Facility on the job training

Just a general question, can anyone say what the on-the-job facility training consists of once you graduate OKC? I know someone who was assigned ZHU and if i understood correctly, there's still class training that you have to go through even when you are at your facility, can anyone confirm that?
 

nathanw

New Member
Just a general question, can anyone say what the on-the-job facility training consists of once you graduate OKC? I know someone who was assigned ZHU and if i understood correctly, there's still class training that you have to go through even when you are at your facility, can anyone confirm that?
That's where the *real* training begins. You can expect to be in training there for at least a year for center/tracons. 9 months or so for large towers.
 

polo708

New Member
That's where the *real* training begins. You can expect to be in training there for at least a year for center/tracons. 9 months or so for large towers.
you wish... try close to 3+ years for you OTS/CTI guys at a center and 1-2 years for a normal tower, 2-3 for a busy tower. VRA guys at a standard tower should be well under a year. prior radar guys should be quicker to check out at centers too.

You will have more book work than you can shake a stick at and plenty of simulator work before you get hands on with any real traffic. They want to make sure you arent a total moron before going live. They will wash you out of a simulator if you are terrible enough. For centers I know you get 3 strikes basically... fail 3 simulator tests and you are gone. Not sure how towers go.

Each facility handles training different since each facility has a totally different setup and different control positions.
 
you wish... try close to 3+ years for you OTS/CTI guys at a center and 1-2 years for a normal tower, 2-3 for a busy tower. VRA guys at a standard tower should be well under a year. prior radar guys should be quicker to check out at centers too.

You will have more book work than you can shake a stick at and plenty of simulator work before you get hands on with any real traffic. They want to make sure you arent a total moron before going live. They will wash you out of a simulator if you are terrible enough. For centers I know you get 3 strikes basically... fail 3 simulator tests and you are gone. Not sure how towers go.

Each facility handles training different since each facility has a totally different setup and different control positions.

That's what i figured it would be like. What i still don't get though is what about these news reports that come out saying that an air traffic controller "trainee" had a deal or a close call? Does the FAA specifically mandate that a controller doing on the job training can't go live before they're fully certified?
 

diver191

New Member
you wish... try close to 3+ years for you OTS/CTI guys at a center and 1-2 years for a normal tower, 2-3 for a busy tower. VRA guys at a standard tower should be well under a year. prior radar guys should be quicker to check out at centers too.

You will have more book work than you can shake a stick at and plenty of simulator work before you get hands on with any real traffic. They want to make sure you arent a total moron before going live. They will wash you out of a simulator if you are terrible enough. For centers I know you get 3 strikes basically... fail 3 simulator tests and you are gone. Not sure how towers go.

Each facility handles training different since each facility has a totally different setup and different control positions.
im at atl tower and a cti, and avg check out time here is 8-9 months. i think thats what you considered a "large tower" with "2-3 years of training." the longest check out time i have heard of is around 12-13 months here and shortest is 6 months by a CTI, not VRA or prior controller
 

Shide

New Member
you wish... try close to 3+ years for you OTS/CTI guys at a center and 1-2 years for a normal tower, 2-3 for a busy tower. VRA guys at a standard tower should be well under a year. prior radar guys should be quicker to check out at centers too.

You will have more book work than you can shake a stick at and plenty of simulator work before you get hands on with any real traffic. They want to make sure you arent a total moron before going live. They will wash you out of a simulator if you are terrible enough. For centers I know you get 3 strikes basically... fail 3 simulator tests and you are gone. Not sure how towers go.

Each facility handles training different since each facility has a totally different setup and different control positions.
2-3 yrs. at a tower? I'd like to see the tower that takes even 2 yrs. to get checked out at, I don't see it happening.. More like 9-16 months tops..
 

ATC RET 2003

No More Vectors
That's what i figured it would be like. What i still don't get though is what about these news reports that come out saying that an air traffic controller "trainee" had a deal or a close call? Does the FAA specifically mandate that a controller doing on the job training can't go live before they're fully certified?
You are a trainee (or developmental) until you are fully certified.

