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Author Topic: Weird JFK Emergency Yesterday around 5:10 PM "give me 31R or I'll declare"  (Read 136018 times)

Offline VampyreGTX

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Capt, he's talking about the second clip in this thread, the top of the second page, not my clip from approach where you hear the requests for deviation due to cloud buiildup.

Cap747

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Capt, he's talking about the second clip in this thread, the top of the second page, not my clip from approach where you hear the requests for deviation due to cloud buiildup.

Yup, I could only hear it in slow motion....

Offline davalos08

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is really a thinker, they communicated really bad. Tower should have asked them what was the nature of the emergency

Offline VampyreGTX

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Granted, it's all monday morning quarterbacking; however, I think the tower knew it was a BS emergency declaration.  They never bother to ask the nature of the emergency, never ask if they require assitsance/equipment, or obtain souls or fuel on board. There are plenty of breaks in the transmissions that they would have had time to inquire and go through the proper emergency procedures. 

:P Too bad we can't hear the CVR..... :D

Offline klkm

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This is truly an odd thing the pilot did.  I have had those conditional emergency declarations before, especially with americans.  I work in a center so it is usually a request to deviate for weather, and I cannot clear them to due to traffic, they will typically say "we need the deviation or we are declaring an emergency", I am more then willing to work with them, and I understand they cannot go through the weather.  I try to provide the safest way to deviate given the traffic, and let them declare the emergency or workout something else so they can safely do it without breaking separation standards.  

This pilot though was just out of line, in my opinion.  He told the controller he couldn't land on 22L, then with no reason what so ever just came right back with "and if you can't get me 31R I am declaring an emergency".  Now the controller takes it as I would, and says ok i will work that out.  He likely then hits the line to the tracon, and is coordinating the AAL go around, the new runway request, and so forth as the pilot is now breaking off and doing his own thing.  The pilot put his flight in great danger by just doing whatever he felt in a very busy terminal environment.  He breaks off the approach, and sets up on final for an active departure runway, with an aircraft ON that runway, and with traffic setup to land on an intersecting runway!    

I am sure if you follow the ground chatter after that, there is a phone number to the tower thrown out there, and hopefully the pilot has a better explanation then the nothing he gave at the time of the incident.  I would hope the explanation is worthy of his actions.  There very well could have been a declaration of low fuel while he was in the holding pattern.  The tower would/should have known about this from approach, and likely would have done everything they could have to circle him back to 31R as quickly as possible.  I highly doubt the fuel situation was so critical that some vectors back to the runway would have them out of fuel, if that is the case they should have diverted in the holding pattern.  Declaring a fuel emergency once they realized they were not going to make it on their first approach, would have saved a lot of headaches, the tower would have understood right away, started to clear the area and get things set up.  Instead the pilot just started to do his own approach....I know someone at the tower maybe I will see if they have any insight.  

Offline glencar

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Okay, found AA2 heavy on KJFK Approach (Final) frequency.  No problems or emergency concerns while on Approach.  I've attached the file.  I'll see if I can find the comm's from the other approach frequency's leading to to KJFK Final. 

So far, no mention of low fuel, or any other kind of emergency up until the little catfight on Tower.

Please, more approach clips! The current 31L outage has led to some odd landing runway configurations.

Offline VampyreGTX

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Couldn't find the callsign on any of the other two aprpoaches archived on here.  I'm trying to listen to the ground to find them on there see if anything transpired after the landing.  

There was some talk on one of the approaches about a 20 minute hold or so for incoming planes due to switching of the landing runways.  That was just prior to AAL2 coming up on KJFK Approach Final.

A 20 minute hold 'should' not have resulted in a low fuel declaration or emergency.  Talk about a head scratching incident.  

***EDIT - I think I may have pulled the wrong times for the approach clips, I'll relisten to those tonight.  I've heard some background chatter on Ground of a controller, with a raised voice, saying 'no... he didn't tell me a thing!'  I'm assuming that was Tower talking about AA2 to the ground guys.  So far, haven't heard them on ground yet.  Probably won't be able to get back to my search till later tonight.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2010, 05:25:12 PM by VampyreGTX »

Offline SirIsaac787

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Granted, it's all monday morning quarterbacking; however, I think the tower knew it was a BS emergency declaration.  They never bother to ask the nature of the emergency, never ask if they require assitsance/equipment, or obtain souls or fuel on board. There are plenty of breaks in the transmissions that they would have had time to inquire and go through the proper emergency procedures. 

:P Too bad we can't hear the CVR..... :D

Yeah, seriously.  I wish the ATC requested the reason for the emergency from the pilot.  Winds or a malfunctioning ILS is not reason for an emergency.  If anything, you say you cannot accept that runway and get re-sequenced in.

