Jump to content

Why isnt VATSIM free for all?


Recommended Posts

I for one welcome all replies to this post, both good and horrible bad..

 

But for me I do not care about how things are done in the ZMA, I would never fly there are even begin to control there so the place is pretty much non-existent.. But the notion of the re-training, OTS and mentor waiting list is on my priority and

as a human being I will not rant about it, only those trolling these forums are ranting.

 

Rant issue aside, I am fully aware there is a restriction for me, and even though I have both controlled an major airport and is approved as an active controller by the local VACC, I wish to have this OTS training. As Josh said above it will make sure that local new procedures are learned and the phraseoligy is correct.

 

I want to provide the best available ATC service and converage to our pilots, I want to be part of the online staff controlling the airspace of Norway, I have done my time as both mentor and staff at Vatsim Scandinavia and I have done all the requirements in order to put me at my present position as a virtual ATC on VATSIM.

 

But I do not agree the mandetory time restriction is the best way to go, it is like saying VATSIM is not for anybody and any given time. So instead of placing a time ban on members and fellow ATC, let them come back and do there refreshing as a ground and or tower ATC while they read up on local procedures and so on. Then online controllers can air and [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ist and therefor obtain two things in return

 

1. Coverage

2. Returning ATC

 

Good for both pilot and ATC..

Controller 1 - VATSIM Scandinavia 

Asus ROG Maximus XI Formula - Intel i9-9900K - Asus ROG STRIX RTX 2080TI - G-Skill 64GB DDR4 3600Mhz - 1x 1TBSSD, 2x 1TM2, 12TBSATA

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 82
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Anyway, are there some good VATSIM statistics out here?

 

stats.vatsim.net seems to show wrong data, as I search the VACCSCA training director and [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istants data, and it shows me that they have not been active since 2015 which cannot be correct.. If it was it would mean that both the director and [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istant are basically inactive and in need of OTS training.

 

Surly, that would be ironic..

Well, I don't think you're fooling anyone any more regarding what this really is about. Searching the stats for people to hang out to dry for lacking hours isn't something you do when you're only trying to highlight regulation flaws. Perhaps it's time to cease the cage rattling and focus on getting current with the active procedures in your vACC and get in touch with your [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned mentor for help on doing exactly that. You've already accomplished jumping the queue, what more is there to gain? Forcing a removal of the currency policies will either not work or make a lot of people frustrated as it opens the flood gates for people who don't have the insight to get training where it's needed.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Board of Governors
Even the busiest airport on the network EGLL does not remove endorsements.

 

Yet. There has been a lot of argument in favour of this in the UK, particularly from mentors who are fed up of putting hours and hours of their time in to getting people through the endorsement, only for them to disappear off and never staff LHR ever again (or only during events), and a currency requirement is in the future plan.

 

Adherence to the GRP is something im going to be writing to the EC about, I believe they are not doing enough to ensure that over restrictive policies are kept to a minimum, the introduction of the GRP was to get away from this system.

 

Well - there are some who might argue that the "one size fits all" GRP has actually achieved precisely the opposite. In the old days when divisions were trusted to make their own decisions based on their own needs, only the busiest airfields and positions were restricted.

 

We now have GRP, which requires a student to have an S3 whether they want to log on to Gatwick Director (39,841 movements in the last 12 months) or Scillies Approach (149 movements in the last 12 months), or C1 whether they want to log in to LON_CTR with hundreds of movements a night or Timbuktu Radar with one. Previously a controller who wanted to control a major airfield would have to do perhaps two or a maximum of three standard ratings exams, and along the way they would be able to practice the skills for the next rating up at a variety of much quieter airports. Now under GRP in addition to p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ing perhaps two ratings exams, they also have to p[Mod - Happy Thoughts] position-specific endorsements for every "major" position, and if you're an S2 you can't routinely log on as APP anywhere to practice ahead of your S3, even at airfields with only one or two movements. Is that a less restrictive system? Still, that's a separate debate for another day.

