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Why does this happen, and is there a fix.


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I have a case right now which I thought relevant to this thread. I want to do a flight from the east coast to Europe, and I see Toronto, Chicago and New York online. All three have been on for just over an hour, none have any indication of planned up-time in their ATIS. I just do not want to hear "unicom" calling up for clearance or taxiing out. Who do I pick? I have no flipping idea myself. Maybe wait and see if someone else comes on, so I know they won't go away.

 

Just a thought, but connect as send them each a private message asking how long they intend to stay on, then plan and fly from whichever is planning the longest? I routinely get asked the same or a similar question when controlling, and while it's never a definite answer it will give you an idea of how much longer the ATCo is prepared to spend online.

 

After I read your post, I tried this this morning on a 120 miles flight in a 250 MPH Constellation. I sent the controller a text message asking if he was going to be on for awhile, and he said " YES". He had only signed on 10 minutes prior to this. I took off, got 30 minutes into the flight, and he announced he was closing and switch to Unicomm.

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Substandard pilot quality is also far less rampant in Europe.

As a controller, pilot quality is a large part of what keeps me online. If I am controlling, and there are 3,4,5 really subpar pilots, and I am really tired after a really long day, I am really not going to stay on for long. Sure, I would get atleast an hour or so of controlling, but I am going to get off the first chance I get. But, if there are some really competent pilots, then I'm more likely to stay on longer.

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Hi Jackson,

As a controller, pilot quality is a large part of what keeps me online. If I am controlling, and there are 3,4,5 really subpar pilots, and I am really tired after a really long day, I am really not going to stay on for long. Sure, I would get atleast an hour or so of controlling, but I am going to get off the first chance I get. But, if there are some really competent pilots, then I'm more likely to stay on longer.

that is actually what is NOT done in Europe, we kind of push through "sour times". We try to help those "bad" pilots to help themselves, for everyone's benefit. We need to apply some midterm thinking and avoid thinking about our own fun and satisfaction only!!

 

But an ATCO logging off early due to mental exhaustion can happen here as well, yes, although on rare occasions only.

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That is actually what is NOT done in Europe, we kind of push through "sour times". We try to help those "bad" pilots to help themselves, for everyone's benefit. We need to apply some midterm thinking and avoid thinking about our own fun and satisfaction only!!

If I am not having fun, I am not controlling, it's as simple as that. I have no duty to be online. If pilots want me online, they can learn how to follow simple instructions and control their aircraft as I instruct. I am not going to teach them how to fly a plane, let alone how to follow basic "turn left/right" instructions (you'd be amazed how many pilots cannot do that).

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But why do we tend to be doing better on this side of the pond then?

 

Everytime I have a newbie pilot with an obvious need for improvement I direct that member to the PRC and other sources of information and emphasize that they need to learn and improve to make this work. With a text-alias this can be done in no time.

 

We should refuse to give up in not-performng pilots or controllers, they simply need to feel a bit of pressure and the way to get the imformation. I rather have them around long term than losing them for good. Invest in our future!

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Thanks Magnus..and I bounce between KIND and KSDF.

Since I generally work TWR , it is a no brainer to just add a line in my personal atis about when I am expecting my wife to demand my attention.

I want to point out the 'personal atis' in the world of vATIS. The information that is in VRC ATIS Maker *still* is sent out. even if you don't have it on a voice channel. That is where we can point out to customers that we plan to close at XXX time. As well as any other authorized information. ARTCC website/feedback location and whatever else your artcc authorizes.

No one has an issue with the occasional "The baby swallowed a dime" or "You never do X with me anymore" sudden departures . We all understand that. Just put when you are guessing you are closing in the PERSONAL ATIS, and let it ride. Look, if you get a swarm of trolls, that's what SUPS are for. Can't deal with it, fine, close down, but making that a habit is signing the death warrant to that location.

Have I rage quit? Not under certified conditions. Have I rage quit in training? YUP. I will not intentionally hurt/degrade a customer experience. Fellow controllers, YMMV.

I got to the door!

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The way I usually go about things is by heading over to:

https://www.vatsim.net/events

or

https://forums.vatusa.net/index.php?action=calendar

or

https://hq.vatme.net/events

or

https://calendar.vatpac.org/

 

See what's happening during a time I have free.

 

Confirm the time, either by "knowing my relationship to UTC" from practice, or hit up https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter-cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ic.html if I'm not 100% sure (can happen around Daylight Savings change).

 

Set an alarm if I have to get up early, or just make plans based on the locations of these events, and head on out.

 

This is no different to how I handle "going to a concert". Although I work only a short 10 minute work from Melbourne's Art District, with the Hamer Concert Hall, The Music Bowl, and various play houses and theatres around, I'm not likely to just show up at the Concert hall and hope to find something playing within 30 minutes of my showing up there at random. Just wandering in off the street after work and hoping to get in to a concert might accidently work sometimes - afterall, there's usually SOMETHING happening at 7:30pm on a Friday, but maybe they will be sold out. or maybe the show started at 6pm. or starts at 8pm. or the hall is booked out for a convention instead of a concert and is flooded with people dressed in costumes.

 

No, there's some planning that needs to go into it. You look at the events advertising or visit the website, maybe reserve tickets if it's a popular event. Maybe ensure you're dressed appropriately, T-Shirt and shorts for an outdoor concert. Suit and tie to watch the Symphony Orchestra.

 

Same with Vatsim. Sure, you can sometimes accidentally bump into some busker who's just randomly there, but if you want to see something good, make an effort to attend an event. Book a slot if it's a slot type event (Cross the Pond, Cross the Ditch, one of the Vatsim Middle East "Shuttle" events) and show up during the event time.

 

For example, this weekend I'll be waking up at 4am on Sunday to attend Fly & See Santa http://santa.vatsim-scandinavia.org/

 

And that's my fix.

Here's the results of my fix. Every single one of my flightsim videos in the last 2 years have been from events with barely a gap in ATC coverage.

https://www.youtube.com/user/musicalaviator/videos

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Trent Hopkinson YMML. www.youtube.com/musicalaviator WorldFlight 2002,2008,2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2015

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