Saturday, November 7, 2009
MOBILE, Alabama - The roar of a helicopter is part of an average morning at the Aviation Training Center, or ATC. All coast guard pilots eventually get some sort of instruction here.
“It's pretty intense, it requires full concentration for successful completion it definitely takes a lot of mental energy along with physical dexterity,” says Pilot Lieutenant Peter Igoe. He let me ride along for a short patrol around the Mobile area.
“Typically patrol the critical infrastructure of mobile along with the greater Gulf of Mexico,” says Igoe. Sector Mobile calls on planes from the aviation training center in an emergency--but the base also functions as the training ground for pilots to learn how to fly the Coast Guard way.
“Ours is a more humanitarian focus so the emphasis here is on safe flying,” says another Pilot, Lt. Eric Wilson. For the Coast Guard, Mobile is the obvious choice for the Aviation Training Center mostly because of the climate.
“The amount of training days we can get accomplished here because in addition to our operational portion of this base our goal is to produce mission ready pilots for the fleet,” says Wilson. He says the ATC generally has 160 officers at any given time. Pilots-in-training must complete several hours of classroom and simulator training before taking to the skies. You can learn more about the US Coast Guard and Sector Mobile tonight at 6pm for our next Hometown Tour live broadcast.