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(CNN)   A plane crashes at a major airport in the middle of the night. Is a reasonable rescue response time A) 90 seconds, B) 90 minutes, or C) sometime after sunrise, when the first flight of the day takes off and spots the wreckage?   (cnn.com) divider line 83
    More: Scary, light aircraft  
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16376 clicks; posted to Main » on 29 Oct 2013 at 10:32 PM (24 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-29 08:49:27 PM
It was dark, the pilot likely wasn't local, and those little planes can be damn near impossible to spot on radar. If he didn't try to contact the tower or had radio issues...yeah, you could easily get such a plane down at that time of night without being seen.

Now if the plane burned after it crashed, that's a different story. Flames on the ground should be seen immediately.
 
2013-10-29 09:23:21 PM
In post 9/11, this isn't supposed to happen

Its a matter of security

If you don't know who is on your runway you could be in some serious shiat

Someone should get fired for this.

/Yes, the loss of human life is deplorable
//I am appealing to paranoid folks
///If there is anything that will get people moving its increasing airport security
 
2013-10-29 09:51:53 PM

cman: In post 9/11, this isn't supposed to happen

Its a matter of security

If you don't know who is on your runway you could be in some serious shiat

Someone should get fired for this.

/Yes, the loss of human life is deplorable
//I am appealing to paranoid folks
///If there is anything that will get people moving its increasing airport security


What can you really do about Kamikaze attacks, though?

/besides a wall of ack-ack fire and CAP?
 
2013-10-29 09:56:21 PM

whistleridge: It was dark, the pilot likely wasn't local, and those little planes can be damn near impossible to spot on radar. If he didn't try to contact the tower or had radio issues...yeah, you could easily get such a plane down at that time of night without being seen.

Now if the plane burned after it crashed, that's a different story. Flames on the ground should be seen immediately.


Aren't ALL aircraft equipped with a "distress radiobeacon" that activates upon a crash?
 
2013-10-29 10:30:59 PM

cman: In post 9/11, this isn't supposed to happen

Its a matter of security

If you don't know who is on your runway you could be in some serious shiat

Someone should get fired for this.


Surely you can't be serious.
 
2013-10-29 10:35:49 PM
This is why we should privatized the FAA and all airports.

Such a thing would never happen under a truly free market.
 
2013-10-29 10:37:07 PM

Eddie Adams from Torrance: cman: In post 9/11, this isn't supposed to happen

Its a matter of security

If you don't know who is on your runway you could be in some serious shiat

Someone should get fired for this.

Surely you can't be serious.


One guy already was.
 
2013-10-29 10:37:54 PM
Lazy useless boys are always eaten by Langoliers.
 
2013-10-29 10:38:16 PM

Ficoce: Eddie Adams from Torrance: cman: In post 9/11, this isn't supposed to happen

Its a matter of security

If you don't know who is on your runway you could be in some serious shiat

Someone should get fired for this.

Surely you can't be serious.

One guy already was.


And don't call me....
 
2013-10-29 10:38:17 PM
Expecting the followup article to indicate that the tower was manned by a lone controller who fell asleep.
 
2013-10-29 10:38:38 PM
Is it just me, or does that article never bother to mention the name of the airport this happened at?
 
2013-10-29 10:39:18 PM

whistleridge: It was dark, the pilot likely wasn't local, and those little planes can be damn near impossible to spot on radar. If he didn't try to contact the tower or had radio issues...yeah, you could easily get such a plane down at that time of night without being seen.

Now if the plane burned after it crashed, that's a different story. Flames on the ground should be seen immediately.


Well, apparently it did burn.

It was apparently really foggy too, so if the plane crashed a mile or so from the tower, and the fog was really thick, I could see them not noticing.  Especially if the fog didn't lift until daylight and no other planes came or went in that time frame.

A plane that size might not be required to have an active transponder, or it might not have been working if the radios weren't working (which would be a reason nobody noticed a plane had gone missing in the first place).  I've no idea if airports use active radar to track planes on a regular basis or not.  If not, then short of a transponder there's no way for the tower to know he was out there.
 
2013-10-29 10:39:18 PM

Starshines: Is it just me, or does that article never bother to mention the name of the airport this happened at?


What article?
 
2013-10-29 10:41:06 PM

Starshines: Is it just me, or does that article never bother to mention the name of the airport this happened at?


The article only alludes to "Nashville" generally, but the sidebar says it was Nashville International Airport.
 
