Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

Landing NORDO at KDCA

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

Landing NORDO at KDCA

Old 4th Apr 2011, 05:14
  #281 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Denver
Posts: 1,226
Received 14 Likes on 8 Posts
"Saracasm aside I would not have accepted their "authority" in this regard and have requested clearance to IAD."

"Authority" has multiple meanings.

Did DC TRACON have "authority" to require the planes to land at DCA? - No. That authority always resides in the cockpit (via an MAYDAY if all else fails - viz. AA captain at JFK not too long ago).

Did DC TRACON have "authority" to declare DCA temporarily uncontrolled, and thus available to the planes IF they wanted to use uncontrolled airport procedures, even in the absence of a tower clearance to land? Apparently TRACON thought so, and apparently the pilots thought that was preferable to a diversion to IAD or elsewhere. (Whether the TRACON actually had such authority will likely come out in the wash - but I don't see that it's the crews' headache to sort out the FAA's internal legalisms; they aren't paid for that.)

You'd have done something different - and I would not fault you for choosing a diversion. These guys chose the other option - and I don't fault them, either.

In some aviation situations, there are no right answers - in this case, I'd say there were two right answers, neither absolutely perfect.
pattern_is_full is offline  
Old 5th Apr 2011, 01:31
  #282 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: fort sheridan, il
Posts: 1,656
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
remember this folks...if you screw up and fall asleep...just hope that southwest blows a hole in a 737 fuselage to take you off the front page!
sevenstrokeroll is offline  
Old 5th Apr 2011, 02:49
  #283 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: fl
Posts: 2,525
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I spent my whole career thinking if a controller cleared me do something and I thought it was safe I could. Now I have to figure out if he had the authority? Once a controller told me to descend immediately to 9,000 ft and an FAA inspector was giving me a line check on a descent. I said I would have to slow to 250 at 10 telling the FAA guy that only the administrater can authorize high speed below 10. If the FAA guy hadn't been in the jump seat I would have done it but I liked my license and job a lot. Once these guys were told to treat it like an uncontrolled airport the monkey was on the controllers back and if they felt safe they should have landed as they did.

I was landing one day at KSNA it a four engine jetstar corporate jet and the tower cleared me to land. On very short approach the aircraft on the runway hadn't cleared so I went around. Tower said he would have cleared in time. I just said, we are not in a hurry, we just want a clear runway.
The runway is only 5700 ft long.
bubbers44 is offline  
Old 5th Apr 2011, 11:16
  #284 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Wayne Manor
Posts: 1,517
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I spent my whole career thinking if a controller cleared me do something and I thought it was safe I could. Now I have to figure out if he had the authority? Once a controller told me to descend immediately to 9,000 ft and an FAA inspector was giving me a line check on a descent. I said I would have to slow to 250 at 10 telling the FAA guy that only the administrater can authorize high speed below 10. If the FAA guy hadn't been in the jump seat I would have done it but I liked my license and job a lot. Once these guys were told to treat it like an uncontrolled airport the monkey was on the controllers back and if they felt safe they should have landed as they did.
Bubbers,

Nail, Head; direct strike.

This for me is the big concern, and postulated similar considerations to yours earlier in the thread

There is also a wider context to consider here in that if active aircrews are subjected to a 'witch hunt' following operation in compliance with the regs, in compliance with SOPs and the advice of ATCOs when no incident or conflict is encountered, then how does it stand for crews to have to second guess that every decision made during operation that is in compliance with the regs, with ATC with SOPs could result in a 'career ender' ?

If anything, the potential career advancement motives of Babbitt and Alkalay undermines the regulatory base of the FAA and its safety standards by leaving crews doubtful of the regs, SOPs and advice of ATC.

Babbitt and Co are not only playing a dangerous game, they are, in effect, in conflict with the mandate of their own regulatory body.
Safety is a primary issue for all of us. Decisions need to be made within a critical time line; there is not the capacity to debate, seek legal advice, seek alternative legal advice, debate again, form a committee, discuss, seek legal advice... ad nauseum, hence my disgust at the likes of Babbitt et al. seeking to further their own agenda rather than deal with the issue itself.

