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Squawks & HeadlinesTower controllers tell it like it is

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Tower controllers tell it like it is

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The control tower at the Nashua, NH airport is set to close as a result of sequestration cuts. The FAA spent $16Mil on a new runway that opened just 7 months ago, and now the tower is closing at one of the busiest airports in New England. (www.youtube.com) More...

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99NY
99NY 7
I had to laugh yesterday when NPR did an interview of an airport rep from a Southeastern Georgia airport thats losing its tower. After a huge amount of doomsday talk about how the 3 Delta Connection flights per day are going to be all but imperiled, she meekly pointed out that the tower is only staffed from 7A-8P and the field's busiest hours for aircraft movements were during the late evening and overnight hours. Mountain out of a Molehill.
Av8nut
Michael Fuquay 1
WHAT WILL THEY DO??!!!!
davysims
David Sims 4
We have never had a tower here, and have had everything from scheduled CRJs to chartered 737 serve the airport. Never a problem.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 8
You know, some people just can't grasp that concept!!!
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
There may be a benefit to some over these closings. Some owners/operators may move to smaller outlying airports that are nearly starving. Someone's loss is usually someone else's gain.
bill54494
bill54494 2
It wouldn't surprise me at all if many of these towers were unnecessary and a waste of money to begin with--or have now outlived their usefulness. No doubt a goodly number of them came about through the intercession of powerful politicians looking to do something nice for their districts. Such was the case for the tower at Central Wisconsin Airport (KCWA) in Mosinee, WI. For all of its approximately 40 years this airport has had airline service, and for most of that time it did not have a tower. Traffic flowed smoothly.

In the late 1990s, with now-retired Wisconsin Seventh District Congressman David Obey chairing the House Appropriations Committee, those desiring the prestige of a tower had an ideal opportunity to get one. Responding to his constituents, Obey pulled strings with the FAA, and the tower was built.

