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Ian et al,

 

Referring to my options (1) - (5), the new scheme makes option (5) the global target so I'm not sure why some still think that it is a walkover or that it will result in a loss of standards.

 

It is a big goal and is work to be done in teasing out how to achieve this within the various division and training structures; and I'm happy to help with that.

 

As I said before, I am not going to mix visiting controllers in this discussion about global rating standards; I wrapped that part up quite separately.

 

A scheme to get from OBS to S1, where that means Local Controller (TWR), can be broken into a generic division component and a component that will be delivered by the local training staff that will perform the final [Mod - Happy Thoughts]essment.

 

My question is, given that VATUSA is made up of separate vARTCCs, what is it that is special about the generic [read minor] airspace in say ZLA, as opposed to ZAU, that must be checked before signoff as an S1?

 

This is not a baited question since I realize that there may be some things and I need to know what they are rather than going off using hypothetical scenarios; I’ve done that in the past and accept it made it harder to understand … so not going there again.

 

Cheers

Roland

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Ian et al,

My question is, given that VATUSA is made up of separate vARTCCs, what is it that is special about the generic [read minor] airspace in say ZLA, as opposed to ZAU, that must be checked before signoff as an S1?

 

This is not a baited question since I realize that there may be some things and I need to know what they are rather than going off using hypothetical scenarios; I’ve done that in the past and accept it made it harder to understand … so not going there again.

 

Cheers

Roland

 

Lessee.. Off the top of my head, TEC routes; IIRC, there are none in ZAU or ZME or ZID or the like; ZBW has them, and I believe ZDC does too.

 

Pocedures regarding overnight operations (read: noise abatement). It is not a good thing to have a controller from who knows where try to send someone to LAX expecting it to be like it is during the day at 1am in the morning (local time), when Standard Ops require landing to the east, let alone 2 runway closures.

 

Preferred routes, as per Letters of Agreement with neighbouring sectors. those are there for a reason; to help with their flows as well as ours. Someone coming in and not checking a pilot's flight plan and sending them against the flow of a neighbouring sector is not good from the Center controller down. Those LOAs will be different from sector to sector, and can't be learned at one place.

 

There's more, but those are the ones I can thnk of on the spot.

 

BL.

Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

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Everything IS hypothetical.

 

The differences that exist in VATUSA are so vast it is impossible to list them all.

 

Regarding the differences between ZLA, ZAU, ZDV, and ZJX for that matter consider the following...

 

1) ZLA has valley floors at or near sea level, with steeply rising terrain within very close proximity. While ZDV, has some flat high plains to the east, steeply rising terrain to the west. ZAU has a few hills, but the terrain is generally at less than 2000 feet, while the highest point in Florida is the top of a garbage dump (OK, slight exageration ).

 

My point is that said controller hoping on the scopes at ZDV, and launching departures without any training, telling people to maintain 3000 isn't gonna cut it. While in Florida, someone climbing to 3000 feet is likely going much higher, perhaps 50% higher than what is often the standard for initial climbs in GENERAL for "minor" facilities.

 

I haven't even touched on traffic flows.

 

I think the intent here is good, just failing to grasp how one writes a GLOBAL policy for ratings, when it is a fact that some airspace is harder than others.

 

I've no problem with letting an S-1 work ANY facility, but one should have to qualify to work in that facility.

 

Some months ago, I put forward an idea letting S-1s control right away, learning the basics in a smaller facility, in a "not-so-remote" section of ZAU. It was within that facility that the newbies would learn the basics. Then, they could move to C90, where they did not have to learn by "sucking on the fire hose", rather, they already knew the general stuff, just needed to learn the stuff that was required for that particular airspace.

 

I guess, what is wrong then with saying that S-1s may control at ANY "minor" facility, in the tower position or lower, so long as they are approved to work that facility.

