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Is it time to abandon /t?


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18 minutes ago, Simon Kelsey said:

Something I would be curious to know: how many of those controllers posting here that text is “too workload intensive” go firing off unsolicited text PDCs to pilots when it starts getting busy?

Surely if voice is so much easier and quicker you would just do all the clearances by voice, right?

PDCs are the closet vatsim gives to CPDLC style clearances. Not only is it more realistic (since typically planes get their clearances prior already,) but PDCs are also very useful when working heavy top down. Perhaps it may seem like "cheating" to a pilot, but it gets a bit over the top when you are doing top-down an entire center and you need to constantly give people IFR clearances. 

I don't mean to sound rude, I haven't checked your stats so I don't know if you are a pilot only or also a controller, but PDCs are a matter of looking at a list and once your done with the flightplan doing .pdcommand MV (dep freq). It is an efficient tool, contrary to text pilots. 

Plus, I rarely give out PDCs when it comes to heavy modifications of a flight plan just so that I make sure they got the amendment. PDCs are a work of heaven when its an "as filed" clearance though. 

So to answer this question:

Surely if voice is so much easier and quicker you would just do all the clearances by voice, right?

No, not at all. Especially when working top-down. If you were JUST on a clearance delivery position, its up to you I guess whether or not you want to spit out 300 FNO level of traffic clearances or not, but I don't think there would be much justification other than how your ARTCC has trained you to do PDCs on a regular level traffic clearance delivery frequency. 
 

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1 hour ago, Nicholas Camperos said:

I don't mean to sound rude, I haven't checked your stats so I don't know

Nicholas, alas you know naught of whom you speak. I'd have thought that Simon's ID might have provided a clue.

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Alistair Thomson

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Definition: a gentleman is a flying instructor in a Piper Cherokee who can change tanks without getting his face slapped.

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53 minutes ago, Alistair Thomson said:

Nicholas, alas you know naught of whom you speak. I'd have thought that Simon's ID might have provided a clue.

What does a low ID number indicate other than that you made your account a long time ago? :classic_unsure:

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

Senior Controller, Boston Virtual ARTCC

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To be honest with you I think I just learned about the whole lower id = earlier account thing like last night on a teamspeak call. I didn't really bother to find out whether or not he was a controller or a pilot so I just explained PDCs from a controllers perspective (or at least my perspective) 

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I haven't checked your stats so I don't know if you are a pilot only or also a controller

Statistics may be useful as an indicator of experience, and/or provide context for a commenter's perspective, consider public data available here: VATSIM Statistics

Edited by Mike Sweeney
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Mike / 811317
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2 hours ago, Ross Carlson said:

What does a low ID number indicate other than that you made your account a long time ago? :classic_unsure:

I think VATSIM profiling based on CID has been a thing forever and needs to STOP. There are 15xxxxx CID's who are RW Pilots/Controllers and there's 8XXXXX CID's who barely have hours on the network. 

Anyways...we deviated too much from the topic. Can we go back to the original quote of "Controllers prefer and would like pilots to consider /v and /r instead of /t as a first option"?

Edited by Gerardo Rodriguez
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4 hours ago, Simon Kelsey said:

Something I would be curious to know: how many of those controllers posting here that text is “too workload intensive” go firing off unsolicited text PDCs to pilots when it starts getting busy?

Surely if voice is so much easier and quicker you would just do all the clearances by voice, right?

You do realize that FAA clearances take at least a 2 minute interaction (if the readback is correct)? That's why for us, PDCs save A LOT of time vs. a voice clearance. It's all about efficiency of the service and that's why we're trying to improve here and have an open discussion about it. 
 

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1 hour ago, Nicholas Camperos said:

To be honest with you I think I just learned about the whole lower id = earlier account thing like last night on a teamspeak call. I didn't really bother to find out whether or not he was a controller or a pilot so I just explained PDCs from a controllers perspective (or at least my perspective) 

It's okay, because his argument was based on the false notion that issuing initial clearances and issuing airborne instructions are the same, and one would think he's been around long enough to know that was a silly assertion 😉

Cheers,

-R.

