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kiowa
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Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Fri Jul 17, 2020 11:50 pm

I have always hated flying into Midway Airport and I now refuse to do so. This adds a whole different dimension to the safety issue. Does this happen that other airports?

https://chicago.suntimes.com/2020/7/16/ ... -southwest
 
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stl07
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Re: Political pressure jeopardizing safety at MDW

Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:18 am

kiowa wrote:
I have always hated flying into Midway Airport and I now refuse to do so. This adds a whole different dimension to the safety issue. Does this happen that other airports?

https://chicago.suntimes.com/2020/7/16/ ... -southwest

MDW was one of the primary reasons I switched to AA from WN. Connecting at ORD is light-years better. But of course, years later those who stuck with WN are now getting the last laugh since STL is now a WN hub
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alasizon
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Re: Political pressure jeopardizing safety at MDW

Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:03 am

Part of me does wonder if this is a minor snippet from a bigger issue that was blown out of the water in the sense of journalism.

Personally, I've called two or three airports to get them to change the published field conditions from wet to dry because it had clearly long stopped raining and an old FICON just hadn't been updated. I've also had to do it in reverse when there was a thunderstorm over the field but they were still reporting dry on the FICON with the METAR reading as +TSRA.
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Jshank83
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Re: Political pressure jeopardizing safety at MDW

Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:03 am

stl07 wrote:
kiowa wrote:
I have always hated flying into Midway Airport and I now refuse to do so. This adds a whole different dimension to the safety issue. Does this happen that other airports?

https://chicago.suntimes.com/2020/7/16/ ... -southwest

MDW was one of the primary reasons I switched to AA from WN. Connecting at ORD is light-years better. But of course, years later those who stuck with WN are now getting the last laugh since STL is now a WN hub


Random note a little off topic. Having lived in STL 36 years I have never flown thru/to ORD and I think I have only connected at MDW twice. And one of those was a last minute flight change due to weather at BWI.


More on topic I don’t get why you would need to pressure the airport to switch runway status. Can they land more planes closer together in dry conditions than wet?
 
alasizon
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Re: Political pressure jeopardizing safety at MDW

Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:09 am

Jshank83 wrote:
More on topic I don’t get why you would need to pressure the airport to switch runway status. Can they land more planes closer together in dry conditions than wet?


Take off and landing performance is far better on a dry runway. Wet runway impacts braking and therefore reduces the amount of weight you can carry. This is mostly an issue at short fields (i.e. MDW, EYW, SBP) or on flights at the edge of the range/payload curve.
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MIflyer12
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Re: Political pressure jeopardizing safety at MDW

Sat Jul 18, 2020 11:31 am

kiowa wrote:
I have always hated flying into Midway Airport and I now refuse to do so. This adds a whole different dimension to the safety issue. Does this happen that other airports?

https://chicago.suntimes.com/2020/7/16/ ... -southwest


Interesting the OP cites this as a political issue (a call made by an airport official) and not a Southwest safety culture issue. It's outrageous that Southwest would even make such a request. (Such a move would lift restrictions on take off/landing performance on MDW's not-long runways, would it not?)
 
dmg626
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Re: Political pressure jeopardizing safety at MDW

Sat Jul 18, 2020 12:47 pm

MIflyer12 wrote:
kiowa wrote:
I have always hated flying into Midway Airport and I now refuse to do so. This adds a whole different dimension to the safety issue. Does this happen that other airports?

https://chicago.suntimes.com/2020/7/16/ ... -southwest


Interesting the OP cites this as a political issue (a call made by an airport official) and not a Southwest safety culture issue. It's outrageous that Southwest would even make such a request. (Such a move would lift restrictions on take off/landing performance on MDW's not-long runways, would it not?)


