Requesting assistance from Supervisors

Requesting assistance from Supervisors
« on: December 08, 2014, 06:46:12 am »
An interesting thread has been developing in the Supervisor community regarding the initial request for assistance from Supervisors.  This post is aimed at all current controllers and students, as well as all ARTCC Training Administrators to weave this information into their initial ATC student training syllabi.

Oftentimes, the way a request for assistance is phrased will allow a Supervisor enough information to start working a request for assistance directly, as opposed to playing 20 questions with the controller.  This is all-the-more important when the Supervisors are already busy, juggling multiple cases, and can make the difference between getting your request for assistance worked on quickly, vs. waiting for a Supervisor to be available to start the 20 questions drill.  A request for assistance should, when possible, indicate enough information to allow the Supervisor to start to understand the issue and the urgency of the request.

Examples of good requests for assistance:
.wallop ABC123 in my airspace not contacting ATC, and not responding to multiple requests for contact.  No immediate conflict.
.wallop ABC123 using rude and vulgar language on frequency
.wallop Need help with someone who has a hot mic
.wallop ABC123 not squawking Mode C and says he doesn't know how to

Examples of not-so-good requests for assistance
.wallop
.wallop Help
.wallop SUP
.wallop Hi

The more info you can give, in many cases, the faster the Supervisor can start working the issue, just asking clarifying questions and providing feedback/resolution to the controller.  Of course, there will be some "unique" situations where this may not help, but it's generally felt that amplified requests for assistance will help in 90% or more of the cases.  

Request everyone implement more descriptive requests, as appropriate.
Don Desfosse
Vice President, Membership, VATSIM
Division Director Emeritus, VATUSA

Mike Willey

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« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2014, 04:31:39 pm »
Good Summary, Makes Sense...
Mike Willey - WY
vZBW Training Administrator (Retired)
mwilley@gfgroup.net

Sean Fox

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« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2014, 04:46:20 pm »
I like this very much.  I think it hit the point home, without a Supervisor coming and having to get all the details then having to go an look for the offender.  If the Supervisor can get that information upfront then the work can start, then the Sup can make contact and let the walloper know that the wallopee is being worked on.

Very nice!!!
Sean Fox-813579
vZHU Deputy Air Traffic Manager - DATM
vZHU Controller
VATSIM Network Supervisor
VATSIM CFI
P1, P2, P3, P4, P9

Jesse Kovacs

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« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2014, 06:16:30 pm »
Great points, Don.  Will be sure to pass this along.

That being said, I have still had to play the questions game when making a request following one of the examples above, which, in turn, prompted me to just type wallop and explain when someone answers.  Also, I think maybe most controllers are unaware that the supervisors see anything that's typed after the .wallop.  In any event, great to see some standardization here.  
Jesse Kovacs

Kenneth Haught

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« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2014, 09:02:19 pm »
Great post Don...I know we've incorporated this into our alias file for years now, for non responsive pilots. A single command and it send the pilots callsign, location (ZAN ARTCC) and the fact that they are non-responsive to requests from ATC. This can then be followed with additional info as needed.

Anchorage Deputy Air Traffic Manager
VATSIM Senior Supervisor (Team 1)
Have a question or concern? Email me at k.haught@vatsim.net.

Michael Scott

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« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2014, 09:38:00 pm »
I'm sure this is something so simple that no one is going to have a problem putting this in there training. When i train i always make sure my student knows the .wallop command because i know i didn't when i first start and let me tell you it got interesting on some occasions.

However, Jesse has brought up a good point and being a former sup as well i cant say i ever understood why, Can you please post in that forum and make sure that the supervisor themselves are reading the info coming in. I think many sups use an allis file as well for there initial contact which asks you to explain everything again.  I think instead of saying who you are and your role a  simple Hi. I'm working your issue, is sufficient for most on the network when we call them. At that point I'm expecting someone to show up of authority.
Michael Scott
Cleveland Air Traffic Manager

Kenneth Bambach

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« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2014, 10:50:05 pm »
Quote from: Michael Scott
I'm sure this is something so simple that no one is going to have a problem putting this in there training. When i train i always make sure my student knows the .wallop command because i know i didn't when i first start and let me tell you it got interesting on some occasions.

