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Why pilot's are becoming so much less knowledgeable than earlier years. (Opinion)


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Feel free to chime in, but please do not argue. In my opinion, you had to be invested in flight in order to do all the work to fly on a network and know what you're doing, however nowadays, thanks to the ease of access of newer clients and simulators, the requirement to do work has been significantly reduced. This has led to younger people "just winging it," and causing problems on the network. I would really like some input from the VATSIM pilots from the 2000's era of VATSIM on why you flew, and how difficult  was it to set up, did you study beforehand, and were most of the people you met real pilots, or sim enthusiasts?

 

-Ya boi,

Crayon 12

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I started flying on Vatsim in July 2004 during a period when I was off work and largely immobile after an operation, I'd already been simming 20 years. I knew of Vatsim and decided to use my time off work to look into it properly. I started reading, collecting docs and software and trying to fill in the large gaps in my obviously required knowledge. Each day I scoured all the relevant fora I could find for answers and found new rabbit holes to get lost in. I read through every "help" thing I could find until I thought I couldn't do any more research and felt ready to give it a go despite the doubts of my own competence that I still had.

Why did I do all that? It's quite simple. Because it was the rght thing to do! If I'm planning to throw myself into the midst of other people's existing hobby it wouldn't be fair to muck it up for them unless I know I've done my best to get it right. 

You say people aren't doing that anymore. I tend to agree although it's not just the pilots. I've been hearing for years about trainee controllers not following advice and patently not doing the recommended studying between mentoring sessions. It's a common sickness for which I have no magic solution.

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Bill Casey

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Sorry, I didn't answer the questions at the end of the post.

Ease of setup: very, very complicated &confusing. You had to really want to get it working. I've had no hair since.

Study beforehand - see above

Why do it? Because when I began FSing I remembered thinking "it'd be great to do this with other pilots and ATC", and here it was

People I met: a complete mixture. One of whom I already knew from 20 years previously and re-met him en route through EGTT_CTR!

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Bill Casey

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I actually just started vatsim a couple months ago and so far I have 95 hours (unfortunately most of that has been without controller coverage).  My experience has been pretty good so far, there are some tomfooler with the younger folks on there in the USA , but not a lot.  I started flight sim years ago in the late 90's and just enjoyed it when I could.  I have already known the 24 hr clock and the phonetic alphabet for years due to my experience in real life. My only real struggle has been juggling everything since I chose to fly as real as possible.  So doing ATC alone along with everything else is a bit cumbersome if the airspace is busy, but I like the challenge.  It's a good thing the modern aircraft are so easy to fly.  I dont know if I could handle to DC6 and vatsim at the same time LOL.  And on a side note:  i wish we had more consistent controller coverage in the USA!  I always look and see great coverage in Europe, maybe I should just start flying routes over there.. 

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@Jason Saucier"It's a good thing the modern aircraft are so easy to fly"

Well, yes and no. The problem with this is, that pilots start flying aircrafts without proper knowledge, because it is so easy. Yesterday I had a pilot flying one of those "easy" aircrafts - an A320 - but when I asked him to tell me which mach number he was doing (for spacing purposes), his reply was "Where do I see this?"

The tendency today is rather "to go for it" than study.

I've been FSing for more than 25 years, when no online resources where easily available. The AIPs weren't on the internet back then or if they were, they came at a cost. I had to do my flightplanning using paper charts (on a trip to the US I got hold of every Sectional I came across etc.) and make my own calculations. Today Simbrief offers flightplanning for no cost, the resources are freely available almost everywhere. It's become so "easy" that people get sloppy. In reality it is not easy, but who cares, when Simbrief hands you a route, a fuel calculation, etc... You just load it into the sim and off you go. Being so easy it clutters the fact that there are many things to consider - and when going online things get even more complicated.

