By James Yuen
-- Many (most but not all) of these changes have already taken place and have been conveyed across Slack or through word of mouth, however this is a reference post to outline all the changes --
In light of some recent shocking somewhat less-positive feedback regarding Heathrow controllers, particularly on the aerodrome side of things more so than approach, changes have been made to improve people's attitude to controlling and training as a whole. As a result, these changes have decreased the amount of negative feedback that has reached me, but not necessarily noticeably increased the amount of positive feedback. The following post outlines changes and notes that should be made aware of anyone who has/is progressing towards/hopes to progress towards any form of Heathrow endorsement, and is done so for the benefit of mentors and pilots on the network.
- There is no problem with TWR endorsed people to go on GND if it's ridiculous busy, likewise with APP to TWR and CTR to APP.
- It can get very very busy; the morning of when I wrote this post, there was 25 departures at LL with an APP and GND controller. Just because you have 25 departures doesn't mean you can skip route checking and stand allocation. A percentage of your transmission with one pilot might be reduced, but they will still have the same amount of radio contact with you and therefore, their experience should not deteriorate.
- There will be times when it gets really busy, but at times when it's quiet and someone asks for help, do not just send them away rudely. It would be nice and appropriate to at least guide them towards something, whether that be the PRC because they're very new or some local pilot doc.
Heathrow GND + Training (Minimum S2)
The Heathrow GND endorsement was re-introduced a few years ago to give people a chance to control GND when the queue for TWR training got slightly 'out of hand' and to give people a chance to familiarise themselves with the airfield. This is still the case, and training/endorsing on GND is made to be less stringent in the hope that, just like an S1, it is used so people can get some familiarisation with the position/airport before the 'proper stuff' (ie. their S2/full ADC endorsement)
Members are required to complete a theory module (in this case, the Moodle course) prior to commencing training. We have made a few changes associated with this lately as people are lazy and it is evident through feedback that the Moodle course has been seen as a chore rather than an asset. Hence, the changes are:
- The pass mark for the GND Moodle only is now 95%. In less numerical terms, that means you're allowed 1 question wrong. Any unsuccessful attempts will result in a 7-day waiting period prior to the next attempt. Even those who attempt to ask me to waive this because 'they're friends with me' - mate I don't even know how to. If you happen to get 9.46 or something because you missed a checkbox on a multi-select question, send me a message and this can be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- NEW: After completing the Moodle course for GND, you will not be sending a ticket to me. Instead, you'll send a ticket detailing that you wish to have a GND training place, along with test corrections for every question you got wrong, and that is including unsuccessful tests. This means if you have failed your exam 5 times, and got 3 questions wrong every time, your ticket will have 15 test corrections (5x3).
"557 is also a stand that B744 can park on, as detailed by... (in this case: the stand allocation guide)" (ie. stating the document that this information is in/the area of the Moodle)
- Mentors have been instructed to be 'lenient' with GND endorsements as it's meant for you to build hours on before progressing onto TWR. If, at TWR, you don't know how to assign stands or GMC splits/other GND things, you will be kicked off training and asked to work on/re-learn the relevant areas. When the mentor picks up a Heathrow GND session, they (believe it or not) are picking up a Heathrow Ground session, not a OBS PT2 session. They should not be telling you to go find a stand allocation guide when you don't know where an aircraft goes.
- Leading on, this means that if you do not know whether a BA from Barcelona goes to T3 or T5, you check and not just randomly assign a stand hoping it's right. Most pilots/controllers at Heathrow will know this, and will sniff your mistake out in an instant. This applies to the validity of routes as well; information which you can check.
Heathrow TWR + Training (Minimum S2)
Upon receiving a TWR endorsement, you will gain the ability to express an interest in mentoring Heathrow ADC positions and have priority of events. This isn't a developmental position; you are signed off with proficiency on GND and proficiency on TWR (having done work on RSIVA, which is the bulk of Heathrow TWR).
- The test corrections will apply to TWR as well, please see above in the GND section.
- Leading on from the GND section, you will be expected to build knowledge of GND controlling, whether that be practically or theoretically. Come to a TWR session and not know your GND stuff is the same as going to the House of Commons dressed in a onesie. You will not be 'let off lightly' except in 'extenuating circumstances' and often, there are.
- The pass mark for the Moodle at this stage (and APP) with remain at 90%
Heathrow APP + Training (Minimum S3)
Mostly as per the ADC area, no major changes at this stage yet.
By Alvi Segovia
Will there be any radar seminars coming up, as there hasn't been one since October and I think it would be beneficial for those students who is in the waiting list awaiting a training place.
By Mark Cable
I have been away from vatsim uk for about a year and half due to my father being ill and having to look after him, before I left I was doing S3 training on EGGD_APP, and I was wondering where I need to go to restart. Since I have been away the website and training system has all changed and also all the old regional forums seem to have dissapeared. I realise that I won't just be able to pick up from where I have left off, hence the need to start up the training again, so I have been jumping on EGFF_TWR for the last week to get me back up to some sort of speed.
Some advice would be greatly appreciated.
By James Morrissey
I passed my s1 on Monday. Just wondering how long I should have to wait?
By Tom Medlicott
I have started flying on Vatsim again i would like to continue my ATC training. I attained my S1 Rating around 7 years ago and have controlled GND a fair bit at EGGP since that time.
If i can get setup on Euroscope again i am able to continue controlling GND stations?
I have applied to join the "New Controller Group" on the CTS about a week ago, however that has not bee accepted yet, do we know how long this is currently taking?
What is the best way for me to get back into Tower training?