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Old 15th Feb 2009, 16:57   #1 (permalink)
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UK ATC history book/articles

Wondering if anyone can help. I'm doing some research into the history of ATC in the UK and came across a series of articles in 'Transmit' 1997/1998 by John S Platt, which it says were condensed from his book 'Heavy Weather'.

I've not been able to trace this book anywhere - was it ever published? If not, does anyone have back copies of 'Transmit' covering installments 10 and up as I only have parts 1 - 9 covering up to about 1928. Scans of the pages would really be appreciated.

Cheers
Jon
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Old 15th Feb 2009, 19:26   #2 (permalink)
 
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I have been looking for this book for a long time.
I don't think it has ever been published.
A shame.
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Old 10th Jun 2017, 15:42   #3 (permalink)
 
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Heavy weather

Hello there.

I am the bloke who wrote about the history of British ATC.

The book was finished but never got published as I named people who were responsible for hindering the development of the system (not a good idea) and told the truth where blame was directed to the wrong people.

I also named those who, during WW2, were responsible for the deaths of many bomber crews and those who did the most to save them. Another bad idea!

It was never published as I insisted that nothing was omitted from it.

I told the truth, some people didn't like that.

John Platt.

PS. I would love to get copies of the stuff I wrote in "Transmit".
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Old 11th Jun 2017, 08:18   #4 (permalink)
 
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There was an article on training controllers in "The Aeroplane" 16 Feb 1951.
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Old 11th Jun 2017, 08:53   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quite a lot here: https://atchistory.wordpress.com/
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Old 11th Jun 2017, 09:12   #6 (permalink)
 
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I would love to get copies of the stuff I wrote in "Transmit".
I have some back issues in the loft. Approximate dates?
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Old 11th Jun 2017, 12:53   #7 (permalink)
 
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xpz67/ John Platt

Hi John, Good to see you posting again - about 4 months ago I posted on the ATC History thread enquiring about you and your book.
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Old 19th Jun 2017, 15:30   #8 (permalink)
 
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Hello again.

After leaving ATC I went into the music business and a Disc Jockey playing heavy metal music. My God, did I go to some wild after show parties!

I am now in a care home as I can't walk, which tends to make life somewhat difficult but I have not lost my sense of humour.

I hear that Swanwick has no sense of fun as people are apparently well seperated.

Oh, the good old days.

John Platt (or John Patrick as I was on the radio)
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Old 19th Jun 2017, 18:58   #9 (permalink)
 
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xpz67... what is it about these 'managers'? I worked for 44 years in ATC and the last 10 or so were to put it mildly... conflictive. The place from the 70's to the 90's and even further was a real example of teamwork, we all worked for each other and for the organisation. Then in came a real weather change where management was all important and anyone who brought up counter arguments or ideas was 'anti' and marked as unsuitable for the common good. Yuk speak (in Roger Bacon, of Flight magazine, terms) took over and all common sense and community spirit was lost. Am I the only one to think this?... sad really but I'm glad to be out of the bear pit. They were great days, with wonderful colleagues, dulled by 'managers'.
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Old 20th Jun 2017, 18:17   #10 (permalink)
 
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Hi again.

I remember LATCC "B" watch was fun place to work. I would have done the job for half the money. I remember those days with great affection!

I do remember changes that seemed to take the fun out the job.

I then went to Boscombe Down and have never been so scared about what I was doing but it was again good fun!

I then got diabetes and I was posted to HQ. Then my eyes were opened when I found out how they worked. How we ever did the job after what they had done to us is a miracle.

Overall, my memories of being in ATC are good.

John.
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Old 22nd Jun 2017, 14:56   #11 (permalink)
 
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Hi Jon.

If you have copies of my book from our magazine, could I have copies please.

Thank you.