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4 minutes ago, Mike Sweeney said:

If statistics are useful as an indicator for online experience, or provide context for a commenter's perspective, consider data available here: VATSIM Statistics

 

That is a good point. When looking at those stats, it is easy to determine if a person is speaking from experience and how much they have dealt with on the network versus just trying to counter an argument for the sake of argument. In this case, there are a lot of people here who are talking from experience as the proponent of supporting those and being inclusive of those who are /t versus those who have come in where /v has been the only thing they have known and think anything else may be a detriment. That older CID along with the hours they have controlled, especially if it shows the dates they have controlled can back up the experiences they have mentioned to know what they are talking about.

Yes, this can be chalked up to "different times called for different solutions", but it does not make those solutions any less valid. We already have had talk of having the "no voice until S3" rule being called one of the worst rules we have, but that rule justified the use of what we had to accommodate /T, and shows how some people's lack of experience with functionality out of the ATC clients to be able to accommodate /t fairly well is a glaring lack. I don't want to call that lack as being PEBKAC, as I'm not saying, but I'm trying to say...

There is a difference between promoting /v and singling out why those who are /T have to be /T. We shouldn't even need to address that issue because they have their reasons, and those reasons should not be why we should try to move them to being /V because of convenience of those who haven't learned how to handle their ATC clients sufficiently.

BL.

 

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Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

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There is a difference between promoting /v and singling out why those who are /T have to be /T. We shouldn't even need to address that issue because they have their reasons, and those reasons should not be why we should try to move them to being /V because of convenience of those who haven't learned how to handle their ATC clients sufficiently.

Thanks Brad,
Yet again, clearly hit the bullseye.

The advice shared by you, Andreas, Martin, Ross, Alistair, Simon, Matthew B, Kirk, Rob, Sebastien & company ... based on experience (with solution), remains helpful for those with questions/opinions.
Yet still, it appears that collective experience has been dismissed in this forum thread, as: "doesn't really matter" ...  🙄

Since Jul 2001, there remains no reason to change what the Founders provided via the inclusive nature of Code of Conduct A14.
And it appears, today's Board Of Governors still agree, thankfully: "VATSIM will remain open to all. There are currently no plans to restrict /t."

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Mike / 811317
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someone please develop a small speech-to-text converter for ATC (seen them before 😉

only 2 buttons needed:

1. record voice-message (through separate ptt)

2. send text to channel

resulting in only 1/2 second delay 😉

 

p.s. and/or maybe for the pilots a likewise small text-to-speech converter 😉

 

Greetz,

Fritz

 

Edited by Fritz Eisler
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10 hours ago, Nicholas Camperos said:

but PDCs are a matter of looking at a list and once your done with the flightplan doing .pdcommand MV (dep freq). It is an efficient tool, contrary to text pilots. 

What you’re describing is an alias. I agree, it is an extremely efficient tool and it is equally efficient for airborne traffic as it is for clearances.

Want to fire off a heading to a text pilot? .tl (heading)

Climb? .cm (altitude/FL)

Approach clearance? .ils (runway)

.taxi 27L A B C

Euroscope at least will even fill in most stuff for you from the tags!

Like Brad, I too started in the days when one had to have a special qualification to use voice so as a controller one very quickly became familiar with the aliases. I still maintain that I can fire out five heading/altitude etc instructions using the alias examples above in far less time than it takes to transmit them on voice and wait for a readback from each pilot so forgive me for struggling to see this argument about how inefficient text is.

Don’t get me wrong, I would far prefer to see as many people using voice as possible (thats why I was keen to assist with AFV!), but in a 3hr stint at Heathrow the other night I think I had one solitary text only pilot, and as a pilot they are by far the minority on frequency... I just am not convinced it’s as big a ‘problem’, either in terms of numbers of text pilots or difficulty in handling them, as some seem to be suggesting. I do agree that compared to older ATC clients the text areas in ES at least are less obvious.

