Thursday, March 4, 2010

When Cute Crosses the Line

It's bad enough when I fly that I worry about things like turbulence causing my plane to crash, but now I have to worry about incompetence in the air traffic control tower?

You may have heard on the news about the controller at JFK, one of the largest and busiest airports(and one I have been to)in the world, who brought his kids into work and let them direct planes. Okay, not really, he was telling them what to say, but it has now sparked an investigation by the FAA, put him and his supervisor on suspension, and caused widespread outrage.

I find this disturbing on so many levels. First of all, what if those kids said the wrong thing and caused confusion for the pilots? It could have, in all probablility, led to a crash. Second, the pilots on the tapes they have do not seem the least bit concerned and one even told the child "Nicely Done". Did the pilots not think that this was wrong and say something? Third, and this is what disturbs me the most, how could the controller even THINK that it was okay to bring his kids into the control room, let alone let them get on the microphone and direct planes? This is not a person that can be trusted himself to control planes!! His supervisor is also on suspension for allowing him to bring the kids in and be on the microphone(or speaker -- whatever they call it), which is only right because that is questionable as well -- that no one said anyhting and further allowed this to happen.

I really hope that the controller is fired. I am sure that he thought what he was doing was "cute". But it was not. It was irresponsible and dangerous and downright stupid. Not words you want associated with someone who controls planes!!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go teach my cat to drive so he can take me to work in the morning.

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