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Frequency/Controller saturation

PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 1:03 pm
by Eric Gleason
Total newbie user here. During my trial subscription period, I tried to complete my first I-rating. The clearance frequency was so congested that I could not get a response from the controller. He was clearly handling multiple frequencies and I think I was stepped on each time I tried to transmit. (I did do the audio check before transmitting, and my radios were working.)

After 5 minutes or so and numerous attempts to get a clearance, I gave up.

Is this frequency congestion typical? I'm inclined to try again even though my trial is over, but if it's normally like this it isn't of much value to me.

Re: Frequency/Controller saturation

PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 1:34 pm
by Scott Medeiros
This much frequency congestion is not normal, and PilotEdge does have procedures in place to add controller staffing during busier times. If this occured this afternoon prior to the time stamp on this post, there was an issue where a controller lost internet connection while it was busy and the congestion backlog took a few minutes to work through. If this was the case, I received no I-1 rating requests, so you may have been blocked. This is an extreme rarity for the network so I implore you to log in again, and give your I-1 rating another shot.

Re: Frequency/Controller saturation

PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 5:29 pm
by Keith Smith

Sorry to hear you had a rough first shot. As Scott mentioned, waiting 5 minutes to get a word in for a clearance is rare. That said, I did wait 14 minutes before hitting the PTT at JFK once, and another 10 mintues to get a clnc after that. Congestion IS a thing. It doesn't mean everything is broken and the service is of no value. However, that is not the norm.

Don't take our word for it, though, pick through some audio recordings from ZLA. Each recording represents a 1hr block. Take note of the duration of each file. If it's a 30 minute recording, it means there was 30+ minutes of dead air. You can also listen in to get a sense for how many blocks there were.

Re: Frequency/Controller saturation

PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 7:31 pm
by Eric Gleason
Thanks, guys. This was a couple of months ago. It was the last day of my free trial, and the first time I tried to actually talk to someone. I did the Oshkosh arrival and the first VFR task, and thought I'd try the IFR task while I still could.

Now that we're getting into IFR season in the NE, I realized that my IFR skills are pretty rusty and I should look into getting more practice.