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Messages - Derek Hood

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Events / Re: [19 Aug 2022 2300-0200z] Friday Night Frenzy
« on: August 19, 2022, 03:09:20 PM »
When did this get changed?  No posting in VATUSA or the forums in general.  Some ARTCCS were planning support based on fields and now the whole event has changed. 


General Discussion / Re: JFK FNO
« on: September 11, 2021, 11:27:22 AM »
Ahhh, another post where someone is complaining when ZNY had 260+ arrivals at one point.  Tell me you don’t understand without telling me you don’t understand…..


Events / Re: [9/10/2021 2300z - 0300z] The JFK FNO
« on: September 09, 2021, 09:57:25 PM »
I’m just here for all the bitching.  Am I too late?


USA Division Updates / Re: 2021 Mid Year Update
« on: July 06, 2021, 02:10:45 PM »
> "New account good for VFR only.  Track account VFR flight following time, whenever a controller tags a users aircraft with a transponder code for flight following.  Set minimum hours, say 25 hours of VFR flight following in GA pistons.  Next step 25 hours of IFR GA pistons, tracked with controller tagging the user account by assigning the transponder code.  Then unlimited network use."

I am a huge proponent of General Aviation on this network, but I completely flat out disagree that *forcing* pilots who are interested in airline flying (and are not interested in General Aviation flying) to fly General Aviation is the way to go here.  You cannot tell someone who is on this network completely to enjoy what interests them and what they consider fun, that they must first do something that doesn't interest them and they don't consider fun for X number of hours first.  It's just going to send them to other networks.

And many of them, if given the right resources and motivation could become perfectly capable sim airliner pilots without ever once having booted up a plane weighing less than 100,000 pounds.  There are, in fact, thousands upon thousands of pilots on the network on a weekly basis who fit that description exactly.


I also understand that there are countless pilots who do this, but there is a argument that many others bite off more than they can chew.  I think this is a problem that all of us see behind the scopes, yourself included.  You cannot disagree that since the release of MSFS it has definitely gotten worse with pilots not having nay clue on what they are doing.  With that being said, these new pilots choose not to learn or get better because there is no recourse for bad behavior or disregarding controller instructions, coaching etc....


USA Division Updates / Re: 2021 Mid Year Update
« on: July 06, 2021, 02:02:16 PM »
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.

So let me see if I understand this.  Experienced controllers with years or decades under their belts are unhappy and leaving.  FNG's coming in as OBS/S1's getting an eyeful, then leaving shortly after joining.  Pilots are woefully unprepared, leading to negative experience for the experienced controllers.  Got it.

Experienced controllers leaving:
-Many of us have been there with lots of hobbies.  You set a goal, such as C1, work toward it, reach it, then realize that the fun was getting there, not being there. 
-Pilots ill prepared, reduce the immersion, and fun of controlling, resulting in no incentive to make controlling a priority when discretionary time is available.

New controller recruits leaving early:
-Excessive training requirements.
-Training based on "that's how we've always done it" mentality, prepared by people that have no background in teaching.
-Slow advancement.  Not enough on the job learning, and too much "sweatbox" with outdated scenarios that are counter productive
-Too many third party programs needed for a simple ATC session.

-In denial that even a little self study will go a long way in making their experience, and that of others much better.
-Refuse to start low and slow VFR, moving to flight following, graduating to GA IFR, then tackling airliners.  Nope, jump right into that PMDG 737, and go.

-Narrow the gap between controller training, and pilot expectations. 
-Controller cert should not mirror real world exactly, and should not take a year to accomplish. More OTJ, low volume time on the live network, less didactic frat house training.
-Pilots should bear more responsibility for airspace knowledge.  New account good for VFR only.  Track account VFR flight following time, whenever a controller tags a users aircraft with a transponder code for flight following.  Set minimum hours, say 25 hours of VFR flight following in GA pistons.  Next step 25 hours of IFR GA pistons, tracked with controller tagging the user account by assigning the transponder code.  Then unlimited network use.

That is a very interesting idea, I like it.


USA Division Updates / Re: 2021 Mid Year Update
« on: July 06, 2021, 03:23:17 AM »
I +1 to everything Dylan says. I cannot word it any better so I won't repeat the same points.

