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Squawks & HeadlinesMidair Collision narrowly avoided by 12 seconds at KDCA.

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Midair Collision narrowly avoided by 12 seconds at KDCA.

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Poor coordination of a change in the active runway led to a plane approaching the airport for landing while 2 planes were taking off and heading towards the landing plane. By the time the controller figured it out, the planes were hurtling at each other at more than 400 knots and were 12 seconds away from a major disaster. (www.washingtonpost.com) More...

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kmale
Ken Male 4
Intererstng the the Live ATC archive tape for that half hour is mising six minutes. I wonder if the volunteer scanning the freq is trying to sell it to the press?
mjr82178
mjr82178 2
It's probably gone the way of the missing 12 1/2 minutes from the Watergate tapes :-)
pnschi
pnschi 1
Is the archive under the control of the volunteer? Or is it hosted on liveatc's servers?
bovineone
Jeff Lawson 2
More coverage: FAA investigating near-collision involving three US Airways planes.
Three commuter jets narrowly avoided mid-air crash at a Reagan Washington airport after air traffic control incident

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/02/faa-us-airways-flights-investigation
grinch59
Gene Nowak 2
For what its worth, FAA on this morning's news stated the planes were never on a collision course, merely below separation requirements.
Tedmichaelmorgan
Ted Morgan 1
That seems to be the update. That airport is a mess for ATC because of the restrictions necessary to operate it. I am going to wait for the investigation on this one, as we should on all such instances.
andytyler
Andy Tyler 2
Really? What happened to the TCAS system?

[This poster has been suspended.]

