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Resignation - Director of Division

Shannon Wells

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This weekend, I told Mark Richards, the regional director and the VATPAC board of my intention to resign from the Director of VATPAC position. It’s not something which I am overly happy about, as this is a hobby I thoroughly enjoy, however as Rob mentioned to me when he stepped down, this job requires a LOT of time, where at times you can be on call to sort out an issue at all silly hours of the day/night, the time has come where I simply can’t do that anymore... I made a decision a year or so ago that I would look at my future when I hit 10 years as staff (Feb 2012), or when I had more forum posts than Roland... well I've hit one of them and got damn close on the later :P


With a young family, including a little lady whom I’m wanting to spend more time with, the thought of spending hours a week on administration (outside of my job which pays the mortgage), surprisingly is starting to seem less appealing..! That being said, I am still quite sad about this transition.., and I haven’t quite got my head around that I’m stepping down this.., but the beauty of this hobby is that I can still participate in other ways so I’ll still be online in some shape or form... hopefully has manager of smilies within the forums :teeth: (that's for Luke)


It’s kind of ironic that David Kings has returned to the scenes in the last week or so, as his Autoatis, robots and other initiatives were all the rage when I first joined “SATCO” back over 10 years ago.


I was quite nervous talking on “voice” on the radio, using Roger Wilco and FS98, I remember taking off from YSSY in the FS98 learjet, and tracking to the KAT NDB, but tracking in the wrong direction, despite the ADF needle pointing straight to the beacon ..., the helpful controller at the time (Peter See?), said that a bug in Squawkbox 2.3, meant that you had to hit .d FREQUENCY, to get the ADF to work ... “why thank you” I replied on voice and I realised, wow what a friendly place... this is something which I should hang around and do


A few late (very late) nights with Roland on Roger Wilco, had me slowly but surely work the hours up to get a student, then snr student, then controller rating (back then, snr student allowed ENR, and APP was the higher rating to get) and Andrew Carr and I used to man ML-S_V_CTR and ML-E_V_CTR for several hours of the evening, talking via ICQ to each other discussing whatever came to mind, keeping planes separated between robots and getting our hands on a “beta” version of ASRC, and being able to put “Your happy controller is Shannon Wells” into your ATIS in pro controller before the (in my opinion at the time) "fun police", restricted what we could put in ATIS.


Terry Scanlan (division director back then) appointed me as a Staff Member as VA Liason (Liaison) – SATPAC14 in 2002, and I took on the great challenge of trying to “manage” the relationship between the VA’s and SATPAC ... that certainly was some fun times and almost as political as the division director role...! I remember looking at IVAO’s website and seeing what VA’s they had and ... “proactively consulting them” to bring them over to the happier skies at SATPAC.


At a convention a few years later, sitting next to Steven Cullen at a convention in Sydney, I remember hearing news about how Squawkbox was about to be redesigned, so that other aircraft would appear on the screen, so that were continually moving, rather than a static update every 3 seconds as was commonplace at the time, I also remember watching in wonder, as Dean demonstrated PMDG to the group, including a FMC and panels being able to be put up on the screen, including an overhead panel !


Needless to say, things have come a long way since then, when Mark Richards gave me the Events portfolio, which I loved doing, and held the first Panic Stations event, got VFR events going and a few other things, before working with Rob as Deputy Director and finally, being honoured as being appointed Division Director. I feel that the board is much more accountable and transparent than ever before, we now have a townhall meeting, surveys and feedback forms, allowing questions to be asked both openly and privately.


I’ve formed some great relationships with people, there is someone know I know in every capital city, and I can say that I have formed some very strong friendships, especially to Rob Hooley, Phil Every and Andrew Carr.


To Terry Scanlan, Mark Richards and Roland Collins – thank you for your time and dedication to me. Without your time, I wouldn’t be sitting here today. You gentlemen truly have done your fair share of work and to still be active today, after all these years, I take my hat off to.


To my hard working board, and former staff members, I cannot speak highly enough of the wonderful work that you have done...


Jackson, you have been a wonderful deputy, I couldn’t ask for more help than you have provided, thank you for your efforts and council (and diplomacy when dealing with the French) – take care of that Breitling.


Steve Cotterill, we have had some wonderful discussions, ranging from the minute details of policy, to what the football scores are, but at the end of the day, the dedication you have to his hobby is beyond doubt, please keep up the good work.


David Neil, likewise, we’ve had some very funny nights but I don’t think really anyone here appreciates the work that you do behind the scenes, including so many things which are outside of your portfolio. You’re a very dependable person when push comes to shove, thank you.


Greg Wilson, not sure if he will see this as the there was a partial solar eclipse this week, which may disable the internet for a week or so, but you are a true gentleman and I told you I would get in first – thank you for essentially building everything from scratch... remind me to cancel the direct debit – and happy birthday.


Greg Barber, you have big shoes to fill from Luke Bruce-Smith and Andrew Carr, but you are certainly showing form – keep up the great work and don't be afraid to express the ideas / concerns that you have.


Arjun ..., the quality of work you produce is sensational, how on earth that used to be the responsibility of the DDD, (me?) is shameful – good luck with everything that comes across your plate


Don – you have quite a challenge with pilot training coming up, I wish you the best, in the relatively short time you have been in staff, you have shown your dedication to the role and I wish you all the best.


To the hard working volunteers who do sector files, mentoring, documentation, events, and all the other teams - thank you for your work.


To the members of VATPAC, please keep coming online, please keep contributing, please keep giving ideas and please don’t find another hobby! The amount of time and dedication that some of you have is remarkable, please continue to form some great friendships, enjoy yourself and importantly, don’t take things too seriously – we are all here to have fun.


See you online in the virtual skies,




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