With the end of the semester approaching, the Mission Pilot Ground School class had one more special activity outside the classroom before finals: visit a real Air Traffic Control Tower. In addition to the International airport that the airlines fly into, Sacramento area has several smaller airports and a couple of them have control towers. The class had the opportunity to visit the tower at Sacramento Executive airport, which is a general aviation airport that sees all types of aircraft ranging from trainer planes to corporate jets.
The Ground School students got to go up inside the tower cab and see everything from the controller’s point of view. The controllers were very friendly and helpful, explaining everything from the radar scope display to how the hourly weather reports are made. Since the controller who was manning the radio wasn’t using an earpiece, it was possible to hear all the radio transmissions being made as well.
Because it can be intimidating when first learning how to talk on the radio with Air Traffic Control, it was a pretty cool experience to visit the guys on the other side of the microphone and see that they’re just regular people who are there to help you. Students from the Ground School class who go on to pursue flight training should be a lot more comfortable when it comes time to talk on the radio to ATC.
Mission Pilot Ground School has been a semester-long course that has focused on giving students the knowledge foundation necessary for future training in aviation, with a special emphasis on future service in missions. If you are interested in finding out more about possible future aviation opportunities at Weimar Academy, contact Michael Lombart at [email protected].