 

What is slowing down the students is NOT the ARTCCs, or the Divisions, or the Region, or VATSIM. The lack of available instructors (Mentors, though that is a useless term) are what is slowing the students down. People aren't always able to dedicate time to a hobby, and ATMs should not have a gun held to their head for not having instuctors on staff. Yet, the ATMs are being told to get more instructors or else.

 

Here is an idea! Bring back the I-2 rating, make all Mentors I-1s, since they are instructing anyway, let's call them what they are! Better yet...

 

1) Remove the term Mentor, issue them the I-1 rating, they are teaching anyway right?

 

2) Remove the requirement for I-1s to have been C-3s. Why can an S-3 NOT be an instructor to new S-1s?

 

3) I-1s can teach at the S-3 level and below, I-2's teach at the C-3 rating and below, while the I-3s administer the training program at the ARTCC level, and are also responsible for training the instructors.

 

Thoughts,

Jason Vodnansky

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Ideally:

 

1)The ultimate responsibility for getting controllers trained and certified should rest on the ATM. If they can't handle that responsibility, then they shouldn't be ATM; no one's forcing them to stay as ATM. I say put the figurative gun to their head, because the people who can hack it will stick around and those who can't, well... good riddance, they were doing a disservice to student controllers. Remember, there is a deputy ATM so the ATM doesn't have to always be there and can take vacations, etc.

 

Why so harsh? Student controllers are the future of VATSIM, ATM's have already reached the pinnacle of achievement within their ARTCC/FIR and their only contribution should be ensuring that their ARTCC is well-run and that they keep training new controllers. If they aren't doing this, then they shouldn't be ATM.

 

2)I agree with, and have said all along, that students shouldn't be able to just hop on the scopes. It's a recipe for a virtual air disaster. They need to get signed-off by an instructor (not a mentor) so that they don't start vectoring airliners into hillsides or cause some other mess.

 

3)A mentor should be any controller capable of teaching a student in a position for which that student is working toward qualifying. So, this would mean that anyone who is certified for tower should be capable of being a mentor to others learning tower. The only other qualification is a willingness to set aside time to help other controllers, which should be encouraged by the ARTCC staff. Maybe some sort of monthly gimmick prize for the most hours mentoring or something like that. A mentor should not be an "official" position like an instructor.

 

4)Using Jason's proposal, there would be a lot of I-1's. People should be able to mentor based on their position qualification, not based on an I-1 rating. Therefore, I disagree with that proposal.

 

5)An instructor is above and beyond mentor, because an instructor is the one who sign-offs and recommends/gives controllers a rating upgrade. Instructors have more authority and responsibility than mentors since an instructor is the one who declares that a controller qualifies/is certified for a certain position.

 

6) I see the problem as an under-utilization of all controllers. To re-iterate what I said in (3), anyone who is qualified for a position should be mentoring students for that position. Mentors should be like "big brother/sister's" to student controllers, doing a lot of the teaching when instructors aren't around. That should definitely help with the apparent instructor shortage.

 

7) VATSIM mentors should be like real-world instructors and VATSIM instructors should be more like real-world designated examiners, but also instructing when they have the time. But definitely the first priority of a VATSIM instructor should be give practical examinations to check the competencies of controllers and upgrade ratings and certifications based on those examinations.

 

 

I add this disclaimer: these are my opinions, not facts. The views represented in this post are my own and reflect my own ideas of how the system should work, not how it does work. These are not necessarily VATSIM's views and should not be used to cause confusion later. Thank you.

 

Edited #7, as it didn't come out right.

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6) I see the problem as an under-utilization of all controllers. To re-iterate what I said in (3), anyone who is qualified for a position should be mentoring students for that position. Mentors should be like "big brother/sister's" to student controllers, doing a lot of the teaching when instructors aren't around. That should definitely help with the apparent instructor shortage.

