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Former FAA employee 'maliciously' caused a communications blackout between 10 planes and Air Traffic Control over Hawaii

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A former FAA employee has been sentenced to two years of probation and a $5,000 fine. Joelyn DeCosta has been charged with "maliciously interfering" with air traffic communications. Her actions resulted in a communications blackout while at least 10 planes were airborne, the DoJ said. A former Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) employee has been sentenced to two years of probation and a $5,000 fine for interfering with communications between Air Traffic Control and several planes. A… (www.yahoo.com) Mais...

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n743ks
JIM STARK 16
Strangely missing is any explanation as to exactly what she did and, more importantly, why? Not good reporting, to say the least!
jmadunleavy
John D 9
They don't call it yahoo, for nothing....
srobak
srobak 7
Yahoo might have posted the story, but it was not sorted by them.

If you must know - she left her mic keyed. This if course steps on everyone on the freq. After 2 minutes of continuous transmit, there is a reset and a controller would need to release and re-key to transmit again.
ipaisalman
ipaisalman 19
I agree with Peter. 5k + 2 years probation? That is a joke.
In some ways, I believe this is a terrorist act. Imagine the pilots reaction to losing communications with ATC.
10 planes times a possible 150 passengers. She may have jeopardized 1,500 human lives. The punishment is not enough for this act.
clarify
clarify 2
I agree that what she did was dangerous and reprehensible and that she needs to be held accountable. But that doesn't make it terrorism, which is defined as "the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims."

Unfortunately the article doesn't discuss her motivations, but it's difficult to see "political aims" behind these actions.

Storming the Capitol to prevent the counting of electoral college votes -- that's terrorism.

Senators and Representatives who alter their vote due to fears for their own or their family's safety -- they're bending to terrorism.
f4fntm
john doe 6
Clarify, you are aptly (user)named. "Terrorism" and "terrorist act" are too often used as a drama-intensifiers.
cleardestination
peter tomlinson 11
Since she is losing her $500,000.00+ retirement benefit , she should be jailed for at least 5 years , which would allow her to save rent money , making it financially easier for her when released .
5000 fine and 2 years probation is a joke .
ipaisalman
ipaisalman 4
Agreed, no real specifics. Scary to think that she could do that.Imagine that happening over NY/NJ areas.
srobak
srobak 1
Any atc could. She left her mic keyed.
phowry
Phil Howry 7
I find it very disturbing that a presumably educated, normal federal government employee reached such a state of callous insensitively for the safety of others and FAA immediate employee supervisors didn't notice any strange behavior for over twenty (20) years. Perhaps some FAA supervisors should also be loosing their pensions.

If a private-sector contract business/employee been involved with this incident, the FAA would pursue every legal means available to punish both the business and employee.
srobak
srobak 7
You do realize you just described the majority of politicians...
SSWAG
SSWAG 3
Just probation? She should’ve been put in jail!
Anton1
Anton1 2
read until the end, she also lost her retirement benefits - estimated by the DoJ to have been worth more than $500,000.
SSWAG
SSWAG 3
That's the least they should do.
ipaisalman
ipaisalman 4
That's a valid point and as a private pilot agree, but what I was saying is more on the lines of a terrorist attack against the U.S. Gov't (FAA) and how the punishment was too lenient.
skywatcher808
Sky Towers 1
Joelyn was not an air traffic controller. No mic was keyed.
SyedMobinShahzad
Syed Mobin ShahAd 1
Has she given any explanation for this act?
widowsson7
Edward Faulk 1
For context...

t.ly/2nj1
pjdm
pjdm 1
If you can't pilot your ship across the Pacific for 2 minutes without comm then you have other problems. You have a clearance and procedures for lost comm. There are backups and then there is the easiest thing...fly the airplane and follow your last clearance. Even our little single has GSR 56 satellite phone good for any clearance over the water or ordering a pizza ahead of our arrival. Wires get snapped, broken, cut, dug up all the time. Pacific airspace safety does not hinge on one solitary line of copper.
ChrisRisley
Chris Risley 2
If you can't in the face of NO malicious attack, then sure you have other problems.
jmilleratp
jmilleratp -1
Government work. Do little, get paid a lot.
srobak
srobak 0
Our relisted servicemen would like to have a chat with you.
srobak
srobak 0
Enlisted too
watkinssusan
mary susan watkins -1
500K IN BENEFITS WORKS OUT TO APPROXIMATELY $19,230 PER YER OR THE 26 YEARS OF EMPLOYMENT..WOW..I WONDER IF THAT INCLUDED MEDICAL AND DENTAL!
jmilleratp
jmilleratp 15
Permanently put her on a nationwide no-fly list. For life.
srobak
srobak -1
Yeah strand her ass on a tropical island for eternity. That'll teach her!

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

srobak
srobak 5
None of that has anything to do with this.
DRotten
D Rotten -6
Probation??? She needs a 20 year sentence! Leftists are SO mentally ill!!
WillyRoss
WillyRoss 2
You are so mentally goofy
srobak
srobak -3
Truth on all accounts

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