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Topics - Mark Hubbert

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1
General Discussion / Friday Night Operations
« on: April 28, 2020, 10:41:06 pm »
Fellow Aviators,
It has been a long standing tradition at VATUSA to facilitate Friday Night OPS Events on Friday Nights.  Recently we have seen a tremendous increase in traffic during these events which has overloaded facilities causing lengthy ground delays and holds in the air.  Now with people at home practicing self-isolation during the COVID-19 Pandemic the traffic levels have increased even more.  With that in mind the VATUSA Division has decided to change the format of Friday Night OPS to better accommodate the volume of traffic.  We will be doing a couple of different things.  We will host events in two formats.
1.)  Open Mic Night - We will not feature any airport in particular but the ARTCC's will staff up to their ability.  This offers a unique opportunity for pilots to see who is online and plan a flight.  There should be multiple facilities staffed which should create more options for the pilots to select their flight.
2.)  Regional Nights - Where 3 ARTCC's and more fields are staffed.  Once again creating additional opportunities for pilots.

We realize these changes are sudden and we have replaced some already scheduled events with these changes.  We appreciate your cooperation and understanding.  Our hopes for the future are to improve the Friday Night OPS events and try to cut back on the Ground Delays and Holds in the Air to the best of our ability.  We are asking pilots to check to see how much traffic is at a given facility before logging on and select a departure and destination that is not over-saturated with traffic.  If we can work together (Controllers and Pilots) hopefully we can make the Friday Night OPS Events more enjoyable for all.

May 1, 2020 - Open Mic Night FNO
May 8, 2020 - OPen Mic Night FNO
May 15, 2020 Southern Region FNO 
May 22, 2020 Northeast Crossings III FNO
May 29, 2020 Open Mic Night

2
News / VATUSA 5 Position Filled
« on: February 16, 2020, 07:21:09 pm »
Please Join me in welcoming and congratulating Jackson Gilliam as VATUSA's new VATUSA5.

3
News / Position Posting - VATUSA Events Manager/VA Liaison
« on: December 21, 2019, 03:38:18 pm »
VATUSA is currently seeking highly motivated, well experienced applicants for the position of Events Manager/VA Liaison.

Key Accountabilities:
* Reports to the Division Director
* Functions as an interactive VATUSA staff member and attends meetings as necessary
* Maintains an active online presence within the Division, Region, and on the VATSIM network
* Guides and mentors the subordinate ARTCC Event Coordinators as required
* Coordinates with adjacent Air Traffic Directors on inter-regional events and planning
* Coordinates with subordinate Event Coordinators on inter-regional events and planning
* Prepares and analyzes relevant data and/or reports
* Serves as a promoter of all VATUSA events
* Works with ARTCC Staff with marketing ideas and initiatives
* Works with Virtual Airlines to market ARTCC’s and Events
* Maintains and Administrates all VATUSA social media sites
* Maintains sign up schedule for VATUSA facilitated FNO Events
* Organizes an annual Light Up America Event
* Manages and Administrates the VATUSA ACE Team

Core Requirements:
* Active member of the network in good standing for at least 12 months
* Considerable experience and success in an ARTCC staff role, ideally as an ATM
* Able to effectively lead in a team environment
* Excellent written and oral communication skills
* No significant disciplinary record or history of unprofessional behavior
* Minimum rating of C1

Desired Skills and Capabilities:
* Demonstrated experience with ARTCC operations
* Demonstrated project management and planning skills
* Demonstrated possession and utilization of a high degree of energy, commitment and dedication
* Demonstrated qualities of understanding, patience, maturity
* Demonstrated Ability to create high quality banners and advertising graphics


To be effective, the successful candidate must devote a considerable amount of time to the position. Candidates must commit to devoting the time required. Only those who fully understand and meet the requirements and will make the appropriate commitment should apply. Candidates can expect an initial evaluation of their application after which they MAY be contacted for a comprehensive interview.

