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Landing NORDO at KDCA

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Landing NORDO at KDCA

Old 24th Mar 2011, 17:39
  #21 (permalink)  
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galaxy flyer, it's all oh so sad, but what has it got to do with this case? Like I said, once you have your TSA clearance and follow the procedures (which these crews obviously did), it's all normal flying.

And it was a bit unnecessary to explain me what's going on in there - note my location; and while I cannot fly into the FRZ either, I do have my SFRA cert.
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Old 25th Mar 2011, 06:02
  #22 (permalink)  
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As a former airline pilot, I am personally outraged that this controller did not meet his responsibility to help land these two airplanes," Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) chief Bandy Rabbitt said.
I'm so glad this is a dying breed.

One person on duty, quiet, that time of night, it's going to happen. No one knows when, but it's going to happen. If he'd been on century- ooops, sentry duty in the war, he'd have been shot, so I suppose he's comparatively lucky.

Last edited by Loose rivets; 25th Mar 2011 at 23:40.
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Old 25th Mar 2011, 06:55
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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"Century duty?" Is that when you have to stand guard for 100 years?
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Old 25th Mar 2011, 07:15
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Is that when you have to stand guard for 100 years?
That's a long time to stay awake.

Interesting bit of irony that this ATCO problem occurred at "Ronald Regan" airport.
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Old 25th Mar 2011, 14:41
  #25 (permalink)  

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Well, better you than me! Taxy in alone, without help... but watch for the busted light fitting that'll shred your tyres... or the maintenance vehicles alongside the taxyway... and all and all.
You are kidding, taking the mickey, right?
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Old 25th Mar 2011, 14:52
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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"Please, please help me taxi..."
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Old 25th Mar 2011, 17:55
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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PILOT in command!

What ever happened to a PILOT (not the programmer sitting in front or a bunch of flat panel TV's) using aviation common sense ??

" Skyjet 101 entering left downwind for 36 at DCA... Skyjet 101 5 mile left base 36 DCA, ..Skyjet 101 turning 5 mile final runway 36 DCA... and to gild the lilly, Skyjet 101 passing Wilson Bridge on final runway 36 DCA... Skyjet 101 landing runway 36 DCA."

I believe that's pretty close to reality at an airport with the tower not manned,
yet still open.
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Old 25th Mar 2011, 19:40
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Ct. Yankee - that's what happened once they realized the airport, for reasons unknown, was effectively 'uncontrolled'.
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Old 25th Mar 2011, 19:58
  #29 (permalink)  
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except it was runway 1...magnetic drift caused a renumbering of DCA runways awhile back.
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Old 25th Mar 2011, 21:08
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Talking

Sorry;
last 15 yrs flying the "Whale", the Feds. didn't like us shooting the "River App."
definitely would have been sporty!
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Old 25th Mar 2011, 23:51
  #31 (permalink)  
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Ooops, Sentry duty. Not much gets past you lot.



The thing about taxiing is it's easy in clear conditions. If the aircraft has got good lights, probably a lot easier than driving on country roads. However, there have been times on misty nights when I was glad about a 'heads up' on a few things.
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Old 26th Mar 2011, 01:11
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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One person on duty, quiet, that time of night, it's going to happen. No one knows when, but it's going to happen.
Yeah, but it wasn't really that time of night yet.

An air traffic controller of my aquaintance, who has worked lots of one person midshifts over the years, is surprised by two things. 1) That he fell asleep so early in his shift, as opposed to later, and 2) that he could fall asleep knowing that there was air carrier traffic scheduled to arrive.

Apparently, there was only a 9 minute span of time between his cutting the ATIS and the first unanswered call to the tower. Given that there was traffic expected shortly, there's no plausible reason to think he intentionally chose to take a nap.

My personal specualtion, based on absolutely no facts other than those reported, (and which is therefore worth next to nothing), is that we'll find him diagnosed with sleep apnea. He'll lose his medical, but at least they won't have to crucify him.

(And it's also been suggested that the smart thing to do, once he woke up, would have been to hit his head really hard on something, and be sure to bleed all over the place. An accident that incapcitates the lone controller is one of the hazards of those single person mids...)
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Old 26th Mar 2011, 01:14
  #33 (permalink)  
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ditchdigger:

My personal specualtion, based on absolutely no facts other than those reported, (and which is therefore worth next to nothing), is that we'll find him diagnosed with sleep apnea. He'll lose his medical, but at least they won't have to crucify him.
Perhaps that results in a great medical retirement. Then, onward to being a consultant with retirement in hand.
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Old 26th Mar 2011, 08:09
  #34 (permalink)  
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Any 'assistants' (of either gender) on duty that night?
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Old 26th Mar 2011, 14:39
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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can we at least change the title of the thread? nordo means no radio in the aircraft as far as i am concerned. so this is not about an aircraft landing with rt inop. i am not sure what it is about at all, but clearly these guys did a vfr landing like we all know how to do and then found their way to their respective gates.

