There are two types of controllers...

Toby Rice

  • Members
  • 417
    • View Profile
    • ZJX ARTCC
Re: There are two types of controllers...
« Reply #45 on: May 21, 2018, 01:31:48 pm »
I agree Mark, but want to clarify that I don't think the analogy of Customer Service in the original post was meant more as a cue to cut down on extra words, not behave sternly. It absolutely behooves controllers to be kind and understanding, and there is phraseology we can utilize to do so effectively and concisely.

"Delta 123, thank you for flying through my airspace today. I see you're flying a little to the right off course, I think the best thing would be for you to fly heading 250 and maintain 3,000 for now while we figure this out."

Versus:

"Delta 123, fly heading 250 maintain 3,000, are you flying with a default GPS?"
"Affirmative"
"Delta 123, no problem, fly heading 180 climb and maintain 9,000."

+1B

You can still be quick, clear, and concise without holding a full on convo with the pilot. Excellent example, Matthew.
Toby Rice
ATC Instructor (I1)
Jacksonville ARTCC
VATUSA ACE Team | CFI/CFII | Former HCF ATM
toby.rice@zjxartcc.org


Alex Bresnick

  • Members
  • 4
    • View Profile
Re: There are two types of controllers...
« Reply #46 on: May 21, 2018, 11:13:59 pm »
As someone who does this for a living and is mostly just a casual, and curious, observer (aside from flying on the network every so often), my advice is be whatever controller you want to be to the extent allowed by VATSIM rules.

You set foot into the center I work at and you will hear three types of controllers:

Controller 1 who is no nonsense, concise all the time, and in my opinion, sounds a bit cold on frequency but they do the job well and by the book and at the end of the day, you can't expect more. Nothing wrong with Controller 1.

Controller 2 is me. This controller understands when you can be a bit more "loose" and have some fun with the pilots.

For example, I was working today and it wasn't too busy...routine stuff. Cleared an EDV direct to a fix, pilot reads it back only to advise 30 seconds later they accidentally went direct to the wrong fix and asked if I could spell the original one. Knowing the fix they went direct to wouldn't be a problem, my response, "Sir, I'm not the best speller, you can stay direct ABCDE." They got a chuckle, I got a chuckle, I helped them out, the job got done and we had fun.

Or another time when an AAL pilot and I had about a five minute long conversation on a dead frequency about how he used to know a guy at the center 20 years ago and I told him I was only 5 years old then.

There is a time and place for conversations and straying from phraseology. If you can understand that, have at it.

Controller 3...don't be controller 3. This controller over-complicates things regardless of traffic levels when they have no business doing so. When you have time to have some fun or go into detailed explanations/requests with pilots, great, no problem. When you don't, you just throw yourself and the sector down the tubes. Don't be controller 3.

Sean Harrison

  • Members
  • 24
    • View Profile
Re: There are two types of controllers...
« Reply #47 on: May 21, 2018, 11:59:47 pm »
Thanks Alex, we honestly need more real world people to provide experience and guidance like this.  Sincerely thank you.
Sean
HCF C1/O
870618

Shane VanHoven

  • Members
  • 99
    • View Profile
Re: There are two types of controllers...
« Reply #48 on: May 22, 2018, 03:07:25 am »
Thanks for the input Alex. The key is that you have to be able to understand when it would be okay to loosen up a little bit. The terminal environment rarely allows for that because the flights crews are always busy when I'm talking to them, so that could be the source of some sort of bias on my part.

I'll add another bit... I spent some time this evening listening to the south ground position at LAX on LiveATC.net. The south ground position at LAX is widely known in the RW air traffic world as the single most difficult position in the entire country to certify on, because of the ratio of airplanes to available pavement. The controller that was working the position was not using phraseology exactly the way that it's prescribed in the 7110.65. Instead he would omit words that could be safely implied because the pilots he was working with understood the "game" where there's just so many airplanes that need instructions and so little time, that any half second you can save my not saying "the" or "and" or "runway" means more instructions he could give. You also hear this at ORD when ground control goes into their rapid fire mode where they'll rattle off 10-15 instructions without any intent of listening for a readback. Incredibly illegal, but also incredibly effective.

Obviously it's rare that the situation on the network gets that busy, but it definitely can get to the point where any extra words can ruin the day. It's up to the controller to recognize it, and adapt to ensure they're running their frequency as well as possible.
Shane VanHoven
Minneapolis ARTCC, VATUSA ACE Team | Instructor
Private pilot, Instrument, ASEL
FAA Air Traffic Developmental, Terminal

Frank Miller

  • ZSE Staff
  • 18
    • View Profile
Re: There are two types of controllers...
« Reply #49 on: May 22, 2018, 09:43:55 am »
Just a suggestion..... some of the choices in the thread seem to be to be on either end of the spectrum (too verbose or strictly 7110.65).  That strikes me as a false choice, at least some of the time.

What I often consider is deploying phraseology that may reveal which flavor of pilot I might be dealing with.  So.... for the original example Shane gave in his original post, I might try:  "DAL2168 Heavy, Minneapolis ground, runway 30L, taxi via A; runway 17 available on request".  So far as I know, this is compliant with 7110.65 (or pretty darn near it!).

A pilot in the "less experienced" category, will either ignore it or possibly ask a question (sometimes in chat to avoid being embarrassed by asking) affording a learning opportunity.  A "hardcore realism" pilot can take the hint and make the request, which would lead to a 7110.65-compliant exchange about the amended routing etc. which an experienced pilot will be grateful for as well as it increases immersion.