preacher1
preacher1 2
That could possibly be, Phil, lol, BUT, according to National News this morning, they may not have been close enough, at least initially, for it to alarm. Nothing was said about it. I think they said that the closet any of them ever came to the other was about 1 1/2 miles. Inbound pilot must have had some idea that something was out of kilter though, in listening to the ATC tape roll on CBS. Of course, you never know if that was all of it or if it was edited. When they gave him the go around and 180, they obviously kept him for the same runway. While he didn't declare EMERGENCY, he did tell them he really didn't have the fuel for that. As Tom said here, he was the last one out there and they just forgot him.
Tedmichaelmorgan
Ted Morgan 1
Pileits
Pileits 1
ATC screw-up. Heads will roll.
Tedmichaelmorgan
Ted Morgan 1
In Baton Rouge, we have a high volume of private craft and sometimes the commuter craft find someone on the runway during approach. Just the way it is.
rebelx4xchrist
Paul Smith 1
I think this should be removed, from the statement the FAA issued yesterday these three planes were never on a collision course.
preacher1
preacher1 1
I got's a stupid question. Everybody is panicky here because there was 1 mile or better of separation. Even LaHood was just on the evening news saying that while there was an error, there wasn't that danger that everybody's hollering about. I haven't seen the final details on it yet but won't ADS-B cut that separation down even further? I know that due to the screwup that they were all below minumum current standards, but won't those about be the norm for ADS-B
Derg
Roland Dent 1
Anyone know what the visibility was when this happened?
linbb
linbb 1
Reading this and not knowing exactly what was going on to someone who doent know would scare them to the point of taking the train.
tbpera
Tom Pera 1
changing runways is always a tough proposition ... lots of coordination between tower, approach control, and the center - all the inbound and outbound routes have to be changed and there's always one or two flights that are caught in the middle... the last one on approach or the last one to depart are the ones to watch before the flow is reversed... somebody forgot one or two planes here... again... lots of activity and last second coordination to switch runway directions... been there, done that..
Ron271
Ron271 1
I hate reading stories like this. Mainly because you never know how much the media exaggerated this story.......
n8088r
Robert Macon 1
At 400 kias closing speed, sea-level, 12 seconds equates to 1.53 miles of initial separation --- hardly a disaster that was "narrowly avoided". I hope this reporter never covers the average EAA convention. The stories of pending disasters might go on for days......... ;)
allench1
allench1 1
Approach should have noticed the manual info bar still in the inbound slot and caught the mix up ehat do ya think preacher 1.
preacher1
preacher1 1
I remember visiting the tower at Davis-Monthan back in 68 in my USAF days. Tower chief was a good friend and well experienced.It was a SAC base at the time and the 100thSRW(U-2's) were Hq there. TAC had an F$ training wing and the also had C-130's. New controller workin approach/departure. F4 flight of 4 broke right midfield,and got in the pattern; U-2 broke left(very slow bird)and a C130 was on a straight in final at about 5 miles. Me and chief were just standing there having a normal conversation but he was keeping track of everything out of one ear. Next thing I knew, he bounded across the tower and grabbed that mic out of the new guy's hand, asked him if he could not see the results of what he'd just done, as far as all those planes being in the same place at the same time(well he didn't ASK but I got to be nice here) and proceeded to spread them out as they should have been. I guess we all have to learn but that's the hard way.LOL
frz1197
James Branch 1
and brickyard barely had enough fuel due to their fuel conserving methods which put the 170's under the amount of fuel embraer requires to pump gas to the engines.
jkudlick
Potomac TRACON communicates pattern change to someone at the DCA Tower, but whoever received the change didn't let the actual controllers know? I smell a suspension forthcoming. Good job by the ATC to quickly recognize what was going on and avert disaster.
preacher1
preacher1 2
Well, somebody in the tower knew as the new runway was charged up and had departures on it. That's what caused this in the first place. They just simply forgot that last inbound man. Ain't the first time it has ever happened(maybe to them) and won't be the last. Like Tom says up above, a runway change, while a common happening, is always a tough proposition and requires tons of coordination.
jxlars
Jeff Larson 1
It happened the other way around. Tower was still launching the same direction (north), and an arrival (1st of many) came in southbound for 19
preacher1
preacher1 1
oops.lol. Either way, somebody screwed up. Sad part is, they'll have Feds all over them a few days and in the end, probably won't change a thing. They may do a reprimand or suspension to make a show but I bet that will be it.Based on the ATC that was on the news this morning, it sounds like that inbound pilot could tell something was out of kilter.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Hindsight being 20-20, it looks like it would have been easier to scatter the 2 outbound since the switch had already been made, of couse we have nno way of knowing what else was out there either
Tedmichaelmorgan
Ted Morgan 1
I think my dad cleared two planes once for the same space just after the Second World War. I know that terrified him. Airplanes were never abstractions for him but 150 people racing toward 185 people even though you do have to abstract in the process of handling traffic. Later, however, you realise these are fellow human beings under your care.
preacher1
preacher1 1
I could see that on the outbound but the inbound on approach would not have been anywhere near that.lol
preacher1
preacher1 1
Well, like I said earlier, they'll have the Feds in for a day or 3; thay'll decide that all procedures are in place and not change anything; they'll make a show of reprimanding somebody or suspending them a bit and we'll never hear no more about it. As some have said it happens a lot more than we hear about and if it hadn't been at such a high profile place and covered by all the National Media, we probably wouldn't have heard about this.BTW, I gotta take an extra run down to Charley Brown in Hotlanta tomorrow in the King Air. There about 9 and out at 4. Why don't you drag your butt off the beach and come up and say hi?
preacher1
preacher1 1
Some body below said that it happened in reverse of what I was thinking. They said the 2 outbounds were launched off the old runway and the inbound guy was the 1st on the new approach. Not that it would have made that much difference. I do remember him telling ATC he was "cleared over the river", when they gave him that 180.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Best I can determine, this was pretty well legit, except maybe the lack of separation was exaggerated a little, but even that wasn't far off.
preacher1
preacher1 1
sounded like it
jkudlick
Apparently the skies were clear with storms rolling in from the southwest (which is why TRACON switched from the Mount Vernon Approach to the River Approach).

Interestingly, whenever I try to pull up RPA3352 for yesterday's date, I only get the "scheduled" page for today.
jxlars
Jeff Larson 1
http://flightaware.com/live/flight/RPA3329/history/20120731/1635Z/KPWM/KDCA

