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  1. You may be increasing access to Air Traffic Control positions for VATSIM members, but this fails to fulfil the second part "whilst maintaining a standard of quality Air Traffic Control service that VATSIM has become known". If controllers are allowed to continue controlling after showing they do not want to maintain the "standard of quality Air Traffic Control service that VATSIM has become known." then we are not upholding the purpose of the document that lets them do that. This is truly all about quantity over quality.
    8 points
  2. Speaking from a division where we were known in the past for "rating tourism" I can tell you that this 100 hour requirement before transferring will make an effect. We had several members from multiple divisions notably from VATEUD and VATUK in the past come here get training in the small quiet places and then transfer out after 50 hours and 90 days have passed. Some quiet vACCs would love to train more people so they get activity I think these quiet vACCs need to be recognized. Not everyone is VATEUD or VATUK in terms of activity, if a vACC wants to retain it's member then this is one way to do it in my opinion. Controllers need to think thoroughly before pressing the "transfer" button. Am I going to stay here for a prolonged period of time? Am I going to contribute significantly to this vACC? Am I just here for the rating? There are several factors in the back as well. I think everyone would agree here that wasting people's time especially during mentoring someone whether it is a new controller that will then leave or a controller that just transferred in for a specific rating and then leave. We had an issue as well where in the past during this period people were not trained to the standard that was required this has been changed since I've come in. But that is another story for another day. We recently combated the "rating tourism" issue since I've come on board and things have gone down a bit with these sort of members. This will make the member think twice before transferring. Like Collin mentioned above my mentors and instructors are proud of the students that they train and see them progress throughout their division/sub-divisions ranks. I'd rather see this then a student I've trained pretend to contribute to our little community and then transfer out after 50 hours and 90 days have passed. If we take into account the C1-rated members in the Emirates vACC I think you'd be all shocked. The only C1-rated members that we have within the vACC are the staff members themselves and part of the divisional staff including myself. We had lot's of C1s back in the day but those were people that would come in specifically for the rating only and then leave after 50 hours and 90 days. I'd rather want member retention then someone that leaves especially in a vACC in the Emirates vACC where we really need C1 rated controllers for events that require the capacity such as Cross the Land etc... At the moment we have lot's of committed S1, S2 and S3 controllers in the ranks that have contributed their time to the community, division and sub-divisions. We value these members truly and thank them for their participation in staff-up, events and so forth.
    5 points
  3. I'm not sure how Don comes into play. He had to be checked out to work SMO at all, and SMO is smack in the middle of really busy, fun, and complicated airspace. It took weeks to build to that, anyway, and the debate in general over how visitors and new transfers are restricted has to do with getting them to traffic sooner. It's going to take 4 weeks to build steady traffic if you control regularly (and are even good enough people want to come back) or less than a single week to check out for and run wild on more than a single airport, and in the process the educators have an opportunity to educate. That's a win for everyone, pilots, students, instructors, since you get someone who can work more areas with higher quality.
    4 points
  4. No. Instructing really isn’t that enjoyable. There is a lot of time and effort invested in each student to ensure that they are able to provide ATC on the network. Instructors do this selfless job because they want to contribute and make VATSIM, but more so their local facility a better place. It is the ultimate insult to an instructor and their time to leave immediately after getting your rating. This is why we are making that controller who used the time of the instructor have to contribute back to the community they trained in, before they are allowed to transfer out. As with most things in this policy, there is an allowance for a waiver to be granted. In this case the waiver has to be granted by the subdivision, division, or RVP who is losing the controller.
    4 points
  5. It is very high and for good reason. The training staffs invest significant amounts of time training people for their area and we want to make sure their work isn’t in vain. The requirements ensure that those places see the return on their time investment as opposed to someone coming in to skip a training queue somewhere and then immediately transferring out after getting their rating.
    4 points
  6. Great, so I check someone out to S1/2/3 on Fargo, they never see a single airplane in the wild for 3 weeks, and they leave. Or we use those 3 weeks to finish their major cert on MSP. Which is a better use of my students’/instructors’ time? The powers that be really need to stop counting meaningless hours spent staring at nothing as “productive”. Empty stats are just that - empty. You’re creating the illusion of access when it’s not actually propped up by meaningful pilot/controller interaction.
