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Author Topic: Showdown at JFK!  (Read 18440 times)
msk1172
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« on: February 13, 2006, 11:24:08 PM »

At 3am the "morning" after the massive blizzard.  Only 2 controllers in Kennedy tower, one runway closed due to the Turkish A340 and a lot of very unhappy pilots wanting to get out of there.  What a mess.   Wouldnt want to be in VIR46!

Enjoy!


Mike

* vs46-f1.mp3 (912.37 KB - downloaded 5760 times.)
* vs46-f3.mp3 (483.8 KB - downloaded 3281 times.)
* vs46-f2.mp3 (610.74 KB - downloaded 4510 times.)
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Greeney
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« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2006, 12:21:20 AM »

That Virgin Pilot was a complete @$$hole. But its all in the name of safety, Nice clips
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Jordan Greene
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« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2006, 07:34:08 AM »

Quote from: Greeney
That Virgin Pilot was a complete @$$hole. But its all in the name of safety, Nice clips


I don't think so, he was just doing what he was supposed to, but there just wasn't enough time or patience to do it all.
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2006, 08:25:42 AM »

Quote from: Greeney
That Virgin Pilot was a complete @$$hole. But its all in the name of safety, Nice clips


I disagree, too.   The Virgin pilot was doing his job, although he could have reduced the back-and-forth by simply starting off his conversation with "Virgin XXX Heavy requests progressive back to the de-ice pad" or something along those lines.

The ground controller was way too vague, IMO.  "Go back to the ramp" is not an instruction that means anything at a very complex airport such as JFK, especially in this day of runway incursion awareness.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
digger
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« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2006, 09:47:29 AM »

It didn't sound to me as if either the controller or the pilot went out of their way to communicate effectively.

It was as if the pilot was thinking, "if you're going to be deliberately vague in not providing me with a route back to the ramp, I'm going to be too stubborn to specifically request one!"
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DTAK
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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2006, 12:08:06 PM »

I'm with the pilot all the way.  His requests are met with little quick snarky "wellgototheramp" "whatdoyouwant" comments from the controller.
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dellyjm
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« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2006, 01:50:09 PM »

Ground Control is being having like a punk! These guys don't understand the cost of these aircraft, the A340 isn't the smallest of aircraft!
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msk1172
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« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2006, 02:05:02 PM »

Quote from: dellyjm
Ground Control is being having like a punk! These guys don't understand the cost of these aircraft, the A340 isn't the smallest of aircraft!


Just FYI:

1. That is local control
2. Before you start popping off at ATC for being a "punk", understand that there were only 2 controllers in the tower that whole morning.  Each was clearly pushed to their limit in terms of dealing with the runway closure, aircraft requests, 3 medical emergencies, etc etc.  Also I'll have you know that the tower lost power for about 20 minutes during which they had to run on the backup generator.  
3.  Thats a 747-400, not a A340.



Mike
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2006, 02:18:50 PM »

Quote from: msk1172
2. Before you start popping off at ATC for being a "punk", understand that there were only 2 controllers in the tower that whole morning.  Each was clearly pushed to their limit in terms of dealing with the runway closure, aircraft requests, 3 medical emergencies, etc etc.  Also I'll have you know that the tower lost power for about 20 minutes during which they had to run on the backup generator.


Yep, toss on a few more chainlinks to the accident chain that was unrolling that night.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
jamall02864
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« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2006, 05:11:29 PM »

Quote from: DTAK
I'm with the pilot all the way.  His requests are met with little quick snarky "wellgototheramp" "whatdoyouwant" comments from the controller.



I think the controller could have handled it allot better in the first clip.  I completely agree with you  

In the second clip, I don’t see anything that I see worth commenting on

In the last clip I think that the pilot should have been more professional. They could not get any a/c out. They had lots of a/c to get down that had been holding for 1-2+ hours in the air I think the safety of them is a little more important in the short run. If your on the ground you can refuel but not in the air, but the $$$$  went out the window just sitting there.

But I do see tat the controllers had been on all day and there’s only 2 for 5 spots.

In my opinion I think they should have cancelled most of the flights.
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dellyjm
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« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2006, 05:52:59 PM »

In instances of conditions like these. what's the regulation for flight cancellation?
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The Hoffspatcher
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« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2006, 06:19:06 AM »

Friend of mine is a 744 Captain & Examiner for VIR, these people are great!  cheesy

"Obviously these guys never figured out safety"
'... but we need to save fuel' (something like that)
"Please, just shut up"


Also, I believe a flight will be cancelled if the weather is below perscribed minima at either the destination, alternates or enroute.  

Its specifically written in the Federal Air Regulations and company specific OpSpecs (Operating Specifications)
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Ben Hoffman; BAv, ADX
Trust your Dispatcher!
Neil
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« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2006, 01:27:11 PM »

I fall on the side of the pilot too. He actually has to explain to the controller at one point that he is moving at the speed he is moving because it isnt safe for him to move faster. He is the pilot in command, and that is his decision to make, and he shouldnt have to argue it over the freq. It seems to me all this could have been avoided with better instruction from the controller. Sure, he was having a busy day, and they are understaffed. That doesnt constitue a need for short cuts or clear directions to traffic operating in bad vis...
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PIT
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« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2006, 04:24:50 PM »

What he controller said was fine, "Go back to the ramp". The pilot should of just said than can i have progressive taxi.
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KMSY
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« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2006, 04:32:54 PM »

Quote from: PIT
What he controller said was fine, "Go back to the ramp". The pilot should of just said than can i have progressive taxi.


