Air Traffic Controller Discussion With a Global Perspective
By Steven Cullen 841154
#470511 ******Notice to all virtual Air Traffic Controllers******

Please use the Supervisor services wisely and for the purpose they are intended. Supervisors are not your personal security force, they are NOT here to remove someone at your desire.

If you have an issue that can not be sorted out civilly then by all means do make use of the supervisors, but please don't call more than one (1) supervisor to an issue, if they require assistance or advice they will know when and how to get it.

Calling me to "kick" someone will not result in an instant removal from the network, unless it is the appropriate course of action to take. I can safely say to you I (and the rest of the BoG) am/are most reluctant to remove members from the network and will offer the member every recourse available to see they learn (i) what the issue they may have caused was and (ii) to educate them on how to avoid the situation in the future, and please never call me or another Administrator to respond to the same issue you walloped a supervisor for, (unless no one answered), I/we are not going to over-ride their investigation or change the outcome because you did not like the result.

If you have an issue with the way a supervisor has treated you or you believe the outcome was not satisfactory then please email [email protected], (vatsim.net), and it will be looked at.

I am not singling any one person or region out, it is for everyone's information and to promote the enjoyment of the network for all.
Last edited by Steven Cullen 841154 on Sat Jul 05, 2014 7:03 am, edited 1 time in total. Reason: corrected vpsup email address
By Matt Middleton 1264577
#471031 At what detriment to controllers must pilots be "kept online"

I have gone from wanting to control all the time to now not wanting at all because 1 pilot who I've walloped twice for breaking multiple rules is kept connected to the network by a supervisor.
By Callum McLoughlin 1063042
#471037
Matt Middleton 1264577 wrote:At what detriment to controllers must pilots be "kept online"

I have gone from wanting to control all the time to now not wanting at all because 1 pilot who I've walloped twice for breaking multiple rules is kept connected to the network by a supervisor.


Matt, I am aware of the incident this morning which seems to prompt your post. In short, there are new pilots online and on occasions we as ATCOs need to have some patience and understanding, especially when controlling very small airfields where there is limited traffic where many newbies like to load up and try VATSIM for the first time. The Supervisors who assist you are also controllers (often very, very experienced) who understand exactly what it is like to be in that situation, and what is a reasonable compromise between absolute controller fulfillment and a little inconvenience. Those new guys who cause issues are the bread and butter pilots of tomorrow you will supply you with aircraft movements for years to come.
By Matt Middleton 1264577
#471040
Callum McLoughlin 1063042 wrote:
Matt Middleton 1264577 wrote:At what detriment to controllers must pilots be "kept online"

I have gone from wanting to control all the time to now not wanting at all because 1 pilot who I've walloped twice for breaking multiple rules is kept connected to the network by a supervisor.


Matt, I am aware of the incident this morning which seems to prompt your post. In short, there are new pilots online and on occasions we as ATCOs need to have some patience and understanding, especially when controlling very small airfields where there is limited traffic where many newbies like to load up and try VATSIM for the first time. The Supervisors who assist you are also controllers (often very, very experienced) who understand exactly what it is like to be in that situation, and what is a reasonable compromise between absolute controller fulfillment and a little inconvenience. Those new guys who cause issues are the bread and butter pilots of tomorrow you will supply you with aircraft movements for years to come.


Callum I'm going to drop you an email.
By Adam Lagoda 827397
#476846 I'd love to point out two things as a sidenote.

I think the whole network would benefit if there was a bit more understanding for controllers calling the Sup. I've had a call lately that I had to cancel myself (newbie pilot logging at rwy - reverse to runway in use - taking off with no response). It turned out he answered with delay (after pausing plane 3nm from rwy, sic!), and I had to release SUP I called before. Easy to judge it was not needed, but on the other hand - how much do I wait? 30minutes?

And other side note - I was lucky to be TWR mentor. Trainee took the time controlling, and my hands were free to answer what happened and to what extent. However, quite often (especially in case of one-man CTR manning) it is hard to spend two minutes to go via detailing why we called SUP, if we called him and how many times, etc. I know it's the learning environment, and I always give a hand (like in forementioned example) when possible. Still, I'd like to see more cooperation from SUP, especially in case of CTR and APP positions (or C1/C3 rank) - if possible. I myself have 12 years of experience since start, and I think it's quite adequate to assume, that I'm not here to kill a plane that's communicating and doesn't spoil everyone-around fun. Usually such plane adds to complexity, and it's not a good time to go through "Yes, I called;Yes, I called him 4 times; Yes, no response on freq or private; Yes, he started opposite to traffic; No, that's not his first time; Yes, I'll wait for your call..." procedure. Especially that I've heard/seen a couple of times pilots (or maybe painasses) doing some fun around and not answering, only to answer to SUP and claim they're newbie (yeah, like having almost a 100hrs logged and not being able to msg/use freq is normal...).

