Another FAA Controller Suspended

Caught watching movie while on duty

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    The March incident at Reagan National was just the start of high-profile mistakes at the F.A.A.

    Another air traffic controller has been suspended for slacking while on duty, the latest in a string of high-profile mistakes by the Federal Aviation Association that started when a controller was caught napping at Reagan National.

    In this most recent incident, a controller was watching a movie while he was supposed to be coordinating high-altitude traffic.

    During the early morning hours of April 17, the Cleveland Air Route Traffic Control Center broadcast three minutes of a movie soundtrack over the radio frequency it uses to communicate with aircraft.  A military plane in the area was listening, and reported the incident.

    According to the Associated Press, the movie was "Cleaner," a 2007 Samuel L. Jackson about a man who cleans up crime scenes.  The air traffic controller in the tower had left his microphone open while watching the movie.

    Ever since two commercial aircraft were forced to land on their own at Reagan National Airport after failing to reach the tower controller, the FAA's practices have drawn national scrutiny.  But mistakes keep coming to light.  On Saturday, another controller was caught asleep in the control tower in Miami.

    The FAA said in a statement that in Cleveland, a manager and the controller have been suspended.  The Agency prohibits portable DVD players or other devices from being used in the radar room.