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Mommy/Daddy, Can I try?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Vanilla, Mar 4, 2010.

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  1. Vanilla

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    <a class="postlink" href="http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35683779/ns/travel-news/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;">http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35683779/ns/travel-news/</a>

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    An air traffic controller at one of the nation's busiest airport was suspended after his young son was permitted to give radio instructions to pilots.[...] His young son had several quick exchanges with pilots. The recorded clips were played repeatedly across a variety of news outlets on Wednesday.[...]"This lapse in judgment not only violated FAA's own policies, but common sense standards for professional conduct. These kinds of distractions are totally unacceptable," FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said in a statement. "This kind of behavior does not reflect the true caliber of our work force."
    It's interesting how the passengers are up in arms, but the interviewed pilot has no issues with it. I for one agree.

    Focus: I'm sure at some point in our lives we've either been the kid given responsibility we shouldn't have or been the one giving a kid responsibility they shouldn't have. Share your stories.

    Alt-Focus: The father was listening to everything the kids were saying and would have been right there to correct any errors. Even if he didn't catch them, the pilots have to relay everything back. Was this all that bad? Is there a bit of over-reaction going on here?
     
  2. ghettoastronaut

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    Holy fuck I would not let a kid take over ATC, even if I were standing over his shoulder and there to correct anything. Maybe I'm romanticizing everything that goes on in the tower, but ATC is an insanely stressful job. I assume this was at a lull in the day, but if it were busy or flight paths needed to be diverted in a time-sensitive manner, I wouldn't consider that an acceptable level of risk. Then again, any actual ATCs (I know we have some military/ex-military ATCs here) can fill me in.

    One time in grade 5, my teacher was leading the class out of the portable. I guess I was the last one out; all I remember is that we came back, the door was open, and I was yelled at because her purse and everything were wide open and vulnerable. Bitch, if you don't want your purse stolen, don't put a 10 year old in charge of keeping it secure.
     
  3. BrotherNumberOne

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    Unfortunately, America has several problems. Firstly, we, as a society, have become "pussyfied" with all the PC/ reactionary bullshit. EVERYTHING is now a major issue that has to be 'dealt with'. The guy put his kid on his lap and let him play with the mic for a second. Big fuckin' deal! No harm, no foul. Even the pilot thought it was cute. Second, with information technology making mass communication so easy and accessible, there is no time to look at any situation for what it truly is and deal with it rationally. The instant something happens, no matter how insignificant, it is distributed to every media outlet in existence and put out to the public leading to 'mass hysteria', forcing the powers the be, in this case the FAA, to react immediately to quell public anger. It's fucking ridiculous.
     
  4. whathasbeenseen

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    I have to agree with BrotherNumberOne on this. I don't think this is a huge deal. There are many larger fish to fry. It's a case of pursuing a crime with no victims. Like fucking J-Walking. Don't care. Go catch a burglar or catch a rapist or a kiddy pornographer.

    Focus My mom used to tell me almost every day: "Look kid, I'm a single parent. I might not be around tomorrow. You should know how to take care of yourself. By age 7 I could pay bills, cook a weeks worth of meals, balance a checkbook, interview effectively for a job, do laundry, speak effectively to authorities. I knew my mother's social security number by rote along with her checking account number and her driver license number.

    I think these things have served me in a way but made me effectively not close to my mother while being her best friend. Improper for a child in my opinion.
     
  5. cargasm66

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    What I don't understand is how the article makes a connection with these two events. There is a HUGE difference in chatting with your girlfriend, with your mind wandering off to her titties, and carefully watching over your kid do exactly what you'd normally be doing in the situation.

    I remember when I was younger, my dad (former US Customs agent) would let me run the drug dog around the airport looking for dope. Of course, I sincerely doubt they were hiding the dope in the candy store....
     
  6. Indiana

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    Focus: Every year, my huge family pitches in and we all head down to the Outer Banks, NC for Thanksgiving. Of the cousins, we have 9 girls and 3 boys, so the boys usually lock themselves in their room with the Xbox or PSwhatever the hell to avoid a week of chick flicks and getting their toe nails painted. A few years ago, I busted into their room and told them to grab their shoes, they're coming with me. I piled them in the truck and took them down to the off-roading beach. I drove them around for a little going down the deep ravines in the sand, making sure water got splashed up into their window, etc. Then it was their turn.
    Ages 12, 13, and 14- they all got a chance on the flatter part of the beach. Strapped them in, told them not to flood my engine (water or gas) and go to town. They had a blast. Two of them have a paranoid mother who won't even let them play football because it's too violent. So as long as it never left the truck, they were good to go and I got to live a few more years. I do miss those kids though. Once they hit 14/15, we usually let them drink with us at night on the down low. 9 more months!
     
