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How Air-Traffic Controllers Sound When They Have to Close the Airport

Since most things about the modern airline experience are so unpleasant for most of the traveling public most of the time, it's worth noticing how smoothly these professionals do their work. ( 更多...

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Mark Duell 7
Actual audio link buried somewhere in the story:
ken young 2
Thanks for posting. I would have never found it
BaronG58 1
Hey Mark..The profile picture. Is that a Grumman?
Mark Duell 1
Yep, Tiger N960TE in the 'MURICA paint job
BaronG58 2
I thought so...In 1978 I trained and soloed in the TR-2...then Cheetah & Tiger. Have hundreds of hours in the Grumman's. Have a soft-spot for them.
I had a Cheetah for a few years and loved it. What a great design! 120ktas on a 320 engine with fixed gear and prop pitch!
TiVo666 4
Ummm, Air Traffic Controllers didn't close the airport.
The controller seemed to stay very professional, clear and concise. In any such event, a thought always nags at the back
of the contollers mind.... "Did i say or do anything which might have contributed to this? Did i make any mistakes?"
But, he/she will not know the answer to that until much later.
Tim Duggan 2
What I find a bit disturbing (and the NTSB report will clarify) is: The pilots of DL1086 said nothing on the tower frequency. Even with loss of normal electrical (i.e., engines shut-down, APU not on the busses...) Comm #1 works from the batteries.
I'm thinking the VHF antenna was damaged during the incident.....
Never been a Mad Dog Driver, but the #1 VHF Antenna is usually up top.
Here is part of the initial report from the FAA. It can be found here -

Looks like the E&E compartment got banged up pretty good. I'm guessing that was why there was no comm.

3. Significant damage to the airplane was noted, including:

A. Damage on the left wing’s leading edge slats, trailing edge flaps, and flight spoilers.

B. The breach of the left wing fuel tank was noted in the area of the outboard end of the outboard trailing edge flap.

C. Damage to the front radome, weather radar and to the underside of the fuselage from the front of the airplane all the way back to the area of the left front passenger door.

D. Damage was also noted in the nose landing gear well and main electronics bay.
I found it slightly odd that they didn't reply at all, but figured they were so busy with the evacuation checklists that they didn't have or take the time to do so. I'm sure you've heard the adage, "aviate, navigate, communicate" in that order. We'll just have to see.
btweston 2
More like "get everyone the hell out of the plane, communicate."
Tim Duggan 2
Yes of course I know the litany.....but "aviate" and "navigate" are rather superfluous once you ON the ground, and have run off the "communicate" (after the "Easy Victor" command....or whatever term Delta uses as an 'evac' protocol command or "code" is issued to the cabin attendants) should then be a ATC, if nothing else? A sense of the low visibility, and the fact that the Tower cannot see what happened.

Granted....possible that the damage to the forward section of the airplane severed links to the batteries, thus NO possible VHF Comm possible. Again....NTSB report to sort these facts.

AS TO the possible "reasons" for this? I can only say that snow conditions are certainly challenging. The MD-80 (/DC-9 series) I am familiar with, though was over a decade ago. They are generally easy airplanes to fly, and not "challenging" in their handling aspects.

Snowy and slippery runways? Well....again, I defer to the final NTSB Report.

RVR was reported on the ATC tapes. Braking conditions also reported by a preceeding A-320.

This might come down to (and ONLY a personal "guess") a possible "gotcha" event....a combination of circumstances, due to weather, impossible to predict. We shall see, of course......
Yeah, I had a feeling somebody might say exactly that... My contention is that while you are not "aviating" anymore, per se, your responsibility for the safety of the passengers still comes before the operation of the radios.
If you know that somebody is a minute behind you and could do the same thing, you might want to let someone know what happened.
preacher1 2
There was another NTSB update yesterday but I guess I missed it. CBS was reporting this morning that reverse thrust was normal but that there was a brake lockup that caused the skid. If that be the case, it happened pretty quick, and it's a crapshoot as to whether to get your folks off or wave off the guy behind you if you are fouling the main. Someone talked about the front end damage fouling the radios. That's one thing we'll have to ask the pilots.
Tim Duggan 2
Also, @ 'Neil Laferty':

I tried to find DL Airline's specific EVAC checklists, no-go online. However, from MY experience (previous airline) is is usually short, and easy to accomplish.

Basics are: Shut-down the engines. Lower the flaps. Communicate to ATC....then order to the cabin crew. (EVERY specific airplane might have a variation on this, per its design).

AFTER the above, then turn off all sources of electrical power. AND follow the protocols (for Flight Deck crew) is First Officer off the airplane to assist in evac, then Captain LAST off, after assuring all are out of the aircraft.
I see, thanks for that insight, Tim. I wasn't trying to excuse their lack of communication, just trying to conceive of an explanation for it. I'd love to see an actual one of those checklists; I've wondered about that ever since the Cactus 1549 ditching.
preacher1 2
You'll have to ask Sully but I'm bettin' that 1549 was seat of the pants and do the best you can do once you got past that "BRACE FOR IMPACT"
Dee Lowry 1
I'm not trying to change the subject but it has to do with Delta 1086 at LGA. Has anyone entertained the thought of "Tail-Banking/Rudder-Banking? Crosswinds were not favorable nor the conditions on the runway. Not suitable for the "Mad Dog". Thrust reversers with that type of A/C tend to list left. "MadDog is an unforgiving A/C.
Too much weight in the rear...not stable. In my opinion they took the word from prior aircraft as far as braking. But I have to challenge the A/C in those conditions.
In contrast to the author of this piece, I don't think the ATC handles this so great. It takes him several seconds after being told the runway and the airport are closed to first request repeat of this information and then act on the information. At the least, he should tell the planes to go around first and then make sure he got it right. The delay could have been a big problem if there was a hazard on the runway itself. It's like he's not prepared to handle unexpected information.
preacher1 3
Shoulda, coulda, woulda. The fact that the next inbound took a go around tells me he had enough time. You got to understand that LGA is kinda busy.
The idea at the end of the article that somehow if the next plane had touched down that would have been a disaster, makes no sense. The crashed plane was far off the runway, there's no chance of hitting it. And the incoming flight could touch-and-go even if it's too late to go around without landing.
preacher1 1
Tower couldn't see it and there was a massive fuel leak. Next plane probably would have cleared but nobody had a way of knowing. Inbound couldn't have seen it if it had been an obstruction until too late. Personally, why take the chance.
All it would have taken was a bad right wheel transducer .


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