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SimAirline.net - Message Boards • View topic - PIREP Change?

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 Post subject: PIREP Change?
PostPosted: 27 Mar 2009, 15:50 
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After checking the viewpoint and every topic listed in the suggestion area i didn't see anything about it, so here goes.

At my old VA, the VA managers were given the power to approve the Pirep's that were for the specific VA.

(example: Delta VA manager approved the delta pireps)

I don't know if this has been talked about or not, but it would relieve some pressure off of Aaron and maybe make things run a bit more smoothly.

Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: PIREP Change?
PostPosted: 27 Mar 2009, 17:31 
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It DOES relieve a lot of pressure for Aaron, but we have, on multiple occasions, suggested to do that and every time we've been turned down. When it comes down to it, it's quality over quantity. That's precisely why Aaron checks every single PIREP, to make sure that the flight was done with the correct aircraft, the correct time, the correct date, etc.

Not even Ali, his right hand guy and most senior management, is able to approve PIREPs.

Just wait and have patience. Eventually your PIREPs will get approved. It's not a life or death situation where you HAVE to have your PIREP approved as soon as you file. Even Aaron deserves time off.

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 Post subject: Re: PIREP Change?
PostPosted: 27 Mar 2009, 20:34 
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I think the main reason for managers not approving PIREP is so that we can have the same quality all around the organisation.

Aaron has always said: "If you want it done properly, do it yourself," Which is exactly what he is doing.

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 Post subject: Re: PIREP Change?
PostPosted: 28 Mar 2009, 01:40 
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FJ flyer wrote:
"If you want it done properly, do it yourself,"

But one can only do so much.. especially now with his move to Delta and with him going on a holiday, I do notice that the 'company' cannot deliver the same quality as it did before.

I am not saying he should not go on a holiday or anything btw, personal life should go first, but I do believe that it is hard to actually give a certain level of quality with such big amounts of things to be done.

Basic management starts with letting things go, let others do what costs too much time for you, supervise them instead and try to let go of things. It is usually the only way to actually grow over time.

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 Post subject: Re: PIREP Change?
PostPosted: 28 Mar 2009, 06:12 
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Reasons why this will not happen:

1) We don't have a full management team, this is way too much to put on Assistant VA Manager.
2) Half of the management team don't know their flights nearly as well as Aaron, for a big airline it would take a long time to search flights and approve/disapprove.
3) Many managers have more than one positions in management. Nick for example (I hope he doesn't mind), has three VAs under his belt all very big airlines. He is the Panels Developer, Turboprop Panels Manger, Terminal Maps Developer, Sounds Manger and Codeshare Manger. Add to that his personal life and flying on FS. He's been so busy he has only logged two flights this month. We can't possibly pass the duty of PIREPs for his airline onto Assistant VA Mangers because of obvious reasons. Same goes for me, I've got to paint aircraft for SimAirline.Net on top of my personal painting, add that to modelling a Cessna 441 for my school project and other homework. My weekends are jammed packed and I've got no time to sift through PIREPs.
4) You don't know how many times management has asked that possibly they could do PIREPs and Aaron isn't one to change his descision.


To be honest you're wasting your time and my time. If Aaron was to change his mind I'd be very surprised.
He might ask someone to cover for him every now and again while he's moving but it isn't likely.

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 Post subject: Re: PIREP Change?
PostPosted: 28 Mar 2009, 08:02 
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I agree with Jeroen. It makes perfect managerial sense to distribute tasks, especially one as big as approving the PiREPs of hundreds of members on a daily basis.

It's simply too much to ask of one person, really, and it's starting to affect other members of the organisation, so it's not very fair to be so dismissive.

In response to your points:
1. If the manpower isn't there, isn't it time to recruit more staff?
2. I don't understand; If the pilots have access to the flights' data (how else do we choose and plan our flights?), then what is there to "know"? You are given the flight number, that should be all you need to look up said flight. You are presented with all the data required; Origin, destination, time out, time in, date, equipment, what else is there to know?
3. Again, if the existing staff members are being stretched too much, isn't it time for a recruitment drive and/or better spread the task allocation?
4. I know I'm not going to win any friends saying this; But that sounds kind of arrogant/stubborn? :|


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 Post subject: Re: PIREP Change?
PostPosted: 28 Mar 2009, 10:13 
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Carlo wrote:
I agree with Jeroen. It makes perfect managerial sense to distribute tasks, especially one as big as approving the PiREPs of hundreds of members on a daily basis.

