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Details emerge about hole in jet's roof

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The flight had to make an immediate emergency landing and descended without air traffic control approval. (www.azcentral.com) Mais...

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indy2001
indy2001 0
The pilot is in complete command while the aircraft is airborne. Despite their lofty title, "controllers" actually only make suggestions, and then it is up to the pilot whether he/she will comply with those suggestions. Of course, a pilot must have darn good reasons to ignore ATC's suggestions. In this particular situation, the pilot knew he had to get down to 10,000 ft without delay. Thanks to his TCAS, he also knew there was no conflicting traffic near him. Had there been traffic directly below him, he could have made a turn during the descent to avoid it. I wouldn't have waited for hesitant controllers either. It's better to be alive and facing FAA questions than the alternative.
Russell
Russell Carter 0
Sec. 91.3

Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command.

(a) The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.
(b) In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.
(c) Each pilot in command who deviates from a rule under paragraph (b) of this section shall, upon the request of the Administrator, send a written report of that deviation to the Administrator.
mswanson
myron swanson 0
the media is clueless about what happens in aviation. It would be better if they just didnt publish their stupid stories anymore, it just makes them look really ignorant.
sheka
mark tufts 0
this is one time it was pilot having complete control and staying calm
the controllers need 2 NOT hesitate and act more quickly
bobbypilot
Robert Gomez 0
Reporter=ignorant
rick737
richard weiss 0
The captain AND first officer reacted perfectly to the situation. Who really cares what a journalism major says about aviation.
speedbird196
Indy,Russell,Myron,Mark,Robert and Richard - good job telling like it is.
I remember (telling my age) the days of Douglas Edwards and Walter Cronkite when you were given only the facts, and it was up to you to make your own decision. Nowdays, you're given a hodgepodge of half truths filtered through political bias. There was this famous Russian author who exiled from Siberia to escape the Russian regeime. He was speaking before a group of national reports when he warned them that Americans did not have to worry about the govenment taking over our lives but instead, they should worry about the national media and how powerful it had become - that was in the 1960's.
atcssct
Kevin Ford 0
Indy sorry but your wrong on one thing. We don't just make suggestions. Pilots are mandated to do what we say unless an emergency exists or pilot believes it is unsafe. Can u imagine if all pilots took what we said as just a suggestion? This pilot however was justified in what he did no doubt.
aircmdr
I have always found it interesting that after an incident involving an airplane, the media ssearches out all the "aviation experts" .. those people sitting in the back of the airplane. They all "knew" something was going to happen ...
CaptMorty
Brian Mortin 0
An a/c in distress, and I assume in this emergency, with the transponder re-selected to squawk 7700 tells the whole ATC world nearest this flt. of the serious nature of the aircraft condition and serves to trigger all the immediate and adjacent airspace controllers to a higher state of awareness and professionalism.

Eliminating initial confusion and the wasted time in back and forth conversation would allow the crew to more closely monitor their situation, assessment and course of action.

Had the Hudson landing flt. selected 7700 at the onset all the needless controller confusion and constant inquiring communication with the subject a/c would have been eliminated by the emergency a/c being identified by the emergency squawk on all the area ATC screens.

And yes I've been there on the flying end of a in-flt 7700 emergency a couple times and know it too work extremely well in our ATC environment.

Pilot-In-Command only applies to ONE person per the FAR's. Use it to the full letter of the law when you get into that position.
eagle763
John Hale 0
To start off I think it funny they called the 737 "vintage" and it's only 15 years old. So I guess the dc-9's still flying are antiques? So back to topic. What was the point to the article? The Pilot's did exactly what they were supposed to do. ATC helped once they realized the situation. The plane landed and no one died. I guess tats why i don't watch much news any more, the media is full of idiot's.
ffdriver
Carl McLelland 0
Indy, your wrong. A controller's instructions are binding. The pilot in command of an aircraft in distress has the authority to deviate from any regulation to meet the needs of that emergency (FAR 91.3, as Russell stated). Your statement of the controller being "hesitant" is inaccurate. Besides not knowing what's going on in the cockpit and what the pilots ultimate request(s) are, the emergency aircraft is not the only one he's working. Line up 20 people and carry on conversations with all of them at the same time, and while doing this handle all their requests for some form of preferrential treatment then throw in a potentially life threatening scenario and see if you can stay on a script that's being written 'real time'. The controller was making real time decisions and that's what counts. Those decisions can be updated or modified as additional information comes available. The controller Did Not vaporlock, he made decisions.. Controller gets an atta-boy in my book.

