Why flying your airplane well is the most important part of a successful FNO

Matt Bromback

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Re: Why flying your airplane well is the most important part of a successful FNO
« Reply #30 on: September 08, 2018, 07:53:59 am »

What you guys all seem to be asking for -- discussion about communication, how to fly SIDs / STARs / Approaches, how to pilot a plane rather than program an FMC -- we have all of that on our site already.  It's called the P4 rating.  What we don't have is any compulsory reason anyone should take the P4.  We could try to include it in the P1 course but why would we duplicate?  Holding a P1 basically says you know (or have acknowledged, at least) how to connect to the network, that you aren't supposed to spawn on runways or taxiways, that you know how to figure out which controller you should be talking to, you have some idea how to handle it when your weather and/or scenery doesn't match everyone else's, and that you know you're not supposed to be chasing airliners with fighter jets.  We can re-design our P1 to include the full gamut of IFR communication and procedure but then what purpose would the P4 serve?

What we lack -- and what has been discussed on this forum and VATSIM forums endlessly and without any change in status for at least eight years now -- is the ability to hold pilots accountable for any competency standards.  What use is a P4 if no one takes it?  Forget about VATSTAR -- look at the WORLDWIDE stats for the Pilot Training Division (http://ptd.vatsim.net/statistics).  387 pilots WORLDWIDE have a P4 rating.  Even in the EXTREMELY optiistic hope that they are a subset of the 80,000 members who have been active in the last six months, that's less than half of one percent.  If half of P4 holders are no longer active, then less than a QUARTER of a percent of active members have taken it.

Even for the P1, we're fighting a losing battle.  PTD as a whole issued its 10,000th rating in February of 2017.  We're now at 11,186.  That's about 60 ratings per month.  Based on the rate that new CID numbers are climbing, VATSIM gets around 2,500 new member registrations per month.  That would mean less than three percent of new members enroll in a Pilot Rating.  That assumes CID numbers are sequential; even if they're not, let's say the last digit is a checksum -- I have no idea.  That's still 250 new registered members a month and 75% of them are not taking a Pilot Rating course.

We can do everything possible as far as outreach with our programs -- which as you all know, I passionately believe in, even if some of you think you could do it better.  And if you can, then please, have at it -- I'm not in a competition.  The more resources we have to improve pilot education on the network, the better -- and if someone comes up with better methods than ours, I'll certainly take note.  But we are fighting a losing battle as long as it's completely voluntary.  Until / unless VATSIM can come up with a plan to hold pilots accountable for a basic level of competency, this is what we will face at every FNO.

And I'm still a bit sour following the whole attempted vatstar "premium" subscription model, personally.  The fact that those words are still on the site at all is potentially misleading to unknowing students.
For what it's worth, I agree with you.  But at this point (seven months later), every reference to premium subscriptions SHOULD be gone off our website.  If you see any I'm not seeing, by all means, email me screenshots, as I am as anxious as you to put that escapade behind us.

Robert,

I can tell you have the enthusiasm and dedication to help out pilots as a whole on the network, not that many people hold that trait so thank you in advance.

Unless something drastically changes up top in VATSIM where they require every new member to go through a P1 course, the voluntary participation will most likely be the same. So it got me thinking what can we do to get people interested in taking the course and bringing the numbers up?

I was browsing around your website and I saw this:



It looks like you have to go through P1, P2, P3 and so forth in that order right? I was looking around VATSIMs PTD website and see no mention of having to get their pilot ratings in that particular order. Why not allow students to pick what course suits them best? Some people come to VATSIM and only want to fly airliners, well then the IMHO P4 and P5 cater much more towards that realm. If I was a pilot who loved to fly VFR with the occasional IFR in my prop, then P2-P4 might be what I want. I know the pilot ratings were meant to be a little vague in what they cover because at the end of the day we do not know what a pilot is going to fly.

