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A Strong Case for a Mandatory P1 for Pilots


Tom David
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VRC would probably be the simplest of them all to learn, simply because it is as easy as launching it if all you are going to do is observe. the only extra parts youll partly need to learn on it is how to tune a frequency (in cases where someone is causing trouble on a frequency and you have to listen) or use the messaging, which is pretty similar to the pilot clients

 

dont need to worry about all the extra features like radar types etc..

 

rest im sure would come up during the training period

 

I tried euroscope a few years back, got completely lost in the manual lol maybe its been more simplified since then, not sure.

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Whatever happened to the effort for Pilots to become Supervisors

 

So, I finally went to the Supervisor Application site and started my application process. I stopped almost immediately. Half way through the job description I met with a road block.

 

have a good knowledge of at least one controller client and one pilot client used on VATSIM

 

I have absolutely no knowledge of any of the controller clients other than I recognize their names and abbreviations. I would not call that "good" and so I exited out of the application process.

 

Hi Randy,

 

Thanks for your post. The platform we use for supervising is an ATC client, and as such the supervisor-trainee will need some proficiency in that software prior to being upgraded. So long as you, and any qualified pilot-only member of the network who chooses to apply to become a Supervisor (sas.vatsim.net) is willing to put in the time required to learn that software, we are willing to put in the time to train you.

 

For everyone, the background on becoming a Supervisor is located here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=67987 If there are any questions, please feel free at anytime to reach out to me by e-mail.

 

TB

Tim Barber

VATSIM President

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I do agree that we need a little more comment/direction/rebuke from position holders.

 

I'm no expert in management, but I am in a management position, and I actively take time to engage with staff. Including email, meetings, and visiting them on site.

 

If I was in a position of authority at VATSIM, my number one goal would be to have a position holder post a comment on forum posts. In this on-line world we have to look at how do VATSIM get their message out to members?

 

I think VATSIM is doing well, and we can't change every time someone says to, but we do need to reply IMHO. FORUMs are our primary means of communication (like a team meeting).

 

Back to OP, honour the founders!

Sean

C1/O P3

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Richard, you are confused.

You made a point, using an analogy with driving, that tests serve no purpose because people will break the rules, even though they've p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed a test.

Well, I made a point, using the same analogy, that tests do serve a purpose, asking people to imagine what would be going on on the roads if there were no tests at all. Then you have not only the people who break the rules, but in addition also people who don't know the rules/don't have the skills to operate a vehicle.

On a second thought, if we have to prove that tests serve a purpose of proving knowledge... what was that definition of insanity again?

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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.

 

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

Ah Mr. Bartels, you have hit the nail on the head.

 

Why are pilots perceived to be so poor?

Why are we loosing controllers faster than we can train them?

Why is the network slowly dying, hidden behind a set of complimentary but misleading statistics?

 

We [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume it's because training isn't good enough or quick enough (those two things being mutually exclusive). So we produce more docomeentation, or less.

 

What is the one thing that is vital to the life of this community and that has been ignored since its inception? What is the single thing this network actually relies on over all other aspects? What is the one thing that the Founders, BoG and everybody with influence over the network should be work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to fix and fix now?

 

The voice codec.

 

Fix that and the days and weeks we have all wasted discussing this over the years largely goes away. The pilot can understand me, I can understand the pilot. Suddenly your bad pilot isn't quite so bad anymore.

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VATSIM-UK C3

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The voice codec.

 

Fix that and the days and weeks we have all wasted discussing this over the years largely goes away. The pilot can understand me, I can understand the pilot. Suddenly your bad pilot isn't quite so bad anymore.

 

You're right. I think people don't realize how big of a difference this could make.

 

Imagine a world where pilots operate under a certain expectation of competence AND they can understand us? I'll keep dreaming.

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The voice codec and technological improvements are for a different discussion, in my opinion. I do not think enough people respect what this network provides in that regard. Would we rather use TeamSpeak for our frequencies/voice comms like the majority of other networks/simulation communities? Don't forget that everyone is a volunteer here and money doesn't grow on trees.

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Don't forget that everyone is a volunteer here and money doesn't grow on trees.

Those of us who have offered to donate in the past have been politely turned away. I don't expect to be treated like a stakeholder, but many of us donate our time and in many cases financial contributions already in the form of web hosting, server overhead, and put personal expense into traveling to events, etc. If we could donate towards network technological forward progress, I'm sure a lot of us would do it.

Dhruv Kalra

VATUSA ZMP ATM | Instructor | VATSIM Network Supervisor

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i think the last time the network gave in and accepted donations, still leaves a bad taste. cant blame them there, the sim community is pretty nuts at times.

