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Messages - Robert Shearman Jr

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The Control Room Floor / Re: Facility Selection
« on: April 26, 2022, 01:03:06 PM »
In general terms -- and this is just MY OWN observation; nothing meant pro or con against any specific facility:

If you consider where the biggest, busiest, most popular airports are in the US in real life (JFK, BOS, ATL, LAX, DFW, DEN, DCA, MIA, MCO, ORD, etcetera), those places are also big, busy, and popular on VATSIM.  (Of those, presently, I would contend that Chicago is the one which is a bit understaffed relative to the others right now, but again, that's just my perception based on what little attention I pay to who's online often and who isn't.)  So, one strategy might be to look at ARTCCs which do NOT host any of the "big ten" I mentioned above.

If you REALLY want to dig into it, each ARTCC publishes a Controller Roster, and you can look at each to see who has the largest number of controllers.  That might be a bit deceiving because different ARTCCs might have different guidelines for keeping active controllers on the roster and removing inactive ones.  Some ARTCCs also post stats on controller hours for a given month, year, or other period.  That, too, can be skewed for example if a facility has a ton of newer controllers racking up DEL, GND, and TWR hours but not as many on APP/DEP or CTR.

In short -- there's no easy, cut-and-dried answer.  But, those thoughts might give you an inkling on how to decide.  Best wishes and good luck!

Events / Re: [June 18th, 2300-0300z] Journey out of Detroit
« on: February 02, 2022, 12:00:54 PM »
Not gonna lie, the theming of this event made me giggle with joy just now.

General Discussion / Re: IFR Clearance
« on: January 21, 2022, 01:56:22 PM »
Ok great. Thank you. I would assume if any adjustments need to be made to the plan, the new controller will reach out and advise. Correct?

We've started a livestream series on the VATUSA Twitch channel called "Friday Night Hotspot: FNO Preview" where we host a panel discussion with representatives from the FNO's featured facilities, discussing tips and tricks for avoiding some of the common pitfalls when flying in the event.  Last night was our sixth installment, previewing this event.  Unfortunately the Twitch VOD has some audio muted even though the music used was royalty-free -- but there's an archive of the local recording on my YouTube channel, here:

(So, okay, yes -- in fairness, this is a LITTLE of a self-promo -- but we, being the VATUSA media team, are really hopeful that these panel discussions are helpful to pilots considering flying the event.  Hopefully you agree!)

General Discussion / Re: JFK FNO
« on: September 12, 2021, 11:11:46 AM »
Yes, I did.  I hope you saw my response this morning.

Don't bang the drum on that 260 number too much.  That's 260 who didn't divert or disconnect out of frustration when they got held or groundstopped to oblivion.

Events / Re: [9/10/2021 2300z - 0300z] The JFK FNO
« on: September 12, 2021, 05:44:25 AM »
Anyone can argue ‘WELL THIS EVENT IS FAR FROM REALISTIC!’ You’re spot on. JFK doesn’t get slammed like this IRL. However if you want to take that stage and podium, I’ll ask you to then explain Cross the Pond.
First of all, Joe, I love you, man.  You know that.

Second of all, I didn't fly nor control in the event due to a large family gathering I was hosting this weekend.  So I'm basing my concerns about this on the comments I've seen in a handful of Discords, another post on this forum talking about multiple-hour ground holds, and other controllers who reached out to me personally to vent about the night's ordeal.

Third -- interesting that you mention Cross The Pond, because it's actually quite an apropos comparison.  It, too, like the FNO, is an event that started out fun and great, and part of the fun was the chaos of it.  But as it grew well beyond its capacity, the "chaos" of it became more and more overwhelming, venturing dangerously close to erasing the "fun" and "great" parts.  Each had a significant number of participating controllers who said, "it's too much; I'm not dealing with that anymore."  And then both CTP and FNO had high-level committees convened to figure out how to "fix" them moving forward.  Finally -- AN OPTION ON THE TABLE FOR BOTH WAS ABOLISHING THEM ALTOGETHER.

