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Argos
2010-Mar-03, 02:15 PM
An audio clip has been released with the distinct voice of a young child directing air traffic over one of the nation's busiest airports.

Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/03/child-directs-airplane-traffic-at-jfk_n_483559.html)

And I thought I had seen everything...

hhEb09'1
2010-Mar-03, 03:31 PM
Surely, the parent was whispering what to say to the kid, right? Snow day at school, kid hangs with the folks, begs to help out.

Argos
2010-Mar-03, 03:49 PM
Sure, but not less disturbing.

NEOWatcher
2010-Mar-03, 03:50 PM
Surely, the parent was whispering what to say to the kid, right? Snow day at school, kid hangs with the folks, begs to help out.
That's what it sounds like.
It may have turned out OK in this case, but I can see some major problems with this.
- The pilot can't understand the voice.
- The kid could blurt out something inappropriate, wrong, or even dangerous.
- Similar to the last one, the kid might not have heard the right thing to say or misinterpreted it.

And, for the read it again thread.


The audio is undated and it's unclear if the tower's comment had anything to do with recent storms in the region.

I've heard of kids blowing hot air, but this is amazing.

tlbs101
2010-Mar-03, 04:00 PM
The 'voice' was speaking Spanish, also; "adios amigos" (repeated a couple of times).

Since no date for these transmissions was given, I offer this possibility; that one of the ATCs was using an electronic voice modification device (set to "child"), on April 1, 2009.

.

Argos
2010-Mar-03, 04:03 PM
Whatever the explanation, it seems that people were amusing themselves in what should be a temple of professionalism.

tlbs101
2010-Mar-03, 04:06 PM
Whatever the explanation, it seems that people were amusing themselves in what should be a temple of professionalism.

I definitely agree.

mahesh
2010-Mar-03, 04:15 PM
I recall watching a video (Aircrash Investigations-ilk) about a Russian airliner, where the pilot gave up the controls over to his kids. He actually got out of his seat. His younger child, a daughter, was overcome (with delight, I suppose) and didn't touch anything. His elder son, then, as boys are wont, then decided to be macho (with a grinning father standing behind him) at his turn and within a few seconds the flight was out of control. No one survived.

korjik
2010-Mar-03, 04:42 PM
Whatever the explanation, it seems that people were amusing themselves in what should be a temple of professionalism.

Except for the 'adios amigos' the kid sounded pretty professional to me.

There were three adults in that loop. All of them would have had to get pretty stupid all of a sudden to cause an accident.

This is a molehill, not a mountain. Tell the ATCs not to let it happen again, and the problem is solved. Firing the father only teaches the kid that slavish devotion to rules is paramount. As it is, the kid had a really cool day, the pilots were mostly amused, and nothing bad happened.

PetersCreek
2010-Mar-03, 04:51 PM
I sure am glad that didn't happen here in one of my facilities. As heavily staffed as they are, I'm having trouble understanding how a supervisor or CIC allowed it to happen. That seems like an awful lot of people turning a blind eye and ear.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Mar-03, 05:49 PM
I recall watching a video (Aircrash Investigations-ilk) about a Russian airliner, where the pilot gave up the controls over to his kids. He actually got out of his seat. His younger child, a daughter, was overcome (with delight, I suppose) and didn't touch anything. His elder son, then, as boys are wont, then decided to be macho (with a grinning father standing behind him) at his turn and within a few seconds the flight was out of control. No one survived.
The explanation I read (in a thread here) was that they had the plane on auto pilot, and had the child sit at the controls pretending to control the plane while the planes actual maneuvers were don by adjusting the autopilot settings.
Perfectly safe except for a "feature" in the autopilot the crew didn't know about which was that if the controls were pushed in the same direction for more than a specific time it was interpreted by the auto pilot as a real pilot trying to make an emergency maneuver which made it shut down.
This was what suddenly and completely unexpected by the pilots left the plane in a very bad situation with none of them able to recover control.

Gillianren
2010-Mar-03, 06:38 PM
This is a molehill, not a mountain. Tell the ATCs not to let it happen again, and the problem is solved. Firing the father only teaches the kid that slavish devotion to rules is paramount. As it is, the kid had a really cool day, the pilots were mostly amused, and nothing bad happened.

Would you be so cavalier if it had? The fact is, I doubt "don't let your kid direct air traffic at a major airport" is in the rules, probably on the grounds that there's no reason to assume anyone would be stupid enough to do it. I thought it was charming when, last week, the ticket taker at our local volunteer-run theatre had his daughter on his lap doing the actual ticket sales. But the Capitol Theatre is not a big deal. If my ticket had been torn off funny, no one would have gotten hurt. Tell them not to do it again? Why were they stupid enough to do it the first time?

NEOWatcher
2010-Mar-03, 06:48 PM
Would you be so cavalier if it had? The fact is, I doubt "don't let your kid direct air traffic at a major airport" is in the rules, probably on the grounds that there's no reason to assume anyone would be stupid enough to do it.
Probably not specifically, but I would bet there is some provision about allowing non-trained personel on the equipment or about relinquishing control of the equipment in an unapproved way.

And that would apply whether it was a kid or not.

redshifter
2010-Mar-03, 07:17 PM
Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/03/child-directs-airplane-traffic-at-jfk_n_483559.html)

And I thought I had seen everything...

I feel sorry for the kid that has to follow this one during 'sharing' in class; where kids get to share something they did with the rest of the class.

Gillianren
2010-Mar-03, 07:27 PM
Probably not specifically, but I would bet there is some provision about allowing non-trained personel on the equipment or about relinquishing control of the equipment in an unapproved way.

And that would apply whether it was a kid or not.

True. And those rules are there for a reason.

korjik
2010-Mar-03, 08:23 PM
Would you be so cavalier if it had? The fact is, I doubt "don't let your kid direct air traffic at a major airport" is in the rules, probably on the grounds that there's no reason to assume anyone would be stupid enough to do it. I thought it was charming when, last week, the ticket taker at our local volunteer-run theatre had his daughter on his lap doing the actual ticket sales. But the Capitol Theatre is not a big deal. If my ticket had been torn off funny, no one would have gotten hurt. Tell them not to do it again? Why were they stupid enough to do it the first time?

