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slcguy
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Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:51 am

Sorry if this was posted already, couldn't find it in a search.

This past week an ATC controller in Denver ignored an emergency request from a pilot on approach with smoke in the cockpit because he misunderstood the call sign from ExpressJet flight 5912 thinking it was United 12 which didn't exist. The controller thought it was a fake radio call and even said on air that it was BS. As a result the plane had landed and was evacuating berfore emergency equipment was even dispatched.

http://www.denverpost.com/ci_2034015...enverpost.com-www.denverpost.com" target="_blank">http://www.denverpost.com/ci_2034015....denverpost.com-www.denverpost.com

http://www.9news.com/news/article/26...-during-emergency-landing-Thats-BS

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headline...emergency-landing-tower-calls-b-s/

The second and third links have audio of the ATC transmissions.

[Edited 2012-04-08 04:03:52]

[Edited 2012-04-08 04:04:36]

[Edited 2012-04-08 04:05:37]
 
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OA260
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:02 am

Lucky it wasnt more serious ,every event like this should be treated as real until proven otherwise . People could have died.
 
David_itl
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:12 am

Quoting OA260 (Reply 1):
People could have died.

And those flying the aircraft may like to state "Mayday. Mayday. Mayday" and not resort to non-standard phraseology?
 
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OA260
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:42 am

Quoting david_itl (Reply 2):
And those flying the aircraft may like to state "Mayday. Mayday. Mayday" and not resort to non-standard phraseology?

Indeed but two wrongs dont make a right .  
 
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Mortyman
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:11 pm

First of all, the controller need to clear his ears. It was clear that the pilot did not state United 12, but 5912. Secondly, what's with the BS comment ? I expect some proffesionalism from an airtraffic controller and as OA260 states:

Quoting OA260 (Reply 1):
every event like this should be treated as real until proven otherwise
 
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Hypoxik
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:45 pm

The thing is, he had the strip saying he had ACEY 5912 infront of him.
KIWA, PHOG, KEWR, KIAH, KLAX, KIAH, KEWR, KORD, KIAD, KORD, KSFO, KLAX, KBUR
 
slcguy
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 12:59 pm

Declaring an emergency is accepted as much as a mayday call. In this case it was a confusion of call signs that led to the controller disregarding it, if the pilot had said mayday it probably wouldn't have made a difference to the controller.

On the subject of callsigns, this was United flown by United Express operated by Express Jet which is owned by Skywest. I'm guessing that the correct call sign for this flight was Jetlink 5912, Jetlink being the Express Jet call sign.
 
DAL763ER
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:04 pm

While I agree the controller should have considered it a real event until proven otherwise, the pilot should have spoken more clearly - he sounds like he was shouting in the radio. If you want to be heard, you should speak calmly and clearly regardless of the situation you're in (see Sully's way of handling things for example). If the pilot didn't start sounding desperate from the beginning, maybe the flight number would've been heard properly.
 
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Hypoxik
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:05 pm

Quoting SLCGuy (Reply 6):

Nope...
As a way to make the boys in ATL feel warm and fuzzy, ExpressJet took the ACEY callsign. Think USAIR...
KIWA, PHOG, KEWR, KIAH, KLAX, KIAH, KEWR, KORD, KIAD, KORD, KSFO, KLAX, KBUR
 
David_itl
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:07 pm

Quoting SLCGuy (Reply 6):
Declaring an emergency is accepted as much as a mayday call.

From the FAA's Aeronautical Information Manual - Official Guide to Basic Flight Information and ATC Procedures;


6-3-1. Distress and Urgency Communications

a. A pilot who encounters a distress or urgency condition can obtain assistance simply by contacting the air traffic facility or other agency in whose area of responsibility the aircraft is operating, stating the nature of the difficulty, pilot's intentions and assistance desired. Distress and urgency communications procedures are prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), however, and have decided advantages over the informal procedure described above.

b. Distress and urgency communications procedures discussed in the following paragraphs relate to the use of air ground voice communications.

c. The initial communication, and if considered necessary, any subsequent transmissions by an aircraft in distress should begin with the signal MAYDAY, preferably repeated three times. The signal PAN-PAN should be used in the same manner for an urgency condition.
 
shufflemoomin
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:09 pm

That's pretty shocking. What's the procedure for dealing with this controller? Doesn't this count as endangering an aircraft? How can he still think the whole thing is BS when they're telling him they're on the runway and evacuating? One glance out the window was all it took to confirm that. I wouldn't want this idiot handling any flight I'm on, that's for sure.
 
slcguy
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:11 pm

Ty Hypoxik, knew i missed something in that chain.
 
