Pilots are rallying behind Glenn Duffy, the air traffic controller suspended after allowing his kids to issue instructions to airliners at JFK airport, by ending their transmissions the same way Duffy’s son did — by saying “adios.”
The Federal Aviation Administration has come down hard after Duffy after last week’s incident, launching an investigation and suspending its practice of allowing visitors inside air traffic control facilities, including control towers, at all FAA controlled airports nationwide. That isn’t sitting well with pilots, who think the feds are being unduly harsh.
A recent posting over at liveatc.net features a radiocall from a Delta pilot (.mp3 file) who tells one of the controllers working with Duffy at the time, “Thoughts going out to your co-worker there. I think it’s BS what he’s going through.”
Other pilots are finishing their transmissions to the tower by saying, “Adios,” according to the New York Daily News. That’s how Duffy’s 9-year-old son ended his communication with the pilot of an AeroMexico flight — who, by the way, responded with an “adios” as well.
During the transmissions, the young boy gives instruction to five planes operating at JFK. With the exception of the “adios” and his obviously young voice, Duffy’s son gives the same instructions any controller would give to aircraft. The pilots the boy instructed seemed seem entertained and not at all concerned about the young controller.
Nevertheless, the FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers Association have condemned the incident. No word on when the ban on air traffic control tower visits will be lifted.
Photo: Flickr / Vidiot
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By Jason Paur