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| | |-+  FAA suspends controller who missed landing of two planes at D.C.
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Author Topic: FAA suspends controller who missed landing of two planes at D.C.  (Read 8568 times)
jmx53
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« on: March 23, 2011, 06:56:58 PM »

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-23/sleeping-controller-possibility-probed-after-u-s-landings-1-.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/tower-at-reagan-national-goes-silent-as-planes-attempt-to-land/2011/03/23/AB9aslKB_story.html
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mk223
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« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2011, 07:37:36 PM »

I just put together a quick edit of the feed over in the atc clips section,

http://www.liveatc.net/forums/atcaviation-audio-clips/dca-unmanned-tower/
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joeyb747
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Nothing Like A 747!


« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2011, 10:01:36 PM »

http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-politics/20110323/news.sleepingairtraffic/
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kyle172
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2011, 12:25:53 PM »

http://abcnews.go.com/m/story?id=13210625&sid=80
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If you don't see it first then I probably will..
joeyb747
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2011, 07:55:25 PM »

http://www.avherald.com/h?article=439ce8f9&opt=0
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captkel
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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2011, 10:27:56 PM »

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said in a statement....."Fortunately, at no point was either plane out of radar contact and our back-up system kicked in to ensure the safe landing of both airplanes."

Being in Radar Contact is nice however I'm curious about that "back-up system that kicked in", what's that all about?
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dave
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2011, 10:37:01 PM »

The most well-rounded commentary:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/audio-silence-in-the-tower-at-dca/2011/03/23/ABCR6tKB_video.html

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dave
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2011, 10:38:30 PM »

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said in a statement....."Fortunately, at no point was either plane out of radar contact and our back-up system kicked in to ensure the safe landing of both airplanes."

Being in Radar Contact is nice however I'm curious about that "back-up system that kicked in", what's that all about?

The only backup system that kicked in was that Potomac TRACON has radar coverage and can see pretty much down to the ground near DCA.  Though I don't think they have access to ground radar from there.

The pilots were the main ingredient to the safe landing - the Potomac Approach controller certainly helped, as did TCAS.  smiley
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tyketto
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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2011, 11:18:44 AM »


Outside of the various outlets, this made the local news here in Sacramento. Whether they just tapped into nationwide coverage of the story, I don't know..

But the best part of the coverage I've seen so far, is that not only did they play part of the ATC comms between Potomac and the pilots, but they actually properly cited the source of where they got the clip (which was here, of course).

So whoever made the clip, congrats!

BL.
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TC
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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2011, 01:47:21 PM »

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said in a statement....."Fortunately, at no point was either plane out of radar contact and our back-up system kicked in to ensure the safe landing of both airplanes."

Being in Radar Contact is nice however I'm curious about that "back-up system that kicked in", what's that all about?

Typical political babble and nonsense is what it's all about.  NOTHING ensured the safe landings.  NOTHING.  There was NO GUARANTEE there weren't vehicles on the runways as there often is on the mids.  Even if they announced their intent to land, the pilots don't know what frequency an unsuspecting electrician working on the lights might be on.  Thank God nobody got killed.  There's plenty of shame to go around on this one.
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tyketto
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2011, 03:08:21 PM »

FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt said in a statement....."Fortunately, at no point was either plane out of radar contact and our back-up system kicked in to ensure the safe landing of both airplanes."

Being in Radar Contact is nice however I'm curious about that "back-up system that kicked in", what's that all about?

Typical political babble and nonsense is what it's all about.  NOTHING ensured the safe landings.  NOTHING.  There was NO GUARANTEE there weren't vehicles on the runways as there often is on the mids.  Even if they announced their intent to land, the pilots don't know what frequency an unsuspecting electrician working on the lights might be on.  Thank God nobody got killed.  There's plenty of shame to go around on this one.

Yes, they would.

Just as if any runway inspection were going on by airport operations, since the runways in use were ACTIVE, they would also have to have tuned to the Tower frequency to even do anything on the runways. If they hadn't heard anything from the tower in that time, no doubt the pilots would have used the CTAF for announcing their intentions as well as announcing them on the tower frequency. More times than not, the Tower frequency is also the CTAF when a given airport is closed. In this case, since DCA is continuously attended, their intentions were announced on both.

Have a listen to any feed (KLAS for sure) when a runway inspection is being done. You'll notice that all airport ops vehicles tune and broadcast on tower's frequency.

BL.
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TC
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« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2011, 08:32:23 AM »

That's simply not correct.  I do this for a living and I can tell you if that happened here the planes would not necessarily be on the same frequency as the vehicles.  It is not a CTAF scenario as there is no CTAF in a 24 hr facility.  There can be multiple tower frequencies, as there are in BOS.  The pilots would not be broadcasting on all frequencies.  I don't need to listen to a feed to hear a runway inspection being done.  I do it for real.  I just got off a mid as a matter of fact.  i worked all positions combined, 7 frequencies all combined.  If I'd passed out,  a pilot coming in announcing on 128.8 would not know if a mechanic was towing a plane across the runway on another freq, or an electrician was on the runway on even another freq.

Sorry, but you're wrong.  It was unsafe and wildly presumptuous what the pilots did.
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eastern tristar
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« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2011, 01:44:11 PM »

The real issue here is why was there only one controller in the tower.  This staffing deficiency was an accident waiting to happen.  This is a busy airport in a major metropolitan area, how can the FAA justify staffing only one controller at night?  What if a real emergency aircraft came in? What if numerous aircraft had to divert there?  What is he supposed to do, call in another controller and wait for him to arrive to help out?  I feel bad for this controller, I am sure after doing this job for 20 years, he took his work very seriously and wasn't a slacker, like the media is making him out to be.  I hope that if it comes out that he had some sort of medical condition the media will be as enthusiastic to report that story, but we know they will not.  Sadly, if the story doesn't scare people, it doesn't get reported.
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MikeNYC
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« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2011, 04:14:15 PM »

TC, at your facility is ground traffic permitted to enter any runway or movement area without explicit clearance?
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ogogog
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« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2011, 06:08:40 PM »

That's simply not correct.  I do this for a living and I can tell you if that happened here the planes would not necessarily be on the same frequency as the vehicles.  It is not a CTAF scenario as there is no CTAF in a 24 hr facility.  There can be multiple tower frequencies, as there are in BOS.  The pilots would not be broadcasting on all frequencies.  I don't need to listen to a feed to hear a runway inspection being done.  I do it for real.  I just got off a mid as a matter of fact.  i worked all positions combined, 7 frequencies all combined.  If I'd passed out,  a pilot coming in announcing on 128.8 would not know if a mechanic was towing a plane across the runway on another freq, or an electrician was on the runway on even another freq.

Sorry, but you're wrong.  It was unsafe and wildly presumptuous what the pilots did.

what TC said, thats the diffrence between internet controllers and real controllers.even when the tower is closed on the mid and there is a published ctaf dose not mean a vehicle might be on the rwy and not on the ctaf .in 1990 i had a Lear miss the approach at KGRR  due to a snow plow on the rwy after i was told by Kent county the plows were off the rwy, the plow was not on the ctaf.




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