Interested members must provide letter of application/intent, including full name, active email, CID, rating, and a resume that includes leadership roles. Additionally, the application should detail the applicant's reasons for wanting to lead the Division in Events Planning, compelling evidence to show how the position requirements are met, and how the Division will thrive under the applicant's leadership..

Applications should be sent to the Division Director via email at vatusa1@vatusa.net and copied to the Deputy Division Director at vatusa2@vatusa.net
This advertisement will remain open until a suitable candidate is found for the position.
Applicants who meet the required pre-requisites as outlined will receive further instructions for the application process.

4
NOTAMs / Audio for VATSIM launch date announced
« on: October 01, 2019, 09:28:35 pm »
VATSIM is delighted to announce that Audio for VATSIM, our brand new voice technology, will launch on Monday 14th October 2019. This is the dawn of the next generation of online flight simulation. Check out our video here.

What is Audio for VATSIM?

Audio for VATSIM is an innovative new technology for our voice communication which features:

    State of the art voice quality - a brand new Opus-based voice codec with optional realistic distortion, white noise, VHF and HF simulation
    Reduced delay - up to 80% reduction in latency, making busy frequencies more realistic and manageable
    Range simulation - transceivers set up as per real ATC positions, with signal strength dependent on distance and altitude
    Customisable technology - this upgrade paves the way for future amazing development by the community.

This is the biggest technological change for the VATSIM community in many years, and is being rolled out across all pilot and ATC clients. In order to implement this change, we must do two things that have never been done before on the network. First, we must take the entire network offline for maintenance for a short period. Secondly, after the downtime, all VATSIM members will need to have updated their ATC and pilot clients to be compatible with the new infrastructure.

How will the launch work?

At 2000z on Sunday 13th October 2019, all VATSIM servers will be taken offline to begin the migration to our new infrastructure. VATSIM users should ensure that their flights and ATC sessions have concluded by this time. During this period, all other VATSIM services may also be subject to some downtime.

The network will remain offline for a period of 24 hours, although a limited number of connections are likely to be allowed before this time whilst we embed the new servers. To be safe, our members should not plan any flights or ATC sessions prior to 2000z on Monday 14th October. If the downtime needs to be extended beyond this time for any reason, we will announce this as quickly as possible.

How do I prepare for the launch?

Every VATSIM member will need to update their pilot and ATC clients and, in some cases, will need to download a small standalone app to run alongside the client whilst our developers work to integrate Audio for VATSIM natively into their software. We have created a website to guide you through the steps you need to take, whichever client you are currently using.

I need help preparing my client for this upgrade

We’ve launched a support forum and Discord server as the official places to get support. You can also post on our Facebook group or local facility forums to ask for help from fellow members of the community.

If I’m using FSInn or Squawkbox, do I need to upgrade to a new client to use Audio for VATSIM?

Following feedback from the community, the team have made arrangements for Audio for VATSIM to be compatible with these clients, although you’ll still need to follow the instructions posted shortly to install a standalone client before the switchover. That said, FSInn and Squawkbox will cease to be supported in the coming months as we make other enhancements (increasing the refresh rate) to VATSIM, so you are strongly recommended to use this opportunity to upgrade to a more modern client.

How do I find out more about the technical details?

The Audio for VATSIM website contains a knowledge base which includes a full manual of the principles of operation for Audio for VATSIM, as well as other documentation which you may find useful.

 

On behalf of the whole VATSIM community, thank you for being a part of this network and we can’t wait to see you on the scopes and in the skies enjoying this whole new level of immersion.

5
News / New Deputy Director VATUSA
« on: September 09, 2019, 10:14:14 am »
Please join me in welcoming Mani Mannigault as the new VATUSA 2 - Deputy Division Director.  Mani has a long history in VATUSA to include serving as the ATM for ZDC-Washington, ATM for ZDV-Denver and as the Air Traffic Director for the Northeast Region.  Mani will officially assume the duties of the Deputy Director on September 17, 2019.

