Kennedy Steve

Hey y’all!
I know I am probably several years too late but I just stumbled upon tales about an ATC guy called “Kennedy Steve” at KJFK and watched some videos. That guy is hilarious! (Or was. I read he retired).

Any stories y’all have about him or similar guys?
And if yes: do you think that is unprofessional and shouldn’t be done, or do you think it is fine?

Plane: Delta 123 ready for taxi with Mike
ATC: You and Mike can taxi for 23L via Alpha.

Oh there are lots of “personalities” out there in the ATC world. Obviously you learn the local ones most easily, but you also find and remember ones afar too. We had a great CLT ATC guy that we used to call “The Auctioneer” because his cadence sounded very much like he was selling cars or artwork at an auction.

Likewise, there was “Niner” guy at RDU. He used to take great pains to enunciate “Niner” at every single instance it would come up - technically correct, but nobody does it. For instance - our callsign N209CM is usually just said by everyone (ATC and pilots) as just “November Two Oh Nine Charlie Mike” and he would always “Niner” the nines. Every time. Like: “altimeter setting two-niner-niner-two”. My theory on that was that he’d be dinged by some FAA dude or something for improper something or another and he went ahead with malicious compliance from that point forward.

Kennedy Steve (I don’t know that I ever ran across him…we don’t get to JFK much…TEB and LGA more often) sounds professional, competent, confident, and sounds like he knows what he’s doing. I typically enjoy banter like that when it is appropriate and it can definitely help de-escalate situations.


Ah…actually here IS a recording of Auctioneer CLT…(he’s the CLT Tower controller…there are some other voices mixed in there handling other ATC positions…)


ENGM/OSL Gardermoen airport used to have a controller called Isak, that became somewhat of a legend.
I remeber him calmly commenting us breaching two double taxilines on the tarmac, on our way to the gate.
«That’s one way of doing it, I guess. At least you found your gate. Well done!» :smiley:


A few interesting/funny ones:


There are some things on the internet that will literally drop you down a hole of time.

I just spent an hour listening to Kennedy Steve audio clips.

“Do not fly facing the passengers, otherwise they get very concerned.”

“We’re crying with laughter here.”


down a rabbit hole indeed. I now understand why they call ATC one of the most stressful jobs in the world. I used to work a telephone for a bit, but this sounds WAY worse.

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That auctioneer guy really has an interesting way to talk!