If something bad had happened then I would say he should pay for it. The ATCs job and the pilots job are to make sure nothing bad happens. They succeeded at that.

Having your kid repeat a phrase into a microphone is not an unsafe act.

That seems to be what is missing. This is a kid repeating a phrase into a microphone. A scripted formulaic phrase. He wasnt controlling the traffic, he wasnt clearing the departures. He was mimicing his father.

As a matter of fact, the plane crash referred to above, the appropriate analogy would be the kid repeating his father (or mother) over the radio in communications with ATC, not flying the plane.

This isnt a guy who wandered off to get a drink while his kid ran the airport.

Gillianren
2010-Mar-03, 08:36 PM
And if the kid, who isn't trained, says something else? Yes, the parent is right there to fix it, but you know, that takes time, and sometimes, there isn't much. Any way you look at it, this was irresponsible.

ETA--Heck, I don't think the kid should have been there in the first place! Talk about a distraction!

NEOWatcher
2010-Mar-03, 08:39 PM
If something bad had happened then I would say he should pay for it. The ATCs job and the pilots job are to make sure nothing bad happens. They succeeded at that.
The ends does not justify the means. I think potential should be equally applied regardless of outcome. How many times do people get "lucky" and not die?

Now; I really don't think that there was a big problem with this situation, but it's not just a matter of the kid being a parrot on the microphone.

You now have an on-duty controller who is not only imparting a delay into a situation, but having to tend that child and pay attention to what that kid is doing which is detracting the controller from his duty.

Edit to Add:
And what if something like an incursion or other immediate need arose. Maybe the kid was well behaved, but I can also picture the father pushing the kid aside to take care of the emergency and the kid starting to cry and scream "HEY, I WAS TALKING... WHY DID YOU STOP ME. IT AIN'T FAIR, YOU SAID I COULD TALK, etc, etc..."
Now what kind of situation are we in?

SolusLupus
2010-Mar-03, 08:42 PM
The ends does not justify the means. I think potential should be equally applied regardless of outcome. How many times do people get "lucky" and not die?

Yes. As an extreme example not entirely related to children, my job as a driver is to get to my destination safely. However, should I narrowly avoid 3 accidents that I came close to having because of my recklessness, this does not mean I did a "good job" because I actually did get to my definition safely.

I made a post saying this before to Korjik, but then I decided against it, since he IS operating on the assumption that having the boy speaking into the microphone did not introduce a significant danger, so I wasn't sure if my point really stood. If we all agreed that the child did not introduce extra danger into the situation and the ATC was there and supervising the kid to make sure nothing went bad, then Korjik would be correct in saying that the ATC did his job. So the point of contention is really on whether the child introduced danger or not.

PetersCreek
2010-Mar-03, 08:55 PM
Disclaimer: My comments are strictly expressions of my own opinion. I am not speaking in any official capacity whatever.


If something bad had happened then I would say he should pay for it. The ATCs job and the pilots job are to make sure nothing bad happens. They succeeded at that.

True...but grossly oversimplified. Part of the ATCS's job is to follow the procedures established to prevent bad things from happening. Using good judgement is also part of the job. I'm pretty sure that substituting poor judgment in place of procedure is not part of the job.


Having your kid repeat a phrase into a microphone is not an unsafe act.
By what standard? Can you provide any reference that allows someone to directly control traffic without holding a valid Certificate to Operate (CTO)? Alternatively, what procedure allows an ATCS to control traffic by means other than direct voice communication?

Fazor
2010-Mar-03, 08:58 PM
I personally don't think there was likely much danger in the act (though I don't know near enough about that environment, and none of us know the exact circumstances).

That said, in an environment so vital to so many lives, I believe in strict control. I'd certainly think that an air traffic control room would be one of those special places where nobody is allowed in unless they're specifically supposed to be there. Not kids. Not girlfriends or boyfriends. Probably not spastic chimpanzees with an affinity for button-pushing. No one.

Heck, that's how our control room was when I was working security, and there were very few things one could do in there that would cause even minor harm to anyone. There was lots of expensive equipment that could become very worthless very fast, though. I'd imagine that's a hundred-fold more true for air-traffic control equipment.

SolusLupus
2010-Mar-03, 08:58 PM
CS's job is to follow the procedures established to prevent bad things from happening. Using good judgement is also part of the job. I'm pretty sure that substituting poor judgment in place of procedure is not part of the job.
Well, that IS a point. :)


By what standard? Can you provide any reference that allows someone to directly control traffic without holding a valid Certificate to Operate (CTO)? Alternatively, what procedure allows an ATCS to control traffic by means other than direct voice communication?

To be fair, Korjik said it wasn't an unsafe act, not that it was a legal/professional/by the rules act, necessarily (outside of the bit about the ATC doing his job, anyways)

NEOWatcher
2010-Mar-03, 09:09 PM
Considering air traffic control has been considered the most stressful job in the US*, I would tend to think that discipline is extremely tight. (and for reason)

*No reference, but I think it's a fairly common idea.

PetersCreek
2010-Mar-03, 09:20 PM
To be fair, Korjik said it wasn't an unsafe act, not that it was a legal/professional/by the rules act, necessarily (outside of the bit about the ATC doing his job, anyways)

I understand the distinction you're trying to make but my point was about the standards by which an act is declared safe or unsafe. The laws, rules, procedures, and standards of conduct are established largely to provide a system of safety. They define industry-standard actions that are considered to be safe.

If one wants to argue that an action taken in violation of those requirements is not "unsafe", I think it's fair to ask the basis for that declaration.

SolusLupus
2010-Mar-03, 09:23 PM
Fair enough then. :)

Rhaedas
2010-Mar-03, 10:26 PM
One issue I see is someone else looking at this situation and figuring it was okay, no harm done, so they do something similar. A few times by various people, and the chances of a problem increase. Might be pessimistic, but there are work places where there's no room for error, and outsiders in that area, particularly kids, is a big, big potential problem.

