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David Zhong

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Posts posted by David Zhong


  1. Not sure what you are trying to achieve here Will... on this flight sim forum, some people have expressed their opinion and you have expressed yours. It is probable that no one here is an air law expert, so if you choose to take legal advice from the people here, then that is at your own risk, but I would suggest that there are people who are better positioned to advise (as Greg as mentioned). If you are hoping that someone is going to validate your thinking, then I would suggest that that is inviting confirmation bias.

    In terms of behaviour in a real aircraft, most people would err on the side of caution. If you choose a different strategy, no one here is going to try and stop you from doing whatever it is you are planning on doing.

    • Like 1

  2. You are right that the AAT's jurisdiction is limited to reviewing decisions made by bureaucrats. They are not a court of law and their power is limited to that of the officer who made the original decision.

    Your last post makes me less suspicious that you are asking for academic purposes... you would be a lot braver than most here if you are going to risk criminal sanctions over what some might describe as a technicality...


  3. While I suspect Will is asking this question more as an academic exercise rather than to obtain legal advice, I would point out that in many industries, cowboy operators try to push the boundaries of what is possibly technically legal and eventually when it gets out of hand and the public demand action, politicians and regulators are forced to tighten things, to much cost and frustration to all involved. So the point is (and to paraphrase Marge Simpson), just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

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  4. While the comments regarding participation being seasonal are spot on, something that I would suggest is looking at the overall movement, e.g. by comparing year-on-year numbers for the same time of the year. 

    The loss of members beyond regular season movements has always been present. Life happens and people change their priorities. This gets balanced by new members coming in, but recruitment is something that has always been difficult to manage on a divisional level. Major events attracting international crowds, major developments such as the release of new sceneries (e.g. FlyTampa Sydney) or the upcoming AFV are all opportunities to try to draw people in (or back in) if we capitalise on them. Experience from many years ago was that recruitment drives at airshows, conferences, etc. had generally been unsuccessful in actually getting conversions into new members but of course is something that can be tried again with new strategies.

    When it comes to stuff like training policy, there has to be a big picture view. There are plenty of great ideas and management will always say that there isn't the resources to do it. There is a balance between spending people's time on something vs the benefits. Growing the membership and attracting more people to join the staff is the best way to shift that balance.

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  5. Something that I will clarify is that during the period of the standing approval (i.e. MRM times), a controller may log into a Dep position instead of the App position. Where only one TMA controller is online, that controller will cover the whole TMA. However, if a controller prefers Dep, then he/she may log into that position so that when a second TMA controller arrives, he/she may retain the Dep position. This is similar to our routine operation of SNO/WOL.

    The context of the standing approval is that at the time we had pretty healthy activity levels during this event. You actually couldn't get an ATC spot if you turned up after say 6pm. Canberra and Avalon were being staffed because people wanted to control. This was a way of allowing more people to have the opportunity to participate on the ATC side and was only made more permanent after a trial period and feedback from the community. The feedback supported our decision to restrict the approval to Dep and not Director.

    While there is certainly great novelty in additional positions (and there was also some desire to build "TMA team" skills to better support major events), from an Ops side we felt we were restrained in that this also introduces complexity. The kind of complexity I'm talking about is easily seen in the controller documentation for major TMAs in the US (e.g. SOCAL, New York, etc... as an extreme case) This complexity must be adequately documented so that controllers can prepare themselves in advanced. 

    Further to Greg's comments on maximising coverage... while it is up to the management of the day to set the policy direction, I would suggest that if there is tower, TMA at each airport and 1 en route, the opening of a second TMA position at one airport is probably no better/worse than opening a second en route, but of course would depend on the traffic situation.


  6. The handling of a large number of connections to a single server is non-trivial and is not necessarily resolved by better hardware. There is work in (very slow) progress to improve the way FSD handles and processes connections, from the network level (how connections are treated - i.e. forked process, threaded, event driven, etc.) to things like how range-checking are performed.

    These are important to the scaleability of FSD - for example, decreasing the update interval for clients from 5s to 1s is not possible today because the range checking (which is done with every position update) has to be done roughly n^2 times (where n is the number of total connections to the network) and this is not achieveable within a reduced update interval (geodesic calculations are far more computationally expensive than calculations on a Cartesian system).

    There are ways to get around this issue, but they are non-trivial and of course requires someone to put in the time to make the change. In the past 12 months, there have probably been less than half a dozen people contribute to the code and most of those people have been too busy to make more than minor changes. (We need help!)

    • Thanks 1

  7. I'm a bit late, but I would point out for those who haven't been around as long... Sean is spot on that for our purposes the COR is the ruling document on which region a chunk of airspace belongs to and then the RD then decides on the split for divisions. You will note that there are plenty of non-Australian territories within VATPAC airspace, most notably in the past we have had French nationals attempt to make a claim on New Caledonia and the French Polynesia.

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  8. It is with regret that I advise the community that Eoin Motherway and Dan Martin have resigned from their positions citing real world commitments. Both of these gentlemen have made an enormous contribution to our organisation and on behalf of VATPAC I would like to express our gratitude.

