Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hate Mail

Yay, I got my first bits of hate mail! Apparently some ex-USAF type from Eglin AFB next door to us decide to chime in on a few of my posts with some, err, colorful commentary of his own. I found it all quite enlightening.

I know, I know - don't egg the troll on. It only encourages them. But you know, having never been bashed like that, I decided to call him out on his claims.

1) The first comment (on LOA Hell)
"I was an Air Traffic Controller at Egin AFB. I was fully rated in Eglin Tower, Duke Field Tower, and all positions in the Eglin Radar Approach Control and Mission Control Facilities. I am also a pilot. "

Wow, really? OMG! Can I get an autograph?

Guess what. We have a guy here with all those same quals. Entered the FAA a year ago as a VRA. One big difference, though: he's not an asshole. Oh, and he knows how to spell Eglin right. Say it with me now: E-G-L-I-N. With an "L", like "Loser".

"This site is hilarious. You obviously have a lot of free time on your hands. Thanx for the laughs. It isn't that difficult goober. "

When myself and most of the other trainees started, we had basically no training department. Some of the other guys were lucky enough to get a quick course taught to them by one of the controllers. Me? Not so lucky - I arrived here about two months after the others. I was handed a book of LOAs, a CD with SOPs, and told to go read it and make sense of it.

So, I did, in my own way. I know Photoshop and 3D programs from my last job. I made sense of the material the best way I knew how: visually. A lot of the graphics I made on my own because there were not many materials to study. Instead of poring over a boring-ass LOA, why not convert it into a more easily accessible format? The same goes for this blog: I write about things here because A) I like to share the experience of training for those who are interested, and B) it helps me keep all this stuff straight.

Essentially, you're giving me shit for studying, taking initiative, and wanting to improve my abilities and knowledge.

Who's the "goober", exactly?

"Good Luck Geek. I hope you're not working me when I fly through."

And how am I a geek? Because I know how to use a computer for more than checking my MySpace and surfing porn sites? God forbid someone should have a skill other than binge drinking and lap-dance-receiving.

"But, you're probably one of those controllers that "has to use the bathroom" when the strip bay fills up...aren't ya?"

Two hours ago, my last session of the night, I had a full strip bay tonight on the right and a workspace full of strips in front of me. Dual full patterns at NAS Whiting North and South. A flock of dissimilar aircraft - fixed wing and helos - running around in the GCA pattern at South, each doing multiple PAR, ASR, ILS, and TACAN approaches. Multiple T-34s doing TACANs and GPS approaches at North. In the middle of that, a variety of popups for both fields requesting entries back home and multiple IFR departures headed either eastbound to CEW, westbound to Mobile, or south to Sherman NAS.

In addition, I was working around the airspace your fellows at Eglin took from us - MOA Alpha West and the three GCA areas (A,B, and C). That left me with about 30% less airspace than usual, knocking out my right downwind from South Whiting.

Funny. I don't remember getting any urge to tinkle.

Where there things I could have done better? Absolutely. But every inbound pilot got his approach requests and every departure got sent on their way cleanly.

I actually had quite a good time. See, I actually look forward to it getting busy. You don't get better by working slow sessions.
2) The Second Comment (on Things Gone Awry)
You are such a friggin goober. I worked Eglin with nothing...including radar! You probably have no idea what the hell non-radar means, do ya?

Man, you are a god. I bet you're the only controller in the whole wide world who's worked non-radar. That section of the 7110.65 was written especially for you.

I'm well aware of what non radar is, but frankly have not had the opportunity to use it very much. I've been a controller trainee for a year in a facility that has two independent ASR-11 radars and a CENRAP feed from Jacksonville Center. That means three separate radars need to fail for us to go non radar.

I've had to create the most basic kind of NR separation - 20 miles or 10 minutes - when Jax lost their LRR. We fed them 20 miles in trail, with manual handoffs.

You're the guy that sits next to me and just hands me his strips when you're friggin screen goes blank.

Uh, you seem to have a lot of people passing you strips. That's the second time in two comments you've used that analogy. I guess creativity is not your strong suit.

It just seems like you've got some massive ego that needs constant feeding. Maybe you feel nobody can do anything better than you? From the little I've seen so far, I'd imagine that your picture is next to the word "autofellatio" in the dictionary.

will you go to Sammy's and get a life? Please? You embarass me.

Oh, is that where you gotta go to get some action? Sorry to hear you can't get any without having to hit an ATM beforehand. What's your pickup line? "Hey baby, I know 'non radar'. Can I clear you to my fix?"
3) And the final little gem (also on LOA Hell)

If you know the aircraft you worked, and can list them on a website...
Please go do something else for a living.
No really.

I don't know. Call me silly for wanting to get into an aviation field and actually liking airplanes. It's ridiculous, isn't it?


I feel kind of dirty now. Oh well.


Steve said...

If you don't have Mark's passion for your line of work, you're wasting your life.

...And your time if you're trying to destroy someone else's enjoyment of his job.

If NATCA and the FAA haven't sapped the life out of him, nothing will.

Anonymous said...

When the radar quits - that's the time to go tinkle :)

Anonymous said...

I say keep up the great work. I personally appreciate learning about your end of things. Your dialogue and graphics help that.

p.s. Who uses the word "goober" anymore?

