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Author Topic: Weird JFK Emergency Yesterday around 5:10 PM "give me 31R or I'll declare"  (Read 64770 times)
VictorK
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« Reply #105 on: May 08, 2010, 05:06:55 PM »

Ya know, I've read this whole thread, and there's lots of discussion about what the pilot failed to communicate to the controller (i.e. the nature of the emergency), but nowhere has anyone mentioned that the JFK Tower Feed here contains three frequencies. Therefore, it is not a given that the entire exchange between the pilot and the controller is included here. Rather, there's a strong likelyhood that something has been missed.

Just because it didn't make it into the archives of LiveATC doesn't mean it wasn't said on the frequency the exchange took place on. Any conclusion, putting the pilot in a negative light, or a positive light, reached solely on the information available here, is potentially flawed.

Anyone who spends any time here should be mindful of that shortcoming before they put their fingers on the keyboard. Or am I wrong?
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SirIsaac726
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« Reply #106 on: May 08, 2010, 05:47:40 PM »

Ya know, I've read this whole thread, and there's lots of discussion about what the pilot failed to communicate to the controller (i.e. the nature of the emergency), but nowhere has anyone mentioned that the JFK Tower Feed here contains three frequencies. Therefore, it is not a given that the entire exchange between the pilot and the controller is included here. Rather, there's a strong likelyhood that something has been missed.

Just because it didn't make it into the archives of LiveATC doesn't mean it wasn't said on the frequency the exchange took place on. Any conclusion, putting the pilot in a negative light, or a positive light, reached solely on the information available here, is potentially flawed.

Anyone who spends any time here should be mindful of that shortcoming before they put their fingers on the keyboard. Or am I wrong?

It appears as if he was only handled by this Tower Controller.  I don't see why they would hand him off to another controller.
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Cap747
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« Reply #107 on: May 08, 2010, 06:21:22 PM »

I too have listened to all the frequencies, earlier postings of me have stated he had asked for and granted twice a diversion for weather at the approach feed... there was definitely nothing wrong there, so we are not missing parts of the conversation here.... only the CVR recording  angry
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djmodifyd
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« Reply #108 on: May 08, 2010, 07:14:38 PM »

I really feel as if we missed something here....AND if we DIDN'T...then i feel the pilot was out of line in his actions.  But again, i really do feel like we missed something.

And at the least, the pilot should have stated the nature of the emergency so the controller knew how to handle it, from what we heard, i can understand the frustration from the controller.
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VictorK
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« Reply #109 on: May 08, 2010, 07:23:16 PM »

SirIsaac and Cap747, you're both missing the point. The "Tower" feed comes from a scanner, not a receiver dedicated to only one frequency. The scanner is covering three frequencies.

Quote
KJFK Tower
Feed Status: UP   Listeners: 116  

<snip the "listen" buttons>

Facility                                      Frequency
JFK Tower (4L/22R, 13R/31L) 123.900
JFK Tower (4R/22L, 13L/31R) 119.100
TCA (Class B 2000ft/below within 8nm) 125.250



The scanner might've been locked onto a conversation taking place on one of the other two frequencies while some relevant bit of information was being exchanged on the frequency in question, and it wouldn't be heard here either on the live feed, or in the archives. The original poster/editor of the clip might be able to shed some light on how much time elapsed between transmissions between American and the Tower, (and which has been edited out for the sake of brevity), which might give a clue as to whether something may be missing here or not, but as it's been posted, there's no guarantee that you're hearing everything that was said.

Trust me, I've spent enough time listening to scanners to understand the disadvantges. If the feed in question is set up somehow differently, then I welcome somebody familiar with the specifics to correct me.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2010, 07:25:35 PM by VictorK » Logged
cptbrw
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« Reply #110 on: May 08, 2010, 08:55:34 PM »

SirIsaac and Cap747, you're both missing the point. The "Tower" feed comes from a scanner, not a receiver dedicated to only one frequency. The scanner is covering three frequencies.

Quote
KJFK Tower
Feed Status: UP   Listeners: 116   

<snip the "listen" buttons>

Facility                                      Frequency
JFK Tower (4L/22R, 13R/31L) 123.900
JFK Tower (4R/22L, 13L/31R) 119.100
TCA (Class B 2000ft/below within 8nm) 125.250



The scanner might've been locked onto a conversation taking place on one of the other two frequencies while some relevant bit of information was being exchanged on the frequency in question, and it wouldn't be heard here either on the live feed, or in the archives. The original poster/editor of the clip might be able to shed some light on how much time elapsed between transmissions between American and the Tower, (and which has been edited out for the sake of brevity), which might give a clue as to whether something may be missing here or not, but as it's been posted, there's no guarantee that you're hearing everything that was said.

