Turbulence in the Tower

The controllers walk, the President hangs tough, and the planes (mostly) fly

The fateful collision could have been foreseen by any air controller, without even a glance at the ghostly blips on his radarscope. Like a Piper Cub lost in a thunderstorm, the tiny Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization—representing 85% of the 17,500 federal employees who direct the nation's air traffic—veered wildly off course. It flew into a rage against its employer, launching an illegal federal strike. An angry Ronald Reagan, revving up the full jumbo-jet power...

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