What is your craziest moment as IFATC?

I was YSSY approach during a peak time.

Not to many “crazy” experiences but the one where I was nervous was Laura calling inbound for ILS at FL330 over the airport and not knowing how to vector that 😂 I would give a “Check User Guide” but it’s the Co-Founder of IF i’m talking about.

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Laura, that’s crazy what happened after that.

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Oh wow hectic times.

I handed her off to Thunderblob

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I’ve had a few fun (crazy) experiences during my time as an IFATC. One of the most memorable was before I was an Officer (radar-qualified). While most controllers liked to have Approach present to organize traffic, I remember loving controlling busy airports without approach. I always found it exciting to use all of the 360 commands, extension instructions, etc.

Just after the launch of update 20.1, traffic was extremely high. I was controlling MROC Tower, Ground, and ATIS with @Balloonchaser on the newest frequency, Center. After he left his post a few hours later, each aircraft that was initially organized in a nice radar pattern turned to the cone and bolted. There was a sudden rush as everyone wanted to be the first one there to avoid delays. This was probably the first time I truly experienced heavy traffic without a radar controller and I absolutely loved it!

Image of Inbound Traffic and 360s

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I think the main reason why I liked controlling without Approach was that I was in charge of the organization of traffic. That is most likely why I enjoy controlling Radar so much – you’re not just sequencing and clearing, you’re vectoring. The most memorable part of being in IFATC has got to be my radar training with the legendary @TaipeiGuru – I’ll never forget a moment of it. Taipei is one of the kindest people around here and is an amazing teacher. He got me hooked on radar.

However, I was never a huge fan of terrain. I never learned to love the vertical aspect of radar controlling until @ShaneAviation and I started challenging each other. We would give each other tasks like vectoring into Innsbruck but without planning, etc. Shane and I are both very competitive, and there was no way I’d be able to complete his tasks without learning to love terrain. Now, if you know Shane, you know he’s the King of Aspen. Not once have I ever seen him skip the chance to control at KASE.

Shane and I have had very exciting sessions at Aspen. Sometimes, you’ll get eight aircraft in the air but you’ve got to hold them until you get departures out. Controlling there requires a different level of communication – you almost have to know what the other controller is thinking without asking because there’s not always time for asking. Only crazy controllers control at Aspen since only crazy pilots fly in and out. I’ve never not had a crazy session there and I’m sure Shane would love to tell you about his!

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Mine would have to be two of the same situation.
I did lots of research, planning ahead of time, simulating and testing for two major events recently.

They are:

  1. Asian Virtual Airline Summit #1

  2. Asian Virtual Airline Summit #2

Both with around 70 aircraft departing the airports, it was challenging, tough, immensely stressful, but all in all, FUN.

@TheAviationGallery gave me the wonderful opportunity of being the ground/tower controller for both sessions :)

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Wow that’s cool can’t wait for me to be controlling on expert server too.

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Either controlling FNF at Geneva with stacks of traffic for one runway, or controlling GGTTAADDS at Sydney when Australia was featured.

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This… the flash flight from Madrid a few weeks ago. I controlled three centers and was getting spammed like never before. This was the first (and so far the only) time I’ve had to assign EVERY aircraft a cruise altitude to avoid busts.

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Back in the days when I was still part of IFATC, I tried controlling EGKK all by myself.

Big mistake.

I hadn’t leaned that I should split the workload, so being one of the most busiest single-runway airports, the line at the hold shorts, the tight spacing that approach was sending aircraft on final…to say the least it probably ended up being one of my worst disasters.
My atc career started doing downhill after that incident and I never thought about rejoining once I left.

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Wait how lol

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I’m not IFACT, but still want to tell my story. This was about 2-3 weeks ago, I was controlling JFK as Ground, and Tower. IT gotten more busier, and it gotten so busy, that it felt like the real JFK. It was 4:00 PM EST. And I felt proud that I was doing some patterns. Until… one person messed it up. This one person decided to cut the line, and ruined the whole pattern, told him to go around, left traffic because 22L wasn’t being used as much. Since that guy cut the line, a lot of planes were closer, I tried to space em’ but, didn’t go well. At least “All planes” Landed safely-ish. After that there was no planes left, nd ended the session, that was very, very hard. But hey, still learning.

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I think they either for some reason had their device calibrated incorrectly or they just decided to do it intentionally for reasons?

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I remember various exciting things:

  1. Controlling an HUB for 3 consecutive hours without approach.

It was some months ago at ZSPD, I received tons of messages in seconds without stopping, it was difficult but at the end I was happy of my result and consistency.

  1. Controlling Lukla approach

Title says everything it needs to be said, very difficult and stressful, but got the job done and was pretty happy about it.

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  1. Various “S” approaches in HUBs with only 1 runway

I like manual vectoring and love this type of “S” patterns, they are so clean and beautiful to see, here are some:

NZAA Approach

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EGLL South approach

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EIDW approach

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  1. Last but not least Doing approach using point-merge at RKSI

Great technique, had bunch of fun. Hope to replicate similar things soon.

Photo

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I feel bad ngl

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Reason why IF could use a terrain map

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I accidently reported 2 pilots because they were not contacting me (tower)… I completely forgot that approach opened later and that they were on the approach frequency. That was sorta embarrassing lol. But all of us make mistakes and learn from it.

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passing my practicals :P

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Spawning in and immediately have aircraft hogging the airport, with planes immediately requesting landing/sequences. Maybe it’s just the fact that I’m not used to it. maybe

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Would have to say my craziest moment was being on Aspen radar and having to put 8+ people in holds, while maintaining separation between departures coming at them head on, and just spacing between the holds in general (by altitude).

There was probably 10-12 or so planes on the ground and 8-10 in the air, and for an airport using parallel runway ops, that is terrifying, lol. That time around, I was on radar and @yoshi_flyer was on ground and tower, but we had good fun right? ;)

Controlling terrain on the expert server is always the highlight of controlling for me, but when you mix in heavy traffic with difficult terrain, then you have yourself in a fun, but stressful situation. A lot of coordination, along with not freaking out when things don’t quite go your way, and you have yourself a good old Aspen session.

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