08 July, 2012

More Vatsim Shenanigans

I've been working a tracon for about seven hours straight today.  It's a minor, low traffic airspace that is next door to a major class B airport.  It's been so dead that I've been watching movies and occasionally glance at the scope to see if any targets are on the display.  Not long ago I scanned for targets, didn't see anything and then went back to the movie I was watching.  A minute later I hear the sound that announces a text radio transmission.  Looked at the display and saw nothing.  No flight plans shown, no targets, nothing but empty airspace.  I thought it was someone on the ground somewhere because I can't see anything below 1200 feet AGL.  Conversation with the pilot went something like this.

AAL964:  Approach, with you at FL110 (first hint it's a noob) 40 miles west of your airport (second noob flag), heading 273, speed 230 (third noob flag).  Request full stop landing (the icing on the noob cake).

Me:  AAL964, good morning.  Say airport you are west of.

AAL964:  ?

Me:  AAL964, there are 16 airports in my airspace.  I don't see any targets on my display so you'll have to be a little more specific.  You might not be in my airspace at all.


Me:  AAL964, open your GPS (almost every noob is GPS direct EVERYWHERE) and tell me the nearest airport to you.

Me:  AAL964, if you were 40nm west of my major airport, you're outside of my airspace laterally.  If you're still heading west you're only getting further away.  At 11,000 feet you're outside of my airspace vertically as well.  Since I don't see any targets on my display I can't see you.  You don't have a flight plan in the system so I am unable to know where you came from or where you're going.  It's reasonable to assume that you are, in fact, outside of my airspace.  Monitor advisory, frequency change approved.

AAL964:  Roger.

Now, I did actually have some idea where he was at from looking at Vatspy, but that software only updates traffic every five minutes or so.  He was actually EAST of my airspace the last time Vatspy updated traffic information.  I should have seen him on the radar display but didn't, so I couldn't actually verify his position.  He certainly didn't know where he was.

Not too long ago I was working a CTR position and had a pilot call me up from Toronto Pearson Intl. requesting take off clearance.  Thanks for calling up buddy, but you're in Canadian airspace and there's a whole other ARTCC between you and me.  He obviously had no clue where he was.

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