Trust me, I've spent enough time listening to scanners to understand the disadvantges. If the feed in question is set up somehow differently, then I welcome somebody familiar with the specifics to correct me.


VictorK, your point is well taken.  So I went back and listened to the raw feed archive. You can listen to the full archive yourself if you so desire so I won't go into great detail.  AAL2 first shows up on the tower frequency at the 6:24 mark of the archive.  From that point until the 9:50 mark there is either dead space or transmission on the same frequency.  By that point (9:50) AAL2 had already declared an emergency and further complained that he had "declared an emergency 3 times."  From 9:50 to 10:10 there are transmissions on another tower frequency.  From 10:10 to 10:56 there are further exchanges on the AAL2 frequency highlighted by AAL2 reporting they are turning to land on 31R so tower better clear the area.  From 10:56 to the end of the incident there are a couple of transmissions on other frequencies along with the ending exchanges between tower and AAL2. 

The point is, if you listen carefully to the archive you will probably agree that there are only very brief periods when the scanner is stopped on another channel and it does not seem that any substantive transmissions from AAL2 were missed.  It's possible but does not seem likely.
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Cap747
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« Reply #111 on: May 08, 2010, 09:13:39 PM »

Whatever the real reason is here, he say's :"We can't land on that runway"  what can we make out of that?
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VictorK
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« Reply #112 on: May 08, 2010, 10:17:29 PM »

Quote
VictorK, your point is well taken.


Thanks.

I thought it was an important point to make, simply because in 8 pages of discussion, nobody else had made it.

Quote
The point is, if you listen carefully to the archive you will probably agree that there are only very brief periods when the scanner is stopped on another channel and it does not seem that any substantive transmissions from AAL2 were missed.  It's possible but does not seem likely.

I've now listened to the archive, and while you seem to be correct about the earlier content, at approximately 9:41, it seems as though Tower blocks a transmission from American, and from that point until approximately 10:15, the radio traffic seems to be either on another frequency or transmissions to other aircraft on the same frequency. Not saying that he did, but during that period, the American Captain might've unequivocally said his fuel state was critical, which would put the whole situation in a somewhat different light, would it not?

I'll stand by my prior assertion that we can't know the full story from listening only to what's available here.
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uplink
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« Reply #113 on: May 09, 2010, 07:21:07 AM »

SirIsaac and Cap747, you're both missing the point. The "Tower" feed comes from a scanner, not a receiver dedicated to only one frequency. The scanner is covering three frequencies.

VictorK, Excellent point! I feel many forget these are just scanners.   Important pieces of a conversation are often missed due to this, it only takes a second.  As a feeder myself,  I miss parts of transmissions all the time, because the scanner is off to another channel.   Many people don't realize this, and don't know how scanners work.    I've even read posts here where folks are posting "glued together" versions from entirely differerent frequencies and conversations.

see this post about Burbank here...
http://www.liveatc.net/forums/atcaviation-audio-clips/kbur-runway-incursion-4-19-10/

 Often times feeders are programming them to scan too many channels to make them sound "exciting".   This only results in a chopped up feed that is a challenge to follow.  The solution: more volunteer feeders!,  wink  this means less freqs for a single scanner, and more "complete" radio exchanges.








« Last Edit: May 10, 2010, 01:35:49 AM by uplink » Logged

Cap747
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« Reply #114 on: May 09, 2010, 09:50:49 AM »

Are you aware this website is not a media (news) or official (governmental) site, like we are figuring out the recordings in a matter we would do a crossword puzzle? with the difficulty of the limitations of what is provided by the feeds...?

Similar to people who watch CSI and try to figure out the outcome?

That is what I am doing here.....
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VictorK
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« Reply #115 on: May 09, 2010, 03:29:14 PM »

Quote
Are you aware this website is not a media (news) or official (governmental) site, like we are figuring out the recordings in a matter we would do a crossword puzzle? with the difficulty of the limitations of what is provided by the feeds...?