Mir
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:27 pm

Quoting david_itl (Reply 2):
And those flying the aircraft may like to state "Mayday. Mayday. Mayday" and not resort to non-standard phraseology?

The controller was aware that someone was trying to declare an emergency - the problem was that he didn't think the flight in question existed. So I'm not sure saying "mayday mayday mayday" would have helped.

Quoting SLCGuy (Reply 6):
I'm guessing that the correct call sign for this flight was Jetlink 5912, Jetlink being the Express Jet call sign.

ExpressJet went to the Acey callsign after the merger with ASA.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
kcrwflyer
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:50 pm

Quoting DAL763ER (Reply 7):
While I agree the controller should have considered it a real event until proven otherwise, the pilot should have spoken more clearly - he sounds like he was shouting in the radio. If you want to be heard, you should speak calmly and clearly regardless of the situation you're in (see Sully's way of handling things for example). If the pilot didn't start sounding desperate from the beginning, maybe the flight number would've been heard properly.

You ever been in the cockpit of a plane you thought was on fire? Or in a building you thought was on fire? I'm just curious how calm you were.


What I dont understand... was this not the same controller that would have given the flight clearance to land?
 
lnglive1011yyz
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:41 pm

What blows MY mind, is that all the controller had to do was to continue to ask questions, and wait for a response. He did, but with much delay between the calls.

There appears to be a lot of delay, and I think if anything, the controller should have been more diligent in asking questions.

The Mayday x3 rule or stipulation is great in situations where you are ABLE to do so - in this case, they were on short final, with smoke filling the cockpit. Should have the crew said Mayday x 3, yes. Can you fault them for not? I can't.

Regardless of phantom calls, a call of emergency should be dealt with with impeccable speed and attention, not haphazardly.

If his tush or the tush of one of his family members was on that plane, I'm sure he would want the controller to be a little more diligent.

1011yyz
Pack your bags, we're going on a sympathy trip!
 
ba6590
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 3:42 pm

Quoting kcrwflyer (Reply 13):
You ever been in the cockpit of a plane you thought was on fire? Or in a building you thought was on fire? I'm just curious how calm you were.

I may be wrong here, but a pilot should stay calm and maintain clear communications even in the event of an emergency. After all he still has to land a plane with a possible fault.
Most of the emergency landing recordings I have heard over the years usually involve both a crew and ATC maintaining very calm verbal communication (US 1549 a good example).

I am in no way having a go at the pilot, and I am not blaming him in any way. The captain and his crew did a great job to get the plane on the ground and evacuate everyone safely. All that despite being faced with an ATC that didn't believe him.
 
PlanesNTrains
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:01 pm

Quoting ba6590 (Reply 15):
I may be wrong here, but a pilot should stay calm and maintain clear communications even in the event of an emergency. After all he still has to land a plane with a possible fault.
Most of the emergency landing recordings I have heard over the years usually involve both a crew and ATC maintaining very calm verbal communication (US 1549 a good example).

Obviously that'd be ideal and I agree with you. However, there's always going to be people who panic or sound more desperate or heated or whatever. I'm guessing this is the first time this pilot was in a plane that he thought might be on fire - for real. I'd like to think I'd be calm, but it would be a little freaky, too.

-Dave
-Dave


MAX’d out on MAX threads. If you are starting a thread, and it’s about the MAX - stop. There’s already a thread that covers it.
 
as739x
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 4:26 pm

Quoting ba6590 (Reply 15):

The USAirways pilot also were not flying an ILS at 140kts in a snow storm.

