Air Traffic Controller chatting with his girlfriend during Hudson chopper crash

The plane / chopper crash this past weekend in New York was tragic on many levels – the wife of one of the tourists killed in the crash decided to go shopping instead of taking the sightseeing trip, the pilot of the chopper was in the middle of preparing for his wedding, and now some more shocking news is being released.

Apparently, the air traffic controller in charge of that portion of airspace was on the phone with his girlfriend during the crash, and if that wasn’t enough – his supervisor was nowhere to be found, even though FAA regulations stipulate that he should have been in the building at all times.

The NTSB, who is in charge of the investigation, said that the two controllers “seriously deviated from their assignments at the time of the collision”.

The two have been placed on administrative leave, pending the investigation, and will likely be fired. The FAA was quick to point out that the behavior of the two controllers did not play a direct role in the crash.

A preliminary probe into the accident has uncovered that the pilot of the plane was told to contact the Newark tower, but never did. What part (if any) that played in the crash is unknown, but it obvious that there may have been many factors that could have prevented this horrible accident.