PARENTS

Air Traffic Controller Lets Son Direct Planes

04/03/2010 11:02 | Updated 22 May 2015

We've all heard of Bring Your Child to Work Day and maybe some of us have actually taken part with our offspring. Hopefully it just involved them spinning on our swivel chair and sharpening a few pencils.

Not so for an air traffic controller who apparently let his young son direct planes at New York's John F Kennedy Airport five times. That sheds a whole new light on taking your child to work with you.

Thankfully no one was hurt in the incident. But it does bring home to you again how much we actually entrust to those who control the skies.

Here's the tape so you can hear it for yourself:

The matter came to light when tapes of it were placed on a website for people who like listening to air traffic controllers. On them the child is heard to issue instructions five times to pilots preparing for take off.

He appears to be under the supervision of an adult and repeating simple instructions given by his father. Following one exchange with a pilot, a man's voice is then heard saying: "That's what you get guys when the kids are out of school."

People are now up in arms over the incident which took place at America's sixth busiest airport during the middle of February, in what was a week-long winter break for many New York schoolchildren.

The controller and a supervisor have been put on administrative leave while the Federal Aviation Administration investigates the incident.

All unofficial visits to air traffic facilities have been also banned while the FAA reviews its policies. The episode has been called "a lapse in judgement" by FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt.

What do you think -- a storm in a teacup or a grave error of judgement?

Source (ParentDish US)

Source (ABC News)

Suggest a correction