By Chase Stigberg 917086
#534782 Afternoon everyone! I wanted to post on here after a few recent experiences I’ve had lately to see what others have encountered and how it can be handled. I’ll preface the body of my post by saying this may be an unpopular opinion for some and while not an every day occurrence, it’s something I think is important to have addressed.

Here recently I’ve run into several situations where I’ve encountered children who sound very much underage. While I have no problem with our younger audience participating, I do struggle listening to the interference they create over the radio with the constant “emergencies”, confusion, and obvious lack of any type of training or self study. My question is, how does VATSIM handle this? An example I’ll provide was from today where I was leaving KMDW. Chicago was being blasted by the piercing voice of someone obviously younger than 10 trying to declare multiple emergencies followed by extended voice time on the radio. It reminded me very much of my ten year old son. Admittedly, whoever was controlling did an amazing job keeping calm and showing very little frustration, but it was evident that it existed and was echoed by several frustrated call attempts from other pilots who continuously were interrupted/over stepped. Simple items such as just making a left turn to taxi were followed by a play by play report from this younger pilot.

I myself have been apart of the VATSIM network since 2004 when I was 16. I’m now in my 30s (SCARY!) and love seeing our younger members, but I feel like I’m seeing this more and more frequently as I fly. This distracts those of us who are attempting to simulate any form of realism hearing a child younger than 13 scream across the radio with absolutely no understanding of how they should operate.

What I’m looking for more or less is what the expectation is. I can’t stress enough how much I love seeing younger members try vatsim, but if there is a clear indicator of someone who is not performing to a certain standard and clearly sounds underage, what do we need to do to ensure these situations are tactfully handled to not distract from the experience that others are trying to immerse themselves in? Thanks for any feedback anyone might have including any sups that are watching these forums.

See you in the skies!
By Andreas Fuchs 810809
#534786 Hi Chase,

as you say, we embrace young members and as we may remember a little bit how we were at that age, sometimes a clear (private) message will do the job. If nothing helps, don't hesitate to summon a supervisor who can evaluate the situation himself. As you say, VATSIM is looking for a certain level of maturity and seriousness in terms of procedures, knowledge and behaviour towards others. Unless network supervisors or other members of staff are made aware of this, there is no real way of us detecting it.

Maybe starting a private chat with the individual, asking him to take it easy, will already help. And some direction to reading material, YouTube videos etc. that will explain the intention of the network, the common goal that we have: fly and control together without degrading anyone else's enjoyment.
By Chase Stigberg 917086
#534795 Andreas,
Thanks for the reply and helpful advice! It sounds like you’ve handled situations similar to this before. Speaking about the age specifically, how does VATSIM handle individuals who clearly sound under the age of 13? The situation I spoke about from yesterday could clearly be identified as someone who probably was under the age of 10. As we discussed, young members are great to have around this is a perfect opportunity to get them engaged; however, those age restrictions are in place for the reasons you mentioned. Is it still appropriate for me to make contact with what appears to be an underage member? I know it’s difficult to definitively say for sure whether or not the member is under 13, but during some of these larger events, it’s such a challenge to listen to them. I guess I’m more curious as to what VATSIM is doing to restrict underage members from joining other than requesting a birthday or if there is any type of proactive approach to being taken to remove members who clearly sound younger than 13. I appreciate all of your feedback and certainly don’t want to make this an adult only environment.... I just struggle with going online and hearing that piercing screech across the radios calling maydays and treating it more like steam FSX multiplayer Hahahaha. Thanks again!
By Andreas Fuchs 810809
#534801 Well, Chase, I have not come across this kind of problem for a long, long time. Maybe I am not online often enough and not in your region? Yes, I hear some young voices every now and then, but they normally do their best and try to learn. Only if they start to disrupt traffic, no matter whether intentionally or unintentionally, will I have a word with them. Whether VATSIM's Membership Department officially investigates members who appear to be less than 13 years old or not, is not really known to me. Obviously, when somebody is disruptive and there are doubts about the age of the member, further questions may be asked. But this is not with us SUPs, but rather with Membership.
By Lindsey Wiebe 1101951
#535587 I've actually had more instances of a very young sounding pilot who was very competent, to the point where I had to msg them to commend them.

You get "idiots" at 10 years old, 20, 30, and 40, etc so... ".wallop" is your friend to call a Sup if they are being obtrusive to enjoyment of others.
By Tim Simpson 1339557
#535609 Sometimes the voice isn't a fair judgement of the age of the person either. There are a lot of people who sound very young on a phone, or VOI connection. Not saying there aren't very young kids on the network, because I think that there are. I'm just saying that it's possible to mistakenly think someone is younger than they are, just by listening to their voice over the less than stellar VATSIM codec.

As a side note, I've seen it both ways with very young sounding people on the network; spot on pilots and controllers, and less than spot on.
By Ben Stevenson 956216
#535623 I've had issues with this as well. I remember one specifically, i gave him an instruction and he came back with "Why?" ... because i'm the controller and i said so. He referred to me by name, not callsign, and couldn't even get my name right, it's not difficult at all. He was constantly making random noises on my frequency, even when he was way outside my airspace, kept telling him to go back to unicom but just would not listen.

On the flip side of the age coin, i've had older pilots who constantly state their intentions/what they are doing on my frequency, i can see what you're doing, i don't need a situation update, keep the comms clear. I dunno, maybe they think if i'm not talking to them, i'm not paying attention to them. Trust me, i am. If i'm not talking to you, you're doing what you're supposed to be doing.
By Eric Fisher 842617
#535645 Flip side of the coin.... Flew through Minneapolis Center, was either last weekend or the one before late at night, and the center controller and 2 or 3 pilots flying around KMSP, all sounded like older adults, were all obviously intoxicated and using center frequency as if they were in a bar talking. Ridiculous and unbelievable. I went to Unicom so I didn't have to listen to it.
By Josh Jenk 1383451
#535650 :shock:
Hopefully you left feedback/complaint on the Minneapolis ARTCC website. Controllers should be setting the example for pilots. Pilots goofing off on the network is bad enough but such behaviour from controllers is unacceptable in my opinion. Think what kind of example stuff like this sets for the younger pilots. smh.
By Shane VanHoven 1198462
#535651
Eric Fisher 842617 wrote:Flip side of the coin.... Flew through Minneapolis Center, was either last weekend or the one before late at night, and the center controller and 2 or 3 pilots flying around KMSP, all sounded like older adults, were all obviously intoxicated and using center frequency as if they were in a bar talking. Ridiculous and unbelievable. I went to Unicom so I didn't have to listen to it.


Hopefully you have filed feedback. I know who you are talking about, and there has been multiple occasions of him breaking rules on the network, and offending countless amounts of people. He's the reason I personally have stayed off the network recently. So file feedback, so that there can be a record of events and hopefully we can get this situation under control.
By Dhruv Kalra 878508
#535654
Eric Fisher 842617 wrote:Flip side of the coin.... Flew through Minneapolis Center, was either last weekend or the one before late at night, and the center controller and 2 or 3 pilots flying around KMSP, all sounded like older adults, were all obviously intoxicated and using center frequency as if they were in a bar talking. Ridiculous and unbelievable. I went to Unicom so I didn't have to listen to it.

This will be addressed. I apologize for your experience.
By Andreas Fuchs 810809
#535655
Shane VanHoven 1198462 wrote:He's the reason I personally have stayed off the network recently.
Why do people stay off the network because of one person doing stupid stuff? Our virtual airspace is huge, you can fly and control anywhere.