Nothing happened. It was cute. He did a decent job. Hopefully we never hear of the inverse.

slang
2010-Mar-03, 10:52 PM
I recall watching a video (Aircrash Investigations-ilk) about a Russian airliner, where the pilot gave up the controls over to his kids. He actually got out of his seat. His younger child, a daughter, was overcome (with delight, I suppose) and didn't touch anything. His elder son, then, as boys are wont, then decided to be macho (with a grinning father standing behind him) at his turn and within a few seconds the flight was out of control. No one survived.

This crash (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aeroflot_Flight_593). I recall the same show (probably) and IIRC the actual cause for the crash was that the pilots were unaware that the autopilot had been partly shut down due to the kid's interaction with the controls. So, something that was perfectly safe in the aircraft type that the pilots were more familiar with, would have been equally safe had the pilots been equally aware of the situation. A major contribution to the crash was that there was no audio signal that the autopilot had been turned off.

So, while having kids in the cockpit no doubt contributed to the situation, the same could have happened by the pilots being distracted in some other way. I'm not saying it's just fine to have kids everywhere, but to suggest that this crash was only because there were kids in the cockpit at the controls goes too far, IMHO.

(WRT the "macho" and "grinning father" bit: please don't overstate the dramatization as played by actors in the documentary.)

RAF_Blackace
2010-Mar-03, 11:04 PM
I thought he did rather well. Give him a job I say :)

PetersCreek
2010-Mar-03, 11:10 PM
I thought he did rather well. Give him a job I say :)

He's a few years away from being eligible for a CTI program and full grown developmentals are enough of a handful! :lol:

korjik
2010-Mar-03, 11:56 PM
And if the kid, who isn't trained, says something else? Yes, the parent is right there to fix it, but you know, that takes time, and sometimes, there isn't much. Any way you look at it, this was irresponsible.

ETA--Heck, I don't think the kid should have been there in the first place! Talk about a distraction!

I assume that pilots arent idiots.

korjik
2010-Mar-04, 12:10 AM
Disclaimer: My comments are strictly expressions of my own opinion. I am not speaking in any official capacity whatever.



True...but grossly oversimplified. Part of the ATCS's job is to follow the procedures established to prevent bad things from happening. Using good judgement is also part of the job. I'm pretty sure that substituting poor judgment in place of procedure is not part of the job.


By what standard? Can you provide any reference that allows someone to directly control traffic without holding a valid Certificate to Operate (CTO)? Alternatively, what procedure allows an ATCS to control traffic by means other than direct voice communication?

Can you show me where it does say that the ATC talking must be the one directing? Can one ATC make the decision to clear a takeoff and another pass the word?

Everyone seems to think that this happening is leading to a situation where every ATC is going to be replaced with an 8 year old. That isnt going to happen. Everyone seems to think that this happening is going to lead to planes crashing into one another on every airport. That is not going to happen.

All that happened is a kid passed a couple orders. Yeah, in violation of more than a few regulations and maybe even a few laws. None of this yet shows that there was ever any danger. Yeah, it wasnt real smart on the ATCs part.

On the other hand, the ATC may have actually known what the risks were, and took them into account. One thing that everyone seems to miss in the calls for this guys head, is that he was there and actually knew what was happening. We dont.

If he actually put people at risk, then the panic is warranted. If he didnt, it isnt.

RAF_Blackace
2010-Mar-04, 12:14 AM
I assume that pilots arent idiots.

Don't be so sure :whistle:

I don't see the problem, apart from the fact that anything to do with aircraft has the "Were all going to die" lobby jumping on the bandwagon, what is the issue ?

We all take our kids into work at some stage, we all let them have a go, we even encourage them to take responsibility by giving them two weeks work experience.

From the sound of it the pilots were well aware of what was going on and most messages are just confirmation messages anyway so they would know if they receive the wrong instructions.

Maybe not politically correct in current times, but certainly no safety issue and certainly not something to scream in horror about.

Do we just assume everyone in the control tower is a robot ?

They have a life and kids and are proud of their jobs. Let them have fun once in a while as long as it not endangering anyone.

I would like to hear the full transcript, we hear only a part, does the ATC tell the pilots his kid is there and going to talk on the radio before the clips we hear. I am almost sure he does, but we do not hear that because they want it to be more dramatic.

Larry Jacks
2010-Mar-04, 12:53 AM
JFK is one of the busiest airports in the country. It would be different if it happened at Colorado Springs Airport but at a place like JFK, it was inappropriate. The key thing is that the kid was a distraction at a place and time where distraction can be deadly.

SolusLupus
2010-Mar-04, 12:59 AM
Was it necessary for the father to have his son there? No.

Did having his son there speaking into the microphone directly go against the rules and regulations he should have been obeying? Yes.

Did having his son there cause an unnecessary problem, no matter how small? Yes.

It seems cut and dry to me.

RAF_Blackace
2010-Mar-04, 01:00 AM
JFK is one of the busiest airports in the country. It would be different if it happened at Colorado Springs Airport but at a place like JFK, it was inappropriate. The key thing is that the kid was a distraction at a place and time where distraction can be deadly.

What difference does that make ?

So it's OK at any airport but JFK ?

I hope the guy does not have to lose his job because of the media panic.

RAF_Blackace
2010-Mar-04, 01:04 AM
Did having his son there speaking into the microphone directly go against the rules and regulations he should have been obeying? Yes.


Actually you are wrong there. You can have someone else who is not qualified give instructions under direction from a qualified ACT. Otherwise how do you train people to do the job ?

Can you please quote the rule and regulation he broke ?

Gillianren
2010-Mar-04, 01:08 AM
I don't see the problem, apart from the fact that anything to do with aircraft has the "Were all going to die" lobby jumping on the bandwagon, what is the issue ?

A child was in a secured area doing something directly influencing the health and wellbeing of all sorts of people?


We all take our kids into work at some stage, we all let them have a go, we even encourage them to take responsibility by giving them two weeks work experience.

