Captain Chuck, late again

In my opinion, before 9/11 happened, we were much closer to the tower controllers as pilots. Especially at the airport I learned how to fly at and later instructed. I used to bring my students up to the tower cab all the time and had many friends among ATC. We used to frequent the same bars, hang out and joke and laugh together. You kinda had a sense about what they are dealing with on their end and so did they after hearing about our struggles first hand. I even had my own call sign. I used to just add a “Mike” once in my transmission when contacting them, so they knew it was me flying. “08X” became “08XM” just once so nobody else would think anything of it. I thought that was really cool when I was a student.

I feel that we lost some of that with all the new regulations and added security. Of course, Covid didn’t help any either. I hear “tower cab tours” are slowly making a comeback though. That is great to hear. It is important to know how ATC works and it will really help a new pilot understand why they do what they do and what their perspective is from the cab.

Do we even have any ATC people here among our group?
If so, are you allowed to give tours again?


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4 comments on “Captain Chuck, late again
  1. Mo Davies says:

    I am one the two air ground radio operators alternating duty in a little grass strip in North Yorkshire. I never closed to visitors, they bring me coffee and buns.

  2. Robert Horton says:

    If you don’t mind… when is Book 7 likely to happen?

  3. Harro says:

    Hi there!
    I am not a tower guy, just a pilot. At the small airfields in Germany you can and most of the time have to go up, because you have to pay your landingfees and fuel. At the big airports Hamburg, Bremen Hannover, etc one isn‘t allowed to go up, thanks to 9/11 I suppose. I have a friend who was ATC at Duesseldorf EDD, he said it was nice when he could still take people for a tour. It helped them to understand what the guys do up there and how the whole thing worked but, alas those times are over. May be someday …
    So, till then, have a nice day and many happy landings!
    Harro, 🛩😎

  4. J Segal says:

    Not ATC or FAA myself, so take all of this with a bucket-full of salt, but suffice it to say that I have a reasonably good understanding of what’s going on. [By chance, quite a few of my coworkers are current, former, or drinking-buddies-with controllers.] If you had asked six months ago, I’d say that it was impossible. If you ask six months from now, I’ll probably say that it’s very likely. If you ask today, I’ll say that I don’t know outright – but stay tuned. I would have said that they’re coming back slowly-but-surely, but it’s not like that phrase hasn’t come around to bite several times in the last two years!
    The security is likely here to stay, though, there’s absolutely no reason for anyone to remove it. Though while we’re on the topic, maybe I could ask why we don’t see young kids around larger airports anymore?

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