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Every Day Is a Training Day: Gordon Graham Says Excellence Must Be the Norm
“Excellence has got to be the norm, not the deviation,” says risk management expert and 2018 NATCA Sentinel of Safety Award winner Gordon Graham in the second installment of his new video series promoting both the theme for NATCA’s Communicating For Safety (CFS) conference (Sept. 16-18, Bally’s Las Vegas) and NATCA’s ongoing effort to change the way the workforce perceives training. Graham emphasizes it is not OK to be excellent only most of the time. It must be all of the time. “We’re not occasionally excellent. Excellence has got to permeate everything we do,” he said. “Your job is so filled with risk. We have got to make sure that everyone understands what their role is, regardless of what you do in your facility.” View video .
Recognizing Our Archie League Winners
We are beginning our summer series of introducing the 2019 Archie League Medal of Safety Award winners. Starting in this issue and continuing in coming weeks, we will present their remarkable saves performed in the past year throughout the country. All of our winners will be recognized at the annual Archie League Medal of Safety Award Banquet on Sept. 18 at Bally's Las Vegas, to close out NATCA's Communicating For Safety conference.

The flyin g public doesn't always get to thank aviation safety professionals for the work you do daily, performing with 100 percent accuracy, 100 percent of the time. We at NATCA thank all of you for the work you do, keeping millions of passengers safe daily.
New England Region: Christopher Corcoran (PVD)
Instrument flight rules (IFR) conditions were in place across a large area of southeastern Massachusetts on June 24, 2018, affecting air traffic of all types and altitudes.
The pilot of a single-engine Cessna 182 Skylane, flying with two passengers to New Bedford Regional Airport (EWB), located between Providence, R.I., and Cape Cod, found himself stuck above heavy cloud cover. Making matters much more serious, he was having instrument problems and was unable to navigate. He was unable to maintain neither altitude nor speed.
The pilot, who was IFR-rated, made three unsuccessful attempts to land using the Runway 5 instrument landing system (ILS) at New Bedford. All three failures were due to navigational issues. After the third attempt, in which the pilot approached the runway at 600 feet below the published altitude due to unreliable instruments, Providence ATCT (PVD) controller Chris Corcoran, working in the facility’s terminal radar approach control room, instructed the pilot to land at Providence – the airport with the most favorable weather in the immediate vicinity.
But the pilot stated that he did not have approach plates – printed charts for instrument approach procedures – for Providence and he was continuing to have navigational issues causing speed and altitude fluctuations. Read more .
Alaskan Region: Gabriel Zeifman (JNU)
On the night of April 9, 2019, recently certified professional controller (CPC) Gabriel Zeifman was alone in the tower cab at Juneau International Airport (JNU). The pilot of a 1979 Mooney M20J, N201N, was on one of the last legs of a cross-country trip from his home in Hartford, Conn. He departed from Fairbanks, Alaska, and was near completion of the four hour, eight minute flight through unfamiliar terrain.

With no moon to illuminate the terrain and clouds obscuring the landscape, Zeifman feared that the pilot did not have the airport in sight and would be unable to orient himself to complete the visual approach. The pilot stated that he was, “cleared for visual and lost track of time.” At this point, Zeifman began to question if he was in fact cleared for the visual as he appeared confused, disoriented, and tired. Read more .
NATCA Takes Pride in Solidarity
NATCA members concluded Pride Month in June by participating in activities in Chicago and San Francisco.

Nearly two dozen NATCA members at Chicago O'Hare ATCT (ORD) were ready to participate in the Chicago Pride Parade on June 30 with NATCA T-shirts and banner. Unfortunately, the celebration was cut short when Chicago Police cancelled the parade and cleared the route in anticipation of severe weather. As a result, NATCA’s Chicago members were not able to march. But the rain didn’t stop the celebration, as members captured the spirit and essence of pride.

