Controller Dismisses Emergency Call (With Audio)

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Tuesday April 3, the crew of United Express Flight 5912, an Embraer 145 carrying 21 passengers, called controllers at Denver International Airport with an emergency, and the response has come under investigation. The crew initially called at about 8:30 a.m. with smoke in the cockpit. But controllers at the airport have reportedly become leery of false transmissions initiated by people on the ground. The controller apparently misheard the aircraft's flight number and initially dismissed the call's urgency. It was only after the aircraft landed and the controller was called again by the crew of the aircraft that he alerted rescue crews. By that time, five minutes had elapsed since the initial emergency call. Once on scene, firefighters extinguished a fire behind the instrument panel. The NTSB has turned over the investigation to the FAA.

AVweb has obtained audio excerpts from the pilot/controller exchange.

Click here for the MP3 file.