Saturday, September 20, 2008

Do You Have the Flick?

I just found out that Mr. Don Brown from Get The Flick posted an article about this little blog. Truly a wonderful way to start off a weekend.

I don't think there's too many folks involved with ATC that have not experienced Mr. Brown's fantastic writing. While other ATC blogs lean towards unabashed sarcasm and savage bombast, his writing is mature, thoughtful, and highly educational. No rumor mills, no hearsay - just well-researched articles that put the issues facing air traffic control in a passionate yet intellectual perspective. Mr. Brown's writing goes far beyond simple blogging; it's bona fide journalism that should be required reading for everyone involved in aviation.

For those coming in from the GtF links, welcome to my little space on the web. I hope you find the blog informative and entertaining. In general, when I discuss a subject I lay out the concepts and then put them into a practical perspective using real-world examples. I'm also a big fan of using "visual aids" to get my point across - I was a creative director for a design firm for nearly seven years, so I like to keep my Photoshop and coding skills sharpened.

I'd like to the touch on a couple things Mr. Brown mentioned:
  • With regards to the contents of this blog, I actively try to keep it positive and nonpolitical. Of course I have my own politics and viewpoints, but I choose not to employ them here. I'm here to write about the ups and downs of ATC training, not engage in political combat. There are other folks on both sides of the issues that can do that far better than I ever could.
  • Mr. Brown is absolutely correct: I make plenty of mistakes. That's actually one of the things I want to start writing about: what happens when things go wrong. What it's like to go down the shitter... or get countermanded on-frequency by your instructor... or get pulled off a scope when you're just not able to keep up... or even scare the hell out of yourself. Believe me, training can suck hard. But when those things happen, that's when you learn your lesson. ATC is by far the most humbling, difficult thing I've ever done in my life. It's a great job and you can have some real fun with it, but I just want to make it clear to people coming into it that it's not a cakewalk for most trainees.
So once again, a warm welcome to the newcomers and thank you for checking out The Flying Penguin. Feedback is always appreciated; feel free to comment on the postings as much as you like. Also, if you have any questions on anything I've written about or about the job itself, fire away! I always do my best to answer.


Blue Eyed Buddhist said...

You're going to get a lot more readers now, because you're going to be in the Follies this week as well. :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Wicked. I've been reading your blog for a couple of months now and really enjoy it. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is pure nostalgia for this old sweep counter. It's good to find that, after twenty seven years, not much, other than the whistles and bells, has changed. Hang in there on the checkouts and remember 'a miss is never as good as three miles or a thousand feet'.

Anonymous said...

Flying Penguin, Unique perspective. All successful controllers have been down your road. Much of your training is convincing your coworkers that you can stand alone and look over their shoulder when they need help. Keep it up, AC2_USN.

Anonymous said...

Training was by far the worst experience of my life. It really takes about a year after checkout to really feel comfortable working by myself. Don't let them rush you to check out before you are ready...but don't doubt your abilities either your confidence will make or break you. Good luck. said...

Really Great Blog. As a soon to graduate CTI student, I started at the beginning last night, and just finished today. Please keep it up!


Wicked Penguin said...

@BEB: Uh oh... :)

@Anon1: Thanks! Glad you like it.

@Anon2: Thank you sir. I'll do my best and I'll keep that saying in in mind.

@Anon3: That's what I hope to do. It's amazing how much controllers overall try to watch out for each other, even though there are a few that don't play well with others in the radar room.

@Anon4: I wholeheartedly agree with your statement. Training can be awful and I long ago lost track of how many times I've felt like an idiot. But once you get past those initials bumps in the road, things smooth out and your confidence grows.

@Toby: Thanks, I'll be writing as much as I can. Good luck with the CTI degree. In spite of all the ruckus over Off The Street hires, it really does help some.

For everyone: Please feel free to comment as much you like.

Your Union Rep said...

As Mr. Brown said, leave the (justified) FAA-bashing to him and the blue-eyed Buddhist. I don't want your last blog entry to be about how you got fired and your union rep couldn't help you. (0;