Edited by Torben Andersen
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Torben Andersen, VACC-SCA Controller (C1)

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On 9/19/2022 at 3:31 AM, Benjamin Koula said:

Feel free to chime in, but please do not argue. In my opinion, you had to be invested in flight in order to do all the work to fly on a network and know what you're doing, however nowadays, thanks to the ease of access of newer clients and simulators, the requirement to do work has been significantly reduced. This has led to younger people "just winging it," and causing problems on the network. I would really like some input from the VATSIM pilots from the 2000's era of VATSIM on why you flew, and how difficult  was it to set up, did you study beforehand, and were most of the people you met real pilots, or sim enthusiasts?

The biggest difference from the early days and now isn't that pilots are less invested or there are more aircraft, sims, etc... it's just that the traffic volume back then was very, very limited. The number of interactions online (with other pilots and controllers) was much more infrequent which meant that everyone just took the simulation easier.

As a virtual pilot, the journey with a new aircraft, for me, is the same now or back then. You get a new aircraft, you jump into to give it a go and then, slowly, you start to get more interested in learning its procedures.

Now, these days, with age, comes a different perspective into flight simulation. I find myself a lot more interested in proper flight dispatching as well as proper procedures and operations. I try to learn the aircraft to the best of my ability (and interest) and we're very lucky that google is what it is today.

The reality is that I won't go online with a new aircraft these days cause I know that there's a high propability of meeting controllers and others pilots and I don't want to be that guy that ruins the fun for everyone.

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8 hours ago, Torben Andersen said:

@Jason Saucier"It's a good thing the modern aircraft are so easy to fly"

Well, yes and no. The problem with this is, that pilots start flying aircrafts without proper knowledge, because it is so easy. Yesterday I had a pilot flying one of those "easy" aircrafts - an A320 - but when I asked him to tell me which mach number he was doing (for spacing purposes), his reply was "Where do I see this?"

The tendency today is rather "to go for it" than study.

I've been FSing for more than 25 years, when no online resources where easily available. The AIPs weren't on the internet back then or if they were, they came at a cost. I had to do my flightplanning using paper charts (on a trip to the US I got hold of every Sectional I came across etc.) and make my own calculations. Today Simbrief offers flightplanning for no cost, the resources are freely available almost everywhere. It's become so "easy" that people get sloppy. In reality it is not easy, but who cares, when Simbrief hands you a route, a fuel calculation, etc... You just load it into the sim and off you go. Being so easy it clutters the fact that there are many things to consider - and when going online things get even more complicated.

Yes!  When I say easy, I mean not as mechanically cumbersome (like some of the older jets or props).  I actually enter my flight route and performance data in manually before the flight.  And things are getting sloppy.  I worry about some of the newer pilots in the real world with the economy the way it is and airlines reducing requirements.  

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12 hours ago, Torben Andersen said:

The tendency today is rather "to go for it" than study.

It seems to be a sign of the times. Things have moved on, I think, from tl;dr (too long; didn't read, which shows a reluctance to read and therefore to think about anything) to what I call cr;nv (can't read; need video) where the "student" lies back and gazes, immobile, at the triumph of presentation over content.

But the times, they are a'changin' folks. The BoG has made moves to require pilots to actually know stuff! And the Pilot Training Department is working hard to support that principle. For example, the revised New Members' Orientation Course is shaping up to be a very much more challenging intro to membership of VATSIM.

That of course won't affect the knowledge and understanding of existing P0 holders, but the PTD is also addressing that, with focussed courses in the pipeline, dealing, for example, with important aspects of Instrument Flying and a raft of other stuff. This will allow pilots who demonstrate, online, a critical shortfall in skill to be pointed at appropriate information to help them to update their skill set.

These cameo courses are of course not aimed at obtaining pilot ratings: the Authorized Training Organisations are also hard at work doing exactly that, working with key staff in the PTD, devising excellent, appropriate learning materials to support pilots in their efforts to improve, through the attainment of VATSIM Pilot Ratings.

