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Old 1st Jan 2020, 10:06
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 2 sheds
Not missing the point at all - point duly taken! Merely commenting on some of the detail - semantics by all means if you wish. Not sure what the gist of Packer27L's point is about Nats instructors, "Nats" defensive techniques and business practices - they have quite enough to do on the (approved) BTC, ADI and APS courses, one after the other!

2 s
You forgot to mention they're also on Band 5 salary scale; even that couldn't tempt me to the college on the numerous times it was offered to me; I never had the patience to teach people and had I taken the job, I'd soon be begging to go back to an operational unit; instructors at the college must have immense patience to do the job they do.
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Old 1st Jan 2020, 13:04
  #102 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by 2 sheds
.... Not sure what the gist of Packer27L's point is about Nats instructors, "Nats" defensive techniques and business practices....

2 s
I think its the NATS superiority complex..
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Old 1st Jan 2020, 18:49
  #103 (permalink)  
 
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You forgot to mention they're also on Band 5 salary scale; even that couldn't tempt me to the college on the numerous times it was offered to me; I never had the patience to teach people and had I taken the job, I'd soon be begging to go back to an operational unit; instructors at the college must have immense patience to do the job they do.
I think that you have missed the point. Who is on Band 5, and which college? The subject matter of my "semantics" was that many Nats trainees are currently trained outside Nats.

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Old 2nd Jan 2020, 15:02
  #104 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by LookingForAJob
Let's hope you never did OJTI then!
I did used to do OJT both before and after 'approved courses' were required; held an OJTI 'blue book' too but I gave up when they decided to give 'extra' payments to those who did it; some only did it just to get this extra payment and weren't too good at it either.
Got fed up with trainees straight from the college querying everything I told them and not reading local instructions as well.
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Old 3rd Jan 2020, 10:36
  #105 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Packer27L

Semantics. They are employees of NATS therefore NATS trainees. But are they trained by NATS instructors, who are ex-NATS controllers (or active Ďroviesí), are they taught NATS defensive controlling techniques and NATS business practices?

How are the folks from the ANS college getting on? I havenít heard from any of my old Gatters friends recently?
I am led to believe they are no longer trainees but apprentices.

I really hope this post from Packer is tongue in cheek, is the implication that unless they are trained by NATS instructors and brainwashed/indoctrinated in NATS business practises and taught NATS defensive techniques, they are some sort of substandard controller? Does Packer realise there is a world outside of NATS where perfectly sane and competent controllers have been plying their trade and absolute horror, training other controllers, for a long time without telling the world they are the best? In my career I have worked with and trained some fantastic NATS controllers, I have also seen some that were borderline incompetent and should never have seen a licence. Likewise I could say the same for controllers that have been through an independent system and have never seen a NATS college.

The attitude that the only good controller is a NATS trained controller is both arrogant and ignorant.

Rant over, now back to the thread.
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Old 3rd Jan 2020, 12:56
  #106 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by escaped.atco
I am led to believe they are no longer trainees but apprentices.

I really hope this post from Packer is tongue in cheek, is the implication that unless they are trained by NATS instructors and brainwashed/indoctrinated in NATS business practises and taught NATS defensive techniques, they are some sort of substandard controller? Does Packer realise there is a world outside of NATS where perfectly sane and competent controllers have been plying their trade and absolute horror, training other controllers, for a long time without telling the world they are the best? In my career I have worked with and trained some fantastic NATS controllers, I have also seen some that were borderline incompetent and should never have seen a licence. Likewise I could say the same for controllers that have been through an independent system and have never seen a NATS college.

The attitude that the only good controller is a NATS trained controller is both arrogant and ignorant.

Rant over, now back to the thread.


Well said
OJT should be something that the ATCO wants to do and is invested in the outcome, not just as another allowance. That said the unit still needs to function so a balancing act is often required!
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Old 3rd Jan 2020, 15:48
  #107 (permalink)  
 
