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Landing NORDO at KDCA

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Landing NORDO at KDCA

Old 28th Mar 2011, 16:36
  #101 (permalink)  
 
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Quick read-in noted several posters have apparently not listened to the audio of this event which is all over the internet, although I did not see it posted here. Versions posted on-line range from 3 to 7 minutes.

And I just read elsewhere that FAA is talking about trimming four billion dollars from their next-year budget.
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Old 28th Mar 2011, 17:02
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GF,

Ms Alkalay should quote an actual FAR violated before making that statement. Other than "careless and reckless", which is always charged with a specific FAR violation, what regulation was violated?
Because she cannot ?

two airliners operated by two different companies with four crew members AND the FAA ATCOs decided landing was appropriate and legal. No specific regulation was cited because there isn't one requiring a clearance to land except when ATC is present. It wasn't in this case
Indeed and there it is. Playing to 'the peanut gallery' looking to build their own careers with no incident, no violation of the FAR's, ATCO's, Pilots all in agreement on the situation. yet someone starts throwing their weight around making spurious allegations.

it's literally nauseating.

in reference to your comment:

Clearly, diverting would be THE safest, least controversial action
Agreed, however perhaps pulling the comforter over the head and not getting out of bed would be the safest, least controversial action, but that doesnt get aircraft & crew, passengers & cargo from one place to the other.


finfly,

And I just read elsewhere that FAA is talking about trimming four billion dollars from their next-year budget.
Yep, hence my point about Babbit's statement:

"I am determined to make sure we do not repeat Wednesday's unacceptable event."
So, what's he going to do to prevent potentialy fatigued ATCO's being on duty solo ? Put more into the system while shaving the budget?

So whaddya going to do there Randy? You made the statement, you tell us!

Or perhaps he'll shave the budget and prevent ATCO's being on duty potentially fatigued and solo, by erm.. shutting down more centers ? Or maybe limiting the periods when certain towers are controlled, thus increasing uncontrolled status hours ?

Hows that corner looking Randy ?
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Old 28th Mar 2011, 17:49
  #103 (permalink)  
 
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Despite the vitriol being spewed in this thread, I really think there is more agreement than disagreement. While there may be nothing inherently less safe about operations into an uncontrolled airport than into a controlled one, this case was a bit different because it may not have been apparent to all parties that KDCA had become uncontrolled. For example, before falling asleep the controller may have cleared maintenance vehicles onto the runway. These vehicles may have remained blissfully unaware that monitoring only the ground frequency was now inadequate for them to be aware of landing aircraft. Then because these vehicles were still making their way towards the runway, or perhaps because the pilot's glance down the runway's length was a tiny bit cursory, the holes in the swiss cheese suddenly line up.

While certainly this potential chain of events is rather far-fetched; but because it could happen, it probably made landing at KDCA just a bit risker during those 20 minutes than otherwise.
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Old 28th Mar 2011, 18:40
  #104 (permalink)  
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We can waltz around the U.S. definition of uncontrolled airport all we want. But, the definition that will count is whatever FAA legal alleges if, in fact, they do because of this "situation."
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Old 28th Mar 2011, 19:22
  #105 (permalink)  
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I am enjoying all this HubBub. The FAA figures that if they flap their arms enough the political figures on capitol hill will be impressed.

Randy Babbit is a hypocrit on safety...he really is. He headed up ALPA and enforced a seniority integration policy which would put 20 year veterans as copilots while those with 3-7 years experience would be captains.

Nice Randy!

And FAA Layers...well those freaking lawyers weren't there were they? IF anything happens to those crews I suggest we all FLY BY THE BOOK, requesting multiple readbacks and stablized approaches from 20 miles out.

AS I have mentioned I've seen and so have YOU EXPERIENCED PILOTS, ATC clear vehicles on the runway and then clear a plane to takeoff or land...oblivious to the problem.