Ya outrageous, gmafb. Mdw atis not uncommon to have ficon at least 4 or 5 hrs old reading, dry as a bone but they won’t change for whatever reason. Likewise if it reads dry, and you know it just rained, use your common sense and discretion and plan wet. Dispatch planning uses wet runway anyways regardless
 
zuckie13
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Re: Political pressure jeopardizing safety at MDW

Sat Jul 18, 2020 1:21 pm

"“In this instance, the deputy commissioner was at home, off-duty and failed to verify the actual airfield conditions personally or otherwise. The investigation established that, prior to ordering the [supervisor] to change the conditions, the deputy commissioner received a call at home from an employee of a private airline requesting that the airfield conditions be changed.”

In other words, airport management was lazy in doing the condition update they should have done. Southwest wanted to submit flights based on what was probably the actual "dry" condition and called the manager. From reading this, sounds like this is really on the airport manager, not WN. WN requested a change. The manager could (should) have had the same supervisor he ordered to make the change to actually check the conditions first.
 
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TVNWZ
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Re: Political pressure jeopardizing safety at MDW

Sat Jul 18, 2020 1:52 pm

So, what was the actual airfield condition? Wet or dry?
 
KCaviator
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Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Sat Jul 18, 2020 2:36 pm

While I wouldn’t call this a political issue, or even an airline-specific issue for that matter, ATC plays these games all the time.

ATC knows that certain conditions will completely shut operations down. For example, FZRA, +SN, and PL (just to name a few) do not have holdover times. ATC is aware that putting this information out on the ATIS will shut the airport down, so they are more inclined to reduce the intensity to keep operations running.

Another example occurs frequently in the summer months. +RA on a grooved runway results in a runway condition code of 2 (Medium to Poor) per the Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM), yet I’ve seen numerous times the ATIS stating a condition code of 5 (good) during +RA.
 
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jetblastdubai
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Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:06 pm

KCaviator wrote:
While I wouldn’t call this a political issue, or even an airline-specific issue for that matter, ATC plays these games all the time.



ATC does not determine airfield conditions. They receive official condition reports from the airport manager/office and that's what they report on the ATIS or verbally to users. All that information is recorded and there is no way that any controller would report something that was false and potentially be a determining factor in an incident or accident.

Sure, we can look out the window and take a good guess at field conditions but that doesn't make it official. There might be some special cases at very small facilities where the tower has some function to make such determinations but it would be a rare exception to the norm IMO.

While doing LAHSO at ORD we would cease LAHSO ops when the runways became visibly wet even before the official report of "wet runways" to be proactive. We wouldn't change the official report to "wet" until the City made the call but common sense tells us that if a pilot is rolling out on an obviously wet runway and asked to "hold short" he/she might question the legality of the clearance and the competence of the controller that assigned it.
 
kbmiflyer
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Re: Political pressure jeopardizing safety at MDW

Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:13 pm

TVNWZ wrote:
So, what was the actual airfield condition? Wet or dry?


Why would the press want to concern themselves with actual facts when they can instead write about potential corruption and create fear.
 
GoSteelers
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Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:25 pm

KCaviator wrote:
While I wouldn’t call this a political issue, or even an airline-specific issue for that matter, ATC plays these games all the time.

ATC knows that certain conditions will completely shut operations down. For example, FZRA, +SN, and PL (just to name a few) do not have holdover times. ATC is aware that putting this information out on the ATIS will shut the airport down, so they are more inclined to reduce the intensity to keep operations running.

Another example occurs frequently in the summer months. +RA on a grooved runway results in a runway condition code of 2 (Medium to Poor) per the Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM), yet I’ve seen numerous times the ATIS stating a condition code of 5 (good) during +RA.


Yeah you are way off here and it’s ridiculous. I promise you would have a hard time finding a professional controller that plays games with the weather. In your example, the airport authority Is the one that is out there on the field and publishes the RCC’s. We get a fax or a call from them and place whatever they say on the ATIS. We have zero say in those numbers. It is also their sole responsibility to open and close runways. Your statement is false and the accusations that ATC puts safety at jeopardy is unacceptable.
 
