Pilot Expectations, cont...

Kyle Sanders

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Pilot Expectations, cont...
« on: July 06, 2021, 11:17:11 AM »
I am creating this thread because as Mani (USA1) stated in another topic thread, he does not wish to shut down this discussion, but it was a bit outside the scope of the topic it was posted under.
Reference: https://forums.vatusa.net/index.php?topic=10178.msg45876#msg45876




The following is the partial post from Dylan Lundberg on 05JUL2021 that triggered a following of those that agree that VATUSA Management should be advocating to VATSIM HQ for more accountability and reasonable knowledge checks for pilots prior to pilots being allowed to connect and fly.

Quote
2) What is the UNDERLYING cause of controllers not wanting to control? P I L O T S. I'll be damned if I'm going to staff more than I'm required, when us controllers are held to a crazy high standard, yet the 13 year old that gets MFSF2020 can connect without actually being checked for competency to comply with basic ATC instructions. Obviously this issue goes higher than VATUSA, but VATUSA isn't doing anyone any favors by telling facilities towards the bottom of the list "You should be online more." What VATUSA COULD be doing to help improve and motivate controllers to do more than what it required, is to be up at the front door of the BOG, knocking until they actually start taking pilot competency seriously. IT IS NOT FUN when we get online, and have to hand hold 50% of the pilots on our frequency. That alone is a big reason why most facilities don't have an higher uptime. Then you need to account for environmental factors like, I don't know, actually having a life outside the hobby, LOAs, etc. Controllers are BURNTOUT from dealing with the pilots that do not know what they're doing. We can preach to them that they should read the Pilot Learning documents, but currently that is merely a recommendation.

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.

4) You don't motivate leaders/members of a volunteer organization by comparing them to the guy next door. You're treating this as a company-type measurable metric, as if the pilots are our customers. No. Don't. PLEASE DON'T. By reaching out to some ARTCC leaders and telling them "We think your facility should be on more" again, is ignoring the underlying issues at hand. We need to first address the WHY, fix those issues, THEN we can begin to make headway in uptime.

My personal note:

I am a huge advocate for constructive feedback for management. Compared to years past, this particular group of individuals at the VATUSA HQ seem to be much more concerned with getting things done that have needed to be done for years and for the most part, approach these projects and tasks with a sense of logic and reason.

I would very much like this discussion to not be so much of a pilot and management-bashing thread but rather a constructive means to relay to our HQ department the reasons we are tired of controlling on the network with pilots that directly kill the “Realism” and therefore, “fun” of the simulation for us.

Yes, pilots have choices for the networks they can join (if any) to fly their sims and an argument could be made that ATC need Pilots, but not the other way around... sure, but if your activity hours for ATC start to dwindle, along with the quality in which we provide services, then that is an issue too. We might have found another hobby that doesn't annoy us so much. I am in favor of making this network just as attractive for ATC as it is for pilots.

For every pilot that is “one of those”, it seems that there is another pilot that takes the constructive criticism and resources we send via PM very well and appreciates the time we took to give them this information.

Why isn't this information provided to them in a more constructive way from the beginning? Even though I like the pilots that take the information well, it still takes away from me separating traffic and doing my job, and ultimately takes away from the simulation.

The Pilot Learning Center is fairly well done, but it does not seem to filter out “THOSE” pilots that have no intentions on making this a fun and educational environment, and it seems that the pilots that would benefit from that information and appreciate it still don't know it's there until we take the time to PM them.

Can we start the discussion on what can be done at the VATSIM level to correct this and hopefully propose it to the higher-ups?
« Last Edit: July 07, 2021, 09:27:50 AM by Kyle Sanders »
Best Regards,
Kyle Sanders

Alex Ying

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Re: Pilot Expectations, cont...
« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2021, 12:35:29 PM »
I'll preface this by saying 75+% (perhaps even more) of pilots I see on the network while controlling are great. They know their stuff, or if they run into something where they don't, they know where to find information or how to ask for help and are receptive to feedback.

However, those that don't fall into that category can be so distracting that it completely outweighs the positive enjoyment I get. There's been some research on things like this and on average, people perceive bad experiences about 3-4 times worse than equivalent good experiences. It only takes one bad pilot to completely ruin a controlling session because we're in the unfortunate circumstance where a competent pilot is almost unnoticeable compared to a bad pilot who can't turn the right direction, or hold a heading, or even give readbacks. Our bad experiences, even before accounting for perception, are worse than good experiences.

