Jump to content

8.06 Vatsim's aversion of downgrades and its consequences


Recommended Posts

3 hours ago, Torben Andersen said:

@ Jeremy Peterson: You complain that lack of data means that the presumption of downgrades will impose an additional burden to training programs is invalid or not substanciated. Maybe, but could you please clearify the data that supports your claim: Downgrading provides a better experience for other ATCs and for pilots.

Your underlying question is a bit questionable: While I agree that controllers should controll right, it is also a hobby for (most of) us and the level of quality can therefore not be as that of a real world controller. One could also argue, that due to the great influx of pilots to VATSIM we have experienced lately, the traffic levels have gone up, and in some cases are almost as great as seen in real life at some airports. We are sometimes close to maximum and are thus more likely to make errors. Having less controllers will increase the pressure on the individual controller - I'm not sure that is nessasarily a good idea.

regards

 

I'd love to provide some evidence but I actually think my colleagues are probably better suited, as many of them have careers in education. I'll let them handle this one.

Jeremy Peterson (HP)
VATUSA Command Center National Operations Manager (NOM)/VATUSA9
[email protected] or [email protected]

1485337985_WideLogoBlueonTransparent.png.7c94c6e58c7bbd63e6347f8e3d838c2a.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

On 8/2/2021 at 4:17 AM, Kirk Christie said:

I didnt acually, because I have your posts hidden, I have no intrest in what you have to say. But since you quoted me, here are some cold hard facts.

 

 

On 8/2/2021 at 7:48 AM, Kirk Christie said:

I'm sorry I did not realise that was a requirement.

My response was not directed at you, this is evident by the lack of your name being mentioned in my post or any quotes from your posts.

If I had something to say about your subjective opinion I would direct my responses to you.

Yikes... You might be the only one more miserable than Matt Bartles, and that's impressive. If you have this much disdain about the membership, you should probably not be involved in the network.

  • Like 4
  • Confused 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Nolan Danziger said:

 

 

Yikes... You might be the only one more miserable than Matt Bartles, and that's impressive. If you have this much disdain about the membership, you should probably not be involved in the network.

Calling me miserable, and telling me I shouldn't be here, that's pretty damn outright offensive.

Its a shame that you have to resort to such accusations, rather than maintaining a civil  on topic discussion.

If you think that anything I have written goes against VATSIMS community standards, you can report the post to the admins for them to review it. 

Edited by Kirk Christie
  • Thanks 1

Kirk Christie - VATPAC C3

VATPAC Undercover ATC Agent

Worldflight Perth 737-800 Crew Member

956763

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Are the ratings not in themselves an indication of where a student is in terms of competency? Do the ratings not fundamentally show that an S1 can control GND/DEL; S2 show that they can control TWR and below; S3 show that they can control TERMINAL and below and; C1 can control ENROUTE and below? So if someone has lost their competency on a certain rating shouldn't we, instead of display that they can control, for example all positions, show that they can only control up to where they are proficient at? If we establish that controllers training is interconnected with their rating, why should we not accurately depict it? Finally, if someone wants to leave after being told they aren't ready/competent on a position, shouldn't we embrace their departure? After all we do fallow the motto Aviate Educate Communicate. If people don't want to learn and come up to standard, are they really embracing the Educational side of VATSIM?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

37 minutes ago, Karsen Box said:

Are the ratings not in themselves an indication of where a student is in terms of competency? Do the ratings not fundamentally show that an S1 can control GND/DEL; S2 show that they can control TWR and below; S3 show that they can control TERMINAL and below and; C1 can control ENROUTE and below? So if someone has lost their competency on a certain rating shouldn't we, instead of display that they can control, for example all positions, show that they can only control up to where they are proficient at? If we establish that controllers training is interconnected with their rating, why should we not accurately depict it? Finally, if someone wants to leave after being told they aren't ready/competent on a position, shouldn't we embrace their departure? After all we do fallow the motto Aviate Educate Communicate. If people don't want to learn and come up to standard, are they really embracing the Educational side of VATSIM?

