Celebrating the controllers is a way of getting their story heard within the community! We will be focused on how communication among controllers and a constant, hardworking effort among all frequencies leads to great service.
Going into the session, I’d only been an officer for a short period, and had yet to open a busy frequency. However, knowing that the team needed help, and being someone that remains calm in busy airspaces, I decided to go for it. Before opening, I had planned with fellow controllers as to what we would do with aircraft, since no one would be following STARs. @Filipe_Samuel_Braine would take initial approach, vectoring aircraft to the north of the airport, then directing them south to form a zig-zag pattern to the south of the airport, creating a standard downwind, to base, to final.
When the session started, it wasn’t as busy, but we practiced our plan for when it became busier (three VA group flights, plus some more). And, soon enough, the airspace became filled with hundreds of aircraft. Throughout the 2.5 hour session, we were constantly making adjustments, from changing the altitudes of certain legs, to changing handoff points, and for me especially, changing the location of the base leg based on different speeds of aircraft.
And, after three hours of organized chaos, it was time for me to close. Special thanks to @Filipe_Samuel_Braine, @PlaneGeek, @Alejandro_Castaneda,@Edoardo_C, and @Enrique_Fernandez for helping out and making the session great.
So, takeaways now. One thing is obvious: planning . Whether you’re preparing for a training session, a session at a Class Charlie in the middle of the Mojave Desert, or the main hub, it doesn’t matter. Without a plan, you won’t be able to provide the best quality of service to pilots. I’ve gone into sessions without planning before - ask my trainer, @Drummer, he’ll tell you how it went. Planning is key to one’s success. Without it, you cannot succeed as a controller. Another thing I’d like to mention is the importance of communication. Throughout the session, we were constantly communicating in Slack and making adjustments. You need to communicate with fellow controllers, especially if it’s the main hub.
While tagging with other controllers, communication is key. Whether it be Tower with Approach, Center with Center, or even Tower with Tower, we always communicate with each other to ensure everyone is on the same page.
For example, radar may tell Tower that an aircraft is “VIS” or “RV”. This gives the Tower controller a heads up that they need to give a pattern entry and/or sequence to that aircraft before the clearance. Tower may tell radar that an aircraft is a “G/A”, meaning an aircraft had to go around and they need to be vectored back for another approach. Additionally, radar may advise tower of other things, like emergencies, or speeds between aircraft. As a result, operations run much smoother and it becomes seamless!
(This was when we were communicating in Slack but the same form of communication is happening on the IFATC Discord Server now).
Celebrating and cherishing the hard work many people put in and making that noticed is truly inspiring for me. If you would like to keep updated in everything “Spotting From The Control Tower” just hit the icon below. If you want to join the IFATC team head over to their website to find out more here!
About the writer
Hello all, my name is Hudson, more commonly known as Aviation Reports. I’ve been around Infinite Flight since March 2015, where I have learned so much about flying, applying it to my flight training which I completed this past summer. I am now a private pilot and attend Western Michigan University in the US, majoring in Aviation Flight Science and enrolling in a double major for Aviation Management and Operations. In Infinite Flight, I am an IFATC Officer. For spotting From The Control Tower, I am a moderator and blog post writer. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out, whether that be PPL related or help with controlling on IF. Thanks for reading everyone!