I don't agree we can distribute the PIREPs but I do agree that we distribute more tasks. The one holdback though is quality.



Quote:
It's simply too much to ask of one person, really, and it's starting to affect other members of the organisation, so it's not very fair to be so dismissive.

What I don't get, is why people are so annoyed that their PIREP hasn't been approved for a week or so?
How badly does it affect people?

Carlo wrote:
1. If the manpower isn't there, isn't it time to recruit more staff?

Uhh, we've been trying to do that for AGES!!! It has been the biggest problem ever.
why do you think we haven't opened Aeroflot

Quote:
2. I don't understand; If the pilots have access to the flights' data (how else do we choose and plan our flights?), then what is there to "know"? You are given the flight number, that should be all you need to look up said flight. You are presented with all the data required; Origin, destination, time out, time in, date, equipment, what else is there to know?

Sorry, I don't really know what I was thinking when I said that... :lol:
Quote:
3. Again, if the existing staff members are being stretched too much, isn't it time for a recruitment drive and/or better spread the task allocation?

Again, we've been trying to do this for ages. What we can't get is why people don't want to apply...
It has been a big topic of discussion in the past couple of months.

Quote:
4. I know I'm not going to win any friends saying this; But that sounds kind of arrogant/stubborn? :|

Maybe, but sometimes you need to be like that when you want things done properly.

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 Post subject: Re: PIREP Change?
PostPosted: 30 Mar 2009, 05:25 
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Aaron,
I apologise, if I offended you in any way. I have just read your viewpoint article, and... :shock: @ the amount of PiREPs you have to sift through.

If anything though, I'd like to reiterate how odd and impractical it seems for all that to fall on the shoulders of just one person. It's asking an awful lot.


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 Post subject: Re: PIREP Change?
PostPosted: 30 Mar 2009, 16:11 
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The simple answer is that Aaron is much more familiar with the various schedules we use here at SimAirline than anyone else, and can go through the PIREP approval process more quickly and surely than anyone else could. In the past, I have also suggested delegating the PIREP approval task to others in management, but Aaron has repeatedly stated that he prefers to handle them himself. There may come a time when Aaron will delegate that responsibility, but I don't think it will happen soon.

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 Post subject: Re: PIREP Change?
PostPosted: 30 Mar 2009, 22:00 
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:?


So you're saying that 1 person having to authorise 1000+ PiREPs is OK because that person is 'much more familiar' with the process than anyone else?

Is there a personal touch to the process? Is it an art? Does it involve some sort of extremely complex mathematical formula that only Aaron knows about? Surely not? In which case how difficult can it be to let someone else do it too? As I said previously, the PiREP contains all the necessary information to find the flight in question, so other than ticking a few boxes and comparing a few figures, how complex a task can it be, that Aaron doesn't trust anyone else to help him with? :?


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 Post subject: Re: PIREP Change?
PostPosted: 31 Mar 2009, 01:02 
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Carlo wrote:
:?


So you're saying that 1 person having to authorise 1000+ PiREPs is OK because that person is 'much more familiar' with the process than anyone else?

Is there a personal touch to the process? Is it an art? Does it involve some sort of extremely complex mathematical formula that only Aaron knows about? Surely not? In which case how difficult can it be to let someone else do it too? As I said previously, the PiREP contains all the necessary information to find the flight in question, so other than ticking a few boxes and comparing a few figures, how complex a task can it be, that Aaron doesn't trust anyone else to help him with? :?

You try working a full time day job, coping with an airline merger that involves you, a social life, basic needs, a struggling economy, and a lot more. Honestly guys, you are all speaking in vein. Aaron does an excellent job, and he can breeze through about 10 PIREPs in the time it takes me to do 1. And yes, he does it because he wants to ensure that operations are smooth and efficient.

And it's not that he doesn't trust us, he just has FAR MORE EXPERIENCE with airline schedules (and again, more things that would take ages to list).

Carlo, not to be disrespectful, but why are you seriously carrying on about an issue that you know will not change based on the opinion of just one (maybe a few) members?

