My NEST Experience + what its like to be new to the FAA

Foogy

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712
As well as everyone and their mother is an OJTI despite training abilities, investment in training, or ability as a controller. Your training is your training, so if you don't like something get it fixed, as well keep in mind things aren't going to be ideal all the time so know the limits of being the squeaky wheel.

I read that, it makes barely any sense but sense for FAA training so still posting.
 

Nfingers

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147
Truthfully that's the purpose of this post. I was warned and didn't truly recognize the realism of it until now. Ofc hindsight is 20/20, but now I do understand the magnitude of it.
 

JustSomeGuy

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4
I don’t have experience with being nested or going to a TRB, but for training in general (as a newly certified CPC), some situations notwithstanding, don’t put up with crap from the FAA, your FLM, or your training team. I wasn’t a squeaky wheel, but I modified my days off to match up with my main trainers (wasn’t interested in guest trainers), fired some of my trainers, and asked for new ones by name. When I had two different trainers who worked wildly differently and was told “do what trainer 1 wants with him and do it trainer’s 2 way with him”, I said no. I told the trainers to come to an agreement on how we would do things because I want to do it a set-ish way, and the switching the different styles just doesn’t work for me. I was told several times that, “trainees shouldn’t do that”, but oh well! I bended when I needed to; I wasn’t cocky or gruff about it, but made it very matter-of-fact. Mostly, my FLM didn’t like it, but he had no recourse. Some may see that as “weak”, but as I sit here with my career, I give zero shits. For all the trainees reading this, be respectful, but look out for number 1.
 

RavenYZF-R6

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609
Well, honestly...like all things in life, you should be the one who is most interested in your success.
Very true, but for a new person getting into the agency it can be hard to tell when things are not working. Bad communication from the training team doesn’t help. I can only imagine being at a bigger facility and trying to tell them that you need new trainers. You would get push back from almost every direction.

As stated above be respectful and choose your battles wisely. Your FacRep and union training rep should be there to help with this, but they aren’t always on your side or even interested in the position they have been volun-told to do.
 

odotsal

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FAA
Messages
81
Facility
I90 Houston Tracon
Isn’t not a matter of termination vs withdrawal. I’ve seen this happen to several people who were hired as “prior experience” out of the military. I haven’t found any literature on this, but this was the explanation received: once you obtain your first ratings in the FAA, which is usually data, the FAA defers to that as your “experience” when determining placement in the event of unsuccessful training.

So in one instance, someone gets data and a bank of scopes at an 11 or 12 tracon but withdraws from training, those scope positions are accounted for when determining placement. Said person got a list 8s and below.
Conversely, another trainee from the same facility who was a prior exp hire only obtained data and washed out on his first position, he was offered FSS and one lvl4.
Lastly, the two prior exp hires who washed out in the lab and didn’t even get data, received a lengthy list of 7s and below since their most recent experience was still the military.
Idk if that‘s how it’s actually considered and it doesn’t make sense, but it’s worked out exactly like that in all the occurrences that I witnessed and personally know of.
 

Nfingers

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Messages
147
Isn’t not a matter of termination vs withdrawal. I’ve seen this happen to several people who were hired as “prior experience” out of the military. I haven’t found any literature on this, but this was the explanation received: once you obtain your first ratings in the FAA, which is usually data, the FAA defers to that as your “experience” when determining placement in the event of unsuccessful training.

So in one instance, someone gets data and a bank of scopes at an 11 or 12 tracon but withdraws from training, those scope positions are accounted for when determining placement. Said person got a list 8s and below.
Conversely, another trainee from the same facility who was a prior exp hire only obtained data and washed out on his first position, he was offered FSS and one lvl4.
Lastly, the two prior exp hires who washed out in the lab and didn’t even get data, received a lengthy list of 7s and below since their most recent experience was still the military.
Idk if that‘s how it’s actually considered and it doesn’t make sense, but it’s worked out exactly like that in all the occurrences that I witnessed and personally know of.
This isn't wildly inaccurate (except for the labs aspect, that I'm not aware of) but. The largest difference between Withdrawal and Termination is the order the NEST panel looks at you, which is a huge deal. Granted. If you have a few scopes not a big deal because you're more than likely going to get atleast a 8 and below recommendation which greatly increases the number of facilities you can go to. BUT if you do not have scopes and you're not at the bottom of the list hoping for a facility, those low level facilities fill up fast, so the sooner the nest looks at placement, the better.
 

odotsal

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FAA
Messages
81
Facility
I90 Houston Tracon
The largest difference between Withdrawal and Termination is the order the NEST panel looks at you, which is a huge deal.
Very true.
BUT if you do not have scopes and you're not at the bottom of the list hoping for a facility, those low level facilities fill up fast, so the sooner the nest looks at placement, the better.
My point was that no scopes and termination/washing out doesn’t guarantee control facilities. It happened to someone I worked with in the military and he wound up resigning since he was only offered the two FSS in Alaska.
 

Nfingers

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147
Very true.

My point was that no scopes and termination/washing out doesn’t guarantee control facilities. It happened to someone I worked with in the military and he wound up resigning since he was only offered the two FSS in Alaska.
It's exactly like my situation.
 

odotsal

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FAA
Messages
81
Facility
I90 Houston Tracon
... but you said you withdrew instead of getting washed out. As a result of what followed, you said you should’ve washed out. My anecdotes were to point out it didn’t matter whether you withdrew or washed, the placement was going to be the same since your only FAA experience was/is data.

