Oh yah, another thing. Controllers in the states doesnt really get fired. They just get moved to another area or they get put on a cushy desk job. Contracts are contracts, they can't just fire controllers because the union will throw a fit.
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Funny how everybody's freaking out. Let's explain what happens in this type of situation. There are 2 groups of people that this plane is talking to. You have the Radar Approach guys and the Tower guys. Planes landing comes in talking to the Radar guys and then they get handed off to the Tower guys. When the Pilot switches over to talk to the Tower and doesnt hear anything back, he automatically switches back and calls the Radar guys back. The Radar controller sees everything and has an idea of what's going on around the Tower since duh, he has a Radar. Planes does not get to an airport and fly in fumes. They have hours of reserve fuel for worst case scenarios, like get diverted to another airport. There was no actual danger other than the plane had to wait for a bit to land since the only person who can clear him to land in that airport is the Tower Controller. Well, the Radar guy can clear them to land all the way in but they have to get an all clear from the Tower guys first.
Here's another thing that people freak out about when they hear Air Traffic stories. Two planes flying and the news says they broke minimum flight separation and then crucifies the Controller for not keeping them "safe." Guess they forgot to mention that the minimum separation between two IFR aircraft is 3 freaking miles or atleast 1000 feet vertical.
Also, let's think of another thing about this situation. Its 3 AM, no commercial flight comes in after midnight. Between midnight till 5-6 am, he'd be lucky to talk to 2 aircraft. If he talks to 5 planes in that span, that was a busy night. During the day, the same guy could talk to 20-30 planes in a span of 30 mins.
It's just ridiculous how people blow things way out of proportion when they have no clue on what's going on.
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