CCT to civilian ATC?

Jbird8198

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Of course many of these operators do not spend their entire career in the USAF. Curious to know how many get out and make the transition to civilian ATC? ATC seems to be a great paying and enjoyable job.
 

AWP

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The pay is very good, but "enjoyable" may not be everyone's answer. It depends on if you landed in a center or working a tower at a place like O'Hare. It is a very stressful job for much of the community. Guys wait in line for smaller airports with less traffic.

To put things into some perspective, our controllers at Bagram have 1 month too learn Ground, Approach, and Flight Data. I think they said the FAA's standard is 9 months total to qualify for those positions. You can make good money contracting, but even FAA guys wash out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is a very stressful career. Pilots are your BFF's until they make a mistake and then will try to hang you; it has happened. If there's an accident and you're involved you go under a microscope even if your participation was minimal. Everything you say and do at your position is recorded and scrutinized.

Good money, lots of stress.
 

TLDR20

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The pay is very good, but "enjoyable" may not be everyone's answer. It depends on if you landed in a center or working a tower at a place like O'Hare. It is a very stressful job for much of the community. Guys wait in line for smaller airports with less traffic.

To put things into some perspective, our controllers at Bagram have 1 month too learn Ground, Approach, and Flight Data. I think they said the FAA's standard is 9 months total to qualify for those positions. You can make good money contracting, but even FAA guys wash out of Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is a very stressful career. Pilots are your BFF's until they make a mistake and then will try to hang you; it has happened. If there's an accident and you're involved you go under a microscope even if your participation was minimal. Everything you say and do at your position is recorded and scrutinized.

Good money, lots of stress.

Don't they have like the second most suicides behind dentists?
 

Jbird8198

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I guess I will have to take enjoyable out of my statement. I have heard that the suicide rate is pretty high for this job. I figured with all of the newer technology now that this job we be a little bit less stressful than what it used to be.
 

AWP

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...all of the newer technology now...

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

(breathe)

BWAHAHAHAHA!

There are some places in the world which lack radar. EVERYWHERE is still done from little strips of green paper passed from one position to the other (I believe Flight Data handles this). We're still using stuff designed in the 70's and built in the 80's with procedures that are little changed from before then. Go listen to the Delta pilot at Atlanta rip into a Controller over taxiway info. I guarantee you the Controller was in the right and if an accident occurred the pilot would still try to hang the Controller. At that point the Controller's professional life, and some personal, would go under a microscope.

I'm not trying to be a dick, but you're way out of your depth here. You're learning, but I don't think you know how much you don't know.
 

Jbird8198

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BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

(breathe)

BWAHAHAHAHA!

There are some places in the world which lack radar. EVERYWHERE is still done from little strips of green paper passed from one position to the other (I believe Flight Data handles this). We're still using stuff designed in the 70's and built in the 80's with procedures that are little changed from before then. Go listen to the Delta pilot at Atlanta rip into a Controller over taxiway info. I guarantee you the Controller was in the right and if an accident occurred the pilot would still try to hang the Controller. At that point the Controller's professional life, and some personal, would go under a microscope.

I'm not trying to be a dick, but you're way out of your depth here. You're learning, but I don't think you know how much you don't know.

Honestly, I never pictured it like that. I guess I am way off. I have only been on the pilot side of things (VFR only). I have never been in a tower or center (would love to though). I did work at an airport with a small tower but never got to check it out.

That pilot was an ass and seems to be like the majority that I came into contact with while at the airport. The controller did a great job of handling the conversation though.
 

AWP

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Honestly, I never pictured it like that. I guess I am way off. I have only been on the pilot side of things (VFR only). I have never been in a tower or center (would love to though). I did work at an airport with a small tower but never got to check it out.

That pilot was an ass and seems to be like the majority that I came into contact with while at the airport. The controller did a great job of handling the conversation though.

I'm just maintainer, but people from this board whom I've taken into the tower all said the same thing: That wasn't what I expected.
 

LimaOscarSierraTango

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After getting a small taste of aviation, all I can say is:

Anyone that wants to be an ATC is a glutton for punishment (and I commend you for your decision if you follow through with it).

