Rodeo in the Sky - Early Air Traffic Control

February 19, 2019

Today, Air Traffic Control towers loom over airports, bringing order and safety to a huge network of airplanes crossing the globe. But what was it like to fly in the earliest days of aviation, before radios or signal towers? Retired FAA Air Traffic Controller Helen Parke-Wall shares stories from the beginnings of ATC.

If you’ve hiked the prairies of the Midwest or the back country of the Southwestern United States, you may have stumbled across a massive, concrete arrow embedded into the ground. No, this wasn’t a relic of some long-forgotten civilization. It was one of several early attempts to help pilots find their way through the perilous skies of early aviation history. Museum of Flight Docent and retired FAA Executive/Air Traffic Controller Helen Parke-Wall sat down with us to talk about the origins of the Federal Aviation Administration.

See some of the early tools for aviation navigation and organization yourself in The Museum of Flight’s Red Barn and Great Gallery exhibits. Plan your visit at http://museumofflight.org/.

Check out Airplane Geeks Podcast episode 539, featuring Museum of Flight Docent/Boeing 747 first flight test team member Thomas Gray and The Flight Deck host Sean Mobley here: http://www.airplanegeeks.com/2019/02/13/539-boeing-747-first-flight/. Thanks Airplane Geeks for the chance to chat!

Host: Sean Mobley
Producer: Sean Mobley
Webmaster: Layne Benofsky
Content Marketing Manager: Irene Jagla

Topics: airlines, travel, Storytelling, ATC, FAA

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