WASHINGTON – The air traffic controller responsible for handling the airplane involved in Saturday’s fatal midair collision with a helicopter over the Hudson River was put on administrative leave Thursday after investigators said he was involved in “apparently inappropriate conversations on the telephone at the time of the accident.”
The crash killed all nine people aboard both aircraft, including three people from a Pennsylvania family on the plane and five Italian tourists and a pilot on the helicopter. The collision, in broad daylight on a clear weekend afternoon, has led some officials to call for greater regulation of the busy airspace surrounding the Manhattan and New Jersey waterfronts.
The FAA said in a statement Thursday that disciplinary proceedings have begun against the controller and his supervisor, who was not present in the building as required.
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