John Platt.
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Old 22nd Jun 2017, 19:05   #12 (permalink)
 
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xpz67... what is it about these 'managers'? I worked for 44 years in ATC and the last 10 or so were to put it mildly... conflictive. The place from the 70's to the 90's and even further was a real example of teamwork, we all worked for each other and for the organisation. Then in came a real weather change where management was all important and anyone who brought up counter arguments or ideas was 'anti' and marked as unsuitable for the common good. Yuk speak (in Roger Bacon, of Flight magazine, terms) took over and all common sense and community spirit was lost. Am I the only one to think this?... sad really but I'm glad to be out of the bear pit. They were great days, with wonderful colleagues, dulled by 'managers'.
Personal opinion: it seemed to me that some but not all managers appointed latterly via 'assessment centres' were those who were useless at operational work. They were then sent on management courses at places like Henley where they were taught industry type management rather than public service management.
I knew a manager for instance who, having completed the cadet course, never validated on anything other than ADC, yet still became a Watch Manager.
They could also enter things on your personal file which you didn't know about but which were blatantly untrue; I only found that had happened to me shortly before I retired and it explained why when applying for jobs, I never got past the 'paper sift'.
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Old 23rd Jun 2017, 21:59   #13 (permalink)


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The good times

I retired about 15 years ago as I didn't like the way the service that I had joined was becoming "the company". Best days work I ever did since joining. As already said we had great fun at LATCC - worked hard when it was required but great banter at less busy times. I also pity those still there but I suppose these are the sentiments expressed by all successive generations of ATCOs about those that follow them.
Sorry if this is a bit disjointed but I'm not used to saying too much.
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Old 24th Jun 2017, 17:27   #14 (permalink)
 
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50+ years ago, I heard and appreciated the comment "when heads roll in this business (ATC) they roll UPHILL!" Nothing has changed! The main qualification for management is to be too dangerous to be kept on the boards!
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Old 25th Jun 2017, 12:03   #15 (permalink)
 
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50+ years ago, I heard and appreciated the comment "when heads roll in this business (ATC) they roll UPHILL!" Nothing has changed! The main qualification for management is to be too dangerous to be kept on the boards!
Pretty much correct, Andy. Although, I hope it didn't apply when I became Watch Manager !
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Old 25th Jun 2017, 12:06   #16 (permalink)
 
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At LATCC one day there was a meeting of Watch Managers and we wondered what the collective noun was for such a gathering. The winner was a "Dope of WMs"! They all took it in good heart.
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Old 25th Jun 2017, 13:49   #17 (permalink)
 
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At LATCC one day there was a meeting of Watch Managers and we wondered what the collective noun was for such a gathering. The winner was a "Dope of WMs"! They all took it in good heart.
A certain female obviously wasn't there then
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Old 25th Jun 2017, 15:01   #18 (permalink)
 
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I was always known for my outspoken criticism of managers and in fact my No2 son who is at Swanwick often tells me that these days I would be sacked for some of my previous form, however I have never entirely agreed with the view that ATCOs who get promoted were useless operationally.

At Heathrow I can recall several first class controllers who became 'seduced' by the idea of promotion, Paul Louden being the prime example, but Paul Wilson, Brandon Chapman etc were no slouches either. I know one or two decided to try their luck because they did not fancy the thought of being either Tower only at LL or Approach only at LATCC. It has always been my view that the splitting of Tower and Approach at the LTMA airfields and possibly even TMA and En-Route was the most crass and costly decision ever made by management.

Of course there were examples that were useless and became managers, 'no names and no pack drill' as the old saying goes!
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Old 26th Jun 2017, 14:15   #19 (permalink)


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When we had Watch Supervisors ( before they took the title Watch Manager) they stayed in their office letting the troops get on with the job in the full knowledge that as professionals a competent and smooth service would be provided to all airspace users. When they changed to WMs it appeared they had to justify this title so proceeded to think up ways to make life for all alot more difficult. As I said in an earlier post it changed from a service to "the company".

I need a lie down now I don't normally say this much.
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Old 26th Jun 2017, 15:10   #20 (permalink)
 
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As well as "the company" I also used to get steamed up by the words "Our customers".
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