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Film-watching Air Controller

April 20, 2011 by staff 

Film-watching Air Controller, A U.S. air traffic controller has been suspended for a movie while he should have surveillance aircraft, after at least five cases of drivers sleeping on the job.
While in the service, the driver was watching the 2007 thriller “Cleaner” starring Samuel L. Jackson in a DVD player in the early hours of Sunday in a regional radar center in Cleveland that controls air traffic in high altitude.

The driver’s microphone is activated inadvertently, briefly passed the soundtrack of the film to all the planes in the airspace that the controller was supposed to be monitoring, the agency said.

The microphone is stuck in the transmission of the position, which you can still hear the radio calls or to issue instructions to the aircraft for more than three minutes, the FAA said.

The Federal Aviation Administraion has suspended eight regulators and supervisors from late March for the alleged loss of contact with the aircraft in service.

In five cases of suspension of the driver apparently fell asleep. In another case, the FAA is investigating why two drivers in Lubbock, Texas, did not respond to radio calls.

Randy Babbitt, the FAA administrator, said Monday, before the agency had disclosed the incident near Cleveland, he was “furious” that air traffic controllers have been caught sleeping on the job.

“None of us in this business can tolerate any of this…,” he said. “It absolutely has to stop.”

Mr. Babbitt said the scandal caused by sleeping drivers has damaged the credibility of the agency. He said passengers should not have to worry about whether the flight crew is rested; a properly maintained aircraft or air traffic controllers are at work.

“That should never be a thought for someone to get on an airplane in this country,” he said. “And it was a thought. But unfortunately, we have raised that concern.”

Hank Krakowski, chief of the Air Traffic Organization of the Federal Aviation Administration, resigned last week after an incident in Nevada.

The FAA said at the time was immediately put a second check on the midnight shift at airports around the country with one person at night.

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