Tracon - the Book!
I finished the book and really enjoyed it. Scott's review below is right on. I would add that "Tracon"
is not only "technically correct" , it is also an excellent story, well written and interesting.
TRACON is 100% Technically Correct !
July 5, 2000
Reviewer: Scott Straub, Air Traffic Controller from Washington Air Route Traffic Control Center, Leesburg, VA
Paul McElroy's TRACON is the first accurate representation of what the Air Traffic Control environment is really like. As an 18 year ATC veteran, I was immediately drawn into his novel as he precisely described incidents in which TCAS (Traffic Alert/Collision Avoidance System) caused aircraft to climb/descend and put themselves in closer proximity to other aircraft--all in direct confliction with the controller's instructions! Kudos to Mr. McElroy for shining some light on a problem that continues to plague the aviation world to this day. TCAS is a valuable awareness tool for pilots, but allowing a computer to override the judgment and pre-planned actions of an air traffic controller is a subject for serious debate.
McElroy's research into the world of ATC will be evident to all of those who are associated and familiar with aviation. The way that he takes technical situations and explains them in layman's terms through his characters makes for extremely enjoyable reading. He also captures the competitive camaraderie found in the radar room as controllers try to one-up each other, trading light hearted insults as a way to vent their frustrations with having to work in a less than perfect system. The "war stories" told by the controllers as they unwind with a beer after work are hilarious. One can only hope they are somewhat embellished, but in the air traffic world you can't be too sure.....
I found this book to be addictive; I didn't want to put it down. After watching the disappointing air traffic movie, "Pushing Tin", it was a pleasure to read an authentic accounting of what goes on at the radar scope. McElroy manages to capture everything perfectly!
I rate this book at 5 stars.