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Thread: Air traffic controller brings kid to work, allows kid to direct air traffic

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    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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    Default Air traffic controller brings kid to work, allows kid to direct air traffic

    FAA: Child in air traffic tower talking to pilots 'not acceptable' - CNN.com

    Video - Breaking News Videos from CNN.com

    Washington (CNN) -- A supervisor and an air traffic controller at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport are on administrative leave after one apparently brought his young child to work and the child communicated with planes on an air traffic control frequency, the Federal Aviation Administration said Wednesday.

    The two tower employees were placed on leave pending the outcome of an FAA investigation into last month's incident that already is under way, the FAA said in a written statement.

    "This lapse in judgment not only violated FAA's own policies, but common sense standards for professional conduct. These kinds of distractions are totally unacceptable," FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said in the statement.

    "We have an incredible team of professionals who safely control our nation's skies every single day. This kind of behavior does not reflect the true caliber of our workforce."

    The agency said in an earlier statement, "This behavior is not acceptable and does not demonstrate the kind of professionalism expected from all FAA employees."

    However, Dave Pascoe, owner of liveatc.net, the Web site where the recording of the air traffic communications is posted, told CNN he believes the attention the incident has drawn is "ridiculous" and it has been "blown out of proportion."

    In the recording a child can be heard saying "Jet Blue 171, cleared for takeoff."

    A man is then heard telling the plane, "Here's what you get, guys, when the kids are out of school."

    The pilot chuckles and says, "Wish I could bring my kid to work." The same pilot later tells the child, "Awesome job."

    During the recording, which is dated February 17, the child also speaks to an apparent Air Mexico flight.

    A source familiar with the investigation said a second controller who was supposed to be in charge at the time "should be making sure that things like this don't happen."

    The controller who brought the child to work later reported that he had done so, the source said.

    But Pascoe said most people "in the aviation community felt like this was anything more than a noble thing, that a father would take his kid to work.

    "And when you listen to any of the recordings, the situation in the tower is very controlled. There is no hint ... that anyone was too busy or anyone was interrupting the planes. The kid cleared two airplanes. It was very controlled and I don't think safety was compromised, nor should anyone be disciplined for this," said Pascoe, who is also a pilot.

    The recording was from a network of receivers, he said, but couldn't reveal the source. The site, he said, exists for pilot education and sometimes other curious parties listen in. There was "absolutely no security threat" posed by the incident, he said.

    "I have every belief that they'd make sure there were additional eyes there," Pascoe said. "Only the best of the best work at JFK tower, and they are the best at what they do."

    "It was one incident where a kid was up in the control tower," he said. "If you know anything about aviation, you know that the air traffic control towers are highly supervised. JFK is highly supervised. It's not just one controller controlling the runway. Supervisors are there and multiple people are there making sure by looking through binoculars and at radar ... a father was taking a child to work and let the kid clear planes for takeoff and now the world thinks it's an unsafe place."

    The FAA said all unofficial visits to air traffic control operational areas, such as towers and radar rooms, will be suspended during its investigation into the incident. Babbitt has directed a team to review air traffic control policies and procedures related to facility visitors.

    The National Air Traffic Controllers Association, the union representing controllers, said in a statement, "We do not condone this type of behavior in any way.

    "It is not indicative of the highest professional standards that controllers set for themselves and exceed each and every day in the advancement of aviation safety," association spokesman Doug Church said in the statement.

    But "this is a ridiculous story," Pascoe said. "... it was blown out of proportion. Considering how skittish the public is, maybe it shouldn't be done, but I think there should be a procedure to allow visitors in the control tower."

    By visitors, he said he meant pilots and other professionals on supervised visits.

    CNN's Mike Ahlers, Jean Shin and Susan Candiotti contributed to this report.

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    Elite Member angelais's Avatar
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    This is on CNN as we speak. How fucking stupid. It's not like having your kid work through at McDonald's. Dumb ass.
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    all the kid did was speak instead of his father. it's not like he was actually controlling air traffic. i think this has been blown way, way out of proportion.
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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    they were saying that this could have distracted pilots, especially since there are international flights. I dont think it was especially bright on the parents part.
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    Kids and airplanes are always good together! Aeroflot anyone? Aeroflot Flight 593 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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    Elite Member gas_chick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    all the kid did was speak instead of his father. it's not like he was actually controlling air traffic. i think this has been blown way, way out of proportion.
    Jesus. I totally agree. It's not like the kid snuck away from his parent and was saying random shit over the airways.

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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    No one was in any real danger, but parents have to understand that there are certain jobs where it's not okay to bring your kids to work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kingcap72 View Post
    No one was in any real danger, but parents have to understand that there are certain jobs where it's not okay to bring your kids to work.
    Completely agree.

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    I'm surprised the pilots didn't report this to anyone. Yeah, nothing came of it, but this is fucking ridiculous. It's air traffic control at JFK, one of the biggest airports in the world. Come on folks, you gotta use your head for something besides a bad hairdo. I don't care if the parent IS sitting right there, I don't want some kid giving ANY kind of direction to a passenger plane anywhere.
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    Elite Member Mivvi21's Avatar
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    ^^Agreed. Plus JFK uses headsets with mikes attached so the controller had no control over the planes because the kid was wearing the headset.

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    Elite Member angelais's Avatar
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    CNN is now reporting the same guy brought his daughter to the tower the next night and pulled the same stunt.

    Fucktard.
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    Elite Member yanna's Avatar
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    What a moron! Fire him! He can take his kids to his next job, flipping burgers.

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    Elite Member Aella's Avatar
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    I agree that in all likelihood, the planes weren't in real danger-which is why this moron should only get fired as opposed to tossed in prison.

    Another example of a clueless parent who thinks their spawn are entitled access to the whole world. What's next, bringing your kid to work as a prison warden? In a science lab dealing with contagious viruses? In the zoo to help feed the tigers? Idiots.
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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Did you hear the recordings? The pilots got a kick out of it & had no problem with it. They obviously knew an adult was standing right there. While this was not the brightest move, it really did no harm. I think both the air controller & his supervisor are going to get fired. I wish they would just give them a stern warning.
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    I think it's funny.
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