...Humans (Not Equipment) Blamed For Radio Failure...

  • E-Mail this Article
  • View Printable Article
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A

Meanwhile, there was apparently nothing wrong with the equipment involved in the radio failure at the Los Angeles Air Route Traffic Control Center last Tuesday. The FAA said a technician neglected to reset an internal clock in the system's computer and it automatically shut down. The emergency backup system then failed, also due to an unspecified human error, and the radios were silent for three hours. During that time, pilots and controllers claim there were at least five "near misses" but the FAA's Martin said "the union's claims were wildly overstated." In two of the cases the FAA is willing to talk about (the other three are under investigation) NATCA and the agency disagree on just how close the aircraft involved came to each other. The union says a Gulfstream and a Northwest Boeing 757 came within .8 miles and 900 feet of each other while the FAA says it was more like .9 miles and 1,400 feet. NATCA says a UPS 757 and a Cessna Citation missed each other by 1.7 miles and 1,000 feet while the FAA says 1.9 miles and 1,100 feet. Martin noted that in neither case would the incidents have violated Reduced Vertical Separation Minimums (RVSM) ... the ones that will go into effect in January, anyway.