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Thread: JFK tower allowed a kid to direct air traffic

  1. #31
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    Re: JFK tower allowed a kid to direct air traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by Deuce View Post
    It's hard to explain in less than six pages about how the air traffic control system works, but the short of it is there are no circumstances in which this could have put anybody in danger.

    The father issued the "position and hold" instructions, which direct the plane to taxi out onto the runway and get ready, but not take off just yet. The following instruction will be "clear for takeoff," which the kid issued. After takeoff, the plane's initial actions are pre-determined. There aren't any control instructions to issue because the departure is standard. The tower doesn't have anything to do but relay any changes the departure controller has issued or, lacking that, just hand off the departing aircraft to the departure controller.

    I'm not saying this was a good idea, I agree a (short) suspension might be in order just to satisfy the public, and a stern warning issued department-wide saying "HEY DONT DO THAT," but that's it.
    True - no one was at risk in *this* situation, thankfully.

    But this poses several what-ifs that need to be considered - because obviously this isn't the only time this has happened.

    What if, for example, the child threw a temper tantrum and Daddy couldn't hear an incoming distress signal or tend to other such important things? What if child got sick and had to be taken to the bathroom immediately? Everyone knows these things happen - and they happen often with children.

    There is no child who is problem-free or any parent who has absolute 100% control over their child.

    If that *did* happen and a child did throw a temper tantrum and distracted Dad from doing his job - then everyone would be screaming "why did he have a child in the control room with him!"

    I think it's a bit hypocritical (not of everyone, but of some) -because if something bad did happen everyone would be crying for his head on a plate.
    A screaming comes across the sky.
    It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.
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  2. #32
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    Re: JFK tower allowed a kid to direct air traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by aps View Post
    I see what you're saying. Someone is feeding the kid lines. I get it. But when the employee parent is feeding the kid lines, is the employee parent giving the situation his undivided attention? Nope. Hey, I can drive my car while talking on the phone (speaker or ear piece) or talking to someone else that is present in the car with me, is my concentration affected? ABSOLUTELY. So this business that the child repeating his father's words has no impact on his father's concentration is BS, IMO.
    Actually Im guessing...just guessing mind you...that the father was at one shoulder and supervisor the other both with big ol smiles on their face giving the kid their undivided attention. Thats just my guess. either it went down that way, or this kid is the smartest kid ever and they should fire the dad and supervisor and put the kid on the payroll...

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    Re: JFK tower allowed a kid to direct air traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by VanceMack View Post
    Did anyone crash? Did you hear any of the pilots screaming HOLY FU## but the real guy back on...oh my god we're all gonna die!!!!?
    Oh, so only if someone or a plane has a near death experience should this be deemed inappropriate? Yeah, okay.

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    Re: JFK tower allowed a kid to direct air traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by VanceMack View Post
    Actually Im guessing...just guessing mind you...that the father was at one shoulder and supervisor the other both with big ol smiles on their face giving the kid their undivided attention. Thats just my guess. either it went down that way, or this kid is the smartest kid ever and they should fire the dad and supervisor and put the kid on the payroll...
    Feeding someone lines takes away your concentration. I know it does mine. See Aunt's post above yours. She lays out an excellent argument for why it was wrong.

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    Re: JFK tower allowed a kid to direct air traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by aps
    I don't see how a child directing air traffic poses no risk. But that's me. People can disagree with me and tell me how wrong I am, but I stand by my assesment. The suspension was proper--the employee was an idiot, IMHO.
    I asked you to point out where you see a risk. You never answered that question.

    I see what you're saying. Someone is feeding the kid lines. I get it. But when the employee parent is feeding the kid lines, is the employee parent giving the situation his undivided attention? Nope. Hey, I can drive my car while talking on the phone (speaker or ear piece) or talking to someone else that is present in the car with me, is my concentration affected? ABSOLUTELY. So this business that the child repeating his father's words has no impact on his father's concentration is BS, IMO.
    Air traffic control doesn't require "undivided attention". Does a truck dispatcher require "undivided attention"? Your analogy sucks because directing air traffic is nothing like driving a car; sure, you can compare flying a plane to driving a car (although not completely, as flying a commercial airliner is much easier and much lower risk), but directing traffic is completely different.

