ZJX Memories Picture Page

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Andy Varnes How about these for starters? My memory has been telling me for years that this was Andy Varnes. If anyone can positively contradict that, please let me know. I cannot, for the life of me, identify which position this must have been. It’s also the only picture I ever took inside a facility in my 30 years. I don’t know why.

PVD from the ’80s It’s really hard to get a clear shot of our RBDE-5 (later PVD) scopes. Everything I’ve found on the internet has included a body in front of it. Here’s an example of some guy I don’t know from ZOA. Our overheads looked nothing like that. In fact there weren’t any, as I recall.

PVD from the ’90s I never saw this in ZJX. We got them at ZAU just before I got there, and they were just starting to train with them. However, we were still using a lot of broadband three years later when I changed areas. Interestingly, this is a ZAU unit, and unless I miss my guess, the controller is Leo Rasp. This image is all over the net. I wonder if Leo knows he’s famous?

ZJX area This should be generally familiar to all. This is a post ’80s image of the area (after giving away AGS and taking ORL and TPA—seems like the Gulf area around what used to be Control 1226 was expanded, too). What I wouldn’t give to have one of my old hand drawn maps from Flight Data School. Real works of art, those.

View from the front This would be a familiar sight to all, too. Apparently, from recently googlemaps imagery I’ve seen, this entrance has been moved from CR-108 to Kings Ferry Road. I don’t know the vintage of this pic, so can’t testify as to what additions or modifications are represented. Remember, I left in 1973, and although I visited once in 1999, I didn’t study the physical plant from the outside. This is pretty much how I remember it.

Typical interior shot c. 1975 This is how I remember it looking inside. I stole this picture from a ZOA guy, and it’s actually of that facility, not ZJX. Picture taken from the catwalk between the training wing and the administration wing. Note the Vu-Graph images projected on the wall with local altimeter settings. We didn’t have those at ZAU when I got there, although I can imagine they probably did before the computer got there.

IBM 9020 Remember our IBM 9020 computer? This image is significant because we were the first to have one. For those who don’t remember, ZJX was the beta facility for the prototype of what became NAS Enroute Stage A Model 3 flight data processing. Ours was actually Model 1, and this is the monster that drove it. There were still some 9020s functioning as radar data drivers when I retired in ’97. But this is where it all began.

Ah, the double ended pencil Every center controller in the country remembers these—except ZAU people. We didn’t use red anywhere in our strip marking. We used ball point pens. ZAU strip marking took some getting used to. Have a look at myStrip Markingarticle so you can learn some of the differences. By the way, remember the black lead in a new pencil was actually blue, but the refill leads really were black. To all who knew me when, yes, I marked strips.

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Last updated: 19 January 2012