 

There's another issue that's worth mentioning here regarding waiting times: on the one hand, it sounds like it makes sense to give priority to returning controllers as in theory they may only require a quick check or a couple of hours and then they can get on with it. However, to look at it another way: you're a mentor who has put significant amounts of time and effort in to getting someone through their ratings exams. They then disappear before suddenly turning up several years later. Do you cancel your sessions with new students who have patiently waited their turn in the queue and are turning up every week for someone who's suddenly reappeared and decided they want to get back in to controlling? What if they then do a couple of sessions and then vanish again. Do they still have the right when they come back another year or two down the line to demand priority again? If we're talking about fairness, is that fair on new students who have been patiently waiting their turn?

 

I think a currency requirement (which in this case equates to, essentially, one session per month) is entirely reasonable and as someone who recently attempted to get acquainted with ES on a busy position after a long time away -- I can [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ure anybody reading this that it was not trivial and I would not have wanted to go solo on the network without any additional training, and I found it difficult enough to run GND, let alone TWR or APP, and I'm a C3. The advances in technology, co-ordination, procedures and so on over the last few years have been phenomenal, and if you're used to the days of VRC where all you really did was talk to aeroplanes, click "handoff" and modify the odd temporary altitude etc when vectoring then you have a very rude awakening coming. The controlling itself was straightforward enough: add in the extra "behind the scenes" co-ordination workload, info being added to datablocks and flight strips etc and it's enough to make your head spin if you're not used to it, no matter how many YouTube videos you watch or how many times you read a manual.

Vice President, Pilot Training

Link to post
Share on other sites
I think a currency requirement (which in this case equates to, essentially, one session per month) is entirely reasonable and as someone who recently attempted to get acquainted with ES on a busy position after a long time away -- I can [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ure anybody reading this that it was not trivial and I would not have wanted to go solo on the network without any additional training, and I found it difficult enough to run GND, let alone TWR or APP, and I'm a C3.

 

Difficulties running GND when you are a C3 is pretty hard to understand, must be a bussy airport he he.

Anyway, think this is the essense of this thread too, why focus on the major airport in the beginning.. Why not let an "un-comfortable" ATC return to active duty controlling a minor airports tower or gnd position, just to get familiar with things.

 

During my years as ATC on VATSIM I have seen many strange things. I have seen instructors brake down with less than 10 planes, I have seen ATC trolling the network but also S1 handling traffic like an C3.. We are all humans and the best part of this game is that no one can get hurt except perhaps someones pride. It is an virutal environment where people aim to pretent there actual ATC, heck someone might even be real life ATC using VATSIM to train or teach, it has happen belive me I've seen it. But to say you cannot do virtual ATC online after 3 years off, is just disrespecting another member.. He or she might be rusty, might do mistakes and even collide an airplane or two due to un-attended or missguided directions. But hey this can and have happend to active ATC too.. We all know and aim to be the best ATC there is for all pilots on VATSIM regardless. But there will always be mockups and issues on the network, thats why we have so nice supervisors that can help and [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ist.

 

Still the best way to learn is by doing and you are not doing anything waiting for ATC training and you are most definintive not providing any service to pilots..

Controller 1 - VATSIM Scandinavia 

Asus ROG Maximus XI Formula - Intel i9-9900K - Asus ROG STRIX RTX 2080TI - G-Skill 64GB DDR4 3600Mhz - 1x 1TBSSD, 2x 1TM2, 12TBSATA

Link to post
Share on other sites
Gents,

 

In accordance to GRP local competency is required too before a member is eligible to man a position without being mentored. Each and every local facility is required to hold such a roster/list on their website. In regards of the major airports/special airspace, it means that regardless if you have achieved the ratings in your home vACC, you cannot man this airspace/airport without a further examination due to its complexity/traffic levels.

 

That apply's for initial rating/endorsement, However there is no requirement in the GRP for you to be re [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essed for a rating or endorsement after a period of absence, in fact, such action is a direct contradiction of GRP 5.4

 

Would you mind showing me where it sates that each facility must hold and maintain a roster on their website, with the exception of, Endorsements, Solo's and Visiting controllers?

 

And Kirk, are you saying that you don't ever want to remove someone from a roster? Sure, leave anyone and everyone that has gotten any certification on forever, that works.

 

We currently don't remove any one from a roster in fact, we don't even keep a roster of active controllers, once your rating is issued, it is yours for life.

