For eight years ATC (Air Traffic Control) was my profession. Serving in the German Navy for that period meant to learn a lot about military and civil aviation.
I was based on various airports and so was priviliged to closely cooperate with aircrews of different types of aircraft - mainly Westland SEAKING, STARFIGHTER and later on TORNADO.
As a real bonus I was able to collect quite a few hours flying as a guest on board of the SEAKING - the minority of these hours during SAR (Search And Rescue)-missions.
Civil life kept me pretty close to aviation as my job made me a so-called frequent flyer. Thus I travelled to and from a lot of European hubs almost regularly and additionally got to know airports in the USA as well as in the Asia-Pacific region.
Whenever it was possible I payed a visit to the cockpit (before 9-11 of course) and enjoyed several guided tours all over the panel from usually very friendly cockpit crews.