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Local FAA: Two Planes At Midway Began Takeoffs At Same Time

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Two planes began their takeoffs on intersecting runways at Chicago’s Midway airport on Tuesday evening, before being ordered to stop by air traffic control and averting a collision in the center of the airport, the FAA confirmed. (chicago.cbslocal.com) 更多...

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bbabis
Bill Babis 11
There was an error chain developing. Similar flight numbers, same departure time, anticipation, blocked and half blocked transmissions, and possible cockpit distractions was all adding up. The controller broke the chain. $hit happens and we all must stay vigilant.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 5
Anticipation is the big one, a lot of people hear what they're thinking...
gearup328
Peter Steitz 1
Good point. Just because we did it yesterday doesn't mean we do it the same way today. I teach awareness which means listen, pay attention to your job, smell everything, hear everything, listen to all sounds. I used to say "strap the airplane to your back". Become one with it. Not every pilot will do this. They might as well be passengers.
carlsonj
James Carlson 1
Especially when the stress level goes up. Mine goes up a little when I'm given LUAW. Unless I'm about to get a clearance while I'm still rolling (which does happen at times), this means I'll be sitting there exposed on an active runway with little visibility for aircraft that might be approaching from behind. I don't want to be there any longer than necessary, so I'm definitely anticipating that "cleared for takeoff" call.

Having two aircraft lined up with similar call signs on crossing runways definitely sounds like a link in the chain.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 9
A new meaning to the old "Delta is ready when you are"!
TMcDonnell
and even when ATC is not
JakeFFT172
Jake Dawson 6
I am guessing the close call signs 3828 and 1328 might have had something to do with it or delta just not listening
sparkie624
sparkie624 5
With the numbers being that close, I guess Southwest and Delta sort of rhymed to them.
TinytallNH
TinytallNH 1
Not to mention there was a point where they turned the Southwest on to Taxiway Delta. I'm thinking Thirty-eight twenty-eight and thirteen twenty-eight should have been said differently to three eight two eight and one three two eight by the controller at some point to lessen the confusion.
They did a great job stopping the flights immediately, though when the incident was unfolding.
preacher1
preacher1 2
Well, to a seasoned pilot, takeoffs and landings are where most anticipation is and sometimes the only thing heard is either what you want to hear or should hear and a gun gets jumped.
gearup328
Peter Steitz 1
There is a tendency to abbreviate call sign numbers. You can't state you're airline and full call sign anymore because the frequency is too congested unless you are on Center. Try reading back your clearance at ORD--no way. the controller is busy reading it to another. ACARS is the answer. The majors have this. Many GA aircraft don't have it. The tendency is to acknowledge with roger, or OK, FL 240. Pilots have the worst comm. However, ATC has in the rules that they don't have to acknowledge any readback. Crazy.
Dl8698
David Loh 2
I thought the numbers are supposed to said digit by digit?
bcanderson
Tower controller does a great job here. First he gives Delta a synopsis of what is going on and clears him to line up and wait on 4R. Then he gives Southwest the synopsis and tells Southwest to line up and wait 31C, but don't plan on stopping. With that, Delta should now know Southwest is number 1 and Delta is number 2 for departure. Tower then advises Southwest that traffic is holding on a crossing runway (Delta) and then clears Southwest to takeoff on 31C. Both airplanes step on each other acknowledging the clearance. Controller asks for verification specifically repeating Southwest and 31C. Both airplanes step on each other again. At this point the controller suspects Delta is about to roll on 4R and sure enough when Delta begins to roll, he stops him. Kudos to the controller and also to the Southwest crew for hitting the binders when they did.
preacher1
preacher1 3
Actually, everybody did a good job but we still got the same radio problem we had at Tenarife, People getting stepped on and clearances getting garbled
bcanderson
Yeah, but both captains had been informed of traffic holding on a crossing runway. So your antennae (should anyway) go up. Then tower says Southwest and 31C no less than three times from clearing Southwest to line up wait until he says "Stop Stop Stop" while never once saying Delta or 4R. I can see how Delta was confused, but confusion is not a good enough reason to push the power levers forward.
bbabis
Bill Babis 1
Yes, the partyline communications system still used in aviation needs to be addressed. Years ago I used it to draw a situational awareness picture in my head that is now displayed in front of me on one or more MFDs. It still is beneficial in many ways but in congested air/ground space it is a hazard. I say let controllers control and pilots acknowledge with an ident unless there is a question. The controller can see who idents. If two or more aircraft ident, he/she can immediately clarify things. The ident is a powerful feature that is not used correctly in today's world. Often in busy airspace, when you know the controller has forgotten about you and there is no airtime to cut in on, a simple ident will suddenly get you the needed radio call. With more airports installing ground radar it can be used there as well. Controllers, please ident in on this suggestion.
bcanderson
MDW does have ASDE-X so some sort of system could be developed. But a simple ident doesn't convey enough meaning. Am I acknowledging a hold short, line up and wait, or cleared for takeoff? But actually it's not a bad idea to pursue, maybe with Next-Gen we'll get something better than the current read-back hear-back system.
haroldrutila
haroldrutila 1
In this case, you want the controller looking OUTSIDE at the runways rather than INSIDE at a radar display, which is the only way a controller may observe an IDENT. Because the controller was looking outside, he was able to immediately recognize that something was going wrong.

