Debating Between Facilities, Help?

Stinger

Epic Member
May 24, 2009
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You're comparing FAT's tower to the other facilities. Not apples to apples. Radar is where most people struggle at up/downs. The simple fact that it has an approach control doesn't bump it up 2 levels, they actually run traffic down there.
It's exactly apples to apples. The numbers I posted were the totals for 2014 in the tower. FATs tracon count last year was 152,823. Added together and you still have less than SNAs tower only ops.
 

TimShady

Senior Analyst
Mar 12, 2009
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All I'm saying is that implying that FAT is easy because it is an 8 up/down as opposed to an 8 tower is misleading to people who don't know any better. Sure FAT's tower is probably slower and easier in general than SNA but you have to point out that that's only half the facility. And radar is normally the harder of the two at up/downs.
 

FL_CTI

Trusted Member
Oct 8, 2009
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I would reccomend a busy Class D airport. This is where you will REALLY learn how to sequence. SEE and PAO, from what I understand, are both crazy busy and you will definitely learn a lot about the job. The best radar controllers I know came from Class D airports. It will definitely help you in the radar environment. Just my .02
 

JamesEarlJones

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2014
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I would reccomend a busy Class D airport. This is where you will REALLY learn how to sequence. SEE and PAO, from what I understand, are both crazy busy and you will definitely learn a lot about the job. The best radar controllers I know came from Class D airports. It will definitely help you in the radar environment. Just my .02

Agree 100%
 

JamesEarlJones

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2014
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youll have better luck moving around when you have radar experience...and the higher level the experience is from the easier it is to move.

In all reality... this is only true if you want to move to a combined Tower/Tracon or a Tracon..
But the majority of Major towers in the FAA are stand alone. The Majority of the west coast is tower only.... these people are still progressing into the SFO LAX PHX of the FAA.

Centennial controllers get pulled for Denver Tower. VFR controllers in the Phoenix area get pulled for PHX... San Diego and LA area controllers get pulled for LAX. It happens all the time.
 

Jax

Senior Analyst
Nov 17, 2010
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I know a guy who used to work SNA, They move planes there apparently, LOTS. My advice would be to call the facilities and talk to the union rep/maybe a few controllers ask a few questions about the training program, morale, management climate etc, and pick where you are most comfortable, also cost of living was mentioned that is a big one when you are on scum of the earth training pay. I'd also say balance your want of money at that level 8 with the fact that you are a probationary employee and it doesn't hurt to go somewhere lower level for your first facility and get your feet wet if you have no prior experience. This is coming from a guy that got thrown into a level 12 TRACON for his first FAA facility (with a solid background of prior tower experience), washed out with a quickness and had to worry about keeping his job (I did, now at a tower and couldn't be happier). Getting good experience and a solid foundation of skills is more important at this point in your career than $$. That's my 2 cents.
I didn't see you the last week you were here, so didn't have time to say goodbye. Best of luck!
 

harv

Senior Member
Jun 15, 2008
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The bigger towers want ppl with some radar experience as well. Phoenix tower had a bid out earlier last year. The facrep I spoke with stated that without radar, it was highly unlikely to get picked up. Not impossible but unlikely, unless you were already in that district. LAS bid that came out 2x had radar cert as a requirement for the bid.

The level 8 up/down gives you the most opportunity to transfer to almost any facility. But ultimately, pick some place you would like to live for the next 3 year's, because that's how long you should plan to be stuck there.
 

CR88

Newcomer
Oct 14, 2012
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I'm At a level 6 VFR tower in south Fl. If you put in the work you can get picked up anywhere. I'm going to a level 10 and a coworker just got picked up at a 12 up/down.
 

Delta

Junior Member
Mar 18, 2014
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This may have been asked already, but I can't find the answer.

Say you're at the top of your class at the academy, can you pick from ANY of the locations off of the list or only from the locations in the service area you originally put when you applied???
 

Gmonie

Senior Member
Feb 28, 2014
185
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California
This may have been asked already, but I can't find the answer.

Say you're at the top of your class at the academy, can you pick from ANY of the locations off of the list or only from the locations in the service area you originally put when you applied???
Only your service area.
 

harv

Senior Member
Jun 15, 2008
240
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I'm At a level 6 VFR tower in south Fl. If you put in the work you can get picked up anywhere. I'm going to a level 10 and a coworker just got picked up at a 12 up/down.
Congrats on MIA. They have no problem picking somebody up from inside the district. Other facilities do. I went from a 7 VFR tower to a 9 up/down in district. They don't call it Paradise for nothing.
 

soonerkid

Rookie
Sep 11, 2008
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You're kind of proving my point. I said it's easier to Move around in the faa if you have level 8 up down experience vs level 8 tower only. How many high level (10 and up being the standard) tower only vs combined facility/ Tracon are there? All things being equal i think more often than not the person with radar experience will get selected over somebody who doesn't.
 

phillyman2633

Epic Member
May 13, 2010
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You're kind of proving my point. I said it's easier to Move around in the faa if you have level 8 up down experience vs level 8 tower only. How many high level (10 and up being the standard) tower only vs combined facility/ Tracon are there? All things being equal i think more often than not the person with radar experience will get selected over somebody who doesn't.
What if you're going from a Level 7 tower only to a Level 10 tower only? They could probably give a shit if you have radar experience, they would probably prefer someone from a 7 tower only as opposed to a 7 up/down because radar experience doesn't do shit for you up in the cab and someone from a 7 tower only is working much more tower traffic than a combined up/down of the same level or even a Level or 2 higher. A level 7 tower only pushes out more tower traffic than a level 9 up/down.

JFK would probably much rather someone from a Level 8 tower only (FLL) as opposed to a Level 8 up/down (LIT) getting a dick-ton less tower traffic. Also, when you're talking about the really big up/downs (MIA, PHL, etc...), most of those places are really basically split facilities. If you're certed in the tower, you're usually only certified on one scope downstairs, and if you're a radar guy, you're all downstairs and no upstairs.
 
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JamesEarlJones

Senior Member
Jan 9, 2014
258
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What if you're going from a Level 7 tower only to a Level 10 tower only? They could probably give a shit if you have radar experience, they would probably prefer someone from a 7 tower only as opposed to a 7 up/down because radar experience doesn't do shit for you up in the cab and someone from a 7 tower only is working much more tower traffic than a combined up/down of the same level or even a Level or 2 higher. A level 7 tower only pushes out more tower traffic than a level 9 up/down.

JFK would probably much rather someone from a Level 8 tower only (FLL) as opposed to a Level 8 up/down (LIT) getting a dick-ton less tower traffic. Also, when you're talking about the really big up/downs (MIA, PHL, etc...), most of those places are really basically split facilities. If you're certed in the tower, you're usually only certified on one scope downstairs, and if you're a radar guy, you're all downstairs and no upstairs.
I try to tell people this.. but it's usually people that have only been in an up/down that don't get it. Up down towercabs are drastically slower than there "numerical level" tower only counterparts. Plus there is a lot more "sequencing" done in stand alone towers, from the local control position.
 

soonerkid

Rookie
Sep 11, 2008
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Middle of Nowhere
Lol I get it. One facility is doing one function and the other facility is doing 2 functions And they're both doing similar traffic numbers. what facility did the kid pick?