2013-10-29 10:41:30 PM

Eddie Adams from Torrance: cman: In post 9/11, this isn't supposed to happen

Its a matter of security

If you don't know who is on your runway you could be in some serious shiat

Someone should get fired for this.

Surely you can't be serious.


It's really the only sensible thing to do, if it's done safely.
 
2013-10-29 10:41:48 PM

whistleridge: and those little planes can be damn near impossible to spot on radar


That's why they are required to have a functioning transponder.

Personally, I believe this has to be Obama's fault.
 
2013-10-29 10:42:35 PM

Beerguy: whistleridge: It was dark, the pilot likely wasn't local, and those little planes can be damn near impossible to spot on radar. If he didn't try to contact the tower or had radio issues...yeah, you could easily get such a plane down at that time of night without being seen.

Now if the plane burned after it crashed, that's a different story. Flames on the ground should be seen immediately.

Aren't ALL aircraft equipped with a "distress radiobeacon" that activates upon a crash?


No.

Small planes can and often do land wherever they like--it's a big headache for large metro airports, since little planes can enter the glide path unannounced, and if the pilot doesn't contact the tower, he may not be spotted on radar before he reaches the runway. This is how small planes--even commuter jets--get squashed by airliners while taxiing, when the pilots assume they've gotten clearance and actually havent.

As to the idea that the tower "should have seen" a crash or flames; yeah, not so much. Go visit a large metropolitan airport at night. Can you even see the tower? Guess what: towers don't have an unobstructed view of the tarmac anymore, and if the crash was near the end of the runway, it was over two miles from the tower and a "fiery crash" would easily be lost in the glare of city lights, floodlights, and runway signal lights.

Most likely, this pilot came in, never made contact with the tower, crashed beyond the view of anyone in the tower at the time, and burned to the ground. Weird, but entirely possible without negligence on anyone's part.
 
2013-10-29 10:43:19 PM
That pilot flies like I did on Mocrosoft's Flight Simulator.
 
2013-10-29 10:43:46 PM
Wanted for questioning:

www.3nter.nl
 
2013-10-29 10:43:50 PM

Starshines: Is it just me, or does that article never bother to mention the name of the airport this happened at?


It was BNA
 
2013-10-29 10:44:14 PM

Beerguy: Aren't ALL aircraft equipped with a "distress radiobeacon" that activates upon a crash?


Affirmative.
 
2013-10-29 10:44:15 PM
After taking a look at the airport's layout and surrounding space, I can see how a small plane crashing could go unnoticed.  One half of the airport borders suburbia and the other half borders farmland.  If the plane went down in the middle of some cropland, it's easy for people to miss.  A raging bonfire in the middle of a field, however, probably should have merited some attention.
 
2013-10-29 10:45:55 PM
What's a yoke and did he pull up on it?
 
2013-10-29 10:49:04 PM

Marcus Aurelius: Beerguy: Aren't ALL aircraft equipped with a "distress radiobeacon" that activates upon a crash?

Affirmative.


Negative
 
2013-10-29 10:49:06 PM

Beerguy: whistleridge: It was dark, the pilot likely wasn't local, and those little planes can be damn near impossible to spot on radar. If he didn't try to contact the tower or had radio issues...yeah, you could easily get such a plane down at that time of night without being seen.

Now if the plane burned after it crashed, that's a different story. Flames on the ground should be seen immediately.

Aren't ALL aircraft equipped with a "distress radiobeacon" that activates upon a crash?


Could have been one of the old 121.5Mhz beacons. SARSAT satellites no longer listen for them, so the only thing that would have picked it up is if someone was manually listening to the frequency. Most pilots keep their second radio tuned to that channel, but they can't always do it.
 
2013-10-29 10:50:38 PM

cman: In post 9/11, this isn't supposed to happen

Its a matter of security

If you don't know who is on your runway you could be in some serious shiat

Someone should get fired for this.


Burma Shave?
 
2013-10-29 10:50:42 PM
Controllers on local tend to be concerned in one direction. If the plane in question crashed at the far end of an out off use runway it could have been 2 miles away, out of the focus and in the fog. The fact a Cessna got that close without someone turning out the landing lights shows someone with skills. Not that he had enough.
 
2013-10-29 10:51:04 PM

Gyrfalcon: Beerguy: whistleridge: It was dark, the pilot likely wasn't local, and those little planes can be damn near impossible to spot on radar. If he didn't try to contact the tower or had radio issues...yeah, you could easily get such a plane down at that time of night without being seen.

