LITH004: Making the big time, bad landings, colorful language, and mind reading

HOLE REGULARS MAKE THE BIG TIME Mesa Airlines Pilot Development (MAPD) program is based at Farmington, we work their Bonanzas and Barons constantly. In the latest issue of Plane&Pilot Magazine lo’ and behold there’s a color picture of one of the planes we work. Keep in mind, all we see are little green slashes for an airplane, for an airplane buff like me it’s kind of cool to actually see what we work. I’ve been razzing the pilots of these planes lately over their new celebrity status. Of course when I do others on freq jump right in.

LAKES AIR GREG One of the few pilots I knew prior to becoming a Hole Regular is Greg. He was a flight instructor nearby and we’d talk often. Now he flies for Great Lakes and we still do, on frequency. Good guy, glad to see him doing what he wanted to do.

BAD LANDINGS & GOATHEADS I have a lot of laughs with Farmington Tower and have met a few of them (TA, SA, SO, DR). They’ll never let me live down this horrendous landing I made there a couple years ago in a rented Cessna 182. Of course they knew it was me, claimed to have one hand on the emergency phone, etc. I redeemed myself by having a smooth one with Scotty, which he passed on, and easily took off when Mesa’s planes wouldn’t attempt it, wimps. My usual way of saying “go ahead”, especially to TA, is “goathead”.

LANGUAGE MORE COLORFUL THAN MONUMENT VALLEY A couple weeks ago I had some good laughs with this pilot heading towards St. George, Utah. He wasn’t sure of where the Grand Canyon flight free zones were and wanted to steer clear of them. That turned into a long conversation about it and how unfair it was. I guess I didn’t help it by telling him they want to make it even more restrictive. He left the freq by thanking me and telling me it’s too bad there aren’t more in the FAA like me, that was pretty nice.

MIND READING (FauxPress)Today it was revealed that sitting in front of “scopes”, which are large screens that depict airplanes, may aid in the formation of psychic abilities. Brad Vector, an air traffic controller, or sky guide as they were once called, agreed saying “As often as pilots say ‘you were reading our mind’, it can’t just be a coincidence! I have honed this ability on my cats – knowing when they are hungry, or my baby – knowing when he needs to be changed.” In an unrelated story, large evil conglomerates have been secretly “borrowing” controllers for some unknown military project.

Life In The Hole (LITH) is based on real-life Air Traffic Control (ATC) stories from pilot and controller Chris Rodriguez (unless otherwise noted) of Denver Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC).  The comments and opinions are only of the authors and do not reflect the opinions or positions of any other company or organization.

About Chris Rodriguez

Chris is the editor/publisher of LightningRod Blog - as well as founder/editor of Wrongmont, Longmont Advocate, Vote!Longmont, Longmont Politics, the LightningRod Radio Network, as well as being the original Longmont Examiner. Chris is a writer and talker - whether it be blogs, podcasts, music, or public speaking. When he's not heard on Air Traffic radio, he can be heard on his podcasts or seen in the local paper causing trouble.
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