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ATC via SMS

Old 7th Aug 2008, 07:22
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ATC via SMS

It's quite a fun story but I suppose not if you were in the plane at the time!


Irish air traffic controller uses 'text' to land plane

A quick-thinking air traffic controller's texting saved an aircraft with five people on board which had lost all it's (sic) communications and electrical power.

The Piper Seneca light aircraft had taken off from Kerry airport on a flight to Jersey last November when it had a complete electrical failure.

The pilot flew south to clear the coast and clouds and to see the ground. He tried to contact Kerry airport and air traffic control in Cork on his mobile phone. He briefly made contact with Cork, telling them about the problem.

He then received a text message on his mobile from the controller at Cork advising him that he was on radar and that Cork would allow the plane to land.

He followed the controller's instructions given by text. The undercarriage gear had to be lowered manually. The aircraft did a fly-by of the control tower so that controllers could check visually that the wheels were down.

The aircraft landed safely and an air accident investigation report published yesterday said the loss of all aircraft electrics during such a flight was considered very serious.

The report, by investigator John Hughes, praised the "positive and proactive " initiative of the air traffic controller who texted his instructions to the pilot.
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 07:28
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u r cleard 2 land. Good thinking
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 07:55
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On the strength of this, perhaps our management can rethink a recent zero tolerance ban on mobiles in the control rooms!
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 09:44
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Why did they use texts and not just speak on the phone? If there was coverage for texting I'm sure calling would have also worked?
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 09:54
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Noise in the cockpit???
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 11:22
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maybe he didnt have his hands free kit with him that day
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 11:30
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Congrats to all concerned

Perhaps they used text to conserve mobile battey life. Was there not an instance of a concorde flight crew communicating with LHR DIR by phone in the case of total comms failure.? Some time back?

CATIII

Last edited by Guest 112233; 7th Aug 2008 at 11:31. Reason: Wording wrong
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 13:29
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Being over 18 I would need both hands and a lot of head down time to deal with a text whilst coping with a power failure .
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 14:43
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Voice calls rarely work when airborne, but texts tend to work fine below 2000-3000ft.

This kind of situation is why one should carry a handheld radio.
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 16:34
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Ya, a handheld radio is best, but all the same, fair play!

Also,controllers have phones with them all the time in towers, I thought it was just in radar centres that they weren't allowed?
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 17:28
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Heathrow publish several satellite phone numbers for use by airliner crews.

Not sure why these are sat phone numbers because a sat phone cal dial land numbers just the same (albeit much more expensively).

However, airliners would tend to have fixed sat phone installations rather than handhelds (that's my guess). I have tested handheld sat phones in the cockpit and they work OK so long as you assure line of sight to the satellite.
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 18:18
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Cool

"yo drayton massive, spdbd319 comin atcha"
"yo spdbd. u ok?"
"yeh"
"where u?"
"final"
"ok clrd land"
"spdbd319 nxt lft ctc gnd 121.8"
"soz dude, we msd it, going for nxt"
"amrcn235 go arnd, i say go arnd ackow(del)(del)nowledge. ;-)"

If the controllers are anything like my dad at texting speed, there won't be any need for calls after the go around one.....

Last edited by Daifly; 7th Aug 2008 at 18:20. Reason: Callsign confusion! ;-)
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 20:36
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They were just trialing ways of avoiding having an allocated frequency incase they decide to charge airfields here for frequencies too
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Old 8th Aug 2008, 13:24
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happened at east mids with one of my collegues. Instructions from the tower were text to the instructor by a collegue in the school.
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Old 8th Aug 2008, 14:01
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Not sure why these are sat phone numbers because a sat phone cal dial land numbers just the same

The flight deck satphones work by having shortcodes in their database for ATC centres and various company numbers. Think the company blocked out longhand dialling of any ground numbers a long while ago ;-)
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