JFK ground all fouled up (audio)


The patience of ATC people sometimes amazes me. Here’s a link to an mp3 clip of JFK ground trying (over the course of about 10 minutes) to organise a screwed up, extremely busy, jumble of airplanes. Yeah, he gets worked up a bit,

“you can’t do anything sir, that plane of yours!”


“and you’re where, doing what, holding short of who?”


“you guys should come up here someday, you’d enjoy it, you’d enjoy the show!”

But all in all, gets the job done. I’d have walked out!
Open the Airport Diagram and try to visualize what’s going on while you listen…crazy.


No wonder controllers are chain-smoking, alcoholic abusers of pain-killers! I’d enjoy going up there to watch the show someday, but no matter how much training I had, I’d NEVER want to conduct!

Uh… no offense to our FlightAware members who happen to be controllers… I know that that’s just a stereotype of oldschool controllers, but I’m sure it fits a few of today’s younger set as well.


Am I as sick as I think I am if I admit to laughing while listening to the audio?

Immediately after the infamous controller strike, when Reagan fired them all, I received a phone call from the FAA. Seems they had access to my Army personnel (201) file, read that I had a secondary MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) as a controller and asked if I’d be interested in a job.

I explained to the gentleman that I only had that MOS in order for the Army to CTA because they stuck me in the tower directing traffic at Feucht Army Airfield in Germany while my doctors waited to see if I’d need additional surgery before being discharged.

Not a problem, he said, they’d have me up to speed in no time.

OK, said I, did I mention I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD?

“Never mind” was the reply, and he hung up!


I saw that JFK was having delays of 90+ minutes on the 6th of March at 9AM Eastern and listened to ground on LiveATC. I estimated I was hearing over 100 planes between the gates and the runways. Complicating things were the need for de-icing and a runway change.

The one quote I remember was the controller’s response when a pilot asked if he could proceed into a de-icing station. The controller said:
“If you do that, two planes will be occupying the same patch of taxiway and I end up buying plane parts!”

It was listening at its most entertaining, and most harrowing!


My favorite quote in the movie Airplane was by controller Steven McCrosky, an air traffic controller, played by Lloyd Bridges.

“I picked a bad day to stop sniffing glue.”

Always brought down the house in the towers I worked…


"jetBlue XXX, are you an outbound?!



mp3 link is dead.


I loved this audio when it was posted. I’ve listened to it umpteen times. I think it’s hilarious when he says “Aww geeez” - he sounds like just Archie Bunker! Can you picture HIM in the tower? :smiling_imp:


Dude was having a meltdown.