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Old 03-24-2011, 05:34 AM
 
1,339 posts, read 2,957,841 times
Reputation: 2219

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Tower at Reagan National goes silent as planes attempt to land

The control tower at Reagan National Airport went silent early Wednesday, forcing the pilots of two airliners carrying a total of 165 passengers and crew members to land on their own.

The tower, which normally is staffed by one air-traffic controller from midnight to 6 a.m., did not respond to pilot requests for landing assistance or to phone calls from controllers elsewhere in the region, who also used a “shout line,” which pipes into a loudspeaker in the tower, internal records show.

... ...

The incident, which the National Transportation Safety Board also is reviewing, is the second time in as many years that the tower at National has gone silent, said a source familiar with tower operations who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak for the FAA. The previous time, the lone controller on duty left his swipe-card pass key behind when he stepped outside the tower’s secure door and was unable to get back in, the source said.

... ...
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:26 AM
 
Location: Home is where the heart is
15,400 posts, read 25,776,806 times
Reputation: 18989
Somebody send those guys some Starbucks!
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:33 AM
 
518 posts, read 782,186 times
Reputation: 447
They have one right under the tower.
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Old 03-24-2011, 03:01 PM
 
Location: St. Mary's County, Maryland
115 posts, read 212,734 times
Reputation: 65
There need to be more than one air-traffic controller on duty in the airport tower.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Clifton, Va
262 posts, read 501,886 times
Reputation: 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.R View Post
There need to be more than one air-traffic controller on duty in the airport tower.

I was very surprised to read that only one was on duty. What if he had to go to the bathroom....everyone does every once in a while, you know

I used to think nothing of flying....but these days you hear enough things to convince me to stay home!
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:40 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,013,351 times
Reputation: 6824
How appropriate this would happen at the airport named for the guy who made it possible to only have one controller on at times.
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Old 03-24-2011, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Brambleton, VA
2,187 posts, read 6,806,306 times
Reputation: 2161
In some ways, I really feel sorry for this controller. There is no doubt that he wasn't doing his job, but for what reason is still unknown. The reality of this is that this isn't the only airport that this has happened at. I have flown into an airport that was supposed to have a controller on duty, and had to use the regional controllers to land. It just wasn't Reagan National where it is certainly a bit more serious.
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Old 03-24-2011, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Lake Norman, NC
7,180 posts, read 11,195,308 times
Reputation: 30731
I thought DCA had a curfew for all flights to land. Or was it only for selective aircraft?
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:16 PM
 
3,504 posts, read 7,917,991 times
Reputation: 3466
He was sleeping - very comforting to know the next time you fly....
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Old 03-25-2011, 05:04 AM
 
Location: Virginia
18,717 posts, read 26,828,884 times
Reputation: 42860
Ironically, today it's National Sleep Day. I know an air traffic controller who now has plenty of time to sleep today....
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