 

I do see history kinda starting to repeat itself though. during the last final months of SATCO I remember controllers running rampant bossing new members around and pretty much dragging them through the mud. that subsided and was under control for awhile, but every now and then, it starts to peak

 

personally i wouldnt recommend teamspeak, way better options out there these days and some dont cost a thing and even allow more features such as distance from stations etc.. one being Mumble, which I use on other platforms like battlefield, this one has that interesting feature where the coms are actually range limited. farther you are from the station for example, weaker the signal gets (would be interesting how that would work out over the atlantic lol)

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The voice codec and technological improvements are for a different discussion, in my opinion.

Indeed it does need to be discussed but it is for this thread because it strikes at the core of the issue. Pilots can't understand us because we're using something from the 19th Century.

I do not think enough people respect what this network provides in that regard.

I'd respect it if it worked better.

Don't forget that everyone is a volunteer here and money doesn't grow on trees.

If everybody is a volunteer, what has money got to do with it?

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VATSIM-UK C3

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I do see history kinda starting to repeat itself though. during the last final months of SATCO I remember controllers running rampant bossing new members around and pretty much dragging them through the mud. that subsided and was under control for awhile, but every now and then, it starts to peak

Wow, hyperbole much?

Dhruv Kalra

VATUSA ZMP ATM | Instructor | VATSIM Network Supervisor

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VATSIM voice isn't great but neither is real life VHF transmissions, a lot of the time. It takes some getting used to listening to it, on VATSIM just like in real life. And this thread is not about pilots having difficulty hearing the odd transmission.

Martin Loxbo

Director Sweden FIR

VATSIM Scandinavia

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I do see history kinda starting to repeat itself though. during the last final months of SATCO I remember controllers running rampant bossing new members around and pretty much dragging them through the mud. that subsided and was under control for awhile, but every now and then, it starts to peak

Wow, hyperbole much?

 

i wish that was the case, maybe take the time and actually visit the various pages around the network and see the attitudes of individuals running around. the facebook page for example is rampant with them. theyve cleaned up that page tremendously over the last year or so, but a few stick around to spread their "cheer". seems to be a few specific "clics" that like to run around from time to time. one jumps on the user, they start tagging their buddies to do the same. etc.. just about became a full time job for some of the staff to get the majority of the clowns under control, and the number 1 reason often shared why they acted like the last of the mohicans was often "the rules didnt apply since they arent connected to the network", which they were happily informed otherwise

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i wish that was the case, maybe take the time and actually visit the various pages around the network and see the attitudes of individuals running around. the facebook page for example is rampant with them. theyve cleaned up that page tremendously over the last year or so, but a few stick around to spread their "cheer". seems to be a few specific "clics" that like to run around from time to time. one jumps on the user, they start tagging their buddies to do the same. etc.. just about became a full time job for some of the staff to get the majority of the clowns under control, and the number 1 reason often shared why they acted like the last of the mohicans was often "the rules didnt apply since they arent connected to the network", which they were happily informed otherwise

 

What?

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I do not think enough people respect what this network provides in that regard.

 

My own observation after a decade and a half in VATSIM is that the respect people have is roughly proportional to their lack of knowledge. People who have actually done what VATSIM provides tend not to be so amazed at ancient technology.

 

FSD is a second year CS term project that would deserve a B- at best (extremely latency sensitive, mixing of concerns, abysmal text encoding). The pilot clients are third year, and writing the voice codec is fourth year. Professionally speaking, anyone trying to write a voice codec deserves to be fired given the number of free low-bandwidth implementations out there. When I wrote mine, I grabbed a C# implementation of Speex and called it a day.

 

Don't forget that everyone is a volunteer here and money doesn't grow on trees.

 

Everyone keeps throwing out that argument. In 2017 volunteer organizations can have access to the same technology infrastructure as the biggest players at prices that have declined by two orders of magnitude. Again, VATSIM seems pretty impressive until you've written and managed an infrastructure much larger, and then you realize just how simple and easy it is.

 

i think the last time the network gave in and accepted donations, still leaves a bad taste. cant blame them there, the sim community is pretty nuts at times.

 

You're a smart guy. Do you really believe this?

 

I don't doubt that SATCO ended badly because of money issues. That's always a risk any time money is involved. But what you're suggesting is Because we attempted something once and it ended badly, we should never try it again.

 

Think about that for a minute. Would you resolve to never drive a car again if you got into a fender bender? Would you never live in a house again if it required extensive repairs? Would you live alone for the rest of your life if you broke up with your partner?

 

There are plenty of people that do this. It's natural and understandable. But that doesn't make it any less foolish, especially if all around them others are doing the exact same things quite successfully. Yes, the world has many unreasonable individuals. The proper conclusion to draw from that interacting with them is that you found some of them, rather than your actions were fundamentally unsound.

 

We just closed our twelfth consecutive year of volunteer fundraising for DVA/AFV. No fuss, no complications. We spent several hundred dollars on AWS to reserve servers for the year leveraging our cash flow to obtain significant discounts. That's the same platform that Netflix, Weather, NBA and other major digital properties use.