10 hours ago, Nicholas Camperos said:

PDCs are the closet vatsim gives to CPDLC style clearances. Not only is it more realistic

CPDLC is of course now pretty much ubiquitous in the enroute environment as well IRL, so...

It is certainly not more realistic in most cases to get a clearance pinged to me before I have requested it, especially if I’m flying an aircraft that actually has a proper ACARS/CPDLC solution integrated!

(Incidentally, yes I have, somehow, been around and reasonably consistently active as both a pilot and a controller (though more the former in recent years) since the Dark Ages, though I certainly don’t claim to know everything or have all the answers!)

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Vice President, Pilot Training

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It's clear that the network isn't going to abandon or restrict the text option now or likely ever.

What can be improved is the education. I'm happy to see that the resources available to new members have greatly improved with MyVATSIM. However, perhaps improvements can eventually be made with the communication side of things. Such as a pop up that can guide members to learn how to use voice when they select text as an option and give them some friendly "words of advice" or a phraseology guide to help members learn common requests and responses on frequency. I know a lot of new members simply just don't know what to say and would feel more comfortable at first with a simple "script" they can read from and follow along.  

Perhaps the "poll" should be more, "Why do you use or prefer text over voice?" instead of "Would you support abandoning text as an option". Using those results to target the resources and learning options. I will say, however, the likely top answer of this hypothetical poll would be "fear and embarrassment to mess up", followed by "controllers speak too fast". 

 

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Ernesto Martinez

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11 hours ago, Brad Littlejohn said:

That is a good point. When looking at those stats, it is easy to determine if a person is speaking from experience and how much they have dealt with on the network versus just trying to counter an argument for the sake of argument.

Brad, I was not countering an argument for the sake of an argument. Simon asked a question and I responded in regards to my experience with it on the network. And to be quite frank, the CID/age of an account means next to nothing when it comes to this conversation. Whether you have 9000 years on the network or a couple of months, everyone's views on everything are equally as valid. 

I don't want to continue on this thread because I feel I've said everything I need to say, and I've shared my voice with others in terms to what should get done on the network. I also have way better things to do then repeat myself like, a lot. I have no further opinions to state, if you'd like to know my thoughts on the subject you can check out the past 13 days of conversation within this thread. 
 

9 hours ago, Mike Sweeney said:

And it appears, today's Board Of Governors still agree, thankfully: "VATSIM will remain open to all. There are currently no plans to restrict /t."

That was one board of governor's opinion. In addition, more discussion other than just restricting /t/ has been discussed in this thread. The thought that encouraging users to move off of /t/ from an educational standpoint is not absurd, and contrary to the opinion of some users, is not next to equivalent of the actions and events of ww2 😕

Many people agree that moving users out of /t/ from any point, be it educational or by restriction (whatever is actually going to happen on vatsim) is supported by many. Else I would have probably been publicly shamed on the [unnamed public vatsim division discord]... But I didn't, everyone agreed. Because its a commonly shared thought amongst users. This is more than just a couple of users on the forums. 

As to what Ernesto just said above, I agree. I don't see /t/ getting restricted as shown by the varying views and opinions within this thread. Therefore the best option left is encouragement and education, which pretty much everyone agrees with, with the exception of a couple views that believe it is equivalent to the actions of a certain group during ww2. To that, I have no response other than, your just, off. This network can improve through education and effort, lets not throw our chances away to steer off the negatively viewed old and angry person network that scares so many new users away. 

I rest my case. 

