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A Strong Case for a Mandatory P1 for Pilots


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Such a test would most certainly weed out the indifferent pilots

 

sadly it wouldnt. it would be a bump in the road at most. by the same thought, you would think paying hundreds of dollars for an addon would cause folks to read a manual, yet they dont, its much easier to be spoon fed.

How would it not? We already do point people in the direction of information - the welcome email to VATSIM has instructions to read the PRC, CoC, etc. An entry exam would only be making sure that they actually have read it.

 

since we're on about people actually going through material and now touching on the same thing thats already been discussed in this topic, these points have already been made in the previous pages (and just about all previous discussions). you just showed people dont do the very thing we want them to do

 

but just to repeat whats already been said, a test does not confirm anyone has actually read anything, anyone involved in any type of testing whether for school or otherwise knows this. have you ever wondered why the poorest students can actually p[Mod - Happy Thoughts] a test without actually ever reading the material, studying, etc... some are just good test takers, others find a way around it. all a test confirms is you took a test. nothing more. there are other avenues that actually test knowledge, its why many things in the world require you actually show it. which on that same topic is why ive always been in favor of the competent until proven otherwise method, IE if you face a CoC violation, time for the mandatory checks to kick in or simply face the suspension. all that happens now is someone gets a suspension, they rant on the social media pages about how mean the network was to them, and thats it. missed opportunity

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sadly it wouldnt. it would be a bump in the road at most.

 

That bump in the road is all it would take. The indifferent pilot would not want to be bothered with having to look up answers to basic network rules and pilotage, thus they wouldn't do it, and thusly not get their CID. The ignorant pilot will have had his first experience with the educational and self study side of the network. The troll likely won't take the time to go through a test just to troll. It would be too much effort, especially if there were a bank of questions that rotated out, making memorization of the answers difficult.

 

I can already see the rebuttal. Some will still get through. Sure, and if they do you can not deny that they learned something by reading the question and selecting the correct answer.

 

A small road block is enough to deter someone who dosen't want to put in the effort from joining. As an example, I did not join FSEconomy for the longest time as you can not just sign up. After signing up and registering for their forums, you then need to make a forum post requesting a game account be created for you. Then you have to wait for them to actually do it. A very small bump in the road, but it did deter me from joining when I first saw it.

Matt Bartels
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Unless otherwise stated, opinions are my own and not representative of the official opinion of the VATSIM Board of Governors

 

 

 

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Sorry for the thread drift, but the problem with this answer is that I've had people deliberately delaying their response on voice until they've set everything up in the aircraft. Could be heading, altitude or speed change, or squawk code or direct to a point. This completely destroys the flow on a busy frequency.

 

When questioned why they are taking such a painfully long time to respond, they point to the "rules" saying you should fly the plane first. This is only true (speaking real life now), in the sense that you first get the airplane under control (aviate), you then make sure you are not pointing it towards a mountain for example (navigate), and only then you talk to ATC, cabin crew, company etc (communicate). It's not about delaying responses to routine transmissions. It would be a good idea for VATSIM to revise this question to make sure it reflects how you should actually operate!

I got this one wrong as well because I answered the same as Jonathan. In addition to the delay, what if you got the callsign wrong and it wasn't for you? Then you've already executed it...

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Matthew in both cases, we already have roadblocks in place which deter even those that actually want to take part, in the form of software hurdles, and this is completely unintentional by the network, but even that doesnt deter most of these types, cause again, even though they arent interested, they are much more likely to be spoon fed. unless the network plans to have some kind of online proctored exam, there is no way to get rid of such behavior. a test doesnt do that, its a bandaid covering a wound, in our case, the wound isnt just going to heal itself over time.

 

even your FSEconomy analogy isnt really valid, as a long time member myself, even that process does not deter users from cheating the system, creating multiple accounts, or even trolling around like often encountered, hell there is a reason why i dont participate much anymore in their forum.

 

when people want to get through, they will. as previously stated, the affect vs the intended outcome outweighs the benefit, hence the big reason the network has avoided it even from inception. why on earth would the network risk losing a large number of users, just to appease a few? and then later have to go back again to the drawing board when the complaints continue, you dont really think its going to end there do ya? never does, soon after the pitch forks will be back up again, the sky will be falling again, and "the people" will be shouting to add something else to "fix" the issue with the continuing number of unwanted users.

 

 

 

If people want to start offering real solutions that the network is actually going to either accept or test (this isnt one of those as theyve stated before), lets hear them. hell there is a reason why we have a pilot rating program, where do folks think that came from? it came from these very discussions and a balance was found instead of making it mandatory, which again is why i previously asked how many have actually gotten involved since the start of this topic alone

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I got this one wrong as well because I answered the same as Jonathan. In addition to the delay, what if you got the callsign wrong and it wasn't for you? Then you've already executed it...

