19 July 2012

More ATC school

We're getting close to finishing the theory part of our training at the academy now. The enroute guys (and girl) start their simulator training next week. The four of us on the tower course have a couple more weeks of theory to do before we start in the sim. Wait till I show you some pictures of the 360 degree tower simulator. Computer gamers would die of envy.

It's not all classroom work though, we sometimes have field trips, like the visit to the 737 in my last blog entry. Last week we visited the Bureau of Meteorology's headquarters in the city, to see how they do the aviation forecasts.

We've also had a few visits to the tower as well, which is right next door to the academy.

This is the first ever picture of me in a control tower. Probably because I'm usually the one with the camera.
Our second visit was on Tuesday morning, just as the sun was coming up. What better place to watch the sun rise, and get paid for it at the same time.
This is Melbourne centre, where half of Australia's airspace is controlled from. Between this one and the one in Brisbane, 11% of the world's airspace is controlled. The staff canteen is also in there, so I visit at least once every day for a cooked lunch.
The new tower. It should be in service some time next year. Not many people get to see it from this angle.
Because I'm lucky enough to get weekends off, Donna and I have started exploring the area around Melbourne a bit. The weekend before last, we took a drive down to the Great Ocean Road and Cape Otway. I like visiting lighthouses and we've been to quite a few down the New South Wales coast over the years. So I was a bit disappointed by Cape Otway lighthouse. Okay, we did get to actually go to the top of the lighthouse, which is a first for us, but it's the first one we've ever visited where we had to pay to get in - $18.50 per adult. When I say "get in", that was into the grounds. You couldn't even see it from a distance if you didn't pay. The fact that none of the tables in the cafe had been cleared and there was no one to serve us for lunch was a bit slack too.

So if you're in Melbourne and want to visit a lighthouse, I'd suggest you save yourself a bit of a drive (and money) and visit the one at Point Lonsdale instead. If you want to visit the Great Ocean Road and see a lighthouse, then go to the Split Point light.

Cape Otway Lighthouse. If you keep heading south, you'll eventually bump into Antarctica.