Dear Randy...I'll put it this way: Hey officer Krupke...KRUP YOU
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 00:42
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These vehicles may have remained blissfully unaware that monitoring only the ground frequency was now inadequate for them to be aware of landing aircraft.
I don't think that ground vehicles would ONLY be monitoring the ground freq when on an ACTIVE runway.
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 01:26
  #107 (permalink)  
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I do think that there should have been an effort to contact the DCA fire department by tracon land line. the fire fighters could have raced over to the tower to investigate.

I'll bet that tracon doesn't even have their phone number...depending upon tower to do the contacting in other sorts of emergencies.

regarding vehicle on the runway...the runway is usually served by tower freq and it should be on tower freq...indeed, with one controller at this time of night, the two positions and freqs (tower and ground) should have been combined into tower only.
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 02:43
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I'm neither controller nor pilot, but on the morning that the story broke, when discussing this very question with the controller who is currently asleep in my bed (and I'm no way going to wake her up for clarification), she immediately said the pilots were technically in violation, because it's Class B Airspace. We didn't get any further into it than that. Based on the not unhappy outcome, she doubted it would be made an issue, but apparently on that count she was wrong.



Ms Alkalay should quote an actual FAR violated before making that statement. Other than "careless and reckless", which is always charged with a specific FAR violation, what regulation was violated?


Again, I'm not going to wake her, but how about this one?



3-2-3. Class B Airspace


a. Definition. Generally, that airspace from the surface to 10,000 feet MSL surrounding the nation's busiest airports in terms of IFR operations or passenger enplanements. The configuration of each Class B airspace area is individually tailored and consists of a surface area and two or more layers (some Class B airspace areas resemble upside-down wedding cakes), and is designed to contain all published instrument procedures once an aircraft enters the airspace. An ATC clearance is required for all aircraft to operate in the area, and all aircraft that are so cleared receive separation services within the airspace. The cloud clearance requirement for VFR operations is "clear of clouds."

b. Operating Rules and Pilot/Equipment Requirements for VFR Operations. Regardless of weather conditions, an ATC clearance is required prior to operating within Class B airspace. Pilots should not request a clearance to operate within Class B airspace unless the requirements of 14 CFR Section 91.215 and 14 CFR Section 91.131 are met. Included among these requirements are: ....


(Bold added.)



I'm speculating that the TRACON could have legally cleared them for the approach, but landing being a different operation than shooting the approach, lacking a specific landing clearance from the tower, they were in violation.

On edit: http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publi...3/aim0302.html

Also on edit: Which of course means the TRACON controller screwed up as well...
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 03:22
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Potomac TRACON did clear them to operate in the Class B airspace and stated that KDCA was now an uncontrolled airport. The pilots operated in accordance with the AIM and the controller's instructions. KLGA was an uncontrolled airport when the tower was closed at night, same procedures. Tonight, an airplane inbound to a one of the DC Three uncontrolled airports are cleared for visual approaches and land with a clearance. End of Story.

If the TRACON controller and the watch supervisor did not have that authority, is that the crew's fault?

GF
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 03:26
  #110 (permalink)  
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dear person who has a controller sleeping in their bed.

the flights WERE cleared into class B airspace...they were indeed cleared for their entire flight when the flights received their initial clearance at their point of departure.

IF the pilots had lost their ability to communicate and could not proceed VFR to an airport after com failure, then they would be expected to fly all the way to DCA and land.

So your friend, the controller is wrong.
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 06:30
  #111 (permalink)  
 
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The pilots did everything right. The first arrival missed to give the controllers time to make it an uncontrolled airport then landed at this uncontrolled airport. It is not rocket science. I guess some pilots elsewhere disagree but I am so happy I grew up in the land of the free. You can actually do what makes sense and is totally legal here.
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 09:30
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Originally Posted by stuckgear
Agreed, however perhaps pulling the comforter over the head and not getting out of bed would be the safest, least controversial action, but that doesnt get aircraft & crew, passengers & cargo from one place to the other.
Of course, it is always safer to stay in bed (probably). Flying is a compromise and there are risks involved but those risks are known. They are controlled and minimised by following procedures and safety limits. I am not ignoring the fact that occasionally a bit of lateral thinking is required but this instance doesn't really warrant it.

