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Bryan Wollenberg 810243

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About Bryan Wollenberg 810243

  • Birthday 01/19/1979
  1. On what? The technology? That's for the Founders and potential developers to work out. Dhruv, the surveys I mainly speak of, are those such as the AVSIM survey, and other 3rd party surveys. The higher-ups haven't really conducted any formal surveys on the issue, as far as I'm aware. The "Staff it and they will come" system absolutely works. I could give you countless examples in ZLA, as could many of your ZLA converts who went to ZMP. I have no idea why it didn't work in ZMP. Perhaps people just plain don't want to fly there. That's a sad reality too. I like ZMP. I like Hawaii and Alaska too. Those poor guys and gals could probably staff 24/7, and still not see anywhere close to the traffic that places like ZLA, ZTL, ZNY get. It's just a fact of geography and whatever else.
  2. That has already been done in several places, albeit without the super technology that would make it really cool.
  3. By the way, I also absolutely like the idea of allowing controllers to start on Center. Certainly is a whole new can of worms, particularly with the top-down requirements, but possibly doable? Who knows?
  4. I agree, Andrew, and why nobody has addressed pilot quality for years absolutely boggles the mind. It IS a numbers game, and to an extent, that's very unfortunate. I have been (and continue to be) an advocate for mandatory training, testing, etc. of pilots. Unfortunately, that's up to the Founders to resolve. Correct, but this isn't a discussion regarding the rest of the world. 27% of ARTCCs are on that list. Not saying that's a bad thing at all. In fact, it's quite impressive. But 73% of ARTCCs are not on that list. There isn't another Division that comes anywhere close to having the number of C1+ folk that VATUSA has. VATUSA should almost be expected to dominate that list. Harold, the evidence is there! The pilots specifically state in the surveys that they don't want to conduct the majority of their flights on UNICOM. Would staffing 200 towers in every ARTCC, or every single approach sector fix that? The only people that will be good for are the local VFR folk, and we know how many of those guys exist on VATSIM. While they might not specifically state that they want more enroute ATC, what the heck else could they possibly be requesting, when they say they're tired of being switched to UNICOM, and/or flying routes with no ATC coverage??? I would guess it's for the same reason that C1's don't become VC's all over the place now; because they have to learn the entire airspace, major airports, certify at every single position from DEL on up, etc., etc.
  5. That's EXACTLY what those numbers show me. There are 6 ARTCCs out of 22 that are regularly staffed. Anything in between I would guess is just a switch to UNICOM a lot of the time. Thanks for bringing that up, John.
  6. Thinking of ways to attract more pilots to the network is hardly damning the controllers. When there is a lack of ATC coverage, pilots go offline. When pilots go offline, controllers can sit around staring at their empty scopes all day. That's really what it comes down to. And of course it works the other way as well. If controllers decide to leave because things get so ridiculous, then the pilots leave as well. It's all a matter of finding a happy medium. Do you think we are at that medium now, or should we possibly try to come up with new ideas to attract more pilots, which in turn means more traffic for the controllers? Judging by all the surveys I've looked at, we're nowhere near that happy medium. There are A LOT of pilots flying offline due to the lack of ATC coverage.
  7. What happens if the trial is a failure? When's the last time we had a "trial" of anything on the ATC-side of this network? It's either we have it or we don't. Actually, there have been a few trials of different ATC positions over time, the latest being the ASEA_FSS just a few month ago. Another example was the was the trial to see how the "super centre" would work in VATPAC. They do happen, the participants and local staff are invited to comment on the success or failure of the trial. And don't forget all the trials with the ratings and off-peak stuff that has been happening in Europe for months.
  8. Daniel, I have tried thus far to keep training (of any kind) away from the Regional level. It's something that really should be accomplished at the Division level, but if you want me to look into creating some sort of program for the Region, I'll be happy to do that. I'm not one to bloat the Region with all sorts of staff and programs, but that might have to change, obviously on the controller side of things as well. Rich, I did get your PM. Will get back to you on that this evening. Just on my way out the door to work. Just for your info, so you don't get things confused, I'm not VATUSA2 also. That would be a huge conflict of interest. I'm listed as VATUSA2, since that's how the VATUSA website handles certain permissions, and I needed access to certain staff sections of the website. Since you seem to be the most vocal person here about pilot training, why in the last few months have you not gone to Gary or the rest of the VATUSA staff with some proposal or request?
  9. Not telling you that at all. I guess you must have misread something again. I'm not telling the ARTCCs to run training programs, but if you want a Division-lead pilot training program, who do you think is going to be involved? We already have the VAs getting involved with their own ATOs. Finding an independent group of pilots to run such a program might prove to be difficult. All really doesn't matter anyway. Optional pilot training isn't going to fix the problem pilots in the first place.