My mother never took me to work with her. Part of the reason for this is that, when she was hired onto her current job, she was doing confidential work. It would have been illegal for us to see my mother's paperwork, and anyway it was boring. Our plumber wouldn't have brought his kid to work and had the kid "have a go," because my mother was paying him good money to fix our pipes. My daughter's adoptive mom is a massage therapist; my daughter doesn't get to do her mom's job for fun. If you operate heavy machinery, your kid shouldn't get to do the job.


From the sound of it the pilots were well aware of what was going on and most messages are just confirmation messages anyway so they would know if they receive the wrong instructions.

And if an emergency had come up, as has been known to happen?


Maybe not politically correct in current times, but certainly no safety issue and certainly not something to scream in horror about.

Some jobs are not cute things for your kids to help out on. This is one of them.


Do we just assume everyone in the control tower is a robot ?

How about a responsible adult?


They have a life and kids and are proud of their jobs. Let them have fun once in a while as long as it not endangering anyone.

How do you determine when it's endangering someone? There are times and places for having fun and being proud of their jobs, and it's important to know when and where they are. Maybe a company picnic.


I would like to hear the full transcript, we hear only a part, does the ATC tell the pilots his kid is there and going to talk on the radio before the clips we hear. I am almost sure he does, but we do not hear that because they want it to be more dramatic.

Why are you almost sure he does? Even if it were true, does that mean it wasn't irresponsible?

RAF_Blackace
2010-Mar-04, 01:16 AM
This is not being irresponsible, this is just media panic. It's strange that the only people not screaming about this are the pilots themselves.

Go back about 10 years. It was normal for a child to be brought forward to the flight deck and allowed to make some flight announcement to ATC over the radio. Do you really think this is something new ?

And I wish people would get their facts straight. The child was NOT controlling anything, the fully qualified ATC sitting next to his was.

And I ask again, can you quote the specific FAA regulation he broke ?

SolusLupus
2010-Mar-04, 01:21 AM
Wait. A ten year old child is being called the exact same, logically, as a trainee?

Then tack on child labor.

PetersCreek
2010-Mar-04, 01:56 AM
Can you show me where it does say that the ATC talking must be the one directing? Can one ATC make the decision to clear a takeoff and another pass the word?
That would be a case of two certificated controllers coordinating their activities...not a very good analogy for the case at hand. However, I think your question might be coverd by FAA Order 7110.65...but then, I'm not a controller. I do know that 14 CFR 65, Subpart B contains a laundry list of requirements to actually perform controller duties. I'm somewhat certain the child met none (or exceedingly few) of them.


Everyone seems to think that this happening is leading to a situation where every ATC is going to be replaced with an 8 year old. That isnt going to happen.
I can't say that I got that impression from the other posts in this thread nor do I think that to be likely myself. If my eight facilities are any indication, this is an unfortunate abberation.


All that happened is a kid passed a couple orders. Yeah, in violation of more than a few regulations and maybe even a few laws. None of this yet shows that there was ever any danger. Yeah, it wasnt real smart on the ATCs part.

On the other hand, the ATC may have actually known what the risks were, and took them into account. One thing that everyone seems to miss in the calls for this guys head, is that he was there and actually knew what was happening. We dont.
This is a curious thing to say. You weren't there either and therefore aren't privy to the information management would consider before effecting a dismissal. Yet, one of your initial statements in this thread was, "Tell the ATCs not to let it happen again, and the problem is solved." Having been a manager, I have trouble understanding how one could violate "more than a few regulations and maybe even a few laws" and not expect serious consequences, including the possibility of termination.

Atraveller
2010-Mar-04, 01:59 AM
And if the kid, who isn't trained, says something else? Yes, the parent is right there to fix it, but you know, that takes time, and sometimes, there isn't much. Any way you look at it, this was irresponsible.

ETA--Heck, I don't think the kid should have been there in the first place! Talk about a distraction!

It sounded to me that the kid was speaking for a ground controller - or perhaps a departure controller - not an air traffic controller. (of course I may be mistaken - I only heard a little clip on the news this morning.)

Ground controllers talk to aircraft that mostly are moving at a walking pace - generally split second descision making isn't required all that often...

Departure controller might have a bit more of a risk, since he is mainly concerned about the availability of the runway.

Gillianren
2010-Mar-04, 02:00 AM
This is not being irresponsible, this is just media panic. It's strange that the only people not screaming about this are the pilots themselves.

You haven't heard them being interviewed and saying they're upset. And regardless, it's still irresponsible.


Go back about 10 years. It was normal for a child to be brought forward to the flight deck and allowed to make some flight announcement to ATC over the radio. Do you really think this is something new ?

Yes, that's totally the same.


And I wish people would get their facts straight. The child was NOT controlling anything, the fully qualified ATC sitting next to his was.

Why was the child allowed in there in the first place? This is not the same as being brought forward to the flight deck, where all they have to deal with is a single plane. This is a much more complicated situation, and I for one don't want the extra pause.


And I ask again, can you quote the specific FAA regulation he broke ?

Can you give me an example of a high-pressure job where it's okay to have the kid doing the parent's work? Or even pretending to while right there?

RAF_Blackace
2010-Mar-04, 02:01 AM
This guy and his supervisor are going to get hounded out of their jobs because of media pressure, not for breaking any regulations.

These people have many years experience and it would be a great loss to the industry.

And I ask YET again for the third time, can you quote the specific FAA regulation he broke ?

No, then he has done nothing wrong.

Some people just need to get a life.

What annoys me about this is that this guy has done nothing in particular wrong and yet there are hoards of non aviation people condemning him for it. I bet I could take anyone's company laptop and find something that requires instant dismissal on it. Yours maybe ? No ? well then, lets see that memory stick you hide from your wife.

You wouldn't like it if the flak was directed at you for something like that would you ?

Gillianren
2010-Mar-04, 02:29 AM
And I ask YET again for the third time, can you quote the specific FAA regulation he broke ?

Did you miss PetersCreek's post? The one where he mentioned relevant FAA regulations, or at least the section in which you look them up and how it includes requirements for people who get to be on the equipment?


No, then he has done nothing wrong.

So it's only wrong if there's a specific regulation saying, "Don't let a ten-year-old be ATC?"