That's a fine analogy, as long as it's understood that the "limitations of what is provided by the feeds" is understood to be similar to solving a crossword puzzle with all the horizontal clues, but only 2/3 of the vertical clues. You may find places where you have to rely on guesswork alone, and you may not always guess correctly.
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uplink
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« Reply #116 on: May 10, 2010, 01:28:12 AM »

The sad thing is the media (news) actually does take the recordings from this site and quote them, and print them, and air them on radio and TV.  We are all smart enough to know these are only pieces of the real story.   But it doesn't matter, because the general public don't know how scanners work, and already has a dim view of aviation in the first place.  A story about an emergency at JFK will grab listeners ears, and get good ad time.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2010, 01:34:51 AM by uplink » Logged

skylord
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« Reply #117 on: May 10, 2010, 06:47:17 PM »

Hi all.  First post here.  A fellow controller sent me this.

I work at SoCal TRACON and have been a controller for over 22 years.  I can't speak to the JFK issue with direct knowledge, but I can give you all an idea from our side the impact of a runway change and some other points.

First, almost all communication between controllers as well as controllers and pilots is recorded and saved for 45 days.  So I am sure there will be more information coming out about our communications on our side about this.  From my seat in the peanut gallery,  I think the flight crew exercised appropriately their discretion to refuse an ATC clearance based upon the crosswinds and their concern for the safety of the flight.  On the other hand, I personally do not believe they adequately communicated the need for emergency handling in the truest sense of the word.

Second, in congested, complex, and crowded airspace there may be two or three other controllers responsible for approaches to different runways.  I work Burbank and Van Nuys airspace, and if I have a Runway 8 arrival that suddenly needs Runway 33 I have to coordinate that with the sector working the Runway 15 departures (opposite direction).  Now if it is a "double engine failure I'm a 767 glider" type situation, then we will accommodate no matter what and deal with the consequences later.  But I am not convinced that is what happened here. 

It sounds to me like the controller involved was trying to work out an orderly go around and runway change.  The aircraft came over on the Visual to 22L which indicates to me they accepted the clearance from the radar approach controller.  Once the tower issued the current winds the flight crew rightfully asked for a different runway assignment.  And this is where I have the problem.  AAL2 then said we need 31R and could not land on 22L.  It sounds to me like the controller told them to fly runway heading (obviously implying the landing clearance on 22L was cancelled) and from my perspective listening to the background comments on the tower frequency (“He’s coming out…”) we were trying to coordinate the runway switch.  AAL2 then gives an ultimatum, 31R NOW or we declare an emergency.  And they did. To me, it sounds like the Flight Crew had something else going on that we don’t know about.  So I defer to their decision, but I do fault them for not communicating to us what that was.  Cactus (America West/USAirways)  gets their approach cancelled. We NEVER refused AAL2’s request.  That is the part that bothers me.

While it may not be relevant in any way, several months ago at DFW another AAL flight did the same thing. 

The most important thing is for everyone to learn from this.  I don’t know what happened for certain, but I again defer to the Captain’s decision and think we need to get that side of the story first.


Skylord
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robyul1
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« Reply #118 on: May 11, 2010, 08:21:08 AM »

when i fly into major cities, there have been instances where i was not content with the runway selection taking into consideration winds and operational circumstances.  But in this case, the pilot is either trying to be as sarcastic as NYC controllers are with him, maybe there's beef between the two, or the pilot is a real A-hole.   From what i get out of this recording, the pilot is abusing his right to declare emergency and most probably will be questioned  by his director of flight ops. 

Number 1:  you are on a visual, hence, you do not require any navigational instruments to make the approach since you "have the runway in sight."

Number 2: it was pretty obvious that there was no REAL emergency unless he was running low on fuel, which was never stated throughout the exchange between pilots and controller.

i just think the pilot was pulling the "ASS" card on the controller and abusing his rights to declare emergency.  I'm surprised the controller didn't ask him what his emergency actually was.  Then again, there's probably a little law somewhere stating that the pilot is not required to explain his emergency.   

PURE STUPIDITY.

THANKS
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Jason
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« Reply #119 on: May 11, 2010, 08:52:25 AM »

Given just the recording, it's important to understand there were many variables involved and the winds may not have been the only factor in declaring the emergency.  While it is not specifically stated on this recording, the crew could have encountered a different abnormal condition which required an emergency to be declared in addition to winds being out of limits for 22L.  That said, the crew declared an emergency and deviated from the regulations to meet the extent of the emergency which is completely legal and what the crew thought was the best course of action given the circumstances in this situation.

Whether the declaration can or cannot be justified is not really our call to make.  There are too many unknowns at this point to make absolute statements.  When more details arise, we will be able to form opinions of greater detail and accuracy but until then, the speculation will continue.

Best,
Jason
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