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Pilots flying to/from Jacksonville, Daytona or Orlando


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Matthew is being a little over the top. Nobody on the BoG or EC has ever said don't be realistic. In fact, be as realistic as you can, and train others to that standard.

 

The key is in his words above; flexibility. If you're a high realism junkie and the pilots you have can all handle high realism, then you should be happier than a pig in slop. But we need you to also be flexible so when the guy shows up with a new CID and not knowing what to do, be flexible with them and try your best within your resources to get them flying. If you get a guy like this up in the air, even if it wasn't 'realistic', we win a heart and they return. They start to see they are missing pieces and the thrill of flying with ATC is often enough to get them to want to learn it right. The Zoners will tire of this fast and leave since they can't shoot anyone down.

 

What bends the BoG folks is when we hear that in an otherwise empty sky a pilot had his fp refused, had his text comms refused, was sent on a tourist trip of the next state flying a DP designed to smooth the flow of busy airspace when a direct to a waypoint in their fp would work fine in this case. We are equally disheartened when a pilot demands perfection from an ATC while they are learning too. Some of the best fun I have had is shooting non-p approaches with a controller who isn't familiar with those; I coach him on how ATC does it, he learns and gets better, I get a good workout and makes me a better instrument pilot.

 

A good ATC or pilot is able to adjust what they do and say to a given situation to produce the desired result - an aircraft flying on the network with ATC coverage. The experience and knowledge levels vary greatly on VATSIM and unless we make adjustments situationally we will have a hard time raising the bar for us all and one style or approach will not fit all situations.

 

Be flexible, be friendly, be helpful, be a teacher and mentor even if that isn't in your job description. This will make VATSIM a better place for all members.

 

Thanks for trying new things, ZJX.

Kyle Ramsey

 

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Agreed, it just becomes rather difficult when 10 out of 20 of your pilots on frequency are new (if it were just one, that wouldn't be an issue!), trying to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ist in that type of situation is rather stressful for those with a more realistic controlling preference, let alone not very beneficial to learning... Then again there are your good days. Hopefully this network-wide pilot cert program will really improve things. As my good friend from Australia, Captain Shanne C. West, would say, "Don't worry darling, they'll figure it out eventually..."

 

I'm still not sure how this will work out for you guys at ZJX though. The fact that you won't be displaying on most (if not all) of the network monitoring tools definitely isn't going to be helpful towards attracting traffic. You may need to go to VA forums and post about this as well as making an occasional broadcast on frequency while you control that these changes are now in effect as a reminder to pilots (and maybe you already are).

 

What might even be more effective towards your cause is changing the position ID to using a major sector, such as MCO_F11_APP or something like that to indicate That the position is staffed and running the Central Florida TRACON in it's entirety. Same we do for working SoCal combined "LAX_APP" at ZLA, even though we provide services from north of Burbank to the Mexican Boarder out to Palm Springs from that sector when it's solely staffed.

 

 

Regards,

 

AJ

Andrew James Doubleday | Twitch Stream: Ground_Point_Niner

University of North Dakota | FAA Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) GraduateGPN_Horizontal_-_Tertiary.thumb.png.9d7edc4d985ab7ed1dc60b92a5dfa85c.png

 

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F11 is something that IS going to happen.. regardless.. maybe not in the next year, but the FAA will overcome NATCA and finish it.

 

Not sure if you are aware or not, but F11 already does exist, it's actually the Orlando TRACON facility identifier now. They recently (within the past couple of years) separated from the tower into their own facility now. Not sure if they'd have room for any more scopes in that tiny room right now (I've seen it). I'm guessing they'd be making plans to move F11 somewhere else whenever they go through with the combination.

Andrew James Doubleday | Twitch Stream: Ground_Point_Niner

University of North Dakota | FAA Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) GraduateGPN_Horizontal_-_Tertiary.thumb.png.9d7edc4d985ab7ed1dc60b92a5dfa85c.png

 

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Agreed, it just becomes rather difficult when 10 out of 20 of your pilots on frequency are new (if it were just one, that wouldn't be an issue!), trying to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ist in that type of situation is rather stressful for those with a more realistic controlling preference, let alone not very beneficial to learning... Then again there are your good days. Hopefully this network-wide pilot cert program will really improve things. As my good friend from Australia, Captain Shanne C. West, would say, "Don't worry darling, they'll figure it out eventually..."

 

I'm still not sure how this will work out for you guys at ZJX though. The fact that you won't be displaying on most (if not all) of the network monitoring tools definitely isn't going to be helpful towards attracting traffic. You may need to go to VA forums and post about this as well as making an occasional broadcast on frequency while you control that these changes are now in effect as a reminder to pilots (and maybe you already are).