 

Interesting point. I fly usually as jet blue 1986, but once I was going to Vegas and heard someone as jet blue 1980. Thankfully they were on the ground at lax and it was easy to distinguish whose call was for who but I could see that being confusing.

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How would it not? We already do point people in the direction of information - the welcome email to VATSIM has instructions to read the PRC, CoC, etc. An entry exam would only be making sure that they actually have read it.

 

 

It wouldn't make sure they read it. Won't make them abide by rules. The lazy people don't suddenly become not lazy by taking a test. Read any aircraft developers forums after a release and see the majority of "problems" that people have with the aircraft are actually not problems but are answered in the installation instructions or some of the read me notes . In fact people will post they are having the same exact problem without even searching the forum.Those same people if forced to take a quiz will still not read the manuals or the read me installation notes. They would still post questions that are easily answered by reading the notes. As I mentioned before they would also google the answers. They wouldn't actually look it up in any docomeentation. Nobody learns from just googling a answer to get the roadblock out of the way. People keep using the example of stealing. We have rules for it. I think driving would be a better example. You have to take cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]es and p[Mod - Happy Thoughts] a test yet I think that drivers have gotten progressively worse over the years. They don't follow the rules they took a test and p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed for. Nobody takes a test and p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]es for stealing.

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My perspective is that the network has never been better. Since the pilot rating and training initiatives were implemented, the overall quality and performance of pilots is much improved. I come to this conclusion in a very unscientific but, for me, meaningful way. As I fly around in my cockpit now a days, it is rare for me to encounter a pilot who does a lousy job of flying, navigating or communicating. Put another way, I used to complain, to myself, frequently about those types of pilots. Now, very rarely! In fact, I find myself often thinking to myself how good the network is lately.

 

To be sure, I am not a controller and have been doing most of my flying in North America. Perhaps these are factors in my optimism. But it seems to me that VATSIM is just like the real world. Most people fit in nicely, some are a little difficult and a few are downright annoying. And, just like in the real world, that's a reality with which we have to live.

 

Oh, and if you think it's bad now, you probably weren't here 15 years ago!

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I think driving would be a better example. You have to take cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]es and p[Mod - Happy Thoughts] a test yet I think that drivers have gotten progressively worse over the years.

So are you saying that testing for driving could be safely cancelled?

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I think driving would be a better example. You have to take cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]es and p[Mod - Happy Thoughts] a test yet I think that drivers have gotten progressively worse over the years.

So are you saying that testing for driving could be safely cancelled?

 

No but testing for VATSIM won't improve it is what I am saying. Driving costs money and the consequences of not doing it properly cost you more in fines and insurance surcharges. No cosequences on VATSIM

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No but testing for VATSIM won't improve it is what I am saying. Driving costs money and the consequences of not doing it properly cost you more in fines and insurance surcharges. No cosequences on VATSIM

I'd say a decline in ATC staffing due to controller burnout is a consequence.

Dhruv Kalra

VATUSA ZMP ATM | Instructor | VATSIM Network Supervisor

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To the pilots we are talking about controller burnout is not a consequence to them. Unless there is mandatory training that is equal to controller training requirements you wont see improvements. This is a subject that has been happening my 13+ years here. Unless the founders want to change that we can discuss it at nausea here and nothing will change.

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@Ernesto:

The point that I think you continue to get stuck on, is that a test won't stop indifferent pilots and trolls.

You're right - it won't ... But then again, Nobody is suggesting it would -- that is *not* the target audience for an entry-level (pre-P1) test.

 

I believe you're omitting the segment of VATsim pilots that the test is intended for namely, the interested, but unread and uninitiated.

 

Sure, some of us go on to get pilot ratings (I did P1-P4 in my first few months on the network for instance), but then again, I'm a (former) RL pilot, so that material was straight-forward for me, and obviously, I was both interested and self-motivated. That said, I doubt my experience is representative or typical of the usual VATsim beginner.

 

As it stands right now, the Ratings Program is completely optional (and I'm in agreement that it should be). By the same token, I think most of us would agree that rated pilots (as a general group) perform better in VATsim than unrated pilots, so it's a good idea to encourage pilots to go for ratings, if they have the interest.

 

However, I also believe there is value (if not necessarily an overwhelming need) for something easy and simple (1/3 or 1/2 a P1 rating) that can help ensure that the unread, unknowledgeable pilots (NOT the trolls -- we already *know* that is a wasted effort) will be given a gentle nudge towards competency, and perhaps a bit of confidence that might inspire them to consider future ratings.

