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Just read the Q4 2016 minutes - I have questions


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Just read the minutes and have two questions.

 

1) What are the proposed changes to the CoC that the founders are reviewing ? Are we allowed to know before they are implemented?

 

2) It seems that one glaring area of focus is missing and that is the crazy increase in all text pilots. I really think Vatsim should seriously consider Voice Receive as the minimum requirement. Text readback is fine but dealing with lots of text when controlling is not much fun and tends to reduce effectiveness of the controller when busy. I would add that we should have exceptions for disabilities, etc. and this can be worked out through an application process.

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2) It seems that one glaring area of focus is missing and that is the crazy increase in all text pilots. I really think Vatsim should seriously consider Voice Receive as the minimum requirement. Text readback is fine but dealing with lots of text when controlling is not much fun and tends to reduce effectiveness of the controller when busy. I would add that we should have exceptions for disabilities, etc. and this can be worked out through an application process.

I have to disagree. Although I don't particularly like working text as it takes away from the realism factor, I think it is necessary. Sometimes pilots just can't hear me - for whatever reason that may be. There also have been times where I'm on a phone call, listening to music, watching videos, etc. and I may not necessarily be able to hear a message on the frequency.

I would like to see more pilots trying to utilize voice and receive only, but I don't believe text pilots are any real problem. So long as they fly then reply, I'll be happy.

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I think it's also worth recognizing that using text can be very helpful when English isn't the pilot's native language. This can help a new pilot get comfortable flying on the network by removing one of the hurdles, that being understanding a fast-talking, English-speaking controller. Requiring voice might alienate a fair number of pilots that would start on text and move to voice once they are more comfortable with flying on VATSIM in general.

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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Mark you are forgetting the network is open to all users, including those with disabilities, some of which are deaf and cannot hear you. and as Josh pointed out, there are times when even those that can hear you wont be able to. the increase of text pilots IMO is due to the simple fact that many users are more then likely having issues with the quality of the audio received. sometimes its good, sometimes its mumbled mess.

 

as far as including it in the membership form, we start getting into sketchy ground there. who gets to decide whether a users usage of text is valid? then you get into people having to prove that validity, some of which might not be very legal in some countries

 

You and I come from the days of text controlling, its far far easier today then it was back then, especially if one learns and practices their alias commands. a skill currently lacking with many of todays controllers, which i cant fully blame cause some areas dont even provide their members with alias's these (setting them up for failure from the start). even in areas that do provide their users with the commands, some simply dont study/practice them. some based on their own prejudice, have witnessed that on more then one occasion while connected, forum, and facebook page. some simply dont get enough text traffic to practice them which I would recommend they do what I used to do, open a blank chat box (i called it "Test"), and simply sent the same commands on text that i sent to the aircraft on voice. helps practice those skills

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I have to agree with Ernesto, Ross and Josh here - There are many reasons someone may be tied to Text. I will admit, I have flown text-only as well when restricted to use voice my a faulty headset.

 

All members should be treated the same when online.. Text or no text.

Matthew Cianfarani
Vice President - Network Infrastructure
VATSIM Board of Governors

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I fully agree that deaf pilots must be considered and accommodated...no argument there. I would even agree that in some cases where voice quality is an issue then the pilots should be accommodated.....although really its 2017, we have v-Pilot, everyone has high speed connections...this is not a problem 99% of the time. Most of the problem is my estimation is shy/nervous pilots that are not comfortable with speaking on the radio. We have all been there but it seems like way more people are taking this route these days. We need to encourage pilots to take the leap and get on the radio but at a minimum configure for voice receive and then ask for text if they still do not understand or cannot hear clearly. Maybe its just as simple as an education/marketing exercise to get the word out and encourage pilots, I am not sure.

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You and I come from the days of text controlling, its far far easier today then it was back then, especially if one learns and practices their alias commands. a skill currently lacking with many of todays controllers, which i cant fully blame cause some areas dont even provide their members with alias's these (setting them up for failure from the start). even in areas that do provide their users with the commands, some simply dont study/practice them. some based on their own prejudice, have witnessed that on more then one occasion while connected, forum, and facebook page. some simply dont get enough text traffic to practice them which I would recommend they do what I used to do, open a blank chat box (i called it "Test"), and simply sent the same commands on text that i sent to the aircraft on voice. helps practice those skills

An alias is your best friend! For those who don't know what an 'alias' file is, it is a text file which consists of 'dot' commands which when inputted, auto fill everything for you, including call signs, altitudes, the lot. I have made a comprehensive one for the VATNZ division with every single line of phraseology we use made into simple commands. The command '.cl' completes an entire aircraft clearance for you, while '.cvis' will tell the pilot he is cleared for a visual approach. It is a really simple addition which i think every division should have to decrease the load on the controller when communicating with a text pilot. See http://www.euroscope.hu/mediawiki/index.php?title=Built_In_Functions if you wish to make one.

