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Messages - Manuel Manigault

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1
General Discussion / Happy Thanksgiving!
« on: November 24, 2021, 07:08:27 AM »
On behalf of the VATUSA Divisional Staff, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!  Thank you for your contribution to our community.  I was able to attend FS Expo for the first time this year and meet some of you in person.  It reminded me that the primary purpose of VATSIM and VATUSA is to celebrate flight simulation with others.  It's the relationships and friendships that make VATSIM and VATUSA so special.

Here's to safe travels, hearty Thanksgiving dinners, and bonding with family and loved ones!

2
News / Ryan Parry ZHQ Retirement
« on: November 16, 2021, 01:22:40 PM »
Please join me in thanking Ryan Parry for his service as VATUSA's inaugural Western Region Manager.  He has decided to step down from the role and return to ZOA. 

Ryan was instrumental in revitalizing the Pacific Partnership, an oceanic agreement between VATPAC, VATNZ, and VATUSA that allows eligible members to control airspace between Auckland and Anchorage.  I appreciate Ryan for stepping up into a newly created position.

Brandon Barrett will be covering Western for the time being.

3
News / Re: Kansas City's New Deputy Air Traffic Manager
« on: November 15, 2021, 08:29:19 AM »
Congratulations Chris!

4
News / Re: ZBW has a new Training Administrator
« on: October 25, 2021, 08:22:15 AM »
Congratulations!

5
News / Re: ZKC's New Training Administrator
« on: October 25, 2021, 08:21:55 AM »
Congratulations!

6
News / Re: New Hire! VATUSA Operations Planner (VATUSA14)
« on: October 25, 2021, 08:21:28 AM »
Congratulations!!

7
News / Re: Fort Worth’s Newest ATM!
« on: October 08, 2021, 03:36:17 PM »
Congratulations!

8
News / Re: Welcome to the VATUSA Training Academy
« on: August 18, 2021, 12:14:27 PM »
Anthony and ZAE team, thank you so much for the long hours you have put into the Academy!  I am confident this will be an asset that will outlive our time in our staff roles.  I am hopeful this will break the training backlog we are experiencing in OBS and S1 levels.  Hopefully, this will relieve Instructor and Mentor burnout as we strive to digest the enormous growth we have been experiencing recently.

9
USA Division Updates / Division Meeting Minutes July 12, 2021
« on: July 27, 2021, 08:19:41 AM »
Meeting minutes from July 12, 2021 ZHQ meeting are attached.

10
NOTAMs / VATSIM GCAP Policy in Public Review
« on: July 21, 2021, 08:25:57 AM »
VATSIM has been in the process of revising the Global Ratings Policy.  After seven months in committee, the revised policy is ready for public review.  I encourage everyone to review the draft and to leave constructive feedback.

The policy can be found here:  https://forums.vatsim.net/topic/31660-global-air-traffic-controller-administration-policy-draft-and-executive-summary/

11
The Control Room Floor / Re: Pilot Expectations, cont...
« on: July 06, 2021, 06:56:10 PM »
Kyle, thank you for splitting the conversation.  Feedback and ideas in this conversation won't go to waste.

12
USA Division Updates / Re: 2021 Mid Year Update
« on: July 06, 2021, 10:20:58 AM »
It is no different than VATSIM Golden Mic Award, the Iron Mic Award, or the rank of positions by callsign that is on most VATSIM statistic sites.

The difference there is that Iron/Golden Mic are fun, friendly competitions. You are presenting this data as a performance metric, and then telling ARTCCs at the bottom to "do better" (a direct quote from my RM).

No I didn't.  I said "Uptime ranking"  I didn't assign a value judgement to the rankings at all.  I just reposted the rankings at the beginning of this thread based on roster size (as of March 2021) without Observers.