ORD member Nick Luce worked to organize the NATCA contingent for the Chicago Parade. “A lot of ORD members wanted to participate, and people came up to me wanting to know how they could help,” Luce said. “We are excited to start planning for next year, now that we know we have a confirmed spot in the 2020 parade.”
Also on June 30, across the country, NATCA members, family, and friends marched in the San Francisco Pride Parade. Donning their NATCA Pride T-shirts, the contingency, including Western Pacific Regional Vice President (RVP) Joel Ortiz, Northwest Mountain RVP Alex Navarro, and Southwest RVP Andrew LeBovidge, affirmed that solidarity includes everyone.

“The solidarity shown at these and other events is one of the reasons our Union is and will continue to be one of the leading labor organizations in the country and the world,” LeBovidge said. 

“We had more than 35 members, family, and friends march in the parade,” said Ortiz. “They came from multiple facilities around California, including Oakland Center (ZOA), San Francisco ATCT (SFO), Oakland ATCT (OAK), Santa Rosa/Sonoma County ATCT (STS), and Livermore ATCT (LVK).” 

When we join together, we can work for a better, brighter future for everyone.
Fighting the Good Fight
Retired Lifetime NATCA Member Isabel Cole has spent the last 30 years fighting passionately for workers’ rights, first with our Union and then in the state of Washington. She was recently appointed to the important and influential role of Labor Board Member with the Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals (BIIA). Workers’ compensation cases appealed in Washington are heard by the BIIA. 

But Cole’s career as an air traffic controller began, as she put it, “as a matter of happenstance.” In fact, if anyone had asked her what career she wanted to pursue, she would not have said air traffic controller. 

“I saw an ad in the paper for a class about being an air traffic controller, and I had no idea what they did,” Cole said. “I was a 911 dispatcher, and I was just looking for a part-time job to work on the side.” Read more .
NATCA News and Notes
NATCA Becomes Flight Safety Foundation Benefactor
NATCA recently became a benefactor of the Flight Safety Foundation (FSF). As a member of FSF, NATCA will be able to participate in pertinent safety discussions, while also including our counterparts from air traffic controller unions around the globe through the Global Air Traffic Controllers Alliance. This is another step in the right direction to ensure we have the right people at the table to have these critical discussions that impact the national and international aviation workforce.

FSF is an international, non-profit organization exclusively chartered to provide impartial, independent, expert safety guidance and resources for the aviation and aerospace industry. Founded in 1947, the Foundation serves as a catalyst to address and identify global safety issues and sets priorities through data collection, information sharing, education, advocacy, and communications. Information provided by FSF is useful to NATCA members' daily operations.

“The FSF is a great organization that NATCA has worked with for many years,” said NATCA National Safety Chair Steve Hansen. “Elevating our membership to the benefactor level strengthens our partnership and allows us to be more involved in important safety discussions that impact not only the U.S., but the larger international aviation industry as a whole.”
Santa Rosa Airport Hosts Pilot/Controller Forum
NATCA National Runway Safety Rep Bridget Singratanakul (Gee) had the opportunity to participate in a pilot/controller forum at Santa Rosa (Calif.) Airport. The pilot community was provided with national and local wrong surface data, and was given the opportunity to assist in developing potential mitigations regarding wrong surface events at Santa Rosa/Sonoma County ATCT (STS). "The pilot/controller forum was a great display of collaboration between multiple industry stakeholders,” said Singratanakul (Gee). “The camaraderie amongst the aviation community was truly present. Safety works best when people work together, and I feel fortunate to have been brought into their community to discuss wrong surface." The forum took place prior to the STS Special Focus Runway Safety Action Team meeting which hosted over 110 attendees.
Members Brave the Elements to Work NASCAR Detail
Chicago/DuPage ATCT (DPA) member Alyssa Kurenyshev worked in the LOT temporary tower at Chicagoland Speedway for the 2019 NASCAR Summer Festival during the last week of June. “When I first drove up to the tower, I had to let out a little laugh. I knew it was a mobile trailer, but I didn't know it literally was a trailer with a tower affixed to it. We could fit 3 chairs in the cab. Anything more than that and we would have been bumping into each other,” she said. In the four days Kurenyshev and the other members were there, they experienced issues with the radar, Flight Data Input/Output (FDIO), shout lines, and at one point had to evacuate due to 55 knot (or approximately 63 MPH) winds. Kurenyshev said one of her favorite moments was seeing all the cars coming back from the final race. “We had around 40 instrument flight rules (IFR) departures, and they all wanted to depart at the same time!” But despite the traffic rush, Kurenyshev said everything ran smoothly during the departure push. “Even with all the hiccups, we had, I would absolutely do it again, and am happy I got the opportunity to work this detail.”
Members Host SHE Can STEM Campers
On June 26, NATCA members at Potomac TRACON (PCT) and the Command Center (DCC) hosted young explorers with a passion for learning and aviation on facility tours and to learn about careers in aviation as part of the Smithsonian’s SHE Can STEM Summer Camp. 