    As I said earlier, the hysteria surrounding this event is due to the two reasons I outlined above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker
    What if, for example, the child threw a temper tantrum and Daddy couldn't hear an incoming distress signal or tend to other such important things?
    Do you really think this is how air traffic control works? That there is only one set of headphones where pilots can be heard, and that if the child is wearing them then nobody else can hear? Seriously?

    What if child got sick and had to be taken to the bathroom immediately?
    What the hell does that have to do with anything????

    What do you think happens if an air traffic controller gets sick and has to go to the bathroom? Answer: He goes to the bathroom.

    Like I said, air traffic control is not performed at an airport by one single individual who is the only person that knows what is going on and without him all of the planes would crash. There is a chain of command and a set of policies and redundancies in place that deal with these circumstances, which is what facilitates airports to function.

    If that *did* happen and a child did throw a temper tantrum and distracted Dad from doing his job - then everyone would be screaming "why did he have a child in the control room with him!"
    If that happened then someone else in tower would be listening in anyways and would be able to take care of anything that comes up. Saying that if an air traffic controller "gets distracted" all hell will break loose is downright silly and merely supports my assertion that most people don't understand how air traffic control works.

    EDIT: Everyone that thinks there was a "risk" posed here should read this.
    Last edited by Khayembii Communique; 03-04-10 at 11:36 AM.
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  6. #36
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    Re: JFK tower allowed a kid to direct air traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by aps View Post
    Oh, so only if someone or a plane has a near death experience should this be deemed inappropriate? Yeah, okay.
    That was a joke...smiley inserted too late...

    I think the point is there is absolutely nothing to indicate that at any time anyone was at risk or danger. bad decision? OK...I'll accept that. but worthy of all THIS???

    I counseled some of our military ATCs...incredibly high stress and pressure...I dont have any recent experience but back a dozen years or so agao EVERYONE smoked and most of them drank. 'Healthy' amounts. this just really seems like a mountain/molehill situation...

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    Re: JFK tower allowed a kid to direct air traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by Khayembii Communique View Post
    I asked you to point out where you see a risk. You never answered that question.



    Air traffic control doesn't require "undivided attention". Does a truck dispatcher require "undivided attention"? Your analogy sucks because directing air traffic is nothing like driving a car; sure, you can compare flying a plane to driving a car (although not completely, as flying a commercial airliner is much easier and much lower risk), but directing traffic is completely different.

    As I said earlier, the hysteria surrounding this event is due to the two reasons I outlined above.



    Do you really think this is how air traffic control works? That there is only one set of headphones where pilots can be heard, and that if the child is wearing them then nobody else can hear? Seriously?



    What the hell does that have to do with anything????

    What do you think happens if an air traffic controller gets sick and has to go to the bathroom? Answer: He goes to the bathroom.

    Like I said, air traffic control is not performed at an airport by one single individual who is the only person that knows what is going on and without him all of the planes would crash. There is a chain of command and a set of policies and redundancies in place that deal with these circumstances, which is what facilitates airports to function.



    If that happened then someone else in tower would be listening in anyways and would be able to take care of anything that comes up. Saying that if an air traffic controller "gets distracted" all hell will break loose is downright silly and merely supports my assertion that most people don't understand how air traffic control works.

    EDIT: Everyone that thinks there was a "risk" posed here should read this.
    When you can address me in a respectful manner, then I will answer your question. Have a nice day.

  8. #38
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    Re: JFK tower allowed a kid to direct air traffic

    When you can address me in a respectful manner, then I will answer your question. Have a nice day.
    I did address you in a respectful manner. Stop whining.
    "I do not claim that every incident in the history of empire can be explained in directly economic terms. Economic interests are filtered through a political process, policies are implemented by a complex state apparatus, and the whole system generates its own momentum."

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    Re: JFK tower allowed a kid to direct air traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by aps View Post
    Feeding someone lines takes away your concentration. I know it does mine. See Aunt's post above yours. She lays out an excellent argument for why it was wrong.
    Im not even saying it wasnt a bad idea...just not that big of a deal.

    And Ive already learned never to argue with Aunt...she has a pussy!

  10. #40
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    Re: JFK tower allowed a kid to direct air traffic

    Quote Originally Posted by aps View Post
    Feeding someone lines takes away your concentration. I know it does mine. See Aunt's post above yours. She lays out an excellent argument for why it was wrong.
    I don't see anything wrong outside of giving the dispatcher a warning.

    No one at any time was in any danger.

    Typical overreaction.
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