What annoys me about this is that this guy has done nothing in particular wrong and yet there are hoards of non aviation people condemning him for it. I bet I could take anyone's company laptop and find something that requires instant dismissal on it. Yours maybe ? No ? well then, lets see that memory stick you hide from your wife.

You wouldn't like it if the flak was directed at you for something like that would you ?

I wouldn't do something like that. In my last job, I took credit card applications on the phone. You essentially weren't even allowed in the building if you didn't work there. Nobody brought their kid to work. And if they had, it would have been enormously irresponsible to put the kid on the phone. I wouldn't have copied information down and stolen identities, either, which is how I could have hurt others in my job. I'm sure my best friend the librarian could, if she had kids, let her kids help her shelf books, but provided the kid can reach the shelf they go on, who's that going to harm? Who could that harm?

No. Nothing went wrong. This time. That still doesn't mean it's just a laugh. This was a stupid, dangerous thing to do, and I'm still frankly stunned they let the kid in there in the first place.

Larry Jacks
2010-Mar-04, 03:12 AM
What difference does that make ?

So it's OK at any airport but JFK ?

I hope the guy does not have to lose his job because of the media panic.

It sounds like you have no clue about the seriousness of the situation. JFK is one of the busiest airports in the country. The people who fly the airliners and the controllers who work there don't need distractions. It's as simple as that. At an airport where the traffic levels are low, there wouldn't be as much of a concern. Where the traffic levels are as high as JFK, the actions were just stupid.

Will the controller and his supervisor lose their jobs over this? Probably not but even the ATC union NATCA released a statement saying "we do not condone this type of behavior in any way and it is not indicative of the highest professional standards that controllers set for themselves."

Why are you making excuses for irresponsible, unprofessional behavior?

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Mar-04, 03:37 AM
I don't see what all the fuss is about.

Was the whole stunt pretty stupid? Unquestionably. However, that said, what really happened. Daddy put precious on the radio and said, "say this phrase to the nice man driving the airplane. Daddy thought it was cute and so did the pilot.

So daddy was stupid, but I don't think that anyone was endangered in the process.

BigDon
2010-Mar-04, 05:34 AM
So there is Blackace, Halcyon and myself on one side and everybody else on the other?

Cool.


This guy and his supervisor are going to get hounded out of their jobs because of media pressure, not for breaking any regulations.

These people have many years experience and it would be a great loss to the industry.

We have all seen this. This is obviously that. That being a classic media feeding frenzy. Every hack stentor and cub reporter is on this because he has nothing better to write about. This is the definition of that. At last count there is 900 articles on this.

Mr. Jacks, I'm surprised. I pictured you as more pragmatic than this.

Atraveller
2010-Mar-04, 05:51 AM
So there is Blackace, Halcyon and myself on one side and everybody else on the other?

Cool.


Hey BigDon, I'll come over to the dark side too... (see post #41)

slang
2010-Mar-04, 07:25 AM
So there is Blackace, Halcyon and myself on one side and everybody else on the other?

I haven't really chosen a "side". I don't know enough about the regulations to say whether this should be a hanging offense or not, but I agree that it would be wrong for people to lose their job over this if it is only because of judgment by media. If what I read is true, and this was a ground operations controller only, I don't see how this would be extremely dangerous. Depending on circumstances, of course, remember Tenerife.

mugaliens
2010-Mar-04, 10:49 AM
There are many instructions tower could give which could cost innocent lives if incorrect, such as "cleared to land runway 34 left" when the correct instruction should have been the right runway.

So no, I don't think the FAA is overreacting.

On the other hand, my son first flew with me when he was five years old. And yes, he flew the airplane exceptionally well! At five he was able to hold altitude and heading, or altitude and bank angle in a turn.

Agreed that's a bit different being in the cockpit next to him than having a child give instructions as if he were an FAA-certified air traffic controller. Even if Mom or Dad was whispering in his ear.

Argos
2010-Mar-04, 01:05 PM
Some members are saying that it is not a big deal, and nothing bad happened. It was an isolated act and everybody had fun, and all. But the point is that no exception should be allowed in a highly sensitive environment like that.

The father could simply escort his son through the control room [but keeping him at a safe distance of the equipment], showing co-workers doing their job, explaining what people do and how the procedures are to be followed. That would contribute more to the kids personal growth and the strengthening of the father/son relationship, while keeping the safety of the whole system.

Accidents are a expression of the mounting of no biggies.

BigDon
2010-Mar-04, 01:52 PM
I'm saying he shouldn't be railroaded out of his job.

DonM435
2010-Mar-04, 02:09 PM
In most businesses, a boss would tell the offender "Don't you ever pull that kind of stuff again!" Maybe a stronger word that "stuff," but that would be the end of it. Nobody would dare try that again. (They may do other dumb things that nobody anticipated, but not that.)

With the government and the military involved, they'll have to write a bunch of new rules as to exactly who can do what, and every day a hundred people will have to fill out a thousand forms to ensure that the proper "who" is doing the correct "what."

Productivity will be lost, costs will increase, and eventually, the new regulations might well precipitate a disaster.

Larry Jacks
2010-Mar-04, 02:26 PM
The news this morning is that he also let his daughter do the same thing. It wouldn't surprise me if he does get fired over this and his supervisor repremanded.

I was listening to one retired pilot this morning and he brought up a good point. The pilots should've questioned the call ("Say again, tower.") because the voice obviously wasn't an authorized controller. Anyone can buy an handheld aircraft radio for about $200 like the ones shown here (http://www.gca.aero/cat.asp?cat=handhelds). There have been cases where people immitating controllers have issued bogus clearance directions to airliners. ATC isn't a laughing matter, especially not at an airport as busy as JFK.

BigDon
2010-Mar-04, 02:35 PM
Way back in the dinosaur days a Navy fighter changed regulations by having a malfunction and blowing a big load of chaff* over LAX at 4 in the afternoon. Due to weather conditions it hung in the air for hours.(Military pilots right now are going, "D'oh! Glad that wasn't me!")

You know how many people died? Exactly zero. Aircraft didn't come raining down out of the sky. An event, oh, about twelve orders of magnitude more serious than this. You know why? Because pilots aren't struck retarded just because the unexpected crops up. It's their job. It's why they're there. Why do you think this isn't automated yet?

