Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Child Directs Planes At JFK

I know there are times when your child is off from school or there is a snow day and you have to take them to work or call in sick. It happens. What I don't really want is that child to help direct planes at one of the world's busiest airports. That is exactly what happened two weeks ago at JFK. Apparently an air traffic controller brought their child to the airport and let the child give instructions to departing planes.

Although the pilots didn't seem to mind, I mind. What if the controller was distracted by their child and what they were telling the pilots and missed something else that was going on?

31 comments:

Maja With a J said...

"Adios amigos!" *LOL*

I don't think he let the kid actually direct traffic in the air. It sounds like all he was doing was letting his kid tell the pilots that they were cleared for takeoff.

Anonymous said...

One more reason to be afraid to fly.

chihuahuense said...

I wouldn't be scared. Whatev, people can be distracted by anything.

Pookie said...

ita. saw this on gma this a.m....while i'm sure no harm was meant and that pilots got a kick out of it...it's completely inappropriate. he can come be cutesy at my workplace, but not in an air traffic control tower of a major international airport. i hope the dad doesn't lose his job, but i'm glad he's been 'relieved of his duties' pending the investigation.

sunnyside1213 said...

Most inappropriate.

califblondy said...

Jeez, slow news day or what? I heard this on GMA and I thought it was funny. The pilots seemed to be getting a kick out of it. I'm sure some poor air traffic controller is going to get fired now and this poor kid is going to feel terrible.

__-__=__ said...

I would think all (competent) air traffic controllers would know about this, from Wikipedia:
Aeroflot Flight 593, was a "Russian Airlines"[1] Airbus A310 passenger airliner, registration F-OGQS, operating on behalf of Aeroflot, which crashed into a hillside in Kemerovo Oblast on 23 March 1994. All 75 passengers and crew were killed.

Voice and flight data recorders revealed that the pilot's 15-year-old son Eldar Kudrinsky, while seated at the controls, had unknowingly disabled the A310's autopilot's control of the ailerons, which put the aircraft into a steep bank, and then an uncontrolled dive.

Different but the same. Kids do not belong in many work environments, plain and simple. I would expect the airline industry as a whole would be very sensitive about this.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

I don't think this is a big deal. Telling someone you're cleared for take-off once, is not a big deal. It's not like the kid was up to eyes, alone, directing planes. Who cares.

figgy said...

Good Parental Judgement: yer doin' it wrong.

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

I would also like to point out that during h.s we did "Take a kid to work day" and I got to be in a hospital around drugs, medical things and people whose lives were in danger/not well, and no one flipped their lid about that. I could have probably easily killed someone by pressing buttons too, but I didn't cause I was taught not to act a fool in certain instances.

sorry. I just think this is SO DUMB.
/rant

Middle-aged Diva (Carol) said...

it's a mistake when so many lives at stake. you just never know.

Miss(pdx) said...

This is the kind of thing that probably happened a lot in the 80's and never got press because no one would bat an eye.

Times have changed. I am glad I got to grow up in a world where there was at least some symoblance of innocence left. Now that everything is viral even the most innocent of situations can take on sinister connotations.

I say let the freaking kid direct a little traffic .. I am sure in a room full of professionals the odds of something bad happening as a direct result are probably a lot less then the possibility that some inebriated adult who could be on a number of pain pills or even antidepressants on the job making a clowdy and potenially fatal call.

Patty said...

Um, where there no members of management around to see the kid. Aren't there a lot of controllers in that room?

Unknown said...

I agree with some of you, this is no big deal. People are so up tight these days. ATC'rs have a dual plug headset his father was sitting right next to him, telling him what to say to the pilots while he was doing his job. The ATC'rs, especially ones at busy airports, have the most stressful job in the world and just as high suicide rates. Now if they published the audio of all the near miss audio that you never hear about then you would really be scared... Bottomline lighten up...

Icecat said...

I'm sorry but this, to me, is completely UNACCEPTABLE & IRRESPONSIBLE. My mind immediately thought of the exact plane crash mentioned above. I hope he loses his job. Out of control...

caydian said...

Totally against FAA rules. Lose the job.

lutefisk said...

I wonder if the father would get on a plane with someone else's kid directing traffic.....

nancer said...

oh, i beg to differ. this is a VERY big deal.
and how fucking stupid is this guy? that's what worries me----this is an incredible lapse of judgment. not a good trait for an air traffic controller.

angelina said...

In a way I do think it's cute, but we *are* talking about a machine filled with combustible fuel. What if the kid said something wrong, all it takes is a split second for something to go awry

MommaBear said...

Maybe they do things differently in the states, but here in Canada you can't invite people along to work. My husband used to be a Controller with Edmonton On Route, and you need an extremely high level of national security clearance to be any where near a tower or a regional control center.

I find it shocking that in a country that spends billions on national security, someone with no reason to be there would be allowed to tag along.

When I'm a passenger in a plane, I expect my pilots and air traffic controllers to be competent and completely focused on the task at hand, and not babysitting. Perhaps I expect too much?

HannahPalindrome said...

Aeroflot Flight 593
75 people died on the plane because the pilot's kid was in the cockpit at the controls.

There have been several air plane crashes because the controller was distracted.

There was an incident a long time ago where two planes crashed in the air because the controller was distracted.

People should watch air plane investigations from National Geographic or the Discovery channel. Very interesting.

HannahPalindrome said...

Aeroflot Flight 593
75 people died on the plane because the pilot's kid was in the cockpit at the controls.

There have been several air plane crashes because the controller was distracted.

There was an incident a long time ago where two planes crashed in the air because the controller was distracted.

People should watch air plane investigations from National Geographic or the Discovery channel. Very interesting.

Antrax said...

HMMM lets see - child on handset plugged into "training" jack and parent on headset plugged into "OVERRIDE" jack. Sounds like what we do everyday what with the extreme loss of experienced Controllers between 2001-2009. As a Controller with 30 years experience and the recent loss of experience, and the continuous training of new "potential" Controllers, it would appear that Dad/Mom was simply trying to help the FAA find new talent. Disregard all the snark above, No one talks to an aircraft without being certified unless they are under direct observation and the certified person observing is plugged into an override jack. Override means they can "key" up and cut off/override any transmission made by the "trainee".

timebob said...

This is such a non-story. The kid gave a simple command. Sounds like a lot of you are jealous that a father loves his child so much that he would take him to work and give him a great day to remember.

Sounds like a few of you have some daddy issues to work out.

Nobody is going to lose their jobs.

Unknown said...

When I first heard this I thought the kid snuck in and was directing traffic. He wasn't. He was repeating what his dad told him. Not a big deal.

Sara Bellum said...

If you hear the entire feed you can tell that the kid isn't doing it alone. He's also only clearing them for takeoff and nothing else even remotely complex. Nobody was in danger. Maybe the guy should be reprimanded, but fired? There are few enough ATCs as there is. We're going to have a serious problem in a few years. We can't afford to fire someone over something like this.

Majik said...

I wonder how many people would support a surgeon bringing his/her son to work and doing the same thing...."the line's already drawn, all you need to do is cut".

Child should NOT have been in the control tower at all, let alone on the conn.

lana said...

not a big deal! also surgeons let volunteers and medical students do easy stuff in surgeries not cutting but holding of equipment etc. thats why hospitals are learning facilities.......

mooshki said...

Hmm, do you think Barack lets Sasha and Malia play around with the big red button in the oval office?

Merlin D. Bear said...

What's even worse is that he brought his daughter the next day and let her do the same thing.

Merlin D. Bear said...
This comment has been removed by the author.

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