Congratulations Mani

6
News / Tony Jeppesen Retirement - Sort of
« on: September 09, 2019, 10:06:49 am »
Tony Jeppesen (VATUSA 2) has tendered his resignation as Deputy Director of VATUSA.  Tony has served in the position for almost 2 years.  Prior to becoming the Deputy Director, Tony served as the Western Region Air Traffic Director and also served as the Air Traffic Manager - Seattle. 

Tony has served with a tremendous amount of passion, dedication and integrity and I am very thankful for the time that he was able to volunteer for this role.   

Although Tony will no longer serve in the capacity of Deputy Director, Tony will remain with the VATUSA Staff and take the lead of a new role and position as Director of Professional Development.   

Please join me in thanking Tony for his service and congratulating Tony in his new role.

7
News / OPEN POSITION POSTING NORTHEAST REGION AIR TRAFFIC DIRECTOR VATUSA
« on: September 09, 2019, 09:47:54 am »
VATUSA is currently seeking highly motivated, well experienced applicants for the position of Northeast Region Air Traffic Director.  The Northeast Region consists of the following Facilities:   ZBW-Boston, ZAU-Chicago, ZOB-Cleveland, ZID-Indianapolis, ZMP-Minneapolis, ZNY-New York, and ZDC-Washington DC.

Key Accountabilities:
* Reports to the Division Director
* Directs the subordinate ARTCCs air traffic operations, administrative responsibilities, and team
* Maintains an active online presence within the Division, Region, and on the VATSIM network
* Administers the selection of ARTCC ATM candidates using established guidelines
* Approves the selection of ARTCC DATM candidates
* Guides and mentors the subordinate ARTCC ATMs (and staff, if necessary)
* Addresses disciplinary situations with the Division Director and Deputy
* Coordinates with adjacent Air Traffic Directors on inter-regional operations and issues
* Coordinates with subordinate Air Traffic Managers on intra-regional operations and issues.
* Prepares and analyzes relevant data and/or reports
* Functions as VATUSA staff member and attends meetings as necessary

Core Requirements:
* Active member of the network in good standing for at least 12 months
* Considerable experience and success in an ARTCC senior staff role, ideally as an ATM
* Able to effectively lead in a team environment
* Excellent written and oral communication skills
* No significant disciplinary record or history of unprofessional behavior
* Minimum rating of C1
* Excellent Customer Service Skills

Desired Skills and Capabilities:
* Demonstrated experience with the management of ARTCC operations
* Demonstrated project management skills
* Demonstrated possession and utilization of a high degree of energy, commitment and dedication
* Demonstrated qualities of understanding, patience, maturity

To be effective, the successful candidate must devote a considerable amount of time to the position. Candidates must commit to devoting the time required. Only those who fully understand and meet the requirements and will make the appropriate commitment should apply. Candidates can expect an initial evaluation of their application after which they MAY be contacted for a comprehensive interview.

Interested members must provide a letter of application, including full name, active email, CID, rating, and a resume that includes a description of VATSIM experience, including leadership roles. Additionally, the letter of application should outline the applicants vision for the region, including goals, strategies, plans and timelines. Finally, the application should detail the applicant's reasons for wanting to lead the region, compelling evidence to show how the position requirements are met, and how the region will thrive under the applicant's leadership.

Applications should be submitted to Mark Hubbert, VATUSA Division Director, at vatusa1(a)vatusa.  Application deadline is September 29 at 23:59Z.





8
News / World Flight 2019
« on: August 18, 2019, 01:32:12 pm »
Announcing World Flight 2019

9
News / A discussion on voice CTAF
« on: May 06, 2019, 04:56:30 am »
Hello!

It has been a while since we have given you an update on VATSIM’s technical development. This is primarily because we have been very busy preparing for the rollout of Audio for VATSIM (AFV), our new voice technology. We will provide an update on AFV as well as other technologies currently in development to enhance your VATSIM experience.