The pilot calling himself ExpressJet may have been a reaction as many of those pilots spent years saying that call sign. In an emergency its natural to revert back to what your training taught you.

What gets me is that the DIA controller doesn't do anything when they say they are evacing on 34R. Could there not have been a plane on the ILS (once again in snow) that he should maybe say "go around" to?
"Some pilots avoid storm cells and some play connect the dots!"
 
COS777
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:09 pm

Seems like one of the easiest things for the controller to do would be to say, "Aircraft declaring an emergency, transmission unreadable, please IDENT." Seeing the IDENT reply on the radar quickly establishes that it is a ligament call and he also quickly sees where the aircraft is and the call sign. Probably easier for the pilot to push one button instead of going back and forth on the radio.
 
YVRFlyer
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:16 pm

Wow, another day, another event that seems lifted from the Airplane! movie.

Sounds like the ATC guy picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue!   
YVRFlyer
 
JBirdAV8r
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:46 pm

Quoting david_itl (Reply 2):

"Initial communication" does not necessarily mean the initial statement of emergency. There is normally no need to waste breath by restating the declaration. When we say "declaring an emergency" that suffices...nothing else needs to be said. Our intentions have been made clear and we are now an emergency aircraft.

Plenty of emergencies are declared in the US every day and I would say very few would ever use "mayday"--typically this is either used to convey a very grave, time-critical threat to safety that would require immediate ATC action. By the time this crew likely contacted ATC they were well into their procedures for dealing with it.

Remember another thing: the AIM is not regulatory.

This is a rather pedantic argument anyway. It's not "non-standard phraseology" by any stretch. "mayday" is not some secret password for emergency consideration...that's just silly.
I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
 
tbsspilot
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:47 pm

Quoting DAL763ER (Reply 7):
the pilot should have spoken more clearly - he sounds like he was shouting in the radio.

He probably had the oxygen mask on. If it is a continuous flow emergency O2 system like on my plane, it is forcing air into your lungs at very high pressure which makes it VERY difficult to speak. It feels like you are being suffocated since it is very hard to exhale (yes I know it's not actual suffocation, but it feels like it). We are told to break the seal on the mask if necessary to alleviate the pressure. Under those circumstances, I think the pilot was least concerned with communicating, regardless of what the controller was doing. Great job to the whole crew for getting everyone down safely.
 
F9Animal
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:55 pm

First off, thank god it turned out not to be a tragedy! I hope this incident is used as a major training tool for Air Traffic Controllers.
I Am A Different Animal!!
 
JBirdAV8r
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 5:56 pm

Quoting DAL763ER (Reply 7):

Ever tried to communicate using the mic in an emergency oxygen mask?
I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
 
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atcsundevil
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:45 pm

Quoting Hypoxik (Reply 5):
The thing is, he had the strip saying he had ACEY 5912 infront of him.

Strips aren't used for arrivals at most facilities in the TRACON or tower. He would have had the STARS display for reference though.


If he heard a callsign not on frequency declaring emergency, he should have sought clarification instead of deeming it to be an intruder. However, it is in the pilot's best interest to make the emergency declaration as clear as possible and include information for ATC to pass along. I understand we're talking about an emergency and natural instincts kick in, but it doesn't help your cause to not make yourself understood.
 
bueb0g
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 6:57 pm

Quoting david_itl (Reply 2):
And those flying the aircraft may like to state "Mayday. Mayday. Mayday" and not resort to non-standard phraseology?

Aviate, navigate, communicate. Pilots often have too much on their hands to make "proper" calls - flying the aircraft and making sure it's going in the right direction are the most important. For the ATC however, not making mistakes like this with communication are paramount.

Quoting DAL763ER (Reply 7):
If the pilot didn't start sounding desperate from the beginning, maybe the flight number would've been heard properly.

I suppose you're highly experienced in making emergency calls whilst flying ILS approaches during snowstorms with smoke filling your cockpit and an oxygen mask on?
Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
 
BlueShamu330s
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:15 pm

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 25):
Aviate, navigate, communicate. Pilots often have too much on their hands to make "proper" calls - flying the aircraft and making sure it's going in the right direction are the most important. For the ATC however, not making mistakes like this with communication are paramount.

