Aviation News

March 3, 2010

Little Kid Takes Over JFK Airport Control Tower

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lego airport kid

The FAA says it has benched an undisclosed number of air traffic controllers from their regular duties as they investigate an incident in which a young boy is heard giving instructions to departing aircraft from the JFK Airport control tower. According to a recording found on the air traffic control database at LiveATC.net, the incident happened on February 17th.

At one point during the course of the child’s five transmissions, an adult male voice in the tower explains the situation to local air traffic: “This is what you get, guys, when the kids are out of school.”

The pilots involved seem to get a kick out of hearing a kid on the radio, but Jim Baker, a retired Delta Air Lines chief pilot, interviewed by Fox 25 News in Boston (which broke this story), thinks it’s no laughing matter.

[wpaudio url="http://nycaviation.com/newspage/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/kid-jfk-controller-032010.mp3" text=" JFK Control Tower - Little Kid Giving Takeoff Clearances" dl="0"]

“I’m sure the controller is probably a tremendous controller, but not a wise move, not a wise move. Not in this day and age,” said Baker.

Truth be told we might be a little jealous of the kid on the radio. Based on the recordings, the youngster did a great job and we’re sure he had an amazingly fun time doing it. But controllers sometimes make mistakes even without the distraction of children in the tower.





  • http://www.1stairportparking.co.uk UK Airport Person

    As funny as this was (if you weren't on one of the planes the kid directed !), it does show spectacularly bad judgement by both the controller who gave up his headset and the people around him. That said, good air traffic controllers are hard to find and it is such a high pressure job, so I guess we'll let them off this once !

  • http://www.1stairportparking.co.uk UK Airport Person

    As funny as this was (if you weren't on one of the planes the kid directed !), it does show spectacularly bad judgement by both the controller who gave up his headset and the people around him. That said, good air traffic controllers are hard to find and it is such a high pressure job, so I guess we'll let them off this once !

  • fred

    Atleast he spoke english!!!

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