Feel free to give your opinion whether experienced controller / area controller should be helped a bit when in need of walloping.

Adam
By Brad Lee 971630
#476851
Adam Lagoda 827397 wrote:I'd love to point out two things as a sidenote.

I think the whole network would benefit if there was a bit more understanding for controllers calling the Sup. I've had a call lately that I had to cancel myself (newbie pilot logging at rwy - reverse to runway in use - taking off with no response). It turned out he answered with delay (after pausing plane 3nm from rwy, sic!), and I had to release SUP I called before. Easy to judge it was not needed, but on the other hand - how much do I wait? 30minutes?

And other side note - I was lucky to be TWR mentor. Trainee took the time controlling, and my hands were free to answer what happened and to what extent. However, quite often (especially in case of one-man CTR manning) it is hard to spend two minutes to go via detailing why we called SUP, if we called him and how many times, etc. I know it's the learning environment, and I always give a hand (like in forementioned example) when possible. Still, I'd like to see more cooperation from SUP, especially in case of CTR and APP positions (or C1/C3 rank) - if possible. I myself have 12 years of experience since start, and I think it's quite adequate to assume, that I'm not here to kill a plane that's communicating and doesn't spoil everyone-around fun. Usually such plane adds to complexity, and it's not a good time to go through "Yes, I called;Yes, I called him 4 times; Yes, no response on freq or private; Yes, he started opposite to traffic; No, that's not his first time; Yes, I'll wait for your call..." procedure. Especially that I've heard/seen a couple of times pilots (or maybe painasses) doing some fun around and not answering, only to answer to SUP and claim they're newbie (yeah, like having almost a 100hrs logged and not being able to msg/use freq is normal...).

Feel free to give your opinion whether experienced controller / area controller should be helped a bit when in need of walloping.

Adam


Couple of things here:

First, Supervisors are required to be at least a C1 before their application can even be considered, so rest assured that Supervisors are well aware of what happens at the En-route level on the controller side of things.

When you say "requesting more cooperation", what do you mean? Are you upset over the fact that the Supervisor was asking you a bunch of questions as opposed to taking immediate action? The reason is that Supervisors can only take action when there is enough evidence to justify taking said action. This is why when sending a wallop message, instead of sending "Need a Sup" perhaps send something like, "N1234 unresponsive to ATC calls for 15 mins", this helps us know ahead of time what is going on so we don't have to ask you.
By Ira Robinson 1100092
#476853
Brad Lee 971630 wrote:
Adam Lagoda 827397 wrote:I'd love to point out two things as a sidenote.

I think the whole network would benefit if there was a bit more understanding for controllers calling the Sup. I've had a call lately that I had to cancel myself (newbie pilot logging at rwy - reverse to runway in use - taking off with no response). It turned out he answered with delay (after pausing plane 3nm from rwy, sic!), and I had to release SUP I called before. Easy to judge it was not needed, but on the other hand - how much do I wait? 30minutes?

And other side note - I was lucky to be TWR mentor. Trainee took the time controlling, and my hands were free to answer what happened and to what extent. However, quite often (especially in case of one-man CTR manning) it is hard to spend two minutes to go via detailing why we called SUP, if we called him and how many times, etc. I know it's the learning environment, and I always give a hand (like in forementioned example) when possible. Still, I'd like to see more cooperation from SUP, especially in case of CTR and APP positions (or C1/C3 rank) - if possible. I myself have 12 years of experience since start, and I think it's quite adequate to assume, that I'm not here to kill a plane that's communicating and doesn't spoil everyone-around fun. Usually such plane adds to complexity, and it's not a good time to go through "Yes, I called;Yes, I called him 4 times; Yes, no response on freq or private; Yes, he started opposite to traffic; No, that's not his first time; Yes, I'll wait for your call..." procedure. Especially that I've heard/seen a couple of times pilots (or maybe painasses) doing some fun around and not answering, only to answer to SUP and claim they're newbie (yeah, like having almost a 100hrs logged and not being able to msg/use freq is normal...).

Feel free to give your opinion whether experienced controller / area controller should be helped a bit when in need of walloping.

Adam


Couple of things here:

First, Supervisors are required to be at least a C1 before their application can even be considered, so rest assured that Supervisors are well aware of what happens at the En-route level on the controller side of things.

When you say "requesting more cooperation", what do you mean? Are you upset over the fact that the Supervisor was asking you a bunch of questions as opposed to taking immediate action? The reason is that Supervisors can only take action when there is enough evidence to justify taking said action. This is why when sending a wallop message, instead of sending "Need a Sup" perhaps send something like, "N1234 unresponsive to ATC calls for 15 mins", this helps us know ahead of time what is going on so we don't have to ask you.



