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Author Topic: Weird JFK Emergency Yesterday around 5:10 PM "give me 31R or I'll declare"  (Read 93526 times)
jpwilde
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« on: May 05, 2010, 10:33:15 AM »

Hi, first post, I found this so weird I just had to ask about it.

American 2 heavy is on visual for rwy 22 L, calls in that the localizer is not functioning, tower resets it for him, he calls in that he can't take 22 L, and that if he doesn't get 31 R he's going to declare emergency.

The tower controller says he'll pass it along, and IMMEDIATELY after he says that American 2 heavy declares an emergency, calls breaking off approach and circiling for 31R.  Tower controller tries to issue a turn, but American 2 heavy refuses it and says "I have an emergency, clear the area". (As is his right, I guess.)

By the time it's time for taxi instructions, you can tell theres no love lost between the flight crew and the controller.

I cut this clip down for dead space between transmissions, and cut out one irrelevant exchange with another plane on the ground. I left in tower dealing with clearing the runway and approach after the emergency is called.  Also, the exchange where American 2 heavy says that he needs 31R or he's declaring an emergency, tower says he'll pass it along, and American 2 heavy actually declares an emergency is all unedited.  The three transmissions really were within seconds of one and other. There would have been nothing to cut for time if I'd wanted to.

If anybody has any idea what the subtext to all this is, I'd be very interested.  Is it just that 22 L is too short?  In which case why not get resequenced without the emergency?

* KJFK_EMERG.mp3 (1607.27 KB - downloaded 9940 times.)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2010, 10:36:04 AM by jpwilde » Logged
Cap747
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2010, 11:17:44 AM »

Is this about the same event as someone describes at the listeners forum???

http://www.liveatc.net/forums/listener-forum/anyone-listening-to-jfk-feed-635-p-m/

« Last Edit: May 08, 2010, 07:40:24 PM by Cap747 » Logged
davolijj
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« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2010, 11:21:16 AM »

It definitely sounds like there's something missing in that clip.  It sounds like it's kind of out of context.  Was there earlier discussion missing about needing priority or something? 
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jpwilde
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2010, 11:28:55 AM »

Nothing on tower that I heard.  I was sitting in a parking lot waiting for my wife to get out of work listening to tower for about 45 minutes before it all went down.  I think the first transmission in the clip is his check-in.

I should go back and check approach.  If I have time later today I will.  Unless someone else beats me to it.  First I heard him was at about 2108Z.
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sykocus
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« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2010, 11:37:41 AM »

I don't know much about JFK ops, but 22L looks like it's on the short side, but 31R is only 1600ft longer. Also it sounds like there was a strong cross wind for 22, but that's where everyone else was going. However if those were the reason's AAL2 could take 22 he should have said something before accepting a visual approach clearance from approach.

What was the nature of emergency that required him to land right away? The only thing I could think of was for fuel. We don't have any record of what he said to approach, but he if he went from fine on the VA to emergence fuel just like that then that was bad planning and horrible communication. Whatever the reason for the emergency AAL2 wasn't doing a good job communicating. Given the sequence of events it sounds like he declared an emergency because the LOC was ots. I know pilots like to have the LOC as a backup when doing a VA, but because it's out is reason to declare alone. So if he had to declare an emergency I don't think some sort of explanation was unreasonable. Either that or we missed a transmission or set of transmissions perhaps with another facility.

The controller was dealing with a lot. It sounds like the ILS went down. The controller had to send a US airways around that was behind AAL2. It also sounds like the controller tried to stop AAL2246 but he stopped past the hold short line and was a problem for AAL2 so the controller had to taxi him clear.
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Yesterday I couldn't spell air traffic controller. Today I R one.
jpwilde
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« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2010, 11:46:04 AM »

I just re-listened; I did miss the check-in in the clip.  He checks in on the ILS (!) for 22L.  Tower tells him he's number 2 and clears him to land.  Other than that, nothing special.
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Cap747
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2010, 12:17:31 PM »

Nothing on tower that I heard.  I was sitting in a parking lot waiting for my wife to get out of work listening to tower for about 45 minutes before it all went down.  I think the first transmission in the clip is his check-in.

I should go back and check approach.  If I have time later today I will.  Unless someone else beats me to it.  First I heard him was at about 2108Z.

