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Air Traffic Controller Suspended for Chatting during Hudson Crash

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Washington, DCThe Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has suspended two air traffic controllers who were at the helm as last week's plane crash took place over the Hudson River, killing nine people. According to the FAA spokesperson, the disciplinary action was taken after investigators discovered that the air traffic controller who was handling the flight of the Piper airplane that initiated from New Jersey's Teterboro Airport was "involved in apparently inappropriate conversations on the telephone at the time of the accident." That aircraft was carrying three individuals.

Air Traffic ControlThe second suspension regards the air traffic controller's supervisor who was out of the building when the crash took place.

The FAA spokesperson's statement went on to say, "While we have no reason to believe at this time that these actions contributed to the accident, this kind of conduct is unacceptable, and we have placed the employees on administrative leave and have begun disciplinary proceedings."

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association—the union for air traffic controllers—has issued a statement urging the use of caution with regard to making judgments "about the behavior of any controller."

Saturday's collision over the Hudson River involved the Piper aircraft and a sightseeing helicopter that was carrying five Italian tourists. All passengers from both aircraft perished in the midair crash.

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