I'm not going to comment about the thread specific incident, but the comment above is absolute rubbish.

A Pilot who often has too much on his/her hands to make "proper" calls on the RT is not worthy of holding a PPL, never mind an ATPL.

Safety is an all encompassing requirement in aviation, and there is no scope for weak links in the chain.

Rgds
Flying around India
 
JBirdAV8r
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 7:54 pm

Quoting blueshamu330s (Reply 26):

Part of maintaining safety is prioritizing tasks. We train extensively on this.

"Aviate, navigate, communicate" is a mantra sanctioned by the FAA and drilled into the heads of pilots from their very first days as students. I'm not sure why you seem to vehemently disagree with it...it's pretty cut and dried.

We don't flippantly blow off radio calls because we are, say, in the middle of a conversation. In this scenario, the flying pilot would have probably asserted his control of the aircraft and taken the radios while the pilot monitoring started running the checklists to deal with the problem. Talking to ATC becomes the lowest priority in the event of task saturation, and this crew was almost certainly task saturated. Telling ATC to stand by is common practice and both pilots and controllers utilize it.
I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
 
speedbird217
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:09 pm

I wonder how many of the people on here judging the pilot have actually ever FLOWN a real plane from the flight deck or had to live through an emergency while on the flight deck. I didn't, and therefore I certainly don't have the right to judge the pilots. It's always easy to judge others in situations you have never been in from your armchair, is it?
Pilots are humans and humans act human (logically...). They're no super heroes, they are people. They ideally have good training, but that doesn't prevent them from making mistakes and I'd rather have a pilot that lands a plane safely and uses a wrong callsign in such a situation, than a pilot that uses the right callsign but crashes on final, because he thought it was more important to concentrate on communication than on flying.

Kudos to the pilots for bringing down the plane safely and they should really look into this controller. Even if you're not using the correct callsign, he should have taken this seriously and most certainly not call it "BS"...very unprofessional and dangerous. Glad everything turned out ok.
 
BlueShamu330s
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:19 pm

I am not vehemently against the mantra aviate, navigate, communicate, as it has seen me safely and relatively unscathed through my own flying career.

I specifically stated I was not referring to the incident pertinent to this thread and that I was only responding to the phrase I quoted.

What concerned me is the generalised assertion that pilots "often have too much on their hands to make proper calls."

This in no way refers to "aviate, navigate, communicate."

If a pilot has time to depress the PTT and talk, then unless in extreme circumstances, there is no excuse or room in a safety orientated business for non-standard or "proper" calls...

...which seems to nicely bring us back to the subject of this thread...  

Rgds
Flying around India
 
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longhauler
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:28 pm

In spite of what many on here think, the ATC system in the United States is among the finest in the world. While it would appear that the controller made an error here (pure conjecture at this point), it did not affect the outcome of the flight.

Nor should it. Regardless of what the controller said, a Captain commanding an aircraft with smoke in the cockpit is going to land ASAP, and likely going to evacuate the aircraft. As he was on an approach to a landing area, he is going to land. Even if the controller did not understand him, and even if he did not understand the controller, he is going to land his aircraft and get everyone safely out.

ATC in the United States is totally transparent. If there is an error made, it will be corrected. An investigation will be made, and likely suggestions will be made to make it safer in the future. With human factors being a big part of investigations today, if the controller did make an error, the investigation will not just stop there. Why he made the error will be investigated and how it can be solved in the future will be suggested. It is all a part of the process.
Just because I stopped arguing, doesn't mean I think you are right. It just means I gave up!
 
BE77
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 8:48 pm

Quoting ba6590 (Reply 15):
I may be wrong here, but a pilot should stay calm and maintain clear communications even in the event of an emergency

Sorry ba6590, but I have to go with your first option. Communication is a bonus, not a priority. I admit I had to check, but communication is not even listed in any of the emergency procedure checklists in the 3 different light aircraft I am lucky enough to be able to fly (Aviate and Navigate items both are), so the FAA and Transport Canada don't seem to think it is required.

