Heathrow Discrimination Case: Air Traffic Controller Exposed as an Orchestra Conductor

Heathrow airport air traffic controller Adam Powis 51, has been exposed as an orchestra conductor and subsequently sacked.

Heathrow boss Tom Stacey commented:

We are withdrawing our employment with Mr. Powis forthwith. I should have examined his credentials more thoroughly before appointing him for the role of air traffic controller. It was a catastrophic blunder and an oversight for which I take full responsibility.

Mr. Powis was somewhat disingenuous in the interview. He failed to disclose to me that his entire work experience extended only to that of a classical music conductor. I’m appalled at this man’s behaviour – conducting aeroplanes with a stick, he should be ashamed. I challenged him over his actions and he responded by asking me who he had let down. I reminded him of the incident when he let two jumbo jets down.

He asked me, ‘Well, isn’t that my job? To bring planes down?’ I told him ‘Yes, but not on top of one another.’ Imagine the pilot’s terror when they spotted you holding up a sign that read, ‘piggy back, in chaps – there isn’t enough room for two landings.’ What carnage it caused!

He went on:

On another occasion Mr. Powis guided a plane in, holding a sign reading ‘reverse in on landing.’

I asked why he did it. You know what he said?

‘Well, I thought if the pilot flew backwards in it would save time on the next take off – he’d be facing the right way.’

He also claimed that he cared deeply about the welfare of the passengers. He reminded me of the time he warned a pilot of torrential rain, holding a sign up that read, ‘Close the windows now! – It’s raining in a downwards direction!’

I had to point out to him that aeroplanes do not have windows, and he said, ‘Really? Well, it’s about time you changed your policy on that – you can’t have aeroplanes full of suitcases and duty free swimming about.’

Defending himself, Mr. Powis commented:

I feel I was treated harshly by Heathrow. OK, I was a little economical with the truth in the interview, but surely you have to recognise the similarities between controlling aeroplanes and conducting an orchestra. It’s all in the hand movements, it’s a seamless transition, and the same principles apply.

As a conductor for instance, I’d wave at the violinist as if to say, ‘You on the left! pipe down a bit, and when controlling an aircraft I’d gesture to the pilot as if to say, ‘Turn left, mate! Somebody dropped a sticky toffee pudding on the right hand side of the tarmac – I don’t want it getting stuck in the wheels!’

I don’t think Heathrow valued my contribution at all. Granted my approach to air traffic control may be unconventional, but my intentions were honourable. They’re obviously not aware of my achievements as a conductor. At the peak of my powers I once kept a one hundred piece orchestra in unison with a broken arm, after wrestling Cyril Churms outside the King’s Head pub.

On another occasion I led Phil’s harmonica orchestra at Albert’s hall, using half a stick – after the dog had chewed it off while I was rehearsing in the laundry. In my entire career as a conductor, I only ever made the mistake of conducting the orchestra with my foot once!

My sacking is pure prejudice. I intend to take Heathrow to court for unfair dismissal.

The case continues.

Image attribution:

By English: Aleksandr MarkinРусский: Александр Маркин (“Chel-Avia”Tecnam P2002H RA-01806) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Author: Stephen Philip Druce

Stephen Philip Druce is a spoof/satire article writer from Shrewsbury in the UK. He has previous publications with The Lemon Press, News Mutiny, The Daily Squib, The Inconsequential, Web-E-Books (USA), The Druids Loom and Bad Scents Of Humour. For updates on Stephen’s humour articles, follow him on Twitter - @DruceStephen.