Based off of what we have, just seems like a stupid move by the pilot.  That is a huge safety issue.  And the controller seemed to agree with us that the emergency was BS.  The pilot took control of the situation when he needed to let the tower controller accommodate him.  What he did was a safety risk.

Offline davalos08

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what I don't like is how the pilot says it "if we don't get 31R, Im declaring an emergency", sounds like a threat.

Offline jedgar

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The pilot did have a real sense of urgency in his voice though.. to my mind, he didn't sound like he was just being a dick.. sounded like he needed to land asap.

Cap747

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Please, more approach clips! The current 31L outage has led to some odd landing runway configurations.

In my country if one pilot finds a new thing right thereafter they all want to do it... Not sure though  :-D
« Last Edit: May 05, 2010, 07:02:52 PM by Cap747 »

Offline iskyfly

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Good god all these conspiracy theories as to what happened puts X-Files to shame.

I suggest everyone read the FAR's on fuel reserves as it pertains to this operation.

There is no "investigation" because there was no incident or accident.
And yes, those two words are defined by the FAA. Read up on that as well.

The minute a PIC decision to declare is second guessed by any authority, be it airline management or a governing body, safety will be compromised. Nobody wants that.

If this was indeed the mountain you are all making this out to be it would have made the news by now. You can also bet that by now the unions would be putting their spin on things.

Emergencies are just like go-arounds. To the lay person and / or the pax on the flight it is "a a near total airdisaster." To the crew and controllers it is another day at the office.

Move on.




Offline robertvo

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I remember there were strong wind gusts around that time in NYC.
It seems like everything was fine untill he was about to land and the tower reports gusts to 35kt.
Then you can hear the distress in the pilot's vioce and maybe little fear.

It looks like the wind gusts getting from bad to worse was the reason.

Offline davolijj

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Good god all these conspiracy theories as to what happened puts X-Files to shame.

I suggest everyone read the FAR's on fuel reserves as it pertains to this operation.

There is no "investigation" because there was no incident or accident.
And yes, those two words are defined by the FAA. Read up on that as well.

The minute a PIC decision to declare is second guessed by any authority, be it airline management or a governing body, safety will be compromised. Nobody wants that.

If this was indeed the mountain you are all making this out to be it would have made the news by now. You can also bet that by now the unions would be putting their spin on things.

Emergencies are just like go-arounds. To the lay person and / or the pax on the flight it is "a a near total airdisaster." To the crew and controllers it is another day at the office.

Move on.

I'm afraid I have to disagree here.  Declaration of an emergency IS a big deal and thousands of dollars in fuel were wasted by other system users because AAL2 didn't want to land on 22L. 

Also how can the controllers provide the best possible service, including coordinating with rescue or security personnel, if the pilot doesn't make clear the nature of the emergency or his desires?

Offline iskyfly

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I'm afraid I have to disagree here.  Declaration of an emergency IS a big deal
No, not always.

Quote
and thousands of dollars in fuel were wasted by other system users because AAL2 didn't want to land on 22L.
Cost of fuel is never a deterrent for declaring. NEVER.

Quote
Also how can the controllers provide the best possible service, including coordinating with rescue or security personnel, if the pilot doesn't make clear the nature of the emergency or his desires?
there is no such definition by which controllers are evaluated.
Positive separation was maintained and pertinent information was conveyed. If the controller or the pilot needed something more it would have been requested. ie- Hudson ditching, pilot- "whats there to our right?"
controller - "what do you need to land?"
« Last Edit: May 05, 2010, 08:04:43 PM by iskyfly »

Offline glencar

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For those who live in NYC area, Channel 7 (WABC) will be doing a story on this event. They're not fair & balanced or very competent but it still might eb fun to watch...

Offline iskyfly

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For those who live in NYC area, Channel 7 (WABC) will be doing a story on this event. They're not fair & balanced or very competent but it still might eb fun to watch...
Are you sure this isn't about the AA flight that had an engine failure and landed at Newark today?

Offline glencar

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Nah, I think someone there reads this site. It sounded like someone complaining about the wind. We deal with emergencies every day - this one was different.

Offline Zen_Approach

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Emergencies are just like go-arounds. To the lay person and / or the pax on the flight it is "a a near total airdisaster." To the crew and controllers it is another day at the office.

Move on.


To suggest that an emergency and a go-around is equivalent is wrong. Declaring emergency means that there is an immediate and serious safety concern and is always taken seriously (even if they aren't that uncommon). Also, to suggest that this was a routine emergency is false, this type of thing does not happen every day where a pilot seemingly inexplicably declares emergency and starts flying his own approach on a different runway in very congested airspace.


This recording really piqued my curiosity, hopefully we find out what the story was here

Offline iskyfly

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This recording really piqued my curiosity, hopefully we find out what the story was here
what has piqued my curiosity is your forum name and that this is your first post here.

Offline dmountain

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"what has piqued my curiosity is your forum name and that this is your first post here."