GoSteelers
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Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:44 pm

I also forgot to add most, if not all major ATC facilities have in house NWS. They put the current METAR and conditions in and I either press four buttons to send it or record it word by word. I’ve cut 1000’s of ATIS’s in my career and I have never changed an official weather report.
 
KCaviator
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Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Sat Jul 18, 2020 3:54 pm

GoSteelers wrote:
KCaviator wrote:
While I wouldn’t call this a political issue, or even an airline-specific issue for that matter, ATC plays these games all the time.

ATC knows that certain conditions will completely shut operations down. For example, FZRA, +SN, and PL (just to name a few) do not have holdover times. ATC is aware that putting this information out on the ATIS will shut the airport down, so they are more inclined to reduce the intensity to keep operations running.

Another example occurs frequently in the summer months. +RA on a grooved runway results in a runway condition code of 2 (Medium to Poor) per the Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM), yet I’ve seen numerous times the ATIS stating a condition code of 5 (good) during +RA.


Yeah you are way off here and it’s ridiculous. I promise you would have a hard time finding a professional controller that plays games with the weather. In your example, the airport authority Is the one that is out there on the field and publishes the RCC’s. We get a fax or a call from them and place whatever they say on the ATIS. We have zero say in those numbers. It is also their sole responsibility to open and close runways. Your statement is false and the accusations that ATC puts safety at jeopardy is unacceptable.


Thanks for telling me what my own experiences are. Glad you’ve been next to me during every one. I’m not accusing ATC of putting safety at risk, it’s the PIC’s responsibility. But don’t play dumb. We’ve all heard the response “what do you need it to be?” when inquiring about certain weather conditions.
 
N353SK
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Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:47 pm

KCaviator wrote:
ATC knows that certain conditions will completely shut operations down. For example, FZRA, +SN, and PL (just to name a few) do not have holdover times. ATC is aware that putting this information out on the ATIS will shut the airport down, so they are more inclined to reduce the intensity to keep operations running.

Another example occurs frequently in the summer months. +RA on a grooved runway results in a runway condition code of 2 (Medium to Poor) per the Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM), yet I’ve seen numerous times the ATIS stating a condition code of 5 (good) during +RA.


I think you are confusing specific rules in place at your own regional airline as industry standard. I have worked at several airlines with approval to operate in heavy snow and ice pellets, and a quick glance at my operator's RCAM does not include any sort of precipitation discriminators.
 
JohnPettimore
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Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Sat Jul 18, 2020 4:57 pm

N353SK wrote:
KCaviator wrote:
ATC knows that certain conditions will completely shut operations down. For example, FZRA, +SN, and PL (just to name a few) do not have holdover times. ATC is aware that putting this information out on the ATIS will shut the airport down, so they are more inclined to reduce the intensity to keep operations running.

Another example occurs frequently in the summer months. +RA on a grooved runway results in a runway condition code of 2 (Medium to Poor) per the Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM), yet I’ve seen numerous times the ATIS stating a condition code of 5 (good) during +RA.



I think you are confusing specific rules in place at your own regional airline as industry standard. I have worked at several airlines with approval to operate in heavy snow and ice pellets, and a quick glance at my operator's RCAM does not include any sort of precipitation discriminators.


You’re correct about RCAM. The official FAA document doesn’t include any precipitation discriminators.

He is correct regarding HOTs. There are no published FAA HOTs for the type of precipitation mentioned, at least for generic Type IV, regardless of where you’re working (regional vs mainline). With that being said though, there are ways to depart legally without a HOT.
 
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lightsaber
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Re: Political pressure jeopardizing safety at MDW

Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:15 pm

kbmiflyer wrote:
TVNWZ wrote:
So, what was the actual airfield condition? Wet or dry?


Why would the press want to concern themselves with actual facts when they can instead write about potential corruption and create fear.

