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Exam Standard (Workload Management)


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So I'm currently watching a tower exam where the student is handling 20+ aircraft with absolutely no help from beneath him.

 

Yes I understand the need to demonstrate that you can control the aerodrome but what does this prove. The guy hasn't stopped talking for 15 minutes, pilots talking over each other - this is his exam.

 

Are we being stupid with expectations to handle unrealistic traffic loads under exam conditions. One of the examiners has stated that he will not be getting any help and is not allowed a ground online.

 

This is above and behind the amount a real world control would be expected to control IRL, Yet here is someone expected to do Delivery Ground and Tower all in one just to prove he can control a few aircraft.

 

Do we need to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ess how we treat examinees and what we should expect of them in an exam?

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oh no, an exam with the student alone. gee thats never happened before.

 

try doing an exam on enroute and also providing top down, then complain

It's a forum where we can discuss things correct?

 

Why don't you contribute to the discussion instead of taking it as a complaint?

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Why don't you contribute to the discussion instead of taking it as a complaint?

 

 

It sounds like you are complaining how this controller is being treated. I don't control but I imagine they are trying to stress him out. If he can do well witha heavy volume he will breeze through when its normal traffic.

854300

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Why don't you contribute to the discussion instead of taking it as a complaint?

 

 

It sounds like you are complaining how this controller is being treated. I don't control but I imagine they are trying to stress him out. If he can do well witha heavy volume he will breeze through when its normal traffic.

Then that needs to be a common standard in all exams.

 

It is not fair in some exams you'll be expected to handle 20+ aircraft and in others you'll be expected to handle 6 and p[Mod - Happy Thoughts].

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I see according to VATSPY that it’s been an hour and a half since the original post and that the testing seems ongoing. That has motivated me to make some observations and comments that some will agree with and some will not. Frankly I don’t care what side of the discussion you come down on. Those of you who wish to make changes will work to do so, those of you who don’t, won’t. Consider it an exercise in principle.

 

Let me first clarify where I am coming from. During my training I too received training and exams as described. Suffice it to say that controlling complete top down approach for three major facilities at once is not something some would consider reasonable. On the other hand, some would wear it like a badge of honor. I did. But that doesn’t make it right. Or smart. Or even an objective measure of a controller’s abilities. Or does it?

 

We here in VATSIM are spoiled. Our controllers complain about the pilots who can’t fly, our pilots complain about our controllers who can’t control. We require that our standards be met by everyone we cross paths with. Is it unfortunate that this includes the pilot who has 20 hours of flight time by the approach controller that has 500 hours controlling? Or by the pilot with 500 hours in the air and the controller with 20 hours on tower?

 

Does anyone remember what it took to accomeulate that much experience? Does anyone bother to share that experience with someone without it? Does the person responsible for teaching that tower controller in Manchester remember what it felt like when he had to go through the same process? Is he just following tradition or does he truly believe in this training method? Perhaps he is simply trying to prepare the new controller for his first event so he won’t feel overwhelmed? Or perhaps he is just trying to instill a sense of pride and accomplishment in his student?

 

You decide. This discussion tires me.

__________

Ira Robinson

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There i would agree with. For a tower exam with "20+" aircraft, it should not be taking that long to get a grade. Which tells me either the controller wasnt hitting his marks and the examiner extended the session to allow the controller more time to hit those marks (not out of the question, they want you to p[Mod - Happy Thoughts], not fail), or the examiner wasnt using the time and traffic wisely. Or as in my case, i often told them i wanted to stay longer. Since its not said controller complaining and i was not part of the conversation, cant rule that out either

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It was an impressive exam In which Alex really earnt his rating.

 

This is above and behind the amount a real world control would be expected to control IRL, Yet here is someone expected to do Delivery Ground and Tower all in one just to prove he can control a few aircraft

 

We often find that there's extreme amounts of traffic in events, too. Surely it's a good thing to give a candidate exposure to high traffic so they feel confident with controlling in an event (or adjacent to an exam) which will be just as busy?

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Has nothing to do with the amount you get. Its how you do thats scored. Nobody should be basing p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]/fail on amount.

