Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Real Air Traffic Control Video

I visited Miami TRACON on Jan. 19th, 2007 with a bunch of MDC students. Surprisingly enough, I was allowed to video tape inside the TRACON itself, with no restrictions. I got shots of the STARS simulators, the Traffic Management Unit (TMU), and - amazingly - controllers working live traffic.

Here is the footage I shot that day. I added a lot of text explanations in to the video, so that myself and others can use it to educate people as to what controllers actually do. It's a long-running joke that the public thinks ATC's are the guys with the earpads and lightsticks.

Here's my YouTube description of the video:
"A glimpse of a real air traffic control facility. Whenever you fly, folks like those shown in here are watching over you, making sure you arrive safely. It's a vital profession and, as you will see, requires a lot of concentration, skill, and judgement. I shot the video at Miami Tower on a class tour and edited it together, dropping in explanations for what is shown on screen. It starts off with their training simulator, then moves on to the 'real deal'."

Friday, January 19, 2007

Citation Runway Overshoot

Wow... talk about an illustrated manual on how to lose your pilot's license.

Step 1: Land an expensive corporate jet on a slick, short runway with a strong tailwind.

Step 2: Run said aircraft into the water off the runway end.

Step 3: Forget STEP ONE of your emergency checklist.

Friday, January 12, 2007

iPhone (aka iBroke or iShouldaBoughtaPS3)

So Apple just released their iPhone.

* Plays video. Check.
* Plays music. Check.
* Stores 4GB of data. Check.
* Full keyboard. Check.
* Has a touch screen. Check.
* Automatically detects if you're widescreen or portrait. Check.
* Built-in WiFi. Check.
* Capable browser, email, chat, and office software. Check.
* Bluetooth. Check.
* Built-in video-capable camera. Check.
* Nice looks. Check.
* Exchangeable battery with amazing longevity. Check.

Yeap, sounds good. Oh wait...that's right, I'm talking about my Cingular 8125 Windows Smartphone.

Which I bought last year.

For $300.

For the same price that they're selling the iPhone, I bought the 8125 as well as an Archos 504 with 4.5" widescreen and 80GB of media storage.

Go Cisco.