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JFK Control Tower - let the little kid direct traffic for a while day

JFK Control Tower - let the little kid direct traffic for a while day

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Old Mar 2, 10, 10:38 pm
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JFK Control Tower - let the little kid direct traffic for a while day

http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/traffic/t...tower-20100302

Yeah, imagine if you were listening on Channel 9 when this was going on

Boy Talks to Pilots from JFK Airport Tower

By MYFOX BOSTON

MYFOXNY.COM - The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating an air traffic controller who apparently let a child speak to pilots over the radio from the control tower at John F. Kennedy Airport.

The child made five transmissions, and the pilots actually enthusiastically responded to him. The child appeared to be supervised.

But aviation experts, including a retired Delta pilot, say that having a child on the radio is a bad idea because lives hang on every radio transmission.

In fact, only FAA-licensed controllers are supposed to communicate with airplanes.

Last edited by Cholula; Mar 3, 10 at 7:10 am Reason: Corrected broken link
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Old Mar 2, 10, 10:51 pm
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I know it doesn't directly apply, but there is precedent in Amateur Radio. I'm surprised I remembered this from 20 years ago

http://www.w5yi.org/page.php?id=122

Part 97 : Sec. 97.115 Third party communications
(a) An amateur station may transmit messages for a third party to:

(1) Any station within the jurisdiction of the United States.

(2) Any station within the jurisdiction of any foreign government whose administration has made arrangements with the United States to allow amateur stations to be used for transmitting international communications on behalf of third parties. No station shall transmit messages for a third party to any station within the jurisdiction of any foreign government whose administration has not made such an arrangement. This prohibition does not apply to a message for any third party who is eligible to be a control operator of the station.

(b) The third party may participate in stating the message where:

(1) The control operator is present at the control point and is continuously monitoring and supervising the third party's participation; and

(2) The third party is not a prior amateur service licensee whose license was revoked; suspended for less than the balance of the license term and the suspension is still in effect; suspended for the balance of the license term and relicensing has not taken place; or surrendered for cancellation following notice of revocation, suspension or monetary forfeiture proceedings. The third party may not be the subject of a cease and desist order which relates to amateur service operation and which is still in effect.

(c) At the end of an exchange of international third party communications, the station must also transmit in the station identification procedure the call sign of the station with which a third party message was exchanged.

(d) No station may be automatically controlled while transmitting third party communications, except a station transmitting a RTTY or data emission. All messages that are retransmitted must originate at a station that is being locally or remotely controlled.

[54 FR 25857, June 20, 1989; 54 FR 39535, Sept. 27, 1989]
Is there, in fact, a FAR governing who can use an aviation band radio?

Here we go. . .

FCC 87.89 Minimum operator requirements.

87.89 Minimum operator requirements.
top

(a) A station operator must hold a commercial radio operator license or permit, except as listed in paragraph (d).

(b) The minimum operator license or permit required for operation of each specific classification is:

Minimum Operator License or Permit

Land stations, all classes
—All frequencies except VHF telephony transmitters providing domestic serviceRP

Aircraft stations, all classes
—Frequencies below 30 MHz allocated exclusively to aeronautical mobile servicesRP—Frequencies below 30 MHz not allocated exclusively to aeronautical mobile servicesMP or higher—Frequencies above 30 MHz not allocated exclusively to aeronautical mobile services and assigned for international useMP or higher—Frequencies above 30 MHz not assigned for international usenone—Frequencies not used solely for telephone or exceeding 250 watts carrier power or 1000 watts peak envelope powerG or higher

(c) The operator of a telephony station must directly supervise and be responsible for any other person who transmits from the station, and must ensure that such communications are in accordance with the station license.

(d) No operator license is required to:

(1) Operate an aircraft radar set, radio altimeter, transponder or other aircraft automatic radionavigation transmitter by flight personnel;

(2) Test an emergency locator transmitter or a survival craft station used solely for survival purposes;

(3) Operate an aeronautical enroute station which automatically transmits digital communications to aircraft stations;

(4) Operate a VHF telephony transmitter providing domestic service or used on domestic flights.
Don't know what the PEP of JFK tower radios might be, so this may not apply.

Last edited by birdstrike; Mar 2, 10 at 11:15 pm
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Old Mar 2, 10, 11:37 pm
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A friend sent me this link last week:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4s2irdJpEk
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Old Mar 2, 10, 11:52 pm
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Originally Posted by WChou View Post
A friend sent me this link last week:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4s2irdJpEk
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Old Mar 3, 10, 12:02 am
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Originally Posted by WChou View Post
A friend sent me this link last week:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r4s2irdJpEk


I'll see you later, dude!
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Old Mar 3, 10, 12:20 am
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Originally Posted by Fox News article View Post
But aviation experts, including a retired Delta pilot, say that having a child on the radio is a bad idea because lives hang on every radio transmission.
Lives hanging on every transmission...? It's hardly that dramatic...

Yes, horseplay and silliness has no place on any FAA designated frequency. However, this guy shouldn't lose his job over this.

... and you wonder why some pilots don't like to have channel 9 on UA on?
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Old Mar 3, 10, 12:57 am
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I assume transmissions by non-controllers is prohibited by internal FAA directive.
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Old Mar 3, 10, 1:33 am
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Originally Posted by KCK View Post
I assume transmissions by non-controllers is prohibited by internal FAA directive.
Not so clear. The FCC controls radio communication. The FAA controls aircraft and airspace. I doubt that there is a FAR part or FCC part that specifically prohibits this behavior.