It should be inspected. A bad (document it) but not so bad to get upset over unless a multi-strike (a history is a different issue).

Lightsaber
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GoSteelers
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Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:15 pm

KCaviator wrote:
GoSteelers wrote:
KCaviator wrote:
While I wouldn’t call this a political issue, or even an airline-specific issue for that matter, ATC plays these games all the time.

ATC knows that certain conditions will completely shut operations down. For example, FZRA, +SN, and PL (just to name a few) do not have holdover times. ATC is aware that putting this information out on the ATIS will shut the airport down, so they are more inclined to reduce the intensity to keep operations running.

Another example occurs frequently in the summer months. +RA on a grooved runway results in a runway condition code of 2 (Medium to Poor) per the Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM), yet I’ve seen numerous times the ATIS stating a condition code of 5 (good) during +RA.


Yeah you are way off here and it’s ridiculous. I promise you would have a hard time finding a professional controller that plays games with the weather. In your example, the airport authority Is the one that is out there on the field and publishes the RCC’s. We get a fax or a call from them and place whatever they say on the ATIS. We have zero say in those numbers. It is also their sole responsibility to open and close runways. Your statement is false and the accusations that ATC puts safety at jeopardy is unacceptable.


Thanks for telling me what my own experiences are. Glad you’ve been next to me during every one. I’m not accusing ATC of putting safety at risk, it’s the PIC’s responsibility. But don’t play dumb. We’ve all heard the response “what do you need it to be?” when inquiring about certain weather conditions.


Think of it like this. When I ask you “what you do you need it to be”, I’m not going to lie and say that when it isn’t that number. I have a screen in front of me that updates constantly. I ask you that cause I need to know what my plan is. A controller isn’t going to continuously vector you around for an approach you can’t even shoot. I more than likely have other stuff to do. But, when I know you need an RVR of 1800 to land, I can watch the RVR update and when it improves to that number, I can work you in. But if I don’t know what you even need, I have no idea what to do with you. And trust me, I don’t want to play 20 questions with you. I sure as hell ain’t going to say, “ the RVR is 1400. Say intentions.” A minute later, “ RVR 1600. Say intentions.”

Not sure if the pilots know this but everything ATC does is recorded. Radios, radar, equipment. God forbid if something happened and in the investigation they found out I purposely gave false information? I’ve had 100’s of ATC coworkers in my career and not one of us would ever put ourselves in that position. I love my job too much for that. Your flight to Cancun can wait til the weather improves. In fact, I can state specific times when I issue a reading and the pilot comes back to me on the frequency and says, “No further updates needed”.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Sat Jul 18, 2020 5:38 pm

kiowa wrote:
I have always hated flying into Midway Airport and I now refuse to do so. This adds a whole different dimension to the safety issue. Does this happen that other airports?

https://chicago.suntimes.com/2020/7/16/ ... -southwest


POLITICS? In CHICAGO? Say it ain't so!

When I lived in Hyde Park years ago, MDW was our go-to airport. At the time, it hadn't changed much since the days of "North By Northwest" (Eva Marie Saint --- sooo beautiful... but I digress). It is still one of my favorite airports, and I would fly there in a second with no concern whatsoever.

The reality is that it has operated safely for many decades. I really don't see the issue if the runway is dry but some lard-butt hasn't gone out and updated the condition that the airline might ask the manager to do his job. This is based on a typical media view that the government must be the adversary of all industry, rather than a partner. Stupid. And, frankly, less safe. (I.e. the cooperation model that the FAA has adopted has dramatically improved safety over the old "policeman" model).

And as a former Chicagoan, I also know that an article like this often has a purpose and source far-divorced from its apparent purpose. In other words, the genesis of media coverage there is often the result of an agenda that nobody would be able to deduce.
 