    3 points
  7. Interesting... This is a very outcome oriented goal as opposed to process oriented...just an observation. There's a role of course for both types of goal setting, however this metric of "success" you are measuring this is not entirely in the control of the instructor/sub-division. The students' personal motivation to progress or control in a certain subdivision plays a larger role. Their desire to "contribute back to the community they trained in" is a result of the culture of the sub-division that allows this to happen. Of course instructing is not enjoyable if you pin your success on the voluntary participation of hobbyists who can stop at any time. It's not a job for the instructors/mentors, but nor is it for the students and controllers at large. Mandatory hours doesn't guarantee a contribution to the community, instead, a community that fosters the satisfaction of the controllers and students at large plays a bigger role in this. To quote Kolby again: "I think that forcing a student to control a fairly significant amount of time somewhere where they don’t want to control anymore will burn them out and turn them off from controlling in general." I think a question should also be: "What things can be done to encourage controller retention?" or "how can we convince this 'rating tourist' that it's better to stick around and control here?". Seems this policy is a starting point, but IMO it will fall short if that's where it ends.
    3 points
  8. Hello all, Attached to this post you will find the VATSIM Europe, Middle East and Africa Region quarterly region report for Q2 2021. On behalf of the Regional staff team, thank you to all the staff members, mentors and other volunteers within the region that help and contribute towards VATSIM and the Region! Should you have any questions about the report, don't hesitate to contact us at any time! 🛩️ EMEA_Q2_21_Report.docx (1).pdf
    3 points
  9. And you think this is a BAD THING??? If the controller doesn't care to keep up with changes, then why the heck would we keep him around? If you kept insisting that 2+2=5 after spending years doing my taxes, I sure as heck would not keep you as my accountant just to "connect an accountant to a tax payer"? If we're going to have this kind of standard, we're going to end up in IVAOs "no ARTCC" levels at some point - i.e. controllers who don't even know what a runway is and I for one, don't think I want to stand for - or be associated with that sinking ship. Matt - your comments come across like VATSIM 1. Has a severe lack of controllers online, and 2. Has no competition and won't in the future. It's becoming very clear that the BoG is interested in getting numbers, no matter if someone is an S1 forever, rather than keep their C1s around who is VATSIMs biggest issue - C1 retention.
    3 points
  10. This is the crux of the issue. An incompetent controller who refuses to improve will drive away competent controllers. @Matt In the examples you provided, two of them refused to comply with the standards or re-train themselves in order to comply with standards. In the follow-up, you asked "So you would prefer to fly on unicom than fly with a controller who's not perfect?" No one is demanding perfection here, what we want is competence that simulates reality which is vastly different from perfection. I would rather fly with no ATC than be vectored in circles by an incompetent controller 10 out of 10 times. As a controller, I would in fact not log on if I know I'm going to have to fix and undo the errors of another controller who refuses to follow procedures or make an effort to do things the right way. It is not worth the effort and frustration I would have to put in when the other person refuses to put in any effort of their own.
    3 points
  11. If a candidate is blessed with more than just 2 brain cells, they will find the local AIP that offers some advice for phraseology. The rest will be done with Google Translator, YouTube videos and the local staff. I do, however, sympathize with the fact that it would be a huge task to learn Japanese phrases, for example. The takeaway from this discussion is, IMO, that this is not a black&white topic, but that it does contain a number of shades of grey.
    2 points
  12. Simply put you can’t. “Ratings tourist” is a nice name here. The true identity of these people are those that want to control in a place that has a very long training queue. To jump the line, they transfer somewhere where they can get trained fast and once they get the rating, the transfer back to the place they really wanted to be, allowing an accelerated training program now that they have the rating, thus leaving the previous place in the dust.
    2 points
  13. As I wrote, at VATSIM we are wasting too many human resources, we are not managing them efficiently. As we have a very limited number of mentors, we need to use them wisely. That's where this policy is trying to make a point. Controller retention has always been a difficult subject and many things have been tried to improve it. It did not work.
