Jumping back into it!

Bill Denny

  • Members
  • 7
    • View Profile
Jumping back into it!
« on: January 12, 2019, 08:55:23 am »
Hey! Long time VATSIM pilot although I have been out of flying and controlling for about three or four years though. With the holidays over, I...as some of you are probably too...looking to mellow out on the spending while our bank accounts limp back to financial security. So since real flying is on the back-burner for a while, I've turned to VATSIM once again as a reliable source of affordable entertainment.

Working on getting what I need for flying, seems some stuff has changed. I last recall using software called Squawkbox to connect to the network. There are appears to be alternatives to that.

Also, I would like to try controlling out again. I have had a long and turbulent history with ZLA. Nothing negative, but I have been in their training pipeline maybe 7 or 8 times. It seemed that they were somewhat low on training staff so I never got past running the tower cab. I think for the first time, I will want to try another facility. Maybe you could recommend one that has both a reputation for training capabilities and one that is short on manpower. I stumbled into my VATUSA page, and it tells me I'm in the academy. I believe that's new as I have no recollection of what that means.

Have a great weekend!

David Stone

  • ZID Staff
  • 278
    • View Profile
Re: Jumping back into it!
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2019, 09:47:26 am »
Bill, Welcome back to the network! Glad to hear you will be looking at controlling again as well. ARTCC selection is really a personal thing since you will want to find a facility that makes you comfortable in addition to providing you with the training availability you are looking for. Of course, that being said, sometimes it is worth joining one ARTCC to satisfy your training needs and later look at transferring to the facility where you really want to be. The biggest problem with this philosophy, in my opinion, is that people often lose momentum when they are somewhere they don't enjoy being so apply that mindset with good judgment.

If you are looking to help increase the staffing level of an ARTCC in need and are trying to avoid bias you could visit the websites of the different ARTCCs and review their roster to gauge manpower levels or send an email to each of the 3 Air Traffic Directors and inquire about their respective airspace needs. They are VATUSA7, 8, or 9 at vatusa.net for the Northwest, Southern and Northeastern ATD. This may also help you find that perfect spot in an area of the country you prefer to be in.

Software has changed and all the options could be explained after finding a new home. Again, welcome back and good luck.
David Stone
Air Traffic Manager
vZID ARTCC

Matthew Kramer

  • ZLA Staff
  • 76
    • View Profile
Re: Jumping back into it!
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2019, 12:15:54 pm »
I will echo what David wrote. ARTCC choice is very much a personal thing, and the advice I usually give is to go somewhere you think you'll enjoy the most. For some people that's a facility that overlies their own home, for others it's an area where they see themselves controlling for real one day, or just airspace that they've always liked in some form or another. Each ARTCC has its own challenges and unique airports.

The academy is where new and transferring controllers to the division start. It's the spot you take the first basic S1 exam now, and is the starting place for choosing a facility. You can use your profile options on the VATUSA site to transfer into a facility when you decide to.

Lastly, since it's the facility I help run, we still have your training notes at ZLA, so you wouldn't be starting over if you decide to come back.
Matthew Kramer
ZLA DATM

Bill Denny

  • Members
  • 7
    • View Profile
Re: Jumping back into it!
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2019, 02:13:15 pm »
I will echo what David wrote. ARTCC choice is very much a personal thing, and the advice I usually give is to go somewhere you think you'll enjoy the most. For some people that's a facility that overlies their own home, for others it's an area where they see themselves controlling for real one day, or just airspace that they've always liked in some form or another. Each ARTCC has its own challenges and unique airports.

The academy is where new and transferring controllers to the division start. It's the spot you take the first basic S1 exam now, and is the starting place for choosing a facility. You can use your profile options on the VATUSA site to transfer into a facility when you decide to.

Lastly, since it's the facility I help run, we still have your training notes at ZLA, so you wouldn't be starting over if you decide to come back.

Hey Matthew,
I'm actually from the East Coast, so this time around I'm going to try it out over here.  Hey, who knows...maybe this time I'll make it all the way through and if that times comes around, you can bet your butt I'll put in for a visitor certification.  Maybe the change of scenery will help me out, I won't forget the TEC routes.