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Date:4/21/2014 1:48:10 AM
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Dixie's Helicopter Ride. Part 9
The Tower
Popeye and Dixie reach the top and step into the air traffic control area (30). “Hi guys”, Popeye says as she walks over to the windows, followed by Dixie. “Guys, this Dixie. He flew with me today. Dixie this is Ted and Roy. Ted’s wearing the red shirt with palm trees on it and he’s in charge of everything in the air. Roy handles “ground control” He’s in charge of everything NOT in the air. Looks like you have some Cub Scouts up here, too. Ted looks over and says “Hi Dixie. Welcome to Fullerton air traffic control. Here, let me show you around. Here’s where I work (31). In front of me are my radio controls. I just have to push one of the buttons and I can talk on different frequencies. But most of the time I stay on one channel. All the way over to the right are some dials that give me wind direction, wind speed and barometric pressure. These are important to any plane that is taking off of landing.” Popeye comments on the walkie-talkie sitting on the console. “Ah yes, Popeye. Believe it or not, that’s our backup radio system.” (32). Here Dixie, come closer and you can get a better look at my radio control panel” (33). Popeye points to the panel that is labeled ‘High Voltage’. Ted says; “Oh yes, that panel (34) controls all the lights on the field. The blue runway lights. The amber taxiway lights. The runway landing strobes. All the lighting necessary for safe airport operation. And right above the lighting panel is the most important tool we have. The radar (35). This screen covers a large area but our controlled space is shown by the dash lines on the screen (36). We are responsible for all air traffic in this area. To the north and east is Ontario airport. To the west is Los Angeles center. To the south is Los Alamitos Naval Air Station and to the southwest is Long Beach airport. As an airplane approaches the edge of our area I advise them co contact the next controlling airport, just like I told you to contact Long Beach when you left the Fullerton Area.”
Popeye points to the other side of the area. “Dixie, Roy is controlling all ground traffic on the field (37). He can actually be much busier than Ted. He has to handle, not only airplanes and helicopters, but also cars, trucks and people. Anyone or anything that moves on the field has to talk to Roy before they can move. He has to make sure that nothing and nobody runs into each other.”
Popeye points to the windows. Here Dixie, come over to the windows and take a look at the field (38), (39), (40). It’s a pretty good view from up here.”
Popeye looks at her watch again and says, “The limo should be here soon. Let’s go downstairs to the pilot’s lounge and wait.”
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