Friday, March 05, 2010

Kid Play at the Air Traffic Control Tower

How about this incident where an air traffic controller (Glenn Duffy) brought his two nine year old twins into the air traffic control tower at New York City’s JFK airport on two separate days for a “day at work with dad”? The only problem with this “day at work with dad” was that he had his children (twins, a son and a daughter) actually give instructions to pilots over the air traffic control system, thus trivializing the importance of the air traffic controller’s job plus causing millions of airline passengers to lose confidence in the professionalism of the air traffic controllers.




What I find incredulous are those people, especially pilots,  who think there was no harm done. Dave Pascoe, the owner of liveatc.com, which accumulates air traffic communications largely for the benefit of pilots, said the reaction was overblown. "Nobody in the aviation community felt like this was anything more than a noble thing, that a father would take his kid to work," he told CNN. "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. I don't think safety was compromised, nor should anyone be disciplined for this," said Mr Pascoe, who is also a pilot.

Am I missing something here? What if the pilot of the plane was distracted by the sounds of a kid’s voice coming through his earphones and missed the runway, thus crashing his plane and perhaps causing hundreds of deaths? Would that then make it wrong? Do we have to have a disaster to wake up some of these so called "professionals?" 



I know most parents love their kids and think only their kids are special and unique and that they should experience everything possible but where does one draw the line? I would think at the airport control tower where hundreds of lives are at risk. I don’t know but maybe that's just me.  It seems crystal clear to me.



My advice to Glenn Duffy, the air traffic controller dad who thought it was acceptable to bring his kids in the air traffic control tower and give landing and take off instructions to pilots, take the kids to zoo instead.  

Now I see where the kids are upset that they may be responsible for getting dad fired for his poor judgement of putting them in the control tower.  They should be upset.  Lesson learned. 

11 comments:

  1. Did they have to be searched and take of their shoes and be Xrayed before they could go into the control tower and PLAY? So much for air safety.

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  2. I disagree. When I heard about it I thought it was superb. With the Dad right there, he was always going to make sure everything was under control. I don't think there was any chance things would have gone awry.

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  3. Mike,
    I agree with you! The kiddies did not have to be searched or x-rayed. Daddy just brought them in to show off his progeny to his co-workers, air safety be damned.

    Some people are so anxious to impress their kids and others that they lose all their common sense. What really angers me are the idiots who are defending this dumbo by saying "It's no big thing." Excuse me....IT IS!

    Ron

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  4. Kim,

    I like you and everything but you are WAY OFF BASE on this one.

    Have you thought this through? An air traffic controller’s SOLE focus should be on the safety of the airplanes and the crew and passengers they contain. Any distraction, like his kids squeaking out directions is a DISTRACTION that could cause disastrous consequences. Even worse, this idiot dad with his one, no, TWO totally selfish (for him and his kids and for no one else) actions made a joke out of airline safety. So much for taking one's shoes off at the airport and getting x-rayed.

    It's bad enough that this dad thinks his actions are "no big thing" but what really scares me to death is the cavalier attitude of his supervisor, some pilots and others who are now defending him.

    What's next? A fire fighter taking his kids along to a blazing fire? How about a SWAT team dad taking his kids along on a hostage siege situation where bullets are flying? How about a jet fighter pilot taking little Johnny along on a bombing mission? Where's the line?

    I'll tell you where the line is. I, as an airline passenger DO NOT WANT A NINE YEAR OLD KID IN THE AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL TOWER SQUEAKING OUT INSTRUCTIONS TO THE PILOT OF THE PLANE I AM IN!!!!

    When Dad's actions affect my safety, then I'm concerned. I don’t care where in the hell he takes his kids as long as his actions don’t put my life or my fellow passenger’s lives at risk.

    You have to realize that this man did was totally selfish. He wanted to impress his kids. That was his priority, not the safety of the passengers on the airplanes he was responsible for. There is no excuse for his actions. It was totally boneheaded.

    Thank God no one was injured or killed by his mind numbing action. The only good thing that comes of this that no more kids will be in air traffic control towers squeaking out commands. Cute it was not. Dangerous it was.

    Ron

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  6. Yeah, but what a bonding moment between father and son :)

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  7. Kim, I have many questions but one that is most important. Are you really that stupid???

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  8. Mike,

    My sentiments exactly. I think sometimes people with kids (both gay and straight) have a blind spot of common sense where their kids are concerned. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    Ron

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  9. Kim,
    Bonding moments between father and son or even father and daughter are wonderful and I applaud it. I should because I had precious few of them with my own father (actually none.) However, there are better places to have these bonding moments that putting at risk hundreds of people's lives trying to impress your kids and massaging dad's ego.
    Ron

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  10. you know, you're dead easy to wind up when you're annoyed :)

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  11. Kim,

    You know, after that last comment of yours the thought crossed my mind that you were playing with me. You're ornery. :)

    Ron

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