If the track is accurate, you can see quite an avoidance manuever on the first approach.
Derg
Roland Dent 1
None of us is perfect but to have a bunch of college kids with MBAs playing games with fuel minimums calls for a pilot withdrawal of labour. The way I would deal with this is to take a 20 litre jerrycan full of cheap kero and empty it all over the dispatch desk. They want to play poker let them see the stakes.
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
I was flying near Donaldson Center one time when a private jet came down right off the nose of the plane was flying...We were so close that me and the captain made eye contact..lol..someone radioed up and asked if I was alright and apologized..the captain had on a nice pair of shades by the way..lol
Derg
Roland Dent 1
Usually someone spots the landing lights and sees the conflict...must not be that many waiting or busy with other stuff.
allench1
allench1 1
I would like to do that but unfortunately I am recovering for the next 3 weeks then I really get to have fun in rehab. Just had 2 stints put in! Sold the 400xp a few months ago.... just did not use it enough but you could hold her at 100' until u saw 170 and then pull her vertical for a quick dash to 1000' before having to level off. Great flying bird Preacher1 burn about 220 gal. 1st hour though. Got lucky and broke even on her.... not sure what I will get when I get better.. ????
preacher1
preacher1 1
As I said earlier, that inbound pilot seemed to know something was out of kilter. They had already launched 2 at him, BUT, neither one of the outbound did an evasive of any kind so it couldn't have been too bad. Now a 3rd one moght have been a problem.LOL
preacher1
preacher1 1
You may have to be like me and accept a little bit of retirement. I'm just doing enough odd/end stuff to stay current and get out from underfoot of the wife. One of them "for better or worse but not for lunch" deals. Got a friend up at KTUL that is thinking about getting some big iron for what has been a small flight school, but he came into some money and is talking to some people so I'll have to see how that goes. He's wanting me to come over there 2-3 days a week if he goes ahead with it. How cum them stints. I though you was past all that?
jkudlick
3329 is even written out. Not sure why I tried 3352 - even after reviewing the video...
preacher1
preacher1 1
Well they are supposed to have enough in there to get to destination as well as a diverion airport. I guess diversion Airports aren't that far apart in that part of the world though.lol Problem about that withdrawal of labor though as far as the RJ pilots go; you walk out and somebody is behind you willing to take your seat. Just more crap.
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
Rule #1 never tell the Captain what to do...lol....with that being said the FO was probably afraid of having his teeth scattered around the cockpit..lol
onceastudentpilot
tim mitchell 1
Seeing that the inbound flight was the first one to enter the new pattern during the runway shift they may have exhausted their required 45 min reserve while holding for new vectors.
allench1
allench1 1
You are never past all of it. They were only 40% so we kept an eye on them and on my last stress a week ago I went form the test to the table they were at 96%. Yhis is what happens you work retire buy a jet fall apart sell a jet get a complete repair done and now 2 stints, 1 open heart, 2 stints later I am good to go another 67 years. When I recover completely we will get together and do some real flying and hanger flying over a long lunch I will send u a pic of Wanda and me via email.
Derg
Roland Dent 1
preacher1
preacher1 2
Now Tim: Ain't you heard of CRM yet and how just everybody just subscribes to it and the captain can get questioned without consequence.LOL. Yeah, right.
preacher1
preacher1 1
So far, I am holding up OK. My last cath about 2 years ago showed less than 10% blockage. I got a little AFib but cardiologist and flight doc say no worry. I got my waiver and renewed ticket back in may and have barley made enough to cover the cost of it all.LOL We will get together one of these days
Av8nut
Another sensational journalist (sigh). It's seems that whenever the slightest negative thing happens in the aviation industry, everyone turns into aviation experts and cries for someone's job to be terminated. Get over yourselves passengers!
jkudlick
Well, it IS the Washington Post. Everything inside the Beltway has to be sensationalized in order for anyone to pay attention after more than 200 years of "BLAH BLAH BLAH" coming out of the District.
preacher1
preacher1 1
Methinks Pilots get paid to watch for stuff such as this. If it was a perfect world, they would not be needed.LOL
allench1
allench1 1
see my info above P1
jknail2000
jason kline 1
12 seconds....time to take a nap... not even a close call...all media induced
SangLe
Sang Le 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

3 jets avoid midair collision at D.C. airport

Tuesday afternoon, air-traffic controllers cleared two outbound US Airways flights to take off into the path of another US Airways flight that was about to land, according to a Washington Post report. The inbound plane and the first of the outbound planes were closing the 1.4 miles between them at a combined speed of 436 mph, a rate that meant they were about 12 seconds from impact.

http://travel.usatoday.com/flights/story/2012-08-02/Jets-fly-too-close-together-at-Reagan-National-Airport/56708738/1
espatzz
espatzz 0
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Midair Collision narrowly avoided .... at KDCA.

On an earlier post one flight was identified as http://flightaware.com/live/flight/RPA3329/history/20120731/1635Z/KPWM/KDCA ...
Does anyone know which are the other two aircraft's FlightAware links ??

http://flightaware.com/squawks/link/1/7_days/new/28240/Midair_Collision_narrowly_avoided_by_12_seconds_at_KDCA