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    Air Traffic Control Failure in Washington, D.C.: What Happened?

    Ironically, at the same airport where the crew aboard aircraft enforced a mandatory requirement that passengers be seated either 30 minutes before landing or thirty minutes after take-off, the Tower at Reagan National goes silent as planes attempt to land, allegedly forcing an American Airlines Boeing 737 aircraft flying in from Miami with 97 on board and a United Airlines Airbus 320 aircraft flying in from Chicago with 68 passengers and crew to land on their own. The crew of the American Airlines aircraft first attempted to abort its landing.


    Air Traffic Control Failure in Washington, D.C.: What Happened? | Reuters



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  2. #2
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    Not a good economic climate to be doing things like that, if the ATC was indeed asleep. Besides the danger to the planes, I bet he's going to need to brush up his resume'.
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  3. #3
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    It's the slow time (after midnight) and only a couple flights were due to land. There is only one person on duty in the tower. This happened last year too. If it was another sleep issue (any cop here knows how tough it can be on a quiet midnight shift even when you're well rested) I think they should adjust the policy to have 2 on duty in the tower. At least with company you are less likely to sleep. If you do struggle and need to get out for a walk there's someone there who can continue working. One person alone at night with little going on just seems like an invitation for people to fall asleep.
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    My question is why the hell did they land?! You don't have clearance to land...YOU DON'T LAND!
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    Xiphos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiGywer View Post
    My question is why the hell did they land?! You don't have clearance to land...YOU DON'T LAND!
    The article I read said they spoke to the regional ATC and worked out the landings with each other on the radio. It wasn't the approach that was dangerous but landing without knowing what equipment on the ground was doing. Only 2 or 3 planes landed in the half hour the tower was down.
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  6. #6
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    If he/she was nodding off, it must've been a fairly deep sleep. I've heard some of the radio traffic & it would seem to me that it was enough to rouse someone who had just zoned out. Or maybe he was "indisposed".
    Blessed are the the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. MATT 5:10

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broke Hoss View Post
    If he/she was nodding off, it must've been a fairly deep sleep. I've heard some of the radio traffic & it would seem to me that it was enough to rouse someone who had just zoned out. Or maybe he was "indisposed".
    Last year the controller left the tower and forgot his key card and locked himself out. They really need 2 people on duty there.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xiphos View Post
    Last year the controller left the tower and forgot his key card and locked himself out. They really need 2 people on duty there.
    Dang, forget all the brain cramps and naps, how are you supposed to relieve yourself if you are the only one in the tower? They got a radar screen in the toilet and a remote headset?
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  9. #9
    StoleIt is offline Officer First Class
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiGywer View Post
    My question is why the hell did they land?! You don't have clearance to land...YOU DON'T LAND!
    I would land. These airliner's carry a very finite amount of fuel.

    And airplanes land all the time without ATC. The far majority of airports out there are "uncontrolled" (without a manned control tower).

    First couple of times sure do low approaches or what not. But landing without ATC is no big deal. In fact, I prefer it (assuming VFR).

 

 

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