That it's his first post suggests that this is indeed an intrinsically interesting and curious event. It's certainly the reason why this is my first post. Please understand that just because you don't find something interesting, it doesn't mean everyone else ought not find it interesting.

Offline SASD209

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Well, everybody needs a first post at some point.....this IS a discussion forum, no?

Offline davolijj

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No, not always.

I see, we have yet another, "the pilot has final authority under part 91.3 blah blah blah" member here.  Guess what, we've heard it all before.  It is a big deal - whether you think so or not, and I can gaurantee you questions are being asked.  If you're implying it's okay even if the pilot declared an emergency simply because he didn't like his runway assignment, then again you're wrong.  And let me save you the trouble of quoting the regs:

Quote from: FAR Title 14 Part 91.3
§ 91.3   Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command.

(a) The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.

(b) In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.

(c) Each pilot in command who deviates from a rule under paragraph (b) of this section shall, upon the request of the Administrator, send a written report of that deviation to the Administrator.


If pilots start using emergencies gratuitously we'll soon be in a sad state of affairs.

Cost of fuel is never a deterrent for declaring. NEVER.
Nor should it be.  But again, if the emergency status was misused here then AAL should pay for every aircraft that went around or had to spin as a result.  Personally I don't think it'll play out this way - I like to give pilots the benefit of the doubt.  There has to be more to the story than meets the eye.

there is no such definition by which controllers are evaluated.
Positive separation was maintained and pertinent information was conveyed. If the controller or the pilot needed something more it would have been requested. ie- Hudson ditching, pilot- "whats there to our right?"
controller - "what do you need to land?"

Obviously you've never read Don Brown's AvWeb series  "Say Again."
http://www.avweb.com/news/sayagain/182651-1.html
I don't know how many of those articles are still available and it really is too bad, they're all great reads.  Where amateurs see "pertinent information [being] conveyed," experts see a serious breakdown in communication.

Offline SASD209

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Wow, thats a heck of an intro on news channel 7 haha

Offline VampyreGTX

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iskyfly, where are you getting that this was a fuel emergency?  You keep pointing to the fact that it was a fuel emergency, but no where is there ANY point where the pilot declares minimum fuel or a fuel emergency.  The attitude of the pilot is what is at issue in my opinion.  If you have a source for this, please provide it. 

As for declaring an emergency not being declared an incident, as noted in the FAR's above, it IS an incident.  It's also known that the tower has to log the incident and report it to the FSDO.  Read the following: 

http://www.avweb.com/news/system/183214-1.html

Excerpt:
"A real emergency, whether initiated by the pilot or a controller, is classified as an "incident" and, at minimum, information on the event will be recorded in the radar or tower facility daily log. Later on, written reports may be required but they're not done routinely by towers and radar facilities.

Other examples of incidents include flight assists, controller operational errors and pilot deviations.

Shortly after the incident is logged, the local manager phones in a report to the regional operations center which then notifies the FSDO who's responsible for the area where the emergency occurred. However, here too there appears to be latitude. Some of the entries we reviewed didn't show up in the FSDO records, suggesting the FSDO wasn't notified or didn't deem the entry worth officially recording.

FSDO's often have an inspector on call 24 hours a day. Emergencies they learn about from the operations center are always followed up with some kind of investigation, sometimes immediately, sometimes within a few days but, by law, within six months. An "investigation" may be as simple as a phone call to the tower to make sure the aircraft landed safely or it could—and often does— involve a visit by the inspector, a ramp check of the aircraft and some questions for the pilot.

If everything is in order, most emergencies (at least for non-commercial aircraft) appear to end there. There's paperwork for the FSDO (an incident report) but usually none for the pilot and certificate action of any kind is unusual. The incident report will be kept on file by the FSDO and eventually sent to Oklahoma City, where it will become part of the the pilot's permanent record.

Emergencies involving air carriers or air taxi operations get more scrutiny. In fact, air traffic managers are specifically directed to notify their bosses and FAA headquarters if an emergency involves an air carrier, a commuter or an air taxi. And like any bureaucracy worth its organizational chart, the FAA protects its backside against bad publicity. Managers are supposed to notify headquarters if the aircraft is carrying a member of congress or if the emergency is likely to attract news media attention.

Oddly enough, the air traffic logs and FSDO records don't always make a distinction as to whether an incident was an emergency or not. From our review of one facility's daily logs (we looked at six months worth of Bradley International Airport's radar and tower logs) it was often hard to tell how the incidents were classified. Some log entries plainly said "emergency declared" while others just noted what had occurred and how it was resolved.

Taken together, all these regs and procedures mean that the actual declaration of an emergency or the provision of priority service really doesn't have much bearing on whether an incident will be investigated. FSDO's routinely follow up on the incidents they learn about from tower and radar managers. They often don't know or even care if an actual emergency was declared."