If he didn't ask for it directly, he was certainly wanting a certain path to the ramp. He questioned the command "Go back to the ramp" numerous times.
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philip
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« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2009, 11:22:19 AM »

The Funny thing about this incident is sometimes what I am faced with, in offices...people expecting me to know what they want...
Both Tower and Pilot making eachother confused because there's no standard comms...
I do like JFK I listen all the time and think they handle busy periods very well...just this one must be a bit of a tough call to say who's wrong or right...
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flygirltammy
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« Reply #16 on: April 19, 2009, 03:25:42 AM »

While both of them really could have communicated a lot bettter and without the sarcasm, I do think Virgin really was just concerned with safety. I can only imagine taxiing at JFK. You need instructions for that, not just basically saying "go over there". Having just been along in the flight deck last week at DAL (one whole taxi in a 737, yaaay!) just crossing from the MX hangar over to the gates needed more instructions than just "go over there".

Easier just to have a little patience and communicate than dealing with an aircraft that just slid off the runway.
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kea001
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« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2009, 10:43:28 AM »

The pilot lays out his situation pretty succinctly - I've been sitting here for three hours and I need to go back to the de-icing bay. Give me some direction. This request is pretty common; nothing out of the ordinary here. Yet the controller takes the request as a personal attack and clams up; refuses to deal with the issue. Quite frankly, I'm really shocked by the attitude of this controller. He refuses to accept his own authority in dealing with the situation; i.e. poor weather, backed up airplanes.

You find this attitude prevalent in low level service jobs where training is minimal and resources are scarce. As an example, I get this everytime I phone my internet service provider. The general attitude I encounter is "You don't expect me to be able to handle that do you?" This attitude doesn't cut it in a professional environment.

If you want a good contrast to the way this controller is handling the situation, listen to some of the archives from KIAH - April 17, 2009 - 1900z onwards. A major thunderstorm has moved into the area, everything is at a standstill. One plane even reports a lightning strike while waiting on the taxiway.

In response to the situation, the controller(s) are constantly updating the pilots on the weather situation and what the tower is doing about it in order to alleviate some of the anxiety the pilots are experiencing.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2009, 10:47:57 AM by kea001 » Logged
derg
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« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2009, 03:42:36 PM »

The implication is that JFK only had two controllers working?  As I understand it JFK needs 12 people on duty...see the youtube video about JFK ATC.  If JFK needs 12 and they had only two why was the airport open at all?
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kahuna
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« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2009, 03:22:59 AM »

I understand that the controllers were stretched that night, but regardless of how stretched they were, they should remain helpful and professional. The Virgin pilot calls in very professionally, states the situation clearly and even suggests a way back to the ramp.  Yet for whatever reason, the controller is being an unhelpful, sarcastie jerk.

Pilot: "Unfortunately, we've got ice on the wings so were going to have to go back to the stand"
Pilot: "Can we proceed straight ahead, it's kilo kilo I presume, isn't it?"
Controller: "I don't know sir"

What kinda response is that from a controller? I DON"T KNOW? He's a controller - it is his job to safely get planes from point A to point B.

Pilot: "I said to you sir that we've been out here for 3 hours and we've picked ice up on the wings so we've got to go back to the stand for deicing, what would you like us to do?"
Controller: "Go back to the ramp"

Clearly it was a long night, but "Go back to the ramp" is not helpful to a pilot in a storm in a line of planes on an active taxiway at JFK when moving a 747, IMHO. You can't just drive like its a Costco parking lot. His sarcasm and attitude is really unnerving.  I think the pilot was remarkably controlled given the absolutely unnecessary crap he was taking from the controller and other pilot (clip 3) He's ultimately responsible for the safety of the passengers and plane and its his call to get deiced.
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NY Z Pilot
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« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2009, 09:02:01 AM »

The implication is that JFK only had two controllers working?  As I understand it JFK needs 12 people on duty...see the youtube video about JFK ATC.  If JFK needs 12 and they had only two why was the airport open at all?

only 2 controllers staffed on the overnight shift (mid shift)
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kenadams
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« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2009, 06:36:45 PM »

Very odd conversation. While things like this shouldn't happen, I can understand the stress: I was sitting in LH405 that night - I slept through the whole wait (around three hours: if I remember well, we were number 65 for takeoff when we pushed back), but pilots, crews and ATC weren't as lucky. They had to work through all that chaos: learning that only two controllers were manning the tower makes me appreciate even more the job these guys do to assure we are always separated.
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allynroe
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« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2009, 04:56:17 PM »

I think the pilot provided a clear enough description of his situation, and even suggested his desired intentions.  I understandably agree that the controllers were very stressed that night, but they should realize when they are creating a dangerous environment and cure it immediately.  It was the controller who continued to cause grief to the pilot and cause the situation to deteriorate.  Not only is there an immediate risk of an incursion or equipment damage, but there is also the human factors side to consider.  The controller and other pilots caused this pilot to become very frustrated who shortly after departed in a 747.  This frustration could have had negative consequences if an emergency situation arose on departure or could have contributed to any other serious situation.  When you can easily pick and choose when you fly, we are always taught not to fly when we have issues bothering us.  Ultimately, the thousands of passengers at JFK were not provided the safest airport operating environment that night.       
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