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Messages - Don Desfosse

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News / Re: Honolulu Has a New ATM!
« on: August 18, 2023, 10:37:48 AM »
Dave's back!  Mahalo, Dave!

Please note that the BoG has been listening and actively revising the New Member Orientation program to try to find a better balance between "thou shalt be perfect" vs. "some people think 'learning environment' means 'preschool free-for-all'"....  Finding the true sweet spot in the middle for the entire community is challenging, especially as one person's "perfect balance" is very likely to be different for many other folks.

That said, in addition to the aforementioned training improvements, the BoG is currently considering and working on drafts of what additional IFR training and certification requirements to operate on VATSIM would look like.

Also, please note that VATSIM is in a beta phase of a pilot referral program (currently known as the Pilot Accountability Project), kinda like "I've got a number for you", where controllers can request assistance from a Supervisor (via .wallop), explain the problem the pilot has, and either suggest (or the Supervisor will just refer) that the pilot be referred to Pilot Training for additional training.  Right now, that program is available only through reaching out to Supervisors, as the team working on the project architects how to make it more widely available to the whole community.

The community is definitely being listened to, and we are very actively trying to implement improvements to address the pilot knowledge gap (general reference, obviously not directed at all pilots) that have drained the patience, good nature, and occasionally will to live of so many controllers (myself included, at times...). 

Nothing moves fast enough, and of course one person's perfect is different than many others', but we're trying!!!

I hope this helps shed a little more light/perspective.

General Discussion / Re: ATC bookings in USA
« on: May 20, 2023, 03:09:55 PM »
In my opinion, that's a personal opinion.  If one values rigidity in a plan over spontaneously enjoying whatever ATC is online, then I suppose that could be a valid argument.  However, many thousands of people, including many hundreds of Europeans, fly happily in the US every day.  To each his own.

General Discussion / Re: ATC bookings in USA
« on: May 19, 2023, 07:40:06 AM »
Sorry, Patrick, that does not exist in the US at present.  Many individual ARTCCs have their own booking calendars (as an example, upper left corner of but I don't believe anyone has or is working an initiative to display a centralized calendar for the US (like VATUK does with the VATUK Central Training System, which is what I believe you were referring to). 

There have occasionally been requests by folks in the community for a truly centralized global ATC calendar, but no developers (to the best of my knowledge) have stepped forward to undertake such a project.  There are likely already systems out there that could handle bookings on a global level, but again not enough pull from the community combined with interest from any developer(s) to make it happen.

Events / Re: A Mile High
« on: April 20, 2023, 09:06:34 AM »
Love it! :) :) :)

NOTAMs / RIP Curley Bryant
« on: February 07, 2023, 07:00:38 PM »
Sadly, Curley Bryant, a member of SATCO, an original member of VATSIM, a former VATUSA Deputy Director, Seattle ATM, and also held other roles within VATUSA, has passed away.

News / Re: New VATUSA Division Director Selected
« on: February 07, 2023, 09:39:56 AM »
Congratulations, Brandon!  Strap in, it's going to be a helluva ride, but a good one!

The Control Room Floor / Re: Issue with vATIS Compact View
« on: December 01, 2022, 02:19:07 PM »
Hi Ian, you'd probably be best posting on the VATSIM forums; Justin hasn't been on here for 5.5 months.

Good luck!

Events / Re: Hooked On Phoeniks
« on: September 13, 2022, 03:37:02 PM »
Yeah, what could possibly go wrong? :) :)

Events / Re: Hooked On Phoeniks
« on: September 09, 2022, 12:06:27 PM »
Love it!

News / Re: VATUSA Division Director Appointment
« on: August 16, 2022, 10:28:21 PM »
My heartiest Congratulations, Anthony!  Blue skies, tailwinds, and much success!

News / Re: Wes Miles ZHQ Retirement
« on: April 07, 2022, 08:33:57 AM »
Wes, thank you for all that you've done for VATUSA over the years.  Wishing you the best in your retirement!  Maybe you'll do what I did -- take a year off and then jump back in! :)

The Control Room Floor / Re: Becoming ATC
« on: January 23, 2022, 10:53:34 PM »
Yes, our expectations are much higher of ATC than "just take a written test and go control."  It takes quite a bit of learning and experience to be a good controller.  Part of that process is training sessions that lead to certifications that actually mean something.  That's the bar we set on this network and in this community.  It's not for everyone, and that's OK.

The Control Room Floor / Re: Pilot Expectations, cont...
« on: July 12, 2021, 05:40:35 PM »
^ This :)  Yep, as much as some people think BoG isn't paying attention, I can assure you that we talk about pilot quality, feedback mechanisms, balance, preventing against abuse, and tradeoffs quite often.  And as much as some people think all the BoG cares about is quantity over quality, I can assure you that can't be farther from the truth! 

Simon was just appointed in his role, and has read this with significant interest.  He is new to the conversation at the BoG level, but is jumping in with both feet.  I, and many of us, look forward to what will come.

News / Re: June 1, 2021
« on: May 27, 2021, 11:46:55 AM »
I'm guessing you're guessing right....  I'll admit though, I'll miss the current logo ;)  (old sentimental fart speaking ;) )

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