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IFR vs VFR on PE

PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 11:33 am
by Kalleh
I joined PE mostly to practice incorporating foreflight outside of the real cockpit.

I first went with the CAT ratings. These were great: well designed and well executed by ATC. I even picked up some fluency in some VFR procedures I don't get to use often. A few hiccups with ATC forgetting me, etc, but it's less of a surprise when VFR. Learned from helpful ATC a couple of times, too. Started doing some ABC routes.

Then recently, I went for the I-1. I know that ATC are human, but had an accumulation of ATC mistakes, forgetting about me now while IFR, and poor procedure that made me wonder if (1) maybe the system is not as well geared for IFR flight and procedures or (2) I was there on an ATC training night or if things were falling apart on their end with other pilots. The I-1 should be easy (the easiest, perhaps) from the ATC side, I'd think. Just wondering others' experience flying IFR or transitioning from VFR to IFR on PE. I've suspended my account for the moment on the assumption of #(1) being the case, but am wondering if I was too hasty and it was just an off night for ATC. I've certainly had them.

Thank you for opinions of others who fly IFR on PE, and thanks to PE for the truly great VFR experiences I have had.

Re: IFR vs VFR on PE

PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 12:31 pm
by Kevin_atc
The network is 100% suitable for both IFR and VFR operations alike. If you encounter any issues, you may email ops[at]pilotedge.net with your callsign as well as the date/time/location of your flight so they can look into it. The PilotEdge controllers maintain high standards through extensive QA processes to ensure a good product. If it so happens that there are a lot of new pilots making mistakes online at the same time, this can take a toll on the system- although, this can happen in the real world too. As for forgetting about you, this also happens in the real world which is why you shouldn’t ever hesitate to key up and question something if it seems incorrect. PE controllers are humans just like FAA Controllers, thus they can make similar mistakes. As to your “ATC training night” idea, there isn’t a specific night with mass training. Training occurs often, but mirrors the real world training where trainees are plugged in along with an instructor. At times, the instructor may let the trainee have some slack before yanking them back in (both on PE and real world)- these kinds of training tactics are often slightly at the pilot’s expense, but pose great teaching opportunities for the controllers in order to improve their performance for the future.

I would highly encourage you to try again before just pulling the chute on working on IFR ops with PilotEdge. It’s a proven tool that has helped many pilots of all kinds over the last decade.

Re: IFR vs VFR on PE

PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2021 1:06 pm
by Keith Smith
Your experience is definitely not the norm. If it was, clearly we'd struggled to remain in business as nowhere on our site do we purport to focus on VFR vs iFR. I would encourage you to follow up with ops or support@pilotedge.net with details so we have the opportunity to address it.

Re: IFR vs VFR on PE

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2021 10:25 am
by webstalle
Reporting issues to ops or support seems not to work all the time.
I had one related to Flight Following, reported via eMail ops as of 28.02.2021 03:28 UTC which has not been answered yet.

If memory serves, PE support has been better in the past than nowadays.

Friedhelm

Re: IFR vs VFR on PE

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2021 11:47 pm
by Kalleh
Thank you, Kevin and Keith,

Well, my apologies for being skittish and hasty. In my defense, I had tried other networks previously and was maybe biased against potential quality of online IFR ATC. Perhaps I was just in the midst of some ATC turmoil when I last tried IFR flight on PE.

I had 7 days left in my subscription, so I did the simple I-1 flight again this evening and had a vastly, VASTLY different experience. ATC was incredibly professional and on point procedurally. It's certainly worth another go for the reasonable cost, from my point of view.

I will keep the support and ops email handy (thanks for those), and hope responsiveness is there vis-a-vis Friedhelm's comment, but I certainly have nothing but compliments about this evening's service. Hoping this will be the great venue for working with foreflight that I was hoping for.

Thank you.
Karl

Re: IFR vs VFR on PE

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2021 6:55 am
by Keith Smith
webstalle wrote:Reporting issues to ops or support seems not to work all the time.
I had one related to Flight Following, reported via eMail ops as of 28.02.2021 03:28 UTC which has not been answered yet.

If memory serves, PE support has been better in the past than nowadays.

Friedhelm


We are up to support ticket #6067....we do receive a lot of inquiries and we do generally respond to them.

Emailing support creates tickets, which is generally easier for us to track. Ops is not handled as efficiently at times (it's an email list), and there are times when they might slip through the cracks as there isn't an easy mechanism for us to double check when a message has been addressed or not (as opposed to support which is a zendesk trouble ticket queue).

I do indeed see your message from Feb 28 but was not aware that it hadn't been responded to. I've asked for that to be addressed internally. It was not intentional, it's simply that the internal process for handling ops emails is less than perfect. We have recently started migrating some other addresses to zendesk instead of email-based lists. I'll likely start removing guidance for pilots to email ops directly (it was removed from the web site a long time ago, however, it's still recommended by staff members, including myself, from time to time).

Re: IFR vs VFR on PE

PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2021 10:42 am
by Firstinflight
@Kalleh -
I have been a member of PE for close to a decade - almost a charter member since they started.

My request to you - please try this service out for a little bit before you make up your mind. I am not typically much on these forums. but i happened to come here today because someone had sent me a private message and I saw your post.

In my opinion, PE is an immensely valuable tool for maintaining proficiency and being a safe pilot. As a real-world pilot who flies often, but not as often as I would like, the scenarios I encounter on PE have helped me remain proficient and alert.

As with any service, as popularity grows, so does scale and hence ticket volume etc. Anecdotally, turnarounds may slip or responses haven't been perfect, but overall, it has been a great experience and a fabulous learning tool.

I would like to add - I am not paid by PE or anyone else to advertise their service or propagate it. I just really do believe that populated airspace is a critical element of pilot proficiency.

Please do give it a good try.
Look forward to hearing you on the line sometime...

Regards,
CPJ