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MrYenko
Jun 17, 2012

#2 isn't ALWAYS bad...


fknlo posted:

I wonder if they're doing anything to secure vaccine doses right off the bat for controllers? That's probably way cheaper than spending almost $100k every week to clean every facility and/or shut them down. I kind of wonder how they'll handle people that refuse to get it in that kind of situation.

Look into your heart, and you’ll realize you already know the answer.

The answer is Yakety Sax playing softly in the background while a manager makes confused noises.

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SeaborneClink
Aug 27, 2010

MAWP... MAWP!


But have you considered that $100,000/wk is going to some FAA higher-up's golf buddy's cleaning company?

fknlo
Jul 6, 2009




Fun Shoe

SeaborneClink posted:

But have you considered that $100,000/wk is going to some FAA higher-up's golf buddy's cleaning company?

I'd think this was the case if they weren't apparently having to run through the yellow pages and grab the company that can be there the soonest. You could have probably made a good amount of money with a side job that only focused to ATC facilities if you live in a city/region with a few of them.

fknlo
Jul 6, 2009




Fun Shoe

Oh hey, after being repeatedly told that there wasn't going to be any extra use or lose carried over they've decided they're going to allow an additional 60 hours to be rolled over. I probably still would have been setting leave on fire for mental health reasons but pretty much everyone that I work with that's actually working has used all the extra by now. Now the people that have been out on EA for most of the year will get another week and a half extra to burn next year. Good poo poo.

its all nice on rice
Nov 12, 2006

Sweet, Salty Goodness.



Buglord

Looks like my training will be delayed a whole year by the time I get back into the classroom. Due to the 5/5, they are not allowing an article 5 for sims. There is a new training order is being worked on. There is a classroom of D-side trainees that are waiting for the labs, so they'll get first crack at it. The lab will only run at 50% capacity due to social distancing. All this boils down to a class planned for January starting some time in April.
Talking with an OKC classmate (who just certified in ABQ) and trainees here that have been talking to former classmates of theirs, some other facilities seem to have figured out how to continue and complete training.
I know the people working in the training area are doing what they can with what they have. It doesn't make this situation any less frustrating.

MrYenko
Jun 17, 2012

#2 isn't ALWAYS bad...


its all nice on rice posted:

Looks like my training will be delayed a whole year by the time I get back into the classroom. Due to the 5/5, they are not allowing an article 5 for sims. There is a new training order is being worked on. There is a classroom of D-side trainees that are waiting for the labs, so they'll get first crack at it. The lab will only run at 50% capacity due to social distancing. All this boils down to a class planned for January starting some time in April.
Talking with an OKC classmate (who just certified in ABQ) and trainees here that have been talking to former classmates of theirs, some other facilities seem to have figured out how to continue and complete training.
I know the people working in the training area are doing what they can with what they have. It doesn't make this situation any less frustrating.

Ya, the trainees are eating a very special brand of poo poo from this situation. Sorry duder.

fknlo
Jul 6, 2009




Fun Shoe

I somehow missed DFW/DAL getting shut down yesterday

I wonder if this will push us up the priority list for the vaccine anywhere? From what Colorado's website says I feel like we'd just be lumped in with the general public. DEN has already been super short staffed due to covid and several of the smaller facilities in our airspace have been closed for extended periods because of it too. I can't even imagine what would happen if we ended up one in one out at DEN or some other major airport for any extended amount of time because of the inevitability of covid shutting down a tower or approach control.

smackfu
Jun 7, 2004



I know that even federal judges basically get no special treatment and are begging the states to prioritize them so... good luck to ATC.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetillman/judges-coronavirus-vaccine-court-staff-supreme-court

fknlo
Jul 6, 2009




Fun Shoe

smackfu posted:

I know that even federal judges basically get no special treatment and are begging the states to prioritize them so... good luck to ATC.

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/zoetillman/judges-coronavirus-vaccine-court-staff-supreme-court

The union sent out an email last night saying they're looking into getting us pushed up. Definitely a good thing to wait to do.

Also, today is my last day as a controller

its all nice on rice
Nov 12, 2006

Sweet, Salty Goodness.



Buglord

fknlo posted:

The union sent out an email last night saying they're looking into getting us pushed up. Definitely a good thing to wait to do.

Also, today is my last day as a controller

You took a supe position to get out of there, right? Good luck to you!

fknlo
Jul 6, 2009




Fun Shoe

its all nice on rice posted:

You took a supe position to get out of there, right? Good luck to you!

Yeah, I’m that idiot. I need a change of pace anyway. Hopefully this works out.

e: a guy in my old area punched a scope a few weeks back. The entirety of my new area thinks this was me. Off to a great start!

fknlo fucked around with this message at 21:00 on Jan 4, 2021

Tommy 2.0
Apr 26, 2008

My fabulous CoX shall live forever!

