The FAA has released the audio recording of a Teterboro air traffic controller's phone banter in the moments before a small plane and sightseeing helicopter collided over the Hudson River on August 8th. We look forward to hearing this moron's voice in our heads next time we fly:
The recording was released by the FAA in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from The Associated Press; the news organization had previously obtained the transcript of the conversation —in which the "controller" jokes with a friend about barbecuing a dead cat she'd cleaned up from airport property—"Chinese people do it, so why can't we?"
Some media outlets have refrained from publishing his name, but sources have identified him as Carl Dwayne Turner, 38, of Lake Grove, on Long Island. At the time of the collision, Turner was goofing off on the phone under the impression that that Newark Airport controllers had taken over the plane's flight path. But the pilot read back the wrong radio frequency to Turner and was never corrected. Newark controllers noticed the imminent crash on their radar, but could not reach the pilot.
The Newark controllers then interrupted Turner's bull session for help, but instead of immediately scrambling to contact the pilot, the following 30-second exchange ensued (via the Post):
Turner to Gal Pal: "That's why I don't -- I try not to give them the frequency, cause . . ."
Gal Pal: "Yeah, it makes sense. He probably switched over [to Newark] already."
Turner: "To the wrong frequency. That's the problem."
Gal Pal: "Oh, s- - -."
"Mmm, mmm, mmm," said the girlfriend.
Gal Pal: "You got to baby sit, huh?" she said.
Turner: "Yeah. Let me straighten this stuff out."
One second later, nine people were dead. On the full recording, Turner can be heard saying, "He's lost in the hertz."