Saturday, March 6, 2010

Child Air Traffic Controller

There is a news item that on February 16 an Air Traffic Controller at the JFK Airport in New York took his child to the Control Tower and let him direct the departure of a flight.

The Air Traffic Controller and his Supervisor were suspended. Investigation is pending. This is against FAA’s (Federal Aviation Administration) rule. Many people are outraged at this because it endangers the plane and the passengers. But some people, including the pilot who received the take off instruction from the child, think it is no big deal. That pilot is finding it as amusing.

In light of this, I have some suggestions:

We should let a surgeon’s child operate a patient.

I won’t say we should let a gynecologist’s child deliver a baby via cesarian section. That has already been done in India.

We should let a commercial pilot’s child fly a passenger plane.

We should let an investment banker’s child make a multi million dollar deal.

We should let a soldier’s child guard our borders.

We should let a politician’s child run the country. Come to think of it, in some countries, it is happening.

We should let a college professor’s child teach a course.

We should let a nurse’s child pass on the medication and inject medicines on patients.

We should let an engineer’s child build a dam or a bridge.

We should let a general’s child prepare a war strategy.

We should let a police inspector’s child go after a criminal.

We should let a bus driver’s child drive a bus.

We should let a lawyer’s child defend a person accused of murder.

May be these kids would do a better job than their dads. Who knows!


  1. Irony or Sarcasm! I am with you completely.

  2. This is being blown waaayyy out of proportion. Everyone needs to just chill out and relax.

    So what...some little kid gave a few routine instructions with a bunch of people looking over his shoulder.
    No big deal.

    I've been in far, far worse situations than that.

    Chesley Sullenberger

  3. I agree with Captain Sully. The kid just said the lines that his dad was gonna say anyway. The kid wasn't actually making any decisions or performing any delicate procedures. I don't think the situation was unsafe since the pilots repeated every instruction that the kid gave. There was no confusion. The pilots didn't even sound surprised (guessing they already knew that a kid would be saying the lines).

  4. this is pathetic..people are could they put so many lives at stake for their amusement?

  5. This is not at all fair as the little kids are given instructions which is incredible. Really pathetic and I feel sorry for it. Very well written.

  6. Yes, the cesarean was performed by a child near here and as you can see parents encouraging young children to drive cars and motor cycles a la Kolly wood fashion. We are not far away from seeing things like what you have written.

  7. Thanks for your comments Guria. Thanks for supporting me.

  8. Thanks for your comments Captain Sully. Is this the child directed your plane when you landed on Hudson River?

  9. Thanks for your commentts JaGo. Next time you have a gall bladder or a kidney stone operation, please let me know. I will make sure the surgeon's child operate on you. He will just be repeating what his dad would do any way. He will also be closely supervised by his dad.

  10. Thanks for your comments. It is pathetic.

  11. Thanks for your comments Babli. Some people may think this as amusing. But not for me.

  12. Thanks for your comments Chitra. I hope my sarcastic comments do not become truth.

  13. Chesley "Sully" SullenbergerMarch 7, 2010 at 9:51 AM

    Was the child the air traffic controller when I landed the plane in the Hudson?
    The answer is NO.

    A child giving directions to pilots does not guarantee disaster.
    An experienced adult giving directions to pilots does not guarantee safety either.
    But when a flock of birds heavily damages your engines only a kickass pilot from Danville can guarantee safety.

    One more thing - I think you are comparing apples and oranges in your response to Jago.
    The pilot is equivalent to the surgeon and the passengers are equivalent to the patient.

    Saying that the kid gave routine instructions to the experienced pilots so that is equivalent to letting him do kidney stone/gall bladder surgery is NOT a one to one comparison.
    The equivalent kid's role in surgery would be to get routine instructions from his experienced father and then relaying it to the experienced surgeon to perform surgery.

    If the kid were performing surgery, as in your example to Jago, then he would be equivalent to being the pilot...which he was not.

    Captain Sully

  14. Thanks for your comments Captain Sully. JaGo will appreciate your support.

    Todays Air Traffic Controllers are lucky that your hero, Ronald Reagan, is not the President of USA now. If he was the President now, this incident would never have happened. The mere mention of his name brings mortal fear in all the Air Traffic Controllers' mind.

    Remember, in August 1981, he dismissed the entire Air Traffic Controllers in USA and hired new people. Those Air Traffic Controllers are still looking for jobs.

  15. what the hell maaan??? i mean goodd!!! whats wrong with people..does the man have even an iota of brains???

  16. Thanks for your comments Sulagna. I wish Ronald Reagan is still the President of US of A. He would put an end to this kind of nonsense.

  17. It is shocking! Mainly b'cos I've read the job of an ATC is considered most stressful job that exists. Here if such a thing were to happen, to drive home the point, one must ask Sachin Tendulkar's son to bat for India:)

  18. I think the day is not far when your sarcasm may not be sarcasm anymore but truth..there is no dearth of indulgent parents.

  19. They probably can. They are smarter than some adults for sure. But not at the risk of other lives. And why not let the child grow normally indulging in activities suitable for their age! There was a news report here in India too. I could not imagine this happening in the US where we think they are strict about certain rules.

  20. I wonder how the child could instruct the flight ... intelligent or ignorant i wonder...
    nice take... loved the sarcasm :)

  21. Thanks for your comments lostworld. Your idea is not bad. Asking Sachin Tendulkar's son to bat for India might win some matches and a world cup for India.

  22. Thanks for your comments Samvedna. I hope my sarcasm does not come true.

  23. Thanks for your comments Radha. They follow the rules very strictly here. That is why the ATC and his Supervisor were immediately suspended. Now the FAA is making a thorough investigation.

  24. Thanks for your comments Rajlakshmi. The ATC and the pilot are saying that the child just repeated the words that his dad asked him to say. And, the child did not make any decision independently.