What we know about the people they depend on hundreds of lives, but that no one remembers? The pilots coolest job in the world, because every time people trust them with your life. But, considering the coolest pilots, no one remembers the air traffic controllers. This is very wrong.
If you have ever flown on an airplane, or is in place, over which flew the planes, the air traffic controllers have to thank for the fact that is not lost in the crash. We talked to a man who spent six years in the military air traffic controller, and that's what he told me ...
1. Just one mistake separates from katastrofyOsnovnaya air traffic controller job is not to let the plane crashed into each other in the ground or objects in front of them on the runway.
You probably think that this makes the computer. If that were the case, my work was limited only to the fact, to look at the screen and a calm steady voice say the plane that he can land. After all, so you have all seen it in the movies. Is it true?
Let me tell you by example how it actually happens.
The main work of air traffic controller is to keep the aircraft crashed into each other in the ground or objects in front of them on the runway h4> This was the beginning of my career, when I was a trainee. The control tower has two jobs - I was trained surface movement (mainly controlled part of the airport, not related to the runways), and a colleague of mine mastered control of landing and take-off (active runways). To objects do not hit each other, these two people need to communicate with each other. So the tower was two and two trainee manager that we were taught and supervised.
Tanker called me on the radio asking for permission to cross the active runway. Conventional query that receives air traffic controller a few times a day. Obviously, the next step I had to ask the manager that controls the landing and take-offs are to be expected if the landing of any aircraft. But at the moment they were too busy, and I asked tanker wait. A few minutes later, I asked again:
"Earth, requesting permission to cross the tanker runway 22».
I quickly replied: "Cross the 22».
I began to incorporate his radio to allow tankers to cross the lane, when someone shouted in my headphones, "STRIP 22, remained at the same POSITIONS!»
As it turned out, this band was going to land the plane Cessna Citation, and if I gave permission tanker truck, he would have faced the aircraft. The voice in my headphones? It was the second trainee. He remembered that soon landed the plane, which has forgotten his coach.
I suppose you're thinking, "Where was the radar, signaling mechanism and other safety mechanisms designed to protect us, the passengers, from the likes of human error?" Well ...
2. It is awful low-tech
It turns out that in many ways your safety during flight depends on the person who looks out of the window h4> Through such films as "Die Hard 2" and "Best arrow "you imagine a tower control tower as the headquarters monitors and radar marks. In our tower was radar screen, but when the plane descends to a certain height, the radar becomes unreliable. Therefore, to see my plane, I use a pair of binoculars, and when he is close to my airspace - watch him naked eye. It is always better to see with his own eyes an object rather than rely solely on the equipment. If this were not so, then the aircraft would not even windows.
It turns out that in many ways your safety during the flight depends on the person who looks out of the window.
Weather. Even though we had a multi-million dollar equipment installed in the middle of the airfield, controllers were trained and meteorology because if the machine crashes, we can not tell all arriving aircraft, "Excuse me, is now awful weather, come back on Tuesday." We should be able to look at and learn windsock wind direction and speed. In order to determine the level of visibility, we are looking at specific guidelines: the neighboring buildings, water towers, cell phone towers. It certainly does not give us exactly high-tech, but we all need to know what to do if we fail our machines (which they often do).
You know what else is often breaks down? Radio. Yes, it is literally the most important technique that we have, can fail at any time and without warning. A cry in the direction of the plane out of the window, unfortunately, rarely gives a positive effect. So what to do if the radio tower and the aircraft is out of order? We use projectors with green and red rays.
If the aircraft is within my airspace and sends a signal NORDO («no radio"), I am sending a tower of green light on the cockpit and the pilot show steady green, indicating that the aircraft can land. If on the runway there is noise, I change to a flashing red signal and the pilot understood that the landing is unsafe.
Now there may be theoretically computer programs, but, as I said, the equipment may be damaged in any, the most inconvenient, time. Therefore, always need a man sitting at the helm, to ensure that the work goes on, even if I have to resort to the signal lights and binoculars.
3. Choose between delay and opasnostyuMissiya air traffic control is defined as: "... provide a safe, orderly and expeditious flow of air traffic." It may sound about as exciting as a mission post office. But air traffic controllers for the keyword there is "fast." Each operator takes it as a personal challenge and trying to hold the aircraft as quickly as possible. And would prefer to violate safety rules than slow down.
The armed forces call it "syndrome Airshow", that makes air traffic controllers to show off, not do the job as thoroughly as possible. If I had a few aircraft on converging courses, I would rationally knew he had to spread them over a long distance to avoid a collision, or violation of the three-kilometer distance, which we must maintain between aircraft. But that did not stop me from instinctive attempt to hold them as closely as possible.