13
USA Division Updates / Re: 2021 Mid Year Update
« on: July 06, 2021, 10:15:13 AM »
In my post, I didn't advise any facilities to staff more.  I didn't assign any value judgement on an ARTCC's performance.  I was recognizing facilities that have high uptime.  If you are on an ARTCC's staff and are not satisfied with your uptime, what can you do to increase it?  Marketing? Events? Partnering with an ATO?  Nolan is brainstorming.  More ideas are welcome.  You can brainstorm in regions with your region manager if you would like, or a staff member can organize a group to brainstorm.

There has been talk of creating a VATUSA Iron Mic Competition broken down by three leagues.  The leagues take into account roster size without observers and were proposed to be re-evaluated every three months.  Here is how things would stack out based on the leagues:

League 1
  • ZNY
  • ZBW
  • ZDC
  • ZLA
  • ZTL
  • ZDV
  • ZJX

League 2
  • ZME
  • ZOA
  • ZMA
  • ZSE
  • ZFW
  • ZOB
  • ZMP

League 3
  • ZHU
  • ZAU
  • ZID
  • PCF
  • ZAB
  • ZLC
  • ZKC


14
USA Division Updates / Re: 2021 Mid Year Update
« on: July 06, 2021, 09:45:42 AM »

Point 2 is beyond the scope of this Division update.  I don't want to shut down that discussion, I just don't want it to override the purpose of this post.

Regarding the ARTCC ranking:  This information is readily available to anyone that wants it on the various VATSIM statistic sites.  I simply compiled the data by ARTCC.  One of the purposes of VATUSA is to simulate the vNAS --a system that is available 24 hours a day.  Many talk about the want of realism in the forums and Discord on a regular basis.  Sending a pilot to UNICOM because controlled airspace is uncovered technically is not realistic.  I value competent coverage.  Notice I did not put the actual ARTCC uptimes in my post.  For all anyone knows, the range between 1 - 21 could be a matter of minutes or it could be a very wide range. 

Yes, this is a volunteer hobby.  If you have a staff position; however, you volunteered for a non paid job.  Just because you are not getting paid doesn't mean you don't have standards and expectations.


Mani, why include them then? It really seems to have done more harm then good. I fail to see how realism and competency come into play. Unlike the real world, VATUSA doesn't force new people to go staff facilities with low amounts of controllers. We cannot have VATUSA listing the ARTCC's from first to last by number of hours controlled. As Dylan already said, it does not tell the full story. When one facility has more OBS's on their roster than another has total controllers, it's clear who will have more time on the network. My question to you is. Why are facilities towards the bottom of the list getting emails being told to "be better". Small facilities will never be able to put up the number of hours as the big ones, 30 people can't keep pace with 100+.

It is no different than VATSIM Golden Mic Award, the Iron Mic Award, or the rank of positions by callsign that is on most VATSIM statistic sites.

15
USA Division Updates / Re: 2021 Mid Year Update
« on: July 06, 2021, 08:15:07 AM »
Fair, it is cool to see who's at the top and who isn't. But what exactly is the point of ranking 'best to worst' in a volunteer organization?

I'd suspect that facilities under, probably 10th are getting messages or emails from their RMs with something along the lines of "You should do better in your facility" (in fact, I know some are). So let me dive into why this, in my opinion, shouldn't be done:

1) Each facility has a different membership base with different circumstances. Some have a lot of new-ish members that are just here to have a good time, some take it more seriously, etc etc.  Yeah, they all have a VATSIM CID. Let's use, ZMP as an example (ranked last). (Using HOME controllers only) ZMP has 78 controllers on there home roster. Now lets take out the OBSs that can't do anything (29). Now we have 49. Now, lets take into consideration how many controllers actually have a cert for any level (GND, TWR, APP, CTR): 40. Now, lets look at ZMPs uptime on any level of controlling, YTD (1/1 thru 6/30): ~756 (+/- a few, math done by hand, and there's probably positions I missed). Lets take that 756 and divide that by how many controllers were active with certs (40). That's an average of 18.9 hours per active, certified controller. Take into account ZMPs activity requirement (3 hours per calendar quarter) and they're doing just fine per their required hours (6 hours required for the two quarters, Jan thru June...literally averaging triple their requirement). Point here is, you can't just rate this all by up-time. It should be done using the logic above, to actually see how their doing.

