Monday, November 06, 2006

Keep on Keepin on

I told myself I wouldnt put off updating this blog, but I have been rediculously busy the past couple of weeks. Somewhat getting back on track now, I'll give a little update of my status. I am currently in Odessa, TX hangin out with the fam for a few more days. Wednesday is orientation for the ATC program, so I'll make a day trip to New Braunfels, become even more excited, then head back to Odessa. The classes start on Monday the 13th, so sometime between Wednesday and then I'll have to figure out the whole moving process. Being back in Odessa temporarily has been a relief to say the least and has been a great opportunity for me to catch up with the family and friends. I even got to attend my first Texas Tech football game in who knows how long, which was incredible as usual. As you can tell, its late at night and I have tons to do tomorrow, but a quick video will put you in a good ol' ATC mood! This video shows how the FedEx traffic was sorted into Memphis on a night just before a thunderstorm. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Ignorance is Bliss

I'll never forget the evening at work when I witnessed this live. It was a truly amazing display of pure professionalism. Even though i'm not a particularly big fan of JetBlue, I was fascinated at the amount of "cool" it took to be able to make this landing a true greaser, and pleased with the amount of training JetBlue obviously instills. Once it happened, the captain was a true hero and life went back to normal.

The most amazing part however, and mind you this is coming from an aviation fanatic, is the amount of ignorance displayed by the media during this whole ordeal. Watching live news during or after an aviation incident/accident is quite possibly the most enertaining part of it all. What got me with this incident was the "aviation expert" from CNN arguing with the FAA official about whether or not an Airbus 320 is capable of dumping fuel. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the video that included this argument, but it was completely rediculous. It sounded like me attesting against a doctor about how to conduct a simple surgery. An A320 CANNOT dump fuel, and it doesn't take a genious to figure that out, hence the reason this particular aircraft was in a holding pattern for almost 3 hours after takeoff. Events such as this argument make me wonder how credible the news actually is in situations that I happen to be unfamiliar with.

Then I wonder, how many people really need to be as informed as us aviation enthusiasts are? Maybe this whole thing wasn't a big deal after all. Yes, I am probably overreacting just a tad, because I realize that aviation is a vast world of knowledge that takes years of dedication to understand. All I ask is for the media to give a dog a bone and provide a highly experienced reporter next time something like this happens.

For the record... "JetBlue, a very successful airline; I think the most successful in the United States" is a highly innacurate judgement. I'll show my bias now by providing this link.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Finding my way back home

A small bit about me before I get started. Originally from Texas, I have ventured to Tennessee to pursue my passion of aviation. To me, there is nothing more "manly" than aviation in the sense that us men love to be in control, and there arent too many ways you ARENT in control when you are behind the yoke. In the 4 years that I have been deeply embedded in aviation, I have flown lots of different airplanes, and seen things most people never dream of. I have also come to find out what a small world it is and how easy it is to find great friendships with others who are as involved as I am. Flying is such a refreshing hobby and I love it, but I decided quite awhile back that Air Traffic Control is my real love. Off the soapbox now, here's the story.

New Braunfels, Texas is just outside of San Antonio and has been the newest topic of interest for me the past couple of months. In this beautiful town, Silver State Helicopters has opened an exclusive Air Traffic Control school that is based on 15 consecutive months of flying, controlling and learning the ins and outs of controlling the most complicated airspaces in the United States. Silver State ATC is an incredible idea, because it allows for a continuous flow (no pun for you aviation nerds) of Air Traffic Controllers to come out of their program fully certified and enter the workforce. Some may ask how much of a need there really is for Air Traffic Controllers at this point in time? Checking out this story will inform the uninformed about the problem that is arising in the ATC world. Basically, there is a huge need for controllers and Silver State ATC has stepped up to the plate. Other programs such as the CTI programs offer training, but not full certification, which leaves a bunch of unqualified people who still seek on-the-job training. SSATC has completed construction of their brand new ATC Tower at New Braunfels Municipal Airport and seem to have the entire process down. With a staff of many retired controllers offering 25+ years of experience, this is the only way to go if you have the same ambitions I do.

Moving back to the title of all of this, I have been recently accepted into the 2nd class of controllers at SSATC and at the end of February 2008, I will be a fully qualified Air Traffic Controller. I have nothing but sheer excitement for this opportunity, and eagerly await the day that I join a group of some of the most professional and hard working men and women in the United States. Tennessee has been great to me and I will miss everyone here, but ultimately this is my calling and I will further my knowledge and love of aviation courtesy of Silver State Air Traffic Control.