"Going live" is a part of the process of getting fully certified. When you arrive at your new facility, you will spend some time in the classroom. There you will be drawing maps, learning the procedures, letters of agreement and SOPs specific to your area. Many, but not all, facilities also include a phase of simulated control practice.

Then you start on-the-job training or OJT. This is when you plug in to the position and start talking to real pilots. Your OJT instructor will be plugged in directly with you and the instructor remains responsible for the operation of the position. If you, as the trainee, screw up, it would not be uncommon for folks to say that "the trainee had a deal", even though it is the instructor who will ultimately get the blame.

Most places do certifications on each position individually. As a trainee, it is possible to be checked out on one or several positions without being fully certified. You will work those positions without being plugged in with your OJTI. If you, as a trainee, are working a position on which you are checked out and have a deal, it would then be quite accurate for folks to say, "a trainee had a deal."
 

JT ATC

New Member
That's what i figured it would be like. What i still don't get though is what about these news reports that come out saying that an air traffic controller "trainee" had a deal or a close call? Does the FAA specifically mandate that a controller doing on the job training can't go live before they're fully certified?

God no. You sit in class, learn the airspace, the rules, get in a simulator for a while then you plug in with live traffic. As a trainee, you will ALWAYS have a rated person plugged in with you.

Trust me, simulators only get you so far. There is so much stuff you just can't simulate. In my approach training, I was working live traffic for 6 months before I got rated. I was only in training for 10 months.
 
God no. You sit in class, learn the airspace, the rules, get in a simulator for a while then you plug in with live traffic. As a trainee, you will ALWAYS have a rated person plugged in with you.

Trust me, simulators only get you so far. There is so much stuff you just can't simulate. In my approach training, I was working live traffic for 6 months before I got rated. I was only in training for 10 months.
Ok that springs a new question, i just don't feel like starting another thread :p. If any controllers are reading this, how long did it take you before you were fully certified or rated? I know it's different for every controller but i'd still like to know.
 

LawnGnome

Well-Known Member
First military facility - 12 months fully checked out in tower with one radar position

contract tower - 20 days

faa level 8 tower - 5 months
 

JT ATC

New Member
Ok that springs a new question, i just don't feel like starting another thread :p. If any controllers are reading this, how long did it take you before you were fully certified or rated? I know it's different for every controller but i'd still like to know.
My miltary facility is a pretty low level facility. I checked out officially in 10 months. If I had chose to, I could have been rated in about 6 or 7. I got stuck waiting behind 3 people who were almost finished with their approach training, plus I decided to milk my time there since I was still waiting to hear from the FAA. My official rating actually came on my 25th birthday, although I was unofficially rated 2 months before that. This scenario will not happen at an FAA facility. This scenario is just one reason I love the ANG.

I expect about a 3 to 3 1/2 year time frame to check out at ZID. Maybe even more, since I'm likely going to be stuck behind the ERAM upgrade :banghead:
 

Spokepoke

New Member
Along with the training, is there anyone that knows what hourly schedules are for 24 hour facilities and where the trainees fit in? Love to know about level 7 up down facilities but any info will help.
 

Spokepoke

New Member
Thats awesome, sorry for the overlook, my forum search skills are not to standards. Thanks for taking the time to post that regardless.
 

bippoptl

Well-Known Member
my friend finished training in OKC for a Center back on July 18th. ever since then she goes into work and spends a lot of her day studying, and some of the day plugged in with a certified controller (just listening and learning, not controlling). she is waiting for date to go down to the DAISIM, which is the simulator for Trainees at a center. she expects to get in on December 1st. they go through a month of classroom work, then 3 months of the simulator. every 2 weeks they have to do a "Problem", and if they fail the problem they get ONE chance to try again. if they fail it again they get fired. they have had 4 people fail out of the current DAISIM class...once done with the simulator you go on the floor and plug in and control traffic with a CPC right next to you. you need to get fully checked out on 2 sections of your sector in order to hit the 25% completed with training, and get the first pay increase. also, when you are checked out on those 2 then you can do overtime. after that you just keep working to get checked out on the other sections in your sector.
 
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