LITH007: High fuel prices and swearing in junior controllers

FUEL FOR THOUGHT The topic of aviation fuel came up on frequency Sunday, and of course it turned into a mini free-for-all. A Baron going from Las Vegas to Denver Centennial was going to make a stop in Farmington for gas. I warned him of their high prices but he felt their price compared to the $3+ Las Vegas charged was acceptable. A Stationair chimed in and said he paid $2.96 in Hawthorne, NV and it was self-serve! That’s pretty atrocious.

JR. CONTROLLER SWORN IN I don’t mind working a lot of airplanes, even VFR ones that are pretty green on freq. About the only thing that sours it is when they decide they aren’t going to listen anymore, or permanently leave the freq. I had one IFR and one VFR into Page, AZ pretty much do this. I was lucky that I had a Bonanza going into Page that reached them both, one still in the air, one through Unicom, and get them to call me or correct the situation. This is no easy task when you yourself are not far out from your destination, preparing to land, and being asked to: a) stop what you’re doing, b) write down all the info given (callsign, instruction, etc), c) accomplish the task, usually with 2-3 calls to the stray aircraft, d) advise the controller, and e) pick up where you left off with your own task at hand of flying the aircraft. This nice guy did it TWICE, in a fairly short time. I then swore him in on freq as Jr. Controller, he said it was the least he could do after all the things we’d done for him. He saved us a few phone calls and the tying up of an airport, way to go!

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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