Today I went up in the control tower for a tour. It definitely gave me a different perspective for when I am flying. Who knew the voices in the radios in our planes are NOT little tiny people that live in the radios? They are ACTUAL people! Totally kidding, but sometimes as pilots, we do not take into consideration that the ATC people are humans too and they will make mistakes just like us. I have an advantage by working at Flightstar, I have already met many of them since they occasionally come over here for their meetings or to grab a coffee or snack.
I learned today that the tower at CMI is unique because it is an “up-down” facility. This means that the cab is on top and the TRACON is beneath that. This makes it ideal for training. I also learned today that not only am I learning to fly, but many of the controllers are also learning to do their jobs! I have to give the approach and departure guys some props, they have to sit in a completely dark room with no windows because their screens are light sensitive. I would probably fall asleep if I had to work in there. If you ever get the chance to go on a tour of a tower in your area, I strongly encourage you to! It was very informing and I better understand why we do some of the things that we do after seeing their perspective of the operations. You can visit Globalair.com for an aviation directory, airport resources, and more!