John Carr’s Gone Fishin’

By Robert Mark on July 22nd, 2008

Anyone who follows the happenings of the FAA and air traffic control knows John Carr. He spent more than a couple of years at the helm of NATCA, the controller’s union, and was Pat Forrey’s predecessor. I had the pleasure of interviewing John just about a year ago today in fact here at Jetwhine. image

Until last week, John wrote the blog The Main Bang.

His weblog was most often a peek inside the lunacy that is the FAA that, unfortunately, runs most of our lives to some degree or another. If a blog was supposed to be passionate to be good, then John’s was excellent. You could just tell that he wasn’t writing to make money or win friends – hardly, some might say – but rather to make readers feel what he felt. This he did, with thunderbolts of insight about what’s wrong with the air traffic control system today.

If you missed reading The Main Bang, you’ll need to be patient before you see it again, because last week John shut the blog down tighter than Fort Knox.

He decided it was time for a break, so John pushed away his keyboard and hung up his Gone Fishin sign. As the author of an occasionally passionate piece of social media myself, I can well understand how much this kind of thing takes out of editors and writers so John’s break is well deserved.

Will the Main Bang return again? While some hope it never again sees the light of day, I can only say I hope his name pops up again. But only John knows for sure. You may not have agreed with him at times, but boy John sure knew how to get people talking about air traffic control.

Until then, catch a big one buddy. And stop by the other aviation blogs occasionally and tell us what you and family are up to in the wilds of Florida. We’ll miss you and your barbed civil servant tongue.

Rob Mark, editor


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8 Responses to “John Carr’s Gone Fishin’”

  1. on the recieving end Says:

    I sure hope to read JTB banging away again soon.

  2. Robert Mark Says:

    What’s JTB?

  3. superdave Says:

    JTB = Johnnie The BULL

  4. Robert Mark Says:

    John The Bull???

    This dude been holding out on me. I never heard anyone call him that. Cool.

  5. John Carr Says:


    Thank you very much for the kind words. As far as the nickname….I got that when I was one of the team of negotiators who landed the 1998 NATCA/FAA contract. Those were the glory years of a profession that Marion Blakey almost single-handedly destroyed.

    How I got the name is a very, very funny story and not at all what people think. I’ll email it to you privately. I was called that almost exclusively (Johnny The Bull) for the last ten years, and sign much of my work JTB. In fact, once when I was flying and trying to wiggle my aircraft out of a two hour delay I told the FA to tell the Captain to tell the tower that John Carr was aboard. She came back a few minutes later and said, “The captain said the tower said ‘who?'” I told her, “Tell him to say he’s got Johnny The Bull.” The next thing we heard was, “Fasten your seat belts, folks, we’ve been released….and thanks, Bull.”

    After the flight he asked if he could say that all the time…I told him to have a ball, but I traveled a lot and might be in the room he was talking to when he made the request. We both had a great laugh.

    See what you did? Made me start typing again. Veeerry cagey Rob.

    Anyway…continue to fight the good fight, brother blogger, and hopefully our paths will cross sooner rather than later.

    Very best,

    John S. Carr
    aka JTB
    aka Johnny The Bull
    Immediate Past President, NATCA
    Current retiree, Indian Rocks Beach, Florida

  6. RGibbons Says:


    I guess you’re OK. Missed your return call.


  7. Jay Cole Says:

    Damn… I really miss that guy!! I hope he really, really, REALLY enjoys his hiatus only to return (soon) with as much fire and gusto as always!

  8. Robert Mark Says:

    “See what you did? Made me start typing again. Veeerry cagey Rob.

    Anyway…continue to fight the good fight, brother blogger, and hopefully our paths will cross sooner rather than later.

    Very best,

    John S. Carr”

    Never crossed my mind to try to draw you out. But long as you’re here John, how the heck are you feeling? Jack Daniels is the cure for almost anything I hear.

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