But none of this happens overnight! We will all see improvements in the situation as resources become firmed up. This requires patience during these exciting but demanding times and that patience will be rewarded.:) 

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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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I've been avoiding this topic cuz my answer will not be popular.  The problem is largely Twitch with some YouTube.  Yes, Covid changed everything & brought in a whole new wave of users.  Yes, most are young but I can't tell you how many grown adults have the same approach as the kids.  I guarantee every noob can be traced to a single media personality they thought was funny.  I started watching flight sim on Twitch in December, 2019.  I spent over a year watching knowledgeable streamers willing to help a noob.  I was very green & know I drove many controllers crazy.  It's not that I wasn't trying, it's that as a noob I didn't comprehend how everything worked even though I'd been watching & asking questions & getting help.  If u want a simple answer to why things are the way they are, Twitch.  It's all about the $$$ now.  People are drawn into flight sim cuz they see it someplace.  They latch on to someone like I did.  Unfortunately, they're latching on to the big shot streamers who don't help them.  They tell the noobs to buy the sim, plane, addons, get on the network, but do nothing to help them.  The streams are all for entertainment to get the $$$.  Viewers aren't learning anything from the stream.  Everywhere I go I see noobs talk about their ignorance & streamers gloss over it.  They laugh it off.  Go to their Discords & it's the same thing.  The people drawing in the noobs don't help their people learn.  It's the same people everywhere you go.  Now, I'm willing to bet you are in at least one person's community who has these noobs & see that nobody helps.  When they talk bout their mistakes, problems, or blame someone or something else, nobody pulls them aside to say they are the problem.  They're afraid of losing the viewer & the sub.  Again, it's all about the $$$.  My question to everyone in the community is, "Are you helping or causing the problem?"  Yes, noobs have to put in the time to learn, but, the people drawing them in have to teach them.  That takes time & work & streamers & their buddies don't wanna do it.  This is pilots & controllers.  I've been shunned in many communities for my position but it's the truth.  We're ALL part of the problem, that means we ALL need to be part of the solution. Just sayin.

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22 minutes ago, Ken Doyen said:

I've been avoiding this topic cuz my answer will not be popular.  The problem is largely Twitch with some YouTube.  Yes, Covid changed everything & brought in a whole new wave of users.  Yes, most are young but I can't tell you how many grown adults have the same approach as the kids.  I guarantee every noob can be traced to a single media personality they thought was funny.  I started watching flight sim on Twitch in December, 2019.  I spent over a year watching knowledgeable streamers willing to help a noob.  I was very green & know I drove many controllers crazy.  It's not that I wasn't trying, it's that as a noob I didn't comprehend how everything worked even though I'd been watching & asking questions & getting help.  If u want a simple answer to why things are the way they are, Twitch.  It's all about the $$$ now.  People are drawn into flight sim cuz they see it someplace.  They latch on to someone like I did.  Unfortunately, they're latching on to the big shot streamers who don't help them.  They tell the noobs to buy the sim, plane, addons, get on the network, but do nothing to help them.  The streams are all for entertainment to get the $$$.  Viewers aren't learning anything from the stream.  Everywhere I go I see noobs talk about their ignorance & streamers gloss over it.  They laugh it off.  Go to their Discords & it's the same thing.  The people drawing in the noobs don't help their people learn.  It's the same people everywhere you go.  Now, I'm willing to bet you are in at least one person's community who has these noobs & see that nobody helps.  When they talk bout their mistakes, problems, or blame someone or something else, nobody pulls them aside to say they are the problem.  They're afraid of losing the viewer & the sub.  Again, it's all about the $$$.  My question to everyone in the community is, "Are you helping or causing the problem?"  Yes, noobs have to put in the time to learn, but, the people drawing them in have to teach them.  That takes time & work & streamers & their buddies don't wanna do it.  This is pilots & controllers.  I've been shunned in many communities for my position but it's the truth.  We're ALL part of the problem, that means we ALL need to be part of the solution. Just sayin.