 

Here is what VATSIM says in its Code of Regulation

 

ARTICLE I. MEMBERSHIP

§1.01 Section I. Maintenance of Membership:

 

The requirements in place for ARTICLE I of the of the COR apply's to all members, to reactivate your account after a period of absence from the network all you have to do is contact the membership department and it will be sorted, this inactive status is irrelevant to your rating as a controller.

 

Well - there are some who might argue that the "one size fits all" GRP has actually achieved precisely the opposite. In the old days when divisions were trusted to make their own decisions based on their own needs, only the busiest airfields and positions were restricted.

 

The GRP was created by the Executive Committee, this committee is made up of all the regional directors on the network, therefore the GRP was implemented and agreed to by all the people that are responsible for your area, they have agreed that this system works for their area.

 

The GRP does not have any requirements that deal with the amount of traffic a controller can handle.

 

VATSIM only works down to a division level, VACC/ARTCC's below a division are purely in place to reduce the workload and maintain local procedures, ratings are issued and managed at the division level.

 

If you were to log in and control at a position for which you hold a rating for in your division for which you are a member, after a period of absence, without following the local VACC/ARTCC policy's there is nothing any one can do about it, if this matter went before the DCRM, I firmly believe that based on all the VATSIM rules, GRP and COR, the DCRM would award in favor of the individual.

Kirk Christie - VATPAC C3

VATPAC Undercover ATC Agent

Worldflight Perth 737-800 Crew Member

956763

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Board of Governors
The GRP was created by the Executive Committee, this committee is made up of all the regional directors on the network, therefore the GRP was implemented and agreed to by all the people that are responsible for your area, they have agreed that this system works for their area.

 

The GRP does not have any requirements that deal with the amount of traffic a controller can handle.

 

Well, it's been a while since GRP was implemented and I'm not sure that it was all quite as unanimously agreed as you say, but I wasn't at those meetings.

 

You are quite right that GRP makes no mention of traffic levels and that is precisely the problem. If the aim of GRP is to remove unnecessary restrictions, is it more restrictive to require an S3 rating for every single APP unit regardless of traffic levels and an S3 plus a major endorsement for the busiest airfields, or to require an S3 rating for some of the busiest units and leave the places that hardly get any traffic at all completely unrestricted and available to anyone of any rating?

Vice President, Pilot Training

Link to post
Share on other sites

All EC meeting minuets are published here https://www.vatsim.net/meeting-minutes/ec

 

As some one who is intrested in the going ons of my hobby i always read them. You will see that they recently voted to remove solo tower ratings which did not p[Mod - Happy Thoughts].

 

If you want you idea of the S3 APP requirement you mentioned to be looked at you are free to submit it to the EC as a proposal and have them vote on it, if the EC belives its in the best interests of the network you might actually get what you asked for.

Kirk Christie - VATPAC C3

VATPAC Undercover ATC Agent

Worldflight Perth 737-800 Crew Member

956763

Link to post
Share on other sites

In the most recent meeting of the EC, it was mentiond that competency checks for controllers returning after a leave of absence was contrary to current policy.

 

It was then asked if a policy should be introduced. Further action will be taken next meeting.

 

So depending on what the EC vote for, you may find that a policy which supports competency checks will be introduced, or if not, all VACC/ARTCCs that have such a policy will be required to remove them.

 

Currently such policys are a contradiction to the GRP, and no controller is required to follow them.

 

Now is the time to get feed back to your RD before the next meeting of you are for or against such policys.

Kirk Christie - VATPAC C3

VATPAC Undercover ATC Agent

Worldflight Perth 737-800 Crew Member

956763

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Kirk,

 

the question is only whether such re-training after such a long period of absence can be categorized as "competency checks". In my understanding nobody had to undergo ANY testing/checking in these circomestances, but these sessions were simply mandatory to get candidates back up to speed. On the other hand, it is completely unacceptable that a candidate has to wait for more than 4 weeks before he/she can get an appointment. If a VACC is not able to meet this timeframe, the re-training should be waived in favour of people coming back to performing ATC. We can never have enough ATCOs, that is a fact.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Board of Governors

Hello Kirk,

 

All EC meeting minuets are published here https://www.vatsim.net/meeting-minutes/ec

 

As some one who is intrested in the going ons of my hobby i always read them. You will see that they recently voted to remove solo tower ratings which did not p[Mod - Happy Thoughts].