  7. Frebis

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    ATC is one ridiculous job. Just to show you how dangerous this was, next time you fly United, turn your in seat radio to channel 9. It is a live feed of air traffic control, and if you are going through a hub city it is scary listening to how much shit is going on.

    That guy should be fired. I'm not sure about his supervisor.
     
  8. Vanilla

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    Focus: When I was a kid, we had a family friend who was building a on a piece of unlevel land. He was doing alot of the clearing, levelling, etc by himself. So, he had purchased some secondhand heavy machinery that he'd turn around and sell once he was done for a small loss. So I'm.... probably hovering around 11 or so and Im thrown into a full on frigging backhoe and told to have fun. The issue being of course that there were cars parked randomly throughout the property. Luckily I wasn't a retard child and didn't take anything out, but it could have easily been a pretty expensive ride.

    When I was older the same family friend had us to one of his other places to go snowmobiling. My younger brothers were then, I dunno, 6 and 8? The 8 year old was left on a snowmobile alone for a minute. Running. Keys in. He got about a mile away before the second (and luckily faster) snowmobile managed to catch him and get him to stop.

    Funny... never got an invite out after that...
     
  9. shegirl

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    I really think the reason they are reacting as they are is because of what could have happened, not what didn't. This certainly did open the door for something to go wrong far wider than on a normal daily basis. I would think the thrill of being up in that glass box, watching planes landing and taking off, hearing the radio chatter and being in awe of all the lights and buttons on the panel would have been enough for the kid. It wasn't necessary to take it as far as the controller did. Hell, I even wonder if it was ok to have the kid in there in the first place. I really don't think so. It's an unnecessary distraction that has the potential to cause deadly outcome.

    I don't know if the guy should be fired or not but somewhere in this entire scenario there was a management break down because that is really no place for a kid. I bet he's the big hero at school today though. He may even get girlgerms from lil Molly.
     
  10. dixiebandit69

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    Focus: When I was 14 my dad gave me the keys to our old farm truck and said that it was mine as long as I could keep it running. I drove myself to highschool with it, and anywhere else I felt like, including Mexico.
     
  11. Ganimedes

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    Anti focus: As soon as my dad judged me competent enough on my bike to not die in traffic he started sending me to the gas station to buy him smokes. I think I was maybe 9 or 10 at the time. At around the same age I remember my friend across the street getting to steer the car home after his dad picked us up from practice. Sure, he sat in his dads lap but I still nearly shit myself, either from envy or from pure terror as he swerved across the road.

    Focus: I can see how this plays well with the pussification crowd on the board but as one of the people that wasn't woken up by a gentle beating so that I could enjoy my morning cup of shut-the-fuck-up at breakfast, I don't much see the issue here.

    Forget about how appropriate it is to let your kid deliver instructions to a pilot, as soon as this thing got picked up by the media it left the employer no choice in the matter regardless of how they felt about it initially.

    Flying is for many surrounded by enough fear and drama as it is. A big part of the problem is surrendering control of your fate to a pilot, and by extension an airline or an airfield. It's more dangerous to get in your car and drive to work but at least there we're the ones ultimately in the drivers seat and we believe that that makes a difference. What can you do if someone t-bones you at an intersection, or swerves into you on the freeway?

    To surrender that illusory control people need to know that every aspect of a flight is held to rigorous standards and as a part of that the ATC can't afford not to live up to the image of routine and security. I'm surprised this guy knows how to tie his own shoelaces if he doesn't realize that.

    However much of a fuck nut this guy was, there's a certain appeal to this. I bet there are a lot of professions where bringing your kid to work would just lighten the mood a bit. Imagine calling 911 to report a particularly gruesome gang rape and having the dispatcher's adorable 7 year old pick up and take down your details. "My mommy says to ask you if they touched you in the bad place? What? Moomm, what does 'die cunt face' mean and why is the lady crying?"
     
  12. Frebis

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    I'm actually shocked the pussification crowd hasn't picked up on this fact yet: The Dad instructed the boy to say "Aidios Amigo" to a Mexican airplane. THAT IS A RACIAL SLUR!
     
  13. Pinkcup

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    Focus: I read Where The Red Fern Grows before age 10, and I was DEAD SET on chopping down a tree to "prove myself" or whatever that meant. My Dad, bless his heart, handed me an axe and directed me to a medium-sized tree in our back yard. He told me I was free to chop as long as I'd like--and he promised that he would bring me dinner if I stayed out there chopping all night (I'm sure he was snickering to himself at this point). While I didn't have Old Dan and Little Ann by my side for encouragement, I figured I would have that tree down in no time.

