View Full Version : JFK closed

15th Aug 2003, 05:10
No power according to Fox news. Eastern Grid down. Power cuts right across eastern USA to Detroit and into Canada. Toronto and Ottawa also suffering power cuts.

15th Aug 2003, 05:30
AP (Associated Press) - 2127GMT 14AUG03 - urgent-newsdesks -
NEW YORK: New York City.
In New York, the blackout affected subways, elevators and airports, including John F. Kennedy and LaGuardia airports. Thousands of people streamed into the streets of lower Manhattan in 90-degree (32-Celsius) heat.
In Toronto, Canada’s largest city, workers also fled their buildings after the blackout hit shortly after 4 p.m. EDT (200 GMT). There also were widespread outages in Ottawa, the capital.
Traffic lights were out throughout downtown Cleveland and other major cities, creating havoc at the beginning of rush hour.
Every prison in New York state reported a loss of power and switched to backup generators, said James Flateau, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections.
In Albany, New York, several people were trapped in elevators in Empire State Plaza, but most had been freed by 5 p.m. People in New York City lined up 10 deep or more at pay phones, with cell phone service disrupted in some areas.
The blackouts rivaled those in the West on Aug. 11, 1996, when heat, sagging power lines and unusually high demand for electricity caused an outage that affected 4 million customers in nine states, one of the most severe outages in US history.
A blackout in New York City in 1977 left some 9 million people without electricity for up to 25 hours.
“There is no evidence of any terrorism at this point,” said Michael Sheehan, deputy commissioner for terrorism of New York City’s Police Department. “We’ve talked to Washington and there are rumors, but none of them pans out.”
MORE 142123 aug 03GMT

REUTERS-bc gen-3665-scot-32
WASHINGTON, Aug 14 – Air traffic headed into the three major New York-area airports was halted on Thursday because of a massive power outage in the eastern United States and Canada, regulators said.
The ground stops also affected Cleveland, Toronto and Ottawa, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
This means that flights for these cities yet to take off from other airports must remain on the ground. Flights in the air may be allowed to land or could be diverted.
The FAA said that control centers and airport towers in New York and other American cities affected by the blackouts were running on diesel backup generators and flight operations were normal.

15th Aug 2003, 05:33
Detroit Airport reporting now closed

Looks like Toronto Pearson Airport has all but shut down. Most inbound flights are delayed or cancelled but all outbound flights are halted.

15th Aug 2003, 05:52
This must make alternate landing decisions complicated for airborn atlantic flights. How is this handled by the systems and the flight crews?

15th Aug 2003, 06:39
JFK is still acccepting arrivals from aircraft that were in the air, but no new flights to JFK are being allowed to depart for the time being.

I looks like this will clear up in a few hours power wise...who knows how long NYC will take to get nack to normal.

15th Aug 2003, 07:10
My little son is right now flying from LHR to Toronto onboard BA 097. They took off at 1645 GMT and expected to land at 0135 GMT. Anybody knows if this flight was diverted to any Newfoundland airport? Is it Toronto airport accepting incoming traffic?

15th Aug 2003, 07:27
BA 97/14 still showing arriving Toronto. It's a bit early with arrival sked for 21:07 local. Most Air Canada flights cancelled. Getting around on the ground is more of a problem. Gridlock over a wide area in Toronto.


15th Aug 2003, 07:36
Thank you Rollingthunder. It´s time to go bed. My wife and myself do appreciate.

15th Aug 2003, 07:49
Dateline May 14th 2004
(also Basil's birthday & you seriously don't want to know which one)

North American birthrate rises! Ultimate terrorist plot succeeds beyond wildest dreams! Babies clog hospitals streets, sewers, milk parlo(u)rs. Pensioner eaten alive by starving infants! Clinton paternity suit by thousands!

Basil has lost the plot - must go and chill out by TV :bored:

15th Aug 2003, 08:24
Lightning strike at Niagra power station announced as probable cause.

15th Aug 2003, 08:29
Looks like some flights did get out -- just spoke to a friend who is on AF023 JFK-CDG. They did depart JFK relatively on time, but with the electricity out they only fueled it to get to BOS where it's now sitting while they accurately fuel it up for the hop across the pond.

Also just saw BR032 depart Seattle for it's normal continuation to EWR, albeit a couple hours late, so thing are slowly getting back on track.

15th Aug 2003, 08:41
NEW YORK CITY - An extraordinary power blackout hit steamy U.S. and Canadian cities Thursday, stranding people in subways, closing nine nuclear power plants from New York to Michigan and choking streets with workers driven from stifling offices.

Canadian officials said late Thursday the outage was caused by a lightning strike at the Niagara power plant.