So WTF is the word on new bids anyways? No idea because of COVID?

TangoFox
Jan 28, 2016


New Bids? OTS? CTI ? What are you asking?

We just finished 10 people in R school and 3 more in D-School. Now they're on the floor.

Also we're going 5-10 ----> 5-5 this week.

Tommy 2.0
Apr 26, 2008

My fabulous CoX shall live forever!

TangoFox posted:

New Bids? OTS? CTI ? What are you asking?

We just finished 10 people in R school and 3 more in D-School. Now they're on the floor.

Also we're going 5-10 ----> 5-5 this week.

New hires, fresh to the FAA. It's been a few years. I forget the acronyms.

The Ferret King
Nov 23, 2003

cluck cluck

We've got the power to stop some of the spread due to travel.

We won't. But we could.

TangoFox
Jan 28, 2016


Tommy 2.0 posted:

New hires, fresh to the FAA. It's been a few years. I forget the acronyms.

They're hiring. But lower than what they projected. I think they're at like 600 or 700 per year instead of 1200. It might be lower because they delayed everything for so long.

TangoFox
Jan 28, 2016


The Ferret King posted:

We've got the power to stop some of the spread due to travel.

We won't. But we could.

You're right! Crash all the airplanes. We can stop this virus.

hobbesmaster
Jan 28, 2008



TangoFox posted:

You're right! Crash all the airplanes. We can stop this virus.

Ground delay programs for every center with out of control spread! Your departure clearance time is... next year? Maybe?

fknlo
Jul 6, 2009




Fun Shoe

hobbesmaster posted:

Ground delay programs for every center with out of control spread! Your departure clearance time is... next year? Maybe?

This is part of the thing where controllers are their own worst enemies. We just make poo poo work because that’s what we do. APA was down to 3 controllers and 1 supervisor for like a week after contact tracing and they closed on the mid and went limited operations outside of pushes. That’s it. It’s not a top 30 or a center or anything, but a ton of places have had huge hits like that and things keep on moving.

Denver county got the tracon and tower vaccinated quick after the tower took a hit and there were real world effects from it. My facility that feeds them all their traffic is in another county and we’re probably still at least a month out from getting them here. I talked to natca and upper management about trying to get us in when Denver county were doing it but natca shot it down as well as the district itself.

Reztes
Jun 20, 2003



Readback minutia question. I was flying today with another CFI-I who mentioned in listening to a podcast from a couple of controllers, he heard them say that from their perspective, when they give a clearance to fly a practice approach, the most important readback they need to hear is "maintain VFR."

The call we got that prompted this was something like: "Fly heading 290 until established on the localizer, practice approach approved, no separation service provided, maintain VFR." I always just read back "290 until established, practice approach approved." I don't think I've ever confirmed "maintain VFR" or had ATC come back to request that readback, so it was weird for both of us to hear that's apparently the most important part for somebody.

From my end, I started VFR, I understand that a practice approach is a VFR procedure, neither of us have said anything otherwise. Wondering what the perspective is from your side.

MrYenko
Jun 17, 2012

#2 isn't ALWAYS bad...


*Center Controller Opinion Incoming*

If you’re VFR, I don’t care about any of your readbacks unless I actually issue a control instruction. Practice approach? “N241BJ, copy” is fine. Weather call? “N241BJ, thanks.” Traffic? “N241BJ, searching.” None of it is really critical. Honestly, I mostly just want you to stop talking.

If I issue an actual control instruction, you can consider that to be equivalent to an IFR control instruction except that I expect you to let me know if you can no longer maintain VFR and comply with it. If I’m not ball-busting busy, I’ll generally also tack on “let me know if you can’t maintain VFR on that heading/altitude.” Basically, when I make a control decision and issue a clearance (“maintain VFR at or above four thousand five hundred,” or “fly heading three zero zero,”) I’ve decided that if you comply with that instruction, the conflict will be avoided and I need a readback from you to verify (and record) that you’ll comply. When I don’t need it anymore, I’ll generally use “course and altitude your discretion, maintain VFR,” at which point I’m not really worried about your readbacks anymore.

I know that a lot of controllers overuse “maintain VFR,” and that’s mostly because they’re used to IFR traffic, and don’t really trust or understand the little guys. We still have controllers that don’t seem to be aware that they CAN issue control instructions to VFR traffic.

Zochness
May 13, 2009

I AM James Bond.

Pillbug

I think it comes from the note in Section 4-8-11 in the .65. VFR aircraft need to be told to maintain VFR on initial contact or as soon as possible to “remind the pilot that even though ATC is providing IFR-type instructions, the pilot is responsible for compliance with the applicable parts of the CFR governing VFR flight.”