Edited by Nicholas Camperos
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6 hours ago, Fritz Eisler said:

someone please develop a small speech-to-text converter for ATC (seen them before 😉

only 2 buttons needed:

1. record voice-message (through separate ptt)

2. send text to channel

resulting in only 1/2 second delay 😉

 

p.s. and/or maybe for the pilots a likewise small text-to-speech converter 😉

 

Greetz,

Fritz

 

Interesting lol, I mean if it went on frequency so other pilots did not step over it, I wouldn't see a problem with that 😛 (sounds more just like the complexity of developing something like that)

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17 hours ago, Nicholas Camperos said:

PDCs are the closet vatsim gives to CPDLC style clearances. Not only is it more realistic (since typically planes get their clearances prior already,) but PDCs are also very useful when working heavy top down. Perhaps it may seem like "cheating" to a pilot, but it gets a bit over the top when you are doing top-down an entire center and you need to constantly give people IFR clearances.

If you were using Hoppie and replied to PDC requests by pilots, that would be the "closest". Actually, here in Europe we do it this way.

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11 minutes ago, Andreas Fuchs said:

If you were using Hoppie and replied to PDC requests by pilots, that would be the "closest". Actually, here in Europe we do it this way.

I got hoppie setup on my euroscope profile, it's actually pretty nice. Just a few drawbacks on euroscope specifically because not everyone uses euroscope on my artcc so I can't assign runways for example (will mess up TRACON), but for the rest its true hoppie works quite well.

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Interesting discussion, even though slightly repeating, but somewhat one sided, i.e. mostly about ATC workload.

What about pilot workload? Flying and reading (and typing) at the same time is distracting. I am not against having /t, as it is clearly required, but I can still say it is distracting. Especially if you have a HW cockpit.

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1 hour ago, Lauri Uusitalo said:

Interesting discussion, even though slightly repeating, but somewhat one sided, i.e. mostly about ATC workload.

What about pilot workload? Flying and reading (and typing) at the same time is distracting. I am not against having /t, as it is clearly required, but I can still say it is distracting. Especially if you have a HW cockpit.

I as a pilot would probably struggle with having to do text only unless I am on autopilot at the time or something. Kinda focused on flying not at the text box. I also am usually not even looking at my airplane while flying but on YouTube or some other website (during cruise) or maybe even at bed, so I suppose a burden of being a textpilot would have to be sitting there waiting for the little "psshh" noise and having to check it every time. 

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We should see text as an addition to the pilot and to the controller. Time critical stuff goes via voice so anything below a certain FL. Anything that isnt time critical can be done via text. This is essentially one of the foundations that CPDLC is based on. 

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7 hours ago, Nicholas Camperos said:

I as a pilot would probably struggle with having to do text only unless I am on autopilot at the time or something. Kinda focused on flying not at the text box. I also am usually not even looking at my airplane while flying but on YouTube or some other website (during cruise) or maybe even at bed, so I suppose a burden of being a textpilot would have to be sitting there waiting for the little "psshh" noise and having to check it every time. 

 

Again, this would come back down to knowing the full functionality of the software. There are features in vPilot as well as the free versions of FSUIPC that you can assign keys of your panel to certain functions. You can easily have those more common replies to calls programmed to that, and off you go. For example, on a simple Logitech joystick, you could assign "cleared to land" to one button, "cleared for takeoff" to another button, and "will go, good day" to a third button for a reply to a frequency change.

All of the sims are capable of using FSUIPC, and aliases are available in vPilot, xPilot, Swift, and xSquawkbox. Those should be used to make the pilot experience more enjoyable. In short, work smarter, not harder.

BL.

 

Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just out of curiosity, are controllers restricted from being /T only?  Can I operate a position...any position, as a controller and designate it as /T only for all who wish to participate in the airspace which I would control.  

If so, I would counter that it can and will change the experience for all in a negative sense.  A version of CPDLC only (i.e. text) airspace without the option to channel to voice.  This question isn't really directed toward enroute oceanic since I brought in CPDLC.  The example is for your typical DEL, APP, Enroute, Class I land-based areas.

If the option to control is restricted to voice capable from the controller side, then I would argue there is a unfair discriminatory bias.  

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