So no, a serious butt chewing and that's all this is worth.



*This rendered all the radars in the tower and approaching aircraft useless, Miss Gillian.

BigDon
2010-Mar-04, 02:40 PM
I'll even deliver the butt chewing! I'm good at that! He'll remember it. I'll make him cry if that will satisfy the mob.

PetersCreek
2010-Mar-04, 04:38 PM
Dismissal isn't a thing so easily done in this agency, especially when the employee is represented by a collective bargaining unit. There are stories I wish I could share. Seriously.

Now, it could well turn out that termination is not warranted. Management could decide that a butt chewing will do in this case. Or it could be a suspension without pay. We just don't know...and that includes me in my near-infinite administrative wisdom. ( :p ) We don't have the managers' insight into the situation, the employee's history, and how they comport with agency standards.

Taeolas
2010-Mar-04, 05:11 PM
Our plumber wouldn't have brought his kid to work and had the kid "have a go," because my mother was paying him good money to fix our pipes.

Actually this is just how a lot of Trades people get their start, and continue their knowledge; by bringing their kids to the sites as they work and teaching them all they know (and yes even letting the kids do some of the simple tasks).

Probably Canada's most famous contractor, Mike Holmes, has often described how he (and a lot of the people he works with, Damon for example) learned their trades and work ethics from a young age by working with their parents in the business. Similarly, Mike gave his kids similar experiences when they were growing up, and now 2 of them are part of his (well Damon's now) work team. (The third works behind the scenes on the show)

As for the actual incident, without the full details (like a full transcript of the Tower to plane discussions as someone mentioned), it smells like a lot of media sensationalism. Sure the ATC shouldn't have done that; but we don't know (and probably never will know) all the details (Did he warn the pilots he'd let his son talk to them? How busy was his sector, or whatever you call the area of the runways he was controlling? What did he tell his son about what he was doing?, etc....) Frankly, I'm sure you wouldn't have to do much digging to find more 'non-regulation' pilot/ATC chatting.

Gillianren
2010-Mar-04, 06:12 PM
You know how many people died? Exactly zero. Aircraft didn't come raining down out of the sky. An event, oh, about twelve orders of magnitude more serious than this. You know why? Because pilots aren't struck retarded just because the unexpected crops up. It's their job. It's why they're there. Why do you think this isn't automated yet?

Do you think near-misses are rare? No, the pilots aren't stupid, but things happen all the time. Apparently, near-misses are much more common than any of us want to know. I don't want them joking around when lives are at stake. I never said they'd come raining out of the sky. I said the risk isn't worth taking.


*This rendered all the radars in the tower and approaching aircraft useless, Miss Gillian.

Condescension noted.


Actually this is just how a lot of Trades people get their start, and continue their knowledge; by bringing their kids to the sites as they work and teaching them all they know (and yes even letting the kids do some of the simple tasks).

If it were simple enough for a ten-year-old to do it, my mother would have done it herself before calling the plumber. Remember, this was neither a teenager nor the Middle Ages. In the US, training programs for trades don't start until considerably later than this kid would have been in.


As for the actual incident, without the full details (like a full transcript of the Tower to plane discussions as someone mentioned), it smells like a lot of media sensationalism. Sure the ATC shouldn't have done that; but we don't know (and probably never will know) all the details (Did he warn the pilots he'd let his son talk to them? How busy was his sector, or whatever you call the area of the runways he was controlling? What did he tell his son about what he was doing?, etc....) Frankly, I'm sure you wouldn't have to do much digging to find more 'non-regulation' pilot/ATC chatting.

It's JFK. It was busy. That's kind of the ground state for JFK.

Taeolas
2010-Mar-04, 06:58 PM
If it were simple enough for a ten-year-old to do it, my mother would have done it herself before calling the plumber. Remember, this was neither a teenager nor the Middle Ages. In the US, training programs for trades don't start until considerably later than this kid would have been in.


While the entire job may not be suitable for a 10yo to do, all aspects of the job certainly don't require someone with dozens of years of experience to do. In a "Take your kid to work" situation, said plumber could easily have his/her kid on the job as a gopher, a water controller, ("Turn the water on little buddy... Turn it off! Turn it off!"), and especially for the learning experience ("See this? The dishwasher drain was put on the wrong side of the trap. Make sure you don't ever do this." ) The idea, especially in the Trades, is to expose their children to the parent's profession and to start building up the child's internal library of how to do things and what to watch out for (and to hopefully get the child interested in picking up the trade; or at least to not be completely inept at doing said trade). It's not to send the kid in in place of the plumbing parent and have the kid tear out and install a full bathroom.

HenrikOlsen
2010-Mar-04, 07:44 PM
*This rendered all the radars in the tower and approaching aircraft useless, Miss Gillian.
Which they knew and were able to compensate for.

I expect they worked with quite a bit larger separation and tighter communications protocols while the radar was down from the chaff.

BigDon
2010-Mar-04, 09:29 PM
Condescension noted.

Miss G! That was no such thing!

I didn't want to write a long generic lecture paragragh on thirty year old electronic warfare techniques for the masses. And I hadn't said good morning to you lately.

Not every "two way" discourse I have is to the death!

Henrik, most flights not already in the pattern were flat out diverted.

Gillianren
2010-Mar-04, 09:47 PM
I didn't want to write a long generic lecture paragragh on thirty year old electronic warfare techniques for the masses.

Yes, but it was purposely directed at me under the assumption that I wouldn't know. I'm sure you meant that others wouldn't, either, but that's not the point.

slang
2010-Mar-04, 09:48 PM
Henrik, most flights not already in the pattern were flat out diverted.

Sure beats a flat arrival.

BigDon
2010-Mar-04, 09:58 PM
Gillian, you're picking a fight where none exists.

BigDon
2010-Mar-04, 11:24 PM
Alright, since I make a point of telling my cruder friends that intent is only a partial consideration when it comes to offending someone.

I apologize if I offended you Gillian. Such was not my intent.

