Seeing things from the other side of the airwaves.

Neil, the ATC liason at Lyneham had arranged a tour of ATC, so I went along for the first time to see how things work over there.

Was a great insight into what goes on. We first got a tour of the radar room, and watched a Controller talking someone down on a precision approach. Then there was a bit of explanation as to how they work, and some of their pet peeves (light aircraft departing through the approach lanes seems to be their ‘favourite’!). We then heard a Hercules manoevring for a low pass and a practice drop, so we headed up to the Tower to watch from there.

The Herc was doing a full on tactical practice, that involved a low pass without lights over the field, dropping some cargo at a pre-arranged point, then a tactical night landing on 36. All we could see were his navigation lights, and all the airfield lights were off too. Very impressive!

Finally we saw a visiting Airbus being given taxy and takeoff clearances, before heading back to the radar room to watch his handoff to London. There then followed some more chat, concentrating on the procedures the Flying Club use, and some comments on what things like Microlights and Light Aircraft look like on the radar trace.

All in all, a very interesting experience, and one I would definitely recommend to any pilot if they get the chance.

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One Response to “Seeing things from the other side of the airwaves.”

  1. RAF Brize Norton visit | Andy's Blog Says:

    […] that normally we couldn’t. Before we left Lyneham, the Club’s ATC Liason arranged a visit to Air Traffic Control, and this evening Seb and Kev had arranged for a group of us to visit RAF Brize […]

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