The ATC Report

In Control – Vol. VIII, No. 3

Hey! An episode featuring higher math! Finally, an episode that’s right up Steve and Dave’s alley, as we use higher math every day. What do you mean, you doubt it? Hey, if we issue a heading to an aircraft that’s scooting along at 33,000 feet, that’s pretty ‘high’ isn’t it? Not convinced? How about this – if an airplane is on a 350° heading and you want to turn him 20° to the right, what heading do you issue? Nope, the answer isn’t 370° - there’s only 360° in a circle, you moron. And no, the answer isn’t a 10° heading either. While you showed some knowledge of radar vectoring, how did you know the aircraft was on the 350° heading, huh? You had to ask, didn’t you? And while you were asking and then figuring out what (350°+20°)-360° was, you fell behind. See? Look at that United over there. You should have started him down miles ago. And Delta needed to be slowed to 250, but first you really have to turn that American, otherwise you’re gonna smack that Southwest! Don’t just sit there! Do something! BANG!!! They’re all dead. Still think that Steve and Dave don’t know anything about higher math? Oh, for what it’s worth – you should just tell the airplane to turn 20° to the right. You don’t care what heading he’s going to be on, and you prevent a mid-air.

Now, on to the Amazing Race version of higher math. Let’s see…we’ve got an ‘over 500 miles’, then there’s the ‘three flights’, we’ve got an ‘8 hour bus ride’, and we’ve got ‘200 pounds of shrimp’, and a ‘drive 35 miles’, and also a ‘14 attempts’, and a ‘two idiots dancing’, and also one ‘3:00 PM departure’, as well as a ‘5:00 PM departure’, and a ‘first come, first served’, and don’t forget the ‘3.2 Gs’, all combined with 2 buses and 8 teams. By our reckoning, that should make the formula something like:

LegStart + ((>500MI x 3ACFT)/(200LBS/35MI))-((8HR-2BUS)/(5PM/3PM)) = ???

Solving for ‘Elimination’, we come up with…drop the 3, carry the ‘x’…multiply by a negative tangent of 90°…eliminate the like terms…and we get…AIELLO. Huh, isn’t that interesting. Now let’s complete our calculations with:

Aiello Out / (3.2G x (1C+1S))-(2ID+14A)+(200LBS/14A)2+(8TM!) = ???

Even a child of three (or eight, if applying for TAR Family Edition®) can see that the only possible answer is, “IT’S A TRAINWRECK FOLKS, AND IT’S ALL RAY’S FAULT”.

Hey, do the math yourself. We don’t just sit around making this stuff up, you know. Well, not much of it anyhow.

Ok, a brief recap for those who missed the episode. Teams travelled to Charleston, South Carolina and visited the gazebo where Dave’s stepson got married to get their clue. (It’s true – Dave’s stepson really got married in that exact gazebo.) The detour was a choice between beheading 200 pounds of shrimp or driving through a mud bog. (Not unlike the choices on our final detour, only ours was 1100 pounds of cheese instead of 200 pounds of shrimp. We had to carry the 1100 pounds instead of dumping it on a table. Theirs was mud instead of poo, and we wouldn’t have been allowed to drive through the poo but had to dig through it instead.) Then teams took a bus ride to Huntsville, Alabama where their Road Block involved two team members riding a centrifuge all the way to a whopping 3.2 Gs. Of course, Steve and Dave experience 3.2 Gs every time they stand up. The Bransen family finished first and all got free gasoline for life. The Aiello family finished last and got eliminated. Steve and Dave finished first once. They were also on a season that won an Emmy. The court date from when they sued CBS for bouncing their prize money checks comes up in early 2009.

And still, we have no one to blame but Ray. Here’s your chance to join the fun! Why not find things that YOU can blame Ray for? Here are some things we found to help get you started:


November, 1963. A nation mourns the loss of its President. In a Dallas jail, the man accused of the crime is being led out. Suddenly, a gunshot stills the voice of Lee Harvey Oswald. There will be no trial, no testimony, no closure. We can’t blame Ray for the actual shooting, but evidence points to the fact that he was involved.


The breakup of the Beatles has been blamed on many things. Usually it’s Yoko or Linda that get the blame. Wrong. It was Ray.

Amelia Earhart’s disappearance? Ray.

Watergate? They asked the wrong question. It should have been, “What did Ray know, and when did he know it?”

The Amazing Race 7. Ray and Deana arrive at the parking lot for the pit stop first, but lose a foot race to the mat to Brian and Greg. Ray’s fault? You betcha. Hey wait…this one really IS Ray’s fault. At least that’s what Deana says.