Andrew Ogden | I3
Gander Oceanic OCA Chief
VATSIM Web Developer

Visit us: https://ganderoceanic.com
Contact: [email protected] 

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I fully agree that deaf pilots must be considered and accommodated...no argument there. I would even agree that in some cases where voice quality is an issue then the pilots should be accommodated.....although really its 2017, we have v-Pilot, everyone has high speed connections...this is not a problem 99% of the time. Most of the problem is my estimation is shy/nervous pilots that are not comfortable with speaking on the radio. We have all been there but it seems like way more people are taking this route these days. We need to encourage pilots to take the leap and get on the radio but at a minimum configure for voice receive and then ask for text if they still do not understand or cannot hear clearly. Maybe its just as simple as an education/marketing exercise to get the word out and encourage pilots, I am not sure.

 

Then there are those of us who can't use voice many times because it will wake up everyone in the house!

__________

Ira Robinson

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Like Andrew said. Text aliases are the best friend any controller. You cannot really argue that text pilots reduce the effectiveness of your controlling when they sre actually far quicker to handle than voice pilot when you just know how.

 

At least I cannot give departure clearance to anyone within a second by voice.

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You cannot really argue that text pilots reduce the effectiveness of your controlling when they are actually far quicker to handle than voice pilot when you just know how.

 

Not only can it be quicker to issue instructions via text (using aliases) it can also speed things up on a busy frequency because you can move on to the next pilot (whether the next pilot is text or voice) without waiting for the text pilot's readback. Text transmissions cannot step on other text or voice transmissions.

 

The real world may be moving towards text with data link comms ... we're ahead of the game!

Developer: vPilot, VRC, vSTARS, vERAM, VAT-Spy

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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But, hey, most of us in principle sympathize with Mark's opinion that /t/-pilots seem to be on the rise. Whenever I have time to spare I ask text-pilots for their reasons and many just say that they are afraid to say something wrong. When encouraged to use voice, they do it and are quite thankful that their voice-virginity has been taken away

 

So, to all members reading this thread: encourage text-pilots to use voice, make them aware that nobody will be punished for bad/wrong readbacks. They will only get corrected which is nothing negative.

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I do use alias' extensively and have developed my own for certain situations. I guess I would say that we as controllers need to encourage pilots to use voice if there are no specific reasons for not doing so (language, physical ability, quiet house, etc. etc.). I think it makes the experience better for everyone and it actually makes the experience better for the pilots as well. Texting while trying to fly is challenging and it pretty much kills any chance to have of manually flying the approach.

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challenging, sure. impossible, definitely not

 

nothings worth doing if it isnt hard. its a skill that should be built up. ive been doing it long enough that i can fly one handed while using the other to write, type, handle the throttles, stuff my face, etc lol which i should also add greatly helped my real world training, cause i was already used to flying that way, which in an aircraft with no autopilot, youll learn pretty quickly to rely on doing just that.

 

helicopters are much more difficult to fly one handed just cause you need to constantly be adjusting when low, but still doable if you do it right

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Gents,

 

VATSIM is an inclusive network, not an exclude one. You are forgetting the impaired members that can’t hear or speak. What about them? Or the ones without a headset or microphone? Or those that can’t simply use voice because of the noise it make back home? Just to state a few reasons for continuing to allow text over the network.

 

We do encourage the voice usage but can’t simply ban text…

 

As someone said, the alias file is a great help ……

Daniel Gomes

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Text pilots I don't have a problem with(i use an alias for them), the rise in text pilots is what I do have an issue with.

 

Is there a specific reason for this?, I suspect there is, my son who is getting into flightsim wont fly online for the simple fact he hates the lag and quality of the voice architecture used in VATSIM(we've fiber broadband so it's not our end before people jump on that [Mod - Happy Thoughts]umption).

 

Is there any way for VATSIM to survey the membership as to what communication preferences they fly under be it V/T/R and why?.

 

Maybe then we can get hard facts instead of beating around the same bush and have the same handful of people jump on topics like this with the 'there's nothing wrong here, move along' attitude towards these topics.

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I'm not a web pro, so I don't know how difficult this would be, but if it were possible to pull all unique flight plans from a month/quarter/year and determine comm capability by searching/parsing for /v/, /r/, or /t/, it would certainly be interesting to see the statistics. To the previous point, it would be interesting to see that data month-by-month over a years' time.

 

That data would not give the reason why, so a separate poll would be needed for that. I suspect the leading reasons would include

1. Uncomfortable speaking ATC and use text as a crutch

2. Uncomfortable speaking English and use text as a crutch

3. Lack of headset

4. Physical challenges with hearing, speech, or both

5. Using VATSIM while others are sleeping nearby

 

These are the ones I've seen most often, though it would be interesting to see other reasons that were offered.

Don Desfosse
Vice President, Membership

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Text only pilots and controllers is a minority but we're still not going to shove them out of VATSIM because of it. Text has been with VATSIM since before we even had text and veterans know how to use text without difficulty, and even newer members can learn and adapt.

Kyle Ramsey

 

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3. Lack of headset

3a. wire on cheap $9 "eBay special" headset wore through after only 3 months of use, and said headset is currently sitting in a crumpled heap at the base of the opposite wall -- but h*** if I'm gonna give up the one night a week my wife lets me play on the computer all evening.

 

Been there, done that. Just sayin'.

Cheers,

-R.

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