In the past week in about 6 hours of online time, I've seen instances of
  • Missing the first call for an instruction every time. Every single instruction took 2 calls
  • Multiple instances of pilots having an amended route in their flight plan (presumably they read it back at some point, they came from controlled fields), but flying something completely different. On asking them, they event sent back the correct route that matched their flight plan, but for whatever reason they never bothered to reprogram their aircraft
  • A stuck mic for 5+ minutes and the pilot not responding to anything via text

These are just the occurrences that stand out because they were more obnoxious than usual. On top of that, there's the tons of unresponsive or AFK pilots, and the usual lack of chart-reading or improper FMS programming or not knowing how to hand-fly a departure procedure. We've collectively just come to accept these, but why? All of the lack of pilot competencies increases controller workload. I regularly have to message neighboring controllers asking if they got a pilot on comms because they don't even reliably read back comms transfers.

Until there is a robust means of enforcing stuff that's already in the CoC (B8 for example), I'm not convinced a change in the CoC or other network rules will be effective. What happens after I wallop someone? Usually a SUP contacts me and says they're on it and after some time the pilot either calls me or gets disconnected. If they get disconnected, then is there a follow-up action? I would hope so, but as a regular member of the network, I have no visibility into that, and I don't have way to know that action is in fact being taken. Suppose they do call me, this is actually sometimes more of a problem because more likely than not, the reason I had to call a SUP to begin with was because they don't know what they're doing. I may now have someone who I have to hand-hold, or someone who is barely responsive, or in the worst case, someone who is actively causing problems on my frequency (stuck mic, or has bad radio etiquette, or is actively hostile towards me).

I'm sure I don't have the best solutions to these problems, but from the perspective of a regular controlling member, it doesn't look like management/governance at the VATSIM level really cares about the controller perspective. Every time I've seen a forum thread on this (usually on the VATSIM forums), discussion about stricter enforcement of rules gets shut down or brushed aside. I think stricter enforcement of the rules we currently have would go a long way to making things better. Give controllers the confidence that when they do report something, that something longer-term than just kicking the pilot off the network is being done.

Controllers tend to be the most skilled and highly trained people on the network simply because we have to go through all this training. Empower us and put more trust in us to do the right thing. I shouldn't have to send 3+ messages to a SUP describing in depth what the problem is to get a problematic pilot kicked (this is rare, but if it does happen, and I'm very busy I often can be covering en-route top-down, it's very annoying). Give us a way to report pilot deviations that don't require calling a SUP in. While annoying, I can work around someone who lands on the wrong runway or doesn't join the localizer. I don't want to go through the wallop rigmarole nor do I want to waste SUPs' time with things that are smaller infractions but infractions nonetheless. (As an aside, why is it that when I connect with the wrong vis range, I almost instantly get a message from a SUP, but it can take 5-10+ minutes to get a problematic pilot removed? Is this an automation issue? If so, all the more reason to empower controllers. Let us help the supervisors.)

Having a pilot record would also, in my opinion, go a long way towards creating stronger incentives for pilots to actually read and learn the material in the pilot resource and learning centers. Right now, once you pass the entrance exam, you can get away with learning nothing else and if you don't care, all the encouragement and asking nicely from other people isn't going to do anything (leading a horse to water vs. getting it to drink and all that).

Zachary Bartig

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Re: Pilot Expectations, cont...
« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2021, 12:36:05 PM »
Hi All,

Hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend.  I've been reading through the mid-year thread for a while now and am glad to see that the discussion of pilot quality is becoming more widespread. Based on some things that I have read above I figured I'd chime in quick on the topic through a non-controller perspective.

Since the origination of MSFS integrating with the network, I've noticed (and believe many others have too) the mass influx of these new members jumping straight into their Neos and 747s, as when those new to aviation think about aviation, airliners are generally what comes to mind first rather than the basics such as 172s and the like.  Now, of course the network is based upon having the freedom to fly whatever, and wherever, but I do believe that the majority of the new members on the network are really missing out on some of the finer things that aviation has to offer, and even the basis of MSFS itself: VFR flying. 

