FAA investigating joke that delayed flight's landing

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FAA Investigating Joke That Delayed Flight's Landing

The FAA is investigating an air traffic controller's so-called joke, which might have kept a plane from landing on time in Atlanta last week. WGCL reports that the air traffic controller ordered Delta flight 630 to land only to clarify his statement with "I'm kidding."

WXIA reports the FAA says the plane was only about 1,000 feet off the ground when an air traffic controller told the pilot not to land, forcing him to circle around the airport and try to land again.

Joke delayed flight's landing
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FAA investigating joke that delayed flight's landing
An air traffic controller looks out toward the runway as he works inside the new control tower at Manchester Airport, operated by Manchester Airports Group (MAG), in Manchester, U.K., on Tuesday, June 25, 2013.
Airport control center in France AFP PHOTO / PIERRE VERDY 

After the pilot got that order, WAGA reports he had already aborted the landing before the air traffic controller said he was kidding. The Delta flight landed safely on the second try.

A former FAA worker said, "It's something I have never heard in all my years I worked. Air traffic controllers just normally do not kid around."

Now, WGCL says the air traffic controller has been suspended while the FAA continues its investigation into the incident. WXIA reports the FAA wouldn't talk about the incident on camera, but it says none of the passengers on the flight were in danger.

Still, a writer for AL.com argues: "If you were one of the passengers traveling from Detroit to Atlanta last Wednesday and happen to be in a big hurry, you probably didn't see anything funny about this joke."

The FAA hasn't said how or if it will discipline the air traffic controller once its investigation is finished.

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