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 Post subject: Re: PIREP Change?
PostPosted: 31 Mar 2009, 03:35 
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Quote:
PIREP approval is very time-sensitive and requires a deep understanding of our schedules, correction of mistakes requires a deep understanding of how the roster system works, and of course, there is the issue of access to the database

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 Post subject: Re: PIREP Change?
PostPosted: 31 Mar 2009, 05:02 
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Well, it was just a suggestion. From the replies of other people I can see why Aaron wants to maintain being the only one to approve them.

To reply to an earlier comment, most people probably don't apply for management positions due to thinking they don't have time, or want to do it. Most people who join VA's probably just want to fly and not help run.

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 Post subject: Re: PIREP Change?
PostPosted: 05 Apr 2009, 03:57 
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 Post subject: Re: PIREP Change?
PostPosted: 05 Apr 2009, 05:52 
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Thanks for taking the time to address some of the points raised in this thread, Aaron.

In response:

Quote:
Consistency in approval standards: one manager might opt to allow a PIREP that arrived unusually early, while another might not.


What if a set standard was adhered to? What if there were written guidelines about delayed/early flights?

Quote:
Consistency in approval time: one manager might approve PIREPs every day, while another might take longer.


What if every VA Manager had a, say, weekly, pre-arranged quota he was ready and committed to adhere to?

Quote:
Better treatment of returning pilots: pilots that flew with us in the past often don't mention that they previously flew for us, so they don't request that those hours be credited. My memory is good at recognizing names, and has let to hours credited for pilots that haven't flown for us in years.


I'm sure there are 'regulars' who file PiREPs more often than others. These would probably be easily recognisable after reviewing a few of their PiREPs. For the other, less recognisable ones, all it takes is a Word (or even Notepad, lol) document, ctrl+f, and their surname being typed to find out (a task completed in mere seconds)

Quote:
Maintain database integrity and security: PIREP approval often requires database access to edit or delete PIREPs. This can be complicated to do and also raises security risks.


I understand and agree with this point, but isn't it each pilot's responsibility to edit rejected PiREPs? I know I still have 8 PiREPs "requiring modification", all from my first couple weeks' or so's membership, which I still don't know what to do with actually... lol

Quote:
Schedule knowledge: SimAirline.net's airlines fly over 20,000 flights per day. While it's impossible to know all of the schedules, it is possible to tell quickly if a PIREP has an obvious problem. This is the goal of checking PIREPs, and it's difficult to pass this skill (acquired over the last nine years) on.


I'm in admiration of this knowledge. Impressive (not sarcastic btw). How many digits of Pi can you recite? :P
However, is there really that much of a difference between typing a few figures and airport codes into a database, and knowing them off by heart? The time difference is surely negligeable, a matter of seconds?

Quote:
Efficiency: because of a deep schedule knowledge, I am able to approve PIREPs at a very fast rate. Presuming the PIREP is straightforward, I can approve around ten PIREPs per minute, much faster than a VA Manager who might have to look every flight up.


Again, I am impressed :D
So say, in 30 minutes you could approve 300 PiREPs, when somebody without the knowledge you have (but still some knowledge. Afterall they're not in a managerial position for their choice of suit colour :P) would probably approve around 100. If PiREP reviewing was spread across the entire management 'board', the difference would be offset by the higher number of PiREP 'reviewers'


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 Post subject: Re: PIREP Change?
PostPosted: 05 Apr 2009, 08:22 
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Carlo wrote:
Quote:
Consistency in approval standards: one manager might opt to allow a PIREP that arrived unusually early, while another might not.


What if a set standard was adhered to? What if there were written guidelines about delayed/early flights?

Because each flight is different in its own way whether it's wind patterns, the aircraft type or the length or the flight. You can't write a set of guidelines for each and every flight, neither can you set rules for groups of flights.

Quote:
Quote:
Consistency in approval time: one manager might approve PIREPs every day, while another might take longer.


What if every VA Manager had a, say, weekly, pre-arranged quota he was ready and committed to adhere to?

The fact of the matter is half of the are busy, have other life commitments and don't need more things to do so they aren't available as often.
I reckon if there was a survey of Management, half of them would say they don't have enough time to dig through PIREPS.

Quote:
Quote:
Better treatment of returning pilots: pilots that flew with us in the past often don't mention that they previously flew for us, so they don't request that those hours be credited. My memory is good at recognizing names, and has let to hours credited for pilots that haven't flown for us in years.


