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Controller To Pilot


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Good Evening All,


Figured id introduce myself and pick your brain, getting out of the Marine Corps after just under 10 years. Going through my learn to be a civilian classes- college recruiter promises the world and says "we'll have you dual rated and employed instructing within 2 years!" Yea... right.... well after some looking around i decided to use the almighty GI Bill (at a different school) to go ahead and do some college and get flying (rotor wing).


I have had my Control Tower Operator license for a few years, and although it (ATC) has been rewarding, why should i let them (pilots) have all the fun! So in your overwhelming knowledge base do you think controlling will help or hurt a fresh pilot in the beginning?


I've read a lot through the forums and cant wait to learn more from all of you, and from the other end of that tower frequency we much prefer helicopters over those needy fixed wing types.




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Thanks for the replies! Yea handling helo's is just easier since i can have you hold out if i tried to cheat you across in front of that F-35 turning base and it didn't go quite as planned. On average helo pilots are far more understanding/helpful as well, even though it should be "first come, first serve" if its busy it turns into "you hook me up, and ill move the pattern to get you in".

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It will definitely help, especially when you get to the point of getting your tower requirements in. If you go the traditional route and become an instructor, you will be a huge benefit to your students when they are at that point as well. You will be able to coach them far better than an instructor who has minimal time working with ATC. And I say this as an instructor who has minimal time working with ATC!

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with your indepth knowledge working airspace and seperation requirements placed on controllers you should be at an advantage understanding what the controllers are expecting and your communication skills should far exceed others just starting... However working the controls is a whole new skill set that will determine your success...


fyi it's those tower weenies that seem to have the most difficulty transitioning to actual flight slots and for whatever reason tracon seems so have no problems, but that's probabaly because they see the big picture and line everything up for the tower who simply says "cleared to land" :) Hahahaha!!!!!!

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Ouch the gloves are coming off i see haha, well to defend us weenies, i am not lucky enough to work in a tower where everything is sequenced. Instead we get to play the seperation game between General aviation, passenger regional jets, and all navy/marine corps aircraft on the west cost, add in a few air force heavys and a final controller who thinks putting a huey in front of an f18 on a precision approach is going to work, and it turns into a great day haha.


but yes i fully understand that controlling will not be beneficial to the controls. Thanks for your response! and since i havent started flight school yet ill be sure to give a random "go around" on your behalf :P Thanks a lot man!

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