I could not agree with you more Ken.. The same can be said in the "real world" at the work place.  I see it every day.  There's no mentorship happening.  It's just: "lets throw them in there and hope they turn out ok" type mentality.  I am in a semi-leadership role at my workplace and managers these days do not have the appropriate focus and they're lazy at best.  It's not a good environment to produce successful people.  There is a book that could be written on the can of worms you've opened lol. 

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8 hours ago, Ken Doyen said:

The streams are all for entertainment to get the $$$.

True, many are. But not all! There is a notable exception - I have known him personally for 15 years - and that would be "TheFlyingFabio". He's a real pilot and as he comes from a professional aviation training background and he does love teaching, his streams are perfect for noobs and advanced virtual pilots to learn how it is done. He also flies online at VATSIM and he does so with a great mix of aircraft: piston planes up to airliners.

Check his channel, I am sure that you will realize that there are more than just those kids pretending to fly and how log off when ATC distracts them too much from their community-interaction.

https://www.twitch.tv/theflyingfabio

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True, Fabio does try to help.  However, a lot of his viewers are the same viewers in other channels.  They act a certain way in one channel then act another way in another channel.  It's like Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde.  It's a strange phenomenon.  

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Like I said, it's the same people everywhere you go.  Even if it's a different name & different person it's still the same.  The same crowd, the same mentality, same approach to the game & the network.  I know it has to be entertaining.  I'm a jokester & helped streamers along the way.  But, that all changed after Covid cuz we saw a massive influx of users nobody wanted to manage.  When someone comes in asking for help or showing they need help but don't ask for it, the jokes should stop.  However, that takes away from the entertainment, hurting the stream & the revenue.  It also exposes how much a streamer actually knows & how much they're willing to help.  We would send people looking for help to Discord but they wouldn't join to get the answer, join but not work with people to find the answer, or get the answer but not accept it.  It's as if viewers ask these questions or make comments not looking for help, even though they need it, they do it to get the streamer attention to read their messages.  Now, the streamers know who these people are, everybody does.  Nobody wants to help.  On the other hand, streamers then cry about Vatsim.  What's stupid is these streamers & their communities don't realize they are crying about their own people.  They lured them in to get the $$$, refuse to help, then cry bout them being on Vatsim.  Can't make wine without vinegar but they think they can just take the sugar & leave others with the vinegar.  They got what they wanted then cry bout it.  Can't cry when they got what they wanted.

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Let me put it this way.  Streamers value time differently.  They look at the number of hours streamed, viewers per stream, number of subs & gift subs per stream, bits, then break it down to an hourly average.  They went into streaming not understanding how it works.  They do it for 2-4 hours expecting to get rich & quit their job or not have to go out & get a job.  They view time outside of streaming as unpaid time, therefore, they don't help.  Where streamers are also stupid is they easily forget about all the services & products they get for FREE.  FREE means someone put in time they didn't have to for someone else's enjoyment, for FREE.  They forget the people in the community who do help others for FREE.  Meaning people give up their time to help others who need it to make the community a better place for FREE.  That includes all the controllers who get on cuz they enjoy it, not for the $$$.  They're saying the only peoples time that's worth anything are the idiots who press go live, get viewers, get $$$, then cry bout the $$$ their getting & cry bout the people giving them that $$$.  That's why I say we're all part of the problem. 

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20 minutes ago, Ken Doyen said:

Like I said, it's the same people everywhere you go.

I disagree with that. Similar channels may attract similarly minded followers. If you provide quality content and less clownery, then you also get a different type of personality.

9 minutes ago, Ken Doyen said:

They do it for 2-4 hours expecting to get rich & quit their job or not have to go out & get a job.  They view time outside of streaming as unpaid time, therefore, they don't help.

Many are like this, but not all. I mentioned a notable exception above.

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

I disagree with that. Similar channels may attract similarly minded followers. If you provide quality content and less clownery, then you also get a different type of personality.

Many are like this, but not all. I mentioned a notable exception above.

I know you know who I'm talkin about & yes, it is the same people.

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