(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – While the majority of normal Americans were preparing for guests and buying last minute groceries, the managers at the Federal Aviation Administration were gearing up for the busiest travel day of the year.
“This is our Super Bowl,” said David Rogers, front line manager at the FAA’s Command Center. “The busiest day of the year, by far.”
The FAA is able to handle an incredible number of flights by using specialized and otherwise unused routing, and an extremely skilled workforce of controllers. With safety being the number one priority however, the FAA is doing everything in it’s power to alert users of the system to be especially alert this Thanksgiving.
“These controllers will be eating. A lot. Turkey. Stuffing. Pumpkin Pie. You name it. While they’re working. And we know about it, so in an effort to keep the public safe, we felt it was appropriate to issue a safety bulletin,” Rogers said.
We talked to one controller, who wished to be unidentified. “Look, I’ve been trying to get Thanksgiving off for 24 years. I started with the basics, like protein bars and trail mix. But after 10 years or so, I just said ‘fuck it’. Now I bring an entire Thanksgiving meal to work. I don’t even care if my family hates me for not even bringing any back for them,” he said, unloading boxes form Stop & Shop from his car.
While food normally doesn’t interfere with controller duties, Thanksgiving can be different. Often, controllers will eat so much, their sense of time and space becomes distorted.
“I had a plate that had over 3 pounds of turkey on it. Delicious shit, really. I plugged into sector 9, and the next thing I know, I woke up in my bed at 1pm the next day,” said another anonymous controller.
“It was like teleportation. Only I wasn’t on Spirit or Allegiant, so it was largely undesired.”
Pilots should know the signs of an overeating controller. Delayed responses, chewing, phrases such as “Happy Thanksgiving!”, “pass the gravy”, and an unusual amount of time spent ‘on the landline’ are all symptoms.
Keep your aircraft, your passengers, and you safe this holiday season. Be aware of overeating controllers.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at ATC Memes.