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Discussion Starter #1
This is probably gonna bore the shit outta you guys, but there are some aviation people here, and I need to vent. And the title of the other similarly titled thread reminded me of what happened today.

So I'm training to be a certified radar controller at the worlds 2nd busiest and most complex air traffic facility in the world, Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center. We work simulated aircraft scenarios in our simulation lab before we start working live traffic. Radar training is the final stage of the long, exhausting training process.

So, I'm working an arrival sector into the Detroit Metro area, exactly the same as the real sector, only fake aircraft. We've had 25 problems up until today, which was my first graded (pass/fail) problem. I went in thinking shit, I'll destroy this problem, I've done great up until today. Wow was I wrong.

Arrival sectors like mine are tricky because everyone has to decend to and cross a point at a certain altitude based on what airport they land and what type they are. So, naturally every aircraft they gave me was trapped on top of another aircraft, or had a faster one behind, or something. I waited too long to start and ended up jamming myself up worse than I've ever done before. I was absolutely up to my eyeballs in airplanes, and no one was lined up where they were supposed to be. Then, one of them tells me they're hijacked and started turning right into my other traffic. How fun is that.

Somehow, I got it sorted out but not without giving a couple guys turns that woulda plastered the flight attendants to the windows! One guy actually had to do a full 360 in order to accomodate his decent. But, I passed. Talk about digging yourself into a hole and then having to climb back out. Honestly I have no idea how I didn't whack any into each other, as there were so many frickin' airplanes in such a small area it was basically just instinct on my part. All in a day's work eh?

One more thing: Maybe some of you have heard about our peril: The National Air Traffic Contollers Association and the FAA have been negotiating our current contract for almost a year now and we've reached empasse. As the law is written now, when empasse is declared as it is now, Congress has 60 days to make a decision otherwise the FAA is free to implement any contract they wish, and their latest proposal has the most unbelievable pay cuts across the board for controllers. Once Im certified, I could stand to end up making $30-40k less per year than a controller who got certified under our last contract. NOT COOL.

PLEASE, if you give a shit about the nation's aviation system go to www.fairfaa.com to read more about the issue and follow the links to send a letter to your senators about this horrible injustice. It's just not right man. The safety of our airspace system depends on it.
 

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Then, one of them tells me they're hijacked and started turning right into my other traffic. How fun is that.[/b]
How did you handle that? I supposed there's an SOP that alerts everyone (The Feds, airports, Noble Eagle watch, etc.). Did it end up being a hijack exercise or was it to simulate a pilot fakin' it (which would really suck indeed).

Somehow, I got it sorted out but not without giving a couple guys turns that woulda plastered the flight attendants to the windows![/b]
Sent them doing wing overs, eh? LOL. Yeehaa!

Glad you passed, man.
Keep the aviation stories coming. Sucks that the government is jerking you guys around. Furthermore, you guys can't go on strike - Reagan put an end to that the last time.
With very few airports planned to be constructed, you guys are going to get even more busy.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
All very true. It was a simulated actual hijack, and really all you can do is just tell every sector around you where he is and what he appears to be doing, and tell your supervisor who then alerts the proper people. Actually, the hijack was the easiest thing in the whole problem. The puzzle with the arrivals on top of each other was much, much harder. The targets only move every 9-12 seconds, but you'd be amazed how quickly they roll across the scope when you're dealing with 15 of them at once :)


Please guys go to www.fairfaa.com. We really need this contract to go more our way than it appears to be.
 

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That sux about the contract, but youd still be bringing home alright dough. ATC's make DAMN good money.

I did my little part though.. good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
True, but a two-tiered pay scale would do nothing good for the morale and working environment. Shit, with this kind of job it would sure be frustrating to have the same insanely high level of responsibility as some guy working right next to you making 40k more. Tell you the truth, the new pay scale has controller pay not nearly as good as you might think.
 

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I'll trek over to the fairfaa page and see what I can see. But only if you promise me no holding patterns...ever.

And I want five no-gyro practice ASR's in a row! Of course you've got the spare time to take care of it! I'm in an old plane here, ya never know when everything will give out at once...gotta be prepared and all that.

In all seriousness though...

/salute

You guys keep us safe. You deserve the good pay. Thanks in advance for your hard work.
 

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I'll promise you an open-minded reading. I won't promise anything more until I read it through and look into it some more.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'll trek over to the fairfaa page and see what I can see. But only if you promise me no holding patterns...ever.

And I want five no-gyro practice ASR's in a row! Of course you've got the spare time to take care of it! I'm in an old plane here, ya never know when everything will give out at once...gotta be prepared and all that.

In all seriousness though...

/salute

You guys keep us safe. You deserve the good pay. Thanks in advance for your hard work.
[/b]
Haha, this will be a no gyro vector. Turn right. Stop turn. What a pain in the ass. You gotta have some decent equipment on board to fly in my sectors :D

Hey, an open minded read is all I ask.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've got another graded evaluation tonight. My stomach is in knots :D I guess you could call it "separation anxiety". I've had air traffic dreams every night for the last three nights. :(
 

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just a quick quesiton cuse i have had this job as a posibilty for me. How do you get into that training program. right now i am in high school junior year. what college did you go to and then what did you do after college thanx
 

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Crzyguy22, If MZBuckeye doesn't mind I can answer your questions as well. I'm trained in fixed base tower & radar facilities, as well tactical control.
 
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