The Big Move to California

Some Background

As some may know, I’m an Air Traffic Controller for the Gov. My first assignment was the tower/TRACON at Cedar Rapids, IA. After a few years I decided I was ready for something larger and more challenging. The transfer process is, well… a bit complicated. The short version is the facility you’re at has to have enough people that it can be fully staffed without you and the facility you want to go to has to be below fully staffed. I was trying to go to a few different facilities; AUS, NCT, OKC, OMA, PHX, and R90. Well 5 years after arriving at CID, I was selected for NorCal (Northern California) TRACON in Sacramento, CA. The selection happened in September and my report date was mid-January. I spent the next few months going through boxes of stuff and old electronics I’ve collected over the years. My goal was to finish at least the tail of the plane but it became apparent pretty quick that rushing was going to lead to mistakes, poor quality, and an end result I wasn’t happy with. So back into the crates everything went!


After pricing out my options, looking at when I’d have help, and making a pro/con list; I decided I would use PODs. The largest they have is 16′, the wing spar crate is 15’6″. So I knew it would be close! Worst case I would put the spar crate in diagonally on one side, and use 2x4s to hold it in place. Mid-December came and the POD was delivered. I measured and my gosh the crate was going to fit! I had the POD packed full and I was honestly worried it would be overweight and I would have only a few days to rearrange or get rid of more stuff and repack. See some of the pictures below. The whole process, from the planning, the packing, the moving, the unpacking… Working airplanes doesn’t stress me out as much as that whole process did!

Current Plans

So I’m sure you’re wondering what the plan is going forwards. Well as of writing this (Mar ’23) it’s indefinitely paused. ATC training is no joke. It takes a heck of a lot out of you mentally and requires a significant amount of time outside of work studying. I’m using the airplane project as motivation to work hard and try and be successful in training. When I’m done training I’ll start on it again. Training will likely take from one year to two years. Until then, I’ve got many other small projects to work on to keep me busy.






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