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JFK tower allowed kids to direct air traffic

Pushkar Choudhary
Rancher

Joined: May 21, 2006
Posts: 425

An air traffic controller at one of the busiest airports in the US was suspended after his young son was permitted to give radio instructions to pilots.
The complete story here. Shocking!!!
Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6661
    
    5

It depends. The kid was just repeating stuff that the air traffic controller was saying. At first glance it looks like a regular overreaction by the media.

On the other hand I do remember an incident where a pilot allowed his son/daughter to take control of a plane and it ended up crashing into the ground and killing all passengers. Is the same likely in the air traffic controller event ? Well I dont know. I would say that its probable that a disaster can happen but the probability is much lower.


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Jules Bach
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 28, 2008
Posts: 71
The kid was just repeating stuff that the air traffic controller was saying. At first glance it looks like a regular overreaction by the media.


True, but in air traffic control when things go wrong - averting a disaster can require a split second reaction. Air traffic controllers requires many years of training and supervision, it's not something that a child can safely mimic.

There was an incident at Heathrow in 2001, where had a British Airways Boeing 747 on approach had not already begun a go-around manoeuvre about a second before the controller told him to a collision may have occurred.

Take off and landing - statistically are the most risky times to be in an aircraft.


Pankaj Programmer
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 12, 2010
Posts: 37
Pushkar Choudhary wrote:An air traffic controller at one of the busiest airports in the US was suspended after his young son was permitted to give radio instructions to pilots.
The complete story here. Shocking!!!


CRAZY NEWS ... CRAZY FATHER....
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18717
    
  40


I bet everyone in the tower thought it was cute (or funny). The pilots talking to the tower (sounds like they) thought it was funny. I too, thought it was cute when I heard the tapes.

Surprisingly, for so many people involved, no one remembered that it is against FAA regulations for a tower visitor to transmit over the airways. Both the controller and the supervisor at the time of the incident, has been suspended.

Henry


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fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11230
    
  16

I'm not sure about this...I go back and forth. My understanding is that there are several different jobs in the tower...some control planes in the air, others do runway control, and others handle ground traffic. If the kid were giving landing and take-off instructions, that would be bad. If he were saying "plane XYZ, go to gate 47", I think it's less of an issue.


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Arvind Mahendra
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 14, 2007
Posts: 1162
God, what a stupid man. He should've just pretended that it was him all along, like he was pretending to be a muppet or a sesame street character or something.


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Greg Charles
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 01, 2001
Posts: 2848
    
  11

I don't know. From what I heard, the kid just gave clearance to one plane to take off, and he was clearly just repeating what his father said. He wasn't making decisions or keeping the real controllers from taking charge if there had been an emergency.

On the other hand, the incident I think Deepak is referring to happened when a similar well-meaning father, who was a pilot, let his son into the cockpit and even sat him on the pilot's chair. A little innocent thrill for the kid, but he happened to bump the controls, which automatically disconnected an element of the autopilot, which the real pilots didn't realize, which ended up in the plane going down and killing everyone. So ... it's probably best to follow the rules strictly in these cases, and buy your son an ice cream later instead.
 
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