 

FYI, this is a concept which is used in other parts of the world with great success. So one can say it´s proven. It also emphasizes the concept of VATSIM being a "learning environment", as it allows for more "know-how transfer". There should be no "priviledge of teaching" which is limited to instructor ratings. Transferring know-how is an inherent task for all of us.

best regards,

 

Martin Georg

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Roland,

 

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Though, after 15+ pages, are we really getting anywhere? I am more confused than ever. Everytime I read the responses, I lose what little understanding I had.

 

Truly, thank you! At least someone is willing to stand up and speak to us. This is far more than our leadership has done at the regional and divisional levels. Our fearless leaders seem to be in hiding, while they determine what mascot VATUSA should have.

 

Anyway, again, thank you for taking the time to address the issues.

 

So the real question is...

 

Where do we go from here?

 

Thanks,

Jason Vodnansky

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Our "fearless" leaders do not see the need to respond to such childish and inmature rants. As is the case in any situation, online or not, you should take your concerns to the correct individual in a mature and professional manner. I have gone that route and received more information than I even asked for, as well as a great understanding of what the leadership thinks of this situation. Going to a public avenue in order to spread your propoganda should not be tolerated and I [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ure you it won't. You don't think Dennis is spending tons of time on this and explaining it to those who care? You are entirely mistaken.

Alex Bailey

ZMA I-1

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Roland,

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. Though, after 15+ pages, are we really getting anywhere? I am more confused than ever. Everytime I read the responses, I lose what little understanding I had.

Thank you Jason and others for expressing your appreciation of the time and attention I gave in trying to answer questions and address concerns.

 

As I mentioned earlier, there are a number of related issues and discussing everything at once made it far more difficult to understand. Despite that, I believe that as an open discussion it was very fruitful and therefore worthwhile.

 

I will not post again in this thread since I believe that I can serve you all far better by focusing on making sure that there are some very clear guidelines on the policies so that divisions, training departments and controllers can properly understand them. Perhaps we can come together again in a new thread when that work has been completed.

 

Roland

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Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

We are all faced daily with decisions that affect our lives. We are in control of some of these decisions, and some we are not. Some, we are allowed to express opinions on, some we are not. Some we agree on, some we do not. Decisions on certain items affecting our lives are for the benefit of the whole rather than for a few individuals, whether it be a government law, a speed limit implementation, or a Global Policy on a Simulation network.

 

In the case of the Global Policy, we have all been afforded the gracious space of this forum to express our opinions and views. I sincerely appreciate the time that everyone within the VATUSA Division that has taken to discuss the Global Policy. I have monitored this forum carefully, and listened to what everyone has had to say. I have taken this information into consideration, and after weeks of research, developed an explanation of how the policy will work in VATUSA that should be clear and concise to everyone.

 

In the meantime, I took this job / opportunity, in order to enhance our members’ enjoyment. There are a lot of dynamics [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ociated with the position of VATUSA1. As many of you know, my main focus and objective is to serve the members of this community. My priority is to make sure that our members are taken care of first, meaning, making sure an individual gets transferred properly, is getting the training they expect, establishing better communications for members, blending LOAs to satisfy the needs of two ARTCCs, answering questions about membership or any item a member may need direction on, or simply getting someone pointed in the right direction.

 

In addition to our daily obligations to the VATUSA membership, or job is to promote and provide things for us to do and a simulation community. The recent weeks have been tirelessly filled with promoting our Events Department, and providing our customers, the pilots, with new and exciting opportunities. VATUSA5 most recently introduced a new plan for Friday nights. We’ve opened up three out of four Friday nights to the ARTCCs and VAs to develop their own ideas and events. In addition, created a frequent flyer plan for the pilot to achieve recognition for there support to our Controllers. Please see your Events Coordinators for details on this exciting new venture.

 

We’re also in the process of creating the VATUSA “Libraryâ€

WWW.VATUSA.NET Previous Management

 

New ATC Click Here

http://flightsimx.cyclops.amnesia.com.au/index.html

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