I know that there is a growing increase in members discussing the need for more introduction training/CBT for new pilots on the network, but training systems also take thousands of man-hours to create and sustain; something that may be part of the hinderance to jump to that ship.  In my eyes, I wanted to suggest looking at some of the community generated assets that may be little-known, but are extremely beneficial to the pilot-training portion of the network.  What really stands out to me, is the Virtual USA Flying Club.  No, this is not some shameless plug, just a community asset that I've come to really hold at a high standard on Vatsim, and admire the hard work that the VUFC community puts in to being personable with new members on the network. 

I joined the VUFC about a year or so ago, and attend most of their fly-in events.  Surely it is a ton of fun, but to me, the golden ticket there are the community members that it is comprised of.  Over time, I see dozens and dozens of pilots new to the network that join, but often with many questions even as simple as how to fly a pattern.  There has not been a single question there that has not been answered by a handful of people, often even offering to jump into a voice channel and work one on one with them.  My basis for that is, I see Vatsim and/or VATUSA trying to partner with larger streamers to bring in new people, but once these newcomers join, it just adds to the growing group of those who may be a bit lost, or jump straight into the airliners.  Possibly discussing a partnership with a group such as the VUFC as an option for newcomers to join, not only would help alleviate frustration that newcomers may have, but also will teach the very fundamentals of aviation (VFR) that in my eyes would be asinine for someone to not understand prior to hopping into an IFR scenario. 

Building upon that in terms of partnerships (and streamers), the new stream partnership announcement I think is pretty cool, but I took it with a grain of salt as well.  To me, and I know to some others as well, a lot of these streamers inadvertently draw in a large part of the crowd that wants to jump straight into airliners and complex aircraft.  Theoretically, this is because they see the guy on stream can fly the A320, so why can't they jump in and do the same?  Flying of course is a lot more than just following the checklists or steps from the streamer.   Communication and processes are a huge part, which often is overlooked and to me is a large part of the frustration that controllers are facing. 

In terms of business and marketing, I get it.  Partnering with well known large streamers is a huge key to growing brand awareness.  I mean, Microsoft parters with some of the world's largest marketing firms, not the guy on Fiverr, right?  But I also think that it is effective only to a certain point.  Going back to the above in regards to the VUFC, there are a few key streamers in there that work most specifically on VFR flights, simple IFR, and how-to/instructional videos as well, for example Eric (EricFlight), Rob (Slant Alpha Adventures), Mike (Jet Pilot Cinnamon), and the list goes on.  They may not have the largest following, but I think it would be absolutely more than beneficial to work with some of the dedicated individuals such as the ones listed above if we are talking stream partnerships.  It's a quality over quantity scenario for me, and I think that may be the missed point here.  Having partnerships with personable streamers that interact with everyone in the chat log to promote the learnings and fundamentals of aviation to me would be a no brainer, especially considering that many of them are a lot more dedicated to Vatsim itself than the ones who get on Twitch and make $5K per video.  Kudos to them for creating that type of income stream, but considering that Vatsim is a non-profit organization, wouldn't we want to be partnering with those who dedicate their time to volunteering and helping others on the network rather than creating money incentivized Twitch moguls?  And I don't want to get off on the wrong foot there, as I have tons of respect for those who can create such large followings online and I am more than sure that they are all great quality people.  But at the same time, I think it would be a bit more logical to look into those who have been with Vatsim for years, dedicated to furthering Vatsim and the knowledge of new-school AND old-school pilots on the network. In my eyes, giving back to those who have been here through the thick and thin by supporting their channels (which have supported Vatsim for years) is not only just a moral thing, but it's also just a clear and simple way to help alleviate the pilot issues.

I don't mean to go on and on and on here, but there does become a point in which people start to notice that the efforts from above are shifting more to growing a brand instead of working to patch up some rough areas.  We can't build a 10 story building when the 1st floor has weakened supports. 

TLDR, the pilot quality issue is getting worse.  There is no way to disregard that; but IMO Vatsim is continuing to follow the wrong route by promoting large streamers to bring more new pilots to the network.  This only adds to the group of people that hop straight into complex IFR and airliner scenarios that are way above their head, completely skipping right over all of the fundamentals of flying (VFR, training, common procedures, radio communication, etc.).  We have resources that are already built for this (such as the VUFC, and smaller but more dedicated streamers), but they are overlooked each day as eyes gaze upon the member count number and mouths drool over making it increase.  Lately Vatsim just seems to have lost it's personal "zest" that it held for well over a decade, and has become more of a hostile corporate-feeling community rather than the personalized buddy network that it was.