    2 points
  14. The GCAP committee is not consisting of only one person. There are several people behind the scenes that are discussing points from everything that has been discussed on the forums here. Mentioning that every point get's "dismissed" is not the way to go just because someone is debating points being made on the forum. Remember that everyone has their own opinion and that a middle ground needs to be found in order to settle on the final decision on XYZ clause of the new policy. You've seen so far only one person respond to all of the members questions/complains/suggestions from the Board of Governors during this public discussion. Doesn't mean that thing's get "dismissed" from your end that we aren't discussing it behind the scenes. I understand that this whole completely new policy is the hot topic right now which will affect different aspects of the network in terms of air traffic controllers training and so forth. But do we really need to say that things are getting dismissed? Just because it is primarily one person responding to multiple hundreds of posts? I think that words can also be easily manipulated when things are written on text. Perhaps potentially a town-hall meeting would be beneficial with this sort of public discussion as it would potentially be easier understood verbally?
    2 points
  15. Why has this even a place in a global policy? This is one of those things that happen only in America (and maybe like 1 or 2 other places in the world). Doesn't need to be in this policy, and should be more in a divisional / regional policy.
    2 points
  16. In the case of EURM ("Maastricht" control position) I have to say that I have my reservations that it cannot be restricted anymore. It's a very intense piece of airspace with at least 8 busy or even very busy airports within or adjacent to its borders that make it quite a bit special and demanding. If we allow someone new to control it with the expectation that the candidate will do so with at least good quality, then more training will be required and we simply do not have the resources for that at VACC EUC. The other sectors are also demanding, but in a different way and are more compatible with coaches being able to release new joiners after one or two training sessions. Summary: within VACC EUC, the EURM-sector is a special sector itself and controlling it well, builds on the experience that one gains by controlling one or more of the other EURx stations for a while. That's what we owe to the fact that we do not have the manpower to provide enough training for EURM only, if it is the first sector of someone.
    2 points
  17. Great thoughts, Matthew. I wish to uniquely develop them one step further and include my recommendation for network currency requirements. In them, I also build in an incentive for our members to control and accelerate through training while paying respect and courtesy to members that have already put in the time and effort to want to be here. General Requirement: 3-6 hours in 6 months, LOA anytime and perpetually renewable (removal prevention). Required GRP check if a member returns to service after 6 months or upon the end of the LOA. Division controls the hours, but it must fall between a minimum of 3 and maximum of 6. I firmly believe that training hours count as much as online controlling hours, so it can be a mixture of both. Up to 1 year forgiveness after removal (no matter what previous rating was earned); full certs back, GRP check required. This means if you forget to request an LOA, and wind up being removed, you can come back with all of your ratings and certifications, no matter your previous rating level, so long as you attend a GRP check to make sure you're current on procedures and existing standards. Edge Cases: Fast track members who had previously been rated as an S3 and above and pass a GRP check, upon which they get all certs back, anytime after removal. For example, the C1 who leaves for 4 years because of their RW life comes back, passes a GRP check, and is immediately back to business on VATSIM without starting from scratch. But, the S1 or S2 who leaves after 4 years (or anytime after the forgiveness period) needs to start their training over and earn back their certifications (as the procedure is currently after a period of time). This provides an incentive to accelerate their learning, work towards their S3 and beyond, and receive an added benefit for doing so. Not to mention that, as far as ATC coverage goes, an S3 and C1 provide greater exposure for pilots. VATSIM rewards the individuals who put in the time by acknowledging their time is valuable and important. A relaxed rope on higher levels might assist with retention, especially if those members are not 1) forced to always adhere to the 3-6 in 6, and 2) take comfort that they can return whenever life becomes manageable to work traffic again. Additionally, it inherently encourages the beginners to be more active so as to better learn the skills required to work traffic through regular repetition and participation.
    2 points
  18. [Citation Needed] So what you are saying is that you would rather have someone control a position they are not competent on, and provide bad service to pilots than force them into retraining. Cool. A lot of the GCAP now makes more sense, and the places where you have stated "the BoG doesn't care to inflate numbers" is complete and utter BS, when you look at this statement and the fact that the BoG doesn't want controllers removed for inactivity. The "educate" part of VATSIMs motto is a joke.