Also what I think would be cool to see is aircraft specific courses to some of the most popular add-ons available. This could have even a better benefit. Single pilot, in a airliner, using advanced RNAV procedures while trying to deal with ATC is no easy task. If there were courses available that taught how to fly a PMDG 737 into a FNO as a example the pilot probably would have a lot more time to focus on ATC and his charts while flying the airplane. I think pilots would get a kick out of flying around and showing off that they have a VATSIM officially issued B737 Type Rating.

Just some thoughts to think about!

Edit: Grammar
« Last Edit: September 08, 2018, 10:34:10 am by Matt Bromback »
Matt Bromback

Matthew Kosmoski

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Re: Why flying your airplane well is the most important part of a successful FNO
« Reply #31 on: September 08, 2018, 08:00:20 am »
And I'm still a bit sour following the whole attempted vatstar "premium" subscription model, personally.  The fact that those words are still on the site at all is potentially misleading to unknowing students.
For what it's worth, I agree with you.  But at this point (seven months later), every reference to premium subscriptions SHOULD be gone off our website.  If you see any I'm not seeing, by all means, email me screenshots, as I am as anxious as you to put that escapade behind us.

The word "subscription" still exists in the student menu, and the word "premium" still exists within it:

Matthew Kosmoski
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Robert Shearman Jr

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Re: Why flying your airplane well is the most important part of a successful FNO
« Reply #32 on: September 08, 2018, 12:55:09 pm »

It looks like you have to go through P1, P2, P3 and so forth in that order right?
Not quite -- you don't need P3 (VFR) before P4 (IFR).  It's a common misconception and, I guess, easy to miss at a quick glance.  I do feel that pilots should have a basic understanding of aircraft control (P2) before looking at IFR procedure (P4); otherwise, we're right back where we are now, which is pilots that only know how to fly their magenta line, right?  But the issue of our prerequisite structure is a common concern, and one I may just have to relent on.  I'll put it to my staff and see what they think.


And I'm still a bit sour following the whole attempted vatstar "premium" subscription model, personally.  The fact that those words are still on the site at all is potentially misleading to unknowing students.
For what it's worth, I agree with you.  But at this point (seven months later), every reference to premium subscriptions SHOULD be gone off our website.  If you see any I'm not seeing, by all means, email me screenshots, as I am as anxious as you to put that escapade behind us.
The word "subscription" still exists in the student menu, and the word "premium" still exists within it:
Thank you.  Fixed (AKA eradicated).  If you catch any others, let me know.
Cheers,
-R.

Matthew Kosmoski

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Re: Why flying your airplane well is the most important part of a successful FNO
« Reply #33 on: September 08, 2018, 01:57:34 pm »
Not the same issue, but the word "campaign" is misspelled a couple of places on the donation page: https://i.imgur.com/2mIXg8M.png
Matthew Kosmoski
Air Traffic Manager | ZHU ARTCC
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Robert Shearman Jr

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Re: Why flying your airplane well is the most important part of a successful FNO
« Reply #34 on: September 08, 2018, 03:31:43 pm »
Not the same issue, but the word "campaign" is misspelled a couple of places on the donation page:
Haha, thanks.  Anything not directly related to the training process, I probably am not the one that wrote it.  :-)  I'll go in & fix them though.  Any other little corrections like that, feel free to PM me.
Cheers,
-R.

Ira Robinson

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Re: Why flying your airplane well is the most important part of a successful FNO
« Reply #35 on: September 08, 2018, 03:52:02 pm »
Robert, my apologies for taking so long to reply to your first post. I had begun my post; was about three paragraphs into it actually when my computer flashed and everything went away. Everything, including my post and the thought process going on behind it.  You know how you have an idea and then you get on a roll trying to make your point.  Well that's were I was.  Now, that being said, and having read further your comments in some of your follow up posts I have a better idea of what y our thinking is.  It also will let me be brief in my suggestion.  When  you gather your staff around you to see what they come up with tell them to BE BOLD!  That's right, BE BOLD!

