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Video: FAA Releases Radar and ATC Tape of Near Miss at Reagan National

The FAA late Thursday afternoon released a radar replay and air traffic control recording of an incident in which a plane was cleared for takeoff against the flow of traffic arriving into Reagan National Airport. ( 更多...

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preacher1 12
Tower Screwup, YES - Separation minimum violation, YES. - Near Miss, NO

Media sensationalism, YES
Ben Lillie 1
That's what I was about to say.
Pa Thomas 3
This is only 1/4th of what happened. We only hear the tower controller's voice.

To completely understand why this operational error happened, we need to hear what coordination occurred between the tower and the approach control supervision BEFORE the runway change.

We also need to hear the coordination that must be going on between the tower and the approach control DURING the events that are happening on this tape. During the long pauses this controller must have been asking for help from her tower supervisor, or someone else in the tower is asking the approach control just what is going on, etc.

Usually, the tower will tell the approach control that a runway change will be complete after a certain event takes place: after this arrival, after this departure, or whatever.

The screwup here (which is called an Operational Error) is someone ignored the parameters for when the runway change will be complete. And, my guess is that it is the Approach Control for sending the arrival inbound too early, much to the surprise of the tower controller, who still had two departures in the air and one more to depart. ( Yes, the tower could have messed up the departures, too.)

So, until we hear the "rest of the story", or the other coordination between the tower and the approach control before and during the Error, we don't really know why this happened at all.
Bill Menzel 2
Like it or not, the phrase “near miss” is here to stay. We all know what it means: it was a miss, it was close, but it was not a collision. The two planes came near each other, but they did not hit.

A good case could be made that “near miss” makes more sense than “near collision”. A collision is a collision. Could we have “far collisions” and “near collisions”? It makes more sense to talk about “far misses” and “near misses”.

It would probably solve all the semantic disputes to switch to adverbial phrases. Then we could say “nearly a miss” (which would be a collision), or “nearly a collision” (which would be a miss). We could also replace “nearly” with “almost” and "collision" with "hit" … but, as I said, like it or not, “near miss” is not going away.

Barring something amiss, my comment could be a hit, or it could collide with the semantic sensitivities of others, in which case it would definitely be amiss.
This reminds me of George Carlin's routine. "Near miss? It's a NEAR HIT! A collision would the a near miss! 'Oh, look. They nearly missed!'"
Jerry Lane 1
The jet problem occurred Tuesday afternoon after a miscommunication between a manager at Potomac Consolidated Terminal Radar Approach Control and two traffic management coordinators at the airport, Huerta said."

Caused by management and staff, not controllers.
I agree with most that we have yet to hear what transpired between the coordinators in the potomac tracon and the flight data coordinator position in the tower. Some one dropped the ball and I dont beleive it was the young lady in the local position.
preacher1 1
I believe you are absolutely correct and as Pa says here below and in another comment further down, she got handed a bag of worms and made the best of, and done a fine job I might add.
MultiComm 1
Sounds like some of the audio might have been cut as there are long period of the radar screen freezing and no audio...I guess that is where the coordination of other facilities is missing...
dmanuel 1
I am not convinced, from the limited data provided, that the tower was at fault. It appears she was handed a bag of worms and did a pretty good job of digging her way out of it. I am a little surprised by LaHood's casual dance. Perhaps it is to keep an illinformed public from panicking or the level of 'OMG' mistakes has a different standard for FAA controllers as oppose to pilots. Let's wait for all the facts to be in (we will get all the facts - right?) before making a logical assessment.
preacher1 1
She did do that and I believe your statement on LaHood is entirely correct, as far as the OMG mistakes and the public. I do believe that there will be a public showing of some kind by the FAA, as far as suspension or reprimand. What made it bad was that accoriding to the news, the FAA didn't hear about it directly. Thy heard about it from a reporter when contacted for info. Caught flatfooted and put in a bad lite. Not a good thing to happen for a bureaucrat. If it had happened anywhere other than DC, it would have been a non event
Pa Thomas 2
This event is called an Operational Error in the FAA. The wheels to investigate the Operational Error started spinning the second all this happened. As a controller or a manager covering up an Operational Error is a termination offense. And, it would be a serious error if it happened, say, in Paducah. And investigated the same way.
preacher1 1
Sad part is that it happened Tuesday and the media did not pick it up nor did the FAA find out about it until Thursday. That is where the problem will be.
Pa Thomas 1
The FAA knew as soon as it happened.
preacher1 1
I will not argue with you on that. Seems you have some inside info there
Pa Thomas 1
No "inside" info...just a retired controller. The FAA takes these sort of things quite seriously, and there are written procedures for reporting and investigation.

I will say that these procedures for reporting, etc, have changed dramatically in the last few years.
Ric Wernicke 1
How about using the word proximity? It was nice of controllers to give people on both sides of the arriving aircraft a view of the Capitol Mall. :)
Tom Bruce 1
coordination screwup... not just the tower... center, approach and tower coordination failure! near miss because standard separation lost and , if not corrected, could have been tragic... like Pa below, wish we could have heard the official FAA tape which would have had all parties recorded, i.e. internal tower conversations, and conversations between approach control and tower controller.... changing a runway is perilous, especially for the last planes in and out...
preacher1 1
Well, sitting here in Hotlanta twiddling my thumbs and looking at my laptop, I'll just throw my 2cts worth in; Definitely a screwup and something lost in the translation; Tower was still launching off the old runway and approach had already changed everybody inbound for the new approach. Brickyard 3329 was just 1st in line and he knew something was squirrley, because according to the ATC tape, he had already saw that other RJ before the tower when the tower told him about it and gave him that 1st 180. What was bad and threw him tight on fuel is that they still didn't have it figured out and had to give him a 2nd one. Must have been total panic in that tower.
mark tufts 1
that is a very close ner miss and preacher i agree with yo atc screw-up
Whenever anyone talks about a near miss, I think of George Carlin.

This particular bit of his is SFW.
Near MISS? They didn't collide. They did MISS. Why do people keep using this term?
Ev Butler -1
I call these incidents a "near hit", not a "near miss". All vocations have their own distinctive language. Time to change this? phrase?
nicky sauter -1
i heard about that on the news today
Tyler Tashji 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

FAA Claims Jets Weren't Close Enough To Cause Collision

None of the commuter jets that flew too close together near Washington on Tuesday was ever on course to collide head-on with the others, federal officials said Thursday.


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