    2 points
  19. As a Real World Controller (RWC), I know more than a few, that would be willing to come in at least to train on the positions they work. I would like to see the "I" ratings to include that possibility, and or to bring in real world controllers to help train on positions they know and work. My other idea is to allow RWC, to bypass certain certifications. For example: A RWC, that is certified on Center, could work Center, for events, or RWC certified on a Tower, could work that tower. etc. I know the "Top Down Model" is a VATSIM idea, but it's one that could be fixed. If an S1, is working a ground position and there is no controllers above them, they say, change to unicom or advisory freq approved. If a RWC, was rated as a C1, but not any position below them, and no other controllers online, they could still say, "No other controllers online, change to Unicom or advisory freq. approved. You would encourage more Real World Controllers to come work in VATUSA / VATSIM, you would get a higher quality of controlling, and training. Making a RWC, center certified controller, start back at the bottom, DEL / GND / TWR / MINOR / MAJOR / APP / then CTR. is a poor business model, and why most RWC don't come to VATSIM / VATUSA.
    1 point
  20. Which happened an eon ago. “It happened this one time with this one guy, so that means it’s infinitely repeatable.” VATSIM loves its edge cases.
    1 point
  21. I work professionaly with (Military) Aviation Requirements, and in that environment, changing local policies, systems etc. based on a draft would be unthinkable. It is asking for - major - trouble, as well as many non-compliancies, because the (sub-) divisions need their time anyway. Quality takes a lot of work. And time. Martijn Edit: 6 months, as mentioned by Thimo, seems fair. Unless you have to start translating all your documentation from scratch.
    1 point
  22. Then, that's: - Not a restriction, but actually something less restricting - A problem with the global policy A global policy should allow for divisional variations, because not every region is the same. Allowing local regions (America) to implement this, should be fine and this should definitely not be in a global policy.
    1 point
  23. ^bingo. By doing this, you also can have people controlling more positions while waiting for endorsement training.
    1 point
  24. Exactly this. Instead of mentoring during my free-time I could spend the time doing other things in my life. However, in my eyes I want my division/sub-divisions to succeed and see activity grow so I invest my time to make my goal happen.
    1 point
  25. Absolutely... If you are restricting an airfield, you're doing so because "it's more complex than the rest of the minors". So you should always be doing the CPT on minor airports when it comes to rating promotions. After that promotion is when training on the restricted/major endorsements should be started.
    1 point
  26. If I wanted to control in France, I'd accept that I needed to learn French phraseology for radio calls. It shouldn't be like this, but it is the reality. Same for Spain. On one hand we do not want alienate our customers - local pilots - and on the other hand VATSIM really wants to generate access to all countries/facilities. Back to our French case: I know basic French phraseology, but I am far from being able to have a conversation in that language. Hence, I should only qualify as a visiting/guest controller, unless I really want to take part in all the conversations in the background. Since I work for a PT company, I know that the general command of English is quite good and widespread in Portugal. That's very different from Spain, France, Italy etc..
    1 point
  27. With a high number of members not staying, it is becoming increasingly difficult to motivate existing and potential mentors. At least that's the situation here. Why should I donate an entire evening (after a busy day at work) for someone who will probably not stay for long?
    1 point
  28. Just call it aircraft data tags.
    1 point
  29. Collin I just want to be sure I got this right. So you are suggesting that a practical test, in the sweatbox environment where the a/c are being driven by the instructor. Making perfect rate turns when instructed to do so, likely making perfect descents, when instructed, is a more valuable practical tests than live on the network. Which is filled with pilots making turns at imperfect rates and descents at seriously imperfect rates? I wonder, how your hundreds of controllers, are able to cope when presented with the reality of the network upon gaining their rating? I'd honestly love to agree with you. But we're dealing with an imperfect network with an awful lot of imperfect pilots which makes it VERY hard to simulate reality in a "sweatbox" environment. Which is one of the primary reasons I think OTS's on the network are critical. As well as live practice on the network. Mixed, of course, with the sweatbox sessions as you mention. Phil.
    1 point
  30. Not sure what's funny about that. An S2 would be perfectly capable of mentoring an S1 on Clearance and Ground if given a bit of training on how to be a mentor. More mentors, more training bandwidth.
    1 point
  31. Because these places entirely different skill sets and rely on visitors mainly to provide service on a normal day. Nobody is really a home controller for the Caribbean FSS. If we want these places staffed, we provide incentive by not having it count against their visiting limit.
    1 point
  32. Your entire statement just proves, that you prefer low quality, all-around-annoying incompetent ATC, rather than single departure of this kind of person, who is refusing to improve, lol. Because of the decisions as per above, you save a single, incompetent departure from the network, making tons of people dedicated to the network going off, because they are driven nuts by these kind of people.
