ATC IssuesA place where pilots may enter the 'lions den' that is Air Traffic Control in complete safety and find out the answers to all those obscure topics which you always wanted to know the answer to but were afraid to ask.
JESUS....I understand the pilot couldn't land as it was over his limits but he didn't even give the controller a chance....and then telling atc what he was going to do........eh hello ....you are not the only plane in the sky......In a normal emergency ok you can do what you want....but really just how low on fuel was he???. ....If he was so low on fuel surely he should have said it earlier when he realised the winds were getting near limits and may go over.....
Also "I said 3 times I'm declaring an emergency'"...... I didn't hear anyone say he wasn't getting 31 after this.......didn't this moron even consider the heading was for traffic and then he'd prob get the runway he asked for....
...or am I missing something??
Last edited by alwaysmovin; 7th May 2010 at 23:09.
Apparently the NYC controllers have their own way of doing things according to this answer from different forum:
I think some people need to understand ZNY center does not operate like some other centers in the country. "Min Fuel" means nothing to NY, because they have 200 other a/c coming over the pond all declaring "Min Fuel."
You can ask for whatever you need, your not gonna get it. Even in this case the crew "declared" and still the controllers tried to play stupid, and act like they didn't hear the crew declare an emergency.
You can request 31R as soon as you get the local ATIS, which was maybe 150mi out. All your request is going to go in the garbage, they are not going to change the entire arrival configuration for one a/c, needless to say how this change will affect EWR or LGA. The crew did the right thing by declaring and deviating from FAR necessary to get that aircraft safely on the ground.
Spend some time here flying in and out of JFK and you'll understand how things work here.
Location: Who cares? Grammar: The difference between knowing your shit and knowing you're shit. Is that you?
I've listened to the tape 3 times now and not once did I hear any reference to fuel emergency. Maybe the crew declared a fuel emergency before, in which case, no problem. But I hope the crew listen to the tape and take on board the assistance that was trying to be offered and appreciate the increased workload that was handled very professionally by the controller. No doubt the controller was also co-ordinating with colleagues around to facilitate the American pilots safe and expeditious landing, which, unfortunately the tape doesn't record. Whoever the controller was, a job well done, in difficult circumstances.
The ac's first transmission after being told the crosswind was too high was "we cannot accept 22 if we do not get 31r we are GOING to declare an emergency" The plan was to bring the ac overhead the airport and vector him for an ils to ry 31r.
The time spent bringing the ac overhead was not thought to be an issue because at NO time prior the ac's declaration of need for 31r was there any mention of fuel issues. The above link is the local news story of the event. Please remember that atco's in NY DO NOT make rwy selection decisions!!
All runway selection decisions in NY are made by FAA management in very close coordination with the AIRLINES. (The users make every decision about runway selection!!) It is all about capacity.
Controllers vector where they are told to vector, management makes all the runway decisions based on capacity first.
HM79, you mean that if a bigorous front goes through and the striong wind changes 50 degrees they have to wait for FAA to discuss the matter with the airlines? That sounds somewhat contrary to safety considerations.
What I mean is that atc's in NY constantly subject ac to crosswinds that are at or just below the ac max allowable wind. These decisions are capacity related. I have been told by FAA management that there is no degradation to safety landing in crosswind vs landing into the wind, regardless of velocity as long as it is within the parameters of the ac. Capacity is king!!!!
HM79.. I suspect that's the case at many places. At Heathrow most everything is governed by noise abatement. Nevertheless, minute by minute operation of the airfield is in the hands of ATC so if the weather changed, the TWR decide if a runway change is appropriate and do not have to seek advice from operators (at least, they didn't used to!).
I have to say the controller was extremely professional throughout...the crew on the other hand....!
You can't bully ATC into giving you a different runway by threatening them with an Emergency, you certainly shouldn't randomly decide that you're going to turn left to position for the runway you want....there's more than one a/c out there...
I don't think he actually declared an Emergency at all (technically) ICAO Standard Phraseology requires the use of "Mayday Mayday" or "Pan Pan Pan" to do that...and as for "fuel priorities":
Fuel Reserves Approaching Minimum:
’Fuel Emergency’ or ‘fuel priority’ are not recognised terms. Flight crews short of fuel must declare a PAN or MAYDAY to be sure of being given the appropriate priority.
If you declare an emergency then YOU are flying the plane - not ATC! Get everything under control and THEN tell ATC what you are going to do...!
I don't understand these young ones that seem to think absoloutely everything they do in an emergency has to be confirmed by an ATCO before they actually do it. I've sat in a simulator session where one wanted to ask ATC if he could cut the fuel to the #2 engine after a simulated birdstrike!!!
Who cares if he didn't "technically" declare an emergency? He says 'we are declaring an emergency' - if it wasn't standard R/T then he can get moaned at afterwards. Not anyone's job to question his judgement. He has an emergency situation then he has top priority.
Declaring an emergency doesn't make all the other planes go away! The pilot must comply with ATC instructions. If he has a dire fuel emergency or controllability issues tell ATC and you'll get whatever you need. They must be given a chance to get other aircraft out of the way.
The Pilot must not comply with ATC demands/control/orders. The buck stop with the Captain, he has ultimate authority over the operation of the aircraft whether in an emergency or normal operations. ATC provides a service from the air-conditioned, dohnut and tea room bunker. If the crew believe a direction is not in the best interest of safety or operational procedures they have every right to fly the aircraft as they see fit......as the crew of this AA flight did.