So, I came across a few posts, read an article somewhere and heard the recording on a website. Not much of an investigation but I wonder this: If Obama has a 10 year old daughter and takes him to the White House and sits him in his chair and tell him "Kid, this is the Medicare application we use here and I must click this little button here so everybody gets coverage this month. Click it and you will be providing coverage to all Medicare users" and the kid clicks the button, does that mean we should perform a coup d'etat on Obama and declare him unfit to fulfill his duties? Do we really need to assume he handled total and absolute power on every nuclear warhead on the country to a 10 year old child cos she clicked on something unrelated? Do we have to assume the White House was emptied and rendered powerless? Should we take away the presidents pay and determine his responsibilities can be undertaken by, lets say, a 10 year old?
I mean, i remember my dad used to let me stamp his signature on the letters his office issued when he worked at a university and as a child I felt empowered, but no decision was left to my judgement because of that little action. Perhaps we are all being childish.
I heard the recording and it seems that 1) pilots agreed. 2) the guy was there in the frequency (you can hear him too).
I've had the chance of doing on the job training to new ATCs and trust me sitting there with the headset on telling someone what to do or having to start talking right away because better instructions need to be issued IMMEDIATELY, if maybe delicate, is not something so newsworthy.
But being and ATC and having thought of all that I cannot imagine the big bosses at FAA and NATCA are unaware of it. I'm thinking is this a matter of public perception and that for the people to feel safe all this circus needs to be put in place. The show must go on if we want people to feel safe flying and since the 'news' has been leaked we need to deal with it. Also someone said in this thread that the controller pay should be dropped if it was 'nothing'. So public perception is that if this is really unimportant then the work an ATC does is easy and hence their pay should be less. If public perception is such then even ATCs and even government agencies need to punish the guy so it does look like a big issue and people don't start thinking that cos in a controlled environment a father taking a kid to work let him do ONE of the many things he gets paid for then they should get paid $4.95.
There's also the possibility of some important transgression occurring if security is relaxed. So an example must be made even if this thing is unimportant.
Aeroflot's accident was a sad one, but due to the nature of the way ATC and pilots work and the way the tower is organised in such a way that a kid with a headset on next to an ATC MAY be supervised I would go as far as to say that if the supervision is not interrupted then the results won't, by any means, be the same. I mean, physically an aircraft cockpit and a control tower are REALLY different.