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New Vatsimmer, scared of using voice.


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Hi,

I am new to VATSIM but really want to use VATSIM because its just a way more pleasant way to fly. I've just turned 13 and have tried text flights which means I won't have to memorise/write down and readback what is said.

I do have a high pitched voice and I am kind of worried about people laughing at me. From listening to the voice server a bit I only experienced 2 people that are probably a below the age of 15 in 2 days. Does anybody have any advice on what I should do, should I stay using text?

PS: If I were to switch to voice I already know what to say its just the fear of being laughed at.

Edited by Christian McNamara
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If anybody laughs at your voice, especially a controller, then they are in the wrong hobby. In my opinion making fun of others in that way is in bad taste; we're all here for the same reason: to enjoy aviation and to share our hobby with others.

I would encourage you to jump right in; there's always the '.wallop' command which calls a supervisor to help out if someone is making you feel uncomfortable. In my experience, most controllers are very happy and helpful to new members; by also putting 'New member' or similar in your pilot remarks, it helps us to know that you are new and to give you a hand if you need it 🙂.

Welcome to VATSIM!

Cheers,

Edited by Andrew Ogden
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Andrew Ogden | I3
Gander Oceanic OCA Chief
VATSIM Web Developer

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

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Welcome to the network, Christian!

I've talked to countless people having the same concern you currently have. While it's understandable in a network with people across all age groups, you have nothing to worry about.

People sometimes like to make jokes about the "squeakers" on the network, being unprofessional, 'noobs' and what not. The reality is that it's the "squeakers" who are one of the more professional and knowledgeable groups on our network. The new generation's ability to suck in information from the internet gives you a huge advantage over the older generations who struggle to keep up. You're also aware that you have to perform to be respected, but all in all most of the pilots with high-pitched voices I've controlled can do an IFR readback like no other.

As Andrew says, never hesitate to contact a supervisor if you feel like someone's harassing you in any way. Supervisors are also there to help you should you get stuck or wonder what to do next, or answer any other network-related questions you might have. 

Think of you starting off young as a head start. 🙂 I myself started when I was 13, and VATSIM has been instrumental in developing my flight simulation hobby and connect with many of the people I today call my friends.

Good luck!

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

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21 minutes ago, Andreas Fuchs said:

And before you call a SUP, you may want to send a text message to the "offender", telling him politely that you think his behaviour is not appropriate.

And if they give you any abuse back, screenshot that and provide that to the Supervisor as it will give them the ammunition they require to deal with something they can see rather than just a report.

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Trevor Hannant

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I think it's easy to have a knee-jerk reaction when you hear a higher-pitched voice on frequency, and make assumptions.  Our brains, after all, are wired to sense patterns and make associations. 

It's the perfect opportunity, when you have everyone's attention, to wow them with what you know and what you're capable of. 

ZDC currently has a 13-year-old working toward his C1.  He's risen through the ranks with impressive ease.  He sounds like "a kid" until you suddenly realize he's rattled off two PTACs, an IFR clearance, and a holding instruction in the time I'm still fumbling to grab a pen. 

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Cheers,

-R.

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Some of the most professional sounding people on VATSIM are younger kids with higher pitched voices. I know it can be intimidating regardless - Im a grown adult and it took me a week to get the courage to speak to ATC.

 

At the end of the day people will judge others based off anything, so dont worry what others think and just join in. 

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Gonna tell you a story as well. Actually, make that 2 stories; both positive ones. And for protection/safety's sake, I'll change the names of the people involved.

One is about a guy I'll call Julian. Bright kid became a controller in my sector, though he was worried about fitting in as he was VERY young at the time he joined (he joined right at 13, first as a controller). While he had the knowledge and knew what to say and do, some of the older people here took his voice as reason to be inexperienced, and tried to do the equivalent of mansplaining what he should and shouldn't do, and did it in a very condescending way. We (myself as his mentor, Chief Instructor, ATM of our sector, and supervisors) put a stop to that REAL quick. Julian wanted to quit. We all told him basically to not give up, and to not let some people who were being a jerks to stop him from doing what he wanted to do. So he kept at it.

Not only Julian now a professional pilot, but he flies for various charters, and is certified for the Citation, most Gulfstreams, and the Global Express. He's flying all over the place now, and I believe is CFII.

Another one is about a guy I'll call Kade. Kade's mother worked all her life as a FA for a major US airline. At one point, it was Kade's dream that he one day become a pilot and actually fly the plane that his mother would be serving as FA on (unfortunately, that never happened; not my story to tell). But around 14/15, he found VATSIM, signed up as a controller, and later started flying. He had a higher voice at the time, but was worried that he would be treated like a kid. Julian (the guy in the first story) talked to Kade about what happened with him and gave him the advice to not give up.. so Kade kept at it.

Long story short, 9 years later, Kade became a pilot, and last I heard, was flying for the same airline his mother worked at as a flight attendant.

Two kids, starting around the same age, very young, didn't give up or let the others intimidate them, and used this network as a starting point to become pilots. 

This network will put a stop to anyone who tries to make fun of anyone and everyone who mocks a person's voice. You're one of our people now; we've got your back.

 

BL.

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Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

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Good choice! Don't care for what others say, do your thing, be professional, be knowledgable: that's the best way to beat the haters.

Here at VATSIM Germany we also have at least two hands full of examples of young kids starting off with being "game controllers" and "game pilots" and they all work now for Lufthansa, EasyJet or the German ATC provider as fully grown pilots/air traffic controllers.

Edited by Andreas Fuchs
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I would also like to give my two cents on this:

There are different events all over the network which is basically events for new pilots on VATSIM to get going the proper way. Last one was Sunday within VATSIM Scandinavia, and the controllers were told to be a little extra tolerant and speak a little slower than usual. From what I've heard, this were a great succes and many new pilots flew at this event - I would highly recommend these events 🙂

There is no harm in saying "say again" - and I'm sure that the controllers would be more than happy to help you out, if there is something that is unclear. 

I hope you could use some of the advice, and do not hesitate to contact the controller if you are unsure of something. If the traffic permits, I'm sure that they would be more than happy to help!

Cheers, 

Edited by Peter Toft

Peter Toft, C1
Deputy Training Assistant,
Copenhagen FIR - VATSIM Scandinavia

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