Can you not turn this thread into how everyone is out to get you, and instead actually focus on the merits of Dylan's post? If you have issues with yourself and VATSIM that has no bearing on this conversation, and that was half your post.

Despite your opinion on AJ and what he wrote, he’s not wrong along with countless other members on this network who have been here for 15+ years.

We have put thousands of hours into this hobby and when you see the network constantly degraded due to pandering to the masses, you’d be upset as well.  Yes it’s a hobby and we all need to check the attitudes sometimes, but when it’s 3-4 hours controlling and half the pilots have ZERO idea what they are doing it gets tiring.  The excuse of not having charts, not knowing where to learn about phases of flight and what controllers expect is not an excuse, especially in the digital age we live in.  Information is readily available and Ethan and our team put in countless hours of work to get these pilots the information needed.

The problem I see is that controllers have no leg to stand on anymore, the pilot always gets the benefit of the doubt and controllers are ostracized because they try and correct pilots constantly not following instructions.  Yes we were all new at one point and I made thousands of mistakes, but I was forced to learn and chose to so I wouldn’t A.) look like a idiot forever and B.) get better and more proficient in the areas that I was working on at the time in my real world flying.

There is a breaking point and I would hope that Vatsim would not want to see their most experience members take their talents elsewhere.


General Discussion / Re: Changes to FNOs for the time being
« on: April 13, 2020, 09:49:39 PM »
Do away with FNO's all together.  The pressure for ARTCC's to "perform" is pushing the staffing thin it seems, especially during this pandemic.  Having conga lines to the airport, especially when exceeding real world AAR is not enjoyable for the pilot and or controllers working it.  The crossfire idea is a good one as long as its a reasonable distance between both airports / ARTCC's.  It will be interesting to see the drop in traffic when the SIP orders expire and we all go back to the real world. 

Events / Re: [10 APR 2020, 23Z - 03Z] Springtime in Philadelphia FNO
« on: April 08, 2020, 11:06:51 PM »
Only one attempt at a landing? I love everything you guys do in terms of event planning but there's too many variables to make that a hard and fast rule...

The idea is that we say it's what we're gonna do on paper but adapt it during the operational phase (and obviously abide by VATSIM policy).

Then why have this even written out?  So if the controller messes up we have to divert? 

General Discussion / Re: We don't talk enough...
« on: December 08, 2018, 12:16:29 AM »
How does one expect to get better if they don’t show up?  Yes this is not “real world” but the practice still helps with proficiency.  So a controller signs on for the required hour, has no idea of updated LOA’s, procedures etc...and that’s ok?  What’s the point of controlling if your aren’t trying to emulate the real thing?

General Discussion / Re: We don't talk enough...
« on: November 09, 2018, 12:06:29 AM »
Unfortunately VATSIM is not a democratic organization.  This structure doesn't just pertain to VATUSA, all of the Regions have a similar structure. It doesn't mean that doing what the masses need to survive shouldn't be done, and input is required to make decisions that benefit the masses.  To get the input, we need to figure out how to communicate.  This system has worked for a long time.

This attitude is a logical fallacy. You can't run a volunteer organization as a dictatorship. There's absolutely a need for someone to call the shots in administrative matters, but can you honestly tell me with a straight face that we're stronger as a division after the events of the past 8 days? We're down an entire facility staff, a division events director, and the only losers are the rank and file controllers and students at the affected facility, who are left leaderless and discouraged because the community that they built together has been blown up. I'm all for appropriate disciplinary action being taken, but to jump right to staff removal is something that should be done only after a grave amount of care. The previous VATUSA1 removed ONE ATM in a 5 year tenure; the current administration has made that same move three times in less than a year. Surely you don't disagree that there's some cause for concern with that statistic.

The volunteers - the ones devoting time, blood, sweat, tears, money, and expertise with little return aside from their own enjoyment are the lifeblood of this division. ARTCCs are tight-knit communities because for the longest time, the division hasn't done much to force us to co-mingle and coexist. The construct in which we operate makes us work together on things like LOAs, etc. out of necessity and not out of a desire to build bridges or relationships across the borders. Couple that with the fact that in this hobby, there's always going to be an implicit air of competition from one facility to the next, and you have the friendly, but largely adversarial view by which most controllers and staff regard their neighbors.