So, lets ignore safety for the sake of convenience and getting the job 'done'?

Press-on-itis, Get-home-itis; call it what you will but that attitude has been the cause of many accidents over the years. Suggest you visit the Crash at Cork Airport thread and you will be able to read what happens when you ignore safety procedures in an effort to 'get in'.

Did those passengers, crew and aircraft get from one place to the other. Well yes they did. They went through the pearly gates, upside down in a twisted pile of flaming metal. Job done?

The biggest threat to the safety, security and stability of this industry is those seeking political furtherment.
The biggest threat to the safety, security and stability of hundreds of passengers lives are the two people in the flight deck. You are the last line of safety for your passengers. As I've already stated and you already know there are risks to flying. Why you would want to take extra unnecessary risks is beyond me.

Bubbers, DCA is not an uncontrolled airport.
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 10:21
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LSM, thanks for the armchair lecture. After 10+ years I remain incident free and consiently place safety as the main criteria for every flight. You seem to be missing the factual picture, either that maybe because you don't understand the system within the FAA or maybe because you don't want to climb down from your previous stated position.

Likewise to your assertion; an unwillingness to consider the regulatory basis and neglect for the regulations set forth by the administrator and the advice by TRACON could likewise be considered a significant detriment to safety.

The incident at Cork has no relevance to the discussion in this thread to suggest that others are not safe by citing that incident is both disingenuous and a non sequitur.

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda...

The crew remained in compliance with the regs. and TRACON's procedural advice. There was no incident, no conflict with ground vehicles or other aircraft. In effect a non event.

It could likewise be postulated that had they diverted, the workload for the controllers in placing two aircraft into traffic where it was not scheduled, filed or expected could have caused conflict with other traffic.

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda...

But then that didnt happen. There was no conflict, likewise with the action in accordance procedures advised and in compliance with the regs that was undertaken.

Edit to Add:

Its very easy to sit at your desk and ruminate over the events of the course of a few days and a reach a 'holier than thou' conclusion and concoct an argument to hang these guys out dry, but you were not there, you were not in that position, they complied with the regs set forth by the administrator, they complied with the advice of TRACON and SOP's there was no incident and no conflict with other aircraft ground vehicles or a 50' hole suddenly dug in the runway.

So we can conclude that you are happy to not only standby, but also cheerlead, seeing colleagues burned at the stake so that some politico or lawyer can make a name for theselves or further their career, when no conflict, no disregard for the regs, no disregard of the advice of TRACON took place and in fact the event was conducted, by the book, by all concerned.

Last edited by stuckgear; 29th Mar 2011 at 10:39.
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 10:53
  #114 (permalink)  
 
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It could likewise be postulated that had they diverted, the workload for the controllers in placing two aircraft into traffic where it was not scheduled, filed or expected could have caused conflict with other traffic.
Are you really implying that pilots, when planning a diversion, should consider controller workload!?

There was no incident, no conflict with ground vehicles or other aircraft. In effect a non event.
This time. Had this had another outcome I'm sure you'd be singing a different tune.

There was no conflict, likewise with the action in accordance procedures advised and in compliance with the regs that was undertaken.
Can you show me the procedure and regulation that allows you to land at a controlled airport without landing clearance. This was not an emergency. This was not a radio failure. There was no urgent need to land.

Can you also tell me how well informed TRACON were about the state of the airfield at DCA. I don't mean the lack of response from the controller that's a given. I mean what state the runway was in, who was on the runway, what movements were occuring at the time, why there was no response etc.?

The Cork thread is relevant as it shows the worst outcome for a case of press-on-itis. It was suggested reading not a comparison with this situation.

but you were not there, you were not in that position
Nope, and neither were you.

Its very easy to sit at your desk
Actually I'm not sitting at a desk.

