Popular Science

Air traffic controller training makes emergencies seem ordinary

Preparation, organization, and team work help navigate a crisis.
Air traffic control tower plane takeoff

Not all air traffic controllers work in towers.

Deposit Photos

Air traffic controllers are professionally unruffled.

“They try to help pilots in emergency situations in their thought process,” says Jerry Wolfe, a professor in aviation technology at Green River College in Washington state. “If the controller can stay calm, there’s a greater likelihood the pilot on the other end will remain calm as well.”

On the evening of Aug. 10, the world almost in real time, as an air traffic controller near Seattle-Tacoma International Airport attempted to after he stole a Bombadier Dash 8-Q400 belonging to

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