N353SK
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Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Sat Jul 18, 2020 6:43 pm

JohnPettimore wrote:
N353SK wrote:
KCaviator wrote:
ATC knows that certain conditions will completely shut operations down. For example, FZRA, +SN, and PL (just to name a few) do not have holdover times. ATC is aware that putting this information out on the ATIS will shut the airport down, so they are more inclined to reduce the intensity to keep operations running.

Another example occurs frequently in the summer months. +RA on a grooved runway results in a runway condition code of 2 (Medium to Poor) per the Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM), yet I’ve seen numerous times the ATIS stating a condition code of 5 (good) during +RA.



I think you are confusing specific rules in place at your own regional airline as industry standard. I have worked at several airlines with approval to operate in heavy snow and ice pellets, and a quick glance at my operator's RCAM does not include any sort of precipitation discriminators.


You’re correct about RCAM. The official FAA document doesn’t include any precipitation discriminators.

He is correct regarding HOTs. There are no published FAA HOTs for the type of precipitation mentioned, at least for generic Type IV, regardless of where you’re working (regional vs mainline). With that being said though, there are ways to depart legally without a HOT.


My current and previous two airlines have all had provisions (that I have used) for departing in heavy snow, usually some form of visual check of the wing within a few moments of departure. They have also all had the ability to operate in ice pellets using Type IV fluid. Pellets and small hail operations are conducted with an "allowance time" and not a "holdover time"
 
apodino
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Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Sun Jul 19, 2020 3:31 pm

I am going to raise the BS flag on this whole story. I have worked in aviation for over 15 years and no airline I have worked for or have seen up close would ever rely on a city field condition report for the purpose of determining takeoff data. At most Airlines, the captain has the final say on what the runway conditions actually are and will use appropriate data. It doesn't matter how much Southwest would have pressured any official, the fact remains if the captain says the runway is wet, the runway is wet...period.

Landing is a bit more complicated because the captain wont be at the airport until he lands. This is where he would rely on the Dispatcher. The dispatcher can look at the data and ask departing flights on the ground so that he can get an idea of what the runway conditions actually are. In most places, Wet or Dry doesnt make that big a difference, but an airport like Midway, it could make a difference. It is certainly an issue in airports such as BUR and SNA which have very short runways as well. But I have never known any situation where a dispatcher would rely on a city field condition report to make a determination, especially since the Dispatcher is a certified airman and their certificate would be in jeopardy if something were to happen.

In my experience, the only time a city report comes into play is during a snow event. Snow and runway contamination have a much bigger effect on runway friction, so the city will take friction readings on the runway at times. These friction reports translate into what the braking action on a runway would likely be, and different braking actions will affect landing distance. Interestingly enough, the contaminated runway landing data started being taken into account after the Southwest Incident at MDW many years ago. Prior to that, you really only had wet and dry numbers, and as I said, these are usually determined by the flight crew, with help from the Disptacher if needed. No flight crew or dispatcher ever looks at a city field condition report. That is why I think this entire story is BS, and is written by someone who knows nothing about aviation, and really is more interested in exposing corrupt Chicago officials (Which is another debate). Putting out BS stories like this does nothing for that cause.
 
kiowa
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Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Sun Jul 19, 2020 4:08 pm

apodino wrote:
I am going to raise the BS flag on this whole story. I have worked in aviation for over 15 years and no airline I have worked for or have seen up close would ever rely on a city field condition report for the purpose of determining takeoff data. At most Airlines, the captain has the final say on what the runway conditions actually are and will use appropriate data. It doesn't matter how much Southwest would have pressured any official, the fact remains if the captain says the runway is wet, the runway is wet...period.

Landing is a bit more complicated because the captain wont be at the airport until he lands. This is where he would rely on the Dispatcher. The dispatcher can look at the data and ask departing flights on the ground so that he can get an idea of what the runway conditions actually are. In most places, Wet or Dry doesnt make that big a difference, but an airport like Midway, it could make a difference. It is certainly an issue in airports such as BUR and SNA which have very short runways as well. But I have never known any situation where a dispatcher would rely on a city field condition report to make a determination, especially since the Dispatcher is a certified airman and their certificate would be in jeopardy if something were to happen.

