Meet KOMO's Play-By-Play Man -- Freeway Style

Meet KOMO's Play-By-Play Man -- Freeway Style
1,600 FEET OVER SEATTLE - He may not be able to clear an accident, but Paul Tosch of the KOMO Air Patrol can help you around the problem.

In the first part of a two-part conversation, KOMO's Brian Calvert took to the skies to find out more about calling play-by-play, freeway style.

His traffic report happens every 10 minutes on the 4s, and Paul Tosch has an odd passion for the daily commute. Maybe that's because he's high above it.

So, how did Paul get the flying bug?

"My grandfather was an aviator from way back up in Alaska, and my dad was a airline pilot," he said.

After being somewhat sidetracked, Paul settled in for what's been a respectable career in traffic reporting.

"My mom predicted that (back) when I was probably 12- or 13-years old, she knew this is what I would be doing," Tosch said.

But my favorite part of the story was the invitation to join him in his Cessna 172 and check out the gridlock Tuesday morning.

Once he's airborne, there are other planes up here, and a couple of choppers. How does his plane compare to the whirlybirds?

"There's a huge advantage (to fixed wing planes)," Tosch said. "Fixed wing planes are more reliable."

And what about bad weather? "Overall, we have the ability to fly IFR -- or, on instruments," he said.

And remember, size doesn't matter -- it's all about speed, baby.

"I can make it from Everett to Tacoma and back before the chopper makes it there once," he said.

From 1,600 feet, Paul surveys the region for accidents and back-ups, and can't help making his own observations/

"Funky aggressive driving habits make people roll their cars and make you scratch your head and wonder, 'How in the world did somebody do that?' "

But did you know Paul Tosch has a badge with the State Patrol? Coming up in part two of our conversation Thursday, I'll tell you how that comes into play up here -- and I get my first flying lesson.