ATC IssuesA place where pilots may enter the 'lions den' that is Air Traffic Control in complete safety and find out the answers to all those obscure topics which you always wanted to know the answer to but were afraid to ask.
Having recently met 2 controllers in person I came away with a slightly negative opinion. The level of arrogance was somewhat surprising. I distinctly got the impression they liked to be the best and certainly didn't like feeling "inadequate", especially against a pilot! It was a very uncomfortable situation, albeit social (!) but are controllers in general overly confident? Why? Maybe the two I met had power issues or were bitter.
Just my 2 penny worth. I think controllers maybe have to be a little more confident/arrogant than even airline pilots. It seems to me that any self doubt would be a great hindrance to a successful career in ATC.
Admitedly there are a few who are so wrapped up in their own self importance they can't remember their own names, (they are usually managers or aspiring managers). But the majority of us enjoy the job and the benefits it brings too much to give a to 2 hoots about the things that inflate their ego's.
Depends on where the controllers work and what sort of traffic levels and complexity they have to contend with.
Those that work in the most intense situations for example, the London TMA inbound/outbound radar controllers do probably come across in this way: but as a mangement controller once said said "If you havn't got the ba**s and the bottle, you couldn't hack the job".
Someone who works at a relatively quiet location in uncomplicated airspace is probably going to be a loss less 'punchy' (and will no doubt, live longer...)
The best comparison with pilots is with military 'fast-jet' types at one end of the spectrum and GA civil flying instructors at the other. Both are professionally qualified doing essential flying jobs. But the latter doesn't require quite the same mental approach or attitude (except when the student's frighteningly incompetent!!).
Niknak sums it up perfectly. A level of self confidence is certainly required, but arrogance certainly isn't a common trait. As to feeling inadequate, I find that a stange word to use. The greatest thing about the job is that when you take your headset off and walk out the door, you know if you did a good job or not. You try to provide the best service you can, no matter where you are in the world.
I was wondering the same thing, yaffs. Whose perception was it that they felt inadequate next to a pilot? The pilot's? Was he perhaps a little perturbed that they didn't seem to feel inadequate against him? Who knows?
I tend to disagree with Jerricho a little here, I don't think there's any doubt that a certain level of arrogance exists, almost as a requirement for the job. The crossover between self-confidence and arrogance is a thin one, and very much in the eye of the beholder.
Anyway... We're all like that. Insufferable. Can you blame us? We save you from yourselves and this is the thanks we get? You have the nerve to complain? Are we controllers up there trying to run into you? No sir. It's other pilots. But enough of this...
I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a pilot who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very separation I provide, then questions the manner in which I boast about it while I'm drinking. I'd prefer you just said “thank you” and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you get checked out on a position and work it.
Typical TRACON R/T: "United 52 Heavy five miles from Limma turn left heading 270 maintain three thousand two hundred until established on the localizer cleared ILS runway 25 left approach."
Oh lordy if only it were that simple in the uk...
typical enroute (TRACON) r/t:
Spanair 1156: London Spanair 1156 London: Spanair 1156 go ahead? Spanair 1156: errrr spanair 1156 level 330 London: <slowly and clearly> Spanair 1156 london roger route direct avant then midhurst, ockham, hemel, Pigot 1 juliet arrival for East Midlands.
London: Spanair 1156 did you copy? route avant, midhurst ockham hemel Pigot 1 juliet arrival for east midlands. Spanair 1156: Roger route kathy midhhhhurst hhhhemel ockhhhham.