RAF_Blackace
2010-Mar-05, 12:10 AM
It sounds like you have no clue about the seriousness of the situation. JFK is one of the busiest airports in the country. The people who fly the airliners and the controllers who work there don't need distractions. It's as simple as that.

I currently spend every working day at one of the busiest airports in the world. I think I have a fair clue as to the seriousness of the situation, which is minimal.

I am well acquainted with the people who fly the airliners and the controllers who work there, in fact I talk with them almost every day. Those that do the job find it amazing (but they love it) that the general public thinks they are completely overworked to the point of almost having a mental breakdown. Nothing could be further from the truth. ATC is actually quite a relaxing place to be.

Stregone
2010-Mar-05, 02:56 AM
When I was this kid's age I would often be sitting in my dad's lap operating all sorts of different construction equipment. In fact, before I even had my driver's license he got me a summer job with the company he worked for. I spent about half my day operating something similar to this (http://www.boom-scissor-lift.com/faq/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/2002_lull_1044c54_1839_lull1044c5417363f.jpg) completely unsupervised after a 5 minute crash course. Its surprisingly easy, you just have to not be an idiot(which is true for so many things). By the end of the summer I had nearly mastered it.

cjl
2010-Mar-05, 03:08 AM
From what I can tell, the sum total of what the kid did was:

1) Cleared a couple of aircraft to take off after the father had given them the taxi and runway assignments (so there was zero chance of the wrong runway)

2) Told them to contact departure after they took off

The whole time, the father had a microphone ready to take over at a moment's notice if anything was miscommunicated. In addition, it occurred at a time when the traffic was relatively minimal. I just don't see this as at all dangerous. The kid enjoyed it, and the pilots (from the audio recording I heard) enjoyed it, and nobody was ever in any danger. I see no point in going after the guy with pitchforks.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Mar-05, 05:25 AM
From what I can tell, the sum total of what the kid did was:

1) Cleared a couple of aircraft to take off after the father had given them the taxi and runway assignments (so there was zero chance of the wrong runway)

2) Told them to contact departure after they took off

The whole time, the father had a microphone ready to take over at a moment's notice if anything was miscommunicated. In addition, it occurred at a time when the traffic was relatively minimal. I just don't see this as at all dangerous. The kid enjoyed it, and the pilots (from the audio recording I heard) enjoyed it, and nobody was ever in any danger. I see no point in going after the guy with pitchforks.
That's what the sum total of the kid's contribution as far as I can see too. I think it was stupid and unprofessional in the extreme, but I don't think anyone endangered anything. I think daddy should be told something like,

"if you ever do something like that again, you'll wish you had never heard of air travel."mostly as a show for the flying public, and the matter should be buried.

Argos
2010-Mar-05, 12:30 PM
Internal JFK memo:

"The display of professionalism in the past by the control personnel at this facility has been exemplary," the memo said. "However, a lapse in judgment for what may seem a minor transgression diminishes our credibility and slights the high standards of professionalism."

On CNN (http://www.cnn.com/2010/TRAVEL/03/05/air.traffic.child/index.html?hpt=Sbin).

NEOWatcher
2010-Mar-05, 06:30 PM
I think it was stupid and unprofessional in the extreme, but I don't think anyone endangered anything...
Again; I think the potential could be there, but it might only be the same potential as a controller having a really really bad day.



I think daddy should be told something like,


"if you ever do something like that again, you'll wish you had never heard of air travel."
mostly as a show for the flying public, and the matter should be buried.
I agree with that.
Until the investigation is over, I doubt we will hear the actual regulations and penalties for breaking them.

I just think it's amazing how people are blowing this all out of proportion and taking thier views to the extreme - on both sides.

Fire the guy? I would say no, unless the regs have it clearly spelled out.

But; for those who have actually said it was a "noble gesture"?
Please look up the word noble.
I don't think this was anything exceptional for any parent to do. I also don't see how it does anything to help advance the child more than having them there, except for maybe letting the child have a little thrill.

peteshimmon
2010-Mar-05, 06:32 PM
Well I have not followed all of this thread
but I will come in with another aviation
story that shifts attention. On the teletext
yesterday, a pilot was arrested in the
cockpit. He apparently did not have a licence
for flying big jets, only a long expired
light aircraft licence. He tore off his
stripes saying he was glad to be caught.
His career had lasted thirteen years!

Just shows how good these simulators are at
keeping pilots in trim, even fake ones:)

Argos
2010-Mar-05, 06:37 PM
Until the investigation is over, I doubt we will hear the actual regulations and penalties for breaking them.


According to link posted above, the controller is on paid leave [I guess it means suspension].

Argos
2010-Mar-05, 06:38 PM
Well I have not followed all of this thread
but I will come in with another aviation
story that shifts attention (...)

Interesting. Do you have a link?

peteshimmon
2010-Mar-05, 06:48 PM
Sorry Argos but "fake pilot"+thirteen gets
something on Google at the moment.

NEOWatcher
2010-Mar-05, 06:48 PM
According to link posted above, the controller is on paid leave [I guess it means suspension].
Yes; but that is only pending an investigation.

NEOWatcher
2010-Mar-05, 06:51 PM
Interesting. Do you have a link?
It was all over the news yesterday.

Here's CNN's article (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35690172/ns/travel-news/).

He had a license but it expired and never allowed him to fly passengers.

What I would like to know, is the reaction of the companies that employed him.

BigDon
2010-Mar-05, 06:57 PM
Sorry Argos but "fake pilot"+thirteen gets
something on Google at the moment.

After thirteen years on the job, is he a fake pilot?

Argos
2010-Mar-05, 07:01 PM
It was all over the news yesterday.

Here's CNN's article (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35690172/ns/travel-news/).


Thanks. I had missed it.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Mar-05, 07:04 PM
After thirteen years on the job, is he a fake pilot?
Nope, he an uncredentialed pilot.

hmmm, apparently credentialed is in the spellchecker but not uncredentialed.

peteshimmon
2010-Mar-05, 07:08 PM
Good question! It seems to me after many
incidents over the years that a pilot only
earns his pay when he dips into all his
experience and saves or partly saves his
passengers in an emergency. It seems there
would be twice as many complete disasters
otherwise.

