19 November, 2001
Nov 19th- Air Traffic Control
Today I had the opportunity to enter the control tower/ weather observation tower located out at the ice runway. The air traffic controllers give the go ahead to the planes that are taking off and landing. They are in charge of keeping track of the runways and the whereabouts of the planes. While I was in the tower, a C-130 Hercules took off and a Twin Otter landed. What was really interesting about it was watching and listening to the air traffic controllers on the radio.
They use a special code to stand for individual letters when they speak over the radio. For example, if they wanted to say that a C-130 airplane was taking off, they might say, "Charlie 130 clear for take-off". Instead of saying "C-130", they use the word Charlie to stand for the "C". This is done to avoid misunderstandings between those speaking and those listening. This coded alphabet has been used by the military for many years. It is amazing to hear the people talk back and forth over the radio. They rattle things off like it is a second language!
Here is the complete list for the alphabet:
A= alpha N= November
B= bravo O= Oscar
C= Charlie P= papa
D= delta Q= Quebec
E= echo R= Romeo
F= foxtrot S= Sierra
G= golf T= tango
H= hotel U= uniform
I= India V=Victor
J= Juliette W= whiskey
K= kilo X= x-ray
L= Lima Y= Yankee
M= Mike Z= zulu
Can you say your initials using this code?
In addition to the air traffic controllers, there was a guy up in the tower who was in charge of making and relaying weather observations to pilots and others. All of the guys in the tower have very important jobs that involve the safety of everyone! I was glad to have had the opportunity to visit the tower!
I would like to say a special hello to the fifth graders and teachers at Olympic School! I am so excited that you are all following my adventure in the Antarctic! Hopefully I will get a chance to visit you when I get back. Take care of my mother-in-law, Mrs. Curtis!!
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