It was, of course, a contract tower, and the controllers have always been top-notch in doing their job. However, I always have wondered how they managed to stay awake. Many times I have flown there for instrument currency, and the controllers seemed delighted just to have someone to talk to. I'm sorry for them if they eventually lose their jobs, but this would not be an issue had the tower never been commissioned in the first place.
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 2
Looks like they will have to announce positions just like the rest of us.
Derg
Roland Dent 2
"If we could just get rid of people the aviation industry would be great"
davysims
David Sims 3
I know of at least one tower on the closure list that is exactly that, someone's pet project.
preacher1
preacher1 3
You are probably correct on the "UNNECESSARY" ones. What would be nice would be if they could take a scalpel approach to this whole thing rather than a meat ax.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
flyboy97222
Jason Rhew -7
Spoken like someone that smashes bugs at 110kts
It's a different world out there for us jet guys
HunterTS4
Toby Sharp 8
You are correct about both statements J. You need to upload your goose windscreen shot for your pic!
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 2
Maybe we should send him one of our Boller hats to wear in his photo when we get them.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 4
I smash bugs and birds at 115 kts.. The average jet approaches only about 10 kts. more than his bug smashing 110 kts..
I go into uncontrolled fields all the time in jets to a C152, the only problem I run into are the ones who fly huge patterns and communicate incorrectly...
preacher1
preacher1 4
Shoot, we have all been spoiled. For years I couldn't get into anything small anyway and never really worried about it. Now that I'm into something smaller, I've been going into quite a few lately w/o towers. It took a full brush up, BUT, it's just like driving a car. The rules are there and as long as everybody follows them, it's good. If they don't, there could be a problem. A little common senses don't hurt either. Even if you have the position in your C150, it's reasonable and prudent to move out of the way if you have a CRJ or Lear behind you.You don't have to but you must realize that you are probably going to see that fellow on the ground. Just sayin'
bishops90
Brian Bishop 1
Come on over and we'll go for a spin (no pun intended) in the Highlander, then have a big glass of sweet tea.
preacher1
preacher1 2
Closest I've been to your part of the world was 2-3 weeks ago when we made a quick stop at GSO and went on to RDU for the night, then back out the next day to the house and really, RDU wasn't close. I did think about you though.lol First time I've been over in that part of the world in a while.
bishops90
Brian Bishop 1
I saw you mention being in GSO. Back porch is always open.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Yeah but we werent there but a couple of hours
bishops90
Brian Bishop 2
Some of us LIKE smashing bugs at 110k.
preacher1
preacher1 1
I ain' gonna get in the middle of you or anyone else but you need to take a 2nd look at that 120 approach speed.That CRJ is around 150 on minimum depending on what you gaot on but it will average that. I was a thinkin' those Lears were fairly hot.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
The good news is he's still here.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
115 when you're fairly light...
preacher1
preacher1 1
Yeah, somebody told me that yesterday. We were talking about it yesterday and he looked it up. Surprised bouth of us that it was that low.
flyboy97222
Jason Rhew 0
I fly a G200 bro. I'd stall at 110kts even out of fuel with no pax. Think before ya type is all I'm saying.
For the few of us that do this day in and day out for a living its a very big deal.
As a C152 driver you might not think so and to be honest when I was flying smaller aircraft I wouldn't have thought so either.
It'll be a shit storm the first time there is a runway incursion and no one is in the tower to tell the fast jet to go around because a single wandered out on the active, causing a collision at 140kts.
bishops90
Brian Bishop 3
Jason, you just come across as arrogant and condescending because you drive a jet. Congratulations, on your achievement as a pilot. It's a hobby for me and many others, but I and others in a similar situation as me are just as serious about a aviation in general and safety in particular. Cut us "bug smashers" some slack and maybe you'll get a little more respect around here.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
Everyone started as a student and realistically remain so.
preacher1
preacher1 3
Yeah they did and respect for all until something is done to no longer earn it. We can all do stupid things every now and then, whether flying a C150 or big iron. If you screw up, a simple "MY BAD" generally does the trick.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 0
How about if u never screw up??? I am Ace!!!
bishops90
Brian Bishop 2
Well said.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Actually THRUSTT is a Lear driver most of the time but after a friend looked this morning, he's not that far off on approach speed for a 25 or 45. I thought they were hotter than that myself but looks like 125-135 approach depending on type and weight on board. I didn't look at your 200 but as I said earlier that CRJ is 20-30mph above that.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Some pilots don't fly jets, they make it through their careers because of ATC and good autopilots...
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Now you're airing my crusty laundry out there...
preacher1
preacher1 1
Somebody needs to.lol
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Go around.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Why does the Tower need to tell the "fast" jet to go around??? I went around at NEW because a King Air never looked to see who was on a 1/4 mile final and the Tower cleared him for takeoff, I went around, the controller wanted me to call him on the ground. I said Merry Xmas, it's not going any further. After a lot of thinking, I am going to eat my own words, we need the towers to stay open because apparently some pilots need ATC to fly the aircraft for them, ie turn left, right, climb, descend, go around...
By the way, you may not remember Tenerife, there was a Tower there. The final fault was with the KLM captain...
flyboy97222
Jason Rhew -2
Dude you don't get it. Hope I'm never flying in your neck of the woods.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
I was just kidding. But it could be a Lear or a CRJ does the runway incursion. Remember Lexington here in Ky? My home airport incursions are usually deer!!!
preacher1
preacher1 2
Actually, this thing has gotten so far off topic, I'm outa here
james801
James Farnsworth Staff Writer 0
Fact is none of us should want to see any tower close or even short on staff. They work as hard as we do in the cockpit; we all have the same responsibility to keep each other and the pubic safe. At most us airline pilots have 1,000 people to keep safe, 500 in our aircraft and 500 in the other aircraft we may hit. ATC has an Avg of 165 people per airplane they are working and that adds up fast and so does the stress with keeping us all apart.
If you want to talk big about what your driving Preacher1, THRUSTT myself and others on here have 5-6 types ourselves from a King Air to a 767 but each airplane is different but as a rule I would think and so does the FAA that jets have much faster approach speeds then small prop aircraft. Fact is there are more incursions at non controlled airports with far less traffic.
In light med IFR a small aircraft will pull out in the runway to look up and see a jet go miss over him because ATC didn’t know the small guy was about to take off and ask for his IFR clearance in the air before going IMC, when he drop the jet at 120-200 kts over the outer marker. Math and numbers don’t lie even if both aircraft report their intensions on the CTAF from by the time the jet flops to the CTAF he is over the mid marker with a 1,000-1200 overcast now he is also looking for the runway pops out to see the guy on the runway. 1-3 min is not a lot of time.
We all need to try and help each other and fight to keep them open rather then get in a piss off on FA about how fast your airplanes final approach speed is. Stay on point.
preacher1
preacher1 3
I said I was outa here but it popped up so I'll give the short answer. I've got a bunch of types just like you. I believe the comment that started all this was Jason. You need to look at the comments a little closer. Now I'm outa here
james801
James Farnsworth Staff Writer 1
I did read it all. Wanted to make my mark on it. Ans i knew you would pop back :-)
taromeo
Rick Calhoun 1
Awhh! Jason....Please try to stay grounded....you too once flew at 110 kts and those of us who do fly in the flight levels at close to mach should not be so condescending. I for one am astonished at the fear the media is spreading about the closures which as we ALL know are no big deal to the vast majority who have had to fly into uncontrolled fields.
james801
James Farnsworth Staff Writer 1
LOL He got ya on that one...
jwmitchell1949
jack mitchell 1
From a retired FAA Air Traffic Controller, that dude at Nashua better quick record (S) on his ATIS as it looks like he is done and should be looking for another job ! Congressional people really don't like that stuff.......
PilotSwede
Tyler Girouard 1
Ahh ye ol' KASH. Those controllers are awesome. Tell it how it is, and they are sharp guys.
conmanflyer
connor oslie 1
LAL is going to be horrid down in Lakeland Florida. We have DoD contract fighters, military helicopters, and major flight training operations. I like having a tower, keeps a jet from going up my @$$ on final.
runway18escanaba
runway18escanaba 1
Oshkosh tower (closing) needs to be there for the airshow. Unless they open it just for the show.
jmcmanna
Jim McMannamy 1
It's always amusing watching the excitement of airline/business jet traffic try to work out a sequence after the tower closes at night with the bug smashers who act like they are the only airplane around the airport.
akirkham
Anthony Kirkham 1
No wonder that the controllers are so subject to stress. Anybody not connected to the occupation cannot conceive what they have to deal with on a daily basis
Thebobit
Robert Lockridge 1
Before the tower was put into operation (or "full time" I don't remember which now), there were at least a couple of mid-air collisions over KASH. There also was an aviation school there at the time which has since closed [and I can't say I miss the planes circling over my house as they did crash and dashes for hours on end, but I digress ...]. Since the tower went live, there have been accidents, but those were landings, not mid-air. Say what you will about it not being necessary, but the safety since seems to speak for itself.