 

What might even be more effective towards your cause is changing the position ID to using a major sector, such as MCO_F11_APP or something like that to indicate That the position is staffed and running the Central Florida TRACON in it's entirety. Same we do for working SoCal combined "LAX_APP" at ZLA, even though we provide services from north of Burbank to the Mexican Boarder out to Palm Springs from that sector when it's solely staffed.

 

 

Regards,

 

AJ

 

I thought about this, however, decided against it when the call sign varies depending on what the controller is really staffing. If they are staffing the realistic TRACONs, then their call sign is "Orlando Approach" for MCO_*_APP. Sometimes extending MCO to JAX and DAB would be "confusing" which is why I opted for F11_*_APP. Some tools properly display F11, ie, VatView which bases it on the type of position logged in on and the central visibility point. Since some tools seem to display a static sized ring around the controller's primary visibility point, I don't know why they all can't do this anyway. Some show it, some don't.

 

Also, MCO_F11_APP is too long, max 10 characters. And that adds to the confusion as to what they are really working as I have found many pilots in the Jacksonville area do not look at controller info on who to call, if at all.

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F11 is something that IS going to happen.. regardless.. maybe not in the next year, but the FAA will overcome NATCA and finish it.

 

Not sure if you are aware or not, but F11 already does exist, it's actually the Orlando TRACON facility identifier now. They recently (within the past couple of years) separated from the tower into their own facility now. Not sure if they'd have room for any more scopes in that tiny room right now (I've seen it). I'm guessing they'd be making plans to move F11 somewhere else whenever they go through with the combination.

 

When I said that, I was speaking of F11 in the sense of combined Jacksonville, Daytona, Tampa and Orlando approaches. I know F11 exists, and from what I have heard it is completely separated from the tower and in a new facility named "Central Florida TRACON". But since the move to combine the TRACONs in the area was temporarily put off by NATCA, they still identify as "Orlando Approach". What I meant was CF TRACON is going to happen at some point, as in the fully combined Central Florida TRACON.

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I'm not bashing your F11 idea. If that is the direction you wish to go with your facility, that is your perrogative. I agree, it's not realistic to provide top down service, but there are limitations we must accept in order for the network to work period. As I said, these are comprimise I make, and it dosen't kill the simulation for me. Of course we can't staff all sectors at all times. We can however, provide a realistic simulation of procedures followed

by pilots and air traffic controllers everyday around the world, as stated in the mission statement of VATSIM. I accomplish this goal by controlling traffic in every position according to how it's done in the real world. My problem is that the realism line is being pushed so far towards the gaming end that we are in danger of losing the hobbist aspect. May VATGAME live on.

 

 

I accomplish this goal by controlling traffic in every position according to how it's done in the real world.

 

Or how you BELIEVE it is done!

 

Your facility has HUNDREDS of pages of procedures that your facility requires its members to follow, yet forget that these procedures, in the real world, were written for situations involving hundreds, perhaps thousands of operations each day. Does your facility have the same number of operations each day? Procedures are born from necessity right?

 

Your facility's recent updates to the SOPs contain many references that are not in compliance with the User Agreement, Code of Conduct, etc, but since these "violations" are cleverly buried, odds are no one will find them unless they actually read them.

 

GRP requires "top-down" service. An example of this is that even though a facility may not be in operation 24 hours a day, you still need to provide service to that airport and NOT terminate them reaching the boundary of that TRACON, which has been experienced.

 

Do controllers need to know how SWAP works? What rating is required for metering positions? Heck, your facility's latest revision presents a group of airports that CANNOT be staffed by an otherwise appropriately rated controller. Your facility has AIRSPACE designated as "major" airspace. This is a direct violation of the GRP! Yet, it was approved by the ATD of your region???

 

Let the students get on and control, quit creating ways to further impede an already "bogged down" student training track...

 

Jason Vodnansky

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Not trying to get into the argument, but I'm pretty sure he stated somewhere on the first page that staffing F11 is completely optional for all controllers, and it's for those who want to staff it.

Ryan Geckler - GK | Former VATUSA3 - Division Training Manager

VATSIM Minneapolis ARTCC | FAA Miami ARTCC 

Cross the Pond Planning Team

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BLAH BLAH BLAH.....Thats all I hear all the time on this network. The lack of "Proffesionalism" and quality of controlling sucks IMHO. I will back my facility 110% because of the leadership and the quality of training that I recieved up until this point. I would rather be in a facility that might not have the trafic counts that other facilities have, but at least I know that when we do have traffic it will be handled to the T with the real world procedures. Isn't this the point of the network? Being a real world pilot its nice to have quality well trained controllers on the other end, the same applies here with the virtual ones as well. I think this is why we fly on the network. Just my .02

 

Derek Hood

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BLAH BLAH BLAH.....Thats all I hear all the time on this network. The lack of "Proffesionalism" and quality of controlling sucks IMHO. I will back my facility 110% because of the leadership and the quality of training that I recieved up until this point. I would rather be in a facility that might not have the trafic counts that other facilities have, but at least I know that when we do have traffic it will be handled to the T with the real world procedures. Isn't this the point of the network? Being a real world pilot its nice to have quality well trained controllers on the other end, the same applies here with the virtual ones as well. I think this is why we fly on the network. Just my .02

VATSIM's goal is not to simulate the real world "to the T." While it may be nice to have "quality well trained controllers on the other end," (mind you, I appreciate it, too) that isn't an explicit goal of the network. We train (or are supposed to train) to the core competencies of the GRP and leave the rest up to the individual controller as to how advanced they want to get, for instance, learning more about contact approaches and military procedures.