 

If you want you idea of the S3 APP requirement you mentioned to be looked at you are free to submit it to the EC as a proposal and have them vote on it, if the EC belives its in the best interests of the network you might actually get what you asked for.

 

I'm well aware of the EC minutes, thank you. If you read back over those relating to the introduction of GRP and GRP2 you will notice that there was a great deal of opposition which was just quietly swept aside, which is in line with what I remember from that time.

 

You'll also note in the reports that the introduction of GRP directly led to huge reductions and delays in OBS -> S1 and other training areas and increased the restrictions and training workload at that level, precisely the sort of thing I thought it was meant to be preventing. Again, however, the negative feedback on this was conveniently ignored.

 

With that history in mind I'm not sure how much difference feedback will make one way or another.

 

On the subject of competency checks -- we're not talking about checking in this thread, we're talking about training. Two different things.

Vice President, Pilot Training

Link to post
Share on other sites
If a VACC is not able to meet this timeframe, the re-training should be waived in favour of people coming back to performing ATC. We can never have enough ATCOs, that is a fact.

 

I am agreeing with you here sir. It should be waived. However I do belive with such waiver we should put the returning ATC to work. If they are not comfortable doing major airports, let them start out in a position they know or can get comfortable with.

 

According to Wikipedia we have in Norway about 198 airports give or take (numbers may be inaccurate) where 98 is designed with an IACO.. That means we have many GA and domestic airports (short fields) that are in desperate need of controllers.

 

A short statistic show that over the last 11 weeks ATC in Norway has provided excellent service at these positions

Ref. http://stats.vatsim-germany.org

 

CENTER

 

ENOS - 185:17 hours

ENOR - 24:30 hours

ENBD_S_CTR - 4:06 hours

ENBD_CTR - 3:42 hours

ENOS_4_CTR - 3:21 hours

ENSV_N_CTR - 1:04 hours

 

APPROACH

 

ENGM_W_APP - 121:01 hours

ENGM_APP - 13:54 hours

ENBR_W_APP - 6:32 hours

ENVA_APP - 5:25 hours

ENGM_M_APP - 4:38 hours

ENTO_APP - 2:29 hours

ENBR_APP - 2:28 hours

ENZV_W_APP - 2:27 hours

ENGM_D_APP - 1:28 hours

ENCN_APP - 1:19 hours

ENGM_X_APP - 0:21 hours

 

TOWER

 

ENBR_TWR - 116:39 hours

ENGM_W_TWR - 43:02 hours

ENZV_TWR - 30:15 hours

ENVA_TWR - 20:19 hours

ENGM_TWR - 15:48 hours

ENBR_M_TWR - 15:28 hours

ENCN_TWR - 5:55 hours

ENRY_TWR - 4:27 hours

ENTC_TWR - 4:25 hours

ENVA_M_TWR - 4:24 hours

ENBR_X_TWR - 4:14 hours

ENHD_TWR - 3:18 hours

ENGM_M_TWR - 2:27 hours

ENZV_X_TWR - 2:00 hours

ENGM_X_TWR - 1:36 hours

ENML_I_TWR - 1:15 hours

 

 

GROUND

 

ENBR_GND - 10:22 hours

ENGM_W_GND - 6:34 hours

 

 

Basically there are these key positions clearly shown in the list above that are manned by ATC in norway.

While we do excellent service by those in position and lets face it do serveral hours too, we tend to favour key positions like ENOS, ENGM and ENBR...

 

We are most lucky that pilots in Norway both local and foreign gets ATC coverage, we are even more lucky they get excellent quality but also some minor variations to the staffed positions. But when reallity sets in, if we remove these known positions people often do control, and lets say for the sake of argument the results from the past 11 weeks, we are left with about 13 positions that are staffed.

 

This leaves us with a great deal of airports and positions that are not staffed that common, and I do belive we could place returning ATC, newly educated ATC to those positions so they can get muscle memory as ATC, and the prize will then be more ATC coverage accross more position in Norway.

 

So the question we might ask, do we have that many ATC and are they willing to sit other places than the known airports and facilities??