In my experience, the only time a city report comes into play is during a snow event. Snow and runway contamination have a much bigger effect on runway friction, so the city will take friction readings on the runway at times. These friction reports translate into what the braking action on a runway would likely be, and different braking actions will affect landing distance. Interestingly enough, the contaminated runway landing data started being taken into account after the Southwest Incident at MDW many years ago. Prior to that, you really only had wet and dry numbers, and as I said, these are usually determined by the flight crew, with help from the Disptacher if needed. No flight crew or dispatcher ever looks at a city field condition report. That is why I think this entire story is BS, and is written by someone who knows nothing about aviation, and really is more interested in exposing corrupt Chicago officials (Which is another debate). Putting out BS stories like this does nothing for that cause.


Being legal to take off and land at most airlines that follow FAA rules is predicated on the current ATIS not what a dispatcher or the company says. That is what is scary about this article. If Southwest or any airline can get the official weather changed to meet their needs, that is a huge safety item.
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:26 pm

kiowa wrote:
apodino wrote:
I am going to raise the BS flag on this whole story. I have worked in aviation for over 15 years and no airline I have worked for or have seen up close would ever rely on a city field condition report for the purpose of determining takeoff data. At most Airlines, the captain has the final say on what the runway conditions actually are and will use appropriate data. It doesn't matter how much Southwest would have pressured any official, the fact remains if the captain says the runway is wet, the runway is wet...period.

Landing is a bit more complicated because the captain wont be at the airport until he lands. This is where he would rely on the Dispatcher. The dispatcher can look at the data and ask departing flights on the ground so that he can get an idea of what the runway conditions actually are. In most places, Wet or Dry doesnt make that big a difference, but an airport like Midway, it could make a difference. It is certainly an issue in airports such as BUR and SNA which have very short runways as well. But I have never known any situation where a dispatcher would rely on a city field condition report to make a determination, especially since the Dispatcher is a certified airman and their certificate would be in jeopardy if something were to happen.

In my experience, the only time a city report comes into play is during a snow event. Snow and runway contamination have a much bigger effect on runway friction, so the city will take friction readings on the runway at times. These friction reports translate into what the braking action on a runway would likely be, and different braking actions will affect landing distance. Interestingly enough, the contaminated runway landing data started being taken into account after the Southwest Incident at MDW many years ago. Prior to that, you really only had wet and dry numbers, and as I said, these are usually determined by the flight crew, with help from the Disptacher if needed. No flight crew or dispatcher ever looks at a city field condition report. That is why I think this entire story is BS, and is written by someone who knows nothing about aviation, and really is more interested in exposing corrupt Chicago officials (Which is another debate). Putting out BS stories like this does nothing for that cause.


Being legal to take off and land at most airlines that follow FAA rules is predicated on the current ATIS not what a dispatcher or the company says. That is what is scary about this article. If Southwest or any airline can get the official weather changed to meet their needs, that is a huge safety item.


Agreed, but if an airline can get the official weather changed from inaccurate to accurate, that doesn’t seem to me to hurt safety at all. Am I missing something?
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alasizon
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Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Sun Jul 19, 2020 5:42 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
kiowa wrote:
Being legal to take off and land at most airlines that follow FAA rules is predicated on the current ATIS not what a dispatcher or the company says. That is what is scary about this article. If Southwest or any airline can get the official weather changed to meet their needs, that is a huge safety item.


Agreed, but if an airline can get the official weather changed from inaccurate to accurate, that doesn’t seem to me to hurt safety at all. Am I missing something?


Nope, it also helps passengers if the field truly is dry but is still being reported as wet and the airline is able to get it resolved. Less weight restrictions = more revenue pax on board.

