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Posted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:06 am
by Peter Armstrong
"VFR Operations is one of those subjects that normally strikes fear into the heart of controllers. VFR Operations is very misunderstood in the VATSIM community. Many people think that VFR is more complex than its IFR counterpart. That is not the case, in fact, the opposite is true."

That is a statement provided in the USA Training Material.

I think the statement maybe subjective. A lot of Student controllers do have issues with VFR Operations. Some time ago, I witnessed some incidents surrounding this area of operations. Below are just a couple of issues I witnessed:-

1. An A/C was inbound to a TRACON. The Flight Plan showed the destination airfield – an airfield that was not recognised by VRC and The airfield could only be found on Wiki and it was revealed as a permanently closed airfield. The APP controller struggled with how to manage this arrival. The physical location of the airfield was - I think (Hybrid VFR) - just on the perimeter of the Class X Airspace. The controller however, gives the Pilot a squawk, a direction to the field (a guess at best) and give the pilot a RWY to land on!
2. An A/C was departing a Class D airfield – under a Class X Airspace. However, the class D had a ceiling of 2500ft to operate in without infringing the Class X Airspace. The departure route took the A/C out of the area without infringement to the Class X Airspace. However, the Controller issued a SQK and R/C the A/C airborne and cleared it out of the Class X

Just a couple of issues amongst many. So, I wonder if our VFR Training Material is suitable for purpose. Or, can the training material be made easier to understand? And, should there be more time and effort spent in the training programmes to enforce this VFR Operational problem? I for one. Would advocate a thorough research into the training materials and develop a set of new approaches to this subject.

Any input/comments valid advice and/or positive criticism would help our readers. :?: