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Mark Kusiak

Virtual Airlines left behind in ATO Model Crash

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VATSIM's new ATO program adoptions are leaving Virtual Airlines out of the "training" mix.  A VA's draw to the ATO program, to begin, was the mutual benefit of exposure to like-minded hobbyists.  VATSIM's ATO program has always been a resource burden to VA's wishing to comply or offer the service to pilots.  Now it seems that VATSIM has decided to leave VA's behind in the moves to reorganize both its pilot ratings and ATO status.   Often these moves are done with little or no effort to reach out.  As the leader of a old time, well established VA, I have to say that I have a high level of frustration toward VATSIM and what it is doing.  It feels like VATSIM continually moves the goal and has decided to leave Virtual Airlines behind in the process.

We would like to approach VATSTAR, an ATO oriented organization, but cannot because status for the VA is diminished.  This is saying nothing more then "you failed us and we are going the penalize you for it".  Why didn't you develop that "world-class" training organization we wanted????  I have to ask what VATSIM's intentions towards VA's is?  Where do we as organizations stand to benefit from promoting you?  

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Mark, we currently are comprised of over 3/4 of our ATOs being virtual airlines who tout very strong programs. We also are doing everything in our power to assist them 1 on 1 with transitioning their programs into the new pilot rating system. The new pilot rating system is simply a step in the direct of more challenging and follows a more realistic and fundamental approach towards pilot training and learning progression. 

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Ethan Hawes

VATSIM Board of Governors

Vice President Pilot Training Department

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Ethen, 

I have the current ATO requirements structure document.  Is this structure still valid even under the training content changes that ae being put in place?

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On 4/28/2020 at 6:51 PM, Mark Kusiak said:

 

We would like to approach VATSTAR, an ATO oriented organization, but cannot because status for the VA is diminished.  This is saying nothing more then "you failed us and we are going the penalize you for it".  Why didn't you develop that "world-class" training organization we wanted????  I have to ask what VATSIM's intentions towards VA's is?  Where do we as organizations stand to benefit from promoting you?  

 

How exactly are you trying to approach VATSTAR? Are you trying to partner with us to establish a partnership to train your pilots trough us or are you trying to set up your own ATO? We accept partnerships from any established VAs and any changes to the training program will not affect this. It really isn't clear to me what your problem is or what you are trying to do. Feel free to reach out to us - you can find our contact details on our website!

--
Tomas Hansson
VATSTAR CFI


Tomas Hansson

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On 4/29/2020 at 3:30 PM, Ethan Hawes said:

Mark, we currently are comprised of over 3/4 of our ATOs being virtual airlines who tout very strong programs. We also are doing everything in our power to assist them 1 on 1 with transitioning their programs into the new pilot rating system. The new pilot rating system is simply a step in the direct of more challenging and follows a more realistic and fundamental approach towards pilot training and learning progression. 

Speaking as an interested observer (who may need to do a significant amount of development on this) as you move towards a training progression that mirrors the real world, how do you see this interacting with virtual airlines, most of whose members spend their entire times doing IFR in large airliners. I'm happy to support pilot proficiency  on the network and like to think I've helped a lot of folks get certified - how can this continue?

On a secondary note, what scope is there for evaluation of ATOs whose courses are all recorded - could those existing courses be evaluated to support the granting of a new Pilot rating?

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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On 4/30/2020 at 8:19 PM, Mark Kusiak said:

Ethen, 

I have the current ATO requirements structure document.  Is this structure still valid even under the training content changes that ae being put in place?

The procedures on applying and the requirements will remain generally the same. At this time, only the ratings are changing. Any changes to the requirements will be reflected on our website here.

On 5/4/2020 at 11:09 PM, Luke Kolin said:

Speaking as an interested observer (who may need to do a significant amount of development on this) as you move towards a training progression that mirrors the real world, how do you see this interacting with virtual airlines, most of whose members spend their entire times doing IFR in large airliners. I'm happy to support pilot proficiency  on the network and like to think I've helped a lot of folks get certified - how can this continue?

