Pilot to Pilot podcast ep 022 ft James Heath: Pilot turned ATC.
What is going on Avination,
Welcome back to the Pilot to Pilot podcast, today I am talking with aviation journeyman James Heath. James is a former CFI, airline ground handler, 2x regional pilot and current air traffic controller.
In today’s episode we talk about.
- How a movie led him to aviation.
- How the book Contact led him down the path to find ET.
- How a young Eagle flight with the EAA at age 9 was one of the coolest and most terrifying things he has done.
- James was making more money playing more money playing online poker than his part-time jobs.
- How his mom saying no to dropping out of college for online poker led him to take aviation classes.
- James was hooked from his first flight at Illinois.
- Changed his major 2 years into college.
- Which in turn gave him put him on the 6-year plan.
- James’s mom made him call her before and after every flight.
- How James graduated in one of the worst times in aviation.
- Why he chose to become a flight instructor in Arizona over Illinois.
- What it was like teaching all foreign students.
- What made James think about becoming an Air Traffic Controller.
- What really sold him on ATC.
- Applied in ATC July 2009 (terrible time to apply for ATC).
- Why he left being a CFI and became a ground handler.
- How to he ended up flying caravans for the company he was a ground handler for.
- We talk about what it is like flying a Caravan into the busiest airports in the US.
- Why he chose the to fly for the regionals.
- How he chose between the different regionals at the time.
- What it was like flying at the regionals.
- How he ended up switching regionals.
- How the plans you make rarely work out in this industry.
- Why it is important to have a backup plan.
- When he finally got the call from ATC.
- How ATC hires.
- Why James decided to walk away from flying to become a controller.
- We talk In detail about what the process is to become an ATC.
- How the training to become an Air Traffic Controller is a very long process.
- It took him 25 months to become fully certified.
- A time where Washington Center told me I shouldn’t be flying tonight.
- Why he likes working low sectors.
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