Controller 1 - VATSIM Scandinavia 

Asus ROG Maximus XI Formula - Intel i9-9900K - Asus ROG STRIX RTX 2080TI - G-Skill 64GB DDR4 3600Mhz - 1x 1TBSSD, 2x 1TM2, 12TBSATA

Link to post
Share on other sites
But to say you cannot do virtual ATC online after 3 years off, is just disrespecting another member.. He or she might be rusty, might do mistakes and even collide an airplane or two due to un-attended or missguided directions.

If this is your definition of being able to "do a high level of ATC", I think you've completely misunderstood the point of this hobby. In real life that's manslaughter, which is a felony offense. If that's something you can see happening on your watch and just shrug because it's a simulator, you might need more than a simple refresher session. I'm not saying you should go to jail for simulator based negligence, but a mid-air or CFIT is definately grounds for immediately failing a CPT exam. If such negligence were to be common and accepted amongst active ATCs on this network, you'd figuratively gut punch every single controller on here that bother to spend their time remaining current, proficient and continously improve their skills.

 

As for your latest post, I fail to understand why you try to derail your own thread by bringing in a whole oher topic. If all you're trying to say with it is "I think inactive ATCs could man small and quiet regional sectors in order to regain proficiency", then say that.

Link to post
Share on other sites
In real life that's manslaughter,

 

VATSIM is not real life, comparing it to real life is about unrealistic as you get. in real life controllers would not be working top down nor an entire FIR alone. VATSIM makes many exceptions to real life nobody dies online, get over it, thats a completely ridiculous argument to make. ofcourse online controllers make mistakes, its expected. if you are failing people for stupid mistakes like that, then no wonder some of these places are backed up, expecting perfection where perfection doesnt exist. GRP tried to get rid of those kingdoms, some seem to slip through though

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Board of Governors

I am not going to cast an opinion on how the policies of local facilities align with VATSIM global policy and such like: that is for others to comment on and they know this thread exists. I'll leave it to them. I have some general observations to make, though.

 

First of all...

 

I would highly advise that you don't waste your time with your rant, Tom. Six months is GENEROUS to say the least. And you complain about being inactive for two years and not being able to train? Go somewhere else if you still persist on having issues, you most likely don't value the training in VATSCA enough and would probably make a better fit elsewhere.

 

I am afraid that you are missing the point. I am a little taken aback how forcefully you are putting across your view that Tom is somehow wrong in raising an issue constructively on these forums. VATSIM is a hobby. Tom has a rating which he earned through hard work. He went away. He came back. Now he is questioning a 6 month process to get him back up to speed when anyone can work out that he would need a minimal amount of refresher training to re-familiarise him. 6 months is way too long for that to happen. I don't blame Scandinavia, these issues exist everywhere. It is a systematic problem which needs to be addressed. But I'll tell you whose fault it isn't: Tom's. Let's make that clear. VATSIM is a hobby where people work hard to do what they want to do, and are equally valued for doing so.

 

On a general note, I think it's clear that controllers returning from prolonged absences would benefit from familiarisation, and I think it would help for returning controllers to be prioritised in any "queues" . After all, the training they need will be minimal and it may well be that they are, after that, in a position to become comfortable again and help out with training at that facility.

 

GUNNAR LINDAHL 
President
## [email protected]
Facebook Twitter Instagram
VATSIM Logo
Link to post
Share on other sites

I see where you're coming from Gunnar. Reading it now my post is harsher than I intended it to be. My point was that it seemed that Tom was fed up enough with VATSCA that it would make sense for him to well, not control there.

And of course it's not Tom's fault for the long wait times, but I feel as though his posts began to diverge from constructive criticism to complaining. By using phrases like "Why isn't VATSIM free for all," it seems to shed a more negative light on an issue that doesn't need it. My reading of this topic was that it seemed more of a jab at Scandinavia than a post about how they could find ways to improve their efficiency.

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

Link to post
Share on other sites
Vatsim is free for all, because nobody is required to pay for it.

 

I've applied to be a controller at my home VACC in January. That means I have been waiting for almost 7 whole months now and I think it'll take a while before I can start. It's too bad (and I have 181 hours on observer at this moment) but I can't change it. I just have to wait and so do a lot of others.