Technical development on VATSIM

Technical development on the network has seen a steep change in the past 12 months. We’ve had everything from limited interventions by small groups of people all the way to much larger improvement projects involving large teams from our community of developers. Most of these projects have been back-end and thus are largely invisible to you, the members, outside of a more stable online flight simulation experience. Over the past year, we have been through a journey, striving to make our development cycle more transparent, and we have learned a lot of things the hard way. Thankfully, one development cycle is nearing completion and that one is the most major advancement in VATSIM’s history, “Audio for VATSIM”.

We want to find ways to streamline our development cycles and find ways to not only be more visible and transparent to the community but also owned by the community as well. One of our ideas for the future is to make it easy for VATSIM members to submit technical items to a wish-list through a single point of contact. We also want to make it easier for volunteers to develop for VATSIM without all the red tape we have had in the past.

Audio for VATSIM

Over 3,000 of you signed up to be part of the first public test and we are excited to show off the new product to as many of you as possible! The primary focus of the beta test is to stress the infrastructure and receive feedback from our users. We hope to announce dates within days.

Over last weekend, significant work was done by our development team to complete native integration of AFV with the vPilot pilot client. This first public beta test will run as an event on a dedicated VATSIM FSD server instead of a general one you currently use to connect. This is because the old and new voice architectures are not able to be run side by side on the same server without causing problems for VATSIM pilots who are not part of the beta.

We have been working hard server-side as well to make sure everything is in place for the network-wide launch. Since the two voice architectures can not run together, when we launch network-wide, it will have to be done all at once. We will turn off the current voice codec and switch over to AFV.

We will give you plenty of time prior to the launch as you will have to update your pilot clients or download the external client to use AFV, as this will be required to continue to use voice on VATSIM.

We know the whole community is eager for news and, of course, a release as soon as possible. This is what we’re working towards, and this project is our #1 priority.

Now for some technical details.

VHF simulation incoming

The new voice system incorporates a range of cool features; VHF range simulation, VHF radio simulation, over-transmission simulation, etc.

Here is how the VHF range, and therefore our 'simulation' works:

There are numerous calculations for VHF range, but the primary variable is altitude. The higher the altitude, the further the range. A common formula to find VHF range is, find the square root of the altitude and multiply that number by 1.5. If you can follow that formula, you can then work out that the VHF range at 30,000FT is approximately 260NM and that VHF range at 10,000FT is 150NM. Two aircraft MUST be within range of one another to send and receive (TX/RX) transmissions between them.

Voice CTAF!

A number of you will be wondering what CTAF means. Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF) is a frequency used by pilots for air-to-air communications at non-towered aerodromes. CTAF may also be known as a MULTICOM or UNICOM but these terms actually have slightly different meanings. UNICOM is actually an air-to-ground station at uncontrolled aerodromes and MULTICOM means a 'multitude of CTAFs grouped together' - very similar to the purpose that 122.8 has served for many years. Pilots use the CTAF to ensure a safe flow of departures and arrivals by giving position reports and acknowledging other aircraft in the vicinity of the aerodrome. VATSIM is globally adopting the word ‘CTAF’, to accurately describe our air-to-air communication systems!

VATSIM will start by supporting global, restricted range, voice CTAF (frequency 122.800 or as otherwise defined). However, after the initial rollout, we'll be hard at work readying the next phase for rollout, which includes developing training, policies, and procedures that support global discrete (real-world) frequency, voice CTAF!

The global voice CTAF frequency will be 122.8 (as it always has been) and this frequency will be limited to a maximum range of 15NM (enough for negotiating arrival and departure sequences in and around airports). We believe that 15NM will be a suitable limit, however, this may need to be adjusted.

CTAF will be limited to a maximum range of 15NM (enough for negotiating arrival and departure sequences in and around airports). We believe that 15NM will be a suitable limit, however, this may need to be adjusted.