At the approach frequency I heard him diverting weather twice, but nothing unusual... He was 8 miles out and established on the localizer then normally handed over to tower...
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aevins
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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2010, 12:18:07 PM »

Although weird and JFK normally go hand in hand, this is an odd clip. Looks like they were in the arrival configuration, landing 22L/R and departing 31R, and running SWAP. Aircraft in question looks like it was spun a few times south of LENDY, but no evidence of a missed approach.

http://flightaware.com/live/flight/AAL2/history/20100504/1615Z/KLAX/KJFK
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N400PW
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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2010, 12:34:50 PM »

Sounds right he probably just took off headed for LAX had to turn back and full of fuel needed a runway suitable for a heavy 67 200 I bet.  The pilot did the right thing seems like JFK controllers need the whole runaround of the problem before they make an executive decision.
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iskyfly
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2010, 12:40:55 PM »

Sounds right he probably just took off headed for LAX had to turn back and full of fuel needed a runway suitable for a heavy 67 200 I bet. 
I'll take you up on that bet. $100?
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Anthony Santanastaso
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2010, 12:45:22 PM »

I think it has something to do with the pilots calculating the maximum demonstrated crosswind component of the aircraft and what the airline deamed allowable in their flight manual. The wind was reported to be 320 at 23, gusts 35. Landing on runway 22L would create a quartering tailwind with a crosswind component of between 29-34 kts (factoring the highest wind speed with the gusts). Supposing the plane was a 767-200, from one source I quickly referenced, the approximate maximum demonstrated crosswind component on a runway either wet or dry is 40kts. True the actual conditions were probably less than 40kts, perhaps their flight manual said otherwise? Or, the pilots doing the math rather quickly in their heads decided it was too close for comfort?

I'm sure that the frustration of the new runway configuration with 31L/13R closed played into the pilot's decision.

Just my two cents.
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Anthony Santanastaso
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Cap747
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2010, 12:46:44 PM »

Sounds right he probably just took off headed for LAX had to turn back and full of fuel needed a runway suitable for a heavy 67 200 I bet.  
I'll take you up on that bet. $100?

Me tooooo  afro

A flight that originated in KLAX and after 4 hours and 48 minutes landed at KJFK is not a departing airplane...
« Last Edit: May 11, 2010, 12:29:49 PM by Cap747 » Logged
iskyfly
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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2010, 12:49:24 PM »

I think it has something to do with the pilots calculating the maximum demonstrated crosswind component of the aircraft and what the airline deamed allowable in their flight manual.
It was fuel related.
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wxman
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2010, 12:54:07 PM »

My first post - I have never heard anything like this ever - I think the controller was due a major explanation - of the just what #!!#$%$^ was going down. Almost sounded like it was political or something because he made a few loops on his decent/approach he had a case of the ass?
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Delta Echo
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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2010, 01:23:33 PM »

I just re-listened; I did miss the check-in in the clip.  He checks in on the ILS (!) for 22L.  Tower tells him he's number 2 and clears him to land.  Other than that, nothing special.

He checked in on the Visual!!!  The first words on the recording is "... visual for 22L"
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jpwilde
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« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2010, 01:28:42 PM »

For the sake of completeness, here's the clip reedited with his initial check-in prepended.  Like I said, nothing too special, but he does check in on the ILS.  Sorry I cut it off in the first clip--brain fart.

I don't think it changes things much.  It still sounds like it's visual conditions.

* KJFK_EMERG-A.mp3 (1735.02 KB - downloaded 4642 times.)
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VampyreGTX
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« Reply #16 on: May 05, 2010, 02:56:56 PM »

Not sure on this one, I truly hope it was an emergency and not a case of ego's.  It resulted in the disruption of other flights, wasted fuel on the planes they forces to go around, etc. 

I highly doubt it was a fuel emergency as they would have declared low fuel which would give them priority and would have ZERO effect on what runway they COULD land at.  They actually burned MORE fuel breaking off the approach and circling to land the other runway.  If the pilot couldn't land on the runway because of crosswind or tailwind component, declaring an emergency is NOT the correct thing to do.  He should have stated 'unable' and requested a change with an explanation as to why he was unable.  I guarantee there will be a thorough investigation of this since the pilot declared an emergency. 
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davalos08
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« Reply #17 on: May 05, 2010, 03:13:43 PM »

Really weird, you don't declare emergency for wind, you just request a better RWY and explain the reasons. Fuel is debatable too, VampyreGTX is right, if the were low on fuel, I think the best course of action would have been to land on the runway you are established at, they surely spent a little more pounds on the circling. In any case is the PIC the ultimate authority of the operation of the aircraft, and ATC has to adjust to that. Lets wait for the investigation
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iskyfly
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« Reply #18 on: May 05, 2010, 03:18:40 PM »

Fuel is debatable?