    Yeah. 13 chops in and my arms started hurting. I was struggling to hit the tree at the same angle each time. Daddy Dearest neglected to mention basic axe safety--you know, things like "Hey, this axe can get heavy/don't do anything stupid." So, in my infinite wisdom, I decided to throw the axe at the tree. I think I thought that one deep cut would make it all easier or something.

    I took a Casey Jones-style swing....and forgot to let go of the axe. I spun around and almost chopped myself in the back. Then I fell down and the axe came within inches of cutting my toes off. My Dad, watching from the back porch, was horrified. He dashed right over, snatched the axe up, and yelled at me for so long my Mom came outside to ask what I had done. When he explained it to her, she yelled at him for letting me use an axe by myself. Lots of screaming and crying (I cried) later, I got to have a serious sit-down with Mom and Dad about responsible axe-wielders and why I wasn't one of them.

    And, in case you're wondering, my parents will NOT let me hold an axe in their presence to this day. I do have a little tomahawk thingy that they let me throw at the firewood pile, though.
     
  14. MoreCowbell

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    I'm aghast that his kid was even IN THE ROOM to begin with.

    This is not paper shuffling. You make a mistake at ATC, and hundreds of people could die. It is not an environment for kids to be running about.

    Notice the use of the word "distraction" by the supervisor.


    Bullshit. This is as big as the fucking fish get. This is Jaws in a saucepan.

    We're talking about people inolved in the movements of multi-ton metal behemoths traveling at hundreds of miles per hour, miles above ground, with hundreds of people's lives in their hands.

    Exactly which fish are larger?

    Find me one instance where j-walking could have led to hundreds of deaths in one hell swoop. I'll wait.



    People cite statistics about how safe air travel is. You know why it's that safe? Because it's in the hands of well-trained experts with minimal distraction.
     
  15. BrotherNumberOne

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    I see what you mean, but the way I heard the story on the news was that the plane was on the ground and the controllers job was basic taxiing instructions. It's not like the controller put the kid on the mic then went out for a smoke. Yes, if the plane was coming in for a landing & the kid's on the mic, I'd be pissed. I'm not an ATC, but I don't think it's mindbendingly stressful 24/7. I'm guessing this isn't the 1st time an ATC brought their kid to work. But, as usual, the media blew it up like 5000 people's lives were inches from a fiery death the second the kid jumped on the mic. I'd say it may have been inappropriate, at WORST, to let the kid on the mic. Worthy of suspending or firing the ATC? No way.
     
  16. dubyu tee eff

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    Look at it rationally...there is simply no reason for the man to have let his kid on the mic. The cost is the slight percentage chance that he would have said something wrong and and caused problems, remember a flight crashing isn't the only thing that can go wrong with an airplane. If the kid said something that causes a delay for whatever reason, it screws up all sorts of things for the airline, the airport, etc. I know the probability is small, but it is there nonetheless.

    Compare this to the benefit. A little kid gets a smile on his face for 3 seconds. While cute, I don't think this is worth the cost.

    Simple as that.
     
  17. Crazy Wolf

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    If we're just going by risk/benefit analysis, he shouldn't have done that, but the article seemed to make it pretty clear that the pilots knew what was going on. With the actual ATC there, relaying information to his kid, I don't really see a chance for anything too fucked up to happen. Being ATC doesn't mean you've got the controls of the plane directly in your hands. If the kid screwed up, the pilot would have to repeat it, and there would be enough time for the ATC to say any corrections.

    Keep in mind the pilots were aware they were talking to a kid, and so were probably paying a bit more attention to what was being said (and waiting to see if any corrections were coming).
     
  18. Frebis

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    I just got done reading the article. The guy brought his daughter to work the next day and did the same thing with her. Come on, letting a 5 year old boy do it is bad enough.... But a girl? I don't even think that is legal.
     
  19. Uziel

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    First, let me say I am an Air Traffic Controller and have been for 13 years now. Pilots are not required to read back everything we say. The potential easily existed for this kid to have said "cross runway XX" rather than "hold short of runway XX" and youve just put two planes together killing hundreds. Yes, thats an extreme example but a valid one nonetheless. What thst controller did was irresponsible and unprofessional and he should be fired and have his liscense revoked in my opinion. As a supervisor I would never allow that kind of stupid shit in my facility.
     
  20. Pow

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    I'm diissapointed by the fierceness of opinions that exist with such a small amount of information. Everything is situational, and I don't think there's enough understanding of what the job is like and the particular situation.

    People are awfully quick to jump to an opinion on 'hot' topics on the smallest pretenses.
     
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