I must note, I don't mean to take a dig at anyone, or anything.   I am more than grateful for what Vatsim and the community has to offer for everyone and myself, but I just can't help but notice that it seems to be taking the wrong turn towards rapid expansion rather than addressing pilot quality. By recognizing the tools out there in the community we could more than help the alleviation of such issues. Just my thought processes. Hopefully this reaches some fruition at the higher levels.

Best regards,
Zach

Jeff Pace

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Re: Pilot Expectations, cont...
« Reply #3 on: July 06, 2021, 01:09:10 PM »
Hello All,
I am pasting my response to the other thread here as this thread is covering pilot competency issues. I am getting frustrated seeing the pilot quality getting worse all the time. I think some very good points have been brought up in this thread. If I may, I would like to give some thoughts from a pilot's perspective.  Sorry for the long drawn out response in advance. I'll admit I am not the most amazing Vatsim pilot out there and only have 150+ hours on the network but I do have 1000s of hours flight simming (mostly xplane11 and a couple hundred on MSFS2020). I agree with alot of what the controllers are saying in this thread.

First, I feel like the addition of MSFS2020 to the network is a big issue. That "sim" is where alot of issues lie right off the bat. I feel like MSFS2020 is an amazing sim for VFR flying only and theoretically it could be on the network in VFR conditions for VFR flying. The real issue is IFR. I have tried the airliners (747,787, A320Neo and FBW A320) and jets in msfs2020 and they are nowhere near being ready for Vatsim (hence why I fly them offline until they are good enough to be flown on the network which will be later). I cannot speak as far as the popular CRJ7 and the other CRJ's that Aerosoft has produced however. The systems are not to where they should be in order to fly on the network. Speaking of aircraft on the network, I do alot of flights in a new aircraft off of the network before I even consider jumping on the network and flying it on the network like at least 5-10 hours of flying off the network before doing it on the network and making sure I am 100 competent in that airplane first. Alot of people seem to get a new airplane regardless of what sim they are on and jump straight on the network, which is the wrong thing to do which is where alot of issues come into play.

My second point will be about the incompetency of the pilots. The fact that pilots in MSFS2020 and even some in other sims don't even know what a chart is disconcerting. The pilots don't even know about such things as skyvector. I bring up Skyvector as a perfect example. Why? Because its free. When I started getting into IFR flying about a year ago, Skyvector was my go to tool before I upgraded my Navigraph subscription and as I fly real world I also have a foreflight subscription as well. I learned how to read the charts, I learned about spd/alt constraints, the differences of what different airplanes can or cant do. For example, /L vs /W vs /A etc. I learned the lingo of ATC and what to expect and what to have pre-planned for my flight (example, what is D-Atis saying regarding runways and taxi ways), what is the metar and current weather conditions and the airport im departing and what can I expect weather wise and runway wise at my destination? The fact that pilots are not doing the research and not having the knowledge is the issue even when the info is free and readily available even on the internet or on the particular VATUSA pages for those specific airspaces.

I feel really bad for controllers when they have to deal with incompetent pilots. I as a pilot even get annoyed with this issue. There's alot of great younger pilots but the immaturity of some of these pilots is an issue as well regardless of age. I feel as if with the addition of MSFS2020 there are alot more immature teenagers and frankly kids on the network. There are alot more trolls on the network as well who want to have fun and fool around even on the frequencies which is frustrating especially if say you are on an arrival or approach, etc. As a hardcore simmer, I feel like trolling is a big issue right now. Evryone wants to fool around and BS with their friends and so on and so forth. For example, I was taking off at ATL going to KSDF the other day. A youtuber and his following decided to spawn in at KATL (no big deal). This youtuber it appears has alot of younger pilots that follow him, specifically of the teenage age group. Like I said I have no problem with ages whatsoever. KATL and KZTL controllers were amazing and did a great job, however the other pilots were causing havoc. They were stepping all over each other on the ground frequency, not letting the controller do his job, chit-chatting on the frequency, and more. I think I sat there for approximately 30-45 min to taxi to the runway. (I wasn't even mad and was greatly impressed with this ground controller's skills).