 

That's nuts! I understand the need for standards, but this goes beyond any reasonable amount of time. Just to get to S1 is going to take a year or more. I'm sorry, Thimo, you're not participating in VATSIM, you are watching VATSIM. We need to do something about this.

Richard Jenkins

richard(a)vatsim.net

"It's all fun and games until the cops show up."

Link to post
Share on other sites
Vatsim is free for all, because nobody is required to pay for it.

 

I've applied to be a controller at my home VACC in January. That means I have been waiting for almost 7 whole months now and I think it'll take a while before I can start. It's too bad (and I have 181 hours on observer at this moment) but I can't change it. I just have to wait and so do a lot of others.

 

That's nuts! I understand the need for standards, but this goes beyond any reasonable amount of time. Just to get to S1 is going to take a year or more. I'm sorry, Thimo, you're not participating in VATSIM, you are watching VATSIM. We need to do something about this.

Richard, I appreciate you acting on this but I just want to point out: this is a worldwide problem not limited to Thimo, Tom or anyone else in particular. I took similarly long to get my S1/2 (back in the days before GRP).

Wygene Chong

C1 Controller | Iceland | Greenland | Faroe Islands

VATSIM Scandinavia

Link to post
Share on other sites
Vatsim is free for all, because nobody is required to pay for it.

 

I've applied to be a controller at my home VACC in January. That means I have been waiting for almost 7 whole months now and I think it'll take a while before I can start. It's too bad (and I have 181 hours on observer at this moment) but I can't change it. I just have to wait and so do a lot of others.

 

That's nuts! I understand the need for standards, but this goes beyond any reasonable amount of time. Just to get to S1 is going to take a year or more. I'm sorry, Thimo, you're not participating in VATSIM, you are watching VATSIM. We need to do something about this.

Richard, I appreciate you acting on this but I just want to point out: this is a worldwide problem not limited to Thimo, Tom or anyone else in particular. I took similarly long to get my S1/2 (back in the days before GRP).

7 Months to get a Training Lesson as a worldwide problem??? It is a reasonable timeframe from Request to Rating Upgrade, yes. But not from Request to First Training.

 

For me as Director of vACC Slovenia revalidating sessions are first-world-problems. Why don't you use docomeentation in order to brief your controllers when returning from inactivity? Simply list all important information and recent changes in a pdf and maybe do a test via moodle, etc. and let them control again. Mentors can concentrate on Training rather than Revalidation.

 

And to all OBS trying to start your ATC career in a vACC with waiting times of more than 2 months: Look for vACC's that have training capacities. Small vACC's (at least Slovenia vACC) are glad if you want to join their team.

| Enroute Controller |

gen.php?img=_13_14_15&cid=1081694

Link to post
Share on other sites
Vatsim is free for all, because nobody is required to pay for it.

 

I've applied to be a controller at my home VACC in January. That means I have been waiting for almost 7 whole months now and I think it'll take a while before I can start. It's too bad (and I have 181 hours on observer at this moment) but I can't change it. I just have to wait and so do a lot of others.

 

That's nuts! I understand the need for standards, but this goes beyond any reasonable amount of time. Just to get to S1 is going to take a year or more. I'm sorry, Thimo, you're not participating in VATSIM, you are watching VATSIM. We need to do something about this.

 

I'm participating in VATSIM as a pilot at the moment, unfortunately not as a controller.

 

I understand the problem though: It takes a while before someone is allowed to be a mentor and give training (delivery, ground, tower and then a Tower CPT and finally allowed to be a mentor). A lot of people apply and for those who are allowed to give training, not all want to do that and that's fine. Another problem: a lot of active, high-rated controllers left, probably because they lost interest or real life got in the way.

 

At the end of 2015, the ratio between a mentor and student was 1/3.86, meaning that every mentor has on average between 3 and 4 students. That's a lot!

 

I don't blame them at all. They try to get the queue moving as much as possible, but it's not really fun. It's not only a local problem, it's a problem at many Vaccs and regions.

spacer.png

ACCNL5 (Assistant Training Director) - Dutch VACC

Link to post
Share on other sites

 

For me as Director of vACC Slovenia revalidating sessions are first-world-problems. Why don't you use docomeentation in order to brief your controllers when returning from inactivity? Simply list all important information and recent changes in a pdf and maybe do a test via moodle, etc. and let them control again. Mentors can concentrate on Training rather than Revalidation.