Look, I get that part of the challenge of controlling is pushing the limits of what you can handle.  But when you're holding planes on the ground for more than 30 or even 60 minutes to achieve that limit, you're sacrificing someone else's fun for your own.

My vote is, let's find a BALANCE.  If you want to do a single-field event, you're more than welcome to, anytime you want -- EXCEPT on a Friday night.  I don't think that's too much to ask.

Events / Re: Down the Coast
« on: September 12, 2021, 03:05:33 AM »
I'm loving that I feel like I'm seeing more GA-oriented events being hosted, throughout VATUSA.  Kudos to those Events Coordinators who push pilots to visit more than just the same 30-ish airports.  There are so many interesting places to explore!

General Discussion / Re: JFK FNO
« on: September 11, 2021, 08:38:11 PM »
and ZNY is going to Herald about how great this single airport fno was and how it went perfectly.

Please, Skylar, show me where you have seen any ZNY staff member, or controller saying that. I have not had a single one so far.

Events / Re: [9/10/2021 2300z - 0300z] The JFK FNO
« on: September 06, 2021, 11:37:30 PM »
Regardless of what was agreed, the event is clearly a tongue-in-cheek nose-thumbing to the new FNO guidelines, which were instituted to *prevent* all FNO traffic from being focused onto a single airfield.  But if this was done with buy-in from all interested parties, then the only thing that remains is to watch it go down and see how they do.  At the end of the night, *somebody* will get to throw out an "I told you so."  Perhaps we can all keep our wagers to ourselves.  I unfortunately won't be able to fly in this one but I'll be keenly interested in the post-mortem analysis.

Events / Re: Lake Day Adventure
« on: September 05, 2021, 11:23:17 PM »
Apologies to anyone who got caught in the mess at Lynchburg for the 1st hour.  I bit off more than I could chew trying to work a ton of VFR traffic in vSTARS, as a vSTARS rookie still.  Once I switched back to VRC, things went a lot better!  Hope not too many of you suffered for it!  Cheers!

Events / Re: ZFW Presents the "Fort Worth Smackdown"
« on: July 30, 2021, 12:36:37 AM »
Clearly, ZFW is prepared to bring the smackdown, and lots of it.

The Control Room Floor / Re: Comms
« on: July 21, 2021, 02:32:27 PM »
I am trying to listen in, OBS, on a freq however when I put the position name and freq into the communications box and then try to select the RX, HDST, and SPKR buttons, only the RX button will be selected. When I try to select the other two I get a beep sound and a msg in the command box that reads :Error: No voice channel specified." I guess I got lucky yesterday when I was able to make it work. What am I doing wrong?
If you're using the voice system integrated with VRC, vSTARS, or vERAM, it's no longer in use.  You'll need the separate Audio For VATSIM app to interact with the current voice system.  The Pilot Clients were updated when the new voice system was adopted; the radar clients were not.

Events / Re: [07/18/21 1900-2300Z] VATVENTURE 2021
« on: July 18, 2021, 02:14:11 PM »
Chicago ARTCC did an AMAZING job putting this on, once again.  Top-notch.  I hope anyone who missed it today gets a chance to fly it Thursday.  Cheers!

Events / Re: [07/18/21 1900-2300Z] VATVENTURE 2021
« on: July 15, 2021, 10:24:41 PM »
Question for MSFS2020 users:

The NOTAM recommends this scenery add-on in order to ensure one has the "dots":

However, this scenery is also available, is a bit more complete than the above, and also has the "dots":

Can someone knowledgeable confirm that the second would work (i.e. the correct dots of the correct colors are in the correct places)?  I did a quick tour of the airport and it looks okay to me.

EDIT: I just found the pages in the NOTAM which depict where each dot and sqaure is located.  I checked them all and it looks good.  I can informally recommend that second scenery!  It's not as immersively detailed as the LPNils version for X-Plane 11 (which is INCREDIBLE, FYI), but, it's nicely done.

The Control Room Floor / Re: Pilot Expectations, cont...
« on: July 12, 2021, 02:34:33 PM »
Considering that the member of the BoG who is directly responsible for Pilot Training just answered this thread in the post above yours, I'd say we have it on good authority that we have attained their audience with our concerns.

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