However, Jesse has brought up a good point and being a former sup as well i cant say i ever understood why, Can you please post in that forum and make sure that the supervisor themselves are reading the info coming in. I think many sups use an allis file as well for there initial contact which asks you to explain everything again.  I think instead of saying who you are and your role a  simple Hi. I'm working your issue, is sufficient for most on the network when we call them. At that point I'm expecting someone to show up of authority.


That has been a pet peeve of mine as well. However there has been a concerted push lately amongst SUP's to not reply with the alias file that says "Hi, how may I help you?" when the wallop already says what the problem is. SUP's are now being instructed to make an initial reply with words to the effect that they are working the issue when the wallop has enough detail in it.
Ken Bambach
ZMA ATM


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« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2014, 12:37:40 am »
Yes, Ken is correct.  The SUP corps has been reeducated and requested to use more appropriate responses where appropriate.


For example:

[!--quoteo--][div class=\\\'quotetop\\\']QUOTE [/div][div class=\\\'quotemain\\\'][!--quotec--]Posted: 06 Jun 2014 09:38

In case it helps anyone, I have 2 standard alias replies when I get back to folks. When responding to a wallop with information, I usually get things rolling by identifying the reporter (that way I have their CID handy) and sending one of my standard replies (see below), and then identifying the party that was being reported and taking the appropriate action. As folks here have said, no need to burden the reporter by asking something you already know, but it's good to get back to them right away letting them know you've started working the issue (i.e., you're "on it"). Asking follow-up questions, as necessary, after that is easy.

Code: [Select]
.here Hello, my name is Don Desfosse, and I'm one of the VATSIM Supervisors.  I'm responding to your request for assistance.  How may I help?
.onit Hello, my name is Don Desfosse, and I'm one of the VATSIM Supervisors.  I'm responding to your request for assistance.  I've begun working the issue.
[/quote]
« Last Edit: December 09, 2014, 07:07:45 am by Don Desfosse »
Don Desfosse
Vice President, Membership, VATSIM
Division Director Emeritus, VATUSA

Mark Hubbert

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« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2014, 01:43:01 am »
And I am manually typing how can I help or Im on it.  You are so smart boss.  Excellent thread.
Mark Hubbert
Division Director VATUSA

Ryan Parry

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« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2014, 07:59:03 pm »
Quote from: Jesse Kovacs
Great points, Don.  Will be sure to pass this along.

That being said, I have still had to play the questions game when making a request following one of the examples above, which, in turn, prompted me to just type wallop and explain when someone answers.  Also, I think maybe most controllers are unaware that the supervisors see anything that's typed after the .wallop.  In any event, great to see some standardization here.  

This is what I was going to say. In my experience it hasn't mattered how detailed I am, they still ask questions which would have been answered if they read the request I typed out. It is good to teach students to be detailed though!
Ryan Parry - 965346
ZOA Air Traffic Manager

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« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2014, 11:21:38 pm »
Just like with most things, your mileage may vary (YMMV)!
Don Desfosse
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Division Director Emeritus, VATUSA

Tom Seeley

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« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2014, 07:39:49 am »
Keep in mind there are supervisors from all over the globe, and some aren't real comfortable with the english language. You may still get a response from a SUP that requires repetition, but gradually over time it should get better. I've seen an improvement in wallops lately where at least the tail number is included, and I can just get right on it, but I may still ask for additional info, such as "how many attempts" and "for how long". That's just nice to know stuff, and I can wait for a response while I work on it, but it helps determine how the situation is handled.
Tom Seeley
Deputy Director (Retired), VATUSA

Warren Huckaby

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« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2014, 06:28:16 pm »
An email to all my controllers and a posting of this forum post has been sent and posted for ZSE controllers so we should have this settled at ZSE Thank you!
Warren Huckaby
Air Traffic Manager
Virtual Oakland ARTCC (ZOA)

David Stone

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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2014, 09:52:21 pm »
I understand what is being discussed, and I'd like to offer an apology in advance if I should make this mistake, but please keep in mind that Supervisors use .alias files just as controllers do and this is probably just a case where they have not yet updated the verbiage of the alias file. I have done this after the start of this thread.
David Stone
Air Traffic Manager
vZID ARTCC

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« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2014, 06:20:46 am »
No worries, David, no one has done anything wrong and no one's being called out here -- this is purely an opportunity for improvement.  All good.
Don Desfosse
Vice President, Membership, VATSIM
Division Director Emeritus, VATUSA