Boy Directs JFK Air Traffic

Discussion in 'Modern' started by Njaco, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    JFK Airport: Boy Directs Air Traffic Control, Caught on Tape - ABC News

    Kid Controller Controversy: Boy Directs JFK Air Traffic
    Controllers Suspended After Allowing Child to Instruct Pilots
    By LISA STARK, KATE McCARTHY and MATT HOSFORD
    March 3, 2010

    JFK airport is one of the largest airports in the country, handling a thousand takeoffs and landings a day. But at approximately 8 pm on the evening of Feb. 16 a child was caught on tape in the control tower directing air traffic and giving instructions to pilots.

    Certified controller is suspended after letting son give pilots instructions."Jet Blue 171, clear for takeoff," the young boy said, according to audio recordings from LiveATC.net.

    The boy was speaking to Sacramento bound Airbus A320 that departed JFK airport at 7:56pm, according to flightstats.com, a Website that tracks flight information.

    The pilot replied "Clear for takeoff, 171."

    The child's father, who is a certified controller, brought his son to work with him but then put him to work as well, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

    "This is what you get, guys, when the kids are out of school," the father said to a pilot.

    "Wish I could bring my kid to work," the pilot responded.

    Yet on the audio recording, the pilots appear more amused than worried.

    "Jet Blue 171, contact departure," the boy, who is believed to be around 8 or 9 -years-old, said.

    "Over to Jet Blue departure, 171. Awesome job," the pilot responded.

    The young boy continued directing pilots for several takeoffs.

    "4-0-3, prepare for takeoff," the boy said. According to flightstats.com this Aeromexico flight was departing at 7:56 pm for Mexico City.

    "4-0-3, preparing for takeoff. Thank you very much, have a great day," the pilot responded.

    " A-Mex 4-0-3, contact departure, adios," the boy said.

    "Adios, amigo," the boy said, speaking to another plane.

    "Adios, amigo," the pilot responded. "Over to departure, Jet Blue 195."

    Jet Blue flight 195 departed at 7:58 pm for Las Vegas, according to flightstats.com.

    The FAA, which hasn't released the names of the controllers involved, is not treating this as a joke. It is investigating the controller, as well as a supervising controller. Both have been relieved of their duties, the FAA said.

    "This behavior is not acceptable and does not demonstrate the kind of professionalism expected from FAA employees," the agency said in a statement.
     
  2. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Just wtf was the parent thinking?

    I'd hate to see him lose his job, but this was a lapse in judgment that is astounding.
     
  3. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Have to admit, the job of an ATC is too important and vital to let a kid handle it.
     
  4. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    It is a non event , I/m sure the kid was sitting in a training position in which the controller can override the transmissions of the trainee. Think about the last time you went flying in a General Aviation aiircraft and the pilot let you have a turn at the controls its no different . Another point to ponder is the position the kid was sitting in he was clearing aircraft for take off he wasn't working a sector or terminal the pilot had already recieved his clearance including departure instructions and freq's , What you didn't hear and is most important is all the coordination behind the scenes between departure, arrival and tower . The take off instructions had no changes to his departure such as altitude restrictions or turns .
     
  5. Colin1

    Colin1 Active Member

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    #5 Colin1, Mar 4, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2010
    Sounds like the aircraft were simply waiting for the order to roll
    I could understand it if they'd been in the landing pattern

    Not condoning it, he should've known this would blow up in his face - the stories I hear from you guys about the FAA don't make it sound pretty
     
  6. rochie

    rochie Well-Known Member

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    just been on our news that the same guy let his daughter do the same thing the next day !
    not sure how much danger the aircraft involved were actually in though
     
  7. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Pb is 100% correct - this is all about nothing. The only thing I could say is thee controller should have thought twice about this as the Hudson river mid-air happened not so long ago just a few miles away. It would seem to me that anything going on in that area is being closely monitored.
     
  8. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    The fact being no pilots or other controllers bitched about it, it was some guy sitting in his house monitoring ATC that blew the guy in . The controller in the tower biggest job in an enviroment such as this would be coordinating the flow or between arrival and departure and ground to maximize the use of the rwy and that is something you don't hear on the tape
     
  9. timshatz

    timshatz Active Member

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    Agree with PB and Flyboy, it sounds like the kid was on ground controll, not air. Kinda like a traffic cop directing traffic with his son standing next to him and doing the same thing. Drivers pay attention and do what the kid tells them to do while the cop monitors it. If I was driving and had it happen, I'd probably think it was pretty cool.

    As the guys above said, it's a non-event. Ground is removed from air and kind of, a step below. Little more relaxed than air. Just a "Go over there and do this" without a time limit on it. Most of the time. Given that everyone in the loop (Pilots, Ground Controllers, ect) was a professional and the kid was just doing what someone was telling him, it's nothing.
     
  10. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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    It's a matter of perception, and perception is reality. Agree with Joe and pb that it wasn't that big a deal, but it was an incredibly stupid move on the part of the controller IMO.

    TO
     
  11. Waynos

    Waynos Active Member

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    I agree that the kid was never actually in control of anything, but looking at it from a dfferent angle, how irresponsible of the parent to expose his child like that. I mean, imagine his trauma and anguish if one of those planes had crashed. It could have screwed him up for life.
     
  12. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Well, seeing how the kid wasn't exactly directing traffic, just giving take off clearance, I'm more sympathetic. Still, he should have know that was going to bite him the @ss.

    As a slightly off-topic question, how bad is the FAA today compared to 30-40 years ago?
     
  13. pbfoot

    pbfoot Active Member

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    How many people let there kids "fly" the plane as they sit in the right seat
     
  14. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    As far as being strict or being assholes?
     
  15. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Well, I guess both.
     
  16. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    It actually depends what part of the country you're in. I dealt with the FAA in California in LA, Florida, Colorado and Mississippi. 20 or 30 years ago many of the maintenance and operations inspectors were hardasses and sometimes acted on things they knew little or nothing about. A "kinder, gentler FAA emerged in the 1990s. These days you have a lot of new folks, some are real good, others lack experience and common sense.

    My 2 cents...
     
  17. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Okay, thanks for your input.
     
  18. lesofprimus

    lesofprimus Active Member

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    Why the fu*k is this Globally Important News????

    How bout what Obama and his staff of meatballs are doing to this country??? I think that should take precedence over some guys having their kids at work with them giving the pilots a laugh or two...

    Big frickin deal...

    Today in Mississippi, they sentenced the second of three black punk teeneagers who carjacked and killed this poor guy who asked for directions at a gas station in Moss Point... One more to go...
     
  19. Pong

    Pong Active Member

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    CNN, Fox and most of the other news stations have nothing else to report. Same here, most of the time, stupid and unimportant news comes in here because they have nothing to report on.

    Though why was the boy allowed in the tower? Crap, there are planes circling around a busy airport and one little mistake could possibly seal the fate of one pilot and the passengers. Security these days....:|
     
  20. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    I've seen this story on a few forums.
    The general public, CNN and the news organizations are flipping out over it.
    The pilots and anyone with knowledge of the sytem see it as a non issue.

    When the heck did take your kid to work day become such a nightmare?
    I'll bet those were the safest few hours in that area.
    IMO, everbody was on their toes to make sure nothing went wrong while this was happening.

    Thank heaven I was a kid when I was and everybody seemed to have some perspective on what was dangerous and what wasn't...


    Wheels
     
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