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 25):
Aviate, navigate, communicate
Quoting jbirdav8r (Reply 27):
Aviate, navigate, communicate

Agree - and will add that the priority between those is not linear - aviate is at least 80% of the priority (listen to the Hudson River tapes...Sully was composed, but certainly not verbose...because he was pretty busy aviating, as was the nameless crew in 5912), navigating is most of the remaining priority (Sully found a safe river, 5912 found a safe runway), and communicate...someone heard Sully say the Hudson, someone heard 5912 declare but didn't seem to believe it).

I'm sticking with the pilot / crew on this one...he / she / they seems to have very succesfully accomplished the prioity tasks...kept flying the plane, found a runway, used it...hell, he even got in some communication, which was more than enough to have alerted someone that there was a problem. Yay 5912 team! Good show. Broken airplane, no broken people.

Glad that the delays didn't affect the outcome - but it is one of those cases where it certainly could have with just a little bit of bad luck.
Tower, Affirmitive, gear is down and welded
 
bueb0g
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 9:48 pm

Quoting blueshamu330s (Reply 26):
A Pilot who often has too much on his/her hands to make "proper" calls on the RT is not worthy of holding a PPL, never mind an ATPL.

The suggestion of an emergency situation in my post was implicit. As in, in high stress emergency situations radio calls often fall by the wayside or come out wrong e.g Peter Burkhill on BA038, called "mayday, mayday, speedbird - speedbird 95", and then made a "this is the captain, this is the captain, evacuate, evacuate" call to ATC when he meant to say it to the passengers - is this captain who showed terrific airmanship in his handling of the emergency "not worthy of holding a PPL, never mind an ATPL"? No, that's total BS.

[Edited 2012-04-08 14:50:48]
Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
 
BE77
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:34 pm

Quoting longhauler (Reply 30):

Concur on all points. Fire or lots of smoke is a land now item. not soon, but now, especially with square miles of runways nearby, like at DEN.
Also to be sure, whatever comes out of the investigation will be transparent and open...it may not be exactly what we think today, but it will be open and evident when the reports and data are compiled. And my experiences with ATC in both the US and Canada have always been excellent, especially when I have needed it to be!
Tower, Affirmitive, gear is down and welded
 
mikect
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:42 pm

I think the phrasologly argument here is moot. There is no question the controller heard someone declare an emergency and identify themselves three times. The fact is he simply didn't believe it. The last call by the pilot was clearly stressed, but in my opinion, understandably. He was faced with blinding smoke in the cockpit while shooting an ILS approach to minimums. All while dealing with a controller, who even on the last call heard the correct identification, who refused to believe they needed assistance.
 
DashTrash
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Sun Apr 08, 2012 11:53 pm

Quoting david_itl (Reply 9):
c. The initial communication, and if considered necessary, any subsequent transmissions by an aircraft in distress should begin with the signal MAYDAY, preferably repeated three times. The signal PAN-PAN should be used in the same manner for an urgency condition.

The airline I started with had the phraseology they wanted you to use when declaring an emergency spelled out in the POH. It didn't include the work "mayday".

For some reason regional guys love to drop the identifier from their callsign. Not everyone, but certainly enough. When you do that regularly, it becomes second nature. The result of that is incomplete communication with the fit hits the shan as evidenced by this incident. With a different controller on the other end, dropping the identifier wouldn't have made a difference. In this case, it did. The lesson learned here is to ALWAYS use your full callsign in every transmission. Remove all doubt when you key the mic.

For what it's worth, this crew did a fine job. I've evacuated one aircraft and we had the luxury of being at the gate, shutdown when the smoke started. It's an entirely different ballgame when you're airborne and end up having to evac on an active runway. Many crews have wadded up airplanes and killed people under less stressful conditions.

Bottom line, crew did well, everyone lived. Take the lessons this incident teaches us and use your full damn callsign on each transmission. Controllers, verify rather than call BS if something doesn't seem right.

