Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Messages - Ira Robinson

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 15
General Discussion / Re: We don't talk enough...
« on: November 09, 2018, 03:48:01 PM »
I'd like more transparency in the division regarding the state of VATUSA. We haven't held a townhall in quite some time and I feel like I'm out of the loop in terms of what is happening at the division level. I know that I, as well as other members of my facility, have questions and concerns about how the division is operating. I call question to sudden and frequent staff changes. As an outsider who is not a staff member (and does not have access to staff related forums), I cannot tell if this division is being run into the ground or not. While this division may not be a dictatorship, there are enough obscurity and lack of public forum that it is impossible to differentiate what is going on at upper levels from that of an authoritarian regime.

I promised myself I would stay out of this.  I don't speak for the Division and I won't speak for #1 or #2.  And although I have more than a couple of opinions on what I have read here I am going to limit myself to this one question, because i feel the answer to it is important and may in some way go to the heart of the matter.

Josh, you said you feel out of the loop.  There isn't enough transparency.  We should have more town hall meetings, and the lack of a public forum troubles you and, you know what, it should.  So let me ask you, if there truly is a lack of a public forum why haven't you asked your ATM the questions that trouble you?  You have questions and concerns why haven't you brought them to your ATM?  I could go on, but each point ends with why haven't you brought your concerns to your ATM?   He is the point person for your ARTCC.  He has, or should have, the answer you seek and if he doesn't , he knows who to speak with to get it.  Your ATM is supposed to do more than just kick people off the roster because they haven't controlled enough last month.  He is your representative to the Division.  You want a democracy?  You got one.  Convince your ATM to keep you informed. Convince your ATM to make sure that all of the new guys get trained.  Convince your ATM to bring to the Division any questions, problems, or good ideas that he thinks will enhance what we do. Convince your ATM to sit down with the ATMs of the surrounding ARTCCs and develop a plan for sharing information and creating good time events.

You want democracy?  You want a town hall meeting?  You want to meet with the Division to find  out what's going on?  No you don't. You want a town hall meeting because it's easy to roast people, policy and plans in a group setting than argue with your ATM about something he already knows about and maybe even agrees with. 

One last thing. Is a town hall meeting an important piece of this puzzle?  It is. But it is because it's a public relations requirement and not because anything good ever comes out of them. 

I'm done here now.  Any ARTCC staff member who wants me for whatever reason need only ask.  Anyone else can sit down in their ARTCC and get the news from the ARTCC town hall meeting.  Uhmm... you do have them right?   Your ARTCC isn't being run into the ground is it?

Robert, my apologies for taking so long to reply to your first post. I had begun my post; was about three paragraphs into it actually when my computer flashed and everything went away. Everything, including my post and the thought process going on behind it.  You know how you have an idea and then you get on a roll trying to make your point.  Well that's were I was.  Now, that being said, and having read further your comments in some of your follow up posts I have a better idea of what y our thinking is.  It also will let me be brief in my suggestion.  When  you gather your staff around you to see what they come up with tell them to BE BOLD!  That's right, BE BOLD!

The P1 includes a chapter on communicating with ATC.  Well hell, how about we expand that simple chapter so that the pilot has to not just know who does what, but actually knows how to receive instructions. Wait, BE BOLD! Let's send them home with a cheat sheet similar to a controller alias file so that he can read how to ask for a clearance, or know what the TWR controller is going to say before he says it. 

BE BOLD!  Expand the P1 training to include the basics of what they need to know, not what the VATSIM guidelines say they need to know.  Take the top three problems as decided upon by the general controller community and find a way to address them earlier in the program.

Frankly, who cares if the pilot knows how to fly a VFR pattern if all he ever does is screw up every approach he attempts. So BE BOLD! and find a way to work a simple RNAV approach into the coursework sooner rather than later.  Give your instructors the flexibility to deviate from the coursework if he sees the pilot needs work on a specific issue. Trust them to make the call to BE BOLD! and skip a subject only to replace it with another.