Like you said though, ultimately new hires shouldn’t withdraw unless they’ve obtained some control certifications.
 

Nfingers

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147
... but you said you withdrew instead of getting washed out. As a result of what followed, you said you should’ve washed out. My anecdotes were to point out it didn’t matter whether you withdrew or washed, the placement was going to be the same since your only FAA experience was/is data.

Like you said though, ultimately new hires shouldn’t withdraw unless they’ve obtained some control certifications.
It still could have been different. If the nest did my package earlier in the meeting and something was available, then I could of been offered something. I didn't realize your friend terminated. I insinuated he withdrew. But yes. You are right. It could or been the same outcome either way.
 

PushingTin

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489
Nice post. Very thoughtful and informative.

My main takeaway from it is something I try to tell people all the time; you aren't necessarily guaranteed to be placed at a new facility if you are unsuccessful. Yes the vast majority of people are lucky enough to get placed at a lower level facility and get a second (and sometimes 3rd) chance, but its not a sure thing. I hate to see the trainees who are clearly doing poorly, yet act super flippant and too cool for school about it. If it's a defense mechanism that's one thing (its awkward as hell to wash out), but sometimes I think its more of a legit entitlement feeling or some kind of generation gap. They just give up and assume they'll reset at their "next facility". Im not saying this about Nfingers , but I see a lot of trainees who don't exactly have a sense of urgency or highly motivated to study and learn. I actually hear new trainees asking more about what's the break rotation? What's for lunch and who is going? Or talk about their old military base or contract facility as if they are an ATC all-star who has already arrived (Note: literally nobody cares). I do not believe in the hazing that goes on, the treating trainees like garbage, etc; but you aren't checked out until you are! And until you are you should grind like hell.

Do you actually want* to go to Alaska to work FSS? I personally wouldn't go, although I guess you could use it as an adventure and learning experience. Life's too short to be imprisoned in a mediocre govt job somewhere you aren't happy with or passionate about. Unless you are desperate to feed your family or have literally no other options and can just go bide your time. Break the chains of your captivity! Takes courage and is scary and may end up badly.... but staying working a miserable job in a miserable place as your life goes by is a fate much worse. At least when you fail you learn what didnt work and become better equipped going fwd and so its progress. Good luck! And there is absolutely no shame in "washing out" of an ATC facility. A) a level 11 is a stiff challenge right out the gate. B) Training is very subjective and often there is a thin line between sinking or swimming; and what side you fall on often arbitrary.



3106
 

Nfingers

Trusted Contributor
Messages
147
Nice post. Very thoughtful and informative.

My main takeaway from it is something I try to tell people all the time; you aren't necessarily guaranteed to be placed at a new facility if you are unsuccessful. Yes the vast majority of people are lucky enough to get placed at a lower level facility and get a second (and sometimes 3rd) chance, but its not a sure thing. I hate to see the trainees who are clearly doing poorly, yet act super flippant and too cool for school about it. If it's a defense mechanism that's one thing (its awkward as hell to wash out), but sometimes I think its more of a legit entitlement feeling or some kind of generation gap. They just give up and assume they'll reset at their "next facility". Im not saying this about Nfingers , but I see a lot of trainees who don't exactly have a sense of urgency or highly motivated to study and learn. I actually hear new trainees asking more about what's the break rotation? What's for lunch and who is going? Or talk about their old military base or contract facility as if they are an ATC all-star who has already arrived (Note: literally nobody cares). I do not believe in the hazing that goes on, the treating trainees like garbage, etc; but you aren't checked out until you are! And until you are you should grind like hell.

Do you actually want* to go to Alaska to work FSS? I personally wouldn't go, although I guess you could use it as an adventure and learning experience. Life's too short to be imprisoned in a mediocre govt job somewhere you aren't happy with or passionate about. Unless you are desperate to feed your family or have literally no other options and can just go bide your time. Break the chains of your captivity! Takes courage and is scary and may end up badly.... but staying working a miserable job in a miserable place as your life goes by is a fate much worse. At least when you fail you learn what didnt work and become better equipped going fwd and so its progress. Good luck! And there is absolutely no shame in "washing out" of an ATC facility. A) a level 11 is a stiff challenge right out the gate. B) Training is very subjective and often there is a thin line between sinking or swimming; and what side you fall on often arbitrary.



View attachment 3106
Really appreciate the post. The reason I posted it was solely because I want people informed. I fought like nothing else, to the point I was miserable and hated the job. I can't look back and say I didn't give it my best. I did. It didn't work out. That happens. Life goes on. Not sure what the next chapter in life holds for me, but i do love air traffic so I am hoping to get back to that. The only downside that I don't like thinking about is that training could have gone so much different if I was at the top of my game, by the time I realized I was struggling it was becoming a time crunch with my hours which compounded the stress and didn't allow me to work at my best. But again. It's all good. Life goes on.
 

Foogy

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712
I actually hear new trainees asking more about what's the break rotation? What's for lunch and who is going?
We've actually recently had a trainee who was previous experience military and NEST from BOI unplug during monitoring and say "looks like it's getting busy so I'm going to call it lunch" and walk out, the cab had no clue what to say to that...he's currently in a TRB for GC...
 
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