They show competency at the time of them being issued, but a controller that earned their C1 in 2010 and hasn't controlled since then most likely does not have the required competencies for that rating.  This happens often.  Even if a controller goes away for a year they most likely will not have all of the competencies for their rating, unless they are directly associated with real world controlling.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 7/23/2021 at 4:58 PM, Matthew Bartels said:

So you would prefer to fly on unicom than fly with a controller who's not perfect?

As a pilot who flies frequently on the VATSIM network, I would prefer that because especially when it comes to stuff like vectoring. I don't want to overshoot the localizer 4 times because the controller doesn't know enough about vectoring or lets say with altitude that I am too low because the controller wants me to descend to 2500 when being 35 NM from the THR. 

I prefer the quality before the quantity; someone who knows the airport, standard taxi routes, how to pick a perfect runway, good stand, frequencies, SIDs, STARs, etc.

I have seen the bad controllers and I would rather being on UNICOM than that.

  • Like 5
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

So, let's restart this discussion with the new draft released. The points I mentioned in the first post are still in there. In this discussion, many people seem to have agreed that the downgrade would be a better option here. Why is the BOG so stubborn and not listening to the community (that they are asking feedback for)? It's still the quantity over quality show we've been seeing over the past months.

Edited by Thimo Koolen

spacer.png

ACCNL5 (Assistant Training Director) - Dutch VACC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree with this. Everything that has to be said about this matter has already been said and I still stand my point - quality should always be more important than quantity and if it makes life easier for everyone to introduce rating downgrades as a last-case scenario in many cases, we should do it. As I said, the student isn't taken away from the opportunity of re-gaining that rating. 

C1-rated controller

Gander Oceanic Operations Director & Instructor | VATSIM Spain Events Director & Operational Assistant | Eurocontrol West Sectorbuddy

[email protected]

1341101

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Board of Governors

Trust me, I tried many ways to get downgrading done. This one is a non-starter on the BoG.

  • Like 2
Matt Bartels
VP: Marketing & Communication
## vpmkt (at) vatsim.net
Facebook Twitter Instagram
VATSIM Logo

Unless otherwise stated, opinions are my own and not representative of the official opinion of the VATSIM Board of Governors

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for your reply on this matter Matthew. I would like to invite someone from the BOG to explain why not and why they're going against the wishes of the community. 

  • Thanks 1

spacer.png

ACCNL5 (Assistant Training Director) - Dutch VACC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Thimo Koolen said:

Thank you for your reply on this matter Matthew. I would like to invite someone from the BOG to explain why not and why they're going against the wishes of the community. 

I don't know if these are the wishes of the community at large or the wishes of a vocal minority. I can imagine that many members would not be happy about hearing that due to them having been inactive for a year or two they might now have to join the back of a one year long queue for TWR-training, since they lost their rating. In addition to that losing your rating feels much worse than just being temporarily removed from the roster. I personally like the "remove from roster, do competency check for getting back on" approach much better.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Lars Bergmann said:

I don't know if these are the wishes of the community at large or the wishes of a vocal minority. I can imagine that many members would not be happy about hearing that due to them having been inactive for a year or two they might now have to join the back of a one year long queue for TWR-training, since they lost their rating. In addition to that losing your rating feels much worse than just being temporarily removed from the roster. I personally like the "remove from roster, do competency check for getting back on" approach much better.

... they've been inactive for a year or two. Imagine if I just came back from being inactive after 2 years. That's when AFV just launched. Yeah, it's been a while. I wouldn't be aware of how to use AFV. Not to mention the procedures and phraseology - would I remember how to fluently master all of it after 2 years of inactivity? Most likely not. And that one controller who has been inactive for 2 years really should be respectful to the community in regards to the fact that they just came back from being inactive. Nobody is taking away their opportunity to re-achieve their rating. We still need to think about quality>quantity.

