Talking Them In
February 1938 Boys' Life Article

March 1940 Boys' Life

Table of Contents

The Boy Scouts of America has published Boys' Life since January 1, 1911. I received it for a couple years in the late 1960s while in the Scouts. I have begun buying copies on eBay to look for useful articles. As time permits, I will be glad to scan articles for you. All copyrights (if any) are hereby acknowledged. Here are the Boys' Life issues I have so far.


Talking Them In

Traffic moving at an average of better than three miles a minute and yet handled with ease and certainty! Traffic so speedy that seconds count and a minute means a difference of miles in distance! This is what the Air Traffic Control of the Bureau of Air Commerce has to handle. Let us make a trip from Newark, New Jersey, the world's busiest airport, to Pittsburgh and see how Air Traffic Control works!

We take Trip Six out of Newark for Pittsburgh. Our pilot reports to Air Traffic Control that he will leave at 10:00 A.M., climb to an altitude of 9,000 feet and cross the control point on the airway of Martins Creek, Pa., at 10:55 A.M. He will continue and reach Sunbury, Pa., at 11:26 A.M. at 9,000 feet. From there the next control point is Bellefonte, Pa. We will pass that at 11:41 A. M. at 9,000 feet. Then Buckstown, Pa., at 11:58 A.M. But, here we will be only about twenty-two minutes out of Pittsburgh. We have some 9,000 feet of altitude to lose. Our pilot plans to start down and he will cross the control at 5,000 feet.

Air Traffic Control checks the flight plan against traffic on the airway and finds that it will not interfere with other aircraft or run too close to them so our plan is approved and we are "cleared." So off we fly and watch how Air Traffic Control guards us from the moment of departure until we have safely taxied to a standstill at our destination.

We arrive at Pittsburgh in clear weather and so are allowed to proceed directly into the field area. But in thick and stormy weather the real test of Air Traffic Control comes. Then, in order that several huge air transports with their loads of human lives will not be churning around a common center at an airport the Air Traffic Control assigns them definite places and altitudes at which to circle until the approach to the field is clear of traffic. In the New York area planes from the South are held over Princeton, N. J., at different altitudes; from the West they are held over Martins Creek. When the traffic clears they are brought in according to when they arrived and so accidents and bad collisions are avoided. At times Newark has some five hundred planes to control during the course of the twenty-four hours! There are over one hundred and thirty-two scheduled flights daily. Uncle Sam's Aerial Traffic Cops keep this huge volume of air traffic from becoming snarled, preventing accidents.

Slowly circling at 6,000 feet over Martins Creek waiting its turn.

9,000 feet up over Princeton, N. J.; and waiting to be "talked in."