Audio indicates kid directed planes at NY airport

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by rdowns, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #1
    Link

    Talk about bad judgement on the part of his father (?).

     
  2. macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    I was the youngest pilot in Pan Am history. When I was four, the pilot let me ride in the cockpit and fly the plane with him. And I was four, and I was great and I would have landed it, but my dad wanted us to go back to our seats.
    -Dwight Schrute
     
  3. macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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  4. macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #4
    I am a pilot myself with the intent on going on to the airlines. While it was unprofessional and maybe poor judgement, he shouldn't be punished. From the sounds of it everything was well under control. The father was probably listening in and ready to step in if anything came up.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    pukifloyd

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    #5
    awesome :D

    jk...i think the controllers who were responsible should be penalised...
     
  6. macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

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    #6
    It's like when a father takes his son into a state store (for those of us unlucky enough to live in a state that strictly controls the sale of liquor) and the son swipes his dad's credit card. It's not right in the strictest sense, but what are you going to do about it?

    If having a kid in the tower was that big of a deal, the other flight controllers would have said something. The fact that no one seemed to care tells me that it's not that big of a deal.
     
  7. macrumors 68040

    bigjnyc

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    #7
    It sounds like the kid was just repeating what the father was telling him to say I dont see the big deal. People tend to blow things out of proportion this kid was not really controlling airplane traffic he was just relaying messages to pilots for his dad.
     
  8. JNB
    macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #8
    Somehow your analogy seems to miss the point.

    As far as nobody caring, the FAA does, and it's their tower, and the controllers are their employees.

    As a former controller myself, I can see both sides to the argument, but it boils down to the fact that the controllers aren't there for when things are working well, but when they are going wrong. Yes, the child was being supervised, told explicitly what to say with Dad right there, but it is still a clear violation, and Dad, his supervisor, and everyone else there should have known better. Those rules are there for very explicit reasons, and not subject to "Gee, it seemed OK at the time" determinations.

    Just for icing on the entire matter, it was at JFK. Out of all the places to have this take place, they couldn't have picked a much worse one. And considering that the transmissions are broadcast in the clear for anyone to listen to and are recorded, the judgement exercised up there seems to be less than confidence-inspiring.
     
  9. macrumors 601

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    #9
    Yabut, the father was supposed to be monitoring several flights at once, not several flights and his kid! Sounds like they're saying the kid should not have been allowed to be there in the first place, according to well-established FAA rules.
     
  10. macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #10
    I don't think the fact the kid said anything is a big deal, I'm sure a lot of training new controllers is "Okay, now say this:" which is basically what the dad did, but the fact the kid was up there is a big deal. How is he supposed to monitor his kid and the flights at the same time? When someone is being trained, I'm sure staffing is adjusted for the fact that two people are doing the job of one, but now when someone's kid is up there.
     
  11. macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #11
    I've been involved in a lengthy discussion about this over at the LiveATC.net forums. The actual clip of the kid controlling is there.

    This really is a non-issue that is being over-sensationalized. The controller (the father) told everyone beforehand what was happening, so pilots would not be surprised or worried about someone broadcasting with a transceiver. In fact, everything the child said came from his father, and he did a hell of a lot better job than most controllers that I know!

    It sucks that the guy in question is on administrative leave, but sucks even more that a wonderful day spent between a father and son on the equivalent of a 'take your kid to work day' is going to be soured with bureaucracy.

    JFK Tower is a radar-certified facility. They have a set of nice screens there that show where all of the aircraft are, their callsigns, the whole lot. He could have his kid sitting on his lap and both of them looking at the monitor. They aren't just limited to binoculars, like some of the older towers (still) are.

    BL.
     
  12. macrumors 601

    Joined:
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    #12
    Wasn't there a movie made about your experience?

    Captain Oveur: Say, Lill' Dwight, you ever been in a cockpit before?
    Lill' Dwight: No sir, I've never been up in a plane before.

    [​IMG]
    No wonder your Dad was concerned…
     
  13. macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #13
    Have you ever seen a grown man naked?
     
  14. macrumors 601

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    #14
    I *snipped* that bit… impressionable minds and all. ;) :D
     
  15. macrumors 603

    notjustjay

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    #15
    Cute! When I was younger (probably 9-13 years old) I used to ask the flight attendant if I could go visit the cockpit when the plane was cruising at altitude. Way back when, that wasn't a problem. I remember one overseas flight where I sat in the cockpit watching the sun rise along with the rest of the crew. It was a beautiful sight, at that altitude it only takes a few moments for the horizon to be suddenly bathed in light. I had my camcorder with me, so I probably still have footage somewhere of that awesome moment.

    One of many memorable experiences to go by the wayside in today's age of terrorism fears.
     
  16. macrumors G5

    ucfgrad93

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    #16
    Not the brightest move on the part of the controller. I think he should be suspended for a couple of days.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

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  18. macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #18
    I miss being able to go up to the cockpit, so do most of the pilots.
     
  19. macrumors G3

    dmr727

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    #19
    Safety probably wasn't compromised, so I tend to think the media is making a bigger deal out of this than it is, but the controller really should have known better. It's usually Not a Good Thing to publicly embarrass your employer like that. :eek:
     
  20. macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #20
    Ethically it's screwy to play with lives, and to be giving a lax regard to public safety is a PR disaster for the FAA especially when you consider the shocking amount of plane accidents in the past years.

    I personally have no doubt that the kid was watched over, told what to say, and had he said something stupid that could have caused misdirection, that his dad, the operator would have easily and quickly rectified it.

    But responsibility is a funny thing, if one guy starts messin around and gets away with it, it can snowball a bit, and I think maybe there isn't much margin for error in that environment. Probably best for the FAA to make a show and discipline the guy, but not to fire him or anything severe, just give him a wink and a rap on the knuckles and move on.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors Penryn

    rdowns

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    #21
    Oops. NBC is reporting that a second kid also delivered radio instructions to pilots.
     
  22. macrumors 604

    chrono1081

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    #22
    I'm not an air traffic controller but as an airline customer I can say this kind of stupidity scares the **** out of me. A plane, with a ton of people on board being controlled by the child at one of the busiest airports? What if the kid decided to say something different then what his dad told him?

    Yet another reason why I avoid flying at all costs.
     
  23. macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    Jun 16, 2008
    #23
    His father's boss was also there, listening on frequency, and could override what was said at any moment. That sort of quick look is in place at just about every major tower in the country. Actually, by law, there has to be more than one controller in the cab, with the supervisor there as well. Trust me, safety was never compromised nor was ever an issue.

    What sucks now is that for the next 90 days, there are to be no tours or visits to any ATC facility, even though we, the people, are paying for the facilities and the people working at them. As a pilot, let alone a taxpayer, that rather p****s me off. :mad:

    BL.
     
  24. macrumors G3

    dmr727

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    #24
    Relax. As an airline customer, there are at least a dozen things that should scare you a hell of a lot more than a Dad letting his son talk on the radio. ;)
     
  25. macrumors G3

    dmr727

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    #25
    I hope the mods give me a pass at double posting here - I have something else to say and I think it deserves a separate post.

    The media is having a field day with ATC right now, and yeah, I don't condone what the controllers did. But as someone that interacts with all levels of ATC on a regular basis, there are few entities that I respect more than those guys that get me from point A to B safely. Are they perfect? Of course not, but they're more perfect than us dumb ass pilots, and they're really, really good at what they do.

    I don't excuse what happened here, but American fliers are in very good hands. Don't let the media tell you any differently.
     

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