C1-rated controller

Gander Oceanic Operations Director & Instructor | VATSIM Spain Events Director & Operational Assistant | Eurocontrol West Sectorbuddy

[email protected]

1341101

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, David Solesvik said:

... they've been inactive for a year or two. Imagine if I just came back from being inactive after 2 years. That's when AFV just launched. Yeah, it's been a while. I wouldn't be aware of how to use AFV. Not to mention the procedures and phraseology - would I remember how to fluently master all of it after 2 years of inactivity? Most likely not. And that one controller who has been inactive for 2 years really should be respectful to the community in regards to the fact that they just came back from being inactive. Nobody is taking away their opportunity to re-achieve their rating. We still need to think about quality>quantity.

They are up for a competency check anyways. If they pass that: All good. If not: They need training before they can rejoin the roster. I don't see how that will make for a worse outcome than stripping them of their rating and having them get back in line with all the other OBS folk.

The current problem exists because we couldn't/didn't remove them from rosters and they just logged on without any checks.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not specifically about inactive users. It's also (and primarily) about members that have lost skills that are part of a particular rating. Yes, this usually is because of inactivity, but doesn't need to be.

And if someone has an S3 for example, is inactive for 5 years and wants to come back. They do the competency check and they fail. Now what? They have to be given priority training (which is really absurd, as there's people waiting for months or longer to receive training, and someone leaving and coming back has priority).

Oh, he knows how to do all TWR operations, but fails on vectoring? Let me hold on, we'll suspend the vectoring privileges, but let him keep his S3 rating, because we're scared he might leave again! (obviously, this might be a weird and ridiculous situation in this exact scenario, but the context remains the same).

  • Like 1

spacer.png

ACCNL5 (Assistant Training Director) - Dutch VACC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Board of Governors

I don’t buy that the skills are completely lost.  Sure they may not be at the level they once were and a couple of rust busting sessions and they’re good as new. I don’t think that warrants something such as a downgrade which is seen as more punishment than an educational opportunity.

I saw merits to allowing downgrades and presented them to the BoG. They disagree that we could make downgrades positive.

  • Like 1
Matt Bartels
VP: Marketing & Communication
## vpmkt (at) vatsim.net
Facebook Twitter Instagram
VATSIM Logo

Unless otherwise stated, opinions are my own and not representative of the official opinion of the VATSIM Board of Governors

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Matthew Bartels said:

I don’t buy that the skills are completely lost.  Sure they may not be at the level they once were and a couple of rust busting sessions and they’re good as new. I don’t think that warrants something such as a downgrade which is seen as more punishment than an educational opportunity.

I saw merits to allowing downgrades and presented them to the BoG. They disagree that we could make downgrades positive.

So instead of that we're making things more confusing for members. Got it.

 

While you're always given the blame Matthew, I appreciate that you presented the ideas in this topic to the BOG. Then again, I would like to invite someone from the BOG to explain it more.

spacer.png

ACCNL5 (Assistant Training Director) - Dutch VACC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Board of Governors
6 hours ago, Martijn Rammeloo said:

Then what is the point of this review? Finding typos?

Just because there wasn’t a change made that was discussed doesn’t mean the point wasn’t discussed before releasing the new draft and not making that change. 

I point you to numerous examples in the new draft where we did change things as a result of what came out of public discussions.

  • Like 2
Matt Bartels
VP: Marketing & Communication
## vpmkt (at) vatsim.net
Facebook Twitter Instagram
VATSIM Logo

Unless otherwise stated, opinions are my own and not representative of the official opinion of the VATSIM Board of Governors

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Board of Governors
17 hours ago, Thimo Koolen said:

Thank you for your reply on this matter Matthew. I would like to invite someone from the BOG to explain why not and why they're going against the wishes of the community. 

Interesting take.

I'll start by pointing out that this is my own view; I can't respond on behalf of the whole Board of Governors.

I've been a member of VATSIM since 2006. In that time, the most enlightening position I held was as the lead for a division that was well renowned for churning out some of the best controllers on the network. It was also renowned for being notoriously impossible to progress in, as a controller. Some of us who hold these views, which some may find highly controversial, have witnessed first hand the dangers of going down the slippery slope of opening up the floodgates to elitisism.