Now if the plane burned after it crashed, that's a different story. Flames on the ground should be seen immediately.

Aren't ALL aircraft equipped with a "distress radiobeacon" that activates upon a crash?

No.

Small planes can and often do land wherever they like--it's a big headache for large metro airports, since little planes can enter the glide path unannounced, and if the pilot doesn't contact the tower, he may not be spotted on radar before he reaches the runway. This is how small planes--even commuter jets--get squashed by airliners while taxiing, when the pilots assume they've gotten clearance and actually havent.

As to the idea that the tower "should have seen" a crash or flames; yeah, not so much. Go visit a large metropolitan airport at night. Can you even see the tower? Guess what: towers don't have an unobstructed view of the tarmac anymore, and if the crash was near the end of the runway, it was over two miles from the tower and a "fiery crash" would easily be lost in the glare of city lights, floodlights, and runway signal lights.

Most likely, this pilot came in, never made contact with the tower, crashed beyond the view of anyone in the tower at the time, and burned to the ground. Weird, but entirely possible without negligence on anyone's part.


Actually you can't land at a controlled field without contacting them by radio or following light signals from the tower.

Someone should have seen the bonfire - the airplane was pretty well melted.  I blame Raygun.
 
2013-10-29 10:51:58 PM
unless homeland security is a hoax designed more for controlling peoples lives, rather than enhancing safety, itd seem an event like this crash should have been caught so that other planes not be affected. but the dhs has nothing to do with safety, and lots to do with promotion of fascism.

similarly, obamacare has little to do with public health, and lots to do with controlling the population.

i believe in affordable healthcare for everyone, and safe flying. but the current government, half marxist and half corporate/fascist, just keeps turning the screws.
 
2013-10-29 10:53:16 PM
The ELT activates above a certain G limit.  But, if there's a post-crash fire, and no one is monitoring the ELT frequency (which seems pretty likely at 3am) then I can see how no one would notice.

There's got to be more to this story.  This had to have been a Class D airport, which means the control tower is usually not staffed between midnight and 6 am.  Still, with fog in the area, this pilot would have been on an instrument approach, and would have been in contact with whatever ARTCC controls that airport during off hours.  So, my guess is that he/she closed his flight plan with ARTCC before he actually touched down.  And then he didn't exactly stick the landing...
 
2013-10-29 10:53:32 PM

kabar: Marcus Aurelius: Beerguy: Aren't ALL aircraft equipped with a "distress radiobeacon" that activates upon a crash?

Affirmative.

Negative


OK, let me re-phrase.  All light aircraft and up.  "Real" airplanes.  Like the one that crashed.
 
2013-10-29 10:55:52 PM
Another dead jackass GA pilot who probably didn't have an instrument rating and figured "what the hell."

Nashville is class C airspace, so technically, he should have been talking to the tower/approach and had 2-way radio comms to cross into the airspace.  If he wasn't squawking, then the likelihood of approach radar noticing a low, slow flier's secondary radar track diminishes rapidly.

Idiot probably didn't talk to anyone, went ahead on his own, balled up too far away from the tower for anyone to notice, and either didn't have installed, or activated an ELT.  Nevermind the fact that false ELTs aren't that uncommon, so if it burned up quickly, no one would likely respond to it.

/pilot type person
 
2013-10-29 10:56:17 PM

State_College_Arsonist: After taking a look at the airport's layout and surrounding space, I can see how a small plane crashing could go unnoticed. One half of the airport borders suburbia and the other half borders farmland. If the plane went down in the middle of some cropland, it's easy for people to miss. A raging bonfire in the middle of a field, however, probably should have merited some attention.


wildcardjack: Controllers on local tend to be concerned in one direction. If the plane in question crashed at the far end of an out off use runway it could have been 2 miles away, out of the focus and in the fog. The fact a Cessna got that close without someone turning out the landing lights shows someone with skills. Not that he had enough.


FWIW It's been very foggy in SE Nashville area the last few mornings.
 
2013-10-29 10:58:33 PM
What can you make of this?
 
2013-10-29 10:58:57 PM
Obviously, this is all Obama's fault.
 
2013-10-29 10:59:05 PM
How the hell do you have cessnas at an International Airport???
 
2013-10-29 10:59:28 PM

exboyracer: Actually you can't land at a controlled field without contacting them by radio or following light signals from the tower.


The pilot must have come in under the radar and hit the invisible force field. He should have radioed or flashed his lights to turn it off.
 