That being said, it also takes a cultural shift. Many times during high traffic situations, tempers flare, and we're busy looking for ways to blame everyone around us (including the pilots). What we need to be doing is taking more pride in the way we work and doing our best to not shovel our mess into the adjoining sectors or facilities. I just had a long conversation with one of my S3 controllers who is on the precipice of his Center OTS. He was concerned about "what if [insert Center here] screws us over on spacing?" to which I had to gently nudge him into acknowledging that none of us are perfect at this hobby. Rather than trying to blame the neighbors for underperforming, we should be looking for ways to help them step up their game. Constructive feedback and sharing of techniques and best practices goes a long way, and I'm incredibly happy to see Rick's initiatives to start that process.

DK hit it on the head - at the end of the day, we're all on the same team.

This is spot on Dhruv.  What I wanted to say, but diplomatic and eloquent lol.


General Discussion / Re: We don't talk enough...
« on: November 08, 2018, 02:17:59 PM »

All good questions.  I personally feel that a big problem with Vatusa is the BS we have all seen the past few weeks.  Everyone has their own agenda and feels they “run” the show.  This is a group effort and we aren’t playing well as a group. 

Transparency is key with any group and I feel like the higher ups here choose to keep a tight lip for reasons I don’t understand.  I still love this network 8 years later and cut my teeth while learning to fly real world on here.  It seems that there is no real urgency to keep people intrigued with our “passion”. 


Really looking forward to meeting everyone.  Hotel, Expo and Travel is all booked.  Just look for the goofy guy with all the tattoo's on his legs lol.


General Discussion / Integrity of the Network
« on: November 10, 2010, 11:37:48 AM »
Quote from: Graeme Florance

lot of accusations there but no facts or subsistence to back up any of your allegations.  ZAU was and is just fine !!!!


It was personal attacks such as the one above that got you fired.  Don't be bitter get over it and enjoy your staff position at ZMP.  Is there any events going on up there anytime soon?

Yes we do actually.  Ira +1 spot on to the T!

General Discussion / Integrity of the Network
« on: November 09, 2010, 08:52:51 PM »
Okay Gary, to right the ship back on track, what is the bottom line here?  I think we can all agree that with all the hard work that us, the network as whole, put into this day in and day out with the free time we have outside our normal lives, feels like it is going down the drain upon deaf ears.  We don't do this as a "game" I think we can ALL also agree on that.  If it were a game I would just sit on atc_sim and control AI traffic.  We do it for the realism factor and the human intetaction amongst friends, pilots, strangers alike.  But like I stated in my first post, when we log on and get people that A.  Have NO clue whats going on B. Act like you dont exist C.  Could care less about all the hard work behind the scenes, how do you think we feel (hopefully yourself included) when the BoG or VATSIM in general could really care less if this turns into a "GAME".  I know I didnt spend all the countless hours on sweatbox and live training sessions to just have that all go away.  

I mean what happened to the days that CoC was follwed for pilots that were away from there computer too long or unresponsive?  I know that I HAVE been kicked for it, even suspended because of it.  Now Im lucky when I control (usually at 11-2AM PST) to get a response from 2-3 pilots becuase the rest are asleep.  My point is the realism factor is not there anymore with small things like this and pilots not having even a fraction of an idea of whats going on.

Sorry for my rant that is all over the place.  Its like anything in life, you put hard work and effort into for no compesation besides the gratitude of knowing that you provided the best / most accurate experience and you feel like you are getting dumped to the wayside.  Its very frustrating and sad too see a thing that I have been a part of slowly wither away.  I wont be here to see it burn down in flames.


General Discussion / Integrity of the Network
« on: November 09, 2010, 01:27:56 PM »

I know this is off topic, but Dhruv and Logan and all the staff at our facility do an amazing job keeping the SOP's and Sector Files/Maps up to date and they work their a$$ off doing it.  Spending their own time and effort after they teach / work all day to make this the most interactive experience possible.  Thank you for someone actually realizing it!


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