Listen to an Aer Lingus Pilot Argue With JFK Air Traffic Controller

Jul 26, 2018

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“And before I go, we didn’t create any situation, we flew the aircraft in a safe manner and my boss will be in contact with your boss. Good day.”

No, that’s not a line from the now-defunct sitcom LA to Vegas.

An Aer Lingus pilot operating Flight EI104 from New York (JFK) to Dublin (DUB) got into a heated confrontation with an air traffic controller shortly after taking off on Sunday evening. The pilot requested to reroute due concerns of problematic weather ahead, but the controller refused, claiming that weather is light, and instead put the plane in a holding pattern for quite some time.

The controller became frustrated with with pilot and chided, “you’ve got yourself in this position here.” While New York airspace is congested and route options become especially limited when weather is a factor, pilots are responsible for flying their aircraft safely and if they don’t feel comfortable with the instructions given by a controller, they need to be given an alternative. In some cases, air traffic control might determine a weather cell to be safe to fly through, but equipment on board indicates otherwise, so it’s ultimately the pilot’s responsibility to make that decision.

“It’s not my first day in New York, it’s not my first day in an aircraft. I did what I had to do,” the pilot told the controller.

Here’s the full exchange:

H/T: Jason Rabinowitz

Featured image by Joe Raedle / Getty Images.

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