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Yesterday it was impossible to escape coverage of the New York air-traffic controller who brought his kids to work with him and let them give instructions to the pilots during a slow time during his shift. An NRO reader and pilot writes in:

This is just nuts.  Sounds like things were quiet for JFK and the proper instructions were given.  No metal was bent, so no harm, no foul.  People today just do NOT have a sense of humor or proportion.

Heck, I remember one real, official controller who sounded like Elmer Fudd—no one could understand the guy but he was there, trip after trip.  A kid controller would have been better. 

And here’s the take of a pilot in an online discussion at

Ross Aimer: As a professional airline pilot for 40 years, I’ve been dealing with air traffic controllers on a daily basis and I find them to be the utmost professional group of dedicated individuals. I have listened to the ATC tapes (Air Traffic Control) and in my opinion I can assure everyone that at no time was safety compromised.

This was a slow time at JFK and the air traffic controller in question was at all times in full control. In other words, with his finger on the button. If anything would’ve gone wrong, he would have stepped in immediately. And in fact, I’m certain he was coaching his kid what to say. Believe it or not, the kid said it perfectly with precise air traffic control lingo.

I really hope this guy — a veteran controller –doesn’t lose his job over this.


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