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Vatsim needs more controllers...


Kevin Moseley
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1 hour ago, Torben Andersen said:

I had my self to blame to be overconfident and saying yes to man a position I'd rarely tried before. Situational awareness in overload situations are hard to handle - and could have led to me having to resign as student controller, if we (my mentor and I) didn't have a long talk about what happend and how I could deal with it in the future.

But this was exactly the right thing to do. This way YOU learned a lot about yourself, your limits and how you would avoid such a situation in the future.

How do you think that the team of Worldflight controllers open completely unknown airports on short notice? With experience and routine you can control almost any airport in the world. Of course not down to the dot of local regulations, but who cares too much as long as the traffic is flowing?

2 hours ago, Michael Flemming Hansen said:

Let me challenge that "as real as it gets" a bit and maybe suggest "as real as reasonable possible" instead.

Exactly this is what we should be aiming for. Pilots with an expectation for "real procedures" do not care if ATC vectors them clockwise or counter clockwise, as long the descent planning and the intercept of the final approach axis is done in a professional way. In 95% of cases, airports are simply a set of runways and taxiways that are connected to the surrounding airspace by SIDs, STARs and instrument approach procedures. If you are able to control airport A, you can also simply control airport B, with minimal preparation.

Now, before I get totally flamed: yes, I do appreciate the implementation of local procedures, because it adds up to the entire atmosphere that makes VATSIM stand out from the "competition" (there is no competition anymore...). Sometimes, though, ATCOs have to apply common sense and divert from their holy books and become a bit more creative to make things run smoother. My example of "visual approaches are prohibited" still stands. It does not compare at all to "virtual accidents don't matter either", it simply doesn't.

2 hours ago, Torben Andersen said:

Problem of not trying to do it as real as possible/practical: Who, then sets the bar? It's shouldn'd be a free for all. We just can't do it as in real life, but could you please come up with atc rules used at VATSIM, that are too restrictive for you?

That would be a decision of the current ATC team in the evening, as they have to work together and know what's going on. But I understand what you are trying to say and I do agree 100% that it is not that easy. In some areas that I know, though, it is more a question of the "chiefs" trying to hold their fortresses, "because they can".

2 hours ago, Torben Andersen said:

To the example given by Andreas on allowing clearences for visual approach into an airport, which IRL doesn't utilize it, I agree that this is not a big deal - of cause the controller can give permission for such an approach on VATSIM. And you can also fly the Concorde at FL650 at supersonic speed over land.

You see, that is what I call "common sense". Nobody will be affected negatively. If someone does not like Concorde, then they just need to ignore those planes.

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@Andreas FuchsYou state " In 95% of cases, airports are simply a set of runways and taxiways that are connected to the surrounding airspace by SIDs, STARs and instrument approach procedures. If you are able to control airport A, you can also simply control airport B, with minimal preparation."

Well, maybe for an old geezer like you and me. Not so sure for a beginner. And when we move up a little and look at the APP level, things gets even more complicated. You take my points on your examples and we agree, that controller have some room for acceptance of non-normal procedures. However you fail to comment on my concerns on, where to draw the line.

Another example from Copenhagen, EKCH. Out of EKCH there are a set of SIDs named BETUD. These are for aircrafts, who are not permitted to transit into Swedish airspace. Perhaps it could be military or state aircraft from NATO, which Sweden is not (yet) a member of. Should we allow pilots to file for such a departure nevertheless. Again, nobody gets hurt .... I also mentioned VFR above FL190, as many private planes today are able to operate above FL190. The list goes on. How do we draw the line? Or who does it? Or must we just accept a pilot insisting use BETUD dep? Or.... or...or....

Sometimes common sense is ok to use (actually I think we aren't that far apart), but the more loose we accept divergence from RW, that harder it is to find common ground.

 

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Torben Andersen, VACC-SCA Controller (C1)

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On "realism" and whether there should be realism or not, in my opinion VATSIM should be seeking "verisimilitude" or "the property of seeming true, of resembling reality." VATSIM will never fully replicate the real world, there aren't enough people to do that, but just because full realism is impossible doesn't mean that we should just give up and do whatever.