    An announcement regarding a new division director is imminent and the incoming division director will be making the arrangements for the transition period while we find suitable replacements.

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  9. It is with pleasure that the Board of Governors announces the appointment of Aidan Stevens to the position of VATGOV6, Vice President of Web Services and the formal move of Matt Cianfarani to the position of VATGOV3, Vice President, Network Systems. 

    Aidan has been serving as the Assistant to VP Web for the past 12 months and is the lead tech behind several VATSIM tech projects currently being rolled out. His dedication and proven leadership will make him an excellent addition to the team. 

    We look forward to seeing the continued development of VATSIM Technology over the coming months!

    [VATSIM BOG]

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  10. 2100354105.png

    It's been a busy few months for the whole developer community on VATSIM, as we speed towards release of VATSIM's new voice technology. We are also making excellent progress on other modernizations and enhancements which will ensure VATSIM remains the biggest and best online flying network.

    While we continue to make this progress, we have had some staff changes as well. I'm saddened to announce that Jamie Fox has recently stepped down from his role as Vice President, Network Systems due to personal commitments. Jamie has played a central part over several years in getting VATSIM's server infrastructure in order and in a stable state, as well as contributing to numerous projects across VATSIM in that time also. On behalf of the Board of Governors, I'd like to thank Jamie for his work and wish him the very best for the future.

    Jamie’s departure gives us an opportunity to reevaluate the needs of technical positions on the Board of Governors. While we complete that evaluation, Matt Cianfarani will execute the responsibilities of Vice President, Network Systems and Vice President, Web Services.

    These two roles are closely intertwined, and it makes sense that in this critical stage of our delivery of Audio for VATSIM, we have an aligned approach to launching this and other projects in the community.

    Aidan Stevens has been appointed Director of Web Services to assist Matt with his additional responsibilities. Aidan has been critical in the past year assisting VATSIM development assisting or taking the lead on many of our improvement projects. Thank you to both Matt and Aidan for stepping up.

    In tandem with this announcement, Zach Biesse-Fitton, our Vice President Technical Development, has published a blog post which gives a more detailed update on Audio for VATSIM amongst other topics. I would urge you to read it here, as it's sure to be of interest!

    Thank you for being a part of VATSIM.

    [VATSIM BOG]

    • Like 1

  11. On Monday 22 April 2019, VATPAC received a report that a publicly-accessible part of our Moodle system ("The Academy") displayed the email addresses of registered users. These email addresses were sourced from VATSIM when a user first logged in with VATSIM SSO (Single Sign-On). Upon receiving this report, VATPAC staff immediately disabled our Moodle until the issue could be rectified. The affected parts of Moodle have been permanently disabled and service has since been restored.

    Am I affected?

    You are affected by this incident if you have an account with our Moodle system and have logged in with VATSIM SSO. Note that upgrades to our Moodle have taken place over the years and some of these upgrades reset the user database. If you have never logged into Moodle with VATSIM SSO, you are not affected.

    What are the impacts?

    If you were affected by this incident, your email address may have been displayed on a publicly-accessible page on our Moodle and visible to all Moodle users. This was an obscure page and there is no evidence to suggest that more than a few people accessed it.

    The page has been publicly-accessible for an unknown period of time, likely since July 2017.

    There is a low probability that email addresses on this page were collected by marketing agencies. There is no evidence to suggest that this occurred. However, in this event, affected persons may receive spam or other malicious emails. If you receive any suspicious emails, you are recommended to avoid opening it or any attachments or links and either delete the email or use your email providers "report spam" function.

    What did VATPAC do in response?

    VATPAC took the following actions in response to this incident:

    • disabled the Moodle system immediately to prevent immediate access to the affected page
    • changed Moodle settings to prevent access to the affected page
    • restored service to Moodle
    • undertook an investigation into the circumstances that led to the incident

    What is VATPAC doing to prevent this from happening again?

    VATPAC has implemented the following measures to prevent similar incidents:

    • changed Moodle settings to prevent access to the affected page
    • reviewed other systems to ensure that they are configured correctly
    • reported the incident to VATSIM

    Who can I contact with further concerns?

    Tom Grozev, Director IT - it at vatpac dot org

    • Like 2
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  12. Thanks to all that attended. Some of the highlights from last night...

    Q: are there plans for the smaller procedural airports to have local instructions?
    A: Yes, but not at the top of the list

    Q: What does the non exec directors do
    A: We currently have a young but passionate executive team leading the organisation. The role of the non execs is to support that team by providing them with guidance and wisdom and challenge their ideas.

    Q: Are there any plans for implementing a training system where controllers may access their own training notes and or use a roster a roster such as seeing other controllers and what rating they are
    A: Yes, we are developing a system that will allow students to access their training record. A controller roster will not be developed as this duplicates CERT. Members can access the latter by contacting VATSIM Membership.

