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Aviation => Pilot/Controller Forum => Topic started by: scorpia54 on April 15, 2009, 03:53:08 AM

Title: Access to Tower
Post by: scorpia54 on April 15, 2009, 03:53:08 AM
Hi All,

I am a student pilot in Australia, I actually flew my first solo yesterday!! I am 16 years old and at school we do work experience for a week. I would like to do something with flying, but other than paperwork at my flying school not much i can do out there cause i am not qualified to instruct etc. I hold an ASIC (security card), aswell as Radiotelephony Operators license and Student pilots license and medical.

Just wondering whether it would be possible to do a week of work experience in the tower at my local aerodrome? Is it at all possible? I have security clearancess etc.

Also any other suggestions on work experience for a week in the aviation field??

Thanks and regards
Jake (PIC 0.2!!) :-D
Title: Re: Access to Tower
Post by: captray on April 15, 2009, 04:00:18 AM
Hey Jake,
Congrats on your solo! I am not sure of the rules in your country, in the US the best bet would be working at an FBO. Pumping gas, cleaning out offices even cleaning toilets (if that's what it takes). That way you are at the airport and can interact with pilots.   Why stop at a week? Is that just a school holiday? I'm sure others here will have more ideas.

Title: Re: Access to Tower
Post by: scorpia54 on April 15, 2009, 04:02:39 AM
Thx, was an uneventful solo which was good, made a nice lading as well could not have gone better! would love to also do it in school hols but i fly as much as i can then! thanks for the ideas, might be a few other options because i already hold the security clearances.
Title: Re: Access to Tower
Post by: cessna157 on April 15, 2009, 08:58:11 AM
I put myself through high school, college, and many years beyond working part time at an FBO.  Had a lot of great experiences. 

Got an employee discount on the airplane rental
Got to see/fuel/move some very cool jets/helicopters
Got a few rides in some of the mentioned planes
Even got a 6 month internship flying a CitationJet
Title: Re: Access to Tower
Post by: sykocus on April 15, 2009, 09:03:02 AM
If you were in the US I would say your best bet is try and make friends with the controllers and manager of a tower near you. The licenses you list wouldn't really help out. I haven't heard of what you are trying to do happening, but if you made a good enough impression you might be able to swing something like that at a relatively small facility, off the books of course.

As I understand it Air Services Australia runs everything down there. Since they are a private company things are probably handled differently.
Title: Re: Access to Tower
Post by: joeyb747 on April 15, 2009, 08:43:26 PM
The authorities are more likely to let you into the tower if you have an Airport ID. I've seen several towers, from the sleepy quiet airport, the medium airport, and the major commercial airport. toured the TRACON, and the tower at the big one. Pretty cool!  8-) But all those times, I had an airport ID.

I've done quite a few aspects of the aviation field myself. Spent time at a couple different airports working for the FBO, doing towing, fueling, catering, cleaning, etc. Great experiences. I have fueled everything from a C152 to a B747!

Next, spent some time as a dispatcher for a local ad-hoc freight carrier. Free travel, good people, and getting to see another facet of the aviation world. Both of these jobs were as i put myself thru MX school. I too got some rides in some pretty cool airplanes, including the L-188C and a B747!

After the freight carrier folded up and went under, I worked for a regional airline doing the ramp rat/gate agent thing. Demanding job, but great experience. Free travel, great hours, and just being at a major airport was enough for me.

Now, a mechanic, wouldn't trade anything for it.

All of the jobs in aviation that I have done have been great experiences. As far as a week only goes...not sure...but I would recommend any of the other jobs as a full-time gig! 8-)
Title: Re: Access to Tower
Post by: scorpia54 on April 16, 2009, 12:58:37 AM
thx for your tips guys, getting some more ideas, keep em coming!

my next door neighbour is the airport manager so i might have a chat to him about who to chat to out there and see what the best thing to do is. My local airport is Maroochydoore/Sunshine Coast YBMC, if this helps.
Not exactly a sleepy airport, has helicopter training area and several heli schools. Also has Singapore airlines training simulator and a fleet of Learjets. As well as this they have the local helicopter search and rescure service. There are also domestic flight arriving anywahere from 2 to 15 times or so a day, mainly A320's that sort of thing..

Keep the thoughts and suggestions coming guys i am loving them!
Title: Re: Access to Tower
Post by: Mathew on April 17, 2009, 09:47:40 AM
Hey mate.

I am a student from Victoria, organizing Work Experience as we speak. What year are you in? I'm in Year 10, which is the year we do it in. I take it you're in Year 11, being 16?

What you need to do is contact Air Services Australia. I've already been in contact with them so I know what you need to do to get delt with.

Option 1:

Call Air Services Australia (head office) on 1300 301 120 and ask to be transferred to the Recruitment Department
Don't call the recruitment line number on their website, you'll get a machine.

Option 2:

Email: avrecruit [at] - You WILL be answered through this email. I got an answer within 6 minutes today.

ASA seem to warm to the idea of Work Experience and other sneak previews like that, they seem very accommodating to us. Apparently they have Open-Days as well (well, in Melbourne).
Also mention that you have a trainee pilots license (or whatever it is), it will only drastically improve your chances.

They have several stakeholders which they liaise with to organize Work Experience for us.

Hope to hear back.
Title: Re: Access to Tower
Post by: scorpia54 on April 17, 2009, 06:54:46 PM
thanks mate that is a great help! I am actually only in year 10 at school and we do work experience in year 11, at this time will also have my private pilots license.'I currently hold an Aviation Security Identification Card which should also help because it allows me into the restricted areas like the aprons and towers.  But your help is not wasted as I would also like to do things through the school holidays when i get a chance..Good luck with your applications etc. What would you like to do for a career?
Title: Re: Access to Tower
Post by: Mathew on April 17, 2009, 09:17:20 PM
Hey mate..

If you still want to do Work Experience there, i'd suggest doing it through the appropriate channels, instead of suddenly walking into the tower, as the current staff working may not want anyone, etc. Either way you'd still have an extremely high chance of being able to..

I wish to become an En-route(probably)  Air Traffic Controller at Melbourne Airport.

Title: Re: Access to Tower
Post by: scorpia54 on April 17, 2009, 10:08:00 PM
will definately handle it through appropriate channels. Good luck in your training and i might end up receiving my instructions from u one day! Again thx for the advice much appreciated.
Title: Re: Access to Tower
Post by: Mathew on April 17, 2009, 10:33:03 PM
I appreciate it mate :D - And, perhaps one day, maybe.. hahaha

You know, perhaps even contacting the airport directly would be much easier. Since it's a smaller airport, if you explain to them and etc, I reakon you could just go directly to them.
Title: Re: Access to Tower
Post by: ccommjim on May 13, 2009, 04:56:18 PM
A lot depends on the local tower.
I fly out of Honolulu, Class Bravo so they are way more security alert.
I fly with other heli pilots from England, Germany, Japan ect.
It is funny, we can fly beside them, over Pearl Harbor sub nuke base but they will not allow non US pilots access to the tower or radar room.
I would presume that to fly around, over, beside them is way more dangerous with a helicopter, or fixed wing for that matter, full of fuel than to walk up some stairs after being security screened, patted down, no metal, keys, pens ect...
I hope you can get in as it is a great learning aid.
I was born in the US so was granted full access with a guided tour.  The technology is getting older but it still is impressive that I can be in Hawaii and monitor Iraq or Japan from here.
Way cool.