As an aside, IDENT for transmission acknowledgement is used frequently for aircraft that leave the radio range of a controller but are still under his or her supervision. This happens a lot with low-level VFR aircraft.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
There are a lot of airports where the Tower can't see the beginning of the runway, the ident would work...
bcanderson
"Ident" isn't the answer. If everyone acknowledged every instruction given with an ident, the controller's scope would be a meaningless mess.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
That is one of the reasons that A/C now are supposed to use the Transponder on the ground... I am surprised that TCAS did not sound with a closure like that as well.
acmi
acmi 4
just like a carrier, any landing at KMDW that you walk away from is a good one
guess the same goes for take offs...
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 3
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Delta and Southwest close-call at Midway

Two passenger jets began to take off at the same time on intersecting runways at Chicago's Midway International Airport, prompting a controller to shout over the radio for one of the pilots to halt to avoid a collision, aviation officials said Wednesday.

http://news.yahoo.com/faa-investigating-close-call-chicagos-204857197.html
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 12
Will I NEVER learn not to submit a new Squawk? I checked, double checked and triple checked, and this did not show up as a duplicate. Darn it all! Mea culpa everyone.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 7
Mea culpa isn't enough. Only one glass of wine for you tonite girl.
AWAAlum
AWAAlum 12
Oooooo - a tough crowd. (Please stop down voting - my feelings are easily hurt.)
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
Cheer up. Up votes for you. Lol
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
If you don't try, you won't succeed. Come to think of it, failures like that to. The search squawk algorithm may need tuning. Look at some of the 'similar' squawks FA comes up with when you submit one.
tduggan2010
Tim Duggan 2
"ustedes" is the pronoun...for English "you".....dropping the 's' on the end? Perhaps a variation in local speak.
tobinsparfeld
I've always wondered who the genius was who designed an airport with four runways that all cross each other twice. Seems like a bad idea. Too late to change it now, though.
744pnf
744pnf 6
KMDW and many other airports were designed that way in a day when traffic was lighter. The design was meant to alleviate crosswind landings and many were used for training in WWII.
preacher1
preacher1 2
Lots of old trainer bases through the Midwest set up like that. Some still in use but just not anywhere near that traffic volume.
RRKen
Just imagine the fun if the rail line down the middle of the field were still there?
preacher1
preacher1 1
That'd be about like Portugal and the highway crossing. We better hush. Probably not many on here that remember that thing. We might tell our age. LOL
Paul1davis
Paul Davis 2
Gibralter is like that isn't it?
tbpera
Tom Pera 1
yeah I remember... "KLM hold for takeoff" ... "Roger KLM at Takeoff" ... never never never say takeoff unless you mean it!... 3 different nationalities all using English
gearup328
Peter Steitz 1
Yeah old preach. Airports were built overnight back then. Lots of runways. Slower and lighter aircraft. Remember that almost all aircraft back then were tail draggers. Tough to land in a high crosswind.
Still look at MKE. What a mess that airport is. Even DCA became a challenge sometimes. CLT ramp was a free for all.
preacher1
preacher1 1
KLBL is same way. I was in there about 2 years ago in a King Air, but it was sill crazy. As you say, tail draggers were were slow and a tussle in a crosswind.
WALLACE24
WALLACE24 3
Having them is one thing but using them simultaneously is quite another. That's when the controllers show off their juggling skills.
bbabis
Bill Babis 2
Will our new diversified controller workforce have those skills?
tbpera
Tom Pera 1
try SFO with 4 crossing runways... always interesting - crossing runways was the standard, not the exception in the old days
sgbelverta
sharon bias 1
Add lousy winds, some badly placed mountains, and fog, and SFO is a real joy to fly out of.
lambert2004
Gary Lambert 1
It's not the mountains fault. They were there before the airport.
gearup328
Peter Steitz 1