The P1 includes a chapter on communicating with ATC.  Well hell, how about we expand that simple chapter so that the pilot has to not just know who does what, but actually knows how to receive instructions. Wait, BE BOLD! Let's send them home with a cheat sheet similar to a controller alias file so that he can read how to ask for a clearance, or know what the TWR controller is going to say before he says it. 

BE BOLD!  Expand the P1 training to include the basics of what they need to know, not what the VATSIM guidelines say they need to know.  Take the top three problems as decided upon by the general controller community and find a way to address them earlier in the program.

Frankly, who cares if the pilot knows how to fly a VFR pattern if all he ever does is screw up every approach he attempts. So BE BOLD! and find a way to work a simple RNAV approach into the coursework sooner rather than later.  Give your instructors the flexibility to deviate from the coursework if he sees the pilot needs work on a specific issue. Trust them to make the call to BE BOLD! and skip a subject only to replace it with another.

I could go on citing examples, but then so could everyone reading this.  You know that box that your program fits very neatly into? Well, burn it.  Then you can think outside of that box.

Good luck.

Ira Robinson
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Dylan Lundberg

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Re: Why flying your airplane well is the most important part of a successful FNO
« Reply #36 on: September 09, 2018, 06:23:53 pm »
...With video evidence.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6m2Tt7JrT3Q

Thanks for everyone who flew into the ZMP FNO last Friday, it could very well have been one of the most enjoyable FNO's that I've ever worked.

But for goodness sake. Can we please figure out how to intercept the localizer? Go ahead and watch that timelapse linked above... Someone counted 44 (FORTY-FOUR) localizer overshoots. Our final controllers got their butts handed to them because of how much extra hand holding they had to do on the final because of people that can't be bothered to hit the APP button on their autopilot.

Also, fly your assigned speed please.

Also, X-Plane users with slow frame rates: https://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?/files/file/26517-autospeed/

Notice how much of an impact every overshoot has on the aircraft behind them. It snowballs really fast and if the traffic flow doesn't have natural breaks to allow the final to recover, poop hits the fan really fast.

But anyway, it was fun, thanks for flying in.


Absolutley love it. Another issue I see often, or at least in the FNOs I've controlled in (although, the last one I was available for was...last year..so I may be late to the party on this one) is when we start putting airplanes in published holds on STARS, and the pilot comes back with 'unable' or they decide to do the complete opposite of what the published hold is. Long story short, when you file a STAR and you put in your remarks "have all charts" and I give you an instruction that can be easily interpreted by reading the chart, your 'unable' response is not gonny fly.

Another faveorite of mine is when you start putting planes in holds, and they say "we are min. fuel" well, that sucks for you sir. Looks like you're going to run out of fuel over Mount St. Helens.


Just my jumbled thoughts on this thread...but long story short, Shane hit it on the nose..as usual  8) 8)
Dylan Lundberg
Air Traffic Manager
Honolulu Control Facility


Shane VanHoven

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Re: Why flying your airplane well is the most important part of a successful FNO
« Reply #37 on: September 17, 2018, 09:40:01 pm »
:) PAA788 got it right, 38 Secs into it...flying my old B727-200 with an engine out....

Very impressive!
Shane VanHoven
Minneapolis ARTCC, VATUSA ACE Team | Instructor
Private pilot, Instrument, ASEL
FAA Air Traffic Developmental, Terminal

Tom Campagnola

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Great Event last night.

KSTL  KMDW

Hoping we all intercepted 31C at KMDW.

made Y turnoff at KMDW,

https://youtu.be/SC5yTkK4Gp8

Great Event
SWA2272
« Last Edit: October 21, 2018, 10:46:30 am by Tom Campagnola »

Chris Robison

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Robert, my apologies for taking so long to reply to your first post. I had begun my post; was about three paragraphs into it actually when my computer flashed and everything went away. Everything, including my post and the thought process going on behind it.  You know how you have an idea and then you get on a roll trying to make your point.  Well that's were I was.  Now, that being said, and having read further your comments in some of your follow up posts I have a better idea of what y our thinking is.  It also will let me be brief in my suggestion.  When  you gather your staff around you to see what they come up with tell them to BE BOLD!  That's right, BE BOLD!