It's already been mentioned but even while the phrase "cleared to land" is pretty much the same everywhere, there's a lot more hidden behind that than one might expect at first glance. Just 2 for examples (there are for sure many more)

  • Is that runway even approved for landings in the first place? It may sound like a silly question but it's not. There may be local terrain issues that prevent landings or takeoffs in certain directions.
  • What's the traffic situation around the landing aircraft? A classic US vs. EU difference is whether multiple landing clearances are allowed or not. Hearing "number 3 following an A320 on 7 mile final, runway 10 cleared to land" when you're somewhere in Europe where it's not allowed breaks the resemblance to reality and also as a pilot I would be questioning whether the controller fully understands the rules of the air

That's just 1 small phase of controlling aircraft. Think about why procedures and letters-of-agreement and pre-arranged coordination exist. It's there to facilitate the smooth and expeditious flow of traffic. We regularly see more-than-real-life traffic levels on VATSIM during events, and even day-to-day you see significant traffic volumes that necessitate following standard procedures. Having standards and standard procedures means that we don't have to coordinate every single aircraft that flies through your airspace or into/out of your airport. "Anything is possible with coordination" is the old catchphrase, but ad-hoc coordination takes time whereas standard procedures take care of that beforehand. That's why local knowledge matters.

In fact, even understanding what airspace you do or don't own as a controller is not trivial. When training visitors from non-US regions, we ran into cases where the student wasn't even turning on the video maps because the whole airspace usage philosophy is different from in the US.

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For that matter, I'm currently undergoing S3 training in ZDC where they start training on the Chesapeake sector of the Potomac TRACON, which surrounds KBWI.  While I am finally (after NINE Sweatbox sessions) reasonably comfortable that I *mostly* understand how to provide reasonably passable service to planes in and out of KBWI and satellites, even just going from that position to another WITHIN POTOMAC -- handling Shenandoah sector (KIAD) or Mount Vernon sector (KDCA) -- is a COMPLETELY different animal and the airspace in those places is TOTALLY different than what I've been training on.  I wouldn't DARE think I could provide passable service to those areas without some training.

VATUSA has it correct, at least, in that there's now a pretty robust division-wide "Academy" which contains the basic theory in terms of interactive lessons and videos where you are taught THE THEORY of controlling at your next training level up.  But still, APPLYING that theory is -- I can attest fully and completely -- a very, very localized endeavor.

My entire training progression from already being an S2 to a nearly-achieved-S3 is available on my YouTube channel under the playlist "VATSIM ATC Training" for anyone curious.

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Cheers,
-R.

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Guys, we are talking about basic ATC services, not approach or even area control. Delivery, ground and tower control can be done by my dog after a sufficient amount of training. VATSIM still needs to find a way to categorically minimize the investment of manpower for basic ATC services. Not, because we do not value new members who wish to become ATCOs, but because the dropout rate of ATCOs in formation is so high. From tower control on, an investment of manpower is justified, because things become more complicated.

What I do not like is when some of us here assume the worst things that would happen if a controller gets transferred somewhere else. Yes, in Europe you do not get cleared to land as number 5 (except for Paris CDG). But, for example, I do not expect visiting controllers from outside Europe to start controlling without investing a sufficient amount of time to read manuals that contain local procedures etc.. Please, please, please, apply some common sense and trust people's sense of what is right and what is wrong.

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4 hours ago, Torben Andersen said:

@Andreas FuchsYou state " In 95% of cases, airports are simply a set of runways and taxiways that are connected to the surrounding airspace by SIDs, STARs and instrument approach procedures. If you are able to control airport A, you can also simply control airport B, with minimal preparation."

Well, maybe for an old geezer like you and me. Not so sure for a beginner. And when we move up a little and look at the APP level, things gets even more complicated. You take my points on your examples and we agree, that controller have some room for acceptance of non-normal procedures. However you fail to comment on my concerns on, where to draw the line.

Another example from Copenhagen, EKCH. Out of EKCH there are a set of SIDs named BETUD. These are for aircrafts, who are not permitted to transit into Swedish airspace. Perhaps it could be military or state aircraft from NATO, which Sweden is not (yet) a member of. Should we allow pilots to file for such a departure nevertheless. Again, nobody gets hurt .... I also mentioned VFR above FL190, as many private planes today are able to operate above FL190. The list goes on. How do we draw the line? Or who does it? Or must we just accept a pilot insisting use BETUD dep? Or.... or...or....