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Some of the very best ATCOS I ever saw in action were those I met in Coventry, 2007/08. Working effectively in a Class G , very busy, environment whilst trying to provide standard separation to high speed IFR commercial aircraft takes some doing. There are plenty of NATS controllers who would not take kindly to this scenario !
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Old 4th Jan 2020, 01:53
  #108 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by kcockayne
Some of the very best ATCOS I ever saw in action were those I met in Coventry, 2007/08. Working effectively in a Class G , very busy, environment whilst trying to provide standard separation to high speed IFR commercial aircraft takes some doing. There are plenty of NATS controllers who would not take kindly to this scenario !
After a 3 year cadet course with NATS (actually NATCS in those days) I was posted to Farnborough, where the aircraft weren't speed limited unlike IFR commercial flights in the then equivalent of Class G airspace; I was easily able to adapt to Buccaneers, Hunters and Lightnings flashing round low level at up to 550kts mixing it with slower traffic out of Blackbushe, Fairoaks and White Waltham but later trainees straight out of the college from about 1990 seemed to have great trouble doing so, often ignoring conflicting traffic if it wasn't showing SSR.
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Old 4th Jan 2020, 09:31
  #109 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by chevvron
After a 3 year cadet course with NATS (actually NATCS in those days) I was posted to Farnborough, where the aircraft weren't speed limited unlike IFR commercial flights in the then equivalent of Class G airspace; I was easily able to adapt to Buccaneers, Hunters and Lightnings flashing round low level at up to 550kts mixing it with slower traffic out of Blackbushe, Fairoaks and White Waltham but later trainees straight out of the college from about 1990 seemed to have great trouble doing so, often ignoring conflicting traffic if it wasn't showing SSR.
Can we get your autograph?
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Old 4th Jan 2020, 12:56
  #110 (permalink)  
 
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Theres always a danger that as we get older, we always default to the attitude of - "the youngsters have it easy now, back in my day I had 16 in the circuit, calibration in progress and 5 at the holding point. Had to do it all with primary radar and and a verey pistol........"

I wouldn't want to have to go through the training system again, my years of experience wouldn't necessarily mean I would breeze through. The assessment methods are different, the pressures are different, the technology is different - ultimately anyone that gets through should be given the credit for achieving that. Problem is that there seems a reluctance from the colleges to actually chop those totally unsuited to ATC, they simply recommend them for further training at the unit and then the particular unit has to make the difficult decision to cease training. Unfortunately this may well be after spending hundreds of wasted OJTI hours, the question is are we doing students/candidates/apprentices any favours by stringing them along when the reality is ATC was never going to suit them as a career in the first place. Thats not a statement of some form of elitism, it's simply a recognition that ATC isn't for everyone.
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Old 4th Jan 2020, 15:43
  #111 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by mike current
Can we get your autograph?
Why? I wasn't exceptional; many controllers were able to adapt, it's just that the NATS training system nowadays, although it does cover 'FIS' (previously ATSOCAs) concentrates mostly on Class D operations and some trainees struggle to adapt to a Class G environment.
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Old 5th Jan 2020, 10:55
  #112 (permalink)  
 
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Problem is that there seems a reluctance from the colleges to actually chop those totally unsuited to ATC, they simply recommend them for further training at the unit and then the particular unit has to make the difficult decision to cease training.
Not true - it is not the task of the ITOs to decide that an individual is "unsuited to ATC". They have to make an assessment based on the evidence as to whether a trainee is satisfactory or unsatisfactory at any particular stage of training on an approved course.
then the particular unit has to make the difficult decision to cease training. Unfortunately this may well be after spending hundreds of wasted OJTI hours,
As you say, a difficult decision - which apparently you expect the ITOs to make much earlier in the training process, when there may be a suspicion but little hard evidence. I suggest that the responsibility lies with the employer and its selection process - in the case of NATS, they make a big enough meal of it.
I wasn't exceptional; many controllers were able to adapt, it's just that the NATS training system nowadays,
We thought that you were! :-) It's not the NATS training system - it's the European plus UK specified content for the rating course, whichever approved ITO provides it.

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Old 5th Jan 2020, 19:58
  #113 (permalink)  
 
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ATC Jobs

Originally Posted by 2 sheds
Not true - it is not the task of the ITOs to decide that an individual is "unsuited to ATC". They have to make an assessment based on the evidence as to whether a trainee is satisfactory or unsatisfactory at any particular stage of training on an approved course.

As you say, a difficult decision - which apparently you expect the ITOs to make much earlier in the training process, when there may be a suspicion but little hard evidence. I suggest that the responsibility lies with the employer and its selection process - in the case of NATS, they make a big enough meal of it.

We thought that you were! :-) It's not the NATS training system - it's the European plus UK specified content for the rating course, whichever approved ITO provides it.

2 s
Very well put. Incidentally, NATS Training do currently train for APS, specifically for Swanwick, & also train UK specified content courses when needed. ADI will also be restarting soon, once the electronic data system is ready.
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Old 6th Jan 2020, 12:29
  #114 (permalink)  
 
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Vacancy

Brighton City Airport(Shoreham) looking for ADI with ideally APP but consider tower only.