My base view is this:

1. There should be no activity requirements for controllers

2. Under no circumstances should a controller be permitted to be downgraded, once a rating is awarded.

Huff and puff all you like at these two controversial principles. If there was nobody on VATSIM that held this view, there would be no pilots, and there would be no controllers. Fact. Similarly, if nobody held the opposing view, the network would be full of people who had no idea what they were doing, and the attractiveness and strength of the community would be lost. Our strength is by finding the middle ground that drives us forward. I would urge people to consider this fact before becoming offended because others may have a slightly different view.

My view is simple: if someone has demonstrated their competency as per GRP (or GCAP), it is highly unlikely they would lose so much of their competency due to a lack of activity that they should in some way be restricted from controlling in the future. I strongly suspect that some of the root cause of these problems stem from people not being trained properly in the first place. My challenge is to fix the root cause of this problem, rather than to invent a bunch of get-out clauses later down the line: face the issues up front, and fix them! We hear enough horror stories of people waiting up to a year for basic training - if we could plow our resource into automating training at our entry-level ATC, and focussing our 1-2-1 on more intense levels (APP, CTR etc), we would have progressed a long way. Harder to do when you are worried about someone who hasn't logged in for 3 months!

 

  • Like 4

 

GUNNAR LINDAHL 
## [email protected]
Facebook Twitter Instagram
VATSIM Logo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for your response Gunnar. Obviously, we want people to progress and downgrades aren't fun to get. I agree that people usually don't lose their skills, and that inproper training is one of the problems.

Lets take our hypothetical controller that has been away for 10 years (not so hypothetical by the way, as I've encountered them). Over the years, they have lost their skills (because, let's face it, you do lose some or more of these skills if you're not using them for years). This controller had an S3 rating, thus meaning he can control Approach on minor airspace. Now obviously, if he can be retrained, that'd be great. But due to his lost skills, he is unable to vector correctly, doesn't even know how to handle VFR traffic, etc. When no downgrades are performed, he can either continue control APP (and TWR, etc.) online, or some of his controlling privileges are suspended. An S3 that is only allowed to control DEL + GND positions is fairly weird. A downgrade to S1 here might be the most fitting, but slightly too drastical.

You could say, for example, downgrades may be given by the Training Director of a (sub-)division, but they're required to set up a plan to get the controller back to his original rating. And obviously, that must be done as soon as possible, but this makes it clearer for everyone. And obviously, it might be possible that some people have lost that much skills and are unable (or unwilling!) to learn these skills again, they might not get their original rating back. And that should be okay. Not the "oh no, now we lost a controller!", because you lost him in the first place, and I'd honestly rather have a controller less than someone unwilling to learn. It shouldn't be all about having the highest rating possible. It should reflect your skills and to be honest, some people's skills are less than the rating is supposed to suggest.

Downgrades shouldn't be given 'just because'. There should be a reason and a training plan. Some people might not like it, but honestly it sounds way better than confusing everyone with some suspended controlling privileges. And if they really want a higher rating, it's an extra incentive for them to work towards that.

  • Like 1

spacer.png

ACCNL5 (Assistant Training Director) - Dutch VACC

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Thimo Koolen said:

An S3 that is only allowed to control DEL + GND positions is fairly weird.

How? This already happens, I have C3 but I'm only endorsed for TWR at Heathrow, likewise for people who have their S3s but aren't yet endorsed for the APP/DEP role at the majors.

 

8 hours ago, Thimo Koolen said:

Lets take our hypothetical controller that has been away for 10 years

Section 8.09 (b)(ii) permits a competency check for a controller that has been absent for more than 12 months. So it's your responsibility as the training staff to check that, that person's skills have not diminished as much as everyone suggests, then you allow them back on the scopes. The biggest problem is the assumption that some ones skills have diminished due to an absence.

Edited by Kirk Christie

Kirk Christie - VATPAC C3

VATPAC Undercover ATC Agent

Worldflight Perth 737-800 Crew Member

956763

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...