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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Mark Crabtree said:

But why?  If a real-world controller can get a pilot cert, why not a real-world pilot getting a controller cert?

Because you have to be really, really good and clever to be an air traffic controller, while operating a plane is rather simple. I can tell you. I'm a pilot and I have total respect to ATCOs. Especially those who I know personally and have visited their ATC-facilities. 3 hours of virtual ATC drain me much more than 12 hours of operating my IRL aircraft. Believe me.

Edited by Andreas Fuchs
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46 minutes ago, Andreas Fuchs said:

Because you have to be really, really good and clever to be an air traffic controller, while operating a plane is rather simple. I can tell you. I'm a pilot and I have total respect to ATCOs. Especially those who I know personally and have visited their ATC-facilities. 3 hours of virtual ATC drain me much more than 12 hours of operating my IRL aircraft. Believe me.

Very anti pilot, hmm I thought in another thread that VATSIM was not being anti-pilot.  However, you just basically called pilots a bunch of lever pulling monkeys.   So ATC smart, pilots dumb.  Got it. 

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53 minutes ago, Mark Crabtree said:

Very anti pilot, hmm I thought in another thread that VATSIM was not being anti-pilot.  However, you just basically called pilots a bunch of lever pulling monkeys.   So ATC smart, pilots dumb.  Got it. 

Mark, not sure why you’re being so hostile. Being a real life ATCO teaches you the concepts needed and expected by the respective pilot ratings, however that is absolutely not applicable the other way around, and if you have an ATP I would assume you are aware of that.

That’s not even mentioning knowledge of radar scopes, LOP, coordination etc. that you are required to know when you get a controller rating.

Pilot ratings exist to give an expectation of knowledge and abilities for controllers, but a controller rating is far more than that.

This isn’t about «discrimination», and I have a feeling from this and your previous posts that the point of bringing this up is to incentivize to heated debates or arguments about «double standards» or «pilot/atc segregation», but that is not the case or the topic here at all, so I’d ask you to refrain from that please.

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Mats Edvin Aarø
Assistant to the Vice President - Supervisors
VATSIM General Manager: Member Engagement
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9 hours ago, Mark Crabtree said:

Very anti pilot, hmm I thought in another thread that VATSIM was not being anti-pilot.  However, you just basically called pilots a bunch of lever pulling monkeys.   So ATC smart, pilots dumb.  Got it. 

No, that's not what I wrote. I fly for a living (ATP stuff...) and of course we are more than lever-pulling monkeys. Actually, we are monkeys trying to think a few steps ahead to keep our situational awareness. But it is not as tiring as being an ATCO in a busy and complex piece of airspace.

In the very old days top-ratings were assigned to realworld pilots and ATCOs. It still happens, but you don't get catapulted to the top anymore, as we used to.

In conclusion there's nothing anti-pilot here. It's rather "anti-unknowledgeable" and VATSIM is trying to find a way to steer people into the right direction: "do not connect just yet as long as you have no idea about your aircraft".

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Posted (edited)

I think you are BOTH missing the point.

VATSIM is neither a network of controllers nor a network of pilots.  It is a network of BOTH.  And the ratings we issue to either do NOT need to indicate the equivalent of real-world proficiency.  They need to instill a reasonable amount of faith that the person is good enough to perform the indicated role ON VATSIM.

My S2, which I've held for three and a half years and logged 568 hours on, is BY NO MEANS an indication that I could walk right into the Tower cab at Reagan National Airport and perform the job at a level which wouldn't get me fired or someone hurt within the first half-hour.  Nor is my P3 an indication that if I were piloting a twin-piston and lost an engine mid-flight, I'd be able to save the lives of everyone on board.  My controller rating is simply an indication to pilots flying into whatever airport I'm staffing on VATSIM that they should have a reasonable expectation that I'm proficient enough to provide a decent virtual ATC experience for them.

Likewise, all that a pilot holding a VATSIM P2 (Instrument Rating) needs to be able to do, in my opinion, is make their blip on the controller's scope move in a reasonably predictable manner when given a clearance by ATC.  I said in the other thread that the rating doesn't indicate whether someone is a good pilot -- just an educated one.  And while I was being a little whimsical in saying so, I was indeed making a point that the standards for a VATSIM Pilot Rating checkride should be MUCH, MUCH lower than its equivalent real-world rating.  For that matter, back when Boston Virtual ARTCC's Pilot Ratings Program (modeled after Keith Smith's ZLA Pilot Certs) were around and could be converted to VATSIM Pilot Ratings, the controllers never even looked in the cockpit of the pilot performing them.  If their blip went where it was supposed to, they passed!