One of the times I had to fight with an airport to get their FICONs updated, the rain had ended 7 hours prior but when they published the original FICON, it had the runway reported as wet for a whole 24 hours which was going to result in the cancellation of a flight as opposed to taking a severe weight restriction due to the combination of wet runway performance and winds.
Airport (noun) - A construction site which airplanes tend to frequent
 
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usxguy
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Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:21 pm

I can vouch in my days working at an airport with a short runway, we would occasionally get a call from dispatch asking us to verify if the runway was "wet"- it meant quite the payload hit. And 9/10 times, it most definitely was wet. "swimming pool" is not an FAA certified term :-P
xx
 
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Moose135
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Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:25 pm

Cubsrule wrote:
Agreed, but if an airline can get the official weather changed from inaccurate to accurate, that doesn’t seem to me to hurt safety at all. Am I missing something?

What you are missing is that the official the airline called was not at the field and had no idea what the actual conditions were, but he ordered a subordinate to make the change regardless.
KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
 
Cubsrule
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Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Sun Jul 19, 2020 6:54 pm

Moose135 wrote:
Cubsrule wrote:
Agreed, but if an airline can get the official weather changed from inaccurate to accurate, that doesn’t seem to me to hurt safety at all. Am I missing something?

What you are missing is that the official the airline called was not at the field and had no idea what the actual conditions were, but he ordered a subordinate to make the change regardless.


Right, but that issue isn’t on WN.
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
LONGisland89
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Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Sun Jul 19, 2020 7:39 pm

KCaviator wrote:
GoSteelers wrote:
KCaviator wrote:
While I wouldn’t call this a political issue, or even an airline-specific issue for that matter, ATC plays these games all the time.

ATC knows that certain conditions will completely shut operations down. For example, FZRA, +SN, and PL (just to name a few) do not have holdover times. ATC is aware that putting this information out on the ATIS will shut the airport down, so they are more inclined to reduce the intensity to keep operations running.

Another example occurs frequently in the summer months. +RA on a grooved runway results in a runway condition code of 2 (Medium to Poor) per the Runway Condition Assessment Matrix (RCAM), yet I’ve seen numerous times the ATIS stating a condition code of 5 (good) during +RA.


Yeah you are way off here and it’s ridiculous. I promise you would have a hard time finding a professional controller that plays games with the weather. In your example, the airport authority Is the one that is out there on the field and publishes the RCC’s. We get a fax or a call from them and place whatever they say on the ATIS. We have zero say in those numbers. It is also their sole responsibility to open and close runways. Your statement is false and the accusations that ATC puts safety at jeopardy is unacceptable.


Thanks for telling me what my own experiences are. Glad you’ve been next to me during every one. I’m not accusing ATC of putting safety at risk, it’s the PIC’s responsibility. But don’t play dumb. We’ve all heard the response “what do you need it to be?” when inquiring about certain weather conditions.


I don't know what your experiences are in an airplane, but as a pilot, center controller, and now tower controller, I can tell you that you're unequivocally, categorically false.
 
kiowa
Topic Author
Posts: 759
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:37 am

Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Wed Jul 22, 2020 1:45 pm

LONGisland89 wrote:
KCaviator wrote:
GoSteelers wrote:

Yeah you are way off here and it’s ridiculous. I promise you would have a hard time finding a professional controller that plays games with the weather. In your example, the airport authority Is the one that is out there on the field and publishes the RCC’s. We get a fax or a call from them and place whatever they say on the ATIS. We have zero say in those numbers. It is also their sole responsibility to open and close runways. Your statement is false and the accusations that ATC puts safety at jeopardy is unacceptable.


Thanks for telling me what my own experiences are. Glad you’ve been next to me during every one. I’m not accusing ATC of putting safety at risk, it’s the PIC’s responsibility. But don’t play dumb. We’ve all heard the response “what do you need it to be?” when inquiring about certain weather conditions.