PCT Vice President Amy Lark began the tour at PCT by launching a high-altitude weather balloon. After a tour of the Command Center, hosted by DCC FacRep Scott Farrow, students received hands-on air traffic control instruction using simulators at PCT. 

Students in grades six through eight were invited to participate in this specialty summer camp. The camp's goal is to engage and empower underrepresented youth to pursue STEM careers in the future. The camp offers students opportunities to learn about aviation fields, to test aerodynamics during indoor skydiving experiences, to solve design challenges, and to take a discovery flight with a local flight school. For more information, please visit the website .
ZOB Member Participates in Elementary School Career Day
Last month, Cleveland Center (ZOB) member Eric Orlando represented aviation safety professions as part of a career day at Mapleton Elementary School in Ashland, Ohio. Along with more than 20 representatives from other professions, Orlando shared about his career as an air traffic controller with more than 80 fifth grade students throughout the day. He used a FALCON (video replay of airport operational areas), maps, pictures, and reading material to provide a glimpse into the daily life of an en route air traffic controller. 

“Students were able to see what we do on a daily basis and realize that a lot goes into their trip to Disney,” Orlando said. “At the end of the day, each student had to pick three careers to 'submit a resume' for jobs they were interested in. It was wonderful to see how many students chose to submit a resume to me to become an air traffic controller.”

Even after the career day presentations, Orlando said several other presenters approached him to ask about his profession. 

“Many of them either had no idea we existed, thought we were the people with the orange cones, or that we only worked in a big tower at the airport." he said.
Sharing Knowledge at DHS Q&A Session
Potomac TRACON (PCT) members Covey Spadel, Johnny Sanders, and Dewayne Vaughan, and Command Center (DCC) member Dan Kerr participated in a training day Q&A session during a quarterly safety stand down for the Department of Homeland Security Customs and Border Patrol Air Interdiction Unit operating out of Manassas Airport in Virginia. The unit operates four round trip flights daily, as well as ad hoc missions as necessary, under the Omaha callsign primarily around the National Capital Region. 

“It is the hope by all involved that this will be the first of many regular mutual outreach sessions to help each side become more familiar with what the other does and build a lasting partnership for safety,” Kerr said of the session.
Members Attend Collaboration Skills Training
Members from Southern California TRACON (SCT), Reno ATCT (RNO), and Gillespie/San Diego ATCT (SEE) recently attended a collaboration skills training hosted by SCT. The training brought together Union Reps and their respective management counterparts to emphasize the importance and benefits of working together to solve issues.