Bagram is a shitshow. But there are multiple countries with aircraft (language barriers), military branches (different jargon, even though there is supposed to be a standard set of 250(?) words), and aircraft (rotor wing, fixed wing, UAV, and civilian equivalents) all trying to find their little bit of airspace to take off or land. Add in a rocket coming in or a UAV lawn darts or drops a hellfire on the runway causing major traffic jams in the air... the dudes upstairs definitely earned their paycheck.

One of our favorite stories was when the ATC was telling a cargo plane to go into a holding pattern (they may have shut down the airfield to test a C-RAM or maybe that was one of the lawn darts) and in a thick Eastern European accent, his response was, "I land now." -- And he did. :wall:
 

AWP

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One of our favorite stories was when the ATC was telling a cargo plane to go into a holding pattern (they may have shut down the airfield to test a C-RAM or maybe that was one of the lawn darts) and in a thick Eastern European accent, his response was, "I land now." -- And he did. :wall:

The Silk Air/ Road guys in their IL-76's were once (maybe still?) only paid if the cargo was delivered. I've seen ridiculous visibility, ceiling of no kidding 100' or so, and they would try and land. C-17's would do it, but they'd make a run at it with the ILS and then bounce for an alternate. The -76's didn't care.

Even after the National 747 went in I could still watch 747's doing the same thing. Climbing out at an insane angle, rotating so fast the tail would nearly hit the runway, just hanging on the engines and clawing for altitude.

I've seen a lot of weird WTF stuff between here and Kandahar.

I have to ask, how are those 35kt crosswind takeoffs and landings in the -12? :-"

Also, OH-58 crews are dicks.
 

Blizzard

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Just my $.02 but CCT to civilian ATC is an apples to carrots comparison; very different personality types and career fields. A separate AFSC exists for those wanting to be straight up ATC; that'd be more analogous.

I can't see many CCT's wanting to sit inside a dark room staring at a screen for hours on end like the guys at center or approach. Nor do I see many of them being real interested sitting in the tower. It's not exactly a super enticing environment.
 

Ranger Psych

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I know an oh-58 pilot and would concur with that statement. Everyone who went to any other platform was chill as all hell or if not chill, at least understanding, responsible and otherwise a good damn person both professionally and personally.

oh-58? little man little dick and trying to make up for it every time they turn the engines on.
 

0699

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I guess I will have to take enjoyable out of my statement. I have heard that the suicide rate is pretty high for this job. I figured with all of the newer technology now that this job we be a little bit less stressful than what it used to be.

The only ones close are dentists. But there're more dentists than there are controllers, so actual numbers are different from percentages.

Go listen to the Delta pilot at Atlanta rip into a Controller over taxiway info.

Flip side is listening to controllers in the NCR tear up a pilot that's never flown there. :D
 

Jbird8198

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Just my $.02 but CCT to civilian ATC is an apples to carrots comparison; very different personality types and career fields. A separate AFSC exists for those wanting to be straight up ATC; that'd be more analogous.

I can't see many CCT's wanting to sit inside a dark room staring at a screen for hours on end like the guys at center or approach. Nor do I see many of them being real interested sitting in the tower. It's not exactly a super enticing environment.

I would have to agree with you on this one. Maybe more of a Law enforcement, FBI, CIA type of transition.
 

LimaOscarSierraTango

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I have to ask, how are those 35kt crosswind takeoffs and landings in the -12? :-"

I avoided looking out the windows doing that. I learned my lesson. :D

I think our limit is 25kt, or the equivalent of a 90 deg-25kt crosswind. Most of the time I didn't notice much. Looking out the cockpit was interesting. Looking out the side window? Never again. :ROFLMAO:

I think the AF suffered through worse than us though.
 

AWP

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I avoided looking out the windows doing that. I learned my lesson. :D

I think our limit is 25kt, or the equivalent of a 90 deg-25kt crosswind. Most of the time I didn't notice much. Looking out the cockpit was interesting. Looking out the side window? Never again. :ROFLMAO:

My brother likes telling stories about "screen height take off". ;-):D

Winds are in excess of 45 kts right now. I just watched a -12 take off and his wings were about as stable as Michael J. Fox on a trampoline.
 
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