Anonymous said...

Don't let him get to you. Perhaps Mr. Shit-Hot military controller should get his ass up here to C90. We could use the help. Of course, he would probably just wash out of the ETG lab like the vast majority of the ex-military weak sticks we get here. I wish I had a dime for each of these air traffic gods that lasts less than a month working real fake traffic and goes on to greener pastures like CID, SUX, BTR, FAR, etc...
Come on big guy, let's see what you got. IF you make it through the lab, I'll personally be your OJTI.

Kelly said...

The real "goober"/"geek" is the guy reading blog entries that he apparently hates, to the point of even commenting on them!

Gee, I wonder who's the one with a lot of time on his hands...

Plus, not very smart either. In the words of Kevin Smith, "Never insult the guy with the microphone."

Anonymous said...

Hey, it's me again. Sorry that you spent so much time responding to my comments, you should really be studying. You've been there a year and you're still not fully checked out?!? Those LOAs are hard to read without major CGI! Oh, you said there's no training. NATCA puts up with that? Better pay your dues and run to your rep! And yeah, I guess I am shit-hot. Ask the guy from Eglin how many people in history have been fully rated in all 3 facilities over there. Not many. But for the poster who thinks I couldn't cut it where he is...I've never failed a checkride in my life. Just a little hint of who I am: I hold the world record. 60 F-16s at once, inside the control zone, now called the Class D, with no BRITE. A once in history event. The entire AFB launched the fleet for a special exercise. But don't worry. I would never work for the fucking FAA. It's the worst organization in the world. NATCA's number 2. (NATCA takes dues from members in Federal Contract Towers...then uses that cash in their lawsuit to get rid of the contract tower program!!! Trying to take the jobs from their own due paying members! Good job!) Nuthin but politics and back stabbing. No thanx. I'll just sit here in my Citation X next to my buddy and laugh every time one of you FAA fucks tells me to "Maintain Visual Separation".......when I'm VFR!!!!!

Please tell your buddies that's an IFR procedure. Chapter 7 right? I have to maintain visual - that's the "V" in "VFR"?!?!?!?!?

Steven Seagal called: he wants his pony tail back.

Please don't file a greivance against me. I'm really hoping to make supervisor.

Wicked Penguin said...

Man, you know, I feel sorry for you. Must be hard to fit through doors with an ego that big. Do you need a cart or something to help you carry it around?

Anonymous said...

60 F-16s? Maintaining MARSA? Not impressed.

Anonymous said...

Hey Penguin, just compare notes with this guy(gal) at payday. His stripes, if he has any left, must be getting a little heavy. As I recall, back in my glory days, most wing nut controllers couldn't separate two flies with a screen door.

Anonymous said...


I think you should do an educational piece on Class Charlie and Bravo airspace. Apparently there are some citation pilots out there that failed that question on their pilot's exam.

>I'll just sit here in my Citation X next to my buddy and laugh every time one of you FAA fucks tells me to "Maintain Visual Separation".......when I'm VFR!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Sure, this guy is quick to bash NATCA and the FAA. Yet, as another poster mentioned this guy would not cut it at C90 or A80. Any OJTI at ANY facility would not take his shit. They'd kick him in the ass and wash him out.

Charlie said...

It's easy for him to hide behind his "anonymous" tag and talk crap. What a worthless waste of space. Post your name next time if your so superior to everyone else here.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at C90...make sure you do not pat yourself on the back to much about C90. You are starting to sounding like the orginal poster. He would not get checked out..military controllers would not get checked out. Do not lump all ex-military controllers as weak sticks. As an ex-military controller, I am more than able to hold my own when the traffic comes in.

SNA said...

Hey Penguin! I fly out of NAS Whiting Field and I enjoy your blog - keep it up! FLY NAVY!!!

Anonymous said...

Flying Penguin, you are one of the few "trainees" who respect the job you have been entrusted with. If the trainees and recently certified CPCs I work with had half the driven desire to be good let alone great and picked up a .65 or SOP this place would ROCK the sky. Keep up the good work and blog.. I enjoy your view from the trainee side..for me it has been a while and sometimes we forget how it was...

an ATCS who: knows what IFF is/was, used CPN4, studied FAAO7110.8, used radar with no arts, w/wo shrimp boats, and saw flat radar screens ion action..

Towerboss said...

All I have to say is WOW.

rosaire22 said...


Your blog is great! I found your blog from "get the flick" and after spending 13 yrs working at your facility, it's a fun read for me.

I've recently retired and did so only because I still get raises as a retiree. The job was still challenging and rewarding, but after 30+ yrs and the road the FAA had taken it was time.

Your great zest for the job is outstanding, so don't let the ex-eglin idiot get to you. Honestly, he dosen't deserve your time or energy. Hate to generalize but i've dealt with many eglin controllers over the yrs some very good, others not so much.

Let me know if I can answer any questions about your training. Tell Dawg Sugar Chrissy misses kicking his arse on the tennis court.

Take care Penguin and keep grinding.

Will said...

I was a military controller.
I am a center controller now.
Biggest difference between most military controllers and an FAA controller?

Competence. Pure and simple.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for the person flying the Citation with this jackass. That ego is bound to get them killed eventually.