    Q: Can e.g. a centre controller access tower information in Moodle without having to enrol in each course? E.g. quick reference guide as PDF
    A: We will explore this

    Q: Is there any plans for doing any Iron Mic's for pacific area airports such as Fiji, New Cali, Vanauatu and PNG airports?
    A: Yes, this is in consideration

    Q: Would the training department contemplate making the Procedural endorsement one that you have to do at least one sweatbox with? If I had done a sweatbox rather than just an exam or even mentoring sessions that would have been extremely useful.
    A: We are considering this at the moment

    Q: Any updates on discord
    A: A survey has been done recently on community views. The Board is continuing to consider this issue and there are a number of matters that the Board requires to be resolved before making a decision including how moderation will be improved.

    Q: Any updates on new codec
    A: VATSIM has announced that an open beta will commence soon. Applications are currently open to join this beta program.

     

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  13. VATSIM announces signups for Audio for VATSIM Large Scale Testing

    VATSIM is delighted to announce that we are moving into the advanced testing phases of the new audio solution, Audio for VATSIM (AFV). AFV is a revolutionary new audio solution for the VATSIM network featuring clear VHF communications and minimal latency as opposed to VATSIM’s current voice codec. AFV also features realistic range-based VHF range, incorporation of blocking tones for pilots who are stepped on, and the ability to use voice on any frequency in the VHF spectrum even when there is no Air Traffic Controller online.

    VATSIM needs you to help complete these important large-scale tests where we attempt to stress the system with hundreds of users before we release. To accomplish these tests, we are accepting applications from any VATSIM member interested in being a part of the large-scale beta testing to begin soon.

    Beta testers will be selected at random from the applicants and will be requested to fly or control during at least two of the upcoming large tests.

    Applicants will receive a confirmation via email and if accepted will receive email with further instructions.

    To apply, visit https://vats.im/beta

    Good luck to all those who apply, and we look forward to full release of Audio for VATSIM!

    • Like 5

  14. Dear VATPAC Community,

    Last September, I was approached to assist in leading this organisation out of a situation where the board was fragmented and there were some strong divisions within our community.

    Since then, we have formed an enthusiastic young team to lead our staff and some experienced non-executives to support them. It is now the job of this team to unite our community with our common hobby.

    Over the weekend, I advised Alan Cooke to begin the search for a new division director and I understand that process will begin shortly. Having been in the role for some 6 months, I can say that the new division director will be very busy in building a strong foundation for our organisation. We are an organisation of some 1800 members and there is more work to be done for our organisation to be one that can properly support that membership.

    Thank you to everyone who supported my efforts, through encouragement and constructive criticism, thank you to our hard working staff who keep this place ticking along and good luck to our board.

    David Zhong
    Acting Division Director

    • Thanks 10

  15. Are you hearing the ATIS from the built-in ATC or the ATIS that the controller recorded? You can tell because the audio should match the text ATIS which you can get by right clicking on the ATIS in the controller list and clicking "Get Controller Info"

    Also double check that your aircraft's electrical and avionics systems are switched on


  16. Town Hall Meeting
    Sunday 7 April 2019 at 1030 UTC/2030 AEST/2000 ACST/1730 AWST
    Via Teamspeak
     (Instructions)

    1. Call to Order / Welcome
    2. Board to present 2019 plan
    3. Questions to the board

    If you have any questions that you would like the Board to answer, you can either mail them to me at director at vatpac dot org or ask them during the Q&A. 

    We will publish a list of answers to questions in writing so that is a way to get your question in if you can't attend.

    Please note that in daylight savings states, daylight savings ends on this day. All times listed above are in standard time.


  17. I am pleased to announce that yesterday, the Board resolved to appoint Thomas Grozev as Director IT.

    Tom is relatively new to the community but had already joined the IT team and made contributions behind the scenes. His experience in a vast range of web and mobile technologies and web security will be invaluable as we look to improve the experience that we provide to our members. Tom also has community leadership experience and has organised fundraising events for charities.

    Please join me in congratulating Tom on his appointment!

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  18. Last September, in our time of crisis, Steven Brown once again graciously agreed to step up to the plate and volunteer his limited time and energy to keep our organisation afloat.

    In the six months that have passed, Browny has kept our critical systems running smoothly and dealt rapidly with a series of hiccups caused by our service provider. Browny has also contributed significantly to some of the reforms we have put in place since that time and has assisted in our rebuilding by chairing two appointment committees.

    Browny has well and truly fulfilled his mandate and it will be the job of his successor (who will be named later this evening) to build from the platform that we have today. We wish you the greatest success and happiness in your endeavours outside of this organisation and hope that you occasionally find time to participate in the hobby again.

    Thank you for your service!

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  19. The VATPAC Board today has enacted the Data Handling Policy.

    This policy provides the framework for VATPAC to handle data requests made pursuant to the General Data Protection Regulation (EU). The policy is aligned with similar policies promulgated by VATSIM and VATOCE and mechanisms are in place for cross-referral of requests. The policy also makes provision for board oversight of data security controls so that the risk of data breaches can be effectively managed.

    Members who wish to exercise rights under the GDPR and policy can do so in writing to [email protected]

    The policy can be found on our website under "About Us" and "Policies".

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