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Messages - Robert Shearman Jr

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The Control Room Floor / Re: Event Timelapses!
« on: February 24, 2024, 09:06:24 AM »
Check out our timelapse of "Parkway Power FNO" as captured from BWI:

The Control Room Floor / Re: Event Timelapses!
« on: February 19, 2024, 07:13:29 AM »
Check out our timelapse of the VATUSA "Hidden Gateways" event from our vantage point at Norfolk Approach:

Check out our timelapse of the VATUSA "Hidden Gateways" event from our vantage point at Norfolk Approach:

The Control Room Floor / Re: Event Timelapses!
« on: February 03, 2024, 03:09:29 AM »
It's a couple days late, but, check out our timelapse from "ZDC Regional Night" featuring Raleigh-Durham (KRDU):

Events / Re: [2359 - 0300z] vZDC regional night ft.KRDU
« on: February 03, 2024, 03:09:10 AM »
It's a couple days late, but, check out our timelapse from "ZDC Regional Night" featuring Raleigh-Durham (KRDU):

The Control Room Floor / Re: Event Timelapses!
« on: December 12, 2023, 10:05:20 PM »
"Never Dull at Dulles" AKA "ZDC Live!":

Events / Re: Never Dull at Dulles / ZDC Live 2023
« on: December 12, 2023, 10:04:22 PM »
Event timelapse available here:

Events / Re: [10/20/2023 2300z - 0300z] Louis-sippi-bama FNO
« on: October 21, 2023, 12:03:21 AM »
Bold to see an FNO which didn't feature any of the same top-25 airports.  More typical of a weekday event.  But kudos for a really fun night.

There were a couple little issues (VATSIM-ims, maybe) with VFR handling outside of Bravo airspace, particularly among the S1s and S2s -- although, in the controllers' defense, I get that it's a topic that is covered in training and probably not well-exercised once out on the network.  Everybody was super cool and chill, and we got great service everywhere we went tonight.  Cheers!

Events / Re: Please reconsider single-facility FNOs...
« on: October 13, 2023, 11:05:56 PM »
ZJX did a beautiful job with "Halloween Horror Ops" at MCO tonight.  I was initially nervous seeing the volume coming in to another FNO with only one featured field.  But I had minimal to no delays getting in, and basically the same getting back out.  I'm eating my words, but, happy about it, LOL.

Events / Re: Please reconsider single-facility FNOs...
« on: August 29, 2023, 10:41:44 AM »
I'm not sure I completely agree with the notion that most single-facility FNOs run fine.  But, I appreciate the response and the knowledge that the overall question of event design with acceptable versus unacceptable capacity is being considered.

On a separate topic, one additional thing I appreciate is the placement of "placeholder" events on the calendar indicating in general terms what FNOs are on tap.  For nutjobs like myself who literally plan what sorts of flights I'll be doing earlier in the month based on what events are coming up later in the month, it's good info to have.  Thanks sincerely for that.

Events / Please reconsider single-facility FNOs...
« on: August 12, 2023, 12:48:46 AM »
Before I launch into my opinion below, I want to ensure I make absolutely clear that every single individual controller I encountered in tonight's FNO was top-notch.  They all did an amazing job, and the concept of a "Roulette" event where you get sent to an unknown and non-pre-planned destination was a great outside-the-box idea.

That all having been said...

VATUSA and ARTCC Event staff, please reconsider whether single-facility FNO events are a good idea.  They were "outlawed" after the mass influx of new VATSIM members stemming from the combination of COVID lockdowns and MSFS2020's release.  However, it does not seem to me that the number of pilots flying on Friday nights has diminished, so I'm not sure why it has seemed to be a good idea to allow single-airport events again.  Please reconsider returning to the post-COVID policy of having all FNOs feature at least three airports so that one set of controllers does not go down the tubes for four solid hours through no fault of their own.

Civil discussion welcome.

The Control Room Floor / Re: Flight Sim being open.
« on: August 02, 2023, 02:25:34 PM »
To clarify slightly:
(a) the less realistic, more point-and-click software is called "VRC" not "VCR"; and
(b) *all three* of these are to be supplanted by the upcoming release of CRC.
With said release likely still being at least months away at this point, best course is to stay with VRC, vSTARS and vERAM for now instead of waiting for the software change.

VRC is the most common choice for beginning controllers, but some facilities are starting students on vSTARS which can be used for Delivery, Ground, and Tower services pretty easily also.  And I believe that vSTARS is the only one of the three which facilitates a proxy connection for a Tower View.  VRC definitely does not; I don't think vERAM does either but that one I'm not certain about.

Whichever facility you end up choosing and training with will advise whether they prefer you train on VRC or vSTARS, so, choose a facility and follow their Training team's guidance.  If you later wish to switch to another client once you're comfortable and familiar with how to provide ATC services at your desired level, that's up to you.

Yep -- I cringe every time I read "We need a mechanism for Pilot Feedback" because I know firsthand how long a project to bring about exactly that has been underway.  At first, it was great to be able to reply to those pleas and say, "One is in the works!"  But as time has dragged on it has simply became another example of VATSIM moving at the speed of VATSIM.  I hope it sees light of day soon because it's one of those things that, if implemented properly, could be a true game-changer for the network.  Fingers crossed.

General Discussion / Re: ATC Streamers
« on: May 31, 2023, 12:17:43 PM »
As someone who streams ATC and recently moved up from Tower to Approach / Departure, I can attest, as the streamer / controller in that situation it can be a really tough line to walk.

I don't know whether I'm one you've seen.  I do make an effort to be conscious of new folks and their knowledge gaps.  In fact I've long been one of the network's most vocal proponents for and providers of pilot training resources.  But sometimes "in the heat of the moment" it can be hard.  This past Monday I was working the APP/DEP sector around BWI and I had one in particular who, when told to Line Up and Wait, began rolling down the runway.  I didn't notice until I was watching the arrival come in on the crossing and saw him heading for the intersection.  When I reminded him what he'd been instructed, I was probably not very friendly.  But I also did not call him "stupid" or "goober."

There was one who (a) descended below the lowest altitude on his STAR, then when he got to the end of it, (b) turned from the last point toward the final approach course instead of maintaining the published heading.  After a VERY gentle reminder about (a), he mumbled some apology in response.  After a firmer admonition about (b) because he was turning without a vector, he disconnected.  Again, I probably wasn't as nice after (b) than I was after (a), but I didn't call him any names.

Then finally was the one who departed and immediately turned northeast, when the SID dictated Runway Heading (155).  I said "your departure calls for runway heading until vectored.  but it doesn't look like you're going to {first waypoint} either.  say intentions?"  he replied, "to fly to {destination}."  I said -- "were you going to go via the route you filed and got cleared on, or just direct, or what?"  and he disconnected.  again, I don't think I called him a name, but I'm sure he could tell by the tone of my question that I was definitely calling him out on his error.

Like Malcolm says, when it's busy -- or, even when it's not that busy but it's "the heat of the moment" like I said -- "excuse me dear {callsign} but you are doing {x} when you were instructed {y}" is not as straightforward as it seems like it could or should be.  I do NOT think it should be tolerated to call someone a derogatory name for a mistake, but, I do NOT think it's reasonable to expect the controller to be all smiles and reassuring pats on the back after one either.

General Discussion / Re: ATC bookings in USA
« on: May 20, 2023, 07:21:33 PM »
The VATUSA Events Calendar is my go-to resource for when I should expect ATC coverage.  Not only will the host facility or facilities be staffed up, but their immediate neighbors usually will as well.

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