Citing Safety, FAA Limits Blogging by Air Traffic Controllers | HumorOutcasts

Citing Safety, FAA Limits Blogging by Air Traffic Controllers

March 5, 2019
By

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. Floyd Curtin has been an air traffic controller at Mookie Wilson International Airport here for nearly twenty years, but he is more widely-known as “Rat Dog,” the “screen name” he uses for his blog “Politics, Sports & B.S.,” which he updates daily on blogsprout.com. “It’s a great release from the pressure of my job,” he says, before turning back to his microphone to scream “PULL UP CESSNA N7357H!” at an incoming private plane.


Curtin: “Cool–I just earned a $10 Home Depot Gift Card!”

 

Curtin and air traffic controllers like him have been identified as a growing threat to aviation safety as the easy access to computers and the internet that their profession provides distracts them from the split-second decisions they are often forced to make. “Some say that blogging is a threat to aviation safety, but I think most guys are conscientious about it,” says Madison, Wisconsin air traffic controller Jerry Dilba, before turning on his microphone to speak to a commercial flight from Chicago. “Would you mind circling for another half hour or so?” he asks politely, “We’re kind of busy right now.” He gets an “A-OK” from the pilot, then spell checks an article about the upcoming NFL draft before hitting the “publish” button, sending a “post” to the “internet” where it escapes the mundane world of quotation marks.


“Would you mind circling for a while? I’m in the middle of a post.”

 

Air traffic controllers say they are being unfairly singled out since, as Quad Cities Airport’s Mike Adamlik points out, “every dingbat in America with a computer on his desk is allowed to blog at work–why not us?  Look at this crap here,” he adds, pointing to his screen which shows a post titled “Health Benefits of Smoking Crack in PJ’s Questioned” on a blog called “Gerbil News Network.”  “This guy apparently thinks he’s funny,” he says with a dubious shake of his head.

While there has so far been no mid-air collision caused by a blogging air traffic controller, FAA officials say they are monitoring the situation and may issue a draft rule later this summer. “Blogging can become an obsession at which point it can infreter wthi a person’s jbo pfreformance,” said Deputy Administrator Darrell Collins in an email that he composed while updating his blog, “Extremely Stupid Stuff” on wordsmith.com. “At the sme time, it may be crovered by an cllective brgaining argeement, in which case not much we do about it.”

Con Chapman

I'm a Boston-area writer, author of two novels (most recently "Making Partner"), a baseball book about the Red Sox and the Yankees ("The Year of the Gerbil"), ten published plays and 45 books of humor available in print and Kindle formats on amazon.com. My latest book "Scooter & Skipper Blow Things Up!" was released by HumorOutcasts Press last year. My humor has appeared in The Atlantic, The Christian Science Monitor, The Boston Globe and Barron's, and I am working on a biography of Johnny Hodges, Duke Ellington's long-time alto sax player for Oxford University Press .

More Posts - Website - Twitter - Facebook - Google Plus - YouTube

Share this Post:

One Response to Citing Safety, FAA Limits Blogging by Air Traffic Controllers

  1. March 5, 2019 at 9:40 am

    Gee, how come no one thought of this before? So funny!



User Login

New Release
How to Write and Share Humor
By Donna Cavanagh Published by HumorOutcasts Press

Available in Paperback and Kindle


New Release
Lite Whines and Laughter: Mild Rants and Musings on the Mundane
By Lee Gaitan and HumorOutcasts Press

Available in Paperback and Kindle



New Release
It Comes From Within: Living with Bipolar Illness
By Michael Solomon. and Shorehouse Books

Available in Paperback and Kindle



Archives