I could go on citing examples, but then so could everyone reading this.  You know that box that your program fits very neatly into? Well, burn it.  Then you can think outside of that box.

Good luck.

I tried to get ZOA setup with VATSTAR but it fell apart because we don't meet some of the requirements they've set for a few check rides.
Untrue.  It fell apart when I stopped receiving responses to emails about setting up a time to meet & discuss.  Let's get back in touch & try again to get it moving.

That is great to hear.  Now, will you commit to tightening up the level of of information and instruction your program provides regarding pilot to ATC communication, and the pilots' ability to fly basic arrival and departure procedures, regardless of what the VATSIM standards require?

Okay, my turn. I know, I know, duck and cover. Another loooong boaring post   ::)   Well, here it is, for better or for worse.

Gentlemen, you have tried very hard not to turn this discussion into whose controllers are more flexible or have more skills,  or are better suited to deal with the pilots than others. In that you have seceded pretty well I think.  Everyone has also fought he urge to simply blame every pilot, everywhere, every time and accept that sometimes it is us  There we go, I said it, they aren't all bad, so let's accept the fact that no matter what, all of us will occasionally make that odd mistake.  Happens.  So now, since it happens on occasion, what can we do about it?  Well, the first thing we need to do it recognize that no matter how we hard try it will just happen. There are so many distractions for the pilots and our controllers anyway, so sometimes we just have to cut them some slack .

I also saw where someone said we need to make pilot training mandatory.  Well, try as we might, I don't think we will see that happen anytime soon either.  Ahhh, but what I do see is a way to begin leaning on the pilot community to raise the stakes a little.

I did a quick scan of the opening page of all of the VATUSA ARTCC web sites  just now.  Four of them list VATSTARS as a Partner organization.  ZLA has it's own pilot program.  Boston has BVA. By my count that's 6 out of 22 ARTCC have the ability to affect pilot training.   Now that may not sound like a lot, 6/22, but we all know that VATSTARS isn't tied only to the Division  and can issue training anywhere.

My suggestion, take Shane up on suggestion and stop providing good feedback to the VA's who ask, and then go directly to those same VA's and tell them the truth; if your pilots don't learn how to fly better they well no longer be invited to fly here (wherever
here is). I don't see any reason we, as the controller can't require a higher standard.    If VATSTAR wants to issue a certificate to me I better know to push a button and spin a dial.  If I don't that pilot is not welcome back.

Guys, this is the short version.  I know there will be lots of discussion about what we ca and cannot do about this. Yes, as a  training school VATSTAR has earned a good reputation.  Well, quite frankly, I'm not interested in his reputation or the number of pilots he has trained.  More power to him.  But if he has trained all that many pilots how come the same ones show up every Friday night, but stay home on Saturdays?  Or are we only talking about the same dozen or two pilots, and is this discussion really about accepting 30 aircraft an hour when the airport can only handle 25?  Because if that is case that's a different kettle of fish!

My point to all of this is that if you want to hold the pilots responsible than stop waiting for the Board to make it mandatory. What you should be doing is bitching to the Division that it should have some sort of liason officer whose first assignment is going to be to
sit down with the various VA's and ATO's and suggest (yea, as in strongly suggest) that they teach their student pilots two things that we absolutely need.  The first, which hand is the left and which hand is the right.  The second thing that they need to add some meat to is the section on communicating with the controller. Tighten those two subjects up and I think it's a great place to start.

And that's my two cents about this...…..

The Classroom (Controller Tips) / Re: S46 16C Final Approach Vectors
« on: September 04, 2018, 11:05:28 PM »
Great post Dhruv!  I don't understand how any controller won't be able to find something to take from this that will make them a better controller.  Using a real world controller as an example is also a great choice.  But I have to tell you, and I don't disagree with you often, but you have my attention here.   One of the first things I found missing from these examples came during the position relief briefing.  Your example presumes that you and I are equals in our ability to absorb the information needed before I take over the position.  But that isn't accurate.  I could never absorb that information as quickly as you could.  That's just your experience which is much more than mine, so already, one minute into my shift I'm two minutes behind.  Different learning curves have to considered during any of this.