I can see thinking you need to get the read back to cover you if you give a VFR practice approach to a pilot and they then think they can fly through clouds or something since it is technically an instrument approach. I don’t know how that would be handled if there was an accident but I imagine as long as you told them and they came back with at least their call sign you’d be fine.

fknlo
Jul 6, 2009




Fun Shoe

The county my facility is in unexpectedly sent out a "get the vaccine tomorrow!!!" email to like 50% of the center. A very surprising number of people are getting it even though most of them are going to have to use 4+ days of sick leave. Staffing is hosed until Saturday afternoon.

MrYenko
Jun 17, 2012

#2 isn't ALWAYS bad...


fknlo posted:

The county my facility is in unexpectedly sent out a "get the vaccine tomorrow!!!" email to like 50% of the center. A very surprising number of people are getting it even though most of them are going to have to use 4+ days of sick leave. Staffing is hosed until Saturday afternoon.

It's almost like they could have avoided this by coordinating distribution for an essential workforce.

fknlo
Jul 6, 2009




Fun Shoe

MrYenko posted:

It's almost like they could have avoided this by coordinating distribution for an essential workforce.

Listen, the logistics of having a person show up to the facility for a week to give people shots as they walk out the door on their Friday is just unfathomable.

Losing over half the workforce for 48 hours in the middle of the week with a days notice is fine though.

They didn't think it would happen like this. We were under the impression that the county itself wouldn't be doing this but would give our names to providers so we could set up appointments. There was also the opinion that even if something like this happened people wouldn't burn the 4+ days of sick leave to do it. The classic "this won't happen" scenario. Even the facrep was surprised by the amount of people willing to burn sick leave to get it.

Mortabis
Jul 8, 2010


I would crawl over a mile of broken glass to get the vaccine a month earlier. I'd sure as hell burn sick leave or vacation time to do it.

fknlo
Jul 6, 2009




Fun Shoe

Mortabis posted:

I would crawl over a mile of broken glass to get the vaccine a month earlier. I'd sure as hell burn sick leave or vacation time to do it.

I would have 100% signed up if I were still a regular controller. There's absolutely no guarantee that this wasn't our one shot from the county. As a supervisor things get a lot muddier, especially with the staffing hit we took. I basically couldn't justify it even though this would have been the best possible time with me still having overlap with the person I'm replacing today and tomorrow.

Sinbad's Sex Tape
Mar 21, 2004
Stuck in a giant clam

Just got our bws schedule for when we go back to normal at our center. They’re trying to keep the same staffing numbers as our 5/5 schedule which was 5-7 people, but adding back all our trainees. Some days there are no trainees and we stay at 6 people, some days we have 5 trainees on one shift and now we staff additional bodies to train them so that shift has 13 people total. Glad we’re getting back to training but I don’t think I’ve seen 13 people all year.

Reztes
Jun 20, 2003



Stemming from a conversation with another instrument instructor, if I call center or tracon to pick up an IFR clearance airborne, is ATC creating, filing and activating an IFR flight plan for me? If so, is it functionally any different from a flight plan I would file myself on the ground if I did that instead of requesting the clearance airborne?

its all nice on rice
Nov 12, 2006

Sweet, Salty Goodness.



Buglord

Reztes posted:

Stemming from a conversation with another instrument instructor, if I call center or tracon to pick up an IFR clearance airborne, is ATC creating, filing and activating an IFR flight plan for me? If so, is it functionally any different from a flight plan I would file myself on the ground if I did that instead of requesting the clearance airborne?

Coming from a center trainee: if you have a FP on file and we can find it in our system, we're going to use that. If you don't , we're typing it in. It's not a huge deal, but if we're busy it's easier to depart your FP, give you the code, and track you up on the scope. Filing a FP makes everyone's life easier IMO, regardless of whether or not you plan on actually picking it up. Less radio back and forth, and a lower chance of messing up FP info.

its all nice on rice fucked around with this message at 02:29 on Mar 1, 2021

MrYenko
Jun 17, 2012

#2 isn't ALWAYS bad...


The biggest thing for a GA air file is search and rescue information. That can take a bit to get out of the pilot, which can be a pain when you’re busy.

Reztes
Jun 20, 2003



I guess what I was getting at is for some reason this person I was talking to has the impression that if he departs VFR and requests an IFR clearance in the air, it’s just a clearance, and there is no flight plan because he never filed one and like somehow he’s convinced ATC can’t file a flight plan on his behalf, only issue a clearance? And I was saying that I’m pretty sure a flight plan is still being generated “behind the scenes” to go along with the clearance he’s getting, and there’s no meaningful distinction to whatever pedantic point he’s trying to make.

Reztes fucked around with this message at 04:27 on Mar 1, 2021

fknlo
Jul 6, 2009




Fun Shoe

Reztes posted:

I guess what I was getting at is for some reason this person I was talking to has the impression that if he departs VFR and requests an IFR clearance in the air, it’s just a clearance, and there is no flight plan because he never filed one and like somehow he’s convinced ATC can’t file a flight plan on his behalf, only issue a clearance? And I was saying that I’m pretty sure a flight plan is still being generated “behind the scenes” to go along with the clearance he’s getting, and there’s no meaningful distinction to whatever pedantic point he’s trying to make.

