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Discussion in 'United Airlines | MileagePlus' started by Infinite1K, Apr 6, 2012.
When this kind of thing happens, it undermines the whole system.
Slow torture is too good for the controller in question, no matter
what the shortcomings of the initial emergency call might have been.
A passenger on the flight says it all:
at the Air Traffic Controller for deciding to put people at risk seriously.
Reminds me of when we used to have a police portable radio go stray, and kids would pop up on the radio reporting all sorts of things. We actually had the FCC give us a statement to read in those times about unauthorized radio use. As the batteries in those portables eventually died, that alleviated the problem. We also had a time that someone had hacked into our radio system and would report crimes all over town. I remember the FCC actually sent out a van with equipment to try to locate that person.
So...I can see why the controller might have questioned the incident, as I certainly did the same when I was working because I didn't recognize the voice or the call sign wasn't logged on. The first couple times we rolled all the equipment on some of these stray reports (fire,paramedics, police), but we had to stop doing that because it was diverting resources from other parts of town. We'd still send a police unit to investigate but we didn't send the full response that something like a shooting would ordinarily demand.
One thing the news article doesn't address is whether that tower has had a problem with unauthorized personnel on their channel. I can see the controller acting with hesitation if that tower has a history of this.
Tom in the UA First Lounge at SFO waiting for the A380 to Frankfurt
http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-04/D9TVMVB80.htmBloomberg Businessweek also covered the story and it quotes two people who both said they had never heard of a fake emergency call. So it sounds like a history of fake calls probably isn't the reason.
It sounds like some of the confusion stemmed from the controller hearing a call from UA 12 (a non-existing flight in the tower system) and from there thinking it was some kind of hoax. It seems odd the controller didn't do more to confirm whether there was an emergency going on.
We had a number of occasions when we heard a scuffle or some type of distress on the radio and could not identify the source. In those instances we'd have to go down the lineup and account for everyone with a voice acknowledgement. Technology changed over the years and we finally got an identification signal from each radio which took the guesswork out of it. Maybe something like that isn't common for aircraft.