Margin for Error: None: Through the Skills of the Air Traffic Controller

Front Cover
iUniverse, Jun 1, 2001 - Technology & Engineering - 243 pages
4 Reviews

When was the last time you heard the name Air Traffic Controller?

Most likely it was to berate him because his job action caused you to miss an important meeting. You may have been caught in a "by the book" slow down. Perhaps you spent an extra hour flying in endless circles awaiting clearance to land.

There are far more to these delays than meets the eye. When negotiations between controller and government grind to a halt there is little that a controller can do. He is forbidden by law to strike. His only recourse is to slow the traffic. This they occasionally do in order to get better equipment, working conditions, and pay.

This book, written by an active airline captain, will take you behind the scenes in the life of an air traffic controller. A person who guides the destiny of more people in one hour than an airline pilot does in a month, a person who controls all the departures and arrivals out of the three busiest airports in New York and does it with radar that isn't half as reliable as the radar used in a small country airport, a person who must think in three dimensions and be ready when their scope goes blank to remember name, position, heading and altitude of 18 aircrafts, a person who can never be allowed the luxury of a single mistake, a person who would rather control traffic than do anything else, in spite of the fears and anxieties that it entails.

Hopefully after reading this book you will agree that all the glory and skill should not be confined to the cockpit, but shared equally by the men and women whose skill make a faulty system work.


"Captain Brian Power-Waters is intimately knowledgeable concerning the air traffic control system. As an airline captain, he brings the knowledge associated with his twenty-six years as a line pilot. Coupled with his close relationship with air traffic controllers for over twenty years, he is acutely aware of and acquainted with the problems of both professions. Captain Power-Waters provides us with a first time insight into the workings of the air traffic controller profession. The challenges and the many problems encountered in the current air traffic control system."

John F.Leyden, President, Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization


"A fascinating--and sometimes hair raising--account of how the air traffic control system really works and what can be done to improve the situation. As an experienced airline pilot, Captain Power-Waters knows what he is talking about and lays the facts before the public. Anyone who travels by air should read this book."

Con Hitchcock, Director of the Aviation Consumer Action Project and Aide to Ralph Nader

Margin for Error was originally published in 1980, there are no new updates in this version.

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Review: Margin for Error: None: Through the Skills of the Air Traffic Controller A Faulty System is Made to Work

User Review  - D Torchia - Goodreads

Domenic V. Torchia, Regional Vice President, PATCO West After reading Margin for Error: None I have come to the conclusion that I wish I had 16,000 PATCO members with your attitude. I am sure that the ... Read full review

Review: Margin for Error: None: Through the Skills of the Air Traffic Controller A Faulty System is Made to Work

User Review  - Cv Glines - Goodreads

CV Glines, author of numerous books on aviation, Former Editor of Airline Pilot Magazine Gen. Doolittle's Biographer Captain Power-Waters "tells it like it is" through the use of many examples. Unfortunately, those who should read this book — FAA Officials — probably won't. Read full review

About the author (2001)

Leyden is President, Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization.

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