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FLOTUS, VPOTUS Get Flight Supervisors

From a relieved Associated Press:

FAA fires 2 controllers, issues new flight rules

By Joan Lowy, Associated Press Thu Apr 21, 2011

WASHINGTON – The Federal Aviation Administration took new steps Wednesday to fix problems in the nation’s air traffic control system, firing two controllers for sleeping on the job and ordering a higher level of supervision over aircraft carrying the first lady or vice president.

The new air traffic rules and the firings come as the FAA struggles to reassure the public that air travel is safe. The agency has been shaken by a series of embarrassing incidents, including five cases of controllers falling asleep on the job, a controller caught watching a DVD movie at his post and an aborted landing this week of a plane carrying Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden’s wife, Jill.

The controllers fired Wednesday were assigned to radar facilities in Miami and Knoxville, Tenn. They had been found sleeping during overnight shifts, according to the FAA, which had disclosed the incidents previously.

Under the new air traffic rules, flights carrying Mrs. Obama or the vice president will be handled by an air traffic supervisor rather than a controller, the agency said. The new rules apply to approaches and departures handled by a regional air traffic facility in Warrenton, Va., and takeoffs and landings at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, where the presidential fleet is based.

Flights with the president on board are already required to be handled by a supervisor.

Why should we stop there? Shouldn’t every flight with a government official get extra supervision? After all, aren’t they are special human beings? After all, isn’t Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi just as important to the country as Mrs. Obama?

Besides, think of all of the new high paying government jobs this will save and create?

Also on Wednesday, the National Transportation Safety Board said it has opened an investigation into the aborted landing of Mrs. Obama’s plane

Of course. Someone must be punished for this outrageous crime of lese majesty.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, April 21st, 2011. Comments are currently closed.

4 Responses to “FLOTUS, VPOTUS Get Flight Supervisors”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    The NTSB opens an investigation of every aborted landing. In fact, it’s part of their charter. They do this on a regular basis so don’t go thinking that it’s some sudden high-order directive, though I’m not dismissing the possibility, either.

    One of the reasons flying in this nation is so much safer than any other mode of transportation, is because of the continuous and ongoing scrutiny it receives on a regular and scheduled basis. In other words, those involved in aviation understand completely the need for constant vigilance when it comes to air safety. It has resulted in numerous changes as regards procedures, policies, personal responsibility, etc. When I ask people what profession they think is the most regulated, they often reply, “medicine”. Nope, by far it’s aviation. Every pilot who holds an ATP certificate is held to a standard much higher than even a brain surgeon. If said pilot gets too many speeding tickets, their ATP cert can be pulled by the government. A DUI? Faggedabaddit! But a brain surgeon answers only to the AMA, which is known for stringently protecting its own.

    Remember a professional pilot keeps their license at the whim of the government and can lose it for any number of reasons. Even if they miss an appointment for their annual physical, they can be suspended.

    There are few professions in this nation where its chief players are so closely watched and analyzed. Air Traffic Controllers are also very closely monitored and suffer from similar consequences as professional pilots. I don’t like the broad brush the media is currently painting them with right now because your average “journalist” couldn’t do what an ATC controller does. Not in a million years. So, take whatever they say about controllers with a huge grain of salt.

    And Moochelle Obama is no special case as regards aviation. The media would like to have you believe that it’s a “special” investigation but it is merely routine data-gathering. Under IFR regulations, the pilots were doing as instructed by ATC and would only NOT do what ATC told them if imminent danger were to be involved. Spacing for landing is the responsibility of the controllers…but the pilots know when “close” is “too close” and would intervene and execute a go-around if the conditions warranted.

    The only person at fault most likely is the controller who was probably pinching traffic at the time due to high volume, which is permitted for many reasons. Don’t let the media taint your views. Like anything else there are thousands of data points on this that we will never find out about. And the big, fat, first lady has absolutely nothing to do with it.

  2. TerryAnne says:

    Who wants to bet that this “aborted landing” (whatever) was manufactured strictly so the government has an excuse to take over all ATC functions?

    The sudden concern of sleeping ATCs after the WI riots (which reminded people of Reagan telling the ATC unions they couldn’t strike or be fired) is WAY TOO coincidental for my tastes.

  3. Astravogel says:

    Hey! Just wait a darn minute, FAA. My wife is
    just as important to the country as the FLOTUS,
    and a lot better lookin’. I demand equal treatment!

  4. JohnMG says:

    …..”After all, isn’t Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi just as important to the country as Mrs. Obama?……”

    I’d say they are about equal in importance, which is to say no more so than you or me. This seems to be the problem with our elected officials and their spouses. They all seem to think they are superior to the folks paying their salaries. Otherwise they would be paying into Social Security and participating in Obama-Care.

    And paying their taxes, too!


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