Despite the fact that too much space between the aircraft gives us more work and annoys the passengers (an increase in the distance causes a delay), the main reason forcing dispatchers to hurry up, is their own ego. In our leading technical school instructor she walked around the room and asked three other teachers, "Who is the best air traffic controller in the Air Force?" Every confidently answered honestly, "I do." We all laughed, but they were not kidding - everyone in the field believes that he is the best.
4. You do not need a degree, but it requires a certain type of lichnostiTak as operators of air traffic control should always perform complex actions, while they depend on thousands of lives, you might assume that the Federal Aviation Administration or the military are looking for people with a scientific degree in mathematics rescue, which I myself had just invented. In fact, you do not need a college degree (even not important any previous experience, if you go along the path of the armed forces, as I did). It's not always a bad thing. From my own experience I can say that people with higher education often have failed training. The creative part of the brain contrary to the analytical part that wants to find a black-and-white solution to every problem.
People with higher education often have failed training. The creative part of the brain contrary to the analytical part that wants to find a black-and-white solution to every problem h4> To be an air traffic controller - so learn all information received during training, and use it to make intuitive decisions in the airflow. And it proves once again that you should have creative thinking.
As I said, many people expelled from college in the learning process, and many graduates were just mediocre troechnikov. But usually we are in the first few minutes of dialogue with the young intern understand that he will be able to work well or not (and rarely make mistakes).
Preparation. Relations outside observer trainee and the trainer can greatly resemble an endless stream of screaming. The fact that the manager should have very strong nerves, and we must make sure that students can cope with the increased level of stress at work. They will lead the dozens of aircraft! And if they are the type of people that are closed when the stress level gets too high, we have to understand it before they come to work in the tower, and will cause loss of life.
5. We have our own language (accent) English - the official language of aviation worldwide. The pilot in Russia should be proficient in English, just to get a pilot's license, even though he never left the country. But aviation phraseology - a completely separate language. Go to the website and listen LiveATC.net operators in various airports around the world. Technically speaking it will be in English, but if you do not speak the slang of air traffic controllers do not understand absolutely nothing and feel like a veteran of World War II, the listener comments Pokemon tournament.
We have a guide («FAA JO 7110, 65 '), which should be our bible. It compiles all admissible phraseology. Even if there is something you do not find in this book would not have the right to speak gag. Unauthorized language is also known as the "phraseology cowboy", and although it sounds cool, but it can bring in big trouble. When the plane crashed, and at that time was on your frequency, the Federal Air Transport Agency will examine the records of all your conversations (yes, all of our communication is recorded - even talk sitting next dispatchers). If you said something that could have been interpreted ambiguous or not clearly understood (ie, using the phraseology of cowboy) - congratulations, you are now considered a contributing factor to this disaster.
During training, we were forced to practice in the use of phraseology in any spare time, accustomed to incoherent proposals, which we will shout every day. I had two roommates, who told me that I even dream repeated signals permission to land. And it is normal.
In addition, you must train the voice. In everyday life, I say quietly, with a focus and a little slurred. But it disappears when I'm talking to the pilots on the frequency - as well as changing the speaker's voice to the camera. This is a deliberate affectation, but it is necessary and obligatory that the information you transmit on the radio, was clear and understandable.
Once I met a pilot trainee shortly after talking to her on the radio. It was difficult to understand the phraseology, and the teacher sent her to learn to our tower. At one point, she asked, "So with whom I spoke a moment ago?" She refused to believe that short skinny 19-year-old man, who was standing in front of her was a man whom she had heard on the radio. According to the voice, she introduces me to "two-meter man with a width of two buildings." I'm still not sure if it was a compliment.
Oh, and before I finish, there is a question that I'm sure many readers are interested. So ...
6. Do you sometimes see a UFO? One day we had a boring night. It was perfect weather for flying, but it was too late, and the air was empty. On my frequency I was not there either aircraft. The empty sky, and all around me nothing but silence.
That's when I saw it - a blinking light hovering above the runway at an altitude uncertain. I called reaching the aerodrome zone and asked who was sent into my airspace, but the guy on the other end did not know anything. We have tried to hear the noise of the engine, but still it was absolutely quiet. There was just hanging in the air light. He went on our runway and disappeared behind the hills to the east.
Our only responsibility was to make sure that this ghost plane was far enough away from any other aircraft, and we have not told anyone about the incident. The sky was empty, so no matter what it was for the light, he did not represent any danger for the flight.
If you had asked my opinion, I would say that what we saw was a private ultralight aircraft, even though that private ultralight aircraft there is no reason to be near the site of the airspace. However, if it was a real flying saucer, she piloted by aliens with the basic understanding of security.