Before you say it, I know what you are thinking. Yes – AFV absolutely introduces the capability of individual CTAF frequencies worldwide. However, we believe a staggered approach to this is necessary. Here’s why:

- VATSIM is a network for aviation enthusiasts (both pilots and ATC).
- We do not require you to undertake a ‘Private Pilot Licence” before flying on the network.
- We do not require you to purchase charts and maps.

We want VATSIM to be as accessible to as many people as possible and the reality is that not everyone has the knowledge and resources to operate a (simulated) aircraft in the same way – remember that VATSIM members have varying levels of experience, from enthusiasts all the way to real-world pilots (like me).

That said, we know that ‘discrete’ or ‘real-world’ individual CTAF is the path that we want VATSIM to head down. So, we’ll give ourselves some time to see how we, as a community, deal with voice CTAF on 122.8 and that time also gives us the opportunity to develop a training system for those less-experienced members. We are also developing a VATSIM Aeronautical Information Service, which will provide users with (ideally) charts, frequencies, airspace information, navigation information and provide a global source for division sector files and mapping services.

Here’s a tip – keep the CTAF (122.8) in COMM 2 at all times!

Global ATIS/AWIS Bots

Another cool feature that AFV has is ATIS (Aerodrome Terminal Information Service) or AWIS (Automated Weather Information Service) bots. The bots will be broadcasting at airports, when there is no controller online, using preferential runways/rules (as set by the division) and real-world weather. A very cool feature to facilitate and coordinate movements at uncontrolled aerodromes. The ATIS bots even have accents, from British to American, Indian and Australia (the possibilities are endless!) The photo below shows the bots ... wait for it ... in the UK only!


https://blog.vatsim.net/index.php/posts/a-discussion-on-voice-ctaf

10
News / [VATSIM-SENIOR] Technical Updates on VATSIM
« on: May 06, 2019, 04:52:59 am »
It's been a busy few months for the whole developer community on VATSIM, as we speed towards release of VATSIM's new voice technology. We are also making excellent progress on other modernizations and enhancements which will ensure VATSIM remains the biggest and best online flying network.

While we continue to make this progress, we have had some staff changes as well. I'm saddened to announce that Jamie Fox has recently stepped down from his role as Vice President, Network Systems due to personal commitments. Jamie has played a central part over several years in getting VATSIM's server infrastructure in order and in a stable state, as well as contributing to numerous projects across VATSIM in that time also. On behalf of the Board of Governors, I'd like to thank Jamie for his work and wish him the very best for the future.

Jamie's departure gives us an opportunity to reevaluate the needs of technical positions on the Board of Governors. While we complete that evaluation, Matt Cianfarani will execute the responsibilities of Vice President, Network Systems and Vice President, Web Services.

These two roles are closely intertwined, and it makes sense that in this critical stage of our delivery of Audio for VATSIM, we have an aligned approach to launching this and other projects in the community.

Aidan Stevens has been appointed Director of Web Services to assist Matt with his additional responsibilities. Aidan has been critical in the past year assisting VATSIM development assisting or taking the lead on many of our improvement projects. Thank you to both Matt and Aidan for stepping up.

In tandem with this announcement, Zach Biesse-Fitton, our Vice President Technical Development, has published a blog post which gives a more detailed update on Audio for VATSIM amongst other topics. I would urge you to read it here, as it's sure to be of interest!

Thank you for being a part of VATSIM.

Gunnar Lindahl

11
News / POSITION VACANCY: Caribbean Division Director, VATCAR1
« on: April 26, 2019, 07:56:06 am »

Applications are now being accepted for the position of Division Director for VATCAR.

The Division Director is an important link between the "front line" of the network and the VATSIM North America Region. The duties listed below are intended for further delegation, in part, but ultimate responsibility lies with the Division Director. A Division Director is expected to be able to commit to at least 2 years to the job, and should take this into consideration before applying.

