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Controllers Vie for the Thrill of Working Airventure - (7/28/1999)

OSHKOSH, Wis. - They do it for the challenge, the prestige, the honor. But most of all, they do it for the fun and the customary flamingo-pink T-shirt. Members of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association who are chosen to work Experimental Aircraft Associationís AirVenture are flying high because of their stroke of good luck.

To accommodate the heavy air traffic, a brigade of over 60 controllers have been brought in to work AirVenture, a 13-fold increase over the usual number. Controllers from the Great Lakes Region started to apply for this temporary assignment as early as last November, according to Michelle Wrobleski, a 16-year veteran controller at Oshkosh.

The selections, which are based on seniority, performance and availability, are one of the most coveted special assignment positions available. Since volunteers to work the air show are so plentiful, controllers are generally only allowed to work the fly-in six times over their career.

"The air show gives us the opportunity to work in a unique environment with lots of traffic and different types of controlling," said Wrobleski. "Most controllers want to come up here at least once." For more information, please stop by the air traffic control tower.

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