 

 

Yes! Brief them on the changes and a quick checkride. Mind you - the checkride should be an informal mentoring session and not some sort of over the top question and answer marathon with a p[Mod - Happy Thoughts] or fail.

Richard Jenkins

richard(a)vatsim.net

"It's all fun and games until the cops show up."

Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand the problem though: It takes a while before someone is allowed to be a mentor and give training (delivery, ground, tower and then a Tower CPT and finally allowed to be a mentor). A lot of people apply and for those who are allowed to give training, not all want to do that and that's fine. Another problem: a lot of active, high-rated controllers left, probably because they lost interest or real life got in the way.

 

At the end of 2015, the ratio between a mentor and student was 1/3.86, meaning that every mentor has on average between 3 and 4 students. That's a lot!

 

I don't blame them at all. They try to get the queue moving as much as possible, but it's not really fun. It's not only a local problem, it's a problem at many Vaccs and regions.

 

Thimo - Have they discussed what the delay is? I'm looking in the database and the Netherlands have 12 promotions so far this year, with 346 active on the roster. These promotions are all for S1. Is there any discussion happening on how to mitigate these delays? Do you have any idea on how many mentoring sessions it takes for a dedicated student to progress enough to earn the S1 rating?

Richard Jenkins

richard(a)vatsim.net

"It's all fun and games until the cops show up."

Link to post
Share on other sites

Tom et all:

 

Thanks for this topic. First of all: If you have problems with your local VACC, the Division is your SPOC. Please use the way to find solutions shortly. In your case, Tom, please drop me an email to [email protected]. And this is also for you others in EUD who have questions or need [Mod - Happy Thoughts]istance. We can work on the problems and normally find solutions. The way from your local VACC IS the division, so either my desk or the desk of one of the other team leads at VATEUD. Check http://vateud.net/operations/vateud-staff and your have your contacts...

 

On my experience a controller coming back to a VACC after a break doesn't have to run a full CPT to get back with the needed competence and confidence onto the seat. A helping hand, the local procedures and especially the LOAs might be needed. But its up to the controller to determine if he/she is still able to run a setup. In some cases it would be very helpful to setup a combined session to determine how "rusty" the handcraft is. And then a training might be helpful. But a C1 is a C1. The rating won't be touched at all.

 

Flo

Florian Harms

VATSIM Europe Division / DCRM

Supervisor

Link to post
Share on other sites

Friends,

 

This is a great post and opportunity to us to discuss valid concerns brought up by a valued VATSIM member.

 

The issue here is what happens when a resident controller is inactive for a period of time and wishes to return back to VATSIM.

 

I agree that the GRP is clear that whenever an endorsement is given, it cannot be taken away. The way I interpret this is that so long as the controller remains as a resident in the vACC/Division, then they cannot be restricted from controlling.

 

However, I believe that once a controller transfer to another vACC/Division, they do need a refresher and competency check for the new airspace. As a C3, I cannot gain all of my hours in, say, OJAC and then go to OAK_CTR and just begin controlling even if I do a Region/Division transfer. I would need to be taught about the airspace, review SOPs and materials, and then checked by a ZOA mentor to ensure I am competent in the local procedures.

 

I agree that we should have as few barriers as possible. Resident controllers should not be restricted once they are authorized to control. However, I also agree that VATSIM is about quality rather than just quantity. We have higher expectations on VATSIM, a least from what I’ve seen, and that is a huge appeal to the network. However, long delays for a competency/refresher check, frankly, are inappropriate. But this highlights a VATSIM-wide shortage of mentors and instructors, something that needs to be addressed on the network level and not just on the local vACC/Division level. From our experience, the biggest reason for long waits for mentoring and training is the lack of mentors and instructors. The demand is certainly there.

 

In my opinion, there really isn’t that much wrong with the GRP. I think that we need to understand it’s purpose: streamlining. I agree with minimum activity suggestions for resident controllers, and mandatory minimums for guests. I also agree that after the minimum activity suggestion period p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]es for residents, a mandatory re-familiarization/competency check/refresher be required for the controller. However, this needs to be quick, it needs to be easy, and it needs to be done fast. The controller is already rated, already qualified, and just needs an update on the airspace, LOAs, and any operational matters.