Also, your experience has taught you some of these tools that a new controller hasn't been taught yet.  Which begs the question should we be teaching shortcuts to our new controllers.  Isn't it more important that they learn how to do it for what I will for now call "the right way".  Aren't more and more people lately screaming that we need to do more by the .65?  I'm not saying that in the long run you aren't advocating that, I know you are, but isn't that at risk here?

Is there something our training staffs can take away from this? Yes.  Meg is right when she says that using this as a training tool will be a positive for her controllers.  What went unsaid is my question, for all of her controllers, or only those who can absorb the information and learn the proper time and place to use it?

Now is this something that we should be showing our controllers? At some point  probably.  But at what point? Where does teaching shortcuts get in the way of teaching .65.  How about GRP?  More importantly, and no offense intended my friend, but when does what ZMP teach or require of its controllers get to be the norm for ZBW, or anywhere else. Please understand, I'm not trying to compare your suggestions to what any ARTCC should be teaching, although I know it must sound that way.  But every ARTCC has real world controllers now too, a great resource for VATUSA controllers that we never had previously.  But like anything else, I would bet that even their experiences vary.

Did I happen to mention that issuing instructions to someone like AJ in his 757 and me on VATSIM are going to get you two different levels of response.  One real good (I hope!), one real not so good.  It just is the way it is, and it is the same thing that everyone likes to complain about and blame everything for everything on. There are pilots out there who don't know their left from their right and until Mr. Sherman and his staff deal with that, it won't matter how many pilots they certify, because they will always be out there.

I think it better that we teach the controllers to lighten up a little, learn the right way, then learn some of your tools and suggestions, and learn how to deal with ungodly levels of traffic that we see during the FNO to the best of their ability and just get over it.  I know I very rarely ear controllers complain that the even they held Saturday night was ruined because there were so many bad pilots. No, those events go off just fine, because there aren't that many pilots that overflow the arrival rates.

I would advocate that we are better off, long term, if we remind our Instructors to teach their students that this is supposed to be fun.

The Control Room Floor / Re: There are two types of controllers...
« on: September 04, 2018, 10:13:10 PM »
Just discovered this post...very well written Shane.

I just discovered this post as well.  Found it in a link from another post and after thinking about it for a while I have decided what kind of controller I want to be.  But I didn't see it as an option to choose from, so am I allowed to choose it or do I have to choose solely from the two given.  Frank was able to select a happy medium that he prefers, so I think I will do the same.

I want to be the controller who has fun controlling.  Yep, that's it.  I want to have fun playing controller.  I realize that I will never be a real world controller, I realize that I will never be compared to any of the real world controllers who everyone seems to look up to around here just because they have a good job no matter how well they may or may not do it, and I realize that I will never be considered one of the top controllers around here among us amateurs.

Nope, I just want to have fun and I am happy enough with the knowledge that I can still manage to control busy airspace at the same time.  Do the less skilled pilots bother me, sure they do.  And I bet the less skilled controllers, of which I count myself one of, bother the more skilled pilots?  I'm sure I do.  To that I tell everyone to just get over yourself.

Now that being said it doesn't mean that we all can't learn from our controllers who do this for a living. That's just plain naive. But I don't think it's fair to anyone that we try to emulate them for their abilities and opinions about how bad our pilots are.   Just like we can't emulate the experienced real world pilots they have to deal with, who, by the way, I have heard some pretty ugly stories about too.

Just have fun, because when it stops being fun, why are you doing it?

