In my “Life Story” I related how the average controller certifies on roughly seven radar positions for the bulk of his or her career. If they change areas or transfer to another facility, they might get a dozen. Rarely will one find a longer resume than that. Due to two facilities and two areas in one and four areas in another, I wound up with a little longer list. I've annotated it below:
(Mouseover any identifier below to decode)
Odd…I never noticed before—half in ZJX, half in ZAU. Even though I only worked in two areas in ZJX, I checked out on all of the High Altitude sectors in the facility (except for T-38s) before they split East and West. In ZAU I was never certified on as many as half the High Altitude sectors (well, maybe just exactly half—the facility was split East/West at the time), and even though my low sectors covered three areas, I still was only certified on probably a third or fewer of the low sectors.
Update: In doing research for another article, my memory got jogged. I think I’ve neglected to include the original super high in ZAU’s west area. It overlaid IOW and DBQ and I believe it was called Arlington. That will make 41 sectors, but I’m not going to add it to the list quite yet until I can confirm it with some other old timers (hard to come across) or check my Thirty Years in a Box resource. We’re going back forty years, as it would have been established around 1974 or 1975. Adding it also upsets the balance of the universe alluded to in the preceding paragraph.
Continuing…If you’re having trouble making the numbers add up, it’s because we lost sectors, created new sectors, and reconfigured areas during my time there. And in fact, I actually worked in four areas—West High, West Terminal, Southwest, and South. The truth is, the Southwest Area was a conglomeration of parts of West High, West Wing, and West Terminal—all cobbled together in the great anti-specialty reorganization in the ’80s. The sectors in which I was certified in the Southwest Area were sectors from West Terminal and West High in which I’d already been certified. I never checked out in any of the Wing sectors (didn’t want to, for a variety of reasons—didn’t need to, in any event), so the sector count stays the same, whether I worked in three areas or four.
As I recall, when I left, we had some 55 sectors at ZAU—I’d be surprised if there was half that in ZJX. One of the ZAU sectors no longer exists (West Satellite—it disappeared in an ORD expansion around 1984). At least two of the ZJX sectors no longer exist (AGS High and AGS Low—AGS was transferred to ZTL in the ’80s or ’90s).
Update: I reread my articles periodically and occasionally I’m reminded of information previously unremembered or new data. In this case, I seem to recall we had another Super High at ZAU on the West side called Arlington. I won’t add it to the list above (and spoil the balance of the universe) principally because it was either a remake of the Waverly sector, or it overlaid the DBQ sector alone, which was basically just DBQ, only higher.
Last updated: 02 September 2018