“We are grateful to the trainers who came down and worked with all of us,” said attending member and SCT Area Rep Brad Wilcko. “We're all striving to be better at what we do because of what they shared with us.”
Onboarding New Right From The Start Training Reps
Potomac TRACON (PCT) member Brandon Miller, Denver TRACON (D01) member Kevin Wright, Washington Center (ZDC) member Brian Shallenberger, Central Florida TRACON (F11) member Fabian Sanchez, Little Rock/Adams Field ATCT (LIT) member Brian Hogan, Raleigh Durham ATCT (RDU) member Nick Stott, and Cleveland Center (ZOB) member Judd Wallace joined Right From The Start (RFTS) National Rep and Memphis Center (ZME) member Chris Stephenson and NATCA’s Collaboration Consultant Phil Hughes for RFTS training at the NATCA National Office in Washington. 

This joint NATCA-FAA program helps develop strong collaborative relationships between NATCA FacReps and new air traffic managers. It takes a deep look into a facility's whole workforce, interviewing both management and labor, and identifying ways to strengthen its organizational effectiveness through true collaboration. 

“Our team is made up of very talented and diverse members from across the country,” said Stott. “I can already tell we will be very effective in our goals, and I look forward to getting to work!”

“It’s important that we continue to strengthen our collaboration and our processes,” added Stephenson. "On-boarding new Right From The Start leads is just one of the first steps. We are always looking for ways to improve and enhance our collaborative programs; bringing in new leads ensures the validity when the program is engaged at the facility level."
Livermore Hosts AOPA Fly-In
Hayward ATCT (HWD) member Michael Osburn, Oakland ATCT (OAK) member Kristin Simms, Oakland Center (ZOA) member Jeff Litwin, Concord ATCT (CCR) member Zachary Collard, and Oakland ATCT (OAK) member Joe Bishop (not pictured) represented our Union and profession at the AOPA fly-in at Livermore Municipal Airport at the end of June. 

"The fly-in went really well," said Simms. "The pilots all expressed their gratitude that we were there. The Q&A session we provided went over the allotted time limit, so they met us at our booth to continue the conversation." 
Store Item of the Week: NATCA Briefcase
The material in this briefcase is 600D nylon polyester with the NATCA logo embroidered on front. This fabric provides top-performing durability and is abrasion resistant. Other features include a rubber molded grip handle, front flaps, buckle closures, 10″x12″ padded inserts sewn in, an adjustable detachable shoulder strap, zipper close pocket, and interior organizer pockets. As always, this briefcase is union-made in the United States Price: $23. To see the item and how to order: Click here . Select USPS or UPS as your shipping preference on your orders. To check on stock availability or for further assistance, call 800-266-0895 or email .
Member Benefits: Unum - Don't Miss Out on One of Your Last Opportunities to Sign Up
You've invested days, weeks, and even years to get you where you are in your professional career. You’ve insured your car, your home, and even your life to protect your family and all of its assets. But what about protecting the very thing that makes your lifestyle possible?

All it takes is one accident, one illness, one trip to the doctor, and your "golden medical ticket" can be taken away. “It won’t happen to me” is not a solid plan for your family’s financial well-being. As a NATCA member, you have access to one of the greatest benefits our Union has to offer--long-term disability insurance from Unum. You cannot get insurance like this anywhere else; this was specifically negotiated for the benefit of NATCA members.

Open enrollment ends July 31. Visit  for more information.
FAA Employee Assistance Program: Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Awareness Webinar
Despite the high prevalence of mental illness and deaths by suicide, about two-thirds of people with mental illness never seek professional care. Yet most who receive care, improve and many recover completely. Attend this training to learn about mental illness and suicide facts and warning signs, how to help yourself and others with mental health concerns, and valuable resources for promoting mental health.

This important webinar is being held Tuesday, July 16, 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. EDT.

Click here for webinar access or visit Dial-in phone number: 719-234-7800, access code 993237.

To log in as a guest, simply enter your name and click the “Enter Room” button. If you experience difficulty entering the webinar room, you may need to update your computer’s Adobe Flash plug-in in order to log in to the webinar. Use this link to test your connection: .