Sometimes common sense is ok to use (actually I think we aren't that far apart), but the more loose we accept divergence from RW, that harder it is to find common ground.

 

In that exact case, as long as it doesn't interupt the flow for the controller, I don't see any harm in allowing that particular arrival. As long as the controller change the arrival in good enough time for the pilot to react, I don't see an issue with that either. In any case, it should be up to the individual controller, just like all the true RNAV procedures around EKCH is. 

Again, the very definition of "as real as it gets" is stumped by the very fact that you can enter EKCH with only a tower controller, so in that case whatever STAR the pilot choose is completely out of the hands of the tower controller anyway. 

./Michael

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Rob, if you have to be completely honest, can't you see the silly in that you have to train in a simulated environment before you can be allowed to control in a, technically, simulated environment? I have heard people getting put through sweatbox exercises with scenarios that might happen 1/100 and again, let me emphasize, if a controller makes an error, no one gets hurt, except perhaps the controllers own pride. 

Having an environment that is as close to real life if possible as it can be, is admirable, but it must never be on the expense of fun. We are doing this, primarily, because it is fun. If it becomes a chore or assignment, it tends to pull the fun out of it. 

That doesn't mean that it should be free for all, but maybe all the different ATC divisions at VATSIM should put together a common ground for training. Basic training that is applicable for all FIR's around the globe. That would be basic knowledge of airspaces, phraseology and similar stuff. With such a training in hand, you can control up to any tower at any part of VATSIM. The different divisions will then prepare a "good to know" list about the specific intricacies for the particular FIR/airport. The training for app/dep and higher could then be held at the individual divisions because here you begin to deal with controlling that are much more specific for the given FIR. 

Yes, this may mean that VATSIM would have to dial back a bit on the realism, but to be frank. When I am getting my clearance at EKCH I am happy to know the departure and the squawk. Should the controller be accustomed to also give me initial altitude and the runway I can expect, even though it is not accurate procedure for EKCH, I will probably survive this. Should a tower controller give me a landing clearence as nr. 6 after some other plane, I will probably also survive this, because honestly, why does it matter. It doesn't make it any less fun. 
And just like pilots can write "newbie, new, inexperienced" at the remarks tab for the flightplan and expect a bit of lenience from the controller, controllers completely new to the area with just a fresh S2 under the belt should be able to write "new at EKCH" in the ATIS and expect a bit of lenience from the pilots. A way of saying, "hey I am new at controlling in Europe, but I am doing my best". 

One procedure that annoyed me, Torben, that seems to have been changed, was the insisting on that the right STAR was implied and was not announced in the ATIS because it wasn't in real life. But like I also said there, in real life you do always have a center controller, so you know for a fact that you should select the STAR that ends in a vectoring point. 
To be honest, I, unfortunately, tend to find some people at VATSCA a little too much arrogant. I have just begun my training and I found a couple of errors in the material, that I kindly pointed out to the person in charge. Both so that it might get changed but also to show that I am actually paying attention. Instead of getting a "Hey, cool that you spotted these errors, we will fix them" I got a snide remark saying that the materials was going to be changed anyway, so I didn't have to point out every spelling mistake in the material. 
At that moment, right there, I honestly thought to myself that if that is the treatment I can expect with my mentor and in training, maybe I should just drop this right now. To put some context, I hold an elementary school teacher degree and a master in physics, where I have taught both elementary school and high school student, so planning and executing a teaching/training session is not unfamiliar to me. Being forthcoming to students that show that they pay attention by pointing out errors, should always be met with encouragement. Always. 

./Michael

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STARs: I cannot count how often I have NOT been issued a STAR in the real world, we simply followed the most logical one for the runway in use. If ATC wasn't happy about our choice they would clear us to another point or put us on radar vectors.

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27 minutes ago, Michael Flemming Hansen said:

Rob, if you have to be completely honest, can't you see the silly in that you have to train in a simulated environment before you can be allowed to control in a, technically, simulated environment? I have heard people getting put through sweatbox exercises with scenarios that might happen 1/100 and again, let me emphasize, if a controller makes an error, no one gets hurt, except perhaps the controllers own pride. 

Having an environment that is as close to real life if possible as it can be, is admirable, but it must never be on the expense of fun. We are doing this, primarily, because it is fun. If it becomes a chore or assignment, it tends to pull the fun out of it.