There's absolutely a flight plan getting generated on our end. We will even make you say everything you'd have to file in a flight plan on frequency for search and rescue info like MrYenko said. It can be a hassle if there's anything going on. I've told pilots to always file a VFR flight plan just in case because while we don't see that it eliminates the requirement for the readback if they have to airfile.

cigaw
Sep 13, 2012


On that subject, are there general guidelines on which ATC facilities will or will not issue a pop-up IFR clearance? I've never had an issue with NorCal or Oakland Center issuing a pop-up but I've spoken with a few pilots who were surprised such a thing existed.

vessbot
Jun 17, 2005
I don't like you because you're dangerous

Reztes posted:

I guess what I was getting at is for some reason this person I was talking to has the impression that if he departs VFR and requests an IFR clearance in the air, it’s just a clearance, and there is no flight plan because he never filed one and like somehow he’s convinced ATC can’t file a flight plan on his behalf, only issue a clearance?

§91.173   ATC clearance and flight plan required.

No person may operate an aircraft in controlled airspace under IFR unless that person has—
(a) Filed an IFR flight plan; and
(b) Received an appropriate ATC clearance.

Reztes
Jun 20, 2003



vessbot posted:

§91.173   ATC clearance and flight plan required.

No person may operate an aircraft in controlled airspace under IFR unless that person has—
(a) Filed an IFR flight plan; and
(b) Received an appropriate ATC clearance.

Oh yeah duh

Thanks for all the responses. I generally really respect this other instructor, so I felt like I was losing my mind in this one.

MrYenko
Jun 17, 2012

#2 isn't ALWAYS bad...


cigaw posted:

On that subject, are there general guidelines on which ATC facilities will or will not issue a pop-up IFR clearance? I've never had an issue with NorCal or Oakland Center issuing a pop-up but I've spoken with a few pilots who were surprised such a thing existed.

Refusing airfiles is a very early step in limiting workload, and I’ve done it myself when busy. That said, I’ve absolutely heard of people being refused air-files because some podunk level 8 TRACON has a blanket rule that airfiles won’t be accepted because someone ten years ago forgot to get the S&R info. As an example of how extreme this can be MIA approach (a “level 12” up/down) is forbidden by SOP to make internal pointouts and keep airplanes climbing because some dipshit didn’t do their job properly fifteen years ago and had a deal. Not changing the SOP is easier for management than expecting people to do their job, and so it remains like a ghost of weak-stick controllers past. Ever fly the THNDR departure out of FLL and wonder why you’re level at 10k feet for thirty-plus miles? It’s because Miami Approach loving sucks.

It’s also worth noting that sometimes we will be specifically refusing airfiles to specific destinations because people will depart VFR and try to airfile, attempting to avoid the 2+ hours of delays into say, Teterboro. No sir; gently caress you, unable.

cigaw
Sep 13, 2012


Interesting! Thanks for the answer!

I wish there was an easier way of knowing when or where you might be refused one but I guess it just comes down to familiarity with the facilities around you. I imagine that being bounced over to FSS to file a plan after weather moved in would suck but screw the people gaming the system trying to airfile to Teterboro lol

MrYenko
Jun 17, 2012

#2 isn't ALWAYS bad...


cigaw posted:

Interesting! Thanks for the answer!

I wish there was an easier way of knowing when or where you might be refused one but I guess it just comes down to familiarity with the facilities around you. I imagine that being bounced over to FSS to file a plan after weather moved in would suck but screw the people gaming the system trying to airfile to Teterboro lol

Honestly, just listen to the frequency for ten or twenty seconds before asking. If you feel like you’d have a hard time getting a word in, chances are the controller is going to tell you to call flight service. If it’s pretty slow, just a quick “hey center, got time for a pop-up IFR?” will work just fine. It might take me a minute to get to you, but I’ll generally let you know right up front “sure, maintain VFR and I’ll get right back to you.” I’ll tie up whatever I’ve got going on, and then come back and get you going.

Conversely, if you file on the ground and get a delay don’t bother leaving VFR, because someone is going to tell you to pound sand when you ask for your clearance in the air. This happened most recently when Jacksonville center went ATC zero for COVID cleaning. Every part 135 jet pilot in south Florida heard their three-plus-hour delay estimate, simultaneously went and departed VFR, trying to get IFR in the air to the northeast.

Guess what, bucko? Our two non-radar routes don’t give a poo poo. Maintain VFR, I’ll have a clearance for you in three hours.

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TangoFox
Jan 28, 2016


Previous experience bid is now posted.

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