Expressing appreciation to ATC

Jim K

Final Approach
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Richard Digits
A week ago, suffering from continuation bias and getthereitis, I blundered into an area of fast moving storm cells that I had no business being in. I was IFR, and an approach controller probably saved our lives by giving me what I needed when I needed it, convincing me to break off an ILS that I was mentally committed to because he could see a strong developing cell that I couldn't, and reminding me to watch my altitude when I was getting too low. The turbulence was intense and I had my hands full. He gave me all kinds of vectors and spent about 30 minutes watching over us and guiding us into a gap in the storms that allowed us to land at our original destination.

I thanked him profusely on the air, but I feel like his service went beyond what is expected. Is there a way to reach out to the facility and express my gratitude? I thought about calling but was unsure how to get to anyone who would care. Maybe a letter might be more impactful in this day & age, but who to address it to? The facility in question was Jackson, MS tracon.
 
A letter to the ATM (air traffic manager) would probably be a great idea. If you give the date and time of the experience, they can probably look up who worked you and make sure the sentiment gets passed along. Maybe include the frequency and a recap of how they helped you. The ATM is, at least in my experience, a good bit removed from the operation, so hearing that their employee(s) went above and beyond can be beneficial.
 
Is there a way to reach out to the facility and express my gratitude? I thought about calling but was unsure how to get to anyone who would care.
Give them a call, you might be surprised.
 
A week ago, suffering from continuation bias and getthereitis, I blundered into an area of fast moving storm cells that I had no business being in. I was IFR, and an approach controller probably saved our lives by giving me what I needed when I needed it, convincing me to break off an ILS that I was mentally committed to because he could see a strong developing cell that I couldn't, and reminding me to watch my altitude when I was getting too low. The turbulence was intense and I had my hands full. He gave me all kinds of vectors and spent about 30 minutes watching over us and guiding us into a gap in the storms that allowed us to land at our original destination.

I thanked him profusely on the air, but I feel like his service went beyond what is expected. Is there a way to reach out to the facility and express my gratitude? I thought about calling but was unsure how to get to anyone who would care. Maybe a letter might be more impactful in this day & age, but who to address it to? The facility in question was Jackson, MS tracon.
I once called the tower at the airport I did my flight training to thank them for helping me and understanding about an issue I had with a CFI, they were very nice!
When I got my CPL, I went to the tower (talked to their boss beforehand) and brought them some ice cream, they showed me around and got to learn a little bit more about their operations.
 
I brought food to the tower at KBKL when a controller helped me with my emergency when I was just over 100 hours.

In another situation I called approach control a few days late. The call taker asked me the date, time, and location and figured out who was on shift. They said that they would pass on my message and that the call was thanks enough. They were very appreciative of the effort to reach out.
 
A week ago, suffering from continuation bias and getthereitis, I blundered into an area of fast moving storm cells that I had no business being in. I was IFR, and an approach controller probably saved our lives by giving me what I needed when I needed it, convincing me to break off an ILS that I was mentally committed to because he could see a strong developing cell that I couldn't, and reminding me to watch my altitude when I was getting too low. The turbulence was intense and I had my hands full. He gave me all kinds of vectors and spent about 30 minutes watching over us and guiding us into a gap in the storms that allowed us to land at our original destination.

I thanked him profusely on the air, but I feel like his service went beyond what is expected. Is there a way to reach out to the facility and express my gratitude? I thought about calling but was unsure how to get to anyone who would care. Maybe a letter might be more impactful in this day & age, but who to address it to? The facility in question was Jackson, MS tracon.
They are in contract negotiations at the moment. Perhaps gift cards to Applebees. They can go there and get throwed out.
 
Sometimes it’s just easy to tell them over the air. My brother sent me a vid one time when he worked Sugarland tower. Gulfstream pilot basically told him how they appreciated how efficiently he moved them around and what a pleasure it was in dealing with that kind of professionalism. My last aircraft I ever worked was an FAA Flight Check. “Those were the best PARs we’ve ever gotten.” Makes you feel good that someone appreciates your service.
 
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