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VATSIM Cross the Pond Eastbound 2020: A Retrospective

2020 11 18 14 39 41

It has been a week since Cross the Pond Eastbound 2020 took place on VATSIM. The bi-annual event is by far the most popular and most talked-about even in the VATSIM calendar and this year brought a handful of changes to how the system worked. Whilst Serge did a good job expressing how he felt about the changes (in particular to the lottery system), I wanted to reflect on the event itself and offer some further thoughts on what future events could bring.

This Year’s Event

Let me start by coming clean; I flew without a slot. I know, I know, the communication was clear that those who wanted to fly online during the Saturday should avoid the Atlantic, but I was prepared to be placed on a non-event track, have huge delays and be at the bottom of the queue for any push back slots. I had nothing better to do on a rainy Saturday afternoon after all.

Loading up at Chicago at 10:30z, the airfield was somewhat quiet with planes slowly spawning in and controllers coming online. Flying from one of the busiest airports on the network was bound to create some delays and issues, but the whole process was nice and smooth. All of the controllers did an amazing job at keeping their cool whilst dealing with requests and even the handling of some issues with slot times. So whilst I sat on the ground, I requested a slot and was initially told 11:44z I would be able to leave. Perfect, I thought, and get ready to leave 15 minutes beforehand to ensure I would take off as close to the slot as possible. For whatever reason, the slot time wasn’t then passed on to the ramp controller and subsequently, I then had to wait until 13:15z before I was cleared to take off to Heathrow.

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Cross The Pond Eastbound 2020: Rien Ne Va Plus!

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"Vancouver Approach, ACA27MD heavy, mayday mayday mayday! We have lost one engine, request emergency landing!" "ACA27MD heavy, Vancouver Approach, copied your mayday, expect ILS runway 08L, I’ll have vectors for you in a minute." "Roger that, Approach, we’ve lost our second engine, we’re losing control of the aircraft!" "Copy, ACA27MD, if have some time, can I get your souls on
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VATSIM Cross The Pond Slot Booking Changes

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VATSIM has published an important information note regarding the upcoming Cross The Pond 2020 - Eastbound event which will take place on November 14th. Slot AllocationThe slot allocation was previously done using a booking system on a "first come, first served" basis. In the previous events, the slots would be gone in a matter of minutes, letting on the side
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VATSIM Cross The Pond Eastbound 2020 Airports List

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VATSIM has revealed the final list of airports which will be featured in the VATSIM Cross The Pond Eastbound 2020 event. The event kicks-off on November 14th at 1100Z. A semiannual event, Cross the Pond sees pilots from all over the world make the trek over the Atlantic Ocean. One event generally happening in Spring sees pilots flying from Europe
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vPilot Update Brings MSFS Compatibility

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vPilot, a utility used by virtual pilots to fly on the online network, VATSIM, has been updated to version 2.6, which is compatible with Microsoft Flight Simulator. 

vPilot is used to enable a virtual pilot to communicate with virtual air traffic controllers and other aircraft, all over the world.

Private beta testers have been putting the client to the test with the new simulator but there has been an issue highlighted after the beta testing had finished. When certain types of SimConnect applications such as vPilot are running with the sim, it sometimes creates frame rate reductions and stuttering for the user. The team at vPilot has notified Asobo and Microsoft who are currently investigating the issue. 

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Flight Simulator VATSIM Partnership Update and Dev Q&A

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Over on the Microsoft Flight Simulator blog, a series of videos and information has been shared with regards to VATSIM and also a full-length Q&A session. VATSIM Partnership Whilst announced a few weeks ago, the VATSIM Partnership series focuses on what VATSIM is for newcomers and how the online virtual air traffic control network will go hand-in-hand with the new
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VATSIM Compatible with Microsoft Flight Simulator on Release Day

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In an exciting announcement made by VATSIM today, it is confirmed that VATSIM will be compatible with the new Microsoft Flight Simulator on day one once the new simulator releases on Tuesday, August 18th 2020. https://youtu.be/75NX2ix7Iy4 Matthew Bartels from VATSIM said that today is a big day for VATSIM. Alongside the reveal that the online network will be ready for
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VATSIM Event – Cross the Land This Weekend

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On Saturday, 13th June 2020, VATSIM will be hosting Cross the Land. Pilots will be taking to the virtual skies to fly across Europe and the Middle East with the hope to test both pilots and ATC's skills in handling a large amount of traffic. Pilots will be able to depart from Amsterdam, Zurich, Riga International Airport and Belgrade heading for Dubai,
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