Sunny Side Up
From a 2002 New Yorker article:
“When people talk about the need to modernize the American air-traffic-control system, this is, in large part, what they are referring to. Whenever a plane takes off, the basic data about the flight—the type of plane, the radar I.D. number, the requested altitude, the destination—are printed out on a stiff piece of paper, perhaps one and a half by six and a half inches, known as a flight strip. And as the plane passes through each sector of the airspace the controller jots down, using a kind of shorthand, everything new that is happening to the plane—its speed, say, and where it’s heading, clearances from ground control, holding instructions, comments on the pilot. It’s a method that dates back to the days before radar, and it drives critics of the air-traffic-control system crazy. Why, in this day and age, are planes being handled like breakfast orders in a roadside diner?”
At least I’ll still get my breakfast in the event of a computer crash.