Wednesday, March 3, 2010

FAA Suspends 2 Who Let LOLCat Direct Planes

New York, NY

An air traffic controller at New York's Kennedy Airport is suspended, along with his supervisor, for allowing his cat to radio instructions to several pilots.

The cat, a 9-year-old, neutered, Domestic Short Hair named Waffles, was said to be playing with string and doing Sudoku at the time he was on the headset to pilots.

“(Waffles) was having so much fun watching all the little thingies on the screen move around,” said air traffic controller Bryce Dean, a 32-year-old Human. “It was so fun to watch him!”

This was not the first time Waffles had been at the helm according to Bryce

The short verbal exchanges between the cat and jets in the air around NY airspace appeared to delight pilots at the time. "I wish I could bring my cat to work," one pilot said.

Bryce, who is not married, said he often brings Waffles to work, sometimes dressed in cute outfits, but usually drops him off at the library or movies while he works his shift.

The FAA has suspended Bryce and his supervisor, whose parrot, Pete was also found in the tower, after recordings of the exchanges were posted on LOLcat sites and was reported on by a local television station.

Waffles urged pilots to “buzz the tower”

"This lapse in judgment not only violated FAA's own policies, but common sense standards for professional conduct,” the FAA said. ”These kinds of distractions are totally unacceptable, there should never be Sudoku in the towers.”

On the recording, which lasts about a twenty-five minutes, the cat appears to repeat instructions fed to him by Bryce and others in the room. At one time the cat told one aircraft to “buzz the tower, just so I know you’re listening.”

There are a few more similar exchanges. A pilot laughs. The cat and the parrot, Pete, can be overheard giggling.

Both Waffles and Pete were overheard giggling on the recordings

In his last call, the cat signs off, "later." The pilot responds in kind.

The FAA is investigating and also said it has since barred unofficial visits by pets or relatives to FAA air traffic operational areas while it reviews its policies.

Copyright Sharyn Thoma
Tower Pics: Associated Press, FAA


Anonymous said...





jimmy and carli said...

Oh I totally almost shat 'me pants!

That's funny.

EUTERPE said...

I like to idea of Waffles asking the pilots to "buzz the tower, just so i know you're listening", who knows the pilots maybe trying to do a sudoku.

Astrid said...

OMG That was soooooo funny:D

Twinkietinydog said...

BOL!!! Sudoku puzzles?! What's up with that?

Rene S said...

This is what happens when cutbacks go too far, LOL!

crazykittykat1 said...

OMC! Us kitties had great expectations of becoming a controller and talking to planes all day. Dis dumass ruined it for us. Oh woe is us, now what are we going to be trained to do? We even run around the house with head sets on practicing. We wanna talk to da big birds in da sky!

Victor Tabbycat said...

Didja know trains are directed by dispatchers sometimes half-way cross da country? UP has trains in 23 states an dispatchers in 3! WHAT'S STOPPIN THOSE DISPATCHERS FRUM BEIN CATS, PARROTS, OR EFUN WOOFIES?????

Sudoku... dat's just wrong.