Lets look at cause and effect... What was the cause for this incident to arise, a fatigued controlled on duty by himself... ? Answers on a postcard to Bandy Rabbitt, c/o FAA Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Deal with the cause, not the effect or it's all just painting over the cracks and pushing the responsibility off to the those dealing with the problems, not making them.
stuckgear is offline  
Old 18th Mar 2020, 01:49
  #285 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 1
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Want to know what really happened ?

Well itís been almost 10 years since I was the first office on the United flight landing at KDCA and I saw this thread by chance. Very interesting comments. All I can say is after my time in the Navy, then flying for Pan Am, then United, the captain and I had equal experience. We knew what was going on at the airport while we were still at cruising altitude and had plenty of time to discuss the situation, the notams, and how airspace control is expanded out to the next authority if needed. We had landed countless times at uncontrolled fields. We knew the runway was clear when we were told the American flight first went around and then landed. We still looked for an aldis lamp signal from tower, etc, etc. Ok, I guess a truck, deer or rabbit could have been on the runway, but every pilot I know looks down a runway when flaring, they donít close their eyes. I guess you had to be there.
Al Dennis is offline  
Old 18th Mar 2020, 16:50
  #286 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: On the Ground
Posts: 155
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by stuckgear
snort!
and don't even start on pilot controlled lighting !
Oh, but I will. In my first month in the left seat, F/O on his first revenue trip, Navy pilot. We had endured many hours of delay through out the day, topped off with a re-route to an airport with no approaches to the runway in use, no tower OR approach control open at that hour. Neither of us had ever been there. We were talking to Atlanta center, and his simple instructions were, "just click the lights, you'll see it out there. Do you want to call me on the phone after you land or cancel now?" I told Jim to cancel now, and he said, "can we do this!?" I assured him that we could, made a few calls on CTAF, and landed, and finally got some sleep.

(I traded aircraft with Jim several years later...he was by that time a seasoned Captain, and very sure of what he could and couldn't do.)
Takwis is offline  
Old 18th Mar 2020, 21:56
  #287 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Texas
Age: 64
Posts: 7,197
Received 391 Likes on 242 Posts
Originally Posted by Al Dennis
. Ok, I guess a truck, deer or rabbit could have been on the runway, but every pilot I know looks down a runway when flaring, they donít close their eyes. I guess you had to be there.
Thanks for that, and hello Al.
Welcome to PPRuNe.
Lonewolf_50 is offline  
Old 19th Mar 2020, 01:40
  #288 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: goofyland
Posts: 52
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Seems to be a lot of mountains being made out of mole hills here...

A similar situation cropped up in Sydney about a year ago. We were on descent going south when centre abruptly tells us to do a 180 and climb back up a few thousand feet. I'm doing the radios and am like, "Dude, WTF?" (ok maybe not quite those words!), centre something to the effect of, "just shut up and do it!". Turned out they had a fire alarm go off in the tower and evacuated. Luckily it was late morning after the international arrival peak hours, otherwise I can just imagine the clusterf with internationals. Other aircraft diverted to canberra, but I always take a boat load of extra fuel so we decided to stick it out in a holding pattern for a while.

After a few laps we were advised we could get vectored by approach onto final (it was VMC) but there was no tower, ground etc. and "advise intentions". I was a new captain at the time, so a little nervous about what to do. My learned colleague and I discussed what was safe and what was not and decided with a few mitigating factors e.g. talking a lot on the radio, we could proceed and land. At no time did we consider the "excruciating minutiae" of the CARs, intent of certain phrases, whether the approach controller is "allowed" to make an normally towered airport uncontrolled etc.

We got vectored for a visual (got direct everywhere, makes a nice change from "cross blabla in 7 hours at 3 knots!), thanked the approach controller for their help, made a million broadcasts on tower frequency, landed, taxied off and stopped, called the company to see if the access to the bay was free (you can't see the gates are hidden behind the terminal), taxied to the bay, filled out some paperwork (about which I received not even a phone call) and went to the hotel for an overnight.
Occy is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.