Republic Airlines had a flight cleared for TO at SFO while another flight was cleared to land on the crossing runway. I used to have the FAA recreation. The Captain had a choice of flaps to use and always chose the the highest for difficult fields (It was an ERJ-170). She saw the landing aircraft and rotated below V1 just to fly over the landing aircraft. The controller said stop to the landing aircraft but too late for the 170. SFO simply said contact departure. Just another day. I think underwear needed to be changed.
JimWestwick
Jim Westwick 2
Congratulations to the alert air traffic controller at Midway who probably prevented a horrendous accident between the two planes that would have collided if the ATC hadn't seen the event happening. He deserves an award and/or promotion.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
If the controller had not picked up on it, there would have certainly been a less favorable headline for KMDW.... ;(
preacher1
preacher1 1
That would have been on of them Oh S%&* moments. Probably not as big as Tenarife but it would have been nasty, nevertheless.
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
It had the potential of being a Mini Tenarife.... Except the German pilot blatantly ignored the controllers.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 2
Dutchman
preacher1
preacher1 1
Well, we cut these guys some slack since flight numbers were similar but you made the comment that there was a lot of similarity between Delta and SWA which was the one that was cleared.
preacher1
preacher1 1
We know SWA had a 737. I never heard what DAL had
sparkie624
sparkie624 1
A Little different... A 712, a smaller version of the 717. Other than a T-Tail, Engines on the rear I guess they are similiar... Sort of like mistaking a CRJ-900 for an ERJ-170
Volsch
Joe Walsh 1
Clearly the controller did a great job in averting a tragedy so I take nothing away from his vigilance. However, I would ask whether it is wise to have two airliners lined-up and ready to go on intersecting runways especially when they are sharing similar call signs? I haven't listened to the controller's release transmission so have to ask whether or not the callsign of the aircraft on departure had been abbreviated (for example, shortened to the last 2 digits) which could have been a contributory factor. Once again, all credit to the controller but all human factors and even well-worn procedures should be investigated to ensure this does not happen again. I'm sure they will be.
haroldrutila
haroldrutila 1
It's one of those things where he's criticized if he does -- in this case because something went wrong -- and criticized if he does not. LUAW requires ground control and the controller in charge positions to be staffed before it can be used. Therefore, there are already two sets of eyes on each plane. This justifies the use of LUAW and does increase efficiency at the airport, while at the same time increasing safety. The increase in safety is evident by the fact that the aircraft were stopped almost immediately after the clearance was issued.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Until we can get away from 15-20 in line for take off and all the radio stepping on, this will happen from time to time. Only through the continued vigilance of controllers and pilots will a repeat of Tenarife not happen again. It may have been long ago, but it is still in the forefront of every training and refresher class I have been in in recent memory. One main reason for that is because of the increased chances of it happening again.
larena77
des quinn 1
I hope the two ATC were stood down pending a inquest too many cut backs , but no reason for this?
Dl8698
David Loh 1
Just a few thoughts..
1. Would it be better if each runway has its own Tower Frequency? Might make it hard to monitor what other flights are up to, I suppose.
2. If tower were to call the flight by its full call sign (including Airline), wait for acknowledgement from the correct flight, on the correct runway (eg flight replies "AB1234 ready, runway 020), only then will tower give the clearance for take off? A bit more time taken, for sure, but two runway closures due to an incident will be even more costly in lives and time.
3. Perhaps the airport authorities should alert airlines concerned when they have flight numbers that can be easily mistaken for each other? I believe there had been occasions when airlines had changed their flight numbers for this reason.

