Introducing AWW's second Q&A with an IRL Aviation Professional.

Our first Q&A with @PropHatCat a center controller for ZHU went very well. I discussed how the Q&A went with him and discussed some improvements. Similar format to the last time, just answers will be provided as the Q&A progresses through the timeline.

Our second aviation professional is @sh3ed:

sh3ed has been a flight simulation enthusiast since a very young age. After spending many hours learning real-world flight and air traffic control procedures, sh3ed wanted to make his dream a reality. He graduated from a large aviation university with all his primary flight certifications and completed the FAA’s CTI program for air traffic control. After being a flight instructor at the university for a year, sh3ed was hired into the airline industry, where he is currently a First Officer on the Airbus A320/321.

sh3ed has been an active member of the BVARTCC online aviation community since 2008 and an air traffic control mentor/instructor since 2009. sh3ed was promoted to Training Administrator in January 2019 and retired from the position in October 2021. He oversaw BVARTCC’s air traffic control training program and helped maintain SOPs and guides to maintain a realistic environment for controllers and pilots on the VATSIM network.

The submission of questions will close at Friday, November 19, 2021 4:00 AM

Some other things I would like to point out is @sh3ed does fairly regular 10-hour grinds of Boston center on Twitch. As for what airline he works for, I like to think that it’s Southwest, but he won’t confirm nor deny which major US-based airline it is.


What is it like being a flight instructor?

By the way I’m glad you fly an Airbus :grin:

@Ondrej asked “What is it like being a flight instructor?”

To put it simply: very busy, long days, long weeks, but very rewarding. Because I worked at a university with a lot of students, I was generally working with 4-5 students a day, 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. The amount I learned myself from teaching was immeasurable, and the experience definitely made me a significantly better pilot than I would have been otherwise. The most rewarding part was watching my students learn and grow as aviators. It was amazing watching them on day 1 with little to no knowledge about what was happening to becoming competent pilots flying all by themselves and earning their certificates. It was a lot of fun working with them, and it’s incredible to see many of them working either along side me or at other airlines now.

I just wish I had more time for my other hobbies then too, but I made it work. :slight_smile:


How busy is your center airspace?

What aircraft did you start flight training in?

Biggest pet peeve as a flight instructor?

@AviationChampion asked “How busy is your center airspace?”

Boston Center on VATSIM tends to be very busy most nights. We are lucky in that we have a large amount of dedicated, passionate controllers who want to provide ATC as much as possible while also hanging out and having a good time. When it’s quiet (mostly during the day), I will probably talk to maybe 10 aircraft at a time. When it gets busier, even with other controllers online, it’s very easy to be talking to 20-30+ aircraft at any given moment for multiple hours.


@clayviation asked “What aircraft did you start flight training in?”

I did most of my flight training in a Cessna 172 Skyhawk; my Private, Instrument, Commercial Single Add-On, and Certificated Flight Instructor - Instrument (CFII) were done in the 172. For my initial Commercial certificate (started with my multi-engine rating), I flew the Diamond DA-42 Twinstar. For my CFI (Certificated Flight Instructor), I flew Cessna 172s and Piper Arrows.

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Thank you for answering my question :grinning:

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@Cign asked “Biggest pet peeve as a flight instructor?”

Where do I begin… :stuck_out_tongue:

In all honesty though, I don’t really remember what annoyed me the most. I don’t think there was one thing that would “set me off.” I feel like I have peeves about some things, but they’re not to the same intensity as I see in others. I guess if there was anything that I would find disappointing, it was when the student wasn’t really prepared for the lesson. That doesn’t mean they needed to know everything or do everything right the first time; if that were the case, I wouldn’t have had a job! But what it means is reviewing notes from previous lessons and review the associated references so that there is some idea of what we’re covering. Thankfully, most of my students prepared very well; there was only the occasional lesson where they weren’t prepared, and that was mostly due to other classes they needed to focus on or other outside stressors that were distracting them.


What is it actually like to fly the Airbus A320/321? Do you think it is a good aircraft, efficiency and performance-wise?

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Hello wonderful people of AWW, our guest, @sh3ed has just started his live stream of a 10-hour grind of Boston Center of the VATSIM network, check it out here: Twitch


@infiniteflight_pilot asked “What is it actually like to fly the Airbus A320/321? Do you think it is a good aircraft, efficiency and performance-wise?”

They are awesome aircraft to fly. Systems wise, Airbus really took a lot of the repetitive actions occurring in other aircraft and automated them, making it a significantly more streamlined logic. The human factors engineering for the flight deck also makes them super comfortable relative to aircraft of similar size. In terms of actually flying the aircraft, they fly very smoothly and are a joy to operate. I don’t really know how to answer the efficiency and performance question, but based on how many are in operation around the world, it appears that many operators love the capabilities and efficiencies it brings to their fleets. In general, I absolutely love flying them. :slightly_smiling_face:


I’ll be having a look at the stream!

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Looking forward to it!

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How was Airbus able to use fly by wire system and how does the flight control computer determine how to move the actuators by receiving electronic signals transmitted by wires converted by movement of flight control once you press the button

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@Maverick asked “How was Airbus able to use fly by wire system and how does the flight control computer determine how to move the actuators by receiving electronic signals transmitted by wires converted by movement of flight control”

That’s a great question, but unfortunately I don’t know enough to answer that correctly. Need a properly educated engineer for that one. I just push buttons. :slightly_smiling_face:

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That’s a bit like asking how does my light turn on when I flick the switch.

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Then, it’s bit stupid for me to ask

Totally fair question to ask. I just don’t know the answer. No worries. :slight_smile:

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