And yes, Mark, yes -- I ABSOLUTELY have faith that a real-world commercial air carrier Dispatcher, fully certified as such, is MORE than capable of taking a single-engine piston plane on the network and performing an instrument approach, precision and non-precision, to the level of proficiency required by VATSIM.  (In the agreed equivalency they are awarded a P2, not a P3 or 4.)  Only in the extreme edge-case of a VATSIM controller with 0.0 Pilot Hours would I doubt that in the least.

THIS IS NOT THE REAL WORLD and we do NOT need to try to hold pilots OR controllers to real-world standards.  Each side simply needs to be good enough to provide a pleasant, cooperative experience for the other on VATSIM.  We are deluding ourselves if we think the ratings we issue go ANY further than that.

Edited by Robert Shearman Jr
clarified dispatcher-to-pilot-rating equivalency under currernt system.
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1 hour ago, Robert Shearman Jr said:

Likewise, all that a pilot holding a VATSIM P2 (Instrument Rating) needs to be able to do, in my opinion, is make their blip on the controller's scope move in a reasonably predictable manner when given a clearance by ATC

+1. That, in a nutshell, says it all regarding the difference between a simulation and the real world. Even then, it seems that there are pilots on VATSIM who can't even do that!

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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I am not sure I get what is this urge/need/will to have certifications for pilots? I am not sure I have any, but I can fly any plane I want. If I have the ability. I understand that some people feel better with cert and of course learning is always good.

OTOH, I would not imagine controlling an approach without any training. Even on somewhat familiar airport.

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2 hours ago, Robert Shearman Jr said:

I ABSOLUTELY have faith that a real-world commercial air carrier Dispatcher, fully certified as such, is MORE than capable of taking a single-engine piston plane on the network and performing an instrument approach, precision and non-precision, to the level of proficiency required by VATSIM.

I don't think so. Have they actually flown x hours on simulators? Or have they just begun their flightsimulator career? Theoretical knowledge is a nice basis to start learning, nothing more. That's valid for both pilot-stuff and ATC--stuff. Some people simply have zero talent to actually operate a plane, to maintain a satisfactory level of situational awareness (this you cannot learn from books, you can only learn it by doing it).

Oh, and what Lauri wrote: I hazard the guess that most IRL pilots and ATCOs who are members at VATSIM do not even try to have their IRL-licences validated to get their "IR" or "ATP" ratings in the system. What for? To show off?

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IMHO, I think what Mark was trying to say is that just because someone is/was a r/w commercial dispatcher doesn't mean they can fly a plane.  Like Andreas said "Theoretical knowledge is a nice basis to start learning"   Just because they know "what" a SID or STAR is, does not mean they understand how to get an aircraft to perform those precedures.  Some do granted, but it's not an automatic skill set that comes with the job. And because VATSIM went out and certified those individuals, it has the appearance of favortism towards controllers.  My personal believe is that VATSIM should incorporate some type of "grandfather" clause for pilots with a "pre-determined" amount of hours or years, or hours and years.  There are those on the network that do not fly GA aircraft and only tube liners, and that's their choice.  Maybe they aren't a r/w pilot, what if they were a r/w cockpit crew member?  There is no way to verify that, but I can assure you that person is more than qualified to fly just about anything ATC instructs them to do.

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Alistair Thomson said:

+1. That, in a nutshell, says it all regarding the difference between a simulation and the real world. Even then, it seems that there are pilots on VATSIM who can't even do that!

Back to bashing pilots, what about the C1 who can't tell what the blip is doing or stats vectoring folks that are separated by RVSM yet appear as on top of each other (3-dimensional thinking).  

Edited by Mark Crabtree
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  • Board of Governors

It appears that, in spite of well-reasoned logic, most (though not all) many would agree with, this thread is quickly devolving into a "no-win" situation.  Never mind no-win, we are not progressing as a community.  As such, time to stop the nonsense and hope (and pray, for those so-inclined) it does not rear its ugly head again....

Some may perceive this as not nice, but...  frankly, in the interest of the overall community...  There is a way to push for continuous improvement, and there is a way to "pee in someone's sandbox"....   If you don't want to be constructive and are just excited to start arguments that hurt the community, please find another sandbox.  Those who cannot figure out the difference may be considered as fundamentally incompatible with our community....

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Don Desfosse
Vice President, Operations

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