No, actually I did not think it was silly.  What would have been silly was to dive headfirst into controlling Approach on the live network with no practice, and about five planes deep finding myself having to say, "Attention all pilots on frequency, please pause for a moment while my mentor and I discuss what instruction I should be giving here."  And while the Sweatbox scenarios the instructors used with me were very high-volume, it takes a high-volume scenario to teach and practice proper sequencing.  You can't sequence planes well OR poorly if they enter your airspace with 50-mile lateral separation.  And you won't do it well if you've never practiced it.  And as a pilot, being vectored for a grand tour of the airspace because the Approach controller is down the tubes can be frustrating -- and even moreso when it only took five planes to tank his flow.

Fortunately, my Sweatbox sessions WERE fun.  Stressful, but in a fun way.  And I'm still deficient at a few things but I'm a MUCH more capable controller for being put to the test.  I'm gonna have a lot more fun on the network exercising the skills I've been properly taught and practiced on than I would being thrown into that same airspace with no preparation whatsoever.

Cheers,
-R.

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Also, the reason why I continously mention DEL as the entry level, is not because it, isolated speaking, is the easiest to deal with. Probably not. But because it is the only position where you don't have to deal with other position. Yes, again looking isolated, tower may be easier to control, but you will also have to manage GND/Apron and DEL if those positions aren't managed.

Again, I get why we strive for realism. It is admirable. But also a bit futile. Let me give you another example. Let's imagine me sitting as tower controller (and screwing everything up 😉). I get a clearance request as EKCH with a SID that is not suitable for jet's. Now, I know roughly which SID's are for jets and which aren't, so I could easily change it, but let's imagine that I didn't and I cleared it. Why does it matter other than upholding procedures for the sake of procedures? "But in real life", yes but again, in real life there are always controllers further up, so having DEL, Apron, APP/DEP and Center agreeing on which procedures are in use is a good idea. let me give a counter argument as to why it is important. The minute I have cleared this plane for takeoff (with the right SID) and released him to the sweet freedom of Unicom, he could be doing cartwheels, barrel rolls or simply just vector himself around willynillingly to any given waypoint. The SID I just gave him makes absolutely no difference in this given example. 
"Yes, but what if a center controller comes online?" Sure, but he could still be doing the above until the new controller gives him further instructions. Maybe it is a good idea to remind ourselves that this is a hobby, a simulation and for some, a game (or gamified), this is not real life, an imitation of real life or a training simulation to be controlling in real life. 

./Michael

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9 minutes ago, Michael Flemming Hansen said:

The minute I have cleared this plane for takeoff (with the right SID) and released him to the sweet freedom of Unicom, he could be doing cartwheels, barrel rolls or simply just vector himself around willynillingly to any given waypoint. The SID I just gave him makes absolutely no difference in this given example. 

Yes it does. You will surely get cart-wheelers and that's a sad fact of VATSIM. What you are implying, however, is that giving a pilot, every pilot, a SID is a waste of time. By supporting the wahoos in VATSIM, you are killing the meaning of this hobby for a lot of serious members. Do you take the view that ATC is the police, and that without them, anarchy would rule? It certainly sounds like it, and I for one totally reject that view.

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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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11 minutes ago, Robert Shearman Jr said:

"Attention all pilots on frequency, please pause for a moment while my mentor and I discuss what instruction I should be giving here."

How much time would it take for you and your mentor to discuss that? I assume that he is watching the same radar as you and could even be up front, telling you in advance what would be a good next move if you where in doubt. Again, this is not, by any measurable standard, a means to prepare you for a real life scenario where life might actually be at stake. The only thing getting hurt by you having to discuss said things with your mentor, would be your own pride. By doing sweatbox simulations you are preparing for a situation that will never happen, namely a situation where your controlling might bring peoples life at stake. Again, this seems to be a form of training that is put into place solely because it resembles real life procedures, without having the same stakes as real life procedures demand or just because it is what we have always done. 
People can manage to land safely on Unicom, so I am quite confident that they can manage to have things under control while you have a couple of seconds with your mentor. Also, I am pretty confident that the mentors now their area well enough to be able to gradually ease you in with more and more people online. You might be surprised, sure, but so could you as a certified controller. 
I have seen real life ATC (delivery sure, but still) press the pedal, shutting off all comm's, because he needed time to think. 

