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Initial contact from uncontrolled airspace

 
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Xalorplex
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Joined: 15 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2012 11:15 pm    Post subject: Initial contact from uncontrolled airspace Reply with quote

I tried using vSTARS online for the first time today, and ran into a bit of a problem. While I had no problem editing flight plans and interacting with aircraft that started on the ground, I had a hard time interacting with aircraft entering from uncontrolled airspace.

My issue was this: A plane would show up on the scope and I couldn't track it (I assume since it wasn't squawking an assigned code) and I couldn't edit the flight plan to assign it one using F6 + SLEW (it said ILL TRK). I had to bring the callsign up in the text communications box and then use F6 + <CALLSIGN> + <ENTER>. Is there a reason why manually typing in the callsign worked while slewing it didn't?
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Ross
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:01 am    Post subject: Re: Initial contact from uncontrolled airspace Reply with quote

Xalorplex wrote:
Is there a reason why manually typing in the callsign worked while slewing it didn't?


Because that's the way it works in the real world. There is no way for the system to know the callsign of a target not squawking its assigned code.

Also, you took the long way around to get the target tracked. You don't have to open the flight plan window in order to assign a squawk. Just use the F9 key command. It'll show you the squawk code it assigned in the readout area.
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Xalorplex
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again, Ross. I guess using F9 was all I was looking for!
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Xalorplex
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried the F9 approach to assign a squawk code, but I got the ILL TRK error. This only happens when a plane is squawking 2200 or some such number and does not have an assigned squawk already. I still had to open the flight plan to assign the squawk in that situation.
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Ross
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Xalorplex wrote:
I tried the F9 approach to assign a squawk code, but I got the ILL TRK error. This only happens when a plane is squawking 2200 or some such number and does not have an assigned squawk already. I still had to open the flight plan to assign the squawk in that situation.


How exactly did you use the F9 function?
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Xalorplex
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did F9<SLEW>. It tried playing around with it on aircraft I already had tagged up, but when aircraft were arriving from uncontrolled airspace, I got "ILL TRK"
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Tim Roden
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have had to f9 then type the entire aircraft callsign
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Andrew Wolcott
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have to know the aircraft callsign, because if I am not mistaken, you cannot assign beacon codes to tracks which are not either previously associated to a flightplan, or otherwise have a flightplan on file.

Anyhow, here is the command:
<FLTDATA>(callsign)<SLEW> will make the track autotag to whatever code it is currently squawking, and that code automatically becomes the assigned code.

Ross, this command appears to be missing from the Command Reference.

From the Controller's Guide:
Quote:
vSTARS supports the ability to force an unassociated track (one that is showing a limited data block) to associate to a flight plan already in the system. This is done by entering the aircraft's callsign, followed by an optional 4 digit beacon code, then clicking on the unassociated track. This will cause the track to become associated with its flight plan and you will automatically start tracking the target. If you do not enter a beacon
code, then the code that the track is already squawking will become the assigned beacon code for the track.


This is the method I would use for inbound aircraft from uncontrolled airspace. But honestly, get in the habit of assigning beacon codes and radar identifying the aircraft. Associate the beacon code to the track to the flightplan.
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Xalorplex
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was able to do something similar, Tim, except with the F6 command and then click the "assign squawk" button. The problem I was having, is that I haven't found an easy way to get the callsign without "cheating" and looking at VAT-spy or using the text communication box to bring it up.

My concern is this: if you can type in the callsign for the F6 and F9 commands, why doesn't slewing work just as well? If there's an easier way to get a callsign, that would probably work just as well, any suggestions?
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Ross
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Xalorplex wrote:
I did F9<SLEW>. It tried playing around with it on aircraft I already had tagged up, but when aircraft were arriving from uncontrolled airspace, I got "ILL TRK"


F9<SLEW> doesn't work for the same reason F6<SLEW> doesn't work. The track is coming from uncontrolled airspace and presumably has no assigned beacon code, or it is not squawking its assigned beacon code. This means that vSTARS cannot associate that track to a flight plan. Therefore, as far as vSTARS is concerned, the track is nothing more than a radar return, a beacon code, and a Mode C altitude report. If there is no flight plan, then there is no callsign, no aircraft type, no route, etc. So when you do F9 followed by clicking on the track, vSTARS says "How can I assign a beacon code to a track that I don't know anything about?" This is how the real systems work.

You simply type F9 followed by the callsign, followed by enter. No clicking involved. vSTARS will show you (in the readout area) the squawk code it assigned to the entered callsign. You then read that squawk code over the air to the pilot. Once he starts squawking that code, vSTARS says "okay, this track is squawking 1234, and that code belongs to DAL123, so that track must be DAL123." The track then tags up and you automatically "own" the track.

Xalorplex wrote:
My concern is this: if you can type in the callsign for the F6 and F9 commands, why doesn't slewing work just as well?


Slewing *does* work just as well, as long as the system knows the callsign for the track you are slewing. It must already be associated to its flight plan. If it's not, you get ILL TRK because you are trying to perform an operation on a track that the system cannot identify.

Xalorplex wrote:
If there's an easier way to get a callsign, that would probably work just as well, any suggestions?


Perhaps I'm missing something, but you simply get the callsign from the pilot when he calls you. You don't need to look it up anywhere.
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Xalorplex
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, thanks for the info, Ross. That clears things up. Still learning what's "real" and what was "cheating" from VRC, haha!
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Steve Caffey
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ross wrote:
Perhaps I'm missing something, but you simply get the callsign from the pilot when he calls you. You don't need to look it up anywhere.


Of course that assumes that "American 123" calling you filed as AAL123 and not AA123 or AMERICAN123.. Laughing Although, if I hit (F9) AAL123 (ENTER) and it gives me a code of 1234 and he squawks that, will it display as AAL123 regardless of what is filed? Or will it not work?

Another question about flights entering from uncontrolled airspace, I've noticed that some will display the destination if it's one of my airports, but some don't. What are the conditions for that? Is it more than just arrival airport?
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Ross
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steve Caffey wrote:
Of course that assumes that "American 123" calling you filed as AAL123 and not AA123 or AMERICAN123.. Laughing Although, if I hit (F9) AAL123 (ENTER) and it gives me a code of 1234 and he squawks that, will it display as AAL123 regardless of what is filed? Or will it not work?


It won't work ... vSTARS won't let you assign a squawk to an aircraft that doesn't exist.

Steve Caffey wrote:
Another question about flights entering from uncontrolled airspace, I've noticed that some will display the destination if it's one of my airports, but some don't. What are the conditions for that? Is it more than just arrival airport?


If the aircraft is arriving at one of your airports, and there is no scratchpad set, and you have the option turned on in your facility settings, then the destination airport will be displayed.
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Steve Caffey
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Got it, thanks. I guess the ones that weren't showing LAS had scratchpads set by a previous controller.
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Ross
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, that's probably the most likely explanation.
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