What do Air Traffic Controllers do?
This resource is suitable for use with students interested in careers as air traffic controllers or elsewhere in aviation; and those who simply want to learn more about the work done by air traffic controllers. It includes information on the first air traffic controller and the responsibilities of present-day controllers.
Most of the time, air traffic controllers work to assure that airplanes stay separated from each other in flight. Sometimes, though, they provide a lifeline for pilots facing emergency situations.
This resource package provides teachers with a (non-editable) PDF slideshow that describes and explains three real-life emergency situations
in which individual air traffic controllers provided assistance so significant that they were awarded the National Air Traffic Controllers Association’s revered “Archie League Medal of Safety” (named in honor of Archie League, the first air traffic controller).
At the end of each flight assist section in the slideshow is a live link and QR code
that takes you to a YouTube video
prepared by NATCA providing recorded audio highlights of the emergency event and the controller’s response. The three video segments combined take about 14 minutes to view.
In addition to the slideshow with video links
, the resource package includes editable “guided notes” for students in Microsoft Word format and PDF. There are also live links attached to most of the resource websites and web pages listed at the end of the slideshow—including links to news articles about the flight assist emergencies if you wish to explore some of that material with your class.
Your students will learn some of the aviation jargon used in air traffic controller communications and hear outstanding examples of the skill controllers need to respond to time-critical emergencies in a way that helps bring pilots and their passengers safely home.
The three emergency situations (that really happened) are:
1. A U.S. Marine Corps fighter jet—an F-18 “Hornet” —is low on fuel over the Bering Sea when an engine goes out.
2. A severe weather situation: A small airplane (Piper PA-32R-301T) is in the clouds, near thunderstorm cells, when onboard navigation instruments begin to fail.
3. The pilot of a twin-engine Piper PA-23-250 “Aztec” airplane loses both engines while flying in clouds, and does not have sufficient altitude to glide to the nearest airport runway.
Questions? Email me at: Valerie172n@gmail.com.
This product is also available as part of a bundle:
Aviation Explorer Bundle for Ninth (and nearby grades)
BGI (Basic Ground Instructor) and
Instrument-Rated Private Pilot
Please remember that this product is sold for use by a single user in a single classroom, home or office; reuse, repackaging, alteration, uploading or reposting online in any form is prohibited. You may purchase additional licenses of this product for friends and colleagues at a discount through your TpT account. Thank you for respecting my copyright.
Other titles you might like include:
• Aeronautical Charts for Everyone
• Internet Aviation Scavenger Hunt — Pilots and Legends
• Student Aviation Bundle, Grades 7,8,9 and 10
• Five Hazardous Attitudes in History
• Wind Triangle Geometry—Earth, Wind and Airplanes, How Pilots Adjust for Wind