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15 minutes ago, Michael Flemming Hansen said:

How much time would it take for you and your mentor to discuss that? I assume that he is watching the same radar as you and could even be up front, telling you in advance what would be a good next move if you where in doubt. Again, this is not, by any measurable standard, a means to prepare you for a real life scenario where life might actually be at stake. The only thing getting hurt by you having to discuss said things with your mentor, would be your own pride. By doing sweatbox simulations you are preparing for a situation that will never happen, namely a situation where your controlling might bring peoples life at stake. Again, this seems to be a form of training that is put into place solely because it resembles real life procedures, without having the same stakes as real life procedures demand or just because it is what we have always done. 
People can manage to land safely on Unicom, so I am quite confident that they can manage to have things under control while you have a couple of seconds with your mentor. Also, I am pretty confident that the mentors now their area well enough to be able to gradually ease you in with more and more people online. You might be surprised, sure, but so could you as a certified controller. 
I have seen real life ATC (delivery sure, but still) press the pedal, shutting off all comm's, because he needed time to think. 

Ehhhhh, delivery CAN be tough.  Been in busy events with new controllers getting hit with 10, 20, 50, 100, IFR requests.  Not so easy then.  And back to the non RNAV procedures, u get a new controller who doesn't know & tries to reroute us with RNAV & we gotta work it out.  Imagine a bunch of non RNAV thrown in there.  Delivery can get slammed then pilots get impatient.  Normally, yes, it's slow & easy.  But, that first real experience is an eye opener for em.

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7 minutes ago, Alistair Thomson said:

What you are implying, however, is that giving a pilot, every pilot, a SID is a waste of time.

No, there is a vast difference between not giving anything at all and being less strict about what is given. Take, for instance, EKCH again. Basically everything you need to know can be read of the chart and the different SID's are runway specific, so if you know the SID, you know the runway. Now, there are a couple of SID's that are not suitable for jet's, but only prop's, in real life. My argument is that allowing these SID's, even as a jet, would make absolutely no real difference because, again, this is simulated planes with simulated passengers and pilots, in a simulated environment. 
I can also give a less intrusive example. When you are given a SID at EKCH, there is an initial climb that is associated with that SID (it is usually FL070 or 4000ft). 
In the aforementioned example, it would do absolutely no real difference, at all, whether that given pilot entered FL380 in his FCU before takeoff or entered FL070 before takeoff and then FL380 after being released to Unicom. No one would know or care. 
You give the impression that it is either all or nothing. I am not talking about foregoing all forms for procedures, but relaxing some of those procedures that, in practice, doesn't make a whole lot of difference. 

My opinion is that we should get down to the very basics. What is the absolutely basics for being a delivery controller: It is something with issuing a SID, runway, altitude and a squawk. Since we don't have restrictive airspaces, military exercises or similar, there is no real need to learn how to redirect. What does it take to be a GND/Apron controller: It is something with giving logical pushback and taxi instructions, not getting planes in blocking for each other, etc. What does it take to be a tower controller: It is something with, in some instances, giving taxi instructions from apron to runway and issuing proper takeoff clearances. 
This is the very basics you need to know to be a controller. Anything else, specific details around specific SID/STAR's, airport specific procedures that doesn't make any real difference, should not be mandatory. No matter how much they are part of real life controlling. 
 

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19 minutes ago, Ken Doyen said:

Ehhhhh, delivery CAN be tough.  Been in busy events with new controllers getting hit with 10, 20, 50, 100, IFR requests.  Not so easy then.

Sure. I am not suggesting otherwise. But just as controllers are suppose to be patient with newbie pilots fumbling around in just about everything, maybe not even knowing what a SID is but wanting to fly one, I think it is reasonable to expect pilots to apply the same patience for newbie controllers. In any case, having to deal with 50-100 IFR requests in an efficient manner, is something that comes with experience, actually doing the stuff. I am not saying that we should take a complete newb and then throw him/her into the fire. But I am saying that "learning by doing" is much more powerful than "learning by observing/reading". Especially in situations where experience is key. 
Also, there is no shame in asking for help. One way to do this is to pair a seasoned controller with a newb. For example, a seasoned controller sitting as tower and a newb sitting as delivery. The newb is on his own as long as he can handle it, but have the ability to ask the tower controller for assistance. 
Again, we are not preparing controllers to go out in real life where lifes and money are at stake. We are preparing them to control in a simulated environment as a hobby. 