 

By the way, I'm not in favor of that test *before* being able to log in to VATsim. I am in favor of it being a necessary requirement to being able to continue logging in after an intro period of a month or two. Again, a simple test of ~10 questions (from P1 & PRC material) would be appropriate, in my opinion.

 

To my mind that fills a gap between Zero Knowledge and the P1 rating with something of practical value.

 

I'm finding it difficult to understand how that amount of minimal, required, learning would be a problem rather than a (potential) benefit. I sense that there seems to be a HUGE amount of inertia (if not outright resistance) to the idea, which I find quite perplexing, as I'm unconvinced that there is any *real* downside to such a program.

 

Anyway, I'll leave it up to you guys to continue debating... It seems like "low hanging fruit" to me, so evidently I'm missing whatever factor is making it an undesirable (insurmountable?) issue for so many folks.

 

 

Regards,

Jim

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Unless the founders want to change that we can discuss it at nausea here and nothing will change.

 

And this is exactly why the network is dying. Refusal to change and adapt brings on a slow and very painful death.

 

i just don't understand how some of you can say just because a good test taker makes it through that it will have no affect. To use your popular driving analogy, everyone has to identify a stop sign. Regardless of how bad a driver, they at least know what a stop sign is. Even if they don't, when that question comes up on the test they at least read the question and read the right answer before they select it. If they didn't look at anything and just answered c to question 4 there's a high probability of getting it wrong.

 

If you make a quiz long enough and randomize the questions and answers the probability of someone BSing their way through it is very very low. Even if they didn't learn a darn thing (very unlikely) from the experience, they were at least exposed to the material.

 

Regardless it's a moot point. All is well with VATSIM and there's no reason to make improvements. We had a perfect network when we launched in 2001.

Matt Bartels
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Unless otherwise stated, opinions are my own and not representative of the official opinion of the VATSIM Board of Governors

 

 

 

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Jim, not stuck, just dont agree with said implementation. and i will also disagree on the "intended" audience, in fact several posters not only on this topic, but on similar topics along the last 15+ years have all said to the contrary. they all seem to be under the belief that itll be some cure all. it wont be.

 

those that do want to learn, already have that avenue, and again, it came from all the previous discussions on that matter. you do not have to force individuals to teach them, in fact they are much more likely to learn when they arent forced. thats not however what this topic is touching on

 

i would also disagree on pilots who have a rating performing any better then others. really are no real statistics to prove that. from my own experience however, neither P rated or non P rated pilots seem to be able to follow basic VATSIM rules. not touching on their flying abilities, but ill just say i still cant find many pilots online that can fly worth a toot the minute the automation is turned off. pushing buttons and playing with an FMC a pilot does not one make, im sure you can agree there.

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Jim, not stuck, just dont agree with said implementation. and i will also disagree on the "intended" audience, in fact several posters not only on this topic, but on similar topics along the last 15+ years have all said to the contrary. they all seem to be under the belief that itll be some cure all. it wont be.

 

those that do want to learn, already have that avenue, and again, it came from all the previous discussions on that matter. you do not have to force individuals to teach them, in fact they are much more likely to learn when they arent forced. thats not however what this topic is touching on

 

i would also disagree on pilots who have a rating performing any better then others. really are no real statistics to prove that. from my own experience however, neither P rated or non P rated pilots seem to be able to follow basic VATSIM rules. not touching on their flying abilities, but ill just say i still cant find many pilots online that can fly worth a toot the minute the automation is turned off. pushing buttons and playing with an FMC a pilot does not one make, im sure you can agree there.

Wow. Just Wow... Ok, so if I'm interpreting your post correctly:

 

A: You don't think there is ANY value in tests for beginners ... Evidently, if they don't pick it up on their own time, due to their own interest, it won't be worth anything no matter what...

 

B: You don't feel that rated pilots, even generally, perform better than non-rated pilots. So, by inference, even if they do pick up additional knowledge, it doesn't actually help, because you see no improvement in pilot performance.

 

Again, wow. I *hope* that thinking isn't the prevalent mode here, because if there's no practical point to teaching and no perceived performance value to Pilot Ratings, and learning, I guess that pretty much renders the entire network pointless, and our time spent here, is largely wasted, since we could be doing the exact same things on our own without any overhead of rules, procedures or (worthless) information.

 

I hope you won't find it surprising that I completely and vehemently disagree with your [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment. I also surely hope that the people who run the network don't feel similarly as you seem to.