    1 point
  33. We all know that's way too logical of an idea for the BoG.
    1 point
  34. Thomas, 'Who controls airfield XXXX when YYY is offline' is the #1 question for new pilots. Therefore, a clear and consistent top-down model is paramount IMO. Framing this as a "we hate change attitude" is not really helpful IMO. Fasttracking, as described above, is the way to go. Since you'll need some training anyway (VATSIMisms...), learning the lower positions can't be a big problem. Martijn
    1 point
  35. Posting this here, as this falls under "definitions". The term "live training resources" appears in points 6.05(j)(ix) and 9.01(e) and I believe that the definition of this term should be expanded in more detail. Whilst I personally understand that in these contexts, the term suggests the use of instructors' time and resources (i.e. mentoring sessions) in order to get a validation, this or a similar way, is how this should be phrased in the policy, as the term "live training resources" can mean many different types of resources and is in my opinion a bit too vague.
    1 point
  36. I don't particularly have an issue with standards varying across the world - it doesn't make much sense training someone for extreme traffic levels if they're in a division/sub-division which gets very little traffic. In an ideal world everyone would be trained to the same high standards, but I think it's more worthwhile to train 3 students to the required standard in that area than 1 student to real world standards. It's also worth noting that a lot of people struggle to learn the practical aspects of controlling, in the real world very few people make it through the selection processes and to the end of training. Having quieter areas allows members who struggle in high workloads to have a chance at getting a C1 rating and makes the network as accessible as possible. The vast majority of controllers will happily train and control in their home division - I wouldn't want to visit Portugal and control Lisbon badly in the same way Andre doesn't want to come to the UK, the issue is with a small minority of people who have no qualms about transferring everywhere to avoid training queues and visiting multiple division/sub-divisions without any intention of learning the local procedures. There should really be some way to safeguard against this and only allow in people who have put in a genuine effort.
    1 point
  37. It doesn't mention an extension of the solo endorsement phase. But to be in line with what they are trying to achieve with this policy (removing obstructions to controlling): having a set limit (that is already really short, especially for busy, major airfield solo endorsements!!) is an obstruction to controlling, especially if someone isn't able to control like twice a week. And with a very low bar of activity (one hour in a year), a maximum solo phase length doesn't make sense. Well, of course it does, but I don't really think there should be a maximum in a policy, but rather be handled on sub-division level. I get the reason for a maximum duration: it forces a student to be active and learn a lot in a short time, while also making sure people are not forever in their solo phase. But why not handle this on sub-division level? Training staff wants their students to progress as well, so: Duration of a solo phase is 90 days by default In case it is needed, the sub-division training staff can issue an extension of 30 days at a time We're already having trouble staying within the 90 days (and to be really honest, we do sometimes go over it, but never intentional). That's because: Our airfield is very busy and complex It takes time to learn There's multiple people with a solo phase, and only one person can man that position at a given time If it's busy, there's a delay in exam planning At peak time a few months ago, there was at least a month between requesting a CPT and receiving it, there's only a limited capacity on examiners and other instructors And what if a student fails the CPT? They don't have solo days left, thus requiring a mentor every time, thus increasing load and stress and increasing the time. This limit is actually increasing the workload of volunteers. We all wish to have people progress quickly, so this doesn't need to be set as a hard maximum in the policy. Have the 90 days as a soft maximum, for the case that a student doesn't go online often, but give the sub-division training staff the ability to give extensions without problems. Do it for the volunteers. They want the best for their students. It's almost as if training staff and instructors are not trusted by the BoG and our work is not valued.
    1 point
  38. What about vACCs that don't really have many GND positions at airports that aren't their major? Besides Lisbon we only have one more airport with a GND position in our FIR, which however does not have a DEL position, and doesn't see much traffic, thus limiting the controllers a bit when trying to continue training towards the major certification. Once again, you (not you directly, but the policy/its creators) are forgetting that not each sub-division has hundreds of airports, with all sorts of positions available for members to train at. In Portugal all our training is done directly at our Major, and there's very good reason for it. EDIT: And there are several vACCs who have only 1 Ground position (at least defined in their sector files). Will S1s immediately start working the Major, without any sort of live-network experience?