  10. There are people in place in Europe now who are trying to get rid of that practice. Of course it's not officially permitted, but it happens, and has been happening for years. As a recent example, we (VATUSA) was absolutely blasted because a busy student controller denied a pilot's request to take off on the opposite runway as to what was in use. It was noted how this happens in VATUSA all the time, how the controllers are not accommodating, etc. etc. To make a long story short, I did 3 random test flights in Europe, at completely random non-busy, non-major airports. Two of the controllers had no aircraft besides me. One had 1 other aircraft. In 3 out of 3 flights, I was denied services because I didn't have the VFR charts on board. Completely denied any kind of services, not allowed to take off, etc. In 2 out of the 3 situations, I was denied the ability to take off on a non-in-use runway, even though there was absolutely no traffic anywhere. Needless to say, that issue was dealt with, but that's what has been going on for years. The "gamer" pilots have probably left or have been suspended for "causing trouble", leaving people who know that they have to have charts, file the appropriate route, know how to fly their plane, etc., or they get no service. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. In any other pilot training thread, you guys say it's not our (VATUSA/VATNA) responsibility to handle pilot training. Now you want it to be our responsibility. Which is it? Let me know if ZJX would like to become an ATO, and I'll see that it happens. In the past, however, ARTCCs haven't wanted to participate in pilot training. They say it isn't their responsibility. When have I ever put the blame on the controllers for pilots not being able to fly their plane?
  11. You just happened to pick a slow night. I could just happen to pick a day when there was no ATC online and say, "Look, VATUSA never has any staffing!" Start looking every night and taking the averages. From what I have seen, the average around midnight and later is anywhere from 20-30 aircraft, with 3 ARTCCs online. In the daytime hours prior to any real staffing (off-peak), the average is around 60-70 aircraft, with 5 towers, 1 approach, and 2 grounds online. That's from a little over a week of looking at random off-peak times. That's a lot of pilots who could potentially be receiving some form of ATC. Online now are well over 120 aircraft, with 3 ARTCCs staffed. While 11:45 on a Saturday morning isn't exactly off-peak, that's a heck of a lot of aircraft that could potentially benefit from such staffing, is it not? Honestly, I don't think it's because the people in Europe are inately more willing to plan their flights properly, get the proper routes, charts, etc. It's because for years and years (and even today), you don't have the right route or charts in Europe, you simply don't fly. I could care less if the Europe folk want to jump down my throat for that one; it's 100% true. If controllers in the US were ever found to be denying service because a pilot didn't have a chart or proper route or didn't know how to fly the plane, we would be absolutely crucified. But in Europe, that attitude has been prevalent for years, and has been allowed to exist on the network for years. The pilots know it, and magically learned to plan their routes properly, get the right charts, etc., if they wanted to receive service. It's being fixed, but it still happens over there regularly.
  12. The number is higher than you think...quite a bit higher than you think.
  13. Huh? My numbers show people who quite obviously want to progress to C1 (or they would still be S3's or such). I'm not missing anything. The "REAL" causes have been addressed in other threads. I'm not saying the pilot quality, and all the other BS aren't affecting C1 retention, because they certainly are. If you show me anywhere in this thread I've said that, I'll eat my shoe. Why the "real" causes aren't being addressed in general is well beyond my paygrade. I've supported pilot exams, CoC/CoR exams, etc. for the last 10 years. They aren't being addressed in this thread, but this is not a thread on C1 retention. Open a new thread on the "real" causes and I'll be happy to participate. This thread is about increasing coverage with the C1's we do have. AJ, just to note, as far as I'm aware, there is nothing set in stone that is going to force anybody to go this route...at least not now. It was a proposal introduced by a Founder, and apparently tested (??) on the network by some facilities. There has been nothing indicated to me that these supercenters will somehow become mandatory at any point. And even further, while I definitely support certain aspects of this IDEA (not the proposal itself), I'm certainly not going to force anybody to go that route, unless obviously I'm forced to by somebody above my paygrade. This is up to YOU GUYS in VATUSA to figure out. As far as I know, the thread over in the VATUSA Staff Forum (started by Gary) was just to get an idea of what you guys thought of the idea. Both threads should serve exactly the purpose they're serving, to garner opionions from controllers and pilots, and see what the general concensus is. If you guys don't want to go this route, then don't. I'm not going to attempt to force this on you. As far as I know, it was just a proposal to attempt to increase general coverage. That's a possibility. I don't like that, but it could certainly happen. My support of such an idea generally stops with off-peak.
  14. I think the small inconvenience might pay off in the form of better coverage and higher pilot activity. Is it really a big deal to change the wording in some policy somewhere? Maybe that's half the problem...we have become so entranced with policy and docomeentation, that even changing wording in a policy somewhere becomes a major inconvenience. Don't get me wrong...that's from the top all the way down. I'm not going to single anyone out, as I'm just as guilty. I understood the same, and because of that, I can't really support the proposal as it stands...at least not now. With changes as vast as what is being proposed, I definitely think that 24/7 would be a mistake. Absolutely true, but generally during prime time, there are also the center controllers online. A supercenter really shouldn't be needed. It's really the off-peak time, where we could be providing more coverage, but aren't. I do like the super TRACON/TWR idea very much, but like you say, I don't see the infrastructure being upated anytime soon. It's unfortunate. You asked for evidence, and I'm simply telling you what the numbers show system-wide. Regardless of the reasons (I really don't care), it is taking people years to make it to the center level. Nobody is getting paid 6-figures to train on VATSIM, and accordingly, somebody with average availability, and the ability to put in an average amount of time per week, shouldn't take years to get signed off. But that's for a whole other discussion.
  15. Sure! In your facility, only 4 of the 20 C1+ rated controllers have taken 6 months or less, and that does not count the time to go from OBS -> S1. Adding that in would elminate 2 of those people. Would you like me to continue with other facilities, or is that good enough? Of course that doesn't mean those people were actually trained at your facility, but the 6 month figure is nowhere near being realistic.
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