[email protected]
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Old 7th Jan 2020, 06:19
  #115 (permalink)  
 
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[QUOTE=chevvron;10653800]Why? I wasn't exceptional. Well there is a bubble burst, reading your posts Chevron I thought you were the dogs boll@@ks, and Farnborough went down the toilet when you left, and as for the general state of Air traffic, well that has never recovered from your departure!!!!

Always a sad day when your heroes fail you.
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Old 7th Jan 2020, 12:22
  #116 (permalink)  
 
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[QUOTE=Nimmer;10655642]
Originally Posted by chevvron
Why? I wasn't exceptional. Well there is a bubble burst, reading your posts Chevron I thought you were the dogs boll@@ks, and Farnborough went down the toilet when you left, and as for the general state of Air traffic, well that has never recovered from your departure!!!!

Always a sad day when your heroes fail you.
I must admit I was always prepared to 'bend' the rules at times in order to provide a better service to pilots eg suggesting to single engine pilots crossing to Le Touquet they stay with me on LARS East frequency (so that if their engine went, I could pinpoint their position to D & D) which was officially outside my area of operation. My flying experience in many types from gliders and microlights, through light aircraft and helicopters to fast jets (which controllers nowadays rarely have) helped me to determine when this might be useful to pilots and if anybody queried what I did I could always invoke MATS Pt 1 Section 1 Chapter 1 para 1.2 second sentence.
Local assessors nowadays tend to frown on this type of discretion and initiative so it rarely occurs.

Last edited by chevvron; 9th Jan 2020 at 14:34.
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Old 9th Jan 2020, 18:01
  #117 (permalink)  
 
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Snag is, ATC is now so risk averse that anything that isn't written down and published as a procedure leaves one wide open to subsequent disciplinary actions - doing something with the best of intentions is no longer enough to make it ok when it goes even slightly wrong. As for controllers with aircraft experience, that has also largely faded away from what I can see. More and more controllers are now coming into the industry, not because they have a love of aviation, but simply because they are attracted by the salary and potential lifestyle. It is rare now for controllers to have flying experience behind them, I have seen ab-initios who literally don't know what the difference is in a Cherokee and an Aztec - no appreciation in the difference of performance, no idea if fixed gear or retractable etc. Couple this with a sense of entitlement for someone who as never been told in their lifetime that they can actually fail and there can be issues. But in balance I suppose it would be a boring world if we were all the same.
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Old 9th Jan 2020, 21:41
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Originally Posted by escaped.atco
Snag is, ATC is now so risk averse that anything that isn't written down and published as a procedure leaves one wide open to subsequent disciplinary actions - doing something with the best of intentions is no longer enough to make it ok when it goes even slightly wrong. As for controllers with aircraft experience, that has also largely faded away from what I can see. More and more controllers are now coming into the industry, not because they have a love of aviation, but simply because they are attracted by the salary and potential lifestyle. It is rare now for controllers to have flying experience behind them, I have seen ab-initios who literally don't know what the difference is in a Cherokee and an Aztec - no appreciation in the difference of performance, no idea if fixed gear or retractable etc. Couple this with a sense of entitlement for someone who as never been told in their lifetime that they can actually fail and there can be issues. But in balance I suppose it would be a boring world if we were all the same.
Boring, perhaps; but judging from your assessment of modern entrants, more professional & more sympathetic too?
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 19:57
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Originally Posted by kcockayne
Boring, perhaps; but judging from your assessment of modern entrants, more professional & more sympathetic too?
As I've inferred before, there's always a danger that we older controllers think the younger generation have it easier and are not as good. I'm very conscious of the fact that different generations have different attitudes and priorities. All I can say is that when I was coming through the system, the vast majority of my colleagues had at the very least a keen interest in all things aviation. A lot had flying experience and had perhaps worked with and around aircraft in one form or another - that seems to have gone. My personal opinion is that is easier to train someone who really wants to be there, someone who has an aviation interest and someone who is a well rounded individual. Not saying that doesn't happen anymore, just maybe not as much. Harsh? Maybe, but just my opinion and experience. I don't know what the latest recruitment requirements are but an initial aviation knowledge obviously isn't a prerequisite.
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Old 10th Jan 2020, 20:14
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I canít say that I disagree with any of that. I would not discount anyone who doesnít have an aviation interest/background ; but I do think that the system should be built around a nucleus of aviation enthusiasts ie capable aviation enthusiasts. Without judging the different generations, my Cadet course comprised 24 ex ATCAS - only one of whom failed. In my opinion, all except that one individual had that motivation occasioned by experience in ATC & enthusiasm for the job. It was this that helped make them good controllers. That is not to say that anyone without that sort of motivation cannot be as good !
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