Boy Controls Planes

United States
March 3, 2010 10:19am CST
So here's the story...a man brought his 7 year old boy to work with him, and let him talk to some of the planes over the radio and give them their air traffic orders... If you want to hear the boy directing planes, go to www.yahoo.com and it's the 5th story for today. The boy's father has been put on suspension... I don't think anyone should have gotten in trouble for this. The boy was very professional, VERY easily understood and he was giving the correct orders (his dad was probably right over his shoulder telling him what to say! I doubt he was left alone--that would be a problem). The pilots he directed weren't worried about it and sound very amused on the video. So what do you guys think?
2 people like this
10 responses
@freeboy90 (458)
• Italy
3 Mar 10
I think that people who work with such riskful and high reasponsability jobs should never do such things, it's not professional at all. It's fine if you bring your kid to the office and let him run around and play while nobody's there, but you can't bring your son in a cockpit . Sad to remember but we have files of similar stories gone bad, like the father working as pilot for an airline company who let his young son in the cockpit, the autopilot was on but as soon as the boy touched the weel(?) it turned off and the plane crashed killing all the passenger and the crew. They are highly paid because they do very high responsabilities jobs, it's really unprofessional and stupid to put other people's lives in a untrained young kid
• United States
3 Mar 10
Oh no non no!!! Whooooaaa! lol The little boy was NO WHERE near a plane, let alone in the cockpit! He was in the control tower in the airport, giving the pilots their orders ( you know, like the 'you're clear for lift off' kind of things). And the boy was really clearly understood and he got everything right. Again, he was being supervised so nothing would have happened. I would be more worried if he'd been running around the control tower, maybe not being watched as closely, pressing buttons! lol
• Italy
3 Mar 10
Well in the story I mentioned the boy was in the cockpit, but even in the control tower I think is risky, we never know what could happen and a mistake could lead to a disaster and some other's people lives could be lost, I couldn't carry such a burden on my shoulders
• United States
3 Mar 10
Oh I'm sorry! I missed the transition into the other story! I thought you were still talking about me!! Did your story really happen? That's terrible. But wouldn't the pilot have had time to get the plane fixed? He would have had a lot of time to correct the auto pilot mishap. I understand that some situations could be dangerous, but I don't think this specific situation was that risky. The pilots weren't even worried about it and they have a plane full of passengers to worry about
@ronaldinu (12454)
• Malta
4 Mar 10
It's a definitie NO. No matter how responsible the boy is, no matter how much he is supervised by his father, he is only a seven year old kid. What happens if he gives the wrong directions. Tragic and fatal accidents can happen. I am glad that his father was suspended. It is an irresponsible behaviour.
• United States
6 Mar 10
With what he was doing there would have been no accidents. He was only giving planes the okay to take off after his father told him what to say. And if some how he had messed it up his father was right there to cancel it to the pilot. It's not an instant thing...once the plane is cleared for take off there is some time before the plane is actually in the air...so the father would have had time to correct any mistakes (which didn't happen). Thank you
@ronaldinu (12454)
• Malta
6 Mar 10
Thanks for the explanation. I understand your point. The boy seems to follow his fathers instructions. I don't see anything wrong in children watching how things are done but doing them themselves is another thing. I don't imagine a surgeon taking his young child into an operation room....
• United States
8 Mar 10
I don't think anyone would be okay with a child operating on a patient! lol. That would be dangerous and someone's life would be directly in the childs hands. I just don't think this plane situation is the same--I don't see it as a dangerous situation. Thank you!
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
5 Mar 10
How many times have you or anyone else (including me) misheard something someone told you? Suppose he told the child something and he misquoted his father? Also children can be as old as 8 or even ten before they can say r's and some other sounds. So three could be thee or tree. IF he had wanted to play Air Flight Controller, he could have repeated after his Father and not been on the radio. What ever happened to toys like toy radios? What if the child was not understood or misquoted his Dad and a plane you were in hit another plane or a tower or couldn't land? We don't need amuzed pilots, we need pilots paying full attention to their planes. Normally I agree with you, but I can't on this one. We're talking people's lives, thousands of pounds of equipment and flamable liquid. Besides suspended doesn't mean he looses his job for good. It's a reprimand so he'll think before he does something to endanger people's lives again. Years ago, a bunch of Air Traffic Controllers were fired for less than that. New ones were put in their place. Employers are looking for any reason to fire people now, many people are looking for jobs. It's not a time period to fool around.
• United States
6 Mar 10
He wasn't landing planes. The only time he had the control was to tell a plane they were clear for take off. And he onlygave the order when his father told him to. in this one specific situation I just don't see how any lives could be in danger. I don't like flying, it scares me...and I wouldn't have been upset if the plane I was on got this order lol Thanks!!