Come on Brad, it seems every time I call a SUP using exactly that message, I get the usual alias text file "hi this is so and so, how can I help you today?". Now I understand that is certainly the polite approach and I am not arguing against it, I'm simply pointing out that asking me to lay out the problem for you so you are aware of it before you even engage me in the discussion sounds great on paper, but in my experience hardly ever happens.

Now tell me true, when training a new SUP, are they taught that the first thing they should do when responding to a wallop is politely introduce themselves and ask what the problem is??

Ira
By Bradley Grafelman 1242018
#476854
Brad Lee 971630 wrote:First, Supervisors are required to be at least a C1 before their application can even be considered, so rest assured that Supervisors are well aware of what happens at the En-route level on the controller side of things.

Then what happened to: New SUP application process - pilots can apply ?

Brad Lee 971630 wrote:Are you upset over the fact that the Supervisor was asking you a bunch of questions as opposed to taking immediate action? The reason is that Supervisors can only take action when there is enough evidence to justify taking said action.

The only downside is that the minimum amount of 'evidence' usually consists of them sending a deluge of PMs (I presume) over several minutes' time. I understand (but probably don't share) their justifications, really I do.

In fact, I understand them so much to the point that I've fully recognized .wallop is no longer an aid or a "tool" in my toolbox as a controller. I'll still throw out the occasional .wallop at times (e.g. ".wallop N123 NORDO at KLAX, departing opposite direction, causing delays and conflicts with arrivals"), but I know that it's going to be quite some time down the line before it's going to be of any use - assuming it ever is. Rather than get upset about this, I've learned to just ignore the conflicts/delays the stu-... sorry, "ignorant" ... videogamers create (thank Ross for Ctrl+S on VRC) or simply log off and go find something else to do for a while.

To me, the first step in using a supervisor wisely is to not depend on them whatsoever to make your VATSIM experience an enjoyable one. If it's gotten to that point, it's quite possibly better to just give up and log off.
By Colin Schoen 1095510
#476857 Regarding SUPs required to be C1s, that is incorrect. Pilots are welcome to apply, however the current SUP team seems to be primarily made up of C1 or higher rated members.

Come on Brad, it seems every time I call a SUP using exactly that message, I get the usual alias text file "hi this is so and so, how can I help you today?".


This should not be happening and has been brought up previously. SUPs are not trained to use the general, "Hi may I help you today" when information has been provided. If you get this from a SUP, after you have provided detailed information in the WALLOP, I suggest you send a note to Gunnar so he can coordinate with the senior sup to educate the supervisor.

In fact, I understand them so much to the point that I've fully recognized .wallop is no longer an aid or a "tool" in my toolbox as a controller. I'll still throw out the occasional .wallop at times (e.g. ".wallop N123 NORDO at KLAX, departing opposite direction, causing delays and conflicts with arrivals"), but I know that it's going to be quite some time down the line before it's going to be of any use - assuming it ever is. Rather than get upset about this, I've learned to just ignore the conflicts/delays the stu-... sorry, "ignorant" ... videogamers create (thank Ross for Ctrl+S on VRC) or simply log off and go find something else to do for a while.


To me, the first step in using a supervisor wisely is to not depend on them whatsoever to make your VATSIM experience an enjoyable one. If it's gotten to that point, it's quite possibly better to just give up and log off.


This is concerning. Unfortunately it is a balancing act in obtaining enough evidence to act and at the same time ensuring that other network members' enjoyment is not being disrupted. If some supervisor's actions seem to be much too delayed you might consider shooting an email to Gunnar detailing the situation.
By Ira Robinson 1100092
#476875
Bradley Grafelman 1242018 wrote:
Brad Lee 971630 wrote:First, Supervisors are required to be at least a C1 before their application can even be considered, so rest assured that Supervisors are well aware of what happens at the En-route level on the controller side of things.

Then what happened to: New SUP application process - pilots can apply ?

Brad Lee 971630 wrote:Are you upset over the fact that the Supervisor was asking you a bunch of questions as opposed to taking immediate action? The reason is that Supervisors can only take action when there is enough evidence to justify taking said action.

The only downside is that the minimum amount of 'evidence' usually consists of them sending a deluge of PMs (I presume) over several minutes' time. I understand (but probably don't share) their justifications, really I do.

In fact, I understand them so much to the point that I've fully recognized .wallop is no longer an aid or a "tool" in my toolbox as a controller. I'll still throw out the occasional .wallop at times (e.g. ".wallop N123 NORDO at KLAX, departing opposite direction, causing delays and conflicts with arrivals"), but I know that it's going to be quite some time down the line before it's going to be of any use - assuming it ever is. Rather than get upset about this, I've learned to just ignore the conflicts/delays the stu-... sorry, "ignorant" ... videogamers create (thank Ross for Ctrl+S on VRC) or simply log off and go find something else to do for a while.

