Before we begin discussing the features of this suggestion let me provide a background to it, the reasons that have led me to post this.
Over the last few months I have noticed a huge difference in IF, the introduction of Ultra-Long Range aircraft and Global has given inexperienced pilots the stepping stone to achieve Grade 3 and access to Expert even earlier than ever anticipated. This forced FDS into introducing a set of rules based on landing to violation ratios, welcomed by all and a great step in the right direction to keeping our beloved Expert server exactly what it says on the tin.
My last few flights however, have opened my eyes to a whole different issue. Folk can fly, they perform touch and goes and cross wind landings with the best of us but for some reason they refuse to tell anyone about it. UNICOM is the answer. I have seen a lot of things happening that shouldn’t, unannounced taxiing, runway incursions, go arounds forced by people deciding they couldn’t wait. All because people don’t listen to or use UNICOM.
Before you say it…
I know using UNICOM won’t stop the incursions, but it would at least provide a heads up to the poor guy (or girl) on approach who can execute the go around much sooner.
Get to the feature request already!
So my proposition is this: if you don’t announce you’re going to do something via UNICOM (when ATC isn’t available - which is more than likely these days.) then you receive a warning and subsequently a violation. Much like your speed violations currently.
Please give some examples, you’ve lost me.
Example 1, boarding has finished, the pushback is complete and you’re ready to taxi. Now we all know we should announce this, so we do. As you release the breaks and engage some thrust you begin to roll, nothing else happens - you followed the rules. However the chap next to you, does exactly the same excluding UNICOM. He begins the roll and receives a warning bar “Illegal Maneouvre - please announce intentions”. This would hopefully lead to him using UNICOM, if not? BAM the next bar includes red text and a violation.
Example 2, A queue has formed for take off, you are at the front with 1 aircraft on final. You wait and allow the aircraft to land, seizing your opportunity you taxi onto the runway after ensuring your strobes are activated but forgetting to announce it on UNICOM. You receive a warning bar “Illegal Runway Incursion - Please announce intentions or see tutorials for information.” You panic, announce your takeoff on UNICOM and the rest happens without further incident. If you just decided to take off anyway? BAM - a violation.
So there is my feature request, I think it’s relatively simple to implement seems we have coding for both violations and airfield locations. It will increase the professionalism found on expert and hopefully return it to its former glory and keeping everyone’s integrity. It isn’t a simple punishment system but more of a reminder before the hurt arrives - hopefully educating rather than intimidating.
Let me know your thoughts, and please don’t forget to hit the vote button!
- The addition of Pushback in the UNICOM menu to alert the system and other airfield users of your movement.
- A range warning should someone be on final as you make a takeoff call on UNICOM. This will alert the user to the runway incursion and forcing someone else to execute a go around.