Funny story I can add to this.
I work in ATC at PHL
. For a few months a year or so ago there were both AA
and US flights numbered 1776 (airlines love employing that number at PHL
for obvious reasons) arriving around the same time. The kicker is, they both operated DFW
at almost exactly the same time. So almost every day they'd at least both be in our airspace at the same time. On several occasions I actually worked them both back to back over the arrival fix. Our arrival flight strips don't show the origin point or anything else besides an arrival fix, so I actually found out from one of the crews that they both originated at DFW
. I advised one of them that the other would be on frequency momentarily and mentioned that "you probably already heard them back on Washington Center's frequency". Their response was along the lines of "Yeah, we've been following them all the way here since we took off at Dallas".
That went on for months until US was forced to change the flight number (we were told AA
apparently had that flight number on that route first). AWE1776 changed to some other flight at another time of day after that, but I just saw AAL1776 arriving the other day.
Officially our rule book says in this situation we should repeat the airline callsign as in "American 1776 American", but nothing is a perfect solution as pilots will still sometimes take the wrong instruction even when the flight number isn't the same but sounds similar.
I think Big Foot is blurry, Its not the photographers fault. Theres a large out of focus monster roaming the countryside