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Thread: Just when you thought flying couldn't get any worse...

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2007
    last house on the left

    Just when you thought flying couldn't get any worse...

    US officials are investigating how a child was apparently allowed to direct planes at New York's JFK airport - one of the country's busiest.

    The probe comes after an audiotape caught the boy directing several pilots preparing for take-off last month.

    In one exchange, the boy is heard saying: "JetBlue 171 contact departure." The pilot responds: "Over to departure JetBlue 171, awesome job."

    The boy was apparently with his father - a certified air traffic controller.

    The adult is later heard saying with a laugh: "That's what you get, guys, when the kids are out of school."

    In another exchange, the child says: "MS 4-0-3, contact departure," and then adds: "Adios, amigo."

    The pilot responds: "Adios, amigo."

    The pilots on the tape appear to be not concerned that a child is giving them instructions.

    The incident happened on 17 February, when many New York pupils were on a week-long break.

    The age and name of the child and the adult on the audiotape were not immediately known.

    'Not indicative' incident

    The Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement: "Pending the outcome of our investigation, the employees involved in this incident are not controlling air traffic.

    "This behaviour is not acceptable and does not demonstrate the kind of professionalism expected from all FAA employees."

    The agency did not give any further details.

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association said the incident was "not indicative of the highest professional standards that controllers set for themselves and exceed each and every day in the advancement of aviation safely".

  2. #2
    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Virginia Beach, Va
    I saw that on the news this morning, the kids knew his shit and sounded kool, the pilots were communicating back with no problems.
    but the faa said it wasn't representing the professional manner it should.
    which I think everyone agrees with, but it was still kool
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
    Ronald Reagan

  3. #3
    Senior Member CapnGimp's Avatar
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    Jun 2004
    Alpine, TX USA male T4complete
    Blog Entries
    I have no problems with it. The pilots he was communicating with were comfortable with it, which says to me, they knew p0p was there overseeing it. Pops teaching sons the business, apprenticeship training, the way it should be done. Haha, I like it.

  4. #4
    Strictly speaking, this would be illegal.
    However, in practice, if he only was instructing them to contact departure, I see no harm in it (sounds like he was on ground control), especially as Dad was right there.
    If he were giving any movement instructions, such as which runway, or even which taxiway, to use, then that would be potentially very dangerous, and I would get very upset.
    - Richard

  5. #5
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Can't be any worse than Reagan firing every air traffic controller and replacing them with minimum-wage trainees.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2007
    Fithian, IL
    I heard this today too and I thought it was cute. The little guy sounded like a pro. I don't know what the harm is, its not like he was in there all by himself and causing problems. They were all doing a great job. What ever happened to "take your son/daughter to work day" ? Hope dad doesn't loose his job over this.

  7. #7
    Senior Member wtf's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
    silver state
    Leave your kid at home - this is a workplace not a daycare.

  8. #8
    I'm confident that it was safe - I'm sure the parent told him exactly what to say.

    Cute - sure.

    But... no, they can't be doing that. Dumb choice by the parent there.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    last house on the left
    I wouldn't be too amused if I was on the plane, or someone I loved. While I do believe the kid was just parroting what his father was saying we all know that kids stray from what was said or simply misunderstand it, which would not have been cute. I'm with WTF on this one. An air traffic control tower is no place for kids, even if they are kept off the microphone.

  10. #10
    The media is blowing it out of proportion. The Dad was simply feeding the kid the harmless instruction. Some of the pilots were even having fun w/it . Good job kid!

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