Planes delayed as controller takes bathroom break


Interesting story:


When you gotta go, you gotta go! Especially if said controller had bowel issues from an illness or whatever, what’s he supposed to do? He waited until a slow period. If the FAA says it’s okay to have only 1 person in the tower certified to handle takeoffs and landings, then they have to deal with instances like this. It’s not much different than a medical emergency…$h!+ happens. (Sorry)

Gotta take the controller’s side on this one if only from the info in the article. Don’t know what took 12 minutes though, unless he REALLY had problems.


Probably time it took to get to and from the facilities added to the time factor.

Tower probably isn’t convienantly close to restrooms and the time it may have taken to go up and down elevators / steps could easily add up to 5 minutes round trip.

I am surprised that this doesn’t come up more often for single controller sites.



Actually, this violates an FAA rule that requires at least two controllers on duty at facilities with both radar and tower functions. This was listed as a factor in the Lexington, KY crash. A good article.

So who’s to blame, your right if you gotta go you gotta go. So is the controller to blame, the facility chief, or the FAA for not hiring enough people. You know the airlines have self-discloser rules. Amazing that the FAA doesn’t have to follow their own rules.


You’d think that, just in case they were ever short-staffed below even the minimum requirements, they’d have a restroom REALLY close to the controllers’ work station. Like, down 4 steps and into the john (or down a ramp to meet ADA standards I guess :unamused: ).

Or… Maybe they could just plumb a crapper right into the tower so the controller doesn’t have to go anywhere! :laughing: “Seven-two-niner Alpha Foxtrot, turn left to 2-7-0 and contact approach on 123.5…Anyone entering the tower please be advised of severely foul wake turbulence.”


Nice, using on of our tail numbers. You’re pretty spot-on, 'cept its usually a turn to 320 and contact departure on 124.9, goodday!

Some airplanes have pilot relief tubes (it’s an option on the PC12. makes sence really, a single pilot airplane with 8 hours endurance…), why shouldn’t controllers? 'Course, relief tubes are built primarily for men only and only accept #1#2 doesn’t work…trust me. :blush:



While its not the controllers fault, and it may seem silly to have only one certified controller on shift for hours at a time at an airport that has commercial service, the FAA didn’t actually break thier own rule. MHT does NOT provide approach control services since the tracon consolidated with Boston a few years ago.



See a little research on my part before hand and I could have kept from making a fool of myself. :blush:



I always wondered what our fighter pilots did during long missions!
But BTW there is an adapter for females that is available from some camping supply companies. I don’t know why there wouldn’t be one available for female pilots.


They exist, yes. But without going into too graphic detail; a man can, as my father would say: “zzzip, flub”, and do the duty without getting out of the seat. A female would have to do some in-cockpit aerobatics to use it successfully.


Sporty’s has relief items for women. No, the don’t show how to use it.

The above is not an endorsement for Sporty’s, Boeing, Little John, or Head and Shoulders. So please lather, rinse, and repeat look in the mirror but don’t forget that things in the mirror are closer than they appear because you must count all items in a 6-pack as part of the limit when you go to the 10 items or less line.


I would never!

I’ve always said zzzip, flub, THUD


I think its better that flights were delayed than no controller directing air traffic…