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Messages - Harold Rutila

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The Control Room Floor / Radar tracking at TWR level
« on: April 29, 2012, 10:27:21 PM »
Quote from: Jonathan Cox
I've heard of some ARTCCs that have their tower controllers actually radar track aircraft, like overflights through the airspace. Others don't.  Supposedly, we can't teach S2s the procedure since it's not part of the official VATUSA training, meaning we'd only be able to do it at designated major airports. Is that correct? Also, I'm curious what the reasons are for and against tower controllers using radar tracking.

Hey Jonathan,

First, there is no official VATUSA training. There are, however, official rating training standards in the GRP.

The only legitimate reason I would not allow an S2 to track any aircraft is if they don't know the concepts of radar. If they're midway through S3 training and/or know how to apply radar separation AND they understand the concepts of vertical and lateral airspace boundaries (ie. the tower's airspace boundaries), then more power to them. For me, it's based on what they know, not what rating they have.

Real world local control positions that track aircraft are known as LRACs -- limited radar approach controls. In these cases the overlying TRACON has delegated to local control airpsace in which it can apply radar separation using approved equipment, as opposed to being limited to applying only visual separation or time-based separation between aircraft. It is important to have tower airspace boundaries outlined in an SOP to most effectively use this procedure. Tower should already know what airspace it owns to begin with, but a lot of controllers don't realize that this is the case.

The Control Room Floor / Reactivating my controller staus
« on: April 18, 2012, 09:56:25 PM »
Hi Adam,

For further issues, contact me via harold at

The Classroom (Controller Tips) / Controlling the Arrivals
« on: March 14, 2012, 10:19:38 PM »
Quote from: Michael Martin
Seeing as there is no requirement in the GRP that mentions the MVA, an S3 is not required to have knowledge of the MVA.
There's also no requirement that controllers operate their radar client with their monitors or speakers turned on. That's a ridiculous argument.

The Classroom (Controller Tips) / Controlling the Arrivals
« on: March 14, 2012, 09:24:35 PM »
Quote from: Tim Roden
There are mountains that you have to navigate through and around to reach airports  you start vectoring and the next thing you know, you vector someone into a mountain.  Of course as a pilot, I have to right to say "unable" to any direction given by ATC.  The final decision for safety is in the hands of the pilot.
You may have a right to say unable, but just because you're near mountains doesn't mean your safety is being compromised. We have pilots calling Denver Center occasionally saying, "Denver Center, just wanted to confirm with you that we're close to some mountains," which is really no different than calling New York Departure and confirming that they're flying over some skyscrapers. Vectoring 101 teaches us to vector at or above the MVA, and if people can't do that by the time they're an S3, then it would be interesting to know why not.

The Classroom (Controller Tips) / Controlling the Arrivals
« on: February 29, 2012, 11:03:21 PM »
Use the STAR as your tool. If you have traffic, use it. If there's one guy flying it, take him off and get him on the ground. I couldn't care less if a pilot complained, quite honestly.

General Discussion / Denver FNO Video
« on: February 25, 2012, 02:25:09 PM »
I'd like to thank everyone who flew into Denver last night! We had an incredibly successful FNO with over 160 movements into and out of Denver International Airport. The major traffic push took place about an hour into the event. All of our controllers worked very hard to ensure this ran smoothly. Pilots, your holds were beautiful and helped us out a great bit during a small hiccup within Denver Approach airspace. You can watch the whole video below:

And just a reminder...we have one more event tonight!

General Discussion / Thank You and Farewell!
« on: February 20, 2012, 03:32:48 PM »
Quote from: Don Desfosse
Alex, you have truly left an amazing legacy.  I am sorry to hear this news, but wish you all the best.
A salute to you, Alex! Enjoy the time away from staff duties.

General Discussion / OTS Tonight
« on: February 03, 2012, 01:21:27 AM »
He sure did! We had 21 aircraft fly in over the course of two hours. Around 4 aircraft were in the pattern for a good 45 minutes plus landing and departing traffic. Ben handled it very, very well.

Thanks to all who saw the request and flew in. I greatly appreciated it.

General Discussion / OTS Tonight
« on: January 30, 2012, 10:09:39 AM »
I am sending out a request for some traffic at the Colorado Springs Airport (KCOS) later tonight for the purpose of having an S2 OTS. Ben Gustafson will be staffing Springs Tower for an American Virtual Airlines fly-out. I am particularly seeking some arrivals into the airport as well as VFR pattern work and IFR/VFR practice approaches. The fly-out begins at 0100Z. Thanks!

Simple Insanity / Okay,Are We Having FUN?!
« on: January 16, 2012, 11:01:21 PM »
This is even funnier. The controller had just come out of the TRACON and obviously forgot what position he was now working.

Simple Insanity / Now I get it!
« on: January 13, 2012, 10:48:37 PM »
Reference 2:11 of that video:

Meanwhile, "Douglas 22D, say intentions." "Douglas 22D, Denver Center, over." "Douglas 22D, Center."


General Discussion / Another time lapse vid
« on: January 02, 2012, 04:23:35 PM »
Quote from: Gavin Bernard
How do you manage to record your radar? Sorry for the obvious question.
We had Noah recording Denver Approach and Marcus recording Denver Center. What you have to do is open a new window in VRC, set it to what you want to record, then set the recording software (presumably CamStudio..not sure what they use) to record that window.

General Discussion / Another time lapse vid
« on: January 01, 2012, 07:35:34 PM »
Quote from: Don Desfosse
Brilliant!  You can tell Christmas is over, though....  You had a gazillion green blips but not a complementary number of red ones for the holidays....   Great job!
Oh Don, trust me...I had two too many. In the words of UAL005, "It's okay, it was a little more exciting this way." If anything, the Christmas spirit was (thankfully) still around.  

General Discussion / Another time lapse vid
« on: January 01, 2012, 01:08:06 AM »
Quote from: Gene Cao
Me thinks the first one broke...
The first one should be this:

The Control Room Floor / Need C1s for an Event
« on: December 26, 2011, 12:08:44 AM »
Thank you, gentlemen. I'll be in contact with you shortly.

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