“Aviation has been my world since birth.”
You could say flight comes as naturally as breathing to Pamelita Ware, our Co-Founder & Director of Instruction. As it should since she’s from a family of Air Traffic Controllers, both military and civilian.
“I used to sit out at the airport on the mid-shift with my dad and watch as the planes come in,” she recalls.
So, joining the Air Force to become an Air Traffic Controller was a no-brainer for her, and over time her passion for aviation and her pilots has only grown.
“It’s absolutely thrilling to work a sky full of planes and get everybody down safely – it is the best feeling on the earth.”
But like many, her journey to being an ATC wasn’t an easy one. Her first day on the job as a new ATC trainee at Hill Air Force Base was almost her last day. Since she was not yet useful to the facility, she was given the opportunity to sit atop of the tower with the wives of the F-16 pilots to watch the air show featuring the Blue Angels & Thunderbirds. As two of the Thunderbirds flew straight at each other low level, one of the Thunderbirds impacted the ground. As the remainder of the Thunderbirds almost immediately joined up in the missing man formation, one of the wives cried out. She knew from the hole in the formation that it was her husband.
“It just about destroyed me,” she remembered. “I could not believe what I had just witnessed, it was horrible.”
She almost gave up ATC, but her Chief encouraged her to press forward, so she pushed on in her training. A couple of years later, she was devastated by the loss of yet another beloved pilot friend in another F-16 crash. But this terrible incident fueled her to keep the skies safe for others.
“I was determined I would be the absolute best controller I could be. I didn’t ever want to be responsible for a crash. If I make a mistake, then someone could pay with their life.”
Pamelita spent 15 years working in England before she came back to the States. She worked in Florida, Ohio, and New Mexico before she landed in Texas where she not only had the chance to help pilots from the tower, but also to provide encouragement to her students.
“I would tell them, ‘Awesome job, dude’ because I felt they needed to hear when they’d done a good job.”
A couple of years ago, after a sudden MS diagnosis made her unable to fly or work in the tower, she took that passion for student pilots and her vast knowledge of aviation and began teaching students struggling with aviation communication. As a certified FAA ATC Instructor, Pam knew that she could help student pilots. She perfected her syllabus and training over a 3-year period. And that’s when she met Kent through his instructor Meridith, a friend of Pam’s and her favorite pilot. Kent and Pamela founded Talk2Tower where Pamelita writes the curriculum and scenarios using her passion for ATC and her love of flying to continue helping pilots stay safe through great communication.
“If you teach [pilots] to communicate correctly from the beginning, then they have a solid foundation, and no matter what you throw at them from then on out, they’ll be able to communicate safely.”