"We have been informed that lightning struck a power plant in the Niagara region on the U.S. side," said Jim Munson, a spokesman for Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien.

The blackouts robbed the electricity used by millions of people in a broad swath of the Northeast - stretching west to Ohio and Michigan - and in southern Canadian cities, starting shortly after 4 p.m. EDT. In Toronto, Canada's largest city, workers fled their buildings when the power went off. There also were widespread outages in Ottawa, the capital.

Power began to come back in some cities as afternoon turned to evening, but officials said full restoration would take much longer.

Outages ranged over an area with roughly 50 million people.

More on it:

15th Aug 2003, 08:49
According to BA's website, BA97 diverted to Montreal.
I'm sitting in the dark drinking my still cold beer waiting for the power to return. Fortunately there's a bit of juice in the laptop too!
BA98 back to LHR is cancelled for tonight, Mrs C is supposed to be on it tomorrow, she hopes that will be cancelled too!!!

15th Aug 2003, 08:59
Just had a look at BA's site. It's indicating 97/14 departing YUL for YYZ - eta 21:35 local???

15th Aug 2003, 10:24
I beleive that the exact same thing happened back in the early 60's. Also due to an equipment problem (think it was a switch) in the same area and causing blackouts over the same space. Saw a program (think it was one of James Burkes) showing a KLM 707 on approach to JFK when the lights went out. Didn't they FIX this 40 years ago?! I find it hard to beleive that a "lightning strike" could trip a power plant off line in this day and age-they never heard of surge protection circuits?? :*

15th Aug 2003, 13:55
Speculation of course, but it sounds like the whole system was stretched to breaking point. One power station goes off line due to a lightning induced fire and the whole grid comes down like a pack of cards.

The quote of the day has to come from the BBC:


"I had to get out of the house," she said. "It was so dark, and everything was off, and I was scared. No air conditioner, the phones - they need electricity. And it's so, so hot."

capt cynical
15th Aug 2003, 15:08
Expect a BABY BOOM next May ??? :{ :ok: :D

15th Aug 2003, 16:10
AP is reporting that ALL U.S. airports except JFK now open to incoming flights. JFK expected to be operating by 0100Z.

15th Aug 2003, 16:52
...would that be 0100Z/16AUG or 1300Z today...?


15th Aug 2003, 18:49
BBC reporting that a Virgin Atlantic plane en route from London to New York had to turn back three hours into the flight.

Exhausted passengers from Virgin Atlantic flight VS017 arrived back in the UK at 0200BST on Friday, after an aborted attempt to reach New York, and were taken to a hotel overnight.

Virgin is planning to fly most of the passengers out to New York at 1530BST on Friday.

Businessman Arthur D'Arcy, 45, originally from Surrey but now living in New Jersey, said Virgin had treated the passengers well.

He said: "About three hours in the pilot came on the tannoy and said, 'I'm sure you are wondering why we are taking a left turn in the middle of the Atlantic'.

"He then told us it was a power failure in the US and because we were before the halfway point of the flight we would have to go back.

"Everyone is obviously very tired but there isn't really much you can do about it."

But Becky Jones, 27, from Swansea, said: "I have just sat on a flight for two-and-a-half hours, to be told we have got to come all the way back to where we started.

"And all just because there was a power cut. You can't tell me that the whole of the US and Canada can't even sort out their national grid. It's ridiculous.

"We were basically sitting on the plane the whole way back worrying that there has been some terrorist attack or a plane has flown into a building."

Motocross rider and amateur photographer Danny Axworthy, 21, from Knutsford, Cheshire, said: "I can't believe we've got to go through it all again tomorrow.

"But Virgin were pretty good about it all. It's not their fault. They have been as helpful as they can.

"You've got to blame the authorities in the US, but that's America for you."

BA has asked passengers to check the status of flights before heading for the airport, by calling 0870 8509850, or via their website.

15th Aug 2003, 21:20
1315z JFK
Major chaos at JFK as pax aircraft all behind schedules and crew out of hours etc, usual problems a/c out of position.

Knock on effects now as deadhead crews cannot reposition ex-JFK and late getting back into JFK thru overnight delays.

Any more updates as to the status of the power supply?
All back on and running at JFK/EWR and downtown?

15th Aug 2003, 22:41
Appears that as of 45 minutes ago or so, New York Center and TRACON are both still on generator power. The ATC System Command Center is reporting power problems continuing in the NY area. On the other hand, they are also reporting these airports have the indicated hourly runway acceptance rates right now (which are not so bad!):
LGA 35
EWR 50
JFK 52

And outside of the NYC area:
DTW 60
CLE 40

Of course, the acceptance rate doesn't speak to things like terminals being closed, so it probably isn't the best indicator of how normal operations are...

