Tuesday, October 29, 2013

FAA History Lesson -- October 1956



From the Update to FAA Historical Chronology 1997-2012 (A .pdf file)

"Oct 1956: CAA leased a computer (IBM type 650) for installation in the Indianapolis ARTCC to assess the value of computers for the preparation of flight progress strips and to familiarize its personnel with this type of equipment."

In case it's never soaked in on the 100 times I've said it before, take the time to hand write all the strips on an aircraft's flight through your airspace. Then, maybe, you can imagine what it was like to hand write every single one of them, every day. You'll learn something valuable.

Don Brown
October 29, 2013

1 comment:

LRod said...

"Then, maybe, you can imagine what it was like to hand write every single one of them, every day."

I know you already know this, but I did that very thing, every single one of them, every day, from April of 1968 until I went to "D" school in December of 1969.

"You'll learn something valuable."

Yes, I did. If nothing else, it led to an amusing anecdote from years later. On mid shifts when they took the computer down, A-sides from ZMP (and ZKC) would call flight plans to us, and not staffing an A-side in ZAU, I copied many of them. I had to constantly ask the person passing the flight plan to pick up the speed as they were stuck at "glacial" on the dial.

Finally, I told one of them (who had a stack of flight plans), "just say it as fast as you can—trust me, you can't lose me."

And he couldn't. Those 18 or so months working FD-1 paid off handsomely twenty years later, if in no other form than inspiring a memory I would never have foreseen as fond.

LRod
ZJX, ORD, ZAU retired