As Ethan mentioned, 3/4 of our ATOs at this time are VAs of some sort. Any VA that is partnered with VATSIM can apply to become an ATO, and they will be able to train their pilots in accordance with the VATSIM ratings. The way the ratings are given out is not changing. Instead, the content is. Virtual Airlines are always more than welcome to apply to become an ATO, provided they meet the requirements.

On 5/4/2020 at 11:09 PM, Luke Kolin said:

On a secondary note, what scope is there for evaluation of ATOs whose courses are all recorded - could those existing courses be evaluated to support the granting of a new Pilot rating?

All ATOs will have to change their courses accordingly to match the new pilot ratings. We have already communicated this with all of our ATOs, and this is already in progress. We are offering help and support to those that require it, of course.


Tom Szczypinski
VATSIM Primary Operations Inspector
VATSIM VA Audit Manager

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Posted (edited)
On 5/8/2020 at 11:56 AM, Tom Szczypinski said:

As Ethan mentioned, 3/4 of our ATOs at this time are VAs of some sort. Any VA that is partnered with VATSIM can apply to become an ATO, and they will be able to train their pilots in accordance with the VATSIM ratings. The way the ratings are given out is not changing. Instead, the content is. Virtual Airlines are always more than welcome to apply to become an ATO, provided they meet the requirements.

All ATOs will have to change their courses accordingly to match the new pilot ratings. We have already communicated this with all of our ATOs, and this is already in progress. We are offering help and support to those that require it, of course.

Thank you, but that really doesn't answer my questions. I may not have been clear.

Most virtual airlines operate around IFR procedures and do not simulate much of the introductory training that involves basic VFR flights. For ATOs, is there an expectation that they offer and support all ratings below a given one, or can (for example) a VA only offer P2 or P3?

In my second question, I was asking whether an existing course offered by an ATO could be evaluated to meet one of the new requirements. Are you saying that VATSIM does not intend to do this, or that the new content has been deliberately designed to have no overlap with what any ATO is offering (please note that not all ATO offerings had an exact overlap with the old pilot certificate requirements).

Cheers!

Luke

Edited by Luke Kolin

... 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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56 minutes ago, Luke Kolin said:

Thank you, but that really doesn't answer my questions. I may not have been clear.

Most virtual airlines operate around IFR procedures and do not simulate much of the introductory training that involves basic VFR flights. For ATOs, is there an expectation that they offer and support all ratings below a given one, or can (for example) a VA only offer P2 or P3?

In my second question, I was asking whether an existing course offered by an ATO could be evaluated to meet one of the new requirements. Are you saying that VATSIM does not intend to do this, or that the new content has been deliberately designed to have no overlap with what any ATO is offering (please note that not all ATO offerings had an exact overlap with the old pilot certificate requirements).

Cheers!

Luke

With the new system, if you wish to continue through the ratings, then you are required to hold the previous rating before progressing onto the next. For example, to train for a P2 you are required to have a P1. To train for a P4, you are required to have all of the previous ratings; P1, P2 and P3. ATOs have the freedom to train for whichever ratings they want for, and they will continue to have that freedom. The extra step will be in ensuring that the member they are training already holds the previous ratings, as otherwise the ATO will not be allowed to give out the rating. I have taken a look, however, at our registered ATOs and most of our VA ATOs offer only the P1-P3 ratings (currently the "VFR heavy" ratings), with only 2 offering P4/P5.

 

In regards to your second question, of course they can use their existing material! Some of our ATOs have adapted some of their content to the new ratings, while adding to their syllabi in areas which the older ratings didn't cover. We don't mind whether the ATO adapts the current material they have, or if they wish to re-write their content and syllabi. We understand there are many ways to solve a problem, so as long as the result (in this case the compliance of the new Membership Certification Standards) remains the same, the ATO is free to write the new content as they wish.

 

I hope that cleared some things up.


Tom Szczypinski
VATSIM Primary Operations Inspector
VATSIM VA Audit Manager

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Tom, thanks for taking care of this. I’m not much of a forum person and never have been so I don’t see these much. 

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Ethan Hawes

VATSIM Board of Governors

Vice President Pilot Training Department

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