 

Except when traffic levels warrant, it's difficult to simulate our real world counterparts to the T because the T is often defined by the individual controller's preference in times of low traffic. I suppose if you wanted to simulate the real world to the T, in times of low traffic, you just use your brain and that alone. You don't use intricate SOP procedures in times of low traffic, though it is important to know them for when times of high traffic occur.

 

I don't get how you could argue real world procedures as a basis for your love of ZJX when you have a non-existent consolidated TRACON. I'm not taking a side on the consolidation issue, but I'm just pointing out a flaw in that argument.

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I think the following is being entirely lost:

 

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If someone is working by themselves, the airspace they staff is theirs. Rulers of their own mini-universe, they can do whatever they want within it. Of course, if we're trying to simulate anything on VATSIM, at least try and use the .65, but I digress. SOPs and LOAs are really in place for when your buddies need to know what's going on. As in, when you're NOT by yourself.

 

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A vast majority of the time on this network, it doesn't matter that a given ARTCC may have an SOP and LOA written up for every tower/TRACON/Center position; this because there aren't often other controllers to work with directly. When by yourself, SOPs and LOAs do provide often excellent guidance on how to run the operation and perhaps [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ist your SELF in putting aircraft in a good position, and if followed, tend to naturally form a smooth(er) traffic flow. But when by yourself, and therefore not affecting any other controllers, deviating from published SOPs/LOAs is nothing more than an APREQ with yourself. You only have yourself and maybe a pilot to answer to if things go awry. PS - APREQ = APproval REQuest = a primary way of asking permission to do something non-standard on the land line IRL.

 

But when working with friends in adjacent facilities or splitting the one you're both staffing, don't screw the pilot, or your buddy, or yourself just because you want to get creative or feel like you can do whatever you want. Following the published procedures of SOPs and LOAs ensure that you and your neighbors can predict what the other guy is doing... a hallmark of ATC. It sure is nice, if not downright vital, to have a set of expectations in place for how you will give and receive aircraft from that person.

 

I think it is fan-effing-tastic that certain facilities make every effort possible to put information out there to allow people to simulate reality. Do I support cracking the whip and forcing people to follow every last published procedure just because it's published? Hell no. By god though, when you're working with a neighboring controller, go educate yourself with the materials published and work together as a team. If there isn't a procedure in place, perhaps coordinate or work together to create an SOP or LOA, as appropriate. It's all about the teamwork here.

 

~Nate

Nate Johns

 

"All things are difficult before they are easy."

- Dr. Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hmmm, I kinda feel bad that this didn't go through. I mean the idea was to provide approach control to more facilities using S3's vs having to have only Center controllers provide those services when the individual approaches weren't on. I see this as something like a "mini Center" and not requiring all the hoopla we have put in place to becoming a controller.

 

I hope you figure this out and decide to do it again. I think it could be used across the board in many places to provide these mini-Centers so we could get MORE controllers online.

 

Some of you are so worried about keeping the controllers "in line" that in the end the total number of controllers has dropped drastically since I started on VATSIM almost 10 years ago. It used to be we had 400 a/c and 200 controllers or more. Now I see 500-600 pilots and 45 controllers on the entire network.

 

That's BAD in my opinion, but I'm a lonely voice.

 

This push to over testing, over criticizing, and over controlling the CONTROLLERs lead me away from doing it. I just couldn't put up with the power hungry people coming on all the time saying, "Hey you're an S3, you can't control there." regardless if I was actually doing the job efficiently. We have too many rating watchers out there and NOT enough controllers.

 

Anyway, enough of my rant. Hope this gets worked out.

 

PS> I didn't like the F11 either because as a pilot I wouldn't know to call them.

Jeff Thomas

VP-IT

https://joinava.org

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I can [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ure you that it had virutally nothing to do with the lack of realism. Personally speaking, I was fine either way whether F11 was put into effect or not.

 

But, in the end, it was not my decision. To keep it short and sweet, after all the controversy, various debates within the ARTCC over different aspects of F11, and Dan's resignation, we felt it was best to revert back to the simple, old-fashioned airspace configuration everyone was familiar and satisfied with before.

Stephen Faison

Senior Controller - C3

vZTL ARTCC

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