Yet it seems vatsim gets on the controller's instead of getting on the real issue, incompetent pilots. I can totally see why the controllers get frustrated and burnt out. I feel like they get talked to or perhaps in trouble for something that's completely not their fault. It is the pilots responsibility to be able to fly their aircraft without the handholding of the controllers. Aviate, Navigate, Communicate (the responsibilities of the pilot). And if feel as if ATC is having to handhold one pilots hand or focus on them bc that pilot is competent or doing whatever they want to do and not listening to ATC, it takes attention away from their controlled airspace, etc, which can also make the pilots feel as if their service is degraded which isn't fair to those other pilots or the controllers. I think we have alot of amazing controllers on this network and I don't think its fair to them.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all of you Vatsim staff, VATUSA staff, Controllers of all levels, from C/D all the way up to center controllers. You all do an amazing job on this network, and us pilots appreciate you all! You all are the real heroes of this network and I genuinely appreciate the dedication and the time you guys put in to control us pilots. You all are amazing. Keep your head up and keep up that amazing great work that you all do! THANKYOU all so very much

Like I said, I apologize for the long post. Thankyou all for your time. Mods feel free to take this down or edit if something I said is not allowed.
Jeff Pace

Robert Shearman Jr

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Re: Pilot Expectations, cont...
« Reply #4 on: July 06, 2021, 02:16:16 PM »
Zach, I  appreciate the kind words and the mention.  I do think that as a network, VATSIM can do more to point pilots to resources to learn and get started.  And I do think there needs to be some accountability when they refuse to do so.

However, as much of a proponent of General Aviation flying I am, I don't think *forcing* pilots to start with GA is the right move.  The overwhelming majority of VATSIM pilots want to fly airliners because that is what they consider fun and that is what interests them.  Forcing them to first do X-dozen hours of something that they *don't* consider fun and that *doesn't* interest them is not the right way to go.  It's only going to chase them away.

There are thousands upon thousands of perfectly capable virtual airliner pilots on the network on a weekly basis, and many of them have 0.0 hours in anything smaller than 100,000 pounds.   Let's figure out how they got there and encourage the rest of our budding Captains to follow a similar path.   The ones who want to gravitate toward General Aviation will do so, and I think we've proven that we can make that experience super-enjoyable when they do.  But let's not force the ones who don't.
Cheers,
-R.

Tim Simpson

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Re: Pilot Expectations, cont...
« Reply #5 on: July 06, 2021, 02:20:50 PM »

Until there is a robust means of enforcing stuff that's already in the CoC (B8 for example), I'm not convinced a change in the CoC or other network rules will be effective. What happens after I wallop someone? Usually a SUP contacts me and says they're on it and after some time the pilot either calls me or gets disconnected.

Maybe that's a start.  The reality is that these forums are more closely moderated than the online network.  Think about that.  Instead of a wallop, followed by a lengthy discussion, why not give all controllers moderator power?  WARNING!  Upcoming POSCON reference.  Allow the controller(acting as a moderator) to "ghost" the offending pilot, and have the ghosting action trigger a direct audio connection between the offending pilot, and a randomly assigned online supervisor.


Robert Shearman Jr

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Re: Pilot Expectations, cont...
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2021, 02:29:32 PM »
I definitely think POSCON is on to something when they (a) are building an infrastructure which allows pilots to receive positive or negative feedback just like controllers do, and (b) empower controllers to take immediate action when pilots are disrupting the frequency and/or the flow.

Making those actions subject to review, and to discipline controllers who abuse them -- and making the note that the pilot receives when it happens constructive, encouraging them to fix the issue and try again next time -- those are the challenges.  And they're big ones, which is probably why VATSIM leadership has balked at moving in that kind of direction.
Cheers,
-R.

Justin Blakey

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Re: Pilot Expectations, cont...
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2021, 05:39:45 PM »
I've also been extremely annoyed by the pilot quality issues as of late. I'm not going to write a book here as many of my thoughts were already said by those above and in the other thread that this one stems from, but here are some of my thoughts on possible steps in the right direction on this issue.