Either that or sit here and argue who's right or wrong like a bunch of whiny kids.
 
adam1115
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:29 am

EMB145 Hits App Lights-Hard Landing In DEN (by Gonzalo Apr 3 2012 in Civil Aviation)
 
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DocLightning
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:37 am

Quoting speedbird217 (Reply 28):
Kudos to the pilots for bringing down the plane safely and they should really look into this controller. Even if you're not using the correct callsign, he should have taken this seriously and most certainly not call it "BS"...very unprofessional and dangerous. Glad everything turned out ok.

I agree. Speaking as someone who has to work in emergency situations (albeit different from this one), when someone calls "emergency" you respond as if it is until you prove that it is not. Imagine if a Code Blue were called and I said "Ahhh, it's probably BS."

The controller was irresponsible to dismiss any emergency until he has absolutely proven that it is not an emergency.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
spudsmac
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:45 am

Aviate, Navigate, Communicate.
 
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KaiGywer
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:58 am

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 37):
I agree. Speaking as someone who has to work in emergency situations (albeit different from this one), when someone calls "emergency" you respond as if it is until you prove that it is not. Imagine if a Code Blue were called and I said "Ahhh, it's probably BS."

Exactly. I also deal with emergencies on a daily basis, and most people have no idea how they would act in an emergency. I've had people hysterical and screaming over a fender bender, and some that are perfectly calm when their spouse is laying there dead. Everybody reacts differently to an emergency.
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
kl692
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:42 am

And the media who have nothing better to report is making a huge deal out of this. Not making excuses for the ATC personal but lets not forget that it is one of the stressful job out there. And why did the pilot responded when the controller call hin United 12? Which might have been enough for the controller to assume that it was a fake call.

Just my 2 Canadian cents here!
A310, A330,A346,B73H, B747,B772,B77W,CRJ
 
BE77
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RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Mon Apr 09, 2012 10:11 am

Quoting adam1115 (Reply 36):
EMB145 Hits App Lights-Hard Landing In DEN (by Gonzalo Apr 3 2012 in Civil Aviation)

There it is - when this thread started, I 'knew' I had already read about the situation somewhere! Good original post - timely, and I know I found it interesting. Hopefully Gonzalo doesn't mind that the topic moved here - the ATC aspect is probably sufficiently different, etc.

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 39):
most people have no idea how they would act in an emergency

Oh, absolutely! Not my 'regular' job by any means, but we train and unfortunately have to use that training from time to time (large industrial setting, 2000 employees, remote location) for industrial accidents and the more frequent non-work medical issues. Amazing how people who are very critical of things change their attitude as soon as they are involved in an emergency response, let alone being involved in the actual emergency.
Tower, Affirmitive, gear is down and welded
 
rcair1
Posts: 1147
Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2009 8:39 pm

RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Mon Apr 09, 2012 7:53 pm

Quoting BE77 (Reply 31):
I'm sticking with the pilot / crew on this one...he / she / they seems to have very succesfully accomplished the prioity tasks...kept flying the plane, found a runway, used it...hell, he even got in some communication, which was more than enough to have alerted someone that there was a problem. Yay 5912 team! Good show. Broken airplane, no broken people.

100%   

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 37):
I agree. Speaking as someone who has to work in emergency situations (albeit different from this one), when someone calls "emergency" you respond as if it is until you prove that it is not. Imagine if a Code Blue were called and I said "Ahhh, it's probably BS."

I, too, agree. Although in a different situation (fire fighter), I've had plenty of cases where the principle of aviate, navigate, communicate is followed. Deal with life threats first. Also - these pilots obviously did communicate - they got their passengers out of the aircraft and onto the ground.

Quoting kl692 (Reply 40):
And the media who have nothing better to report is making a huge deal out of this.

With all due respect, it is a pretty big deal. Aircraft stopped and evacuating in the middle of active runway without emergency crews even notified. Imagine the outcome of the United 737 that departed the runway in Denver couple years ago - if fire had not responded. Actually - one of the survival aspects was the proximity of the fire station to the aircraft.

We, easily, could have been reading about deaths here.

