RTF (radar Training)

Purplelobj

Epic Member
Jan 29, 2014
1,646
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Just thought I would pull my blog out of the past and share this in case there were people (perhaps some Feb applicants) that were interested in reading what my experience at RTF in Oklahoma was like. I have not retread much of the blog since the five and a half years ago that I wrote it, but I do recall being pretty harsh in the critique of some classmates. I apologize if I come off as ride, judgmental, or like I feel better than other... Just sharing what was my honest opinion of them at the time. Hopefully this helps. If anyone has other questions about the training process or wants to know ore about my experiences as a controller, ask her or send me a PM.

For what it is worth, my first facility is Detroit TRACON, level 11. It was a long, often difficult road for me, but I am now a CPC.

FAA Academy
 
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Hammer

Newcomer
Oct 27, 2011
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Much has changed in RTF since you were there. It's now 8 days of classroom and 12 days of labs, but one of the instructors told us that they are going to add 1 more day of labs starting in August 2014, when the course goes pass/fail for new hires. He said ITR (the class for new hires just prior to RTF) was going away, and that new hires would all be coming through Air Traffic Basics then directly into RTF, OR, if they were qualified to skip Basics, coming directly into RTF. That all starts in August 2014, according to this instructor.
 

Pilotguy20

Senior Member
Jan 21, 2010
187
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NY
Any up to date info on RTF class.... Enroute controller here transferring to a Tracon..... What cn I expect
 

corn4ahead

Senior Member
Oct 3, 2012
205
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I was at RTF in October 2015 and it was honestly a great class. We had a few center guys going to N90 in my class and one of them actually finished with the highest overall score of everyone.

They now use something called "objective grading." You start with about a week and a half of classroom which is really boring but the instructors are really cool. Then you are in labs the rest of the time. You get divided into groups of 3 within your class and you work with them the entire lab portion of the class. Each group is assigned 2 instructors that will essentially be your OJTIs. You will have these instructors the whole time until the evaluation days. While in the labs, one person in the group will be working the north sector, one will be working the south sector, and the third group member will be monitoring. There are a few problems that are single sector which are pretty fun.

Regarding evaluations, you have 3 grades problems; A single sector which is worth 38% of your overall grade, a north sector worth 30%, and a south sector worth 30%. The other 2% comes from block tests each worth 1%.

The grading doesn't matter unless you are a new hire but I would advise taking the class serious. It is very benefical, at least to me. The only thing about the grading is your category of scoring is reported to your ATM. If you get a 90% or better, you get a "satisfactory" and that is all your ATM sees, not a specific score. If you get a 70-89.99 you get a "Needs improvement" but is considered a passing score. And finally less than a 70% is considered unsatisfactory.
 

FM_Weasel

Senior Analyst
Dec 9, 2008
991
7
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RTF will teach you a lot. But it's definitely not a make-ready solution for working in the field.

TSEW is a great program because they can focus on very sectorized ways of control that aren't applicable to smaller places. That's not to say it wouldn't be beneficial. But they'll never have the resources to send all RTF attendees to TSEW.