The Classroom (Controller Tips) / Re: Speed Control and How To Use It
« on: August 05, 2018, 09:12:09 AM »
Can you come to SCT and teach the Burbank area peeps about this? I literally overheard one of them on the landline the other day say that "We don't use speeds here" smh

Derek is available for weddings, funerals, Sweet 16's. etc.  on a fee for service basis.  Our fees are reasonable and our requirements unreasonable.  Please contact me for scheduling and fee arrangements at "Have ATC Will Travel"

News / Re: ZMA has Two New Staff Members
« on: August 02, 2018, 11:12:31 PM »
Congrats guys!  Excellent choices too.  Good luck, now, get to work  :)

Events / Re: vZAU VatVenture 2018
« on: July 28, 2018, 11:47:43 PM »
I started to write a reply to Nick but decided that it would serve no purpose to continue bantering this back and forth for the world to see.  It's clear to me that we are arguing several different issues so I am going to craft a reply in private, that we may continue the discussion without interruption or outside commentary.

Thank you all for your comments, and I am glad the event went well.[size=78%] [/size]

Events / Re: vZAU VatVenture 2018
« on: July 28, 2018, 06:55:49 PM »
Clay, you rocked it today!  The Blue Angels show was amazing.  I was sorry to see you didn't have much help on the scopes or in the cab, but you handled it like a true professional.  The politics from certain administrators were ridiculous, and you, and the support you received from the community, show what this network can truly be about.  Thank you to you and your staff for promoting a wonderful event!

You know something Nick, you've  been around here a pretty long time.  If anyone in this discussion should be concerned about screwing things up for the future I would that would be you.  But here you are, leading everyone astray with your off-hand comments about how the politicians are taking all the fun out of life.

So for everyone who is jumping on the bandwagon here let me 'splain you all something.  To begin with, Matt's involvement is because that's his job.  He's here to help make events better. Better for the controllers, better for the pilots, better for all of us.  And if I were you I would be more worried about the questions he didn't ask than the ones he did. 

Can you close an airport?  Nope.
Can you create a class of pilots and make them vulnerable to facing sanctions for violating the CoC?
Does CoC A(1) apply and to whom, the pilots who make it in or the ones who don't?

If memory serves those are just the ones that have already been brought to light.   I can give you a list of problems with what was just done that would make your head spin. But that's not the point, or our job.  Our job is to help you make this work, believe it or not.  So if this had been planned out in advance, Matt could have sat down with you, anticipated the problems and helped make it so they weren't problems.  Perhaps doing silly little things like getting approval upfront so that the Supervisors wouldn't descend on all of those pilots sitting around for so long.  Or getting special permission for the Angels do their thing without breaking the various rules they broke.

Guys, we're not here to make life difficult.  We're here to see if there is a way to make this happen again next year, or next week, or whenever.  Because it is a new and novel idea, and it may be worth looking into further.  But only if everyone cooperates and stops taking pot shots at those people who are here to help.

And that's my two cents worth.

Events / Re: vZAU VatVenture 2018
« on: July 25, 2018, 07:52:16 PM »
That's funny.But I am not an ATM, and neither are the other 675 people who have viewed this announcement and may be flying in or out that day.  I think Luke asks a valid question and deserves to be answered.  What will happen to the pilots waiting to depart?  What will happen to the pilots already in the air?  The NOTAM said pilots should expect delays.  Does that mean arriving flights, should expect to be assigned a HOLD some time during their arrival?

I asked Luke personally if he was joking about this question on teamspeak, and relayed his response to Jamar before he made the "ATM Exemption" post:

<14:35:45> "Clay Brock": on your last post for the OSH event
<14:35:52> "Clay Brock": were you kidding?
<14:35:57> "Luke Kakert": yes lol
<14:36:04> "Clay Brock": ok
<14:36:23> "Clay Brock": sorry, just the sarcasm doesn't come across as easily in writing
<14:36:49> "Luke Kakert": but i am 100% sure there are going to be people that wont like the "airport is closed" part
<14:36:55> "Luke Kakert": i was just trying to be funny
<14:37:06> "Luke Kakert": and alot of people cant take a joke on here anymore

I do see the validity in the question though , so here is the answer, as stated previously:

KOSH airport will close to traffic at 2100z, and the FSX Blue Angels will start their modified demo at that time.