I don't know what your experiences are in an airplane, but as a pilot, center controller, and now tower controller, I can tell you that you're unequivocally, categorically false.


It’s pretty encompassing to talk for all pilots and all controllers and in an authoritative tone. A controller who asks what weather you need may not be offering to change the report. He could just be curious or he could be planning for when he can get you in or takeoff.
 
737tanker
Posts: 371
Joined: Fri Dec 30, 2005 2:47 am

Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Sun Jul 26, 2020 12:42 pm

kiowa wrote:
LONGisland89 wrote:
KCaviator wrote:

Thanks for telling me what my own experiences are. Glad you’ve been next to me during every one. I’m not accusing ATC of putting safety at risk, it’s the PIC’s responsibility. But don’t play dumb. We’ve all heard the response “what do you need it to be?” when inquiring about certain weather conditions.


I don't know what your experiences are in an airplane, but as a pilot, center controller, and now tower controller, I can tell you that you're unequivocally, categorically false.


It’s pretty encompassing to talk for all pilots and all controllers and in an authoritative tone. A controller who asks what weather you need may not be offering to change the report. He could just be curious or he could be planning for when he can get you in or takeoff.

Back in the early 1990s I was flying out of KLEB as a scheduled Part 135 Commuter flight and they were reporting 1 mile vis and we needed 1 1/2 miles. After the tower asked what we needed for departure a special METAR came out that showed the vis a 1 1/2 miles. Shortly after we got airborne another special came out with the vis back down to 1 mile.
 
kiowa
Topic Author
Posts: 759
Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 12:37 am

Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:04 pm

737tanker wrote:
kiowa wrote:
LONGisland89 wrote:

I don't know what your experiences are in an airplane, but as a pilot, center controller, and now tower controller, I can tell you that you're unequivocally, categorically false.


It’s pretty encompassing to talk for all pilots and all controllers and in an authoritative tone. A controller who asks what weather you need may not be offering to change the report. He could just be curious or he could be planning for when he can get you in or takeoff.

Back in the early 1990s I was flying out of KLEB as a scheduled Part 135 Commuter flight and they were reporting 1 mile vis and we needed 1 1/2 miles. After the tower asked what we needed for departure a special METAR came out that showed the vis a 1 1/2 miles. Shortly after we got airborne another special came out with the vis back down to 1 mile.


I doubt the company you worked for put pressure on the tower operators or the weather people to do that though.
 
Cubsrule
Posts: 14553
Joined: Sat May 15, 2004 12:13 pm

Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Sun Jul 26, 2020 11:33 pm

kiowa wrote:
737tanker wrote:
kiowa wrote:

It’s pretty encompassing to talk for all pilots and all controllers and in an authoritative tone. A controller who asks what weather you need may not be offering to change the report. He could just be curious or he could be planning for when he can get you in or takeoff.

Back in the early 1990s I was flying out of KLEB as a scheduled Part 135 Commuter flight and they were reporting 1 mile vis and we needed 1 1/2 miles. After the tower asked what we needed for departure a special METAR came out that showed the vis a 1 1/2 miles. Shortly after we got airborne another special came out with the vis back down to 1 mile.


I doubt the company you worked for put pressure on the tower operators or the weather people to do that though.


But there’s no evidence of pressure from WN in this instance either, is there?
I can't decide whether I miss the tulip or the bowling shoe more
 
wxtech
Posts: 45
Joined: Mon May 09, 2016 3:04 pm

Re: Former MDW official accused of violating safety protocols

Mon Jul 27, 2020 8:36 am

MDW has a weather observer on duty 24/7. The tower can enter tower visibility on any of the METAR or SPECI obs. They do not have anything to do with sfc vis, present wx, CIG...etc. ATC will on occasion will contact the weather observer about CIG/VIS when a value is reached that is a non-speci value that impacts ATC operations.

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