NATCA Paints Dark Picture Of SoCal Power Outage | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

Airborne Unlimited -- Recent Daily Episodes

Episode Date

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Airborne On ANN

Airborne 05.23.16

Airborne 05.24.16

Airborne 05.25.16

Airborne 05.26.16

Airborne 05.20.16

Airborne Hi-Def On YouTube

Airborne 05.23.16

Airborne 05.24.16

Airborne 05.25.16

Airborne 05.26.16

Airborne 05.20.16

AEA2016 LIVE Aero-TV: 04/27-0830ET, 04/28-1400ET, 04/29-1100ET

Sun 'n Fun 2016 Innovation Preview on Vimeo!

Sun 'n Fun 2016 Innovation Preview on YouTube!

Thu, Jul 20, 2006

NATCA Paints Dark Picture Of SoCal Power Outage

Says Controllers Used Cell Phones To Keep Tabs On Planes

A massive power and communications failure late Tuesday at the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center left scrambling air traffic controllers to deal with a nightmare scenario -– how to keep dozens of flights away from each other above a large swath of the Southwestern United States despite the inability to see them, talk to them or relay crucial instructions for 15 excruciatingly long minutes.

That's the word from the National Air Traffic Controllers Association... which adds that all the skill, heart and determination that controllers bring into the control room every day was put to the test during one of the worst outages to ever hit the facility.

In fact, NATCA says, conditions were so bad at the Los Angeles ARTCC Tuesday that the only thing controllers had of use to aid the situation that actually worked was their cell phones –- devices which the Federal Aviation Administration has barred from control rooms, incidentally.

"We were completely dead in the water," said Bob Marks, Western Pacific regional vice president for NATCA. "We lost everything and could not talk to our airplanes for those 15 minutes. Our controllers were frantically picking up cell phones and calling air traffic control facilities around the region, including Bakersfield Approach, High Desert Terminal Radar Approach Control, Albuquerque Center and Southern California TRACON, asking them to expand the range of their radar scopes and let LA Center controllers know if anyone was in danger of a collision."

As Aero-News reported, delays mounted by the hundreds for thousands of air travelers... topping off yet another bad day, NATCA says, in what has become a miserable summer.

More importantly, the controllers union says safety margins were the casualty of Tuesday’s outage... as controllers' efforts and ingenuity prevented a catastrophe.

"They used their wits, their guile, and yes, their management-prohibited cell phones," NATCA President John Carr said.

The FAA maintains that "safety was never compromised" but Carr says that wasn't the case Tuesday... and moreover, that travelers know better.

"If radar and radios are not necessary to ensure safety, then shut 'em off permanently, and let's save a ton on the utility bill," Carr stated. "If outages are insignificant or inconsequential, let's get rid of all this burdensome equipment and revert to the safe haven of manual air traffic control. If the answer is always going to be ‘safety was never compromised,’ then don't even bother meeting with the media. With fraudulent misrepresentations like that, you can just mail them in every time there's a critical safety-related outage."

FMI: www.natca.org, www.faa.gov

Advertisement

More News

Airborne 05.25.16: Canada SeaPlane Regs, Blimp Downed, Citation Longitude Mated

Also: USAF Hassled, Hummel UltraCruiser, Helo Limits, FAA Video, Greg Connell Accident, Medical Helo Suit, Bombardier's 100th VistaJet Canada is proposing changes to their seaplane>[...]

Icon Steps Back, Admits Curtailed Production Plan

Finally Talking (And Still Hyping), Icon Production Plans Take A Big Hit The following is the text of a release from Icon Aircraft (bluster and all)... ANN Analysis and industry re>[...]

Solar Impulse 2 Is En Route To Lehigh Valley, PA

Atlantic Crossing Next Major Hurdle Solar Impulse 2 (Si2) departed Dayton (OH) International Airport with Bertrand Piccard at the controls, this morning at 0402 local time (UTC-4).>[...]

Icon Controversy Continues, But Icon Has Yet To Speak Up

The Company That Won't Answer Questions, May Finally Have To Do So ANN has been bombarded with info and reports concerning the health and well-being of the Icon Aircraft program...>[...]

ANN's Daily Aero-Linx (05.26.16)

Safety Management System (SMS) This FAA website was created as a public resource for those seeking to learn more about SMS within the aviation industry and the FAA.>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2016 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC