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What happened to my P1 rating?


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Greetings fellow airmen and women,

 

Flying today on VATSIM, I noticed in VatSpy that my rating of P1 is no more, somehow.

The P1 rating was confirmed fri. 24. jan. 2014 15.21, and has been with me ever since - that is, until I today discovered that the VATSIM system states I have not passed any exams?

Did I miss something?

 

 

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38 minutes ago, Christian Martensen said:

Greetings fellow airmen and women,

 

Flying today on VATSIM, I noticed in VatSpy that my rating of P1 is no more, somehow.

The P1 rating was confirmed fri. 24. jan. 2014 15.21, and has been with me ever since - that is, until I today discovered that the VATSIM system states I have not passed any exams?

Did I miss something?

 

 

All the ratings were changed in August last year and your P1 became a P0 under the new system. See this news article for details:

https://www.vatsim.net/news/restructuring-pilot-rating-system

Tomas Hansson

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40 minutes ago, Tomas Hansson said:

All the ratings were changed in August last year and your P1 became a P0 under the new system. See this news article for details:

https://www.vatsim.net/news/restructuring-pilot-rating-system

Thanks much for your swift reply Tomas! Appreciated. Seems I have been sleeping, since this was implemented some time ago.

Having said that, I have now read the definition of the various ratings, and I must say that from P0 to P1 is blatantly wrong. I suppose I have to take that up with someone in charge of this, but to state "

Existing P1 pilot ratings:

  • Will be granted a P0 under the new system given the consensus no real flying skills were tested in this process as it was a theory only examination."

- is simply not correct, as I had to undergo both a theory examination, as well as a practical to prove exactly the real flying skills mentioned.

Anyway, thanks for the up, I'll pursue this with the right people 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Just to quickly chime in here considering that I personally issued hundreds(!) of P1s under the old system. The old P1 was never meant to be anything other than an overview of VATSIM, the basic rules and how to connect and fly. The lessons we had at the ATO where I instruct were self-paced, didn't require any instructor interaction and definitely did not assess any flying skills. When I originally took my P1, at about the same time as you did, there was a practical component to the rating but that went away later on. You can contact the Pilot Training Department and plead your case but it may be a lost cause. Best of luck!

Tomas Hansson

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There was an ATO in the UK (I don't remember which) that was notoriously adding TONS of requirements to their version of the P1.  This was technically allowed under the guidelines of the PTD -- you could always exceed the requirements, as long as you met them -- but it did make for a bit of animosity at times when discussing the differences between the way one organization managed P1 versus another.  I'm not sure there's really any recourse for you, Christian, especially because the ratings are and have always been little more than ornamental.  But I agree that no matter how well-intentioned the rating restructuring was, it did end up feeling like a "downgrade" to many.  Best of luck.

Cheers,

-R.

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10 hours ago, Christian Martensen said:

Existing P1 pilot ratings:

  • Will be granted a P0 under the new system given the consensus no real flying skills were tested in this process as it was a theory only examination."

- is simply not correct, as I had to undergo both a theory examination, as well as a practical to prove exactly the real flying skills mentioned.

I have no doubt this is true, but as Robert and Tomas have both pointed out it was never a requirement nor expectation of the old P1 syllabus. The way in which the changes were reflected and how existing ratings were converted as described in the part of the post you have quoted, could only be based upon the standards as laid down by the VATSIM PTD at the time - the fact that some ATOs chose to “gold plate” their P1 courses at the time is unfortunate for you in some respects because whilst on the one hand you will have benefitted greatly from the extra training and knowledge you will have gained as a result, it also meant you had to do a lot more work than was necessary for the rating. In any event, I doubt that the tests you will have done will have covered all the requirements for the PPL rating (see the Member Certification Standards which you can find in MyVATSIM).

One of the goals of the changes was to improve standardisation so that differences like this between ATOs are minimised. Having recently taken over the Pilot Training standardisation is something which I intend to pursue much further as we go forward, because there should be a level of consistency of assessment in terms of the skills and knowledge you are required to demonstrate for each rating, and the level of skill and knowledge you are required to demonstrate should not be dependent upon the ATO you choose.

Vice President, Pilot Training

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Dear Tomas, Robert and Simon,

I'm very grateful for your input and explanations.  Much appreciated. And yes, Tomas and Robert, I do get the feeling that I have already "lost" this case, as The Big Machinery takes no prisoners, implements new rules without taking into just the slightest of considerations for each and every rating.  

I guess this has just become an emotional thing for me, as I clearly remember how thorough, strict and honestly, a tough exam the P1 was at the time, at least with the supervisor that took me through the grinder, leaving a real feeling of achievement when the P1 was awarded.

With a stroke of a pen, all of this is now deleted, erased, considered no-good. It makes me sad. The P1 exam for me was the turning point, and became the reason why I REALLY started to fly online more and more, continued to (continues to !) learn as I went on, enjoying many hours around the globe, communication with ATC and fellow pilots, getting a better grip on the whole thing. 

Although an overhaul of standards from time to time is usually always a good thing, getting everything up to par and updated to reflect the current needs, a complete disavowal of experience and previously granted ratings, could have and should have been taken with greater care and consideration.

