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Greetings,

I have been flying a week or so recently after a hiatus spanning several years.

So I have a couple of questions regarding primarily controller attitudes. 
During this recent period I have been surprised to find that more controllers than expected come across as quite cold and unfriendly. I get that some RL come across that way as well and it can possible be perceived as how a controller “should” act. 
However, we all do this to enjoy ourselves so I don’t quite see the point of the behavior. I mean, if you’re not having fun and enjoying talking to others, why control in the first place?

Besides general impressions it has come across in a few practical ways:

-  unwillingness to direct to other than standard gate. I flew small GA and was denied taxi to GA. “Unable. Just continue to the terminal and park wherever”.’Really? 

- being chewed off for not knowing that a region indicated by vataware/vat scope as controlled was in fact divided into numerous smaller areas. Ok, so I should be sorry for attempting to contact a controller? Wouldn’t it be better if the controller actually controlled his indicated airspace? (The workload was not particularly high with few calls on the frequency).

Besides the attitudes I am also a bit surprised that it still is so hard to find out when certain airspace’s are controlled. It’s a bit of a drag to start a flight only to find out halfway that the controllers at the destination quit. Is there any scheduling function that gives an overview? I have tried to find one without success.

Sorry for a bit of negativity. Perhaps I have just been unlucky. However, it’s starting to feel like more than bad luck, hence the question.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

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Your best bet is to find the website of the ARTCC or FIR whose airspace you were in and leave feedback for the staff.  They will be better equipped to explain (with specifics regarding your situation) any unusual procedures in that airspace or at that airport that might affect normal operations, or, to address poor service received from one of their controllers.  Or, sometimes, both. 

Cheers,

-R.

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1 hour ago, Robert Shearman Jr said:

Your best bet is to find the website of the ARTCC or FIR whose airspace you were in and leave feedback for the staff.  They will be better equipped to explain (with specifics regarding your situation) any unusual procedures in that airspace or at that airport that might affect normal operations, or, to address poor service received from one of their controllers.  Or, sometimes, both. 

Thank you for the reply!

Well, my intent is not to complain regarding the events themselves or to hang someone out to dry. It was intended more as a general question: Have I just been unlucky, or is cold controller attitudes a thing? And if it is, maybe that is how VATSIM in general intends it to be? I am guessing some may think that controllers *should* be short, factual and cold.

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4 hours ago, Daniel Forslund said:

Besides the attitudes I am also a bit surprised that it still is so hard to find out when certain airspace’s are controlled. It’s a bit of a drag to start a flight only to find out halfway that the controllers at the destination quit. Is there any scheduling function that gives an overview? I have tried to find one without success.

VATBOOK. I base my flights mainly on current and booked ATC.

  • many vACC websites display future ATC bookings, have a look
  • swift pilot client displays VATBOOK data, too, as part of its ATC widget
  • Qutescoop allows you to list and graphically display currently active and booked stations from VATBOOK.

 

Edited by Andreas Fuchs
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While Qutescoop is also the tool I use, it's still unable (like all the other tools I'm aware of) to remotely accurately display the complex sectorization structures we sometimes have in some vACCs.

VATSIM lacks a central official sectorization database as "single source of truth" together with the required ruleset about which station covers which sector (in dependence of other stations (not) online) for all the tools out there to use, and a tool that's able to display the sitation in 3D, not just 2D. At least able to "think" 3D and state the right controller derrived from the active sector in the level band. Oh, and the same with "airports covered by which sector top-down" data. This together would go a long way (which still in corner cases not perfect).

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This was certainly not picking on you, we have just recently resectorized/changed sector names and station IDs due to real world changes, after your update release. As far as I understood Jonas is working to get stuff on GitHub set up for actual new release and also having the client pull sectorization data right from GitHub - so we can update directly on GitHub and get updates "live".

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6 hours ago, Daniel Forslund said:

Greetings,

 

- being chewed off for not knowing that a region indicated by vataware/vat scope as controlled was in fact divided into numerous smaller areas. Ok, so I should be sorry for attempting to contact a controller? Wouldn’t it be better if the controller actually controlled his indicated airspace? (The workload was not particularly high with few calls on the frequency).

 

Sorry for a bit of negativity. Perhaps I have just been unlucky. However, it’s starting to feel like more than bad luck, hence the question.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

Really   -- if that is really so,  that is  NOT Good !!!  Personally, I NEVER experienced  that happen in Real World or experienced it in Vatsim,  ( in any USA sector)

If you make initial contact (stating your position)  with the wrong controller  (for whatever reason,  both in Vatsim, or  the Real World),  one would expect as part of "ATC Services to Pilots", that the controller would give you the correct Controller and Frequency  to contact.

 

 

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1 hour ago, Daniel Roesen said:

This was certainly not picking on you, we have just recently resectorized/changed sector names and station IDs due to real world changes, after your update release.

Don't worry, I know. But if I had the data, I could convert and provide it here on the forums without delay. I also upload new data to Github - don't forget that I just finished overhauling sector data for the entire world, so this would be just a small thing. I simply need the raw sector data in the correct order, not what Euroscope ESE files presents.

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VATSIM is a place for everyone to enjoy great service at no expense. VATSIM is also worldwide, which means we have people all across the demographical chart, spanning all age groups, ethnicities, political views etc... 

The downside to this, is that you sometimes get a cultural and ethics. Yes, VATSIM holds itself to high standards in regards to member attitude and behavior, but as with all networks and communities that allow for user-to-user communication, you are going to get conflicts. In fact, seeing how much VATSIM's users interact and how deeply integrated that is in the network, it's incredible how civil and helpful everyone is to each other.

With that being said, there are some people misbehaving and in some way 'abusing' the privilege given to them both as a pilot, but also as a controller. The difference is that controllers are individually trained, so they should at least know what standard VATSIM has for them. 

The examples you come with here is not behavior that VATSIM tolerates from its controllers. As stated above, you should provide feedback to the ARTCC about the controller, as this is a very noticeable minority. The vast vast majority of people are very nice and tolerable, but everyone has bad days. 

Another point is the point of misunderstanding a person's intent merely going by a distorted VHF voice. Being European, I've grown up with watching American movies, games, TV-shows etc. Pretty much my whole childhood was influenced by American pop culture. When I started interacting with Americans, I understood how incredibly wrong I was assuming that our cultures were alike. Americans have a very different way of expressing themselves, to the point where it can very easily be misunderstood as an insult. That goes both ways; I've countless times heard Americans feel verbally abused by European controllers with thick accents, because they are not used to hearing what they sound like, and don't understand that it's just how they talk. 

Having no personal relationships with people and just hearing their voice leads to misunderstanding very easily, but from your examples I don't think this is the case – but it's worth having in the back of your mind. There are only a small minority of people not behaving how VATSIM expects them to. 🙂

I hope you get your issues resolved, and provide feedback on the people in question, so VATSIM can continue to be the amazing place it is today!

Mats Edvin Aarø
General Manager - Member Engagement
Supervisor Team Lead: Team 4
[email protected]

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