What to do (and not do) when you observe controlling issues

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Gregory Bogosian
ZSE Controller
ZSE Controller
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Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2012 1:42 pm

What to do (and not do) when you observe controlling issues

Post by Gregory Bogosian » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:35 pm

Seattle Controllers,
Consider this post guidance as to what to do if a pilot or another controller have an issue with an online (controlling) Seattle controller. Contact Greg directly with questions.
SCOPE: Every one has their off days... Days where you accidentally vector someone to a reciprocal coarse, give the wrong VOR radial, goof up your PTAC, get busy and forget about an aircraft in a hold, or vectoring an arrival... the list is endless. One of the things i want to address here is that this is a hobby... There is no vFAA, just a bunch of like minded individuals functioning in a team environment (some more than others), doing something we enjoy doing. That said, Seattle ARTCC enjoys the reputation as one of the best and most professional ARTCC's in VAT USA. Just as real world controllers make mistakes, so do we. Real world controllers spend YEARS in school learning this trade and a lot of hours doing OJT and qualifying for the same airspace day in day out... Not us, nope. For us, there is NO REQUIREMENT to read the 7110.65. If someone is good enough they can get by at the TRACON level indefinitely just by reading the SEA ARTCC training material and the VAT USA training material, and asking the occasional question. They may come across lost when someone says 7110.65U. And that is OK.
That said, there are times when someone finds a chink in our armor and we either make a bad call, miss something we should have not missed, or garble up the traffic flow until we run out of room... What to do, what to do... Start by asking yourself a question. Did he/she make a mistake because their having a bad day, or did they really not know. First off, if their an S1-S2, you need to be expecting them to make mistakes, it shouldn't be a shock. A new S3 that just finished their major TRACON cert, a new C1 who knows his/her business, but is still getting used to the multitasking that's required at the center level... There's no one above it. If there's a question about a persons competence in this ARTCC it needs to go to training. The TA/DTA will contact the individual and address the issue. If you are online mentoring and instructing, yes, it is still you responsibility to ensure your student is doing things correctly and correcting them when needed. If someone logs into a position that they are not certified for, yes, the CIC can still ask them to log off, then send ATM/DATM an email with the specifics. The CIC is defined as the senior rated controller present. If someone is making mistakes like they don't know what their doing, ask yourself the above questions, document what you can and contact TA/DTA via email with the details.
NO ONE is to get confrontational with ANYONE in the TS3 server. EVER. This is against VATSIM CoC. If someone goofs something up, you ask about it and they throw you attitude, get mean, or just plain log out, email the appropriate staff member with the details and let us do our job. While you continue to enjoy yourself controlling.
Any question about the post should be directed to the DTA/ATM/DATM.
"Try to learn from the mistakes of others... You won't live long enough to make them all yourself"

Greg Bogosian
KZSE TA
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