Out of respect to the FSX Blue Angels, we will not allow pilots to depart or arrive KOSH until the demonstration is over. Unless an emergency is declared, KOSH will be closed for the duration of the FSXBA demo. Pilots will have 4 whole hours to fly in with ATC, and if they cannot make the airport in that amount of time, then they will have to divert, or reconnect on the ground at OSH to watch the demonstration.

In regards these final questions:

how are people supposed to be able to see this demonstration you have planned?  Will everyone have to be using vPilot and model matching in order to see it?  Sign on to utube or something?

Pilots will be able to see the FSX Blue Angel demo by being connected to VATSIM on the ground at KOSH. No specific pilot client is required to watch the demonstration, but model matching will be at the pilot's discretion. As far as I'm aware, the FSXBA team will connect to the network under the type code "F18". People can set up model matching as necessary using this information.
Note that FSX vPilot users should not encounter model matching issues, as FSX has a default F18, and vPilot uses airplanes in the sim for model matching

I hope this post clears up most of the confusion, and if there are any other questions, please feel free to ask.

Oh, I have a lot more questions, but they will keep until after the event.  And they will be asked of the staff of ZAU.  You know, the people who are ultimately responsible for the event, and not some visiting controller who has taken it upon himself to interpret for the rest of us what the rules of the event are.

Good luck Saturday.

Events / Re: vZAU VatVenture 2018
« on: July 25, 2018, 03:17:45 PM »
LOL Special accommodations for the ATM LOL.
That's funny.But I am not an ATM, and neither are the other 675 people who have viewed this announcement and may be flying in or out that day.  I think Luke asks a valid question and deserves to be answered.  What will happen to the pilots waiting to depart?  What will happen to the pilots already in the air?  The NOTAM said pilots should expect delays.  Does that mean arriving flights, should expect to be assigned a HOLD some time during their arrival?

Was the flying demonstration in the original announcement?  I don't remember seeing it and I noticed that the post was edited on Monday.  Was this added after the original announcement was first posted?

There are a lot of questions that I think need to be asked here.  For example, how are people supposed to be able to see this demonstration you have planned?  Will everyone have to be using vPilot and model matching in order to see it?  Sign on to utube or something?  Like I said, I think there are a lot of questions to be asked still.

News / Re: New Data Services Manager for VATUSA
« on: July 11, 2018, 08:18:50 PM »
Congratulations Blake. Good luck going forward.  I am sure there is enough to do to keep you very busy.

Daniel, there aren't the words to describe the amount and quality of the work you have turned in for us.  Of course having to deal with those of us who don't understand the usage of anything beyond the coffee cup holder didn't help, so you have had your work cut out for you!

But you managed, and did better than anyone could have imagined.  Now you leave us in new, good hands.  I know that all of the members of the Division are thankful for your time energy and efforts, especially the VATUSA crew here in the big building.

So good luck, and don't be a stranger.

The Classroom (Controller Tips) / Re: Creating Sweatboxes!
« on: June 25, 2018, 04:37:16 PM »
Excellent post Derek!  I wish training departments reliably had the capacity to provide continuing education of this type to C1s.
Manny, I would suggest to you that they do. All they need to do is have the will to do it.   Derek will tell you that we used to [past tense because I don't know if  they still do] hold them all the time.  They were the perfect teaching aide for everyone, regardless of rating.

Events / Re: [August 25th 2100z - 0200z] Miami Live 2018
« on: June 12, 2018, 09:10:51 PM »
Registration is now open for those looking to attend in person. If you are not a local/visitor controller at ZMA, send me an email at [email protected]
Can we get some more information on what is going on?  Location, cost, is this just on the 25th or is there more going on?  Hard to commit without having some information besides it's in Florida.  It is in Florida, right?

Pages: 1 [2] 3 4 ... 15