while i understand the secutity concerns, any potential 'terrorist' would have to be extremely lucky to arrive when tower was asleep or in agony on the toilet. so lets please live with the common sense response these two pilots exhibited and move on.

and please lets figure out how to ensure there is someone who can answer the phone when we switch to tower frequency at the end of a long day!
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Old 26th Mar 2011, 17:14
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Thumbs down

From the NTSB:

NTSB INVESTIGATING AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL SERVICE INTERRUPTION AT WASHINGTON'S NATIONAL AIRPORT
The National Transportation Safety Board today opened an investigation into an air traffic control service interruption incident that occurred early Wednesday morning at Washington Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Virginia.

On March 23, 2011, between approximately 12:04 am and 12:28 am EDT, an air traffic control service interruption occurred when two air carrier aircraft and controllers at the Federal Aviation Administration's Potomac Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) were unable to establish contact with the supervisory controller working alone in the DCA control tower.

The last radio transmission made by the tower controller before the service interruption occurred at 11:55 pm EDT on March 22. At 12:04 am EDT on March 23, American Airlines flight 1012, operating as a scheduled 14 Code of Federal Regulations part 121 flight between Dallas-Fort Worth and DCA, was instructed to contact Washington tower by approach controllers at TRACON.

Following numerous attempts to contact the DCA tower, the flight crew executed a missed approach. The crew reported to TRACON their inability to make contact with the DCA tower; TRACON then vectored the aircraft back to the airport for another approach.

The approach controller and the TRACON supervisor on duty made several attempts to contact the tower controller via telephone, but were unable to establish contact. The TRACON approach controller advised the crew of American flight 1012 that the tower was apparently unattended, and that the flight would be handled as an arrival to an uncontrolled airport.
The flight was again cleared for approach, and instructed to switch to the tower frequency. At 12:12 am, the crew returned to the tower frequency, still unable to make contact with the tower, made position reports while inbound, and landed on runway 1.

United Airlines flight 628T (UAL628T), operating as a scheduled 14 CFR 121 passenger flight from Chicago-O'Hare International Airport to DCA, was advised of the service interruption by the TRACON approach controller and subsequently transferred to the tower frequency at 12:22 am.

The United flight, unable to make contact with the tower, made position reports on the tower frequency while inbound, and landed at 12:26 am.
At 12:28 am, American flight 1012, on the ground at DCA, established contact with the tower controller, and normal services were resumed.
The controller in the tower at the time of the incident, along with other FAA officials at DCA, were interviewed by the NTSB today. The controller, who had 20 years' experience, 17 of those at DCA, indicated that he had fallen asleep for a period of time while on duty. He had been working his fourth consecutive overnight shift (10 pm - 6 am). Human fatigue issues are one of the areas being investigated.

The NTSB will be interviewing officials at the TRACON facility tomorrow.
NTSB Air Traffic Control specialist Scott Dunham is the investigator-in-charge. He is being assisted by an NTSB human performance specialist. Parties to the investigation are the FAA and the National Air Traffic Controllers union.

Citing a fatal aircraft accident and two incident s that occurred in a 23-month period between 2007 and 2009, on Monday, March 21, the NTSB issued a safety recommendation letter to the FAA asking the agency to improve the safety of air traffic control operations by prohibiting air traffic controllers from providing supervisory oversight while performing operational air traffic duties.
The FAA Adminstrator, Randy Babbitt said that "as a former airline pilot, I am personally outraged that this controller did not meet his responsibility to help land these two planes."

It seems that FAA have failed to grasp the concept or corporate responsability or a just culture.

I don't understand how two airline crews thought landing without clearance at night when alternative nearby airports were open was acceptable behaviour.
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Old 26th Mar 2011, 17:30
  #37 (permalink)  

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I don't understand how two airline crews thought landing without clearance at night when alternative nearby airports were open was acceptable behaviour
I reckon that there is a lot you do not understand about flying then. There was absolutely nothing wrong nor dangerous about the aircraft landing without someone awake in the tower. Besides that, what makes you think they landed without permission?

Study the regs.

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Old 26th Mar 2011, 17:35
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It just shows the poor safety culture in US airlines.

Its not a matter of reading regs old boy but on assessing the risks.
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Old 26th Mar 2011, 17:48
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Amazing how incredibly difficult nonpilots think that flying is.
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Old 26th Mar 2011, 17:52
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Its also very easy for vehicles to be driven on to the runway too...

You are falling into the trap of professional arrogance and complacency.

I seem to recall a couple of cases where pilots have struggled to even take off on the correct runway or land at the correct airfield.
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