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Author Topic: Request: Bad Day at JFK Ground  (Read 16034 times)
WhiskeyMike
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« on: December 18, 2008, 03:13:18 PM »

You see this clip all over youtube, but where I'm at right now, youtube is blocked.  Anyone have the clip of the ground controller at JFK commonly labled:  "Bad Day at JFK Ground"?  The guy is really funny and gets flustered.  Planes all over the ground.  I know it starts out with Delta complaining that a guy had just passed him.
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fluglotse1
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« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2008, 01:10:09 PM »

Listen, guys, I know this fellow and he did have a bad day, but that is all. Because of the "buzz" generated on Youtube about this, the FAA really did a number on him. The removed him from JFK, cut his pay in half, and generally ruined his career. I have known controllers who had accidents and incidents, and less happened to them.

I don't know the weather that day, but can you imagine trying to keep 20+ Jet Blues straight in a fog where you cannot even see the taxi way?

Give the guy a break. It got too busy and he lost track of who was where, and no one got hurt. Who among us is perfect 24/7 over the course of a career?
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NY Z Pilot
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« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2008, 02:00:37 PM »

Also, he had a plan and it seemed to be working, but as you heard the pilots decided to do their own thing.
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athaker
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« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2008, 02:06:40 PM »

the FAA really did a number on him. The removed him from JFK, cut his pay in half, and generally ruined his career.


That's ridiculous and terrible.  I'm really sorry to hear that.
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SkanknTodd
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« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2008, 12:36:13 AM »

I've said it in other threads but I'll say it again,  this controller is the man.  He works at Islip (long island) now where I fly into regularly and I love when he's working because he is so entertaining.  I've wondered why he had left JFK but now I know.  I am curious why the FAA took action against him.  Even though things got hectic and he may not consistently use proper phraseology, he seemed to have gotten the job done with minimal delay and certainly nothing unsafe.  Can anyone, maybe fluglotse, elaborate on that...
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fluglotse1
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« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2008, 02:15:36 PM »

The reason they did a job on this guy is because they were on a power trip. The rank-and-file FAA HATES  us controllers and always did. We used to fly free, the earned more money, and had more interesting careers than the guys who go around and make approach plates. To be a manager you actually had to take a pay cut and take some low level  staff job and see if you could then move up as a manager. The people who did it were mostly (not all) people who were too stressed-out to stay controllers.

This particular individual was up there in years, and close to retirement. They threatened t fire him, and he had the choice of suing for wrongful dismissal and getting back his job in a year, or accepting ISP and retiring when he reaches the minimum age. I don't know what I would have done in his place.

They tend to mess with the senior, higher-paid controllers, and leave the younger ones alone. It is a culture of intimidation.

This was a great agency for most of the 26+ years I have been a controller, but the last four years under this administration was a concerted effort to force all of the experienced controllers out and replace them with trainees that have 1/4 the pay. In the last few years at NY Approach, more than 25 controllers have retired, and only ONE has successfully completed training. The goal under Bush was to lighten the payroll and contract us out to the lowest bidder.

They did it with Flight Service and we all know the service there is far worse.
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SkanknTodd
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« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2008, 02:30:47 AM »

thanks for the insight flug.  what sector do you work?
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2008, 09:36:06 AM »

The goal under Bush was to lighten the payroll and contract us out to the lowest bidder.

I am afraid that the next few years will get even worse as the US government looks for more of these creative ways to cut its costs.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
Jason
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« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2008, 04:12:02 PM »

Listen, guys, I know this fellow and he did have a bad day, but that is all. Because of the "buzz" generated on Youtube about this, the FAA really did a number on him. The removed him from JFK, cut his pay in half,

Welcome to the site, we certainly appreciate your insight.  I think your second post hit the nail on the head, the FAA is on a power-trip.  That said, I don't really understand how such hype (even in the form of YouTube videos) gives the FAA complete and unlimited ammunition to fire an employee for doing his job.  Without the link, would they have done anything?  Would they terminate or threaten other employees doing their job differently if each had his/her own youtube video or other media?  He may have had a great sense of humor about it and things got hectic at times because of the nature that JFK brings to the profession, but I hardly see that as cause to terminate an employee or effectively force him to transfer and reduce compensation.

It's upsetting to think the consequences the FAA subjected this controller to was a result of a few silly videos random people around the world put on YouTube (completely out of our control might I add), but it seems thats what the agency has come to under the current administration.  Any attention setting behavior, even that above and beyond expectations results in a negative outcome in today's government agencies.  It's aggravating that a professional controller with decades of knowledge and experience was used as a sacrificial lamb to demonstrate this power trip, but it seems that's what corrupt management is after in more recent years.

As political as it is, I think this all strikes us on a more personal level knowing where our future is going today (or not going rather), socially and economically.  We're all human and try our best to succeed in our various careers each and every day.  Unfortunately the FAA doesn't respect their non-executive employees the way most other corporations do in the private sector.  Sooner or later this controller's story is going to be the norm, common of other senior controllers.  Despite what may be interpreted as a pessimistic perspective, it may take a more serious turn of events in the public eye to promote real change, but that's what it comes down to.  Public hysteria seems to act quicker and more effectively than our small professional networks and occupational unions.  The Lexington CRJ crash in 2005 briefly reflects this notion, but sadly it didn't have to happen for a problem to be noticed.  But it did.

Happy holidays and be safe.

Best,
Jason
« Last Edit: December 27, 2008, 04:14:51 PM by Jason » Logged
aevins
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« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2008, 10:08:54 PM »

This controller had a long history aside from any YouTube videos...
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gredenko
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« Reply #10 on: December 30, 2008, 08:07:17 PM »

This controller had a long history aside from any YouTube videos...
Are you a controller also?  How do you know this?

fluglotse1, welcome to the site!  I'm sure you'll have a lot of useful things to add.  What can you tell us about the "Good flight, great night!" guy?  He's my favorite in the JFK tower. 
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CLIPPER1
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« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2009, 09:57:19 PM »

http://www.faafollies.com/?p=866
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aldo
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« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2009, 03:58:45 AM »

use a youtube-downloader via google if u really wanna have the file as mp3
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enginebird
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« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2009, 10:39:08 AM »

Sad to hear that he lost his job at JFK, I loved listening to him.

Anyway, here's the clip.

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Chairboy
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« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2009, 11:23:26 AM »

I listened to the clip, and it sounded like things were busy, but I didn't hear anything damning.

Very unfortunate that the FAA zapped him, I'd cite this as an example of problem solving and flow management in a situation where things have gone bad.  Errors happen, the real measure is how you deal with it, and this guy dealt with it fine.
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Nehemiah Scudder for president
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