Delta executives consider 8 year old’s idea to improve plane safety

A future engineer in the making? Clever young man!

Ben's idea/Photo via Consumerist

Ben’s idea/Photo via Consumerist

Fox reports that a young airplane enthusiast received a welcome surprise from a Delta executive after sending the airline a series of suggestions on how to improve safety in the event of a crash.
Ben Treider, 8, watched a show about planes mysteriously disappear, which included a segment about the disappearance of Malaysia’s MH370. After watching the show, “I felt a little sad,” Ben told
Ben put his sadness to good. Right away this young inventor got to work, designing an emergency aircraft system he believes would make it easier to locate planes in the event of an ocean crash.
Ben’s mom, Laura Treider, helped her son pen a letter to Delta CEO Richard Anderson. “We could have a system that has neon orange balloons that rise up to the surface when the plane crashes in the sea,” reads the letter. “And there would be stones at the bottom so they would stay there. The balloon wouldn’t be light enough to float up into the air, and it would have reinforced rubber to withstand a lot of pressure.” Ben’s drawing of his design (shown at top), clearly indicates how the balloon would hold a radio frequency transmitter to make the aircraft easier to locate.
Laura served in the Air Force with her husband and says her son has been fascinated with planes from an early age. “He’s always been interested in aviation, particularly in the design of military airplanes,” she said.
A few weeks after Ben sent out his letter he received a special package from John E. Laughter, Delta’s Senior Vice President of Safety, Security and Compliance. In addition to sending two model airplanes—which Ben says he quickly assembled—the young inventor got branded pencils and pens and a personal note commending his design.
“…I work with many Delta people, The Federal Aviation Administration, and airplane manufactures to solve problems such as airline tracking in an emergency. There are lots of experts thinking about ideas just like you send us. I will make sure to share your planes with them!” wrote Laughter.

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Dr. Eowyn

Is Delta CEO Richard Anderson serious, or is this just a PR gesture? Does he seriously mean that an 8-year-old boy managed to come up with an idea that has eluded airplane design engineers? Or is this another example of building a child’s “self-esteem” into grandiose narcissism?


Seems like a good idea to me. Their engineers probably didn’t think of this-it uses basic common sense,rather than over-thinking it like they’re inclined to do;that’s part of the reason these new planes are so expensive. Over-complicating the design.

Steven Broiles

“John E. Laughter”??? Best name I ever heard! (Outside of Bushwick High School!)


That kid is waaaaaaaaaaaaay too smart. Watch for goobermint skewel agents to tag him with ADHD, and then pump him full of enough Ritalin to turn him into a goobermint-approved zombie in no time.


Good job Ben! I am sure O will be calling you too, when you invent a clock!!


That diagram actually was drawn by the Delta Senior Engineer during a brainstorming/medical marijuana testing meeting they had.
Awesome dude