I'm sure there are 'regulars' who file PiREPs more often than others. These would probably be easily recognisable after reviewing a few of their PiREPs. For the other, less recognisable ones, all it takes is a Word (or even Notepad, lol) document, ctrl+f, and their surname being typed to find out (a task completed in mere seconds)

I think you've misunderstood, Aaron is talking about when a pilot gets taken off the roster (with say 500 hours) and then comes back two years later and files a PIREP, when Aaron spots someone who has returned or they say so in the comments they will recieve 500 hours. And since all of you people are so frightened that you'll get taken off the roster, it's obviously a big deal for them. :wink:

Quote:
Quote:
Maintain database integrity and security: PIREP approval often requires database access to edit or delete PIREPs. This can be complicated to do and also raises security risks.


I understand and agree with this point, but isn't it each pilot's responsibility to edit rejected PiREPs? I know I still have 8 PiREPs "requiring modification", all from my first couple weeks' or so's membership, which I still don't know what to do with actually... lol

Editing, that's the pilot's job.
What about deleting? Who does that? Aaron (or the manager, if this gets put in place)

Quote:
Quote:
Schedule knowledge: SimAirline.net's airlines fly over 20,000 flights per day. While it's impossible to know all of the schedules, it is possible to tell quickly if a PIREP has an obvious problem. This is the goal of checking PIREPs, and it's difficult to pass this skill (acquired over the last nine years) on.


I'm in admiration of this knowledge. Impressive (not sarcastic btw). How many digits of Pi can you recite? :P
However, is there really that much of a difference between typing a few figures and airport codes into a database, and knowing them off by heart? The time difference is surely negligeable, a matter of seconds?

Again, it comes down to time.
We are going to use a couple of management as an example and Feburary's Statistics.
The amount of PIREPs to approve/disapprove: (the amount of airlines they have)
Nick(3): 826
Gregg James(3): 364
Alex Sanins(2): 206
Victor Meurtrier(1-delta): 426
We haven't taken into account people's personal lives and other commitments.
I did a wee trial, and for a random flight from Johannesburg to London heathrow it took about 30 seconds to look it up and compare. 30 seconds each PIREP +/- 10 seconds with the odd one that goes faster or slower, you do the math, it's going to take quite a while to approve all of them on top of other management duties and other commitments.

Other reasons:
1) Some managers down't know the routes enough to know whether it's a discontinued flight or not. For most virtual airlines it would require searching the in our timetable and the electronic timetable to figure it out.
2)There's a thing with travel timetables that you can't search into the past without going into the future. Say I try and search JNB-LHR on 1/1/09 on the Star Alliance timetable, when I look at the date it says "Janurary 1 2010" - and that isn't what I want. And timetables don't include the past in their databases, if I set my system date back to 1/1/09, it comes up with: "This City Pair is served, but the flight server did not find any logical connections (1 January 2009)"

This is where Aaron comes in handy :wink: :P



Carlo, you have some good points, and it would be exciting if we could approve PIREPs.
But I'm not sure if I should be using the little time I have that way.
At the moment I have three painting porjects on the go and one model (this'll be kept a secret for now :P ), a c***load of homework and life to deal with.


*Holy moly that took awhile. Carlo don't do this to me again! :lol: *

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 Post subject: Re: PIREP Change?
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2009, 02:10 
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Fraser, thank you for replying with many excellent points and examples.
Carlo wrote:
Quote:
Schedule knowledge: SimAirline.net's airlines fly over 20,000 flights per day. While it's impossible to know all of the schedules, it is possible to tell quickly if a PIREP has an obvious problem. This is the goal of checking PIREPs, and it's difficult to pass this skill (acquired over the last nine years) on.
I'm in admiration of this knowledge. Impressive (not sarcastic btw). How many digits of Pi can you recite? :P
However, is there really that much of a difference between typing a few figures and airport codes into a database, and knowing them off by heart? The time difference is surely negligeable, a matter of seconds?
3.14159265358979323846...I used to know more.

In fact, it's not so simple. For example, aircraft types can vary from day to day, and it can take time to be completely sure before disapproving a PIREP.

There are some things that can be easily delegated, and these already are. The current division of work across the management team is at an appropriate level, and I don't want to upset that balance.

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 Post subject: Re: PIREP Change?
PostPosted: 12 Apr 2009, 04:37 
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Aaron Robinson wrote:
3.14159265358979323846...


*cough* Show off. *cough* :rolling: I've only ever known pi to 4 significant digits. :lol:

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