Agree to strongly disagree, there. For example, determining how well you can do while servicing multiple aircraft at once should, IMHO, always itself be a scoreable item. So, sure, maybe you do a 1.5 hour session and flawlessly handle 6 aircraft evenly spaced across that entire exam. You don't deserve to "fail" it, but you don't deserve to "p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]" it either just because your exam happened to fall on a time where you weren't tested by that criteria.

 

I'm not supporting the notion that you need to come up against event-level traffic for an adequate practical exam, but I'm definitely in support of the notion that there can be too little traffic.

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with a small amount of traffic, all the examiner need do is contact the pilots that are there and see if they are willing to stick around to throw different things at the controller. you can still hit all the requirements with that, just use what you have wisely. if the examiner is just sitting watching that traffic fly away, then yea that would be useless. keep them around and thats much more manageable

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Ernesto, the issue with that is that although you cover all the theory and practical application you need, there is no substantisl volume.

I'm sure with enough effort and studying, an S1 could learn all the practical knowledge of being a C1. Does that mean they're ready to handle more than 2-3 planes at a time on Center -- probably not.

The pilots can stick around all they want, and that's great if you need to cover one more topic such as helo ops for example, but ig you need to test efficiency, you need volume -- and six pilots alone probably won't do it.

Josh Glottmann
Deputy Air Traffic Manager
Oakland ARTCC
[email protected]

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volume comes with time on scope. its not something that needs to be tested, it simply comes with experience. its something thats done in many areas of VATSIM that dont see high volume traffic. and they are often still ready for high volume events when done.

 

are they going to be ready to handle CTP for example right away, no way. but let the controller develop those skills over time. if we keep students waiting until they develop those skills, the system backlog just continues to increase, it clearly does not work. theirs people literally waiting a year before they advance/even start training in some areas due to the backlog from what i found out recently. you can imagine the backlog behind just 1 controller

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Honestly with Ira on this one, the discussion tired me to the point that I didn't feel like reading all of the posts. Therefore, forgive me if someone has already said this within the thread. Regardless, at Boston we sometimes have multiple components of a OTS exam. One being the oral, one being on-the-job (on the network, where they can handle real pilots), and one being on the sweatbox (where we can ensure volume). Keep in mind we only go to this extend in certain circomestances, such as a Boston Approach OTS. We don't go to this extent with a Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] C/D Ground controller. In other cases, as Anthony noted above, we take advantage of events for OTS exams.

 

Hope this provides some insight.

 

Thanks,

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This is why we use sweatbox with the same script for every student.

 

Its competency based training, the student is either competent or not, so in essence its a p[Mod - Happy Thoughts] fail situation.

 

A division or training department must NOT award an ATC rating until a person has demonstrated all elements of competency required for the rating

 

In all the competency's there is no requirement to [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ess a student on their ability to cope with a large volume of traffic.

 

I've seen a real world En-route Air Traffic Controller and Vatsim regular crumble under the volume of traffic at VATPAC regular panic stations event.

 

As S1 no longer has any competency's [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ociated with it, a student sitting an S2 exam needs to show competency in all aspects of the S2 rating which now include Delivery and Ground operations, All S2 controllers that we promote with in our division are [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essed on sweatbox with out ground and delivery and must show they can operate all 3 positions.

Kirk Christie - VATPAC C3

VATPAC Undercover ATC Agent

Worldflight Perth 737-800 Crew Member

956763

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If you're waiting for people to get to event standard prior to award of rating, you are going to wait a long time, especially since it is hard to get the experience without the rating.

 

Once a student is okay with regular traffic, let them loose onto regular traffic. They will pick up the experience and the capability to handle event level traffic with time and familiarity. By monitoring, you will know when they are ready for event level traffic and you can put them on your event controller teams at that point. Until then, there is nothing wrong with telling them "I don't think you are ready for this yet".

David Zhong

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  • 3 weeks later...

Only found this now, how bad am I?

 

I was indeed the student undergoing examination that evening, and I must say I felt much more confident after my exam that I managed to handle the traffic without loss of safety - and I'm proud of it.

 

There is a point that I was ready for an event a week later and was able to deal with the traffic levels, mainly due to the 'hecticness' of my exam. I'm glad I didn't get a ground controller on as it was really able to be a personal test for me.

Alex Ashley

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