Air Traffic Controller (with Gabe Koa)

People are like, “Oh, you’re an air traffic controller!” And then they start making motions with their hands like they’re directing the plane.

Have you ever thought about how much we take flying for granted?  For one, the fact that we can even get off the ground is borderline miraculous.  Something about thrust and lift, but it might as well be witchcraft as far as I’m concerned.  Second is the fact that we manage to do so safely.  Have you ever been in a plane crash?  Do you know anyone that has ever been in a plane crash?  Now replace the word plane with car and think of how many stories you can come up with.  Would you ever take a long distance vacation if plane crashes were that common?  The safety of air travel is pretty amazing, but not an accident or a fluke.  It’s due to people like today’s guest, Gabe Koa.  Gabe is an air traffic controller and he’ll give us a rundown on what a day in the life is like for one of the most important jobs in existence.

We look over and we see smoke coming up…and they couldn’t tell us what was going on.
We leave home at home once we enter the facility…We live in two separate worlds.


1:30 - Do people always want to know what it’s like to be an air traffic controller?

4:00 - Dealing with the stress.

4:45 - The different types of air traffic controllers, and how they impact the flight.

11:10 - Who makes sure a plane won’t just hit another plane in mid-air?

12:50 - Does the pilot have to check in every time he enters a new air space?

14:15 - Are take offs and landings really the most dangerous part of flying?

16:15 - Can a large commuter plane glide to safety if the engine goes out?

17:45 - What are the orders a pilot has to obey vs. suggestions they can deviate from?

19:45 - Why planes can’t just be directed by robots.

21:15 - Stressful situations.

28:00 - Scary things Gabe witnessed.

30:00 - Do you have to work at small airports before you can move on to larger ones?

31:25 - The benefits of being an air traffic controller.

32:20 - Can you get up and go pee, or do you have to stay ‘on watch’?

33:18 - Pay for an air traffic controller.

35:45 - How Gabe ended up an air traffic controller.

36:45 - Who would you recommend as a good fit for air traffic control?

38:45 - How to get into air traffic control?


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Blake Fletcher

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