Right now the biggest problem seems to be taxi delays (thus, gate holds) at EWR. Looks like traffic may be picking up!


16th Aug 2003, 00:41
CBC is reporting that Air Canada has once again suspended all out going flights from Toronto Pearson Airport to at least 16.00 local.

16th Aug 2003, 04:44
As of now appartment buildings near the UN are still without electricity and water, but upper west side is OK

16th Aug 2003, 11:03
IT was a fun night last night in JFK. I had 3 planes there. One was going to PHL and another going to BOS and the last to RDU. at 1700 local we found out that the tower only had 60 minutes of power left so we did manual releases and got the hell out of dodge before with or with out pax before they got stuck.:ouch:

16th Aug 2003, 16:48
Is this the country pretending to "lead the world"....?

Makes me smile!


17th Aug 2003, 00:28
Information from another company aircraft was that power was restored aroun 2000 local time Friday night.

17th Aug 2003, 06:01
Speaking as one who was in the middle of it ... the size of the mess is hard to describe and I presume that you have seen it all on TV.

I was on the coach from Manhattan to JFK on Thursday afternoon when the power failed, so only learnt about it after we arrived. As always with these things, everyone thinks that it is just their own local problem. It takes a lot longer to find out the extent of the problem.

I was at T7 for BA and the four Thursday evening flights did not go. Many folks had the classic experience of their bags already being checked and then having to sleep rough. Naturally the hotels filled very fast. I landed up at the Ramada and got a room but folks were soon on blankets on the floor of the function rooms.

The Thursday flights went at some stage of Friday morning but the Friday morning 178 was cxld which was a pity as that was the one I had a ticket for ... :sad:

As you know, when this sort of thing happens, once flights resume, those who have been cxld simply go to the back of the queue and, on this occasion, I had a rock bottom "No changes permitted without you give us tons more money" ticket. So I am now back at my friends place in New Jersey and on the EWR service on Monday 08:00.

Truthfully - I was very lucky. Some folks are in hospital and some died. All that I have lost is three days and several hundred pounds that my travel insurance will haggle over!

The most common thing you heard people say was, "This is unbelievable". Well, as soon as I heard the radio description - I believed it - because similar things have happend before. One TV news jock said, "It is amazing that our elctrical supply is so 'fraj-el'." Well, that was simply because he was too young to remember the last two times!!

To finish on a cheery note ... in the Ramada shuttle bus returning to the terminal on one occasion, the radio was tuned to the news and had some vox pops. One of them was jabbering about how well the Noo Yorkans had responded and he finished by saying, "Thank God we are Americans." :hmm: Since the Americans were responsible for their own worst power failure on a scale never before seen around the world ... All the Americans in the bus could not understand why all of us non-Americans were laughing out loud. :}

17th Aug 2003, 08:10
Very true sentence I've heard few years ago on Middle East: there is no point to make a nuclear attact on USA, in most cases you just need to create a major electrical power cut...

19th Aug 2003, 12:29
I was on the ILS to 4R at EWR when the power failed. Simply turned the approach into a visual. Sometimes shit happens.
When I used to reside in the UK, I was unable to get to work by train one day in the autumn because the "wrong type of leaves" were on the rails so the trains were cancelled.
And this from a country that used to think it lead the world.

Check 6
31st Aug 2003, 03:38
EK380 and CargoOne, how fortunate there are never any power outages in Britain.


1st Sep 2003, 05:55
And this from a country that used to think it lead the world.

We didn't think we "lead" the World - we knew we led the World.

OK - so it's your turn now - how are you doing?

1st Sep 2003, 12:47
In the world of instant news and communications it takes 4 days for London’s little inconvenience to filter to the back woods of California!

Three cable faults caused just 30 minutes of power cuts which touched a few parts of London before the lights came back on. I guess the American Embassy sent their spies out to learn a few lessons on power recovery techniques.

West Coast
1st Sep 2003, 14:57
LTN man
Italy isn't part of the backwoods of California.

Check 6
1st Sep 2003, 15:14
Only a minor power outage? Thousands of people were stranded in the Underground, and hundreds of traffic lights were inoperative.

It took some time for the word to reach the New World, because Sir Frances Drake's ship was a little slow in bringing the news to America.

With all of the British sterling going to support their illegal immigrants, there is no dosh left to pay the utilities.

;) ;) :p :p

1st Sep 2003, 15:59
And there I was thinking that that my taxes went to France and Italy to support their inefficient farmers while the French state who now has all this spare cash thanks to the Brits can afford to give handouts to their inefficient State airline. It must be bad out there if even the asylum seekers with nothing don’t want to hang around too long.