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Air controller during emergency landing: 'I know that's BS'

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Air controller during emergency landing: 'I know that's BS'

Old 7th Apr 2012, 06:34
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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The pilot said "smoke in the cockpit" and then gave his flight number. What part of that did the controller not understand.
Again, quite clearly - most of it due to the usual cowbay phraseology.

As for the comments regarding the increased time required to process said phraseology to do it properly, that's PRECISELY why it should be trained and used correctly in everyday circumstances - so that little or no thought is required.

Of course, then the cowboys wouldn't be able to sound so cool!

What's more important?
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 06:58
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Big piston

Remove the windscreen from your car. So when you drive to work, reality can come flooding in.
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 07:16
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Guy,
North America has more flights than anywhere in the word, yet have one of the safest if not the safest operations in the world. So the "cowboys" as you so arrogantly posted, must be doing something correctly.
Try and put yourself in their position for a moment instead of sitting back with hours to ponder how you would handle the situation. Way more important to get a plane on fire on the ground and get the passengers out, than dealing with atc. Especially on short final with no time and important things to discuss between flight crew and cabin crew. I suppose your probably a super pilot and every detail of a fire and evacuation on short final would be briefed with time to fully brief atc with masks on.
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 07:47
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drive73 said
" I have yet to see an emergency that was performed perfectly..."

I thought the
birdstrike was pretty good, how would you improve on that ?
Pete
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 07:49
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No-one seems to have apportioned blame to those who make spoof calls on their little hand held transmitters on their way to mommy from elementary school.
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 07:50
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How about "Mayday mayday mayday, ExpressJet 5912 (or whatever their FULL call
sign is),

Feith says the controller may have been distracted, only hearing the last
part of the flight number.
It's not in the recording as included in the media coverage--what is the full callsign? ExpressJet 5912, or United 5912? Because obviously something led the controller to believe the callsign given was "United 12".

(Yeah, I know that other than the number of syllables "fif-ty nine" and "U-nit-ed" don't sound very much alike, but Feith's explanation makes it seem as if the controller heard only the number "12".)
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 08:08
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Don't forget that a controller may not be listening solely to the frequency being worked.
Could be speaking to another controller or using intercom and miss part of a truncated call - or even saying "Milk, one sugar."
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 08:09
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How about "Mayday mayday mayday"
Yes, this word repeated three times, alerts everyone to the seriousness of the situation. Everything said after that will be listened to intently and acted on. Without them the call could easily be dismissed or miss-interpreted, as appears to have happened here. Even if the controller misses them, the emergency services listening in could have heard and reacted without prompting.
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 08:12
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Originally Posted by Ditchdigger
(Yeah, I know that other than the number of syllables "fif-ty nine" and "U-nit-ed" don't sound very much alike, but Feith's explanation makes it seem as if the controller heard only the number "12".)
Actually, that's the first thing I thought.
"Fife-niner", with a bit of audio distraction in the background, could easily be mis-heard as "United". Mind-set follows.
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 09:09
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I would say that in the first transmission "5912 smoke in cockpit roll trucks please" the "fifty-nine" part is not very clear and could be heard as "united".
But when the controller asked "who was that" the pilot answers clearly "fifty-nine twelve", should be clear enough.

According to the newspaper the pilot declared his emergency AFTER having been cleared to land. But the controller seams not aware of a "5912" on his freq. I don't think we have the full picture; was it a scheduled landing, was it a return after t/o, was the pilot just switched over to his freq?

Question for controllers: when I visited an approach-control facility once I noticed on the radar screens that any time a pilot keyed his mike there was a selectable option of cross bearings on the screen indicating the position of the plane with the keyed mike. Gives the controller an extra check of who is actually talking. Good option if there is confusion due to similar call signs but could work as well when a prank call is suspected. Is there such a possibility for tower controllers as well?

BTW: usually someone digs up the original ATC-recordings on the net, did they surface yet?

Last edited by golfyankeesierra; 7th Apr 2012 at 09:21.
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 09:17
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First of all this resulted in the right outcome. Nobody killed or injured. No metal bent. Well done to the crew in what sound like challenging conditions.