(or her. sorry)

NEOWatcher
2010-Mar-05, 07:12 PM
After thirteen years on the job, is he a fake pilot?
I guess it depends on if you infer having a license in the word pilot.
Just like a title of "engineer" usually means some kind of licensing or industry standard credentials.

But; my company calls me a Software Engineer even though I have only a degree and a few decades of experience.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Mar-05, 07:18 PM
Good question! It seems to me after many
incidents over the years that a pilot only
earns his pay when he dips into all his
experience and saves or partly saves his
passengers in an emergency. It seems there
would be twice as many complete disasters
otherwise.

(or her. sorry)
Hard to say whether licensing has a significant effect on this. Many are the licensed pilots who have flown their passengers to disaster needlessly.

I am not suggesting that licensing isn't a good idea, I just don't know if it make this individual less qualified after 13 years than the average licensed pilot.

PetersCreek
2010-Mar-05, 07:57 PM
hmmm, apparently credentialed is in the spellchecker but not uncredentialed.
That used to happen when I processed a lot of correspondence for aviation safety inspector credentials. These days, the spellchecker yells at me for "noncertificated". The fix in both cases was hyphenate to the prefix (non-).


I am not suggesting that licensing isn't a good idea, I just don't know if it make this individual less qualified after 13 years than the average licensed pilot.
"Less qualified" would depend on the standards by which you judge qualification. I wonder if his currency requirements would have been driven by the holding the holding of a valid CTO or if they were initiated and tracked by another means. But, if he was otherwise competent and current, I suppose he would only be unqualified in that he lacked the required CTO.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Mar-06, 12:01 AM
"Less qualified" would depend on the standards by which you judge qualification. I wonder if his currency requirements would have been driven by the holding the holding of a valid CTO or if they were initiated and tracked by another means. But, if he was otherwise competent and current, I suppose he would only be unqualified in that he lacked the required CTO.
It seems to me that "qualified" does not depend on certification, it depends on how well someone can handle the task being certified. Certification is one measure of qualification, but there are many certified pilots who have run their passengers into mountain sides, swamps or oceans through pilot error. Would such "certified" pilots be considered more or less qualified than an uncertified pilot that might not make the error in the same circumstance.

PetersCreek
2010-Mar-06, 12:48 AM
It seems to me that "qualified" does not depend on certification, it depends on how well someone can handle the task being certified.
This is why I frequently bring up the subject of standards. In order to judge someone qualified or unqualified, some kind of standard must be applied and in these cases, it's almost excusively by formal certification. Lacking that certification, mustn't there be some other means through which competence could be determined? Otherwise, we can't really say so-and-so is qualified, can we?


Certification is one measure of qualification, but there are many certified pilots who have run their passengers into mountain sides, swamps or oceans through pilot error. Would such "certified" pilots be considered more or less qualified than an uncertified pilot that might not make the error in the same circumstance.

Yes, everyone makes mistakes...sometimes deadly and sometimes in spite of gold-plated certifications. You could say that all of them are qualified...until they encounter circumstances that exceed their qualifications. But lacking a formal certification and in the absence of some other means of certifying a pilot's competence, either formally or informally, I don't think you and I can really say who the more or less qualified is.

SolusLupus
2010-Mar-06, 02:01 AM
I'd like to say that if someone were to stand over me with a scalpel, I would prefer that person to have some indication that they know what the hell they're doing, as opposed to some guy on the street that claims he's better than the MD.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Mar-06, 02:08 AM
I'd like to say that if someone were to stand over me with a scalpel, I would prefer that person to have some indication that they know what the hell they're doing, as opposed to some guy on the street that claims he's better than the MD.
I think I'd prefer someone with a long and unblemished record rather than someone who was new to the game but was "certified".

I friends who are better in the networking area than others who are "Cisco Certified"

SolusLupus
2010-Mar-06, 02:10 AM
I think I'd prefer someone with a long and unblemished record rather than someone who was new to the game but was "certified".

That's part of the problem, and a controversy I've seen argued in a literature class, about a story just about that: A trainee dealing with an appendectomy.

The training is rigorous and they make sure as hell you know what you're doing when you get "certified" (to use your scare-quotes), but besides that, what can they do? If you refuse to let anyone new work, then eventually the experts all die and you basically screw yourself over, because the people in training never were allowed hands-on experience.

TheHalcyonYear
2010-Mar-06, 05:48 AM
That's part of the problem, and a controversy I've seen argued in a literature class, about a story just about that: A trainee dealing with an appendectomy.

The training is rigorous and they make sure as hell you know what you're doing when you get "certified" (to use your scare-quotes), but besides that, what can they do? If you refuse to let anyone new work, then eventually the experts all die and you basically screw yourself over, because the people in training never were allowed hands-on experience.
My point is that if I had to choose between someone who was uncertified but had a long and distinguished career I would prefer that individual to someone who was wet behind the ears but was "certified".

My point being that certification is a method that can be employed as a to determine competence, but it is just that a tool. I prefer a record of achievement over certification as the best tool. Hence I think that the pilot with 13 years experience might well be more competent than a certified pilot with a year of experience.


My "scare-quotes" should frighten you!! Be afraid!! Be Very Afraid!!

{{ rolls eyes}}

SolusLupus
2010-Mar-06, 07:38 AM
My point is that if I had to choose between someone who was uncertified but had a long and distinguished career I would prefer that individual to someone who was wet behind the ears but was "certified".

My point being that certification is a method that can be employed as a to determine competence, but it is just that a tool. I prefer a record of achievement over certification as the best tool. Hence I think that the pilot with 13 years experience might well be more competent than a certified pilot with a year of experience.

I dunno. A surgeon without a certificate, but practicing surgery for 13+ years would worry me just a bit. ;)



My "scare-quotes" should frighten you!! Be afraid!! Be Very Afraid!!

{{ rolls eyes}}

"Scare Quotes" is a perfectly fine categorization of the way you used them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scare_quotes

Roll your eyes all you want. Someday they'll get stuck that way, though. ;)