The NATCA Podcast

The NATCA Podcast

Informing and connecting with the members of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, who work to safely handle 70,000 flights daily and nearly one billion passengers annually.... Show More

Episodes

February 27, 2021 49 min
As Seattle Center (ZSE) member Josh Fuller’s shift was ending on the Saturday afternoon before Thanksgiving in 2019, a supervisor from Area C walked through Area B urgently looking for anyone with pilot experience. A VFR-rated Cessna 182 Skylane pilot in far northern Idaho, Tim Bendickson, had departed Boundary County Airport (65S) on what was supposed to be a 40-minute flight to the southwest back to his home airport in Priest Riv...
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In our last episode (Episode 27) of The NATCA Podcast, we brought you the story of Fort Worth Center (ZFW) air traffic controllers and NATCA members Brian Cox, Larry Bell, and Colin McKinnon. The trio worked together as a team to help pilot and flight instructor Anise Shapiro and her student, Jouni Uusitalo when the engine failed on his Piper PA-46 Malibu halfway into a 75-minute flight over West Texas. For their efforts, the contr...
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Halfway into a nearly 75-minute flight last spring to Graham Municipal Airport (RPH), 80 miles northwest of Fort Worth, Texas, pilot and flight instructor Anise Shapiro, in a Piper PA-46 Malibu, lost the engine for the first time in her 23 years of flying. At 14,500 feet and needing quick options, she declared an emergency to Fort Worth Center (ZFW) NATCA member Brian Cox. Onboard with Shapiro were her student pilot, Jouni Uusital...
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Late on a mid-summer evening, over the ocean and in the fog, pilot Lihan Bao was flying a short final ILS approach to Runway 24 at Martha’s Vineyard (MVY), her second time flying into that airport. The tower had just closed for the night. Shortly after her VOR receiver began to swing left to right, Bao saw a group of bright lights which distracted her. She turned left a bit to try to go back to the approach course but it didn’t wor...
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Duffy Fainer holds three skydiving world records and has encountered eight parachute malfunctions and one emergency ocean landing in 46 years of jumps. His first in-flight emergency in 15 years of flying airplanes, late in the afternoon of Wednesday, April 22, 2020, gave him a different kind of feeling. But he credits the calm, professional, expert handling provided by San Diego ATCT (SAN) NATCA members Michelle “Shelly” Bruner and...
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During any normal shift in Area 2 of Indianapolis Center (ZID) on a mid-March Saturday afternoon, assisting the pilot of a Cessna 172 Skyhawk who encountered icing conditions would have required the same knowledge, calm professionalism, detailed checklist of tasks, and supreme focus that experienced ZID NATCA members Brittany Jones and Bob Obma bring to work. But this particular Saturday afternoon shift, on March 21, 2020, was the...
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The weather conditions in Alaska are often poor, but they’re highly changeable. This can lead to situations where a pilot can encounter difficulty, especially if they’re not able to fly in instrument meteorological conditions (IMC). Alaskan Region air traffic controllers are keenly aware of this each time they plug in for a shift. “I’ve seen situations where a pilot gets IMC for 30 seconds, they call up needing help, and they’re o...
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It was like most any other ordinary summer afternoon in Pensacola, with a lot of weather, when Marcus Troyer plugged in for his shift at Pensacola TRACON (P31) shortly after 12:30 p.m. EDT. In the skies to the west, U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Commander Brian Hedges was the pilot and aircraft commander on an ordinary training mission in a newly-converted MH65E helicopter. But a short time later, Troyer and Hedges were joined in a search a...
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Ep21: NATCA Runway Safety/RWSL Representative Bridget Singratanakul (Gee) by NATCA National Office
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NATCA Charitable Foundation (NCF) President Corrie Conrad (Portland, Ore., ATCT, PDX) reflects on the 25th anniversary of NCF. She talks about the great work being done by member volunteers, the efforts put toward meeting the challenge of growing NCF, and the great personal rewards of donating time, money, and energy to the Foundation. "It's a labor of love," she says. "I knew this would make my heart whole."
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Just a couple of weeks after open heart surgery to implant a new prosthetic valve in place of his failing bicuspid aortic valve, longtime Fresno ATCT (FAT) FacRep Jerry O'Gorman says he is feeling great and already well on the road to recovery, anxious to regain his medical and return to the facility. With the love of his wife, Cara, and three young children, a team of great medical professionals, and the incredible support of ...
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July 24, 2019 14 min
Our NATCA Family has lost 16 members in the last several years to suicide. The latest was Crystal Joy Kendzierski, the FacRep at Tulsa Riverside ATCT (RVS), which has hit our membership, and particularly the Southwest Region, very hard. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States for all ages. Every day, approximately 123 Americans die by suicide. This is the type of tragedy that the NATCA family has unfortunat...
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Listen to this week's news, notes, and highlights as reported in the newest issue of The NATCA Insider e-newsletter.
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NATCA Director of Safety and Technology Jim Ullmann, who participated in the selection of Archie League Medal of Safety Award winners for the fourth straight year, talks about the 2019 honorees and their great air traffic control work that ensured safety above all. Jim also discusses meeting with his fellow selection panelists and how this awards program - and CFS - have grown over the years.
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NATCA Director of Government Affairs Jose Ceballos talks with Deputy Director of Public Affairs Doug Church in an episode of The NATCA Podcast devoted to the federal budget and FAA funding issues. Ceballos discusses this week's House vote to pass a Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) FY2020 appropriations bill, gives a status update on the increasing Congressional support for both H.R. 1108 and S. 762, and anal...
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A rundown of NATCA's latest news and notes, as covered by the June 21, 2019 issue of The NATCA Insider e-newsletter for members.
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Phil Hughes looks back on his 35-year career, the evolution and growth of NATCA during that time, and the remarkable success of the collaboration initiative between NATCA and the FAA, now nearly a decade old.
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National Legislative Committee Chair Steve Weidner talks about what NATCA in Washington first-timers can expect and offers advice on how to get the most out of their experience at this event and in their first time participating in a meeting in a Congressional office.
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Ep10 Houston Center Member Dustin Newell: Helping Others With His Love of Aviation by NATCA National Office
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Ep11 The Midterm Elections: NLC Member Richard Kennington Explains The Importance by NATCA National Office
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