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Super Bowl Game Day Air Traffic

Directing air traffic for Super Bowl XII in New Orleans, we controllers had to be on our game. ( More...

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Mike Mohle 1
I am picturing fleets of DC-3s swarming the field!!!
Ray Irizarry 1
Nice to reminisce, Gary. Gene Thornton, Bob Chan, Henry Boudreaux, Paul Bourg, and my trainee, Melo Nix - one of the first female controllers, along with Joe Kemp, Billy Hennigan, and others whose names I've long forgotten worked Super Bowl VI in 1972. I remember the controlled chaos to this day. Ole Thunder Thornton had been my instructor two years earlier. He unnerved any rookie pilot. Chan operated on the principle of the "big sky" concept, that a mid-air was astronomically unlikely. And Paul Bourg always demanded a last row seat whenever he flew, on the theory he never heard of an airplane backing into the ground. The following year I transferred to IAH where I was able to give them an idea of what to expect for its first game (Super Bowl VIII). But you're right. The air games around MSY and IAH were as exciting, or, in my opinion, more so, than the ones being played out in Tulane, Rice, and later, the Superdome.


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