Richard Critz

Richard Critz is a VATSIM Governor VP for Pilot Training.Recently he joined the VATSIM Founders group.
Richard is one of the most active members of VATSIM staff. We can see him everywhere, forums, sites, VAs, discussing issues like Network, ASRC, FSD Software.We tried to know better Richard by asking him some questions.
PS: You should read Critz like Crytz… don’t tell him I told you that.

================= 1 – Please introduce yourself. Who are you, where you live, etc.
My name is Richard Critz. I’m 42 years old and I live in Hollis, New Hampshire, about 45 miles NW of Boston. I’ve lived in New England for almost 15 years, moving here from Virginia. I’m married and have a 4 year old son. I’ve been in software engineering since 1979 and am currently doing independent consulting for aviation related companies.
================= 2 – Richard, how did you came to be a VATGOV?
A little more than a year ago, I was approached by the Board of Governors and asked to take responsibility for the Pilot Training program. I’m a real world instrument rated, commercial pilot rated in Single- and Multi-Engine Land Airplanes, Gliders and Helicopters with a flight instructor’s certificate covering all of that except helicopters.I believe the board felt my real world flying and teaching experience would be helpful with getting the Pilot Training program put together.
================= 3 – You’re VP for Pilot Training. Can you tell us your plans for this?
The team has been working for over a year, discussing alternatives, developing an action plan, and developing materials. We have completed an enormous amount of work and still have a significant amount more to do. However, I am pleased with the progress we have made to date. I’m not prepared to go into more detail now but I hope to start making public, monthly status updates sometime after the first of the year.
================= 4 – Do you have a date when we can expect to see pilots being certified by VATSIM? Is it “when it’s done” ?
There’s some amount of “when it’s done” that we have to deal with. The problem with all things VATSIM is that everyone working on it also has a life outside of the organization. This means that things take longer than they would in the business world. The biggest learning experience for me in this process is just how much must be accomplished to have even the most basic training program.I will take this opportunity, however, to point out that we are not currently planning to certify or rate pilots the same way that controllers are. The Board of Governors has mandated that participation in the pilot training program be optional for pilots. This also means that there can be no restrictions on pilots who have not completed training. There will be a way to identify pilots who have completed all or part of the training program but we will not be using ratings that are tracked by the servers to do this.
================= 5 – Although you are VP for Pilot Training, we can see you everywhere. Forums, sites, VAs, discussing issues like Network, ASRC, FSD software, etc. That’s why in Portugal we believe you are one of the most active members in VATSIM staff. Can you comment this?
I have been lucky enough to become involved in many of the software development activities associated with VATSIM. My professional life for the past 5+ years has been more in the role of an engineering manager so VATSIM has afforded me an opportunity to do actual development work. I’m currently the developer responsible for FSD, the server software we use, and have made all of the enhancements you have seen over the past year or so. This includes support for ASRC.Implementing that support made it possible for me to work with Mike Evans and David Hendleman as ASRC was developed, in what has been a very rewarding collaboration.
================= 6 – What’s your secret for getting so much time to dedicate to VATSIM?
I really don’t have a secret. I tend to be a “night owl” so I just use time when “normal” people sleep to work on code! 🙂 The unfortunate side effect of my development activities is that I don’t get to use the network as much as I would like any more.
================= 7 – One of the universal problems with flightsim is that it takes so much time from us that our families members, wife, sons, are always saying that we are married to the computer. We saw in Toronto that you have a wife and a kid. How do they react to your position in VATSIM?
We have a rule in our house that we come together as a family for dinner and stick to family activities after dinner until my son goes to bed. Doing this lets me avoid most, but not all, of that “married to the computer” complaint.
================== 8 – You were in VATSIM’s Convention held in Toronto. How was this event to you?
I thoroughly enjoyed the event. It was great finally to meet many of the people behind the names and personalities I’ve come to know online. I was particularly pleased to get to meet the many folks who travelled from VERY far away to be there.
================== 9 – One of the most emotional events during the banquet was your “upgrade” to VATSIM Founder. Did you expected that? How did you felt in that moment when Harv gave you your new identification tag saying VATSIM26?
I definitely did not expect to be honored in that way. I was, and still am, extremely grateful that the other Founders made that decision. I have never really sought any acknowledgement of the work I have done for VATSIM but this “thank you” means a great deal to me.
================== 10 – The flightsim and online networks were a bit in the eyes of the world after Sept 11th, and most people that didn’t knew about this hobby, were inducted to believe that flight simulators were a really bad thing. Do you care a comment?
I do not believe that September 11 had any long-term negative effect on our online flight simming community. Some amount of the “negative spin” we experienced in the weeks immediately after the event came from people searching for an “answer” to what happened and why. It’s unfortunate, but it is also human nature. I believe all of that is in the past, however, and our hobby is untarnished by it.
================== 11 – How do you see the future of flightsim world, especially online flight?
I think online flight simulation has a great future. There are many new developments underway and lots of talented people involved. And, it’s a great community of people.With a foundation like that, it’s hard to imagine anything other than a great future!
================== 12 – Anything else you would like to add?
Nothing I can think of! 🙂
================== OCT 2002 © AirSim.Net
Pedro Sousap.sousa@netcabo.ptAirSim.Net TeamSimFlight.Com Portugal

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