I must admit that before I read about the accidents (of which I had forgotten) I didn't think it would be missed all that much either. I was surprised to read that there are 65,000+ operations a year at Boire Field so it is not the sleepy little airport I thought it was.
jwmitchell1949
jack mitchell 1
Watch your rear Bud !
preacher1
preacher1 1
Considering the link above, I'd say he needs to cover it fast but it may be too late
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
He may get fired instead of layed off. Big diff!
robbiedew101
Robbie Brehm 1
Word around LAL is that Sun N Fun is going to pay to have controllers there for the event to keep things (semi) organized. LOL
conmanflyer
connor oslie 1
its nearly impossible to see the artic scheme on a cloudy day, and on the other side of the spectrum, the breezers disapear too
conmanflyer
connor oslie 1
I think Department of tourism is supposed to pick up part of the tab, as well as the city. but even after that, they are working on either the FDOT or the city to pick up the tab of roughly 375K a year... Less hours, but nobody flys at 10PM anyways
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
He may have let his mouth overload his ass. Lol
planeman33
Donald Rand 1
Closing PAE and BFI towers will mean hairy taxi testing for Boeing. Imagine breaking out of the overcast to see a 777 on the runway!
davysims
David Sims 2
That is what a CTAF is for, communicating between aircraft!
preacher1
preacher1 0
Ain't that special
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
You big boys with 2 pilots will probably start listening and calling a pretty good distance out.
preacher1
preacher1 2
Well, we ain't claiming special or anything but it's like a friend of mine over in NC said the other day "when they are just playing around in the pattern and hear a jet call in for the pattern, they scatter".LOL
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
The good news is that if its IFR there's really no traffic(I hope) that center isn't aware of. When its severe clear is when it gets more dicey and people need to let others know of intentions.
preacher1
preacher1 1
well, as you said, it is nice to have that extra set of hands working the radidio.lol
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
Probably need that extra set of hands to figure out that radidio, right now I'm picturing cowgirls and buckin broncos...
preacher1
preacher1 1
I think we got that radidio figgered out, but now them cowgirls and buckin broncos is a whole 'nuther story,LOL
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 1
Something tells me thrustt ain't concentrating on the approach anymore!!
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
The approach is done, landing strip's in sight...
preacher1
preacher1 1
walnlar
Walt Stoufer 0
The whole tower closure thing is as insane as the incompetent fools in the administration who are using "sequestration" as a strong arm tactic to force exponentially greater fiscal irresponsibility down Americas throat. Evil narcissists infest this administration.
bishops90
Brian Bishop 2
Yep, we've beat that horse to death around here already.