See http://asrs.arc.nasa.gov/publications/directline/dl8_callsign.htm
larena77
des quinn -1
Two control towers Get real major crash with that in any airport world wide The supervisor and Deptures/ATC person are at fault not pilots or airline numbers for flights
WigzellRM
Ralph Wigzell 1
There is a safety video on You Tube of a similar occurrence but in IMC. An airplane cleared for taxi lost its way and was on the runway when another flight was cleared for takeoff. The crew that had been cleared for takeoff picked up that there was confusion as to the position of the "lost" aircraft so they told the tower that they would hold position until everyone was sure that the lost plane was not on the runway. I can't track down the video anymore, if anyone knows the link, please share it.
carlsonj
James Carlson 1
I think this is the one you're talking about:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BvgSS6kBdU
30west
30west 1
If memory serves, I believe it was a USAir captain who adamantly refused takeoff clearance, much to the the annoyance of the tower controller who wanted him to takeoff right now, because the USAir crew picked up on the series of communications from the crew of a UPS 757 taxiing around the airport obviously lost in the low vis.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Methinks you are correct but I can't find the link either.
tbpera
Tom Pera 1
Midway and Burbank California are tough airports with crossing runways and short runways... typically, at these kind of airports, pilots are usually more vigilant because of the hazards.... would like to hear the tape...was the controller rushed and slurred his words - (the busier I got, the slower I talked).. was the Delta pilot distracted?
glenkrc
glen krc 1
Tape of incident is at liveatc.net; KMDW; KMDW Tower archive; 17 Jun 2015; 00:30-01:00Z beginning ~8 minutes into the mp3 file. IMO, Delta was distracted. ATC spoke quickly but clearly, providing a good picture of the situation. Even though the call signs were similar (and perhaps garbled), the take-off clearance (given twice for verification) was clearly for 31 Center, and Delta was holding short of 4 Right.
tbpera
Tom Pera 1
thanks! clears it up for me...
larena77
des quinn 1
Hi Tom, Yes they my be distracted & busy , That is no reason for this close call. Also the final call is The Pilot in LEFT hand seat remember your training ?
Thank you.
Jeblu
Muchísimas gracias por ayudarnos le estamos agradecido la familia lara, con ustede
preacher1
preacher1 2
I'm sorry, I don't do translation nor does my computer
tduggan2010
Tim Duggan 1
Translation: "Thank you for helping are grateful lara family, ustede". 'Ustede' seems to be an idiom.
THRUSTT
THRUSTT 1
You're taking me back to 1978 now...
tduggan2010
Tim Duggan 1
Thank you for helping are grateful lara family, ustede

"ustedes" is the pronoun, the "you" pronoun....when not directed at a specific individual. Perhaps the dropping of the 's' was a typo, or just a regional dialect affectation.
SWEATINTHSWAMP
Sure it does.
tduggan2010
Tim Duggan 1
Copy/paste, insert into Google Translate.....ain't that difficult....
sparkie624
sparkie624 4
This is an American speaking country... The Airline Industry is exclusively English in ALL parts of the world... If they don't speak English, it isn't worth reading...
preacher1
preacher1 3
I know how. but I ain't going to. They need to speak English on here and it turns out unrelated to boot.
Dl8698
David Loh 2
Only Pilots are required to speak English and only while flying. The rest of the world do not necessarily have to speak English. This does not necessarily mean they are excluded from this forum, just because you are so xenophobic! Your first sentence exposes your xenophobia!
Jeblu
Gracias jeblu por el apollo que nos dieron la familia larga diaz
margeauxk
Margeaux K -2
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Planes on Collision Course Avoid Near Disaster

Two commercial planes flirted with disaster tonight after beginning their takeoffs on intersecting runways at Chicago Midway International Airport, the Chicago Tribune reports.

http://www.newser.com/story/208484/planes-on-collision-course-avoid-near-disaster.html

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