    1 point
  39. But there are things you can't simulate and test on a sweatbox. You can't test how a shy controller will react once they control a frequency on which more then their mentor is listening in. There's a difference between speaking on TeamSpeak with your mentor only, and speaking on a frequency with 5 or 10 aircraft. It might also be difficult to simulate how a controller would react to a very stubborn, and wrong, pilot. I've seen controllers forget their manners, and start arguing with the pilot on frequency, and being all but educated. If a mentor is around when that happens it can very quickly be shutdown and corrected. If not, then the issue will continue. Obviously a situation to check this one might not arise during sessions on the network, but sometimes they do. In my opinion it's not only about knowing the correct phraseology for a clearance.
    1 point
  40. Thank you for pointing that out. This is a new change that is not currently allowed on GRP. However, I still think this is a huge hole. Sweatbox scenarios do not provide an appropriate means of testing controller skills, as no sweatbox session can truly simulate the random, wacky things we have seen pilots try to do. We need a training rating (perhaps S0?) to allow candidates training for S1 to train, practice, and get tested on the network. It also creates a hole for those divisions that choose to bypass the S1, as we do not have any rating for controllers in training. Again, for this to work, we need a rating for unrated controllers in training.
    1 point
  41. Unless I'm missing something, a practical test doesn't have to be on the network. A large number of practical tests are done in a virtual environment.
    1 point
  42. I am against this. This would take VatSim away from what it is in reality. I am talking for example about the case of Spain. In Spain in real life, all ATCs must know Spanish and English, and pilots can contact the ATC in the language the pilot wants. I think that in VatSim we have to do the same.
    1 point
  43. 你好,在VATSIM总坛上请尽量使用英文进行发帖。如果需要使用中文,你可以访问VATPRC(中国分部)论坛 - > VATPRC – VATSIM 中华人民共和国分部 Hi, please try to post in English on the VATSIM forum as much as you can. If you need to use Chinese, you can visit the VATPRC (P.R.China Division) Forum -> VATPRC – VATSIM P.R.China Division
    1 point
  44. Be honest, when was the last time someone tried to set an activity policy that had to be intervened by the BoG? Most ARTCC policies have to go through Division approval, and no Division would allow that through. We have a management structure in place for situations just like this, and they work 99% of the time. The 1% fringe case can be handled case-by-case by the BoG and doesn't need to be codified into policy. This is red tape for the sake of red tape. Not what VATSIM is about. VATSIM is about a mutual love of aviation, not LARPing the bureaucracy of the FAA.
    1 point
  45. If you are so concerned about asking for recertification, I will take this from my own administrative policy: "Any controller who is removed from the ZOB roster due to inactivity may reapply by submitting a transfer request on VATUSA’s website. If accepted, they will need to undergo the following: a. Controllers who return to ZOB after being inactive for less than 6 months, will retain all their certifications without any additional checkout/exam." Other VATUSA ARTCCs have this policy in place as well. We have your middle ground and it has been local policy for ages.
    1 point
  46. So writing an email for 2 minutes is that big of an issue apparently, if you can't meet 1-3 hours per 3 months? As I said before, controllers should also be responsible enough to know that if they've been away for a long time, that when they go back they have to do a familiarisation. An LoA just makes it a lot easier for both parties.
    1 point
  47. I thought this was a public review/input period. Apparently my legitimate suggestion is being dismissed by the Marketing and Communications VP. What amazing communication skills. My suggestion nowhere said "if you don't like it, leave". It suggested allowing subdivisions the latitude to determine their own activity requirements, and allows all controllers the freedom of choice.
    1 point
  48. Also, Well, not if you only have to do that maximum 4 times. And if you are so busy, then you shouldn't be getting those visitor validations if you don't have enough time to invest in the visitorship.
    1 point
  49. Here's a crazy idea. Remove the policy from GCAP altogether and let each subdivision create their own activity policy as they see fit. If a controller is unhappy with an activity policy at a particular subdivision, they can move to a subdivision with a more lenient policy. One size fits all policies like this are not the solution with a global network like VATSIM.
    1 point
  50. Curious how someone who doesn't have the time to control 1 hour every few months has time for his BoG duties? Those are far more demanding, no?
    1 point
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