Switching the transponder to 7700 is NOT necessarily the correct thing to do. ATC KNOWS there's an emergency. Changing to a non-discrete beacon code is going to cost valuable flight data to be lost until the (ATC) flight data is changed to what the aircraft transponder is outputting. (The Central Track Store track file is processing an "xxxx" beacon code, NOT a "7700" beacon code. If, assuming there was BOTH an in-flight emergency and communication failure the 7700 code would be appropriate because it would alert the controller to both situations).

As a pilot I'm going to get the plane down to an altitude where supplemental oxygen is not required; ideally while also flying it toward a suitable emergency landing site. The pilot knows he's experienced some form of airframe failure and until he has determined 'whats failed and whats left'......... All I would want to hear from ATC at that point in time is "Yuma 9 oclock and 50 miles".... Now let me fly the plane.... We can discuss football scores later.

Lastly, the media. They are not interested in reporting factual information they want to sensationalize things, and if they can distort facts and "find fault", however erroneous it is.......... All the better!
alaska73
alaska73 0
Actually, controllers instructions are binding only if you choose to accept them. You always have the choice of saying unable.
indy2001
indy2001 0
Sorry to those who disagree, but the word "suggestion" came right from the lips of a local ATC supervisor. I happened to meet him at a parent-teacher conference and we get into a long, informative discussion about aviation after which I was invited to the local Center. He said other controllers may not share his opinion (especially from other regions that tend to exercise their "authority" more frequently), but that is how it was taught to him and that's how he teaches it to his subordinates. A refreshing attitude, to be sure. That may be why there are few disagreements between pilots and controllers in his sector.
sparkie624
sparkie624 0
Even though this is mostly old news, South West can't get out of the news!
ffdriver
Carl McLelland 0
Alaska 73... You simply say "Unable" because you don't want to do what you've been instructed, you better have a good explaination for the FAA Operations Inspector who's likely to meet you as you tie the plane down. You say "unable" because a controllers speed restriction is too slow for safe operation the controller is gonna do something else. Say "unable" because a vector is gonna put you into a T storm, he's gonna do all he can to help you out. We aren't supposed to be "flying your plane for you", but if you know something we don't (like the weather in front of you) you really need to help us out...

Indy... What would you expect from a "Supervisor at a PTA conference"?? A large number of supervisor's I worked with/for in my ATC days quickly lost any knowledge or ability of how the system works as they pursued their quest of ever higher levels of management. What your saying would be the same as a pilot receiving and acknowledging "descend and maintain...", then NOT vacating his altitude 'just because' he feels the descent "instruction" is a "suggestion". Don't worry about that next 6 month IFR check, Captain... Your gonna be a pedestrian.

Admittedly you cannot expect an impossible instruction to be executed, but I would expect the pilot to respond with whatever alternative would work when given that type instruction. But an ATC instruction being a "suggestion"; not hardly; it's a "command", and the separation of aircraft is based upon it's execution.
racinron
racinron 0
I worked ATC for 26 years, suggestion was a term I never heard.
rick737
richard weiss 0
A clearance issued by ATC is not binding upon the PIC until the clearance is accepted by the PIC. Period. Mr. Piasecki, and Mr. Ford should re-read their TERPS manual.
chris13
Chris Bryant 0
John Hale - you might want to re-read that paragraph with the "vintage" term. It actually says "...about 80 similar-vintage Boeing 737s..." That phrase means "of the same age." They weren't actually calling the aircraft old.
atcssct
Kevin Ford 0
What's a TERPS manual?
ffdriver
Carl McLelland 0
Richard, your gonna have to cite the section out of the TERPS (TERminal instrument ProcedureS) manual that refers to ATC clearances, amended clearances or clearances told to expect in a further clearance. The Plans and Procedures Specialist (or whatever they call him these days) uses the TERPS manual. The controller uses the 7110.65x "Air Traffic Control Procedures" manual for controlling traffic.

