Who are the tin men, and what is their struggle about? A team of renegade tower controllers find themselves fighting the FAA, shoddy equipment, conflicting agendas, even boredom. They stand in the gap between the flying public that doesn’t know them, and a dysfunctional, unforgiving system constantly testing their skills. Their worst nightmare is a horrible airport disaster and with it, a massive loss of life and their own sanity. In the tired but wired world of air traffic control, reality is sometimes quite different from public perception. Step into the inner workings of a unique and demanding occupation and follow the tin men of Newark Tower. The story is bracketed by two seminal events in aviation history: The strike during the summer of 1981 and the terrorist attack of September, 2001. One word of warning: Although Exit 13A is a work of fiction, after reading it, a natural reluctance to board an airplane may result. Placing one’s safety into the hands of some of the characters and circumstances illustrated within is a scary proposition. The author understands, and reminds us that, “it’s only a story.” Tommy Wiznak walks into the break room. He’s shaking a box of Cracker Jack, trying to get the prize to float to the top. If it’s something good, he may enlist it in his “hoodoo” militia. If it has some unique character, or if the trinket is perceived to be intrinsically magical or whimsical, Tommy will put it to good use. He can always use another sand bag to reinforce his mental bunker...a lucky charm to counter any bad karma. Tommy is about to report for duty in the tower cab. The weather is socked in, solid IFR, and three members of his team have called in sick. Bad weather, bad staffing, bad equipment and bad-ass traffic. It could be a long night for the home team, the kind of night that is tailor made for an incident. What will it be tonight? Maybe a pilot will abandon an approach without announcing that fact to the local controller, until a loss of standard separation ensues. Maybe a pilot will get lost in the fog and taxi across an active runway. Maybe the radar will fail at the worst possible time. Maybe the delays will deplete the available gates and the ground controller will go “down the pipes,” looking for space on the movement area to park airplanes. Whatever happens on tonight’s evening watch will have to be dealt with. Tommy is searching for help where no one else has thought to look- inside a box of sugar coated popcorn and peanuts.
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William A. Shields is a former U.S. Marine and a veteran FAA air traffic controller. A frequent guest on talk radio, he has served as chairman of a state political party, a political consultant, and a body guard for a U.S. Senate candidate. He learned to swim in the Brandywine Creek. A graduate of Widener University, Mr. Shields resides in Wilmington, Delaware.
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Book Description CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2012. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 330 pages. 8.50x5.50x0.75 inches. This item is printed on demand. Bookseller Inventory # zk1478341092