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6 minutes ago, Michael Flemming Hansen said:

No, there is a vast difference between not giving anything at all and being less strict about what is given. Take, for instance, EKCH again. Basically everything you need to know can be read of the chart and the different SID's are runway specific, so if you know the SID, you know the runway. Now, there are a couple of SID's that are not suitable for jet's, but only prop's, in real life. My argument is that allowing these SID's, even as a jet, would make absolutely no real difference because, again, this is simulated planes with simulated passengers and pilots, in a simulated environment. 
I can also give a less intrusive example. When you are given a SID at EKCH, there is an initial climb that is associated with that SID (it is usually FL070 or 4000ft). 
In the aforementioned example, it would do absolutely no real difference, at all, whether that given pilot entered FL380 in his FCU before takeoff or entered FL070 before takeoff and then FL380 after being released to Unicom. No one would know or care. 
You give the impression that it is either all or nothing. I am not talking about foregoing all forms for procedures, but relaxing some of those procedures that, in practice, doesn't make a whole lot of difference. 

My opinion is that we should get down to the very basics. What is the absolutely basics for being a delivery controller: It is something with issuing a SID, runway, altitude and a squawk. Since we don't have restrictive airspaces, military exercises or similar, there is no real need to learn how to redirect. What does it take to be a GND/Apron controller: It is something with giving logical pushback and taxi instructions, not getting planes in blocking for each other, etc. What does it take to be a tower controller: It is something with, in some instances, giving taxi instructions from apron to runway and issuing proper takeoff clearances. 
This is the very basics you need to know to be a controller. Anything else, specific details around specific SID/STAR's, airport specific procedures that doesn't make any real difference, should not be mandatory. No matter how much they are part of real life controlling. 
 

To that I would say pilots need to learn how to actually fly the plane.  Put in FL380 if u want, hand fly it to 7,000, then press the AP button.  I would love to get unrestricted climb to FL270 or 280 every time but it's not always doable.  Those restrictions are there cuz they never know what's above them.  Now, if u know there's no controller on above them, just wait til u get handed to 122.8 then let her rip.  I think we're getting away from the topic on this one.

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3 minutes ago, Michael Flemming Hansen said:

Sure. I am not suggesting otherwise. But just as controllers are suppose to be patient with newbie pilots fumbling around in just about everything, maybe not even knowing what a SID is but wanting to fly one, I think it is reasonable to expect pilots to apply the same patience for newbie controllers. In any case, having to deal with 50-100 IFR requests in an efficient manner, is something that comes with experience, actually doing the stuff. I am not saying that we should take a complete newb and then throw him/her into the fire. But I am saying that "learning by doing" is much more powerful than "learning by observing/reading". Especially in situations where experience is key. 
Also, there is no shame in asking for help. One way to do this is to pair a seasoned controller with a newb. For example, a seasoned controller sitting as tower and a newb sitting as delivery. The newb is on his own as long as he can handle it, but have the ability to ask the tower controller for assistance. 
Again, we are not preparing controllers to go out in real life where lifes and money are at stake. We are preparing them to control in a simulated environment as a hobby. 

Oh sure, trial by fire.  But, they still gotta know all the procedures they're clearing us for otherwise it's a snowball affect later.  That can vary from person to person.  How fast do they pick up on things & remember it.

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1 hour ago, Michael Flemming Hansen said:

By doing sweatbox simulations you are preparing for a situation that will never happen, namely a situation where your controlling might bring peoples life at stake. Again, this seems to be a form of training that is put into place solely because it resembles real life procedures, without having the same stakes as real life procedures demand or just because it is what we have always done.

You really don't get it, do you. No meeting of minds, because we simply believe different things.

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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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1 hour ago, Michael Flemming Hansen said:

By doing sweatbox simulations you are preparing for a situation that will never happen, namely a situation where your controlling might bring peoples life at stake.

No, this is not true. In Sweatbox you can practice standard and non-standard situations so you will not need to wait that much time on the live network for the same things to happen. Communication for ATC and pilots is both a matter of practice. When a student can practice 30 radio calls in 45 minutes (Sweatbox) or just 10 on the live network, you will see a huge difference in training progress.