A 'clearance' is not binding until received and acknowledged by the pilot-in-command? Are you saying that if a pilot receives a clearance "descend and maintain xxxx" but doesn't acknowledge it he doesn't have to do it? That's the same as saying "I'll only acknowledge those instructions I want to...". If the pilot doesn't 'HEAR' it he obviously cannot be expected to execute it. But the pilot who chooses not to acknowledge an instruction because it wasn't what he wanted to hear....

Tell ya what.... Walk into any GADO or FSDO, lay your pilot certificate(s) on the counter and tell an Operations Inspector that "you only have to execute those ATC instructions you want to execute" and see how long you remain a pilot. Wear comfortable shoes..... You may leave as a pedestrian.
atcssct
Kevin Ford 0
Thanks Carl...and Mr. Weiss might want to re read FAR 91.123. I think we are all familiar with an FAR, right?
akalebic
Aron Kalebic 0
Obviously some people are bored and reporters are in their hands. The interpretation of news reporter done with not understanding exactly the matter. Remember US Airways Flight 1549, Pilot declared emergency, but at the end ATC gives instruction to divert towards Teterboro. The pilot responded with "Unable" and then follows with "We gonna be in Hudson".
So, no headlines with "Landed in Hudson river without clearance by ATC and Hudson river port authority!" Sometimes the situation make rules, and rules must be prepared for such situations. The procedures should be always followed with keeping in mind about possibility about pilot discretion in emergency situations.
ffdriver
Carl McLelland 0
Yea, Kevin, I admit I'm getting old(er) haha... Had I thought of 91.123 the whole discussion would have been resolved.. Thanks.
rick737
richard weiss 0
So Carl, you say your word are a pilot's command. On countless ocassion I denigned a clearance for good reason, and was never violated. Managed to operate in the system for a long time with the knowledge I was ultimately responsible for the safe operation of my aircraft. Granted, there's a difference between refusing a clearance for safety and refusing a clearance for the power trip. So, as you're gazing at that radar,remember your job is to coordinate the safe and efficient flow of air traffic, not rule the ski with an iron fist
ffdriver
Carl McLelland 0
"When an ATC clearance has been obtained, no pilot in command may deviate from that clearance unless an amended clearance is obtained, an emergency exists, or the deviation is in response to a traffic alert and collision avoidance system resolution advisory."

Richard, the quote is from FAR 91.123. Now I'm not saying you cannot refuse an ATC instruction. The PIC always has that prerogative. At that point ATC must come up with some form of alternate clearance, right? If the controller says "reduce to 160 knots" and you say "NO! I'm gonna do 250", your gonna get violated. But if the controller says "reduce to 160 knots" and you tell him your 'minimum speed is 190', then the controller is gonna give you a delay vector or something else.. Agreed? OBVIOUSLY ATC is going to meet your operational requirements, but if your "operational requirements" are for your personal arrogance and not the safe operation of the aircraft your gonna have long chats with the Flight Standards people.

I've had controller's ask me for a 160 knot final in a (Cessna) 402 (Stadium Sector at LA TRACON) and tell them all I can give them is 140 knots cause that's the maximum gear speed. On the other hand I've given them a 140 knot final when a 110 knot final would'a been more comfortable because I knew the faster speed helped the controller out.

Did you fly a FLUFjet for Western? Your attitude is so very typical of Western pilots. Probably why controllers wouldn't go an inch outta there way to help a Western crew because they had no appreciation. On the other hand, PSA, AirCal, HughesAir, etc... we would 'bust our butts' for them cause they would do the same for us. You might "win the battle", but the controller is gonna "win the war". You might be real cute and "burn us occasionally" but WE have the ability to "Frag you" a little here, and there, and over the long haul "legally" cost you and the company money.