Think...... Avianca
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Planemusic
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« Reply #19 on: May 05, 2010, 03:22:55 PM »

I just checked the Airport Monitor for JFK (http://www4.passur.com/jfk.html) for 5 PM on May 4.
In replay mode, it shows at least 4 aircraft lined up for 31R.   It appears the tower was in the process of changing
to runway 22L.   AAL2 was the first in line with aircraft starting to lineup behind him.   The monitor shows AAL descended
to 600 ft and broke off the approach just about over the belt parkway.  He then turned to a heading of 180.
You can then see the following aircraft climbing on the runway heading (220).   
Just after crossing the centerline of RW 32R,  AAL2 entered a sharp left 220 degree turn while climbing to 1300ft to line up with 32R.
I too am baffled as to why an emergency was declared.   If the wind was an issue he should have said so. 

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VampyreGTX
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« Reply #20 on: May 05, 2010, 03:24:45 PM »

Yes, even though the PIC is the ultimate authority in the operation of the aircraft, the handling of this emergency by the pilot is definitely NOT professional, IMHO.  The pilot declared an emergency, which he has a right to do if there truly was an emergency.  Per the FAA and review of the FAR's and AIM, the pilot should then wait for an amendend clearance from ATC unless the emergency requires immediate and continued deviation from the FAR's.  It doesn't sound like it was a control issue (entered a turn to do a circle to land at another runway), engine issue (as it doesn't sound like any issues in doing a circle to land which would have required multiple power adjustments), etc.  The controller acknowledged the emergency and altered the clearance, instructing the pilot to fly runway heading so that he could most likely get the pilot down with minimal disruption to other airport operations.  Instead, he turned on his own, causing ATC to scramble to get other planes out of the way, sending other pilots scrambling to do go-arounds and new approaches, etc.  In my opinion, as a pilot myself, the pilot of AA0002 in this case was out of line.  If the emergency was a true emergency, I'm SURE this would be all over the news by now.

When an emergency is declared in the terminal area, the tower is supposed to log the details, tapes, etc. and report it to the FSDO.  This doesn't always happen, but I can guarantee this incident will definitely be reported by the tower to the FSDO based solely on the tone and animosity that was developing between the controller and the pilot.  I wonder if we'll ever get the details.  
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Cap747
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« Reply #21 on: May 05, 2010, 03:39:58 PM »

Also after reviewing the radar images, they just followed the JBU


They must have seen something like this...


* landing.jpg (64.33 KB, 499x484 - viewed 772 times.)
« Last Edit: May 05, 2010, 03:47:27 PM by Cap747 » Logged
VampyreGTX
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« Reply #22 on: May 05, 2010, 03:55:20 PM »

Okay, found AA2 heavy on KJFK Approach (Final) frequency.  No problems or emergency concerns while on Approach.  I've attached the file.  I'll see if I can find the comm's from the other approach frequency's leading to to KJFK Final. 

So far, no mention of low fuel, or any other kind of emergency up until the little catfight on Tower.

* KJFK-NY-App-Final-May-04-2010-2100Z.mp3 (458.03 KB - downloaded 5624 times.)
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jpwilde
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« Reply #23 on: May 05, 2010, 04:07:26 PM »

Adding to the weirdness, I think I hear both pilots talking on the radio for AA2 at the same time at one point.  Right after tower gives them heading 180, it sounds like person B comes on and says something-- "you don't under[stand]..." maybe, and person A steps on him and forcefully declares that they're landing now.  (It starts at about 1:34 in the second, amended clip above.)

I think I hear fear in person B's voice.  Whether it's the fear of a first officer who's career is flashing before his eyes after his captain gets in a fight with ATC... or something else... I don't know...

After watching the radar, I can't imagine what clearance they were hoping for.
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Cap747
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« Reply #24 on: May 05, 2010, 04:13:01 PM »

it sounds like person B comes on and says something-- "you don't under[stand]..." maybe, and person A steps on him and forcefully declares that they're landing now.  (It starts at about 1:34 in the second, amended clip above.)

I think I hear fear in person B's voice.  Whether it's the fear of a first officer who's career is flashing before his eyes after his captain gets in a fight with ATC... or something else... I don't know...

Don't get too confused, these clips are edited to the parts involving AA2H only.. there is some time in between the transmissions..

The first two messages are about avoiding weather, 10 degrees left and the second he say's 5 or 10 to the right..I mean to the left..

don't mix this up...
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