2) What is the UNDERLYING cause of controllers not wanting to control? P I L O T S. I'll be damned if I'm going to staff more than I'm required, when us controllers are held to a crazy high standard, yet the 13 year old that gets MFSF2020 can connect without actually being checked for competency to comply with basic ATC instructions. Obviously this issue goes higher than VATUSA, but VATUSA isn't doing anyone any favors by telling facilities towards the bottom of the list "You should be online more." What VATUSA COULD be doing to help improve and motivate controllers to do more than what it required, is to be up at the front door of the BOG, knocking until they actually start taking pilot competency seriously. IT IS NOT FUN when we get online, and have to hand hold 50% of the pilots on our frequency. That alone is a big reason why most facilities don't have an higher uptime. Then you need to account for environmental factors like, I don't know, actually having a life outside the hobby, LOAs, etc. Controllers are BURNTOUT from dealing with the pilots that do not know what they're doing. We can preach to them that they should read the Pilot Learning documents, but currently that is merely a recommendation.

3) Last year (IIRC), VATUSA was more worried about having exit interviews with S1s (who cares?) when we should have been focusing on our C1+'s that got fully certified, worked some hours, and went away. Who cares why the S1 who did minimal training to work a DEL/GND position left? You'd have much more meaningful feedback if we focused on the fully certified C1+s that left after certification. If we did that, I'm willing to bet that you'd be hearing the same thing about pilots over, and over, and over again...if you had that feedback last year, maybe we could have made meaningful impact network wide regarding pilot competency, and eliminating that as a factor for Burnout.

4) You don't motivate leaders/members of a volunteer organization by comparing them to the guy next door. You're treating this as a company-type measurable metric, as if the pilots are our customers. No. Don't. PLEASE DON'T. By reaching out to some ARTCC leaders and telling them "We think your facility should be on more" again, is ignoring the underlying issues at hand. We need to first address the WHY, fix those issues, THEN we can begin to make headway in uptime.

Disclaimer - I wouldn't have made this post, if some ARTCCs weren't being told to "Do Better" when there are things that need to be addressed first, before we start asking more of VOLUNTEERS. This isn't meant to be an attack [insert legal jargon here] but is just honest feedback from a concerned VATUSA member :).

Point 2 is beyond the scope of this Division update.  I don't want to shut down that discussion, I just don't want it to override the purpose of this post.

Regarding the ARTCC ranking:  This information is readily available to anyone that wants it on the various VATSIM statistic sites.  I simply compiled the data by ARTCC.  One of the purposes of VATUSA is to simulate the vNAS --a system that is available 24 hours a day.  Many talk about the want of realism in the forums and Discord on a regular basis.  Sending a pilot to UNICOM because controlled airspace is uncovered technically is not realistic.  I value competent coverage.  Notice I did not put the actual ARTCC uptimes in my post.  For all anyone knows, the range between 1 - 21 could be a matter of minutes or it could be a very wide range. 

Yes, this is a volunteer hobby.  If you have a staff position; however, you volunteered for a non paid job.  Just because you are not getting paid doesn't mean you don't have standards and expectations.

I am personally judging my success based on:

  • Membership growth - The growth comes from OBS
  • New member retention - What are we doing to increase training bandwidth?
  • Increase in controller hours during non-event times - I value competent coverage day in and day out.
  • Increasing C1 retention - The Command Center, Web Services Team, Social Media Team are non staff avenues C1 rated controllers can take advantage of to expand the hobby.
  • Successfully developing a pilot community - Yes, pilots are our customers.  Pilots have several online and offline choices to engage in flight simulation.  Online controllers need pilots to practice their skills.
  • Building a unified team of managers who are willing to champion the above.

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