A: VATSIM has announced that an open beta will commence soon. Applications are currently open to join this beta program.


    • Like 2
  • Create New...