The P1 includes a chapter on communicating with ATC.  Well hell, how about we expand that simple chapter so that the pilot has to not just know who does what, but actually knows how to receive instructions. Wait, BE BOLD! Let's send them home with a cheat sheet similar to a controller alias file so that he can read how to ask for a clearance, or know what the TWR controller is going to say before he says it. 

BE BOLD!  Expand the P1 training to include the basics of what they need to know, not what the VATSIM guidelines say they need to know.  Take the top three problems as decided upon by the general controller community and find a way to address them earlier in the program.

Frankly, who cares if the pilot knows how to fly a VFR pattern if all he ever does is screw up every approach he attempts. So BE BOLD! and find a way to work a simple RNAV approach into the coursework sooner rather than later.  Give your instructors the flexibility to deviate from the coursework if he sees the pilot needs work on a specific issue. Trust them to make the call to BE BOLD! and skip a subject only to replace it with another.

I could go on citing examples, but then so could everyone reading this.  You know that box that your program fits very neatly into? Well, burn it.  Then you can think outside of that box.

Good luck.
I'm late to the game here.
When I was on the committee for the the pilot ratings (created 2 ATOs in the past), we made the P1 as basic as possible. To echo Ira above, Be Bold. Create an expanded P1 rating that could include other basic topics or hot topic issues. Going above and beyond the PTS is always encouraged.
Chris Robison
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Tom Campagnola

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Flew the BOS FNO on Fri night. What an experience and how everyone worked together to get into KBOS. However,

While being vectored to ROBUC, in heavy storms, the ZIBO MOD B737 lost airspeed and lost control. I got my finger on the PAUSE button and had to disconnect...

Better lucknext time...
Tom

Jackson Gilliam

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Flew the BOS FNO on Fri night. What an experience and how everyone worked together to get into KBOS. However,

While being vectored to ROBUC, in heavy storms, the ZIBO MOD B737 lost airspeed and lost control. I got my finger on the PAUSE button and had to disconnect...

Better lucknext time...
Tom

Unfortunately that happened to a lot of people that night. The controllers did the best they could, but I personally was experiencing gains or loss of up to 30 kts, which I couldn’t help. Good job to the dudes working BOS for doing what you could in those circumstances.
Jackson Gilliam
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Dhruv Kalra

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Flew the BOS FNO on Fri night. What an experience and how everyone worked together to get into KBOS. However,

While being vectored to ROBUC, in heavy storms, the ZIBO MOD B737 lost airspeed and lost control. I got my finger on the PAUSE button and had to disconnect...

Better lucknext time...
Tom

And this is why most pilots on VATSIM need to be better about taking reroutes around storms. The number of people I have outright refuse deviations or reroutes around the wx and then complain about turbulence blows my mind.
Dhruv Kalra
ZMP ATM | Instructor | Grumpy Old Man

If I had a nickel for every time someone reported severe turbulence and loss of speed or altitude control, and I calmly replied, "roger, when able maintain 7,000 feet, 210 knots" last Friday night, I could probably buy a grande venti (whatever their extra large is) Starbucks coffee. :)  Flown through that (VATSIM and RW) and it ain't fun; glad there wasn't much turbulence in my chair in front of a radar scope the other night. ;)
Don Desfosse
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Justin Alderman

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Yes! Please turn the aircraft BEFORE you readback. Aviate, navigate, communicate. All too often, I see people blowing through the LOC because they take too much time reading back the approach clearance, and not turning the airplane.

#1 most common problem with pilots on the network IMHO. It's not the worst issue, but for sure the most common mistake out of the lot of mistakes.  Especially important when you only have 1 pilot trying to fly a jetliner.
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