 

I will thank you for pointing out exactly how much resistance to change there appears to be here, even when it is simple, and involves minimal risk & effort. That speaks volumes to me. If nothing ever changes, nothing ever improves... I can't speak for you, but frankly that sounds like a dark and boring little box to be couped up in....

 

I've got nothing else to add here -- Apparently this issue is SO entrenched and polar that any thought to change it is just howling at the moon... If I'm going to waste my time, I think I'll do it with flying, and an enjoyable beverage....

 

 

Regards,

Jim

 

 

PS> I'm not talking about the past 15 years -- I don't give a rat's patootie about them. I'm talking about now, and in *this* thread... and people aren't saying the things you're ascribing. But, I see your "door" is already closed and locked on the topic. Again, I hope the folks in charge view things a little more open mindedly, but I guess that's for them to decide.

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The quality of pilots, I would argue, is directly related to the overall satisfaction of controllers. We're not that happy when we continue to get pilots that really don't have a single clue about the network or its policies. I honestly don't care how it's fixed - but the bottom line is that it needs to be fixed. Simply rejecting any notion of fixing it because it won't do anything is irrational. As I've said before here, helping the problem even the slightest bit is a step in the right direction. Just because we can't fix it all doesn't mean we shouldn't fix any.

 

Back to controllers... Let's say we (the network) continue to do nothing to address the interested but unread and uninitiated (thanks Jim) pilots. In the long run, the amount of controllers will start decreasing. Less controllers are around, so pilots start looking for an alternative to VATSIM with more active ATC. Amount of pilots decrease, while the quality of pilots stays the same (low), and you enter this endless loop of declining pilot numbers, declining controller numbers, while the overall quality of pilots stays the same.

 

Maybe that made sense?

Josh Glottmann
Deputy Air Traffic Manager
Oakland ARTCC
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Jim unfortunately you couldnt be more wrong, in fact im all for training and people gaining knowledge, but again, not in the way people want it done here.

 

A: no there is no value in "tests" for beginners. there is value in training them however, a point often ignored. they dont need to learn it on their own, show them the way, not block them doing so.

 

B: no, i dont feel there has been much of an improvement CURRENTLY. the program is still in its infancy, many of the ratings arent even offered widely enough to make that difference, YET.

 

as far as not caring about VATSIM's past, how can you understand its future without understanding the past? seems like trying to go forward and only having a part of the bigger picture

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The quality of pilots, I would argue, is directly related to the overall satisfaction of controllers. We're not that happy when we continue to get pilots that really don't have a single clue about the network or its policies. I honestly don't care how it's fixed - but the bottom line is that it needs to be fixed. Simply rejecting any notion of fixing it because it won't do anything is irrational. As I've said before here, helping the problem even the slightest bit is a step in the right direction. Just because we can't fix it all doesn't mean we shouldn't fix any.

 

Back to controllers... Let's say we (the network) continue to do nothing to address the interested but unread and uninitiated (thanks Jim) pilots. In the long run, the amount of controllers will start decreasing. Less controllers are around, so pilots start looking for an alternative to VATSIM with more active ATC. Amount of pilots decrease, while the quality of pilots stays the same (low), and you enter this endless loop of declining pilot numbers, declining controller numbers, while the overall quality of pilots stays the same.

 

Maybe that made sense?

 

Exactly. I don't expect pilots to have to go through the same amount of training as I did to become a controller . Hell, if they're competent then I don't care if they go through any. As I've stated many times before, even in this thread, the controllers do this because it's enjoyable for them. However that enjoyment quickly erodes into frustration with every single pilot that can't follow the basic principles of aviate, navigate, communicate. A single bad pilot or two does not erode a controllers enjoyment of their session, however the more you get, the more apt the controller is to log off. It's basic human nature to stop an activity when it is no longer enjoyable.

 

We all have had sessions where the morons outweigh the competent pilots. Those sessions usually end in frustration for the controller and a shorter session than they had planned on. The problem is that these sessions are becoming more and more common. When greater than 70% of your sessions end up the same way, then you have very little incentive to sign on the next time because you now have it in your mind that it's not going to be fun and what is your incentive to sign on to control when you're likely going to get annoyed.

 

Anyone care to tell me the definition of insanity?

Matt Bartels
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Unless otherwise stated, opinions are my own and not representative of the official opinion of the VATSIM Board of Governors

 

 

 

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I am all for training. You will get no argument there. My only point is how will a simple P1 exam make any difference? It's not really training. It's been a while since I took it. What on the P1 will make the common mistakes new pilots make stop or happen less? Someone educate me on it. What do you see as the problems with new pilots or pilots that don't fly or act correctly on the network? What on the P1 addresses those issues ?

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