1. More advanced entry exams. I am aware that VATSIM now requires an exam for new pilots, but I haven't seen its contents (is this possible?) and I know for sure it hasn't made a dent in the problem. An idea could be to make a new exam on the basics of IFR (targeted at the 13 year olds who want to go from zero to 747-8), covering things like SIDs, STARs, arrival transitions, approaches, top altitudes, chart reading, etc. and prohibit new pilots from filing IFR flight plans until they pass the exam.
2. A better enforcement system. Along the lines of what Alex said, empower the controllers. Create a system for us to file "deviations" against pilots for common mistakes and save these to the pilot's record. I'm not saying that these should be vehemently enforced/punished (in most cases a simple follow-up explaining the mistake and what to do next time would probably suffice), but if a pilot has had 10 deviations filed against them in their last 10 flights then action should be taken.
3. Pilot rating programs. I promise I'm not trying to pat ZBW on the back here, but PRPs can provide a great introduction to the ATC/communications/procedural side of flying that are not easily replicated. I have a unique perspective as I went through BVA's WINGS program at the same time as my IRL instrument ground school, and I can definitively say that the WINGS briefings explained many instrument concepts better than my ground school did. I'm not sure if there is a good implementation or realization of this, but PRPs are (in my view) a great way to improve pilot quality as they require pilots to actually learn something and involve feedback from controllers.

Controllers have mandatory training requirements; pilots do not. Feedback/QA systems for controllers are in place at most facilities, but there is no equivalent for pilots. It's time to fix that.
Justin Blakey
ZBW C1 | Mentor
FAA Private Pilot, ASEL

Tim Simpson

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Re: Pilot Expectations, cont...
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2021, 05:43:01 PM »

However, as much of a proponent of General Aviation flying I am, I don't think *forcing* pilots to start with GA is the right move.  The overwhelming majority of VATSIM pilots want to fly airliners because that is what they consider fun and that is what interests them.  Forcing them to first do X-dozen hours of something that they *don't* consider fun and that *doesn't* interest them is not the right way to go.  It's only going to chase them away.

I respect that opinion.  There might be some who would balk at the notion of having to learn the ropes through general aviation.  I do think you are looking at this though, as if VATSIM exists in a vacuum.  I don't want to dredge up the whole game vs sim argument, but flight simming and VATSIM are computer games.  Gamers in general are used to having to start at level one, and then advance, to gain more things in a game.  Many virtual airlines start "new hires" in turboprops, or regional jets until they build hours, and then get promoted, allowing them to fly larger aircraft.  Lastly, I'll give the example of iRacing.  You have to start at the bottom in iRacing, and show competence before you can move up in their divisions.  Yes iRacing is a paid service, but you can't just bull rush your way in, and say your gonna start out in the top tier stock car division on day one, yet iRacing thrives on that model.  Virtual airlines that require time building thrive.  First person shooters and RPG's thrive on the level up concept.  VATSIM could thrive as well...........if it wanted to.  Opinion as well.

Andrew Lorenzo

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Re: Pilot Expectations, cont...
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2021, 06:32:25 PM »
Do something like Uber. Pilots can send feedback to controllers(which is already a thing), and controllers can leave feedback on a pilot. Hopefully, pilots will take it as constructive criticism.

Nicholas Watkins

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Re: Pilot Expectations, cont...
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2021, 06:34:12 PM »
Do something like Uber. Pilots can send feedback to controllers(which is already a thing), and controllers can leave feedback on a pilot. Hopefully, pilots will take it as constructive criticism.

YES! Ebay or Uber like feedback. Points given or taken away by a mostly automated system that would have input components to it on the part of ATC or the Pilot. In a very basic analogy think Ebay feedback.  I leave the seller feedback as the buyer and the seller leaves me feedback.

Also, the Pilots leaving Controller feedback isn't centralized currently and the pilots have no way of knowing a controller feedback rating.  Most, if not all, ARTCCs/FIRs don't even display a feedback metric on their website by controller.

Zhenhao Yang

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Re: Pilot Expectations, cont...
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2021, 06:34:50 PM »
I definitely think POSCON is on to something when they (a) are building an infrastructure which allows pilots to receive positive or negative feedback just like controllers do, and (b) empower controllers to take immediate action when pilots are disrupting the frequency and/or the flow.

Making those actions subject to review, and to discipline controllers who abuse them -- and making the note that the pilot receives when it happens constructive, encouraging them to fix the issue and try again next time -- those are the challenges.  And they're big ones, which is probably why VATSIM leadership has balked at moving in that kind of direction.

