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(LGMT) Lesbos controller overslept.

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(LGMT) Lesbos controller overslept.

Old 29th Sep 2008, 16:08
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(LGMT) Lesbos controller overslept.

Tower still sleeping?
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 16:29
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Please explain! Obviously loses a bit in translation from Australian...
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 16:33
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No, woke up by media reporting live.
Big anecdote here.
Early in the morning ca 6:30 local, three airlines holding over the LGMT for 30' or more, because the controller overslept .
CAA internal inquiry in progress.

Last edited by jkar; 29th Sep 2008 at 16:46.
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 16:38
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Flights wait as Greek air traffic controller sleeps

Two planes have been forced to circle over a Greek island awaiting permission to land after an air traffic controller overslept and was late for work, Greece's civil aviation authority said.
The Transport Ministry will launch a probe into the incident at the airport in the island of Lesbos that delayed a domestic flight from Athens and a charter from Slovakia, the YPA aviation agency said.
The air traffic controller told his bosses that his mobile phone alarm had broken down, causing his tardiness, according to Greece's Net television.
While the planes circled over the island, the airport director called one the controller's colleagues.
After waiting 30 minutes, the two aircraft landed safely, YPA said.
The European Commission told Greece in September to improve its oversight of airport safety to conform with EU rules or face action before the European Court of Justice.


Flights wait as Greek air traffic controller sleeps - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 16:51
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Greek ATC

That is interesting and has happened to me many years ago in the 1980s, in the hold at Zakinthos for the RT to be answered.........in a B73-2, so not too much spare motion lotion!

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Old 29th Sep 2008, 16:58
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I,ve had it happen at the smaller Spanish airports a couple of times fortunately the phone woke them with a call from area.Visited Gerona tower when I was tech. there with time to kill a decade ago there was a bedroom on the floor below the visual control room and a television in the tower with a Spanish soap gabbling away.Very relaxed atmoshere shall we say.
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 18:13
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And nobody on this forum has ever overslept and been woken up by a crew mate to make the wheels with seconds to spare........?
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 18:22
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Visited Gerona tower when I was tech. there with time to kill a decade ago
Well, things have changed a bit there since 1998. Now they actually have commercial flights every day (quite a few of them too). One wouldn't now dream of paradropping there when it's too windy up north in LEAP.

Not saying they're the sharpest in the trade, mind you.
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Old 29th Sep 2008, 23:58
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"Lesbian" Keeps Arrivals Circling While She Sleeps

We've heard stories about pilots falling asleep and missing their airports. Now, a female tower controller at the airport on the Greek island of Lesbos "overslept," keeping two arriving airliners circling for 40 minutes as they attempted to contact the tower for clearance to land.

Planes circle isle after controller overslept | Oddly Enough | Reuters
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Old 30th Sep 2008, 05:59
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OK, apart from the lingo games about the name of island there is an issue there regarding not the fact that somebody overslept (it can and happens to anyone) but the fact that there was no immediate back up! A double shift maybe!
To resolve the issue another controller was called that was closer to airport!
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Old 30th Sep 2008, 06:10
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So at that time it was an "uncontrolled" airfield.

Runway clear? Land.
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Old 30th Sep 2008, 06:35
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The Greek CAA will probably be very harsh on this controller, but its their own fault by not having a STANBY ATCO..
Good that the airliner which arrived had brought enough holding fuel and that they did not have to divert.
Perhaps a bit too much Plomari the evening before?
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Old 30th Sep 2008, 06:48
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hetfield wrt "Runway clear? Land. "

It's not quite a simple as that, i.e, aside from doing a 'flypast' to visually inspect the runway (which many airlines do not allow, i.e. fly pasts) there's also the issue of RFS (Rescue and Fire Service) cover, and is ones insurance (and that of the airport) still valid should something should go wrong whilst the airport is (technically) closed?! Etc, etc...

Remember that we're talking here of about jet airliner(s) packed with passengers - not a light aircraft. Therein, imho, the safest & most professional course of action would be to hold overhead the airport and hope that the airport opens before one gets down to 'CMR fuel', and / or in advance of that (i.e. reaching CMR fuel) divert to ones nominated alternate.
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Old 30th Sep 2008, 08:34
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Years ago, in my Air taxi days, do remember holding over Sligo, with a Chieftan full of car parts, waiting for the tower to open.

20 minutes later, landed, upto the tower to pay the landing charges, sheepish controller apologised for her tardiness, apparently held up on the way to the airport by a flock of sheep on the road! Didn't even have the landing fee discounted!
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Old 30th Sep 2008, 08:45
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OKC...in many countries, the airport is not closed when the ATC facility is unmanned..it just becomes an uncontrolled airport
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Old 30th Sep 2008, 09:09
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it's not as easy as saying there should be a 'standby'.

a lot of the smaller domestic units all around the world are worked by solo watch controllers - have worked a couple of these myself.
at least it was only a 'hold up' due to a late controller and not a 'closure' (or TIBA) due to NO staff! - as is happening more and more.

she is probably a good controller who had a bad day and is now copping the associated sh1t for a very easy to make lapse. I just hope that we don't end up losing another controller by it getting blown out of all proportion.

good luck to her
ps - ask for a pay rise to get a new alarm clock!
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Old 30th Sep 2008, 09:11
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@Old King Coal

Sorry, please don't take me too serious on that one.
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Old 30th Sep 2008, 09:11
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Djibouti

I had it once late evening in Djibouti.

We were calling calling calling... no answers

When finally the guy took the mike still panting he apologized in French: Excusez-moi commandant mais j'ai du aller faire caca....
(Excuse me captain but I had to go for a sh.t)
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Old 30th Sep 2008, 11:09
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Just happened last year in Sylt/Northern Germany (GWT/EDXW) that an incoming X3 73G had to hold for the delayed controller.
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Old 30th Sep 2008, 19:04
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controller late to work

So, what is the big deal about the controller not being there on time, when you have a power failure or the almighty computers fail no one hears about that. he/she should have call in sick.
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