To me, the first step in using a supervisor wisely is to not depend on them whatsoever to make your VATSIM experience an enjoyable one. If it's gotten to that point, it's quite possibly better to just give up and log off.


Although I understand your actions in handling a pilot such as you describe, and even applaud you for attempting to handle it yourself, I do want to point out that although the SUP may not arrive or take action in time to address your immediate problem, the one advantage to calling one is that if a pilot builds up a history of such actions it can often lead to action down the road.

A SUP may be told that a pilot flying without contacting atc was having a radio issue, but I suspect that by the third time that happens the excuse has gotten old.

Ira
By Callum McLoughlin 1063042
#476877 Supervisors responding to calls need to make fairly quick assessments of the situation, depending on what the nature of the call is. It is in your interests as users wishing for a swift resolution to provide as much relevant information to them as possible in the initial call for assistance. "XYZ unresponsive to my calls for 10 minutes, now about to conflict with other traffic" will help paint the picture. There has been a push to avoid asking people to re-iterate their reason for requesting help via PM, but of course it is sometimes necessary to ask supplementary questions to get a fair overview of the nature of the issue.

Assessments can then be made on how new the user is, if they are there but unable to contact ATC (sometimes there are technical issues where the pilot is trying to contact ATC but the messages aren't getting though) and for various other checks to be undertaken. If there is a major conflict where the benefits of trying to get in touch with this user with them keeping their connection are outweighed by the impact on the pilots using the airspace around them, this process tends to be accelerated. The new trainees we've just put through the program have learned that there is a lot more to supervising than responding to a call and disconnecting somebody. Moreover, it is not unusual for me to reply to a .wallop within seconds asking for more information (where necessary) only to be told, "please wait" or not replying for some time.

The issue with pilots not contacting ATC is not just a VATSIM issue. Only today a pilot lost contact with ATC here in the UK and veered off course causing them to send their version of a .wallop. There is never going to be point when there are no unattended connections/technical issues/new members unsure of what to do. We just have to do what we can to work around this to keep the majority of members happy. Generally speaking from my experience as an ATC, pilot and a SUP, an unresponsive pilot is more of an irritant to a controller than a genuine concern over the impact on other people's flights or difficulty in managing normal operations. Pilots just don't notice them unless for example they're blocking a runway (when fast action is normally taken, where there are people waiting to use that runway, by SUPs).

Finally, members of any rating may apply to be a supervisor so long as they meet the requirements laid out in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=64056
By Adam Lagoda 827397
#476920 Callum, I get the point and I get the point in properly painting the picture before action taken. Note taken, and proper wallop on my side to use.

However, the problem usually (Murphy's law here) arises when I'm really busy. Have a bunch of planes in CTR, two or three doing final for rwys on controlled (by CTR) airport. I'd like to give a proper recognition to SUP, and usually I'm not calling for help when it's not needed. But in case of large traffic, it's either traffic, or SUP I can answer. No time to answer both.

What bothers me much, is that choice I have to make. When it's easier to avoid the problem (pilot) simply by working around (having that extra separation, or holds), instead of getting SUP for help, as Bradley mentioned, it could be the point where we have to think how to balance necessary explanation and the effect required by controller.

Adam
By Arne Hunsdiek 983197
#476925
Callum McLoughlin 1063042 wrote:Supervisors responding to calls need to make fairly quick assessments of the situation, depending on what the nature of the call is. It is in your interests as users wishing for a swift resolution to provide as much relevant information to them as possible in the initial call for assistance. "XYZ unresponsive to my calls for 10 minutes, now about to conflict with other traffic" will help paint the picture. There has been a push to avoid asking people to re-iterate their reason for requesting help via PM, but of course it is sometimes necessary to ask supplementary questions to get a fair overview of the nature of the issue.

[..]


When I call for a SUP I give a very detailed description and most of the time I have the feeling that the SUP fails to read it, because I am always asked what happened. But all questions are already answered with the initial wallop.

These happenings were already raised at W14 and it was promised to take care of it - maybe it's now time to raise it again.

I know, next time I will write to vpsup ;)
By Norman Blackburn 870575
#476949
Arne Hunsdiek wrote:These happenings were already raised at W14 and it was promised to take care of it - maybe it's now time to raise it again.

I know, next time I will write to vpsup ;)


And this same promise was passed by me - the person who gave it - to Gunnar. In much the same way as a pilot learns their skills, so too do our Supervisors. It won't be instant but it is happening.