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Child directs airplanes over radio transmissions at JFK airport

Child directs airplanes over radio transmissions at JFK airport

Old Mar 3, 10, 12:10 am
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Child directs airplanes over radio transmissions at JFK airport

With audio. He does a pretty good job of it.
From here:

The voice is unmistakably a child's giving the all-clear to a pilot from the air-traffic control tower at one of the nation's busiest airports.

Harmless? Or a problem? I think this is one of those stories where people can form their own opinion.

The FAA is certainly taking the matter seriously.

They have confirmed for FOX 25 that the recording we have with a child directing airplanes is an authentic recording from the JFK tower and an investigation is now underway.

The child makes five transmissions and the pilots respond enthusiastically to him.
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Old Mar 3, 10, 1:39 am
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Old Mar 3, 10, 6:11 am
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Not a good idea. I thought the tower was a secure area, since when can guests be brought in?
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Old Mar 3, 10, 9:58 am
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There's another thread on this in TS&S: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trave...while-day.html

I'd suggest listening to the Fox Boston recording in the OP of this thread and the Youtube recording in the other thread, as they have more complete recordings than the FoxNY recording in the other thread or this CNN recording.

IMO, much ado about nothing. The 31L controller, who those who listen to the JFK Tower feed frequently will recognize, gives all of the Position and Hold commands with wind and wake turbulence information. The child gives exactly two commands: Cleared for Takeoff and Contact Departure, obviously prompted by the controller. Note that all of these recordings have been edited to remove gaps, and there are two different controllers handling 31L and 31R on the same recording - not as busy as it sounds.

Was protocol breached? Maybe. Was safety compromised? Nah.


sobore, not sure about now, but there are folks getting a tour of the JFK Tower in 2004 here (with some videos):

http://www.dimayz.com/jfk.html
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Old Mar 3, 10, 10:03 am
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Originally Posted by sobore View Post
Not a good idea. I thought the tower was a secure area, since when can guests be brought in?
I've been UP in the tower at ORD. In uniform and ID. But, then again, that was 1984. AMAZING VIEW, UP THERE.
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Old Mar 3, 10, 10:08 am
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This is a non-issue to me. A kid (supervised) gives a prompted radio transmission to a pilot under the watchful eye of an ATC. It probably made the kid's day and maybe even will inspire him towards a career in ATC.

I don't see this as being in any way an unprofessional move by the FAA or the controller in question. People need to lighten up a little.
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Old Mar 3, 10, 11:51 am
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Maybe they could recruit the kid to be a TSO, would be somewhat of raising of the IQ levels of most of them.

Dave
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Old Mar 3, 10, 12:34 pm
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I'm torn on this one. One one side, it was an unprofessional thing for the controller to do. However, I don't think safety was compromised, since the situation was not much different than having an ATC student being supervised (yes, the child doesn't have the technical knowledge necessary, but he is not taking any decisions, just repeating what he was told to say).

Just give the controller a warning or something of the sort and let him keep his job.
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Old Mar 3, 10, 1:28 pm
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I personally don't think this situation is a big deal. However, it is a requirement to have a FCC license to transmit on certain frequencies and/or on high power radios. I'm sure this includes ATC. On those grounds alone, the controller wasn't acting very smart by allowing their child to 'talk to pilots'.
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Old Mar 3, 10, 4:18 pm
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Originally Posted by sobore View Post
Not a good idea. I thought the tower was a secure area, since when can guests be brought in?
ATC facilities are secure, but guests are allowed. The first time I was in a tower I was around five (but nobody let me talk on the radio ). The last time I had a chance was about two years ago, but unfortunately I did not have time to accept the invite.
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Old Mar 3, 10, 8:17 pm
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Sounds like this was found on liveatc.net... wonder if it will cause any issues with this cool service?

But rough to hear about the towers... was hoping for a tour during our Spring Break Do in ANC (see signature)...
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Old Mar 3, 10, 8:57 pm
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Once again, the media has sensationalized this into a bigger story than it actually is. While it was a stupid mistake by the controller, i very much doubt anyone was in any real danger. As a pilot, I've heard on many occasions young people talking with ATC while traveling with parents/friends in general aviation aircraft.
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Old Mar 3, 10, 9:03 pm
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Originally Posted by thadocta View Post
Maybe they could recruit the kid to be a TSO, would be somewhat of raising of the IQ levels of most of them.

Dave


Swung on and belted...
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Old Mar 3, 10, 11:14 pm
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Judgement

There is bad judgement, and then there is, "What the hell were you thinking?"
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Old Mar 3, 10, 11:25 pm
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Originally Posted by SFflyer123 View Post
There is bad judgement, and then there is, "What the hell were you thinking?"
I agree. Isn't an active ATC room considered a safe cockpit (i.e., no distractions allowed)?
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