It's a bit like revoking everyones driving license,  ruling exams and experience null and void as new standards are implemented. Because it is the easiest way out. I'd wish the Board of Governers would rather have looked at JFK and said "(...) and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills (...).

To you Simon, and the VATEUD/VATSIM board of governers, I will say only this - I will keep on flying, because I love it, and I love everything VATSIM is, what it stands for, what it enables us to do, the commitment, talent and the fantastic interconnection with peoples -  VATSIM is an extraordinary active social platform that gives so very much. But I'm not sure I will pursue rankings all over again. I'd hate to see a ranking revoked again in 5-10 years in the name of "cleaning up." What was it worth, then? The effort?

Keep up the good work, I still think VATSIM and the entire community is out of this world - I salute you.

Blue skies,

Kind regards

 

Christian Martensen

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Christian,

Don't get me wrong, I can completely appreciate your point of view (and to be clear the change to the pilot ratings and the way in which it was implemented was well before my time in this role so in many respects I'm merely playing the hand I'm dealt in this regard) -- there are and were arguments from either side and in my role as an ATO CFI at the time I successfully argued for our candidates who had completed their P5 ratings to be awarded CMEL ratings under the new scheme rather than IR as was orginally the plan, since I was able to demonstrate that the course they had completed and the skill tests they had done covered all the requirements for the CMEL (as we did the rating in a multi-engine aircraft, which was not the case for all ATOs).

To be absolutely clear, it is absolutely not your fault -- the problem, as I say, is that it sounds like the ATO you were at should probably have given you a P3 for what you did instead of a P1, and if you'd been to another ATO you probably would have got a P3 and then you would have ended up with a P1 now. That's not your fault, it was the lack of standardisation that existed which led to such huge discrepancies, and this is why I want to tackle that issue to ensure that this situation can't happen again in the future.

If you want to send me over the details of the P1 course you did, what was covered in the syllabus and the content of the written and practical exams to my e-mail address (on the VATSIM Staff page -- even if my name isn't just yet!) I'll take a look in to whether there's anything we could do for you.

Best,

Simon

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Vice President, Pilot Training

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On the contrary, Christian -- hopefully once the dust settles and animosity fades, you'll realize that the benefit to you came from the training itself and not the ornament that was affixed at the end.  And when that happens, hopefully you'll be motivated to pursue the additional ratings even if they end up restructured into oblivion one day down the road, because you'll still be benefitting from the knowledge and experience gained.

When I started on VATSIM in 2010 one of the first learning endeavors I underwent was the ZLA Pilot Cert program, authored and administered by then-ZLA ATM Keith Smith.  When I completed it, my name went up on their website, and I was definitely proud of the accomplishment.  Keith has since gone on to create and run PilotEdge where they run a similar training program.  The ZLA program on VATSIM vanished some time after that, but I still count it among the most beneficial things I ever did when starting on VATSIM even though there's no longer any public record confirming my memory of having completed it.

I've also done the Boston Vitual ARTCC "Wings Over New England" flights once through about six years ago.  I found them to be very similar in structure to the ZLA Pilot Cert program, but still found it a valuable refresher with some minor pieces of info here and there that I didn't know before then.  I am currently about halfway through doing them again, just for the benefit of the refresher (and to pick up on the few things they've tweaked and added since 2015).  And even though I myself had my P1-through-P5 knocked back to a P1 and P2 when the "official" VATSIM ratings were restructured, I've since undertaken the "new" P3 which indeed went much more in-depth into multi-engine piston flying than I've ever simulated before, and I learned a ton doing it.

Long story short -- hopefully the sting of having your rating downgraded is a temporary setback and will be overcome by the realization that the knowledge and experience is the true reason for taking the courses.  A good pilot never stops learning.  And I'm all about pretending to be a good pilot.  😉 

Edited by Robert Shearman Jr
minor typo fixes.
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Cheers,

-R.

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Hello Simon,

Thank you for your time and effort giving a thorough reply. I do understand, and I never wanted to put you on the spot, as it were. The theoretical exam was purely online (http://www.atsimtest.com/), I logged into a system, and the practical side of things was with communication through TeamSpeak, with a simple written guide "VATEUD P1 Examination Briefing".

As I mentioned previously, I was just a bit emotional about the whole thing. I'm sure it will pass, and then, as Robert in his recent and very kind reply so perfectly states, I'll realize the benefits, not from the ornament, but from the actual training and flying online. I like ornaments though. Haha. The sting (well put) will subside with time, and I will grow up.

Enough of that - the mere fact that I have received such friendly input, advice and help has just confirmed my commitment to VATSIM.

See you out there, gentlemen!

 

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Quote

 but I still count it among the most beneficial things I ever did when starting on VATSIM even though there's no longer any public record confirming my memory of having completed it.

I've got you covered, sir.

And yes, you're right, the Boston ARTCC program probably felt very similar to the ZLA program because it was based on the ZLA Pilot Cert program, used with permission.

Shiny badges are the initial draw, but you're 100% right, it's what you get from going through the program that matters.

 

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I figured one was based on the other, but given that BVARTCC was around as their own thing before merging with VATSIM I was never sure which came first.  Good to know, finally!

And thanks for resurrecting your records from 11 years ago, lol.  One less completely unverifiable story about the old days I spew on these forums... 😉

Cheers,

-R.

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