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1 hour ago, Michael Flemming Hansen said:

 

> "I get a clearance request as EKCH with a SID that is not suitable for jet's. Now, I know roughly which SID's are for jets and which aren't, so I could easily change it, but let's imagine that I didn't and I cleared it. Why does it matter other than upholding procedures for the sake of procedures?"

Because the prop or turboprop will then get run over by the jet behind him.  Not very realistic.

> "Again, this is not, by any measurable standard, a means to prepare you for a real life scenario where life might actually be at stake."

You keep coming back to that.  No lives are at stake, so, who cares how unrealistic it is.  Well, let me correct you.  I am NOT training to keep planes from hitting each other because lives are at stake.  For the record -- I am aware these are just pixels; thanks.  I'm doing it because flying into a busy event where the sequence is as tight as possible is FUN.  Why do you think events are so popular?  And why do facilities get bad feedback when they host an event that all goes to chaos because they can't handle the workload?  You keep saying we're here to have fun.  Flying into a well-managed, busy event is my idea of fun.  And now, so is controlling in it.  If that doesn't match your idea of fun, then I guess this conversation is over because if we disagree about the goal, we'll never agree about the means.

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Cheers,
-R.

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As a observer,training can be make or break for others..it actaully depends on a instructor

 

Let me run through a scenario

 

James,a 30ish year old man..joined Z__,he tries the training but he suddenly quits the minute after his second session because he got a instructor he didnt like

 

This happened according some of my Homies at some other ARTCCs

 

Teaching styles can make or break a obs-s1 training experience..

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3 minutes ago, Malcolm Fernandez said:

Teaching styles can make or break a obs-s1 training experience..

True In the real educational world too. There are good teachers, there are bad teachers, there are totally incompetent teachers. Everywhere. That doesn't make the teaching content wrong.

Alistair Thomson

===

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 was under the impression that VATSIM became the popular network it is precisely because we are striving for some higher degree of realism than a simulator's built-in ATC can provide. The procedures that the Clearance Delivery controller assign to aircraft are designed to organize and expedite the flow of departures in such a way that they don't interfere with each other and don't interfere with arrivals. As Robert said above, giving a turboprop a jet-only SID puts two very different performing aircraft on a natural collision course when the inexperienced and insufficiently-trained tower controller doesn't recognize the impending doom--and yes, I am also aware that we're talking pixels here, but would you really like to be shoved up the tailpipe of the King Air that departed in front of you?

More to the broader point, though, is that controllers are trained for high-traffic events because the expectation when they are working on the network is that they will play as they practice. If everyone gets a heading departure at an airport that has RNAV SIDs, what's going to happen when the departure controller gets online? Now, in addition to having to radar identify every aircraft, they'll have to figure out where they're going and how they're getting there. How could the newer controller possibly have any hope of being able to keep up if they're on an event?

Lastly, while the big airports have all these procedures, the smaller, and therefore less popular ones, typically don't. That makes them a good candidate for S1-S3 to practice their craft. The issue then becomes the lack of live traffic, hence there's typically better staffing at the big airports.

This presents an opportunity, though, for ATC and pilots to work together and organize fly-ins to those smaller airports. Many ARTCCs in the US try to do this to some extent or another, but it's often really hard to get those Skyhawks away from the JFKs and ORDs--but not impossible.

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1 hour ago, Andreas Fuchs said:

When a student can practice 30 radio calls in 45 minutes (Sweatbox) or just 10 on the live network, you will see a huge difference in training progress

I don't dispute the essens in that, but I would definitely argue that the same could be done on the network with just a little bit of planning. Most people usually have a good idea when there is run on the system and when there are more quiet periods. For example, in the morning/noon time at EKCH, there is usually very quiet. An excellent period for a fresh S2 controller to practice some deliveries. 
I just don't see the need to put people through the fire of hell in a simulated simulation, just to prepare them for the extreme run at an event (where they will usually also be fully staffed). 

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1 hour ago, Alistair Thomson said:

You really don't get it, do you.

No, I don't. I really don't. To me, it seems to be much too bureaucratic, too convoluted and way too strict solely for the purpose of that. Getting everything (except the other half of the equation, the pilots, as close to reality as possible). 
And I used to teach high school physics in Denmark. Talk about bureaucracy and convoluted rules.

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