Chris Gamelgaard is a long term PDX FAA controller and has been the tour guide for the recent PDX ATC and TRACON visits that Allen Patterson has organized.
Chris will talk about communications between ATC and pilots with a focus on IFR clearances including VFR On Top..
He’ll give us an inside look at what goes on at Air Traffic Control in the Portland area and how to maximize our communications with ATC for safe and enjoyable flights.
Chris spent 14 years as a certified professional controller at Portland Approach before moving into his current position as Quality Control Staff Support manager with the responsibility of ensuring that PDX controllers follow all the rules and regulations.
Chris began his ATC career with the US Air Force in 1983. He spent time at the Strategic Air Command Grand Forks North Dakota AFB that flew B-52`s and also worked with the University of North Dakota flight school.. His last duty assignment was at OSAN Air Force Base South Korea, which was always on high alert status. At OSAN during the annual Team Spirit Exercise, controllers launched F-5`s, F4`s, and F-15`s every 30 to 45 seconds for 90 minutes, then they all came back at the same time wanting a PAR approach.
Following his military service Chris joined the FAA in 1988 after scoring 100 on his entrance exam and spent 15 years at Denver ARTCC before moving back home to Portland. He says the biggest highlights of his career have been training young adults to become successful controllers and working daily to help the flying public get to their destination safely.
As a youngster Chris attended many airshows and often parked along Marine Drive to watch the planes arrive and depart PDX. HIs favorite aircraft was the Oregon Air National Guard McDonnell F-101 Voodoo- which made a very loud and distinctive noise. He’s back on station watching the aircraft, military and civilian, make safe departures and approaches at PDX. You might recognize his voice from times in the past when you’ve tuned 118.1, 128.35 or 118.7 when he was at his controller duties.