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$25 Mil. Award Vs ATC For Midair. Ouch!  
User currently offlineEksath From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1317 posts, RR: 25
Posted (8 years 9 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2128 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
ARTICLE EDITOR

Boca pilot's family awarded $25 million in fatal mid-air collision near Deerfield

A Broward jury awarded $25.2 million Wednesday to the family of a pilot killed in a collision of two planes near Deerfield Beach almost three years ago.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/loc...37760.story?coll=sfla-news-broward


http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/brief.asp?ev_id=20030625X00951&key=19
NTSB conclusion
"The failure of the pilot of N4903F, the Cessna 172, and the pilot of N759XA , the Cessna 182, to see and avoid each other while operating in Class E airspace, resulting in a midair collision. Contributing to the accident was the lack of traffic information being provided to the pilot of the Cessna 182 about known traffic in the vicinity, due to the controller forgetting about the Cessna 172's reported path and altitude."


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4 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 2106 times:

Incredible, just incredible in Class E airspace!


Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineEchster From United States of America, joined Sep 2004, 400 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 9 months 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2054 times:

Well, the controller was partially at fault. It was, nonetheless, an award higher than should have been given, IMHO. If you read the NTSB report, you'll get this info:

1. Contract tower staffed with 1 controller (well, that's not verbatim in the report but it's what happened). Said controller was working Local, Ground, Flight Data, and Clearance Delivery. It was a one-man show.

2. Although both aircraft were VFR and should be "seeing and avoiding", the ATCer should have known both aircraft were in (leaving or inbound) his airspace. He should have issued traffic advisories.

3. He didn't because he was issuing an IFR clearance for a departing aircraft on the Ground frequency.

4. He told aircraft #1 on initial contact to report east (in other words, when he was out of his airspace). When aircraft #2 was inbound for landing, he didn't catch the call sign because he was listening to the pilot readback his IFR clearance. He then says maintain VFR and freq change approved. He assumed it was aircraft #1 reporting clear of the airspace when it was actually the inbound aircraft.

5. Aircraft #2 then calls back for landing instructions and the controller has him enter the pattern.

6. Controller failed to use aircraft call sign when he assumed the 1st aircraft was clear. Had he used the call sign, aircraft #2 could have said they were the aircraft calling, or aircraft #1 could have said they were clear. This assumption and subsequent mix-up was a fairly big error.

I've said before and I'll say again this is how the companies that run contract towers make their money. They bid on the towers then staff them with the fewest controllers possible. Roughly 90-95% of contract towers in the US are manned with 1 controller per shift. It is the FAA's dirty little secret. If you've ever seen dollar figures on what an FAA tower costs to run versus a contract tower, staffing - or lack thereof - is the main reason.


User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 3, posted (8 years 8 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1909 times:

Quoting Echster (Reply 2):
(well, that's not verbatim in the report but it's what happened)

Don't make that assumption unless you heard the tape or were in the cab!

Quoting Echster (Reply 2):
Roughly 90-95% of contract towers in the US are manned with 1 controller per shift

That number seems mighty high, you may want to verify that before posting that! Do you consider the manager of the tower that is checked out and assigned a shift in that percentage??



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineSpeedbird128 From Pitcairn Islands, joined Oct 2003, 1648 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (8 years 8 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1840 times:

Quoting Echster (Reply 2):
staffing - or lack thereof - is the main reason

This is an issue at many aiports around the world - not only 'contract towers'.

Aviation movements are on an upward increasing trend - and the number of ATC's is not growing at the same rate.

Managements are always trying to find ways to squeeze the 'atc tube' a little more. ie pay-cuts, staff-cuts...

Good luck to the guys and gals out there! We have to keep at it to make sure it stays safe...



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