Anybody heard from Clipper, Braniff, Eastern, etal lately?? Wonder how much ATC could'a saved them??
rick737
richard weiss 0
carl is telling us that ATC's ego would control aircraft, not the safe,efficient flow of air traffic. We've all known the truth for years, now you have admitted it.
rick737
richard weiss 0
If a pilot says I won't do 160, I need 210, we now have to beg for approval? Carl, you better go back to your manuals. You want me to use valuable "air time" to explain and beg for approval? Wow, your ego has officially outrun your authority.
rick737
richard weiss 0
When an ATC clearance is "obtained" does not have the same meaning as a clearance issued and a clearance accepted.
ffdriver
Carl McLelland 0
I don't know what to tell you Richard. From your semi-literate comments it's apparent you are opinionated into believing you are the only airplane in the sky. You seem to have no concept of (ATC) job functions nor do you comprehend how airspace works. Further; your interpreting a very simple regulation (91.123) into what you want it to say... Amazing how your interpretation doesn't seem to be supported by any other airmen. I guess that's because you feel everything has to be "for you", and to hell with the overall movement of traffic.

You wish to attack my egotism.. Go for it. If it wasn't for ego's the size of warehouses there wouldn't be controller's overworking themselves to make the system function. If you think your being picked on; imagine a Center or TRACON filled with CPA's. EGO? You bet, son.. When most other controllers were saying "hold-em" or "I can't take any more traffic" I was saying "You send-em, I'll blend-em. Ain't enough aircraft in the sky to put me down the tubes".. But when I said "reduce speed to 160 knots and I need it Now", it was because I was "building a hole" for YOU that wouldn't otherwise be there and YOU would have been at the end of the string. But you burn me, you go climb up the butt of the guy in front of you or drag your feet turning in (either making me work 10 times harder for trying to help you out or causing me to have a Systems Error) and I'll (1) remember your voice and (2) remember your company.

The reason this discussion has continued, Rick, is the simple fact you cannot accept that the tone of the discussion doesn't revolve around your assumption that "Your #1". Virtually any controller is going to approve any request you have; provided he can approve it. But that's also tenured on the overall flow of traffic. Expressed differently, he's not going to approve your 'wrong way on a one way street' to suit you when it disrupts the overall flow.

And as for clearances issued by ATC, allow me to reiterate the first sentence of FAR 91.123 "When an ATC clearance has been obtained, no pilot in command may deviate from that clearance unless an amended clearance is obtained". Explain to me, please, WHAT PART of "no pilot in command may deviate from that clearance......" is giving you the most trouble? I mean, when compared to, say, the FAR reg's for what to do under IFR and lost communication; 91.123 is pretty straightforward.
rick737
richard weiss 0
In regards to your last paragraph, "obtained" indicates the PIC has accepted the clearance. If the controller issues a clearance and the pilots says "unable" or does not acknowledge, the clearance hasn't been "obtained." It goes without saying the pilot is bound by the clearance, once it is accepted.

As to the rest of your diatribe, I spent 40 years operating in the system. My one an only concern was always the safe conduct of my flight. I never flew an aircraft in a way that would purposely obstruct flow or cause a problem for a controller. On the contrary you seem to have vengence on your mind for anyone that violates your iron fisted rule. Careful, you're letting the world know all the trade secrets.
ffdriver
Carl McLelland 0
Well Ricky-poo, this will be my last entry because this has gone far awry of the original subject.

It's obvious you are the very definition of "Team Player".. You seem to believe you know far more about what's going on, on that radar scope than the guy sitting behind it. I'm equally assured your cooperation was conducive to efficient use of airspace throughout your career. We need a lot more like you. Just too bad you couldn't have dealt with more controller's who have your attitude.

But I'll close this with one statement of absolute certainty. While I possess the Airman's Certificates to come up there and fly your airplane I sincerely doubt that You possess the Airman's Certificates to operate my radar.
rick737
richard weiss 0
First and formost, I never had the desire to work in ATC. Why would I use valuable resources to get a ticket punched? I was the guy who went to approach control facilities with company chachkies in hope of developing a good working relationship. I did so as a volunteer (unpaid). After reviewing all of your comments, I see I had very little effect.
sheka
mark tufts 0
i went thru training while in the navy and we were told if an aircraft either military or civilan declares an emegerency we were told to clear the area and give that plane who declared the emegerency top priorety

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