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.
Laura Treider and her son Ben, 8, were watching a show about how planes mysteriously disappear, which included a segment about the disappearance of Malaysia’s MH370.
“I felt a little sad,” Ben told FoxNews.com. But 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.
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 even included a drawing of his design, clearly indicating how the balloon would hold a radio frequency transmitter to make the aircraft easier to locate.
Treider, who served in the Air Force with her husband, 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.
Treider says Ben also enjoys meeting pilots when the family flies. And when they do take a trip, Delta is their airline of choice.
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.
Treider says her son was ecstatic with the executive's response.
“At first we thought it was a birthday gift because he’s turning nine next week but when he saw who it was from he started jumping up and down saying “I got Delta! I got Delta!”
In addition to trying to solve airline industry problems, Ben also has big ideas for improving the democratic process. He says he has invented an idea for a pressure plate powered step voting machine that he thinks would eliminate confusion at the polls. We’ll look for that in 2016.