I might be wrong but I imagine the majority of the conversation took place on an "On Guard" Channal....
What? No. Anytime we have to declare an emergency or have an emergency situation, we just keep talking to ATC that we're already talking to. No reason to switch over to 121.5. Unfortunately we just don't have most of the ATC for this flight. Ironically we do have the company recordings of JBU calling back to maintenance control. It is ironic because these frequencies are not listed to the public so not many, outside of the company, know which frequency to use through the country for that company. Any part 121 flight is required to be able to call back to their operations control center at any point in the flight, no matter where they are.
Did I hear right? The maintenance people said there was a sensor fault and the nosegear was ok? When infact it wasn't?
Or have I lost the plot.
Unfortunately you are absolutely correct. For the most part maintenance controllers know the airplanes very well. But they are also human and don't always diagnose the problem correctly, especially when they are not right there in the airplane with you.
I just had a good example last night. Flew CVG-PHL in one of our "problem child" CRJ700s (for some reason this plane is notorious for being a hangar queen). We kept hearing the left airconditioning pack (one of the 2 systems that provides airconditioning and pressurization from the engines to the cabin) cycling on and off. We looked at the synoptic page and indeed the pressure would drop to zero, all of the green lines turned black, and the valve on the engine would show closed. So I called on the radio back to our maintenance control to let them know what was going on. They were aware of a similiar situation of something like this happening and ran me through a few things to try to get the pack to recycle itself and stay online. But the guidance they were giving me was a service bulletin from Bombardier concerning an indication error of the engine valve indicating closed when it was still open. I tried explaining to them that this wasn't an indication as we could hear and feel the pack turbine spin down and back up with the airflow change. But unfortunately, as a human, the maintenance controller, who by know had a whole group of controllers with him on the radio helping us, had already had his mind set on the fact that this was only an indication problem (anyone seen Apollo 13?) and not a pack or valve problem. To make a long story short, we got to PHL, and the mechanic that came out to look at the problem had the service bulletin in his hand (our guys faxed him a copy of it to check out), which meant that he too was now under the impression that this was just an indication problem. Luckily as he was sitting in the flight deck with us, while the pack was running from the APU and not the engine, it was cycling again, so he immediately threw the service bulletin away and started from scratch.
Just shows that you can have all of the computers and problem history in the world at your finger tips, but if you aren't right there experiencing the problem yourself, you might get it wrong.