Radio Communication Problems

The expert server is having problems with the ATC frequencies. I’m shooting the approach to EHAM, tomthetank is the approach controller. I call inbound for ILS on any runway, no response. But I hear him responding to other aircraft. He asks my intentions, I call again for ILS any runway - no response. Before I know it I’m put into a 360 pattern. I don’t know if he could hear me or not, I’m trying to follow ATC procedures but I wasn’t getting any responses to my calls. I was waiting to be put onguard for a ghosting, thankfully that never came. I was finally put on ILS for 27 and shot the approach. Handed off to tower, and I call inbound on ILS for 27. Again, no response. I’m put onguard by tower, I call in again and verify I’m on the correct frequency. In deed I was on the right frequency but then I started hearing the approach traffic. At that point I gave up and exited the flight because I couldn’t continue flying the plane safety because I could not establish comms with ATC.

Here is a screen shot of when I was attempting to contact tower. I was on tower but seeing approach traffic.

This is really frustrating, because this is happening more and more. It can’t be a connection issue because I was on full strength wifi. I’m not calling fault on the controllers, they were doing there jobs fine. But the experience of going into a controlled field is degrading.

What could help mitigate this and to save the controllers some time directing their space is for them to start using the approach and or departure procedures for the fields they are controlling. So in an instance where comms are an issue, if a controller sees a pilot following the approach procedures to final then the pilot should fly the approach almost automatically until handoff. And the controller would only need to vector or change altitudes if a conflict existed or to put them on final. The procedures are easy to find and use for free while controlling in ForeFlight. Something like this could be instituted on a trial basis without any immediate change to the sim.

I’m hoping someone will take a look at this.

Regards,
Rob O

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Hey Rob! Thanks for reaching out. This issue of an aircraft being able to hear us but not respond is something we’ve been noticing on the expert server. We try to accommodate this situation as best we can.

I asked intentions a few times to give you a chance to respond in case this wasn’t a bug. I didn’t hear anything, so I gave the 360 to make sure you would follow my instructions. As far as I know, this is a real-world procedure for aircraft with radio problems. Tower asks them to make a 360, and if they do, tower knows they can hear them.

Once I determined you could hear me, I set you up for 27 and guided you in as normal. I told you to change frequency because, to be honest, I forgot you couldn’t change. Once you didn’t switch, I remembered, and alerted the tower controller.

That’s the most important part, in this situation tower should be alerted by the approach controller and you should be able to land just fine.

I’d love to have allowed you to continue inbound on your procedure, but that’s tough for a few reasons:

  1. Not every pilot is you. It sounds like you would follow the plates very well, but that’s not a guarantee we can make with every pilot.
  2. There are other pilots who are sometimes unpredictable. Keeping everyone in a similar pattern works to keep things organized and prevent collisions (like the FAA, we keep planes apart by keeping them together).

I’m sorry you couldn’t complete your flight, but rest assured we do our best to accommodate this situation. Please feel free to reach out (here or PM) if I can be of any assistance. Safe landings!

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You guys were great! I have no complaints with the ATC service. Yes the 360 is real world procedure, I will just have to keep that in mind going forward after this experience. I wish the feature existed where I could flash ident on your screen, because that would be another way to establish that I can hear you.

I would love to shoot real approaches in the sim but I understand the limitations that they present.

Your quick response is appreciated and thank you for alerting tower of the comm issue.

Rob O

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@mkwiecek I was on approach yesterday at VHHH and was trying to contact you but had no option to on my radio options. I was reported for landing without permission. Can you please remove the report if possible.

@1streims1 Could you PM me and we can discuss it there. Thanks!

Unfortunately I can’t PM you as I only just joined the community website to get this mistake resolved.

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I think they also change the transponder to squawk the radio failure code so that ATC knows why an aircraft isn’t responding.

If there are connection issues somewhere preventing comms getting through then not sure something like that would work in a sim (and would probably get abused)!

Really good to see that ATC recognised it though by using the 360!

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