REPORTS TO: VATSIM Regional Director for North America, VATNA1

RESPONSIBLE FOR: Management of the VATCAR Division, including but not limited to the following duties:

- Providing strong leadership, direction and vision to Division staff.
- Monitoring, reviewing, and enhancing all existing division programs, including training and membership.
- Inviting applications and appointing qualified personnel to fill vacant staff positions.
- Work to improve the infrastructure of the Division, including the website and social media .
- Regularly reviewing ATC progression, and ensuring that upgrade recommendations for qualified candidates are acted on promptly.
- Ensuring that an online presence of ATC is maintained which encourages maximum coverage, looking for growth opportunities.
- Establish and maintain partnerships with Virtual Airlines, developing relationships for continued collaboration.
- Ensuring that events are arranged regularly, both within the division and in cooperation with adjacent divisions and regions.
- Compile quarterly Division reports to the Regional Director for North America.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS: The successful applicant will meet the following minimum standards:

-A familiarity with Caribbean ATC operations and regulations.
-A familiarity with pilot operations.
-Minimum of C1 rating, and be in good standing within the VATSIM Network.
-Demonstrated past experience in staff rolls, or other managerial experience.
-A commitment to maintain a strong online presence throughout their appointment, in addition to a minimum of 5 hours per week working specifically in the role of Division Director.
-The ability to communicate clearly and professionally through various mediums to people of different experience levels and cultures.
-Fluent in the English language.


Applications will be accepted until 2359Z on 8 MAY 2019. Any applications received after this deadline will not be considered. All applications shall be e-mailed to n.felini[at]vatsim.net

12
News / New VATCAN 1
« on: April 26, 2019, 07:27:09 am »
Please welcome Phil Dowling as the new Canada Division Director.

13
News / NEW VP-MEMBERSHIP
« on: April 13, 2019, 03:09:04 pm »
VATUSA Members please join me in Congratulating the retired VATUSA Division Director Don Desfosse as he is coming out of retirement and joining the Ranks of the Board of Governors as the VP of Membership. 

14
March 31, 2019

VATSIM is delighted to announce that we are moving into the advanced testing phases of the
new audio solution, Audio for VATSIM (AFV). AFV is a revolutionary new audio solution for the
VATSIM network featuring clear VHF communications and minimal latency as opposed to
VATSIM’s current voice codec. AFV also features realistic range-based VHF range, incorporation
of blocking tones for pilots who are stepped on, and the ability to use voice on any frequency in
the VHF spectrum even when there is no Air Traffic Controller online.
VATSIM needs you to help complete these important large-scale tests where we attempt to
stress the system with hundreds of users before we release. To accomplish these tests, we are
accepting applications from any VATSIM member interested in being a part of the large-scale
beta testing to begin soon.
Beta testers will be selected at random from the applicants and will be requested to fly or
control during at least two of the upcoming large tests. Applicants will receive a confirmation
via email and if accepted will receive email with further instructions.
To apply, visit https://vats.im/beta
Good luck to all those who apply, and we look forward to full release of Audio for VATSIM!

15
News / VATUSA 3 Retirement and New Training Director
« on: February 26, 2019, 06:09:00 pm »
VATUSA Members,
I am sad to inform the membership that Brandon Barrett has announced his retirement as our Training Director.  Brandon has become very busy with his job and other personal obligations and feels that the time has come to step away.  Brandon requested that I did not make a huge announcement about his retirement so out of respect for Brandon's wishes I thank Brandon and wish him the very best.  Brandon's last day as the Training Director will be March 2, 2019.  Upon Brandon's retirement, Rick Rump will transition into the role of Division Training Director.  Rick has worked very hard on various training projects since stepping into the Deputy Training Director role and I am pleased to announce that Rick will become the new VATUSA 3.  Please join me in offering your thanks to Brandon for his dedicated service and Congratulations to Rick on his promotion.

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