Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The kid-in-the-JFK-tower story

Admittedly, it's not a good idea to bring your kid into a control tower of a busy airport and let him say a few words on the radio, but if there's a story being blown out of proportion today, this one is it.

The story, according to the major media, is that a boy "directed" air traffic control at JFK airport last month. He did nothing of the sort.

Many of the TV networks have taken the tapes of the kid, and spliced his transmissions together to create the illusion of a kid --and only a kid -- running the tower at JFK.

Here's the actual transmissions. You may note that it actually runs 10 minutes, and there are gaps of two minutes between transmissions. It was evening at JFK, and it wasn't a busy place.

You'll also note that -- presumably -- the kid's dad was giving the boy the opportunity to say a few words between his own transmissions. He didn't, as the network news reports are suggesting, let the boy give a stream of instructions.

The controller will probably be disciplined for letting his son talk on the radio. But there's no evidence to support the impression that someone's safety was being compromised.


  1. Bob,

    I was unable to listen to the audio for the JFK traffic you posted on your site. Can you suggest another link to the unedited stream?


  2. We're having a problem today with the audio server. We'll get it fixed.

  3. Should be fixed now, Michael. See if that works for you.