Air Traffic Controllers Suspended Over Hudson Crash

During it, one was on phone with girlfriend
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2009 1:19 AM CDT
The wreckage of a helicopter that was hit by an airplane and crashed in the Hudson River is repositioned by a crane on a pier in Hoboken, NJ.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, file)
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(Newser) – The two air traffic controllers on duty at Teterboro Airport during Saturday's mid-air collision over the Hudson River have been suspended and will likely be fired, the New York Daily News reports. Investigators have found that one of the men was on the phone to his girlfriend at the time of the crash. The other, his supervisor, wasn't even in the control tower.

FAA investigators, who uncovered the lapses while examining air traffic control transcripts, say that while they don't believe the pair's actions are to blame for the crash that killed nine people, their behavior is unacceptable. "We have placed the employees on administrative leave and have begun disciplinary proceedings," said an FAA official.