If there is administrative action against the controller it will be under one of the catch-all, subjective, regulations covering "interfering with the security of air operations". I predict it would be upheld by an administrative law judge and overturned by the entire board. If it gets that far.

There is no harm, no foul in this case. Management would be covering their @ss while waning Controllers to not get caught by FAUX news in the future.
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Old Mar 3, 10, 2:02 am
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This is not at all a new thing and I see nothing wrong with it as long as the field isn't busy and the kid is well supervised and not doing any sort of vectoring. Indeed, a trained parrot could probably run LAX local 99.5% of the time given the lack of vectoring involved there.
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Old Mar 3, 10, 4:25 am
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Hey, I've done air traffic control. Was working someplace, at sometime and the senior air traffic control person, upon learning I wasn't an air traffic controller but was very interested in it put me on a head set and had me issuing clearances to land.

I was terrified. Even though I knew I was on a trainees head set where the senior person could override me at any time, they were qualified as an instructor, it was exceptionally quiet, they were actually doing the ATC and that really I was just a speaking parrot. Breathed a huge sigh of relief when they took over again as a couple more planes became active. The problem with working in aviation safety is that all the bad stuff about what could happen immediately floats to the surface!

OTOH, now it's over and we all survived, I've done something that few FTers have done
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Old Mar 3, 10, 5:17 am
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Originally Posted by N1120A View Post
This is not at all a new thing and I see nothing wrong with it as long as the field isn't busy and the kid is well supervised and not doing any sort of vectoring. Indeed, a trained parrot could probably run LAX local 99.5% of the time given the lack of vectoring involved there.
Hmmm... when flying near CMH one day a few years ago the TRACON controller had a young lady make a few calls to aircraft. I'm sure it made her day, and I know it put a smile on the faces of the pilots.
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Old Mar 3, 10, 5:21 am
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As a pilot (albeit not on big-jets), when I fly and talk with ATC, I want to be sure that the guy or gal on the other end of the RT is competent. Whilst the pilot ALWAYS has the ultimate rsponsibility for safety, if I'm meant to be following ATC instructions I want to know that they are considered istructions issued by someone appropriately trained, qualified, licenced and in current practice.

Next time you fly, think about a child giving instructions to the aeroplane you're sat in. Think about what'd happen if, despite being told what to say, the child said the wrong thing, and then before it was corrected there was an r/t failure - such chains of individually inconsequential failures, linked together, can easily end up in disasters. If you ever listen to ATC, think about listening to pilots in training who, having been told what to say by their instructor, still hesitant and mix things up. Can a child really do it properly. And consider the spurious ATC transmissions from unauthorised sources that have happened in the past - how does a pilot tell that this child is genuinely passing on instructions from a real controller?

This is potentially lives at stake, and millions of dollars worth of equipment in the firing line. It absolutely horrifies me that anyone would allow such a thing to happen. Why is it any different to the Aeroflot A310 incident some years ago when the pilot allowed his child into the pilot seat when the airplane was in the cruise? (that resulted in a crash, for which the pilots were very rightly blamed) What was that guy thinking putting a kid on the mike? I don't care if the kid was "supervised". Anyone in ATC who did that, I would very seriously question their judgement and competence to be an air traffic controller, and I'd certainly have a significantly reduced confidence in the reliability of any instructions that the guy gave to me himself, let alone those from the child.

IMHO the guy(s) who allowed this to happen should be fired, and potentially brought up on a charge of willfully endangering aeroplanes too.

Andy
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Old Mar 3, 10, 8:08 am
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From a commercial pilot, instructor/examiner (of 40 years):
This is much ado about nothing! The child was clearly under DIRECT COMPETENT SUPERVISION.
Notice NOT ONE pilot objected nor asked for a repeat. They were even supportive!
Sure, let's punish the encouraging parent and psychologically screw up this eager kid for even attempting WHAT HE DID WELL! Bravo for this parent for allowing his kid to experience how real people earn a living.
Under no circumstance would I have objected to this communication had I been a participating pilot. Little fella, you've got a great possible future ahead!
FAA, lighten up for God's sake! Go dad, YOU ROCK! News media, how about going in search of a truly worthy story? Please don't try to distort reality to the more sane and intelligent folks.
The next time I'm flying there I will inquire what happened to the great young controller in training.
B. Y.
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Old Mar 3, 10, 8:25 am
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Originally Posted by Captlegs View Post
From a commercial pilot, instructor/examiner (of 40 years):
This is much ado about nothing! The child was clearly under DIRECT COMPETENT SUPERVISION.
Notice NOT ONE pilot objected nor asked for a repeat. They were even supportive!
Sure, let's punish the encouraging parent and psychologically screw up this eager kid for even attempting WHAT HE DID WELL! Bravo for this parent for allowing his kid to experience how real people earn a living.
Under no circumstance would I have objected to this communication had I been a participating pilot. Little fella, you've got a great possible future ahead!
FAA, lighten up for God's sake! Go dad, YOU ROCK! News media, how about going in search of a truly worthy story? Please don't try to distort reality to the more sane and intelligent folks.
The next time I'm flying there I will inquire what happened to the great young controller in training.
B. Y.
+1. It is obvious no one was in danger and the kid actually sounded like a natural.
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Old Mar 3, 10, 9:04 am
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Originally Posted by United737522 View Post
Lives hanging on every transmission...? It's hardly that dramatic...
Tell that to the passengers on US Air 1493.
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