Safe skies above Troy

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 16, 2003

Keeping the skies safe over Troy's twin 5,000-foot runways is a job best left to the specialists.

A team of Army air traffic control specialists, that is.

This team of soldiers, detached from Fort Rucker, staff the air traffic control operations at the airport.

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"We're here every day, five days a week," said Sgt. Greg Crawford. "We provide service to anyone who flies into Troy – military, civilian or state."

Mostly, though the team provides assistance to military aircraft using the airport as a training and refueling facility.

Monday, for example, a C-130 cargo plane was on a training mission, it's student pilot undergoing instrument flight training.

Atop the tower, a four-person crew directs in-coming and out-going traffic on the field.

Specialist Chris Wright said there were some harrowing times in the tower.

"We had a crop duster doing barrel rolls, with no radio communications and two Cessena 182's and military traffic," he said. "He did a barrel roll over a UH-60 (helicopter).