So we can conclude that you are happy to not only standby, but also cheerlead, seeing colleagues burned at the stake so that some politico or lawyer can make a name for theselves or further their career
Must you be soooo dramatic? Have I called for their heads to roll? Am I championing the advancement of the bureaucrats? No. A fair attempt at denigration but - FAIL.
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 10:53
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On the note of safety issues; 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 advancment motives of Babbit 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.

Babbit and Co are not only playing a dangerous game, they are, in effect, in conflict with the mandate of their own regulatory body.
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 11:11
  #116 (permalink)  
 
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LSM,

Now you must be trolling.

Are you really implying that pilots, when planning a diversion, should consider controller workload!?
Don't be infantile, i neither stated nor implied that as well you know.

This time. Had this had another outcome I'm sure you'd be singing a different tune.
Or the hundred other times. What if they had diverted and hit a ground vehicle at the diversion airport, you'd definately singing a different tune "They should have continued with the planned destinatton, TRACON cleared them yadda yadda yadda.

Again, that is an infantile argument.

Can you show me the procedure and regulation that allows you to land at a controlled airport without landing clearance
try reading this:
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.
In terms of 'press-on-itis' that is your claim. However:

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.

You could go back and re-read this thread from the start, but you wont. You've set your stall up and that's it, you're sticking by it representing all kinds of possible theories, i'm just suprised you havn't postulated the possibility of a heard of wildebeast dashing majestically across the tarmac on landing, which couldda happened cos the tower controller was asleep.

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Old 29th Mar 2011, 11:23
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Ahhh the troll defence.

Yes, yes, yes, I must be a troll because I don't agree with you. Good argument.

It could likewise be postulated that had they diverted, the workload for the controllers in placing two aircraft into traffic where it was not scheduled, filed or expected could have caused conflict with other traffic.
Postulated:
1.to claim; demand; require
2.to assume without proof to be true, real, or necessary, esp. as a basis for argument
3.to take as self-evident; assume


So if we divert the controller might be so busy he'll control us in to conflict with another aircraft. I don't want to be put in to conflict with another aircraft so it is safer to not divert.

Your quotes are not regulations.

Can you show me the procedure and regulation that allows you to land at a controlled airport without landing clearance. This was not an emergency. This was not a radio failure. There was no urgent need to land.
????? Still waiting.
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 13:17
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ditchdigger:

Again, I'm not going to wake her, but how about this one?


Your cite is not a federal aviation regulation.
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 13:32
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Ahhh the troll defence.

Yes, yes, yes, I must be a troll because I don't agree with you
You are not grasping what not only myself and other posters have already stated. I've suggested it to you already; Go back and re-read the thread.

You are hi-jacking the discussion in order that it revolves around *you*.

Seeing as you like positing definitions..
In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, [...] disrupting normal on-topic discussion
That, LSM, makes you a troll.



Now some of us would like to actually have an adult and mature discussion as to Babbit et al. and the statements and implications regarding the authority that regulates us.

Unfortunately, some have migrated off of this thread already due to the inability to actually have a factual discussion that doesnt revolve around *you*, the troll.
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Old 29th Mar 2011, 13:45
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C'mon stuckgear, where have I posted off topic?

I'm not hijacking the discussion so that it revolves around me. I wasn't involved in this incident so it obviously doesn't revolve around me or anybody else posting on this thread. Including you.

What I have asked is for you to post the relevant regulations that allow you to land at a controlled airfield without a clearance. Information that you have, so far, spectacularly failed to provide.

Unfortunately, some have migrated off of this thread already due to the inability to actually have a factual discussion that doesnt revolve around *you*, the troll.
As you are the only person yelling troll at every opportunity you've just made a very good effort at describing yourself.

Now some of us would like to actually have an adult and mature discussion as to Babbit et al. and the statements and implications regarding the authority that regulates us.
Now be a good boy and post the information and facts that back up your statements and we can carry on the discussion from there.
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