Really. Gone. phhht. Totally shot out the window. When did humans lose the ability to distiguish all shades of gray? It seems everything these days is either BLACK or WHITE.
This latest rant falls on the heels of the newly released FAA recordings of a child giving commands from an air traffic control tower. I know your first reaction is probably outrage. But hear me out. This wasn’t a random child talking willy nilly to TRAINED pilots. This was the son of one of the controllers who was home from school (probably due to snow or vacation … but who knows) and went into work with his dad. (And dare I add here that MANY working parents had to take snowbound children to school as they couldn’t miss ANOTHER day of work for fear of losing their jobs … but I digress.)
Anyway, this child (who sounds be around 8 or 9) pronounces very clearly that an airplane is cleared for take off. The pilot responds with a little chuckle. And the plane lifts into the air with the passengers completely unaware that anything untoward is going on in the cockpit.
There are only a few recordings of the young boy. Each time the words he spoke were clear and understood. He spoke to maybe 3 pilots ALL under the supervision of not only his parent, a TRAINED CONTROLLER, but the supervisor who was aware of the situation. Every pilot who responded to the child did so with the appropriate response, a little chuckle, and a quip or two about the outstanding job.
No one got hurt. And in my opinion this young boy’s presence in the control tower didn’t not endanger anyone. But some internet site that broadcasts control tower radios contacted the FAA. The dad and his supervisor have been suspended pending a full investigation by the FAA.
I know we have been having more incidences of controller errors and people have gotten hurt. I know airports have been the focus of terrorist activities. I know people are noodgie about flying these days. But when a child comes to work with their parent (for whatever reason) and “helps” out dad… should the whole world fall apart?
I don’t know, maybe I’m way off base on this. But I think the FAA is going too far. This is one of those gray colors that should not have been smeared all over the news.