 

It's like VATSIM suffered some sort of traumatic abuse in the SATCO fork and has convinced itself never to do anything different again. Maybe the better analogy is of parents keeping a dead child's bedroom exactly the same for 30 years. That's at least understandable. VATSIM's statis for a decade and a half coupled by willing victims is unhealthy and unhelpful.

 

We should demand better. We can have much better if only we raise our expectations and standards.

 

Cheers!

 

Luke

... I spawn hundreds of children a day. They are daemons because they are easier to kill. The first four remain stubbornly alive despite my (and their) best efforts.

... Normal in my household makes you a member of a visible minority.

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there I agree. but what i was more getting at is its simply made them more hesitant to go that route and its simply going to take a lot more convincing not only in discussions but getting the right people in place that can actually handle that side of the network, and deal with all the "openness" that users will demand in the process.

 

it can be done, no doubt about that, just going to take a heck of a lot more then just posts here to convince them

 

FSEconomy is another that was hesitant for a long time to accepted donations, but they do now, and i think its working well for them. Some VATSIM staff are part of that organization, so the shared experience might prove fruitful in the end

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Those of us who have offered to donate in the past have been politely turned away. I don't expect to be treated like a stakeholder, but many of us donate our time and in many cases financial contributions already in the form of web hosting, server overhead, and put personal expense into traveling to events, etc. If we could donate towards network technological forward progress, I'm sure a lot of us would do it.

I was not aware offered donations have been turned away. That does change things.

personally i wouldnt recommend teamspeak

My question was more rhetorical. My point was that we have voice communications via the network and that is better than a lot of people have.

but it is for this thread because it strikes at the core of the issue.

Debatable, sir. The core of this discussion stemmed from lack of pilot training, un-educated pilots, and pilots who do not wish to learn (and thus create problems). I'd argue that it's getting off track and turning away from mandatory P1 training/entrance exam proposals/discussion and is now a running list of everyones issues with the network. As stated earlier in this thread, change is possible, but it gets difficult when individuals start adding issue on top of issue. Take things one step at a time.

If everybody is a volunteer, what has money got to do with it?

Because said volunteers are spending their own money in a lot of cases, therefore, we can't fund the best of the best.

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VATSIM voice isn't great but neither is real life VHF transmissions, a lot of the time. It takes some getting used to listening to it, on VATSIM just like in real life. And this thread is not about pilots having difficulty hearing the odd transmission.
Agree 100%

 

It is about the hardware that members use. Good microphones will give you good results, cheap microphones will you [Mod - lovely stuff]py results. Easy as that.

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VATSIM voice isn't great but neither is real life VHF transmissions, a lot of the time. It takes some getting used to listening to it, on VATSIM just like in real life. And this thread is not about pilots having difficulty hearing the odd transmission.
Agree 100%

 

It is about the hardware that members use. Good microphones will give you good results, cheap microphones will you [Mod - lovely stuff]py results. Easy as that.

 

at the risk of continuing to go off track, the mics are only part of the problem. you can have a $500 or even $1000 10 Star rated headset, its not going to matter much on the network, you still have to deal with the codec itself which is the heart of the voice functionality. headsets and mics just plug into that. the other day i Flew through 10 different airspaces with 10 different controllers, maybe 2 of those 10 had some type of decent quality that i didnt have to squint in the process to understand what was being said.

 

now throw in pilot side communications, and this is where problems really come in, and its not really the fault of the user, the codec cannot handle background noise, what do pilots normally do? they have their speakers playing the sounds from the sim, the engines are roaring, cockpit sounds are going, all this degrades the quality even further.

 

even on the ATC side it happens, for example i used to use an H31 Headset (not cheap by any standard), for controlling, but the darn tube would pick up any background noise, even if the room was pretty quiet, it would still pick up the A/C unit outside the house, if i moved away from the windows, it got better. minute i got back to my seat, it went back to horrible. now keep in mind, using mumble and the other voice programs, this issue was non existent with those.

 

there are lots of issues that need to be handled, some of which are linked, others are not, all with varying levels of difficulty

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Hi Ernesto,

 

I absolutely do not share this experience! When I fly around Europe I do understand 8 out of 10 controllers clearly. The others just talk too fast. On busy evenings I get to talk to 10 different controllers easily, so maybe there's something wrong with your setup?

 

And as a controller I do experience varying qualities of voice. I can hear some pilots clearly, others I do not. When asking them to check their microphone position, the quality suddenly improves from 10% to 90%. That's why I keep reiterating that in 95% of cases the problem is located on front of some computer. If you cannot understand me clearly, tell me! Don't just say "say again".

 

PS: I am using a headseat from Plantronics, in the 50 USD price range.

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