The only major problem appears to be a breakdown in communication.

No emergency prefix. No callsign. Just a rather garbled message which to me sounds COMPLETELY like it could have come from some Hillbilly Flightsim pilot, with zero formal training, on a walkie talkie! I don't blame the controller for suspecting it was a malicious call. That's what it sounds like to me too.

Last edited by 4468; 7th Apr 2012 at 10:03.
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 09:30
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I think everyone agrees that the pilots should be congratulated for landing the aircraft safely and making sure everyone was safe, of course that is the most important thing. But a bigger problem underlies and it can't be ignored. The use of non standard RT has meant an aircraft was on fire on the runway for a period of time without any emergency services helping it. Sure it's easy to blame the pilots but under pressure and high stress they did their natural radio call because they aren't used to correct RT procedure. In the UK you are trained to use standard RT at all times because it is clear and precise and prevents this from happening. A simple Pan Pan or mayday if the smoke was that serious would have meant the controller heard the call sign and took it seriously. No reason to blame anyone because the pilots did a good job, doesn't mean it couldn't have been better...

R
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 09:41
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Gosh for a humble crew member on the other side of the door its shocking to listen to some of 'our intelligent leaders' bash each other whilst dressing it up as intelligent debate!

From a humble steward - congratulations to the pilots, crew and everyone else involved in a safe landing and preserving life.

If I bring you chocolate with your tea and speak with varying accents when I come in the flight deck will you all be nice to each other?

My post is made in good humour, have a good day and safe (clearly spoken) flying!
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 09:59
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In an Emergency situation such as this one keeping ATC busy, what will you do if you are in a traffic pattern or approaching this aerodrome?
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 10:01
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The only time I had a real problem my first call was "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday" It seemed to work just fine. What's wrong with standard terminology, or are folks just scared to admit they may have a real problem?
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 10:14
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Aditya, as soon as an emergency is declared radio silence should be maintained to aid in the solution of the emergency, radio silence would usually be imposed by the controller. That's my understanding anyway...

R
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 10:26
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When was the last time ATC actually helped a flight in trouble other than calling the crash crew out to meet you? It doesn't matter much if you say mayday, declaring an emergency or I have smoke in the cockpit just tell them what you are doing so other flights will give you the room you need to do what you are going to do anyway. As we all know the PIC can do anything in an emergency he feels necessary to deal with it.
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 10:52
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When was the last time ATC actually helped a flight in trouble other than calling the crash crew out to meet you?
And that, Bubbers, is exactly the point being made. Bad comms, late services.
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 10:54
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Originally Posted by golfyankeesierra
Question for controllers: when I visited an approach-control facility once I noticed on the radar screens that any time a pilot keyed his mike there was a selectable option of cross bearings on the screen indicating the position of the plane with the keyed mike .......
I've used such a system in the past, but it wasn't available to the Tower controller. The single bearing from the direction finder (D/F) could also be overlaid on the approach radar screen. Especially useful before we had SSR, and for non-transponder equipped aircraft. Unfortunately a number of UK civil ATSUs no longer have D/F.

(Not to be confused with the UK Auto-Triangulation system available on 121.5)
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Old 7th Apr 2012, 11:19
  #40 (permalink)  
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When was the last time ATC actually helped a flight in trouble other than calling the crash crew out to meet you?
Please don't let this deteriorate into a them and us debate. Based on the information in this thread - and I haven't looked for any other sources - there is no question that the ATC involvement in this event was not as good as it could have been. That is why we investigate what happened and try to learn from incidents - and this applies both to the airborne and ground-based parts of the system.

In my part of the world there have been huge advances in the way that ATC are trained to handle unusual and emergency events. In many cases this has led to a far greater understanding of what ATC can do to help a crew with a problem - even if that is just to shut up for a while to let the crew sort things out - and, for the crews who get involved in the ATC training, a much greater understanding of what ATC can do to help and even some of the constraints that ATC have.

Nothing is perfect though, and there is always room for improvement and learning. One of the things that took a while for ATC to learn about was TRM. But it is there now in many places - and, hopefully, it means that ATC can do more than just call out the crash crew out to meet you.
 

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