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Stuart Duncan

First Wings Event: Feedback

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Stuart Duncan

What a total abomination of an event.

Firstly, I have come to learn this event was thrusted upon the UK by .net.

Perhaps it would have been prudent, before advertising, to promulgate intentions to suitably qualified and experienced controllers and ascertain not only if you have a suitable number of appropriate controllers, but also to guage their willingness to tolerate pilots whose ability was less than, well, tolerable.

Because of this, a globally advertised event was inappropriately staffed; in fact, no area or approach controllers were rostered. In essence, this made the division laughable. There also was no briefing package for a group of inexperienced controllers staffing an international event.

I was participating in a group flight which was arranged prior to the announcement of this event where fortunately there was some ad-hoc area control briefly available but disconnected, for reasons can only assume, was due to the issues highlighted above.

Whilst it was pleasing to see the high level of traffic in/out of PF/GD, from what I heard during my brief working of SCO_CTR, the frequency of the departures from PF was too high.

I hope the division learns from these mistakes.

 

Best,

 

Stu

 

 

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Harrison Grose

Hey,

I think that the concept of the event was very good. But, big but, there should have been some sort of pilot briefing too, controllers can't be expected to give a full tutorial to pilots about vPilot, whilst also controlling x other aircraft.

 

Maybe bigger / more well known airports should have been used, for example, Manchester and Stansted.

 

-Harrison

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Stuart Duncan

Hi,

I wholeheartedly agree the concept was excellent. A pilot briefing could have been handy, but as for vpilot instruction, a full tutorial is available on the vpilot website.

You can lead a horse to water....

 

But I disagree with airfield selection. Two ideal places.

 

 

Edited by Stuart Duncan

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Harry Sugden

Ayy doing this event at Manchester or Gatwick would’ve been pure carnage, a big no no! You’d have a load of new pilots who would be flying just because it’s an airport they recognise, unwilling to actually learn.

Have put some comments in the main event thread too, but wholeheartedly agree that checking availability or even cancelling given that which was expressed would’ve been sensible. I was sorry to have not been around long enough to warrant controlling, but from what I’ve heard and briefly observed, it didn’t look like I’d want to anyway - rammed frequencies, trying to control and teach. Sounds like hell! You’d want no more than 10 aircraft on frequency at a time, hence would probably need bookings or multiple airfields available.

(One thing I did notice - more aircraft departed Glasgow, presumably because the event banner and name said EGPF & EGGD - might have been worth clearer signposting that either direction was suitable)

Anyway from some of the comments from new pilots on the event thread, looks like the UK’s image has been tarnished a little!

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Alvi Segovia

I think bigger airports needs to be used as their were too many aircraft at EGPF. A simple delivery frequency could have helped significantly however wouldn't be substantial enough to push people out.

Me monitoring ground while I was on Tower was just unbelievable for a ground controller just to provide a taxi clearance. Why couldn't be conducted at Heathrow for example as it is limited to S2s (who may have more experience than other controllers who gave up their time to help and control at Glasgow). More Stands/Space, 3 grounds and a delivery. I don't see a problem in that as they still have to learn how to manoeuvre with a continuous taxi, Links etc. I don't know about C1'S + But wouldn't it be better as well for them in the London Sector than Scottish because of how much people control in the south however that is not my field to talk about.😊d6a726eb316ad2692e2ab81db4bedd78.pngThis was when I first logged on at the start of the event, imagine half an hour later...

and pilots need to double check charts alot more often or route requirements cause as shown, Jet aircraft are going on LUSIV's which was stated in the forum but i'm guessing not everyone got the memo

Edited by Alvi Segovia

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Sebastian Wheeler

I've put what I need to say in the event post, but I'd be interested to see the staff perspective on this. Some things definately went well, but what have we taken away from the event in terms of management?

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Andy Gaffney

I'm not VAT-UK staff but I am a Supervisor and I was online as such for the event whilst I was flying up to Glasgow - not actually being aware that it was being used as an event field at the time (And I was due to fly back down as well).

From a SUP point of view - I saw very little in the way of being reached out to by controllers in terms of helping out some of the newer pilots or trying to help educate them.

I also noticed a great deal of frustration from the area controllers - who clearly did not have sufficient support and resorted in them not staying on for very long - honestly I dont blame them.

Takeaways from my side of the fence here - would be to have a booking system in place for a limited number of pilots to fly out, perhaps using a larger airport (CC or KK would be better than LL which has a fairly complex layout) and anyone who does not get a booking will be referred to another event (perhaps 2 over 2 days would work here to accommodate.) - This in my view would reduce the pressure on the ADC positions as well as then the Area controllers.

Another point I'd make is that area control is vital to something like this - if you cant get sufficient controllers then its going to effect the quality of the event which is about getting new pilots the experience that VATSIM offers, as well as getting them confident to fly under all types of control.

Again I am just a standard Network SUP, I hold no sway on decisions made - this is my personal opinion of the event based on what I saw on the day.

 

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Andrew Macleod

I agree with Stuart, most of the more “experienced” controllers I’m sure would of showed up as well but the time of the event was shocking for the UK as it is right in the middle of the day. Fair enough it’s that time to cater for everyone but that’s part of the problem. I’m also pretty sure nobody expected that amount of traffic either..there wasn’t much to expect from this event controller wise because of the time as I said if the time had changed to become a bit later I would of definitely wanted to control for it and as it is a network wide event as such, maybe a seminar or something to discuss the basic info of the aerodromes would help. I wasn’t there so I don’t know how good/bad the standards of controlling were but if they were poor, then it’s defintley something to think about doing in the future.

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Alex Ashley

I thought the choice of airports were a little odd - not because of their size, but because of how much staffing we can offer. I would've thought Stansted (nice simple layout but lots of stands) to Liverpool would have attracted more ATC coverage, unless the whole point of the event was to keep aircraft distant from SC.

Timing was also a major issue and should've been adjusted.

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Bill Casey

FYI, Bristol and LonW would have had plenty of experienced controllers had it not clashed with a long standing VA event that they were all attending.

As regards the time of the event, I don't see how that was a "major issue" at all. There were over 1,000 on Vatsim, a huge proportion of which were in W Europe (which includes the UK 😉 ) and it seems 'too much' traffic so the time wasn't an issue unless controllers do things on Saturday pm that no-one else does? 😲

 

 

(Now wondering what controllers do on Saturday afternoons......)

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