1 person likes this
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
6 Mar 10
There are times, when flight controllers have told pilots to take off and they were not free to. They crashed into each other. The child is a distraction, he could miss something while paying attention to the child. You're cleared for take off or you're NOT cleared for take off must be two different commands because those two sound too close, it's easy to not hear NOT. Abort take off maybe. Again,the letter R. Take offs and landings have a lot of accidents. Those are mostly human error. Up in the air, sometimes human error, but usually technical problems. Hundreds and thousands of flights take off each day. If a pilot gets mixed-up or doesn't proceed to the correct runway at the correct moment in time, crash. So only one flight can taxi at one runway at a given time, but there are often many runways. So they must be numbered. Also, at any given time, a traffic controller isn't just watching people take off. He's got radar to watch to see who is coming in, who's up in the air, etc. My cousins did this for a living. There are a lot of things to keep track of. Even if the kid was doing only one aspect of it, the father should have been keeping track of the big picture and how can you keep track of what's in the air, what's coming down, what's going up, what's taxing down, what's taxing to go up, what altitude everyone is at, etc when taking care of the kid? They have the entire air port plus the sky above to keep track of all at one time, plus the planes approaching the air space above from all different directions and there are 360 angles planes can come from and from numerous altitudes. Not to mention weather including squalls and unique situations to air ports like we used to have one that had a regular highway at the end of one take off lane plus electric lines, but some up here have a mountain so they must go up fast enough to clear the mountain and now there are wind mills in some areas they must clear on top of the mountains. One place had an airliner fall into a river at the end of a runway-I forget where that was, but it wasn't that many years ago. So while he's giving an order to his kid and listening for the kid repeating and the pilots' responses, what's he missing? It takes 100% concentration to do their job or somebody, many somebodies die. So while he's adding a step that normally isn't in his job, what step is he not doing? I would be upset if I was in a plane and a kid was giving orders even if his Dad was right there telling him. Lives and machinery are at stake. Period. You'll never get me to believe it was OK. I like you a lot too, deary, but that guy was irresponsible. That's why he's suspended. Also because they don't want other ATCs (air traffic controllers) bringing their kids and having them do the same. It sets a bad pressident. You might want to do some research on what an air traffic controller does, what training they get, and what accidents have been attributed to them and why. Then get back to me. Also might be interesting to write a story with one character as an atc that caused an accident and created a situation that other people have to get out of. Just a thought, you don't have to do all that, but it would be interesting if you at least did the research part of it.
• United States
8 Mar 10
I see what you're saying about human error; and I agree. I think I heard or read somewhere that take offs and landings are the times in a flight that have the most risk of accidents-but that beign the case I think the father would be MORE careful about the orders and the information. But I'm not trying to sway you any more! You made it very clear how you feel about this sitaution (which I wanted people to do!) That could be an interesting story! If I could come up with the whole plot and everything, thay may be a good one to write-at least a short one for an exercise. Thanks for the idea!
1 person likes this
• India
4 Mar 10
I would not encourage a boy controlling the plane, as far the plane is not facing any bad weather conditions and all happy and ideal conditions, it may seems to be ok. If there were any sudden change in weather, or some obstacle in the path, then boy would not be in a position to take wise decisions and remote instructions won´t help. TO be a pilot and fly a passenger flight, the standard required 15000 miles of flight experience etc. So its not advisablea and encourable thats my personal opnion.
• United States
6 Mar 10
Well he wasn't controlling planes for any amount of time. The ONLY orders he gave the planes were they were clear for take off (which he told them AFTER his father told him to). So weather issues or anything like that would not have been in the boys hands.
@sreesai (216)
• India
4 Mar 10
hi lilyofthe thorns, Some children were gifted with amazing brains, they can understand even anything if once told. Even though he is very professional, he is a small child. I don't like him to face the problem or don't like others to face problem due to this child. If anything goes wrong, no one will face any sort of problem, but this child will feel guilty for the rest of his life or he will be blammed by others for rest of his life.
• United States
6 Mar 10
Well, if something had happened while he was doing this (which was unlikely) THAT would be the time for his father to get in trouble. But everything was fine and the pilots got a good laugh out of it.
@millertime (1398)
• United States
4 Mar 10
The FAA people definitely overreacted here. Nobody needed to be suspended. While it was probably not a good idea and wasn't very professional, it did absolutely no harm. The kid wasn't doing any actual controlling, he was simply speaking the words that his father, the controller, told him to say. It wasn't even for aircraft in the air, it was ground control, and he simply voiced the takeoff clearance and then advised to contact departure control. These are very simple transmissions and he did them correctly. Obviously, the father was right there and simply let the kids speak his words. I sure hope the guy doesn't lose his job over something this harmless.
• United States
6 Mar 10
I hope he doesn't lose his job either! I think there would be an uproar if he did because a lot of people are saying this was more of a cute story then a bad one.
@lelin1123 (15645)
• Puerto Rico
4 Mar 10
They are making a mountain out of a molehill. The boy I'm sure was being told what to say and I think it was adorable. The boy was talking nice and clearly. No one was in any type of danger and the Dad should not have been put on suspension. This is my opinion.
• United States
6 Mar 10
I agree 100%! Today on my radio station they were talking about this (thankfully they all thought it was no big deal too). And they said that everyone in the Aviation business was saying that this was not something they would consider bad. If the child had been left alone that would be a whole different story, but he was in a room of professionals including his dad who, like you said, was probably coaching him! *My radio station made a funny comment about how it's not like the pilots wouldn't have known what they were doing and ended up in Japan when they should have been in Washington because of this kid. lol
@MrKennedy (1996)
3 Mar 10
Although we can probably laugh about this and think that the whole situation was treated with over-reacting, I would probably have done the same too if I was this man's boss. Sure, the boy's father was probably standing over him the whole time and kept giving him instructions, but this is such an important job that puts a lot of lives at risk, so putting a little kid in such a position could have been VERY dangerous, and could have costed many lives
• United States
3 Mar 10
I see where you're coming from--but in THIS particular situation i don't think this was risky at all--and I definatly don't think anyone could have been hurt.
• Greece
3 Mar 10
I believe that they just overreacted in the direction matter, but if the boy was in the pilot seat, he could have done serious damage, just by pushing a button for fun...think about it... I dont what I would have done...
• United States
3 Mar 10
Yeah they definatly overreacted. The boy wasn't anywhere near a plane! lol. He was in the control tower, and being supervised...so really I don't think there was any danger involved in this. If he said something wrong it would take his dad a second to fix it for the pilot.
@writersedge (22579)
• United States
9 Mar 10
Thank you for best response, I don't know why I can't seem to get to it from my mail, but since things have changed, some things work weird for me.