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Why are Solo Endorsements mandated?

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VATUSA uses solos extensively already. My point is to ensure training departments have the capacity to do what’s best for the student. Creating extra sessions, I.e. proficient to solo level then proficient to cert level, is cumbersome and not needed, and creates the very barriers elsewhere the BoG is apparently trying to address. 

Sometimes a student comes to a session entirely unprepared and goes nowhere, sometimes they come back the next time and are ready to go. Making someone who is at 90-100% come back to “prove” it is needless, but letting someone who is at 70-80% practice on their own can be valuable. In all cases flexibility is required. 

If there’s a division out there not doing any solos at all then GCAP needs to be worded to allow for solos and further wording to make them a fundamental part of the education. If an individual training department is having issues then they can be assisted. 


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We all need to recognize that this is a hobby with a diverse set of students with varying experience and learning ability, let alone time to dedicate to the task at hand.

Trying to force every student into the same box is going to end up pushing many students away if they don't fit into the box right away.

I have dealt with many students over the years that barely need two words from me. They are RW controllers or pilots and know the system well. They self-study well. The minimal training is more than enough to get them on the network.

Then there is the other side of the coin: Students who have no real-world aviation experience, Students with poor study habits that expect to be spoon-fed everything, Or students that just lead very busy lives and don't get on for training very often.

We need to be able to accommodate a range of students. Some will be fine working online after 2 sessions of sweatbox. Others may need a dozen or more sessions before they are ready. Do you have an infinite number of sweatbox sessions ready? Because reusing the same sessions because you've already shown them the 8 sessions we have written starts to lose its benefit because the student learns how to handle just those specific scenarios. They still don't learn to think on their feet.

Having solos available as a tool allows an infinite practicing resource. The network is always here and no two days are the same. (Yes, many of them are quiet - but patience is something else students must learn on VATSIM.)

I'm not saying everyone needs solos. But to be able to onboard a wide range of students, we need a wide range of tools available. (This is again where the one-size-fits-all policies in GCAP that don't allow local subdivisions to flex when needed are coming up very short.)

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Rob Nabieszko | VATCAN3

Director of Training, VATCAN

[email protected]


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