Field Trip

Sunday’s flight was cancelled due to 30+ knot winds. Yesterday was just as bad, but I didn’t have time booked anyway. After reading my logbook a few dozen times to make sure it really says that I’m allowed to make unsupervised local solo flights, I’m eager to get some solo time under my belt, if the weather will cooperate.

Tonight our ground school class took a field trip to Tampa International (TPA). We took tours of the air traffic control tower and the approach/departure control room, then went to the Flight Service Station at St. Petersburg/Clearwater International (PIE). I’d recommend these tours to any pilot. It was a good experience for all of us to meet some of the controllers we’ll be dealing with in the future. I took my camcorder. Here are some pictures…

air traffic control tower at Tampa International Airport

[I don’t know if they still do tours like this due to security concerns. If you’ve been on a control tower tour since 2001, or if you are an air traffic controller who knows what the current policy is, please let me know. I’ve been to the tower twice. It’s very educational, so if you get the chance, go.]

air traffic control tower at Tampa Airport

Besides the cool factor of looking at the radar screens and other equipment the controllers use, you also get a great view of the airplanes as they land, take off, and taxi.

control tower at Tampa Intl Airport

Our tour also included a visit to the dark room at the bottom of the control tower where the controllers who work Approach are located.

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