Listen To A Controller Save A Life
Earlier this month Houston controller Hugh McFarland gave assistance to a VFR rated pilot flying from Kerrville, Texas to David Wayne Hooks Airport in Houston. The pilot found himself on top of solid IFR weather at 8,500 ft that was almost 8,000 ft thick for hundreds of miles around Houston. With not enough fuel to go anywhere else it was decided that he descend to the Houston Executive airport. Listen to McFarland talk this pilot through the thick weather until he was able to make eye contact with the ground at about 700 feet. McFarland is a multi engine instrument rated pilot and his ability to think quickly and remain calm under pressure saved a life. The willingness to jump right in to resolve complex situations, offer a reassuring voice and coordinate efforts with other controllers, is essential to maintaining the safety of the National Airspace System. I would think Hugh McFarland will be nominated for the Archie League Medal for what he did recently. As a result of the kind of commitment demonstrated by McFarland and others, the system is the safest in the world.
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