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Program puts controllers near the pilot's seat

All day, almost every day, air traffic controller Chris Boughn talks to pilots. But despite one pleasantry he frequently hears - "We'll see ya soon" - the high-altitude controller rarely sees a pilot or an aircraft. It is, he says, like being a chef who has cooked for decades but never sees his customers or tastes his own food. ( More...

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linbb 0
My cuz flew jump seat many times, yes there probably were some that were free rides to somewhere but during the flight she was watching all that went on and making mental notes. I know her only too well to think that it was just a free ride and know that it was put to good use on the job.
Back when I was a controller,(MKC) we were required to either take a FAM flight on airlines or fly a rented plane IFR at least, ( I think ) quarterly. We were also all pilots before coming on board ATC. I could not imagine how one could control without having "BEEN THERE"
pfp217 0
when I was a ground agent at a smaller commuter airline, we used to offer (although sorta quietly) an unwritten program to where agents, and other employees of the operation could jumpseat as an orientation. Even if the employee was not familiar with the nuances of flight, it gave them an appreciation for what the pilots went through. We were also open to sitting in with dispatch or watching maintinence. Likewise those employees were also able to see the customer service side or other departments.

It helped the employee gain a better understanding of the whole operation and a better appreciation for their fellow employees. At ops or the ticket counter etc it's easy to blame dispatch for adding too much fuel if you don't know exactly the reasons that require it, you just know that you're going to have to tell someone they can't get on thanks to weight.
I think programs like this are great.

Also as a pilot I have visited ATC facilities as well as WX forecasting facilities. Same effect.
preacher1 0
While not participating in the earlier program, and as far as I know, not this one, when I flew corporate out of KFSM, starting with a 707 and then a 757, it was not uncommon for the tower guys or our ground guys to come out on their offtime and ride jump with us if we were were doing a maintenance hop on the bird or something short out and back like DFW. Gave everybody a lot better understanding. As low key and unstressed as KFSM tower was, when you started lining up for DFW the rapid fire began and one question always was "How do you understand all that?", and that would come from controllers on board.I would always tell them "Now you understand the reason behind the sterile cockpit rule, you got to concentrate".What was bad was that a lot of them didn't even know what I was talking
Yazoo 0
The FAA often abuses the privilege to ride the jumpseat. If a controller can ride, get training, see what it's like in the cockpit, and get to somewhere on vacation, so be it.
Ev Butler 0
Prior to 9/11, I was able to jump seat almost every time I flew. I have no problem with controllers jump seating.


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