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Diversions Due To DTW Tower Closing

Sun Jan 23, 2005 7:43 am

Has anyone else had interesting NW diversions today due to DTW's tower being closed. The NW ramp at CMH must have been a mess today... here's what I found:

NW1689, A320 supposed to go RDU-DTW diverted to CMH
NW1753, DC9-5 supposed to go GRR-DTW diverted all the way down to CMH
NW493, 752 supposed to go TPA-DTW diverted to CMH but has since departed to DTW
NW1746, DC95, went BNA-CMH, instead of BNA-DTW.

flytecomm also shows NW 263 (DC-93) going BOS-CMH in-flight, scheduled to arrive at 7PM at CMH but it shows that it departed BOS at 1:42PM????

[Edited 2005-01-22 23:56:23]
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RE: Diversions Due To DTW Tower Closing

Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:34 am

Call me crazy, but with the GRR-DTW flight, wouldn't it make more sense to just cancel the flight (or if the chaos wasn't apparent til the flight took off, divert back to GRR or even LAN)? Seems like quite a hassle to drop people off further from their destination than they started.
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RE: Diversions Due To DTW Tower Closing

Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:47 am

It would have been easier just to cancel and either fly the next day or bus everyone when the roads are safe and clean. The diversion was pointless!!

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RE: Diversions Due To DTW Tower Closing

Sun Jan 23, 2005 12:32 pm

They also could have sent the ppl to FNT. Not too far from DTW, DEFINATELY closer than LAN or GRR or CMH..

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RE: Diversions Due To DTW Tower Closing

Sun Jan 23, 2005 2:41 pm

If you go to and listen to the tape from 1330-1400 EDT, starting at 8:59 into the recording:

(8:59) ATC: Northwest 11 85, uh, contact Cleveland Center again on 1 3 2 point 2 5, unfortunately they're going to have to put you in a hold for a little bit, the tower lost, uh, we just all control in the tower.
(9:10) NW1185: Bummer. Northwest 1185.
(9:31) ATC: ... Yeah, we're getting ready to close the tower. 3 right, position and hold
(10:53) ATC: Northwest 7 fifty, turn right heading 2-1-0, you're one of the last ones they're going to get in also...
(11:30) ATC: We're going...D T W tower is going to A T C zero. Uh, they were doing some work on mold and they did some spraying that is sickening people. So we're going to hold at all four sixes now and trying to determine what we'll be able to do as far as accepting after that. Alright?
(11:53) UNK1: So, is everyone going back to the center?
(11:57) UNK2: Uh, the last guy told us you're going to evacuate the tower or something?
(12:00) UNK3: No, it's not weather, they're using some sort of chemical agent up there and people are puking blood up and passing out...
(12:09) ATC: Folks, [unintelligible] we're getting ready to get minimal personnel in the tower due to the fumes.
(12:17) UNK4: ...aparently they're using some chemicals that aren't very conducive to breathing and they got up into the tower
(12:28) UNK5: They can't open a window?
(12:29) UNK6: Yeah.
(12:42) NW753: Is everything OK up there?
(12:43) ATC: Yeah, they sprayed something for mold and it appears to be the wrong chemical and people are getting sick and throwing up and stuff.
(12:50) UNK7: [Laughing] Ummm, OK.
(12:51) ATC: Put that on top of the de-icing and [????] it up for everyone else.
(12:56) UNK7: Uhhhhh, what else can happen today?
(12:59) ATC: That's right.
(13:00) UNK7: Wait, maybe I shouldn't say that.
(14:07) ATC: I'll try to get you out of here...we're in the process of evacuating the tower, so I'll try to get you out of here as soon as I can
[...bits I'm not transcribing...]
(19:09) ATC: Do it on the runway, please, we're getting ready to go to A T C zero on the tower, we've got five arrivals and then the field will be stopped...
... There's more, but this is all I'm going transcribe for now.

BTW, what is "ATC 0" and "hold at four sixes" mean?

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RE: Diversions Due To DTW Tower Closing

Sun Jan 23, 2005 9:17 pm

Probably said "hold at the four fixes" - meaning fix points on the DTW arrivals. Not sure what "ATC 0" means.
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RE: Diversions Due To DTW Tower Closing

Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:41 pm

ATC zero sounds like it mean zero ATC personel manning the tower. The controller says he is leaving and they will be ATC 0 at that point. Hope they are all right. Throwing up blood is never good. Be interesting what the chemical was.

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RE: Diversions Due To DTW Tower Closing

Mon Jan 24, 2005 6:15 am

The controllers moved into the old control tower at DTW for a while. I don't know if they are back into the new one or not. Kind of handy having the old one still there.
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RE: Diversions Due To DTW Tower Closing

Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:47 am

"ATC zero" means no traffic moves in that controlled area. None. Zero. All inbound flights are either held at fixes or diverted; all outbound flights are grounded.

(Hate to use the example) but 9/11 was the first ever nation-wide ATC Zero.

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RE: Diversions Due To DTW Tower Closing

Mon Jan 24, 2005 11:10 am

Diversions again today...3 CRJs here in TOL - no idea why though. They were flights from ICT, CAE, and TYS.
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RE: Diversions Due To DTW Tower Closing

Mon Jan 24, 2005 11:35 am

I was one of the lucky ones trying to get out of Detroit on Sat 1/22. First flights were cancelled b/c of the snow storm and then I heard (at several gates) that ATC had "radio problems" and was down to only one frequency for all of DTW ATC.

I was scheduled to leave at 12:58pm on DL and never left until 5:50ish on the flight that was scheduled to leave at 3:53pm! I made it home some 8 hours later. But it was expected due to the bad weather so I guess I was lucky compared to others yesterday and today.

My connection flight (ASA) had a wind shear warning out of ATL and then again at GPT where where had to abort our landing. Both had winds at or near 50mph.

What a day it was....

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