 

vACCs know their airspaces best. They know their requirements best as well. We should defer to their judgment with respect to how to run their airspaces. It is my view that the EC should issue guidance on how to address this issue, how to speed up re-familiarizations/competency checks/refreshers, and balance the need for high quality and acceptable quantity of ATC services on the network. The beauty of VATSIM is each vACC is a community, and each community operates its airspaces in conjunction with their real world SOPs and operations. Controlling in, for example, Dubai is very different than controlling in Los Angeles. That's the beauty of it all.

 

However, we do need to get some clear guidance from the EC and the BoG on how to address this so that worldwide, we can amend our policies to be consistent with one another. To me, it's not a GRP problem. Rather, it's a communication problem.

 

Just my two cents.

MFSIGVATAME.png

Mahmoud A. Fadli - 819693

Deputy Region Director

VATSIM Africa & Middle East Region

http://www.vatame.org

"Strength in Diversity"

Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand the problem though: It takes a while before someone is allowed to be a mentor and give training (delivery, ground, tower and then a Tower CPT and finally allowed to be a mentor). A lot of people apply and for those who are allowed to give training, not all want to do that and that's fine. Another problem: a lot of active, high-rated controllers left, probably because they lost interest or real life got in the way.

 

At the end of 2015, the ratio between a mentor and student was 1/3.86, meaning that every mentor has on average between 3 and 4 students. That's a lot!

 

I don't blame them at all. They try to get the queue moving as much as possible, but it's not really fun. It's not only a local problem, it's a problem at many Vaccs and regions.

 

Thimo - Have they discussed what the delay is? I'm looking in the database and the Netherlands have 12 promotions so far this year, with 346 active on the roster. These promotions are all for S1. Is there any discussion happening on how to mitigate these delays? Do you have any idea on how many mentoring sessions it takes for a dedicated student to progress enough to earn the S1 rating?

 

The Dutchvacc has introduced the 'delivery test' a while ago (in 2015 I believe). After a new controller did the VatEUD test and they had enough observing hours (20 hours), they could take the delivery test. I thought this was 15 questions which should be answered in 10 minutes and are specific for the Dutch area and for delivery controllers only: you get some routes and you have to check if they are correct or not, you get a few squawks and some general questions. I failed the test unfortunately. Probably because of the 40 seconds each question. If you p[Mod - Happy Thoughts] the test, you can start your delivery sessions yourself (you will need a mentor once you want to go to ground, but you can start without mentor if you p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]) and if you don't p[Mod - Happy Thoughts], you'll have to wait for a mentor.

 

At the beginning of April, I had 60+ hours as a pilot (with the majority starting or ending at Schiphol) and 100+ hours as an observer. I contacted the Vaccs training director asking of there was an other way to start controlling. Unfortunately there was not. Some months they can [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ign 3 new mentors, sometimes they can't [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ign anyone for 3 months in a row. In April, the list for people waiting for a mentor was 15 people long and I was on place 9, that was 4 months after I applied. Now we're 3 months ahead of that, so hopefully I'll be [Mod - Happy Thoughts]igned one soon.

 

Those 60+ pilot hours and 100+ observer hours are now 136 pilot hours and 181 observer hours, so I almost doubled both hours in 3 months time.

 

Of the 12 promotions in your database, most are probably users that p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed said delivery test. The mentor list is still long, but they are doing their best to keep it as short as possible. I can't blame them and they're doing a great job as far as I'm aware. And no, I don't have an idea how many mentor sessions are required to have someone start on delivery (if they failed the delivery test). The requirement is at least one session, but they have to p[Mod - Happy Thoughts] their Tower CPT before they can start being a mentor, so that'd be like 6 to 12 months probably for a new student to get there.

 

EDIT: There is one positive side of this: I've been observing so long, that I'll probably go through all the theory and exams quickly. I know a lot of procedures by now and know Euroscope relatively good, so I should hopefully go through all the training pretty quick.

spacer.png

ACCNL5 (Assistant Training Director) - Dutch VACC

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...