I deploy this strategy in other circumstances as well.   For instance, in low traffic situations, I know Portland Departure in real-world often gives direct to the fix on the SID that precedes the transition (e.g. "direct MINNE" for the MINNE5, or "direct CHISM" for the CASCD2).  For new VATSIM pilots, giving them this as they climb out can result in confusion, or (worse) accepting the short cut but not actually flying it.  So, again, I may say (or ask Tower to say before h/o) "DAL2168 Heavy, runway 16L, cleared for takeoff, [expect direct CHISM, or direct CHISM available on request with Departure]."  See what sort of reaction I get and deal accordingly.

I find this strikes a decent balance between the various interests and considerations discussed in this thread.  I've received a reasonable amount of feedback both from experienced and new pilots alike that makes me believe this approach is appreciated by both types from a "customer service" perspective as well.

Frank
« Last Edit: May 22, 2018, 09:58:40 am by Frank Miller »
Frank Miller
ZSE Training Administrator

Kyle Ekas

  • Members
  • 40
    • View Profile
Re: There are two types of controllers...
« Reply #50 on: May 22, 2018, 12:40:02 pm »
Just a suggestion..... some of the choices in the thread seem to be to be on either end of the spectrum (too verbose or strictly 7110.65).  That strikes me as a false choice, at least some of the time.

What I often consider is deploying phraseology that may reveal which flavor of pilot I might be dealing with.  So.... for the original example Shane gave in his original post, I might try:  "DAL2168 Heavy, Minneapolis ground, runway 30L, taxi via A; runway 17 available on request".  So far as I know, this is compliant with 7110.65 (or pretty darn near it!).

A pilot in the "less experienced" category, will either ignore it or possibly ask a question (sometimes in chat to avoid being embarrassed by asking) affording a learning opportunity.  A "hardcore realism" pilot can take the hint and make the request, which would lead to a 7110.65-compliant exchange about the amended routing etc. which an experienced pilot will be grateful for as well as it increases immersion.

I deploy this strategy in other circumstances as well.   For instance, in low traffic situations, I know Portland Departure in real-world often gives direct to the fix on the SID that precedes the transition (e.g. "direct MINNE" for the MINNE5, or "direct CHISM" for the CASCD2).  For new VATSIM pilots, giving them this as they climb out can result in confusion, or (worse) accepting the short cut but not actually flying it.  So, again, I may say (or ask Tower to say before h/o) "DAL2168 Heavy, runway 16L, cleared for takeoff, [expect direct CHISM, or direct CHISM available on request with Departure]."  See what sort of reaction I get and deal accordingly.

I find this strikes a decent balance between the various interests and considerations discussed in this thread.  I've received a reasonable amount of feedback both from experienced and new pilots alike that makes me believe this approach is appreciated by both types from a "customer service" perspective as well.

Frank

Very good points Frank. I would agree that what you described seems to be a nice bit of compromise, but still efficiently so.

+1

K

Derek Vento

  • Members
  • 58
    • View Profile
Re: There are two types of controllers...
« Reply #51 on: June 26, 2018, 12:49:22 pm »
Just discovered this post...very well written Shane.

Ira Robinson

  • VATUSA Staff
  • 471
    • View Profile
Re: There are two types of controllers...
« Reply #52 on: September 04, 2018, 10:13:10 pm »
Just discovered this post...very well written Shane.

I just discovered this post as well.  Found it in a link from another post and after thinking about it for a while I have decided what kind of controller I want to be.  But I didn't see it as an option to choose from, so am I allowed to choose it or do I have to choose solely from the two given.  Frank was able to select a happy medium that he prefers, so I think I will do the same.

I want to be the controller who has fun controlling.  Yep, that's it.  I want to have fun playing controller.  I realize that I will never be a real world controller, I realize that I will never be compared to any of the real world controllers who everyone seems to look up to around here just because they have a good job no matter how well they may or may not do it, and I realize that I will never be considered one of the top controllers around here among us amateurs.


Nope, I just want to have fun and I am happy enough with the knowledge that I can still manage to control busy airspace at the same time.  Do the less skilled pilots bother me, sure they do.  And I bet the less skilled controllers, of which I count myself one of, bother the more skilled pilots?  I'm sure I do.  To that I tell everyone to just get over yourself.

Now that being said it doesn't mean that we all can't learn from our controllers who do this for a living. That's just plain naive. But I don't think it's fair to anyone that we try to emulate them for their abilities and opinions about how bad our pilots are.   Just like we can't emulate the experienced real world pilots they have to deal with, who, by the way, I have heard some pretty ugly stories about too.

Just have fun, because when it stops being fun, why are you doing it?
« Last Edit: September 04, 2018, 11:10:04 pm by Ira Robinson »
Ira Robinson
VATUSA4

Brin Brody

  • ZJX Staff
  • 233
    • View Profile
Re: There are two types of controllers...
« Reply #53 on: September 05, 2018, 06:04:03 am »
I want to have fun playing controller... Do the less skilled pilots bother me, sure they do.  And I bet the less skilled controllers, of which I count myself one of, bother the more skilled pilots?  I'm sure I do.  To that I tell everyone to just get over yourself...  Just have fun, because when it stops being fun, why are you doing it?

+1
Brin Brody
Deputy Air Traffic Manager
Jacksonville ARTCC
datm@zjxartcc.org