Sorry for the late upload, guys! I have a construction site going on in my garden that’s keeping me busy. And, as usual with my projects, I underestimated the real amount of work I’d have to put in. I know that I always underestimate the effort, but this time I underestimated how much I underestimated it! Also, the fact that it has been raining every single day in the last weeks didn’t help to expedite the work. Today it has been sunny, so I’ve been working my hind end off to seize the sun.
Anyway, to the real subject: Air Traffic Controllers! They are real people, just like you and me. I’ve even met a few and they all were perfectly nice and normal. Only one thing I noticed: I’m sure I haven’t met a representative sample, but I got the impression that they tend to be a bit on the twitchy side. And one friend of mine, who is one of the most relaxed persons I know, started to become an ATC, but he only lasted a few months. So maybe there really is a certain character trait you need for the job?
As a father of a 2 year old, I think I know approximately what those two air traffic controllers must feel like. So many things need to be repeated over and over again.
It’s only natural that a little kid must first learn how to listen, and I expect things to improve only slowly and gradually, but it is really amazing how little folk can generate an almost impenetrable force field of ignorance. I can be 10 cm in front of his face and loudly call him by his name, but if he doesn’t want to, it seems he doesn’t even perceive somebody being there.
However the Chuck I know won’t just retire quietly and fade away. I am sure you’ll see him doing something else crazy or funny or impressive here pretty soon. Am I the only one who sees a few character traits that are similar to our own Chuck? Also, did you guys know his helicopters all had a little “Captain Chuck” decal on the pilot door?
Well, Oshkosh is in full swing again, and unfortunately, my brother and I aren’t going to make it this year either. But we hope that everyone who’s there has a great time! Be sure to post some photos in our Facebook group or our forum, if you can!
And from where I am sitting, the weather over there looks pretty nice! I just measured 37°C (98°F) in my office right now. I really prefer the hot time of the year to cold, but I wish my boss would make me work less in these temperatures. Alas, that’s the fate of the self-employed!
Today’s strip is based on a true story, by the way. It didn’t happen in Oshkosh though. But you have to ask Mike about the details!
We sent this strip to some magazines, but were debating if we should use it on our website, because it’s one of those with pilot gobbledygook that may not be easily understandable for pedestrians. But then we thought, why not! So, if you have no idea what the guy in the tower is saying in the last panel, here’s the explanation:
“ELT” is short for “Emergency Locator Transmitter“, which is a distress radio beacon that activates automatically in case of a crash. It sometimes is set off when a landing is too rough. “CAP” is short for “Civil Air Patrol“, which is the civil auxiliary organization of the US Air Force which engages in Search and Rescue missions (among many other things).
So I guess sequestration finally hit Roost Air as well. Or did it? Having flown in and out of Santa Monica myself I know that they just “love” pilots like Chuck over there … 😉
But on a more serious note, we really think that the proposed tower closures will have a profound impact on aviation safety. A lot of “small towers” on that list aren’t all that small and a few of them are feeder airports underneath or around very busy airspace. So please call/write/fax your representatives in the pilot organizations, your senators, whoever you can find to fight this. It will hurt us all if this goes through. This isn’t just about the job loss on the controller side, this is about safety and human lives. There was a reason why those towers were put in in the first place.
In case you haven’t seen the list yet and how many towers are actually on there, here is one of the links: http://www.scpr.org/news/2013/03/19/36446/smaller-air-traffic-control-towers-anticipate-clos/
Check this here out! While at Oshkosh, Mike was interviewed by the EAA. They’ve just put up the whole thing (about 41 minutes) at their “Timeless Voices” channel on their website! So, if you want to hear more about Mike’s carreer in aviation and some Chicken Wings stories, go here!
A friend of mine who flies for the airlines has assured me that that’s not how it really works in London. On the other hand, I remember stories my brother used to tell me about the times he was a UN soldier in Cyprus, where he was part of a mixed special force consisting of British, Argentinian and Austrian troops. Apparently not even a violent riot was enough to keep the Brits from having their tea time with their thermos behind the army truck.
And, as all avid readers of Asterix know, the Britons stopping in the middle of battle for their “hot water with mik” was how the Romans were able to conquer the island!
That’s one of the most bestest awesomest features of my job: The fact that I have my home office and don’t have to commute to go to work. But I also met a guy once who commuted to his job by airplane every day. He said that commuting was the most enjoyable part of his day, which is maybe even more enviable.