To the crew - well done ladies and gentlemen.
rcair1
 
Rdh3e
Posts: 3620
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 2:09 pm

RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:24 pm

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 25):
I suppose you're highly experienced in making emergency calls whilst flying ILS approaches during snowstorms with smoke filling your cockpit and an oxygen mask on?

And smoke filling the cockpit is an understatement. One report I read stated under 12" of visibility in the cockpit.
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:03 pm

I can't believe anyone would try to defend the controller in this situation, or blame the pilots.

It was very clear the controller understood an emergency was being declared and he consciously chose to be a douche about it.

As a taxpayer, I want his head.

NS
 
shufflemoomin
Posts: 409
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:04 am

RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Tue Apr 10, 2012 6:55 pm

Quoting gigneil (Reply 44):
As a taxpayer, I want his head.

What's that got to do with anything?
 
roseflyer
Posts: 9602
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 9:34 am

RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Tue Apr 10, 2012 7:32 pm

Quoting DAL763ER (Reply 7):


While I agree the controller should have considered it a real event until proven otherwise, the pilot should have spoken more clearly - he sounds like he was shouting in the radio. If you want to be heard, you should speak calmly and clearly regardless of the situation you're in (see Sully's way of handling things for example). If the pilot didn't start sounding desperate from the beginning, maybe the flight number would've been heard properly.

I probably would sound a lot worse than that if I was going through what those pilots were. Landing in 1/2 mile visibility in a snowstorm is already a challenging approach. Having the cockpit fill with smoke while executing that approach is a pilot's worst nightmare. Not only could he not see the runway, but also couldn't see his instruments. At least Sully had a clear day so he could see what he was doing and also he had thousands of feet and not hundreds to deal with.

I would not have any patience for a controller not understanding me in that circumstance. They teach in pilot training proper communication, but when everything is going wrong, it is ok to speak in regular English. Communication is the last priority.

Quoting blueshamu330s (Reply 29):

If a pilot has time to depress the PTT and talk, then unless in extreme circumstances, there is no excuse or room in a safety orientated business for non-standard or "proper" calls...

I think that you do agree that in this situation it was an extreme circumstance. Losing an engine on approach and having the flight deck fill with smoke constitutes an extreme circumstance. Losing all your instruments on an ILS approach without the ability to go around because of unresponsive engines is about as challenging as a simulator can get.

Quoting longhauler (Reply 30):
In spite of what many on here think, the ATC system in the United States is among the finest in the world. While it would appear that the controller made an error here (pure conjecture at this point), it did not affect the outcome of the flight.

Nor should it. Regardless of what the controller said, a Captain commanding an aircraft with smoke in the cockpit is going to land ASAP, and likely going to evacuate the aircraft. As he was on an approach to a landing area, he is going to land. Even if the controller did not understand him, and even if he did not understand the controller, he is going to land his aircraft and get everyone safely out.

I agree fortunately everything worked out ok. The controller delayed response because he misunderstood a call from a pilot. That's a human factors problem. These happen from time to time and do cause crashes. We have come a long way from accidents like when the Eastern Pilots flew a perfectly flyable L1011 into the ground.

Fortunately, the pilots did the most important thing. They flew the airplane and got it on the ground safely. Having a misunderstanding controller delayed the ARFF response, but concentrating on the radio could have resulted in a far bigger problem and worse outcome.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
bennett123
Posts: 9438
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:54 pm

IMO, ATC has a lot of explaining to do, and it had better be good.

If the call was not phrased correctly, then he should have sought clarification.
 
gigneil
Posts: 14133
Joined: Fri Nov 08, 2002 10:25 am

RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:36 am

Quoting gigneil (Reply 44):
As a taxpayer, I want his head.

I pay his salary. I want to not. Does that compute?

NS
 
shufflemoomin
Posts: 409
Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:04 am

RE: Denver ATC Ignores Emergency Call

Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:17 pm

Quoting gigneil (Reply 48):
I pay his salary. I want to not. Does that compute?

I did not know that US ATC was government funded. Could have used less of the attitude, though.

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