Perhaps VATUSA or VATSIM HQ can build something similar to the real-world NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System, in which:
  • Any participating member (pilot, controller, observer) can submit a report.
  • Incident reports are made public but personal identifying information (PII) is redacted.
  • Constructive feedback is provided to the offending pilot so they can become aware of their mistakes, when often times there is not enough time for the controller to explain everything in the moment online.
  • Self-reporting grants the offending pilot immunity (at least for the first violation) from certain CoC/CoR enforcement actions.
As a long-term goal, statistics of the most common deviations at each facility can also be published, and facilities can address these specific issues.
Zhenhao (Bruce) Yang
ZTL C3
Americas Region Conflict Resolution Manager

Ryan Pitt

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Re: Pilot Expectations, cont...
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2021, 06:42:46 PM »
I definitely think POSCON is on to something when they (a) are building an infrastructure which allows pilots to receive positive or negative feedback just like controllers do, and (b) empower controllers to take immediate action when pilots are disrupting the frequency and/or the flow.

Making those actions subject to review, and to discipline controllers who abuse them -- and making the note that the pilot receives when it happens constructive, encouraging them to fix the issue and try again next time -- those are the challenges.  And they're big ones, which is probably why VATSIM leadership has balked at moving in that kind of direction.

Perhaps VATUSA or VATSIM HQ can build something similar to the real-world NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System, in which:
  • Any participating member (pilot, controller, observer) can submit a report.
  • Incident reports are made public but personal identifying information (PII) is redacted.
  • Constructive feedback is provided to the offending pilot so they can become aware of their mistakes, when often times there is not enough time for the controller to explain everything in the moment online.
  • Self-reporting grants the offending pilot immunity (at least for the first violation) from certain CoC/CoR enforcement actions.
As a long-term goal, statistics of the most common deviations at each facility can also be published, and facilities can address these specific issues.

Some facilities do have something internally like this. I do think we need to start moving towards giving pilot feedback as well. Shouldn't be too hard at the VATSIM level to get the ball rolling.
Ryan Pitt
ZKC C1

Kaylan Fullerton

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Re: Pilot Expectations, cont...
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2021, 07:01:54 PM »
I agree with pretty much all points on this subject. Everything from this point forward is in my opinion. Bottom Line: Pilot proficiency is lacking and should be significantly improved. Pretty simple (but may take a lot of work) solution to said problem: Like controllers, pilots need to be trained and certified (either via self-study, face-to-face), prior to being turned loose. Anything short of this will yield the same results we've seen for years. However, like Robert said, there are plenty of pilots who are capable of doing their own self study to make themselves proficient enough to fly so restricting every pilot on the network is not necessary and will probably cause more headache.

Problem: By design, there are significantly more pilots than controllers so training such a volume face-to-face like we do controllers probably just isn't feasible.

Possible Solutions:
- Pilot Deviation Reporting - No brainier and everyone above has indicated exactly how I'd go about it. Pilots need to be able to see it so they can learn and grow. Should be managed by the Facility with the ability to be elevated higher if further action needs to be taken.
- Pilot Rating System similar to Pilotege - Their system works. What I like most about their system is you don't have to use it, but you better be good. If you are not good, use this program to get good. Oh by the way, no exam, just get on the network fly and prove that you can perform with a entire network of people around basically 24/7 to help you understand complex concepts/material.
- Controller kill Pilot capability - Remove the problem child when they are a problem (even if not on purpose) and file the report. Maybe they didn't know, but now they do and everyone can learn and grow. The reality is SUP's (to no fault of their own) are poorly equipped to actually decide if a pilot is worthy of a kill as it relates directly to air traffic operations in a "timely" and fair manner. The best equipped people to decide that is the facility. Guy who's frame rates aren't cooperating, kill. Guy who spawns on runway, kill. Guy who leaves computer 20 miles from the field on final freq, kill. File the report. They learn, your scope is manageable again, everybody happy. I imagine the process of the ".kill" is probably more complex, but you get the idea.

There is a certification and operation for those who choose that they in fact do not want to do the work either on their own or via a program to get smarter and more proficient. It's called the PPL and Visual flight rules. I have never complained with seeing a group flight of 30 aircraft in my airspace doing flips, tricks, and whatever else they do on unicom in uncontrolled airspace. The guy that doesn't want to do the work can still fly from ATL to SEA... just below FL180 and with basic radar services. Everyone still gets to play.

I realize that in practice, this is a gross oversimplification of what would be required to establish such a system and VATSIM/VATUSA has come such an incredibly long way over the last year. Most of what needs to be said has already been said and I ultimately want to provide my +1 for this issue.

V/R

Kaylan
Kaylan Fullerton
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Kyle Sanders

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Best Regards,
Kyle Sanders