Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Are the Friendly Skies Not so Friendly?

Here’s another example of a parent who should be removed from the gene pool so he can’t procreate. Seems as though it was “bring your kid to work day” recently at the Air Traffic Control tower at JFK. Some genius brings his elementary school age boy with him, and not only allows him in the tower, but actually lets him go on the air and direct planes in service at JFK.

For about a minute, the father tells the kid what to say to pilots who are in contact with the tower, explaining to the pilots before hand what’s going on. Yes, no one died and nothing bad happened. However, even under the best of circumstances, when they are not distracted by such idiotic nonsense, mishaps happen.

And, before you say, “hey, lighten up,” tell me how you would feel if it was the plane you were on when the ATC’s attention was diverted by this B.S. As a pilot, I know full well how tenuous things are at any given moment, especially in immensely busy airspace like JFK. A moment of distraction is sometimes all it takes to cause a catastrophe.

Even though they all had a good laugh about the incident, both dad, son and a pilot who was “directed” by the fledgling controller, the FAA wasn’t amused, and rightly so. Both daddy and his supervisor were promptly suspended.

The control tower is a highly secure area and the FAA says only licensed controllers are supposed to communicate with planes.

The FAA said it has also barred unofficial visits by friends or relatives to FAA air traffic operational areas while it reviews its policies.

"I have never ever heard a small kid in the tower giving instructions for an airplane to take off or cross a runway or any kind of instructions," said Jim Baker, a retired chief pilot at Delta airlines.

"Pending the outcome of our investigation, the employees involved in this incident are not controlling air traffic, the FAA said in a statement. "This behavior is not acceptable and does not demonstrate the kind of professionalism expected from all FAA employees."

I should think not. What’s next? Do we allow a parent to bring their kid to the nuclear power plant where they work? How about letting junior tag along with dad when he goes to work at NASA, and gets to launch the Space Shuttle? Of course, I could think of one instance where I might agree to letting the kids do daddy’s job. Obama should bring his daughters to work and hand over the reins; they couldn’t do a worse job than he has already.

2 comments:

  1. At first I had mixed feeling about this one, but after reflecing I decided it was a bad move by the controller. Should he be fired--I think that would be a bit extreme. One thing for sure, bet it doesn't happen again!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree. I don't think he should be fired either. Maybe removed from the gene pool... but not fired.

    ReplyDelete

 



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