2013-10-29 11:00:25 PM
Photo of the air traffic controller on duty:

images.amcnetworks.com
 
2013-10-29 11:00:36 PM

LemSkroob: How the hell do you have cessnas at an International Airport???


They have wings and can fly.
 
2013-10-29 11:02:15 PM

LemSkroob: How the hell do you have cessnas at an International Airport???


www.nachi.org
 
2013-10-29 11:02:28 PM

kabar: Another dead jackass GA pilot who probably didn't have an instrument rating and figured "what the hell."

Nashville is class C airspace, so technically, he should have been talking to the tower/approach and had 2-way radio comms to cross into the airspace.  If he wasn't squawking, then the likelihood of approach radar noticing a low, slow flier's secondary radar track diminishes rapidly.

Idiot probably didn't talk to anyone, went ahead on his own, balled up too far away from the tower for anyone to notice, and either didn't have installed, or activated an ELT.  Nevermind the fact that false ELTs aren't that uncommon, so if it burned up quickly, no one would likely respond to it.

/pilot type person


Huh. Maybe it's just from watching too much TV... But given the facts of small plane, middle of a foggy night, and control tower not being notified - the first thing I assume is "contraband smuggler."
 
2013-10-29 11:06:35 PM

clkeagle: Huh. Maybe it's just from watching too much TV... But given the facts of small plane, middle of a foggy night, and control tower not being notified - the first thing I assume is "contraband smuggler."


They tend to avoid large, international airports.  Lots of dirt strips around the middle of nowhere in AZ though.
 
2013-10-29 11:06:55 PM

whistleridge: It was dark, the pilot likely wasn't local, and those little planes can be damn near impossible to spot on radar. If he didn't try to contact the tower or had radio issues a full load of dope...yeah, you could easily get such a plane down at that time of night without being seen.


Avoiding notice is generally the idea when you're flying a small plane full of dope. Or so I hear...
 
2013-10-29 11:07:21 PM
Airbus / Scarebus continues its ritual un-prosecuted pre-meditated killing of passengers world wide. From forcing tsunami destroyed countries to buy Scarebus to get aid, to failing the A380 150% wing-loading test, Scarebus builds on its reputation for falling out of the sky. FL35, cruise and it "breaks up". Nice. Good planes.
 
2013-10-29 11:13:53 PM

kabar: Another dead jackass GA pilot who probably didn't have an instrument rating and figured "what the hell."

Nashville is class C airspace, so technically, he should have been talking to the tower/approach and had 2-way radio comms to cross into the airspace.  If he wasn't squawking, then the likelihood of approach radar noticing a low, slow flier's secondary radar track diminishes rapidly.

Idiot probably didn't talk to anyone, went ahead on his own, balled up too far away from the tower for anyone to notice, and either didn't have installed, or activated an ELT.  Nevermind the fact that false ELTs aren't that uncommon, so if it burned up quickly, no one would likely respond to it.

/pilot type person


A friend of mine used to do Search and Rescue up in the Mt Shasta area. One day they were chasing an activated ELT, but it was never where it was supposed to be. Damn thing kept moving. Eventually, they caught up to a helicopter on a trailer. Some bump in the road had set it off.

// CSB
 
2013-10-29 11:16:16 PM

ZekeMacNeil: Airbus / Scarebus continues its ritual un-prosecuted pre-meditated killing of passengers world wide. From forcing tsunami destroyed countries to buy Scarebus to get aid, to failing the A380 150% wing-loading test, Scarebus builds on its reputation for falling out of the sky. FL35, cruise and it "breaks up". Nice. Good planes.


What are you babbling on about?  I'm no fan of Airbus, but this was a Cessna 172, jackwagon.
 
2013-10-29 11:18:20 PM

ZekeMacNeil: Airbus / Scarebus continues its ritual un-prosecuted pre-meditated killing of passengers world wide. From forcing tsunami destroyed countries to buy Scarebus to get aid, to failing the A380 150% wing-loading test, Scarebus builds on its reputation for falling out of the sky. FL35, cruise and it "breaks up". Nice. Good planes.


Came for this - leaving satisfied.
 
2013-10-29 11:18:32 PM
Not unheard of losing a plane at an airport. In 1991, a USAir 737 landed on a Skywest Metroliner at LAX; it took firefighters half an hour to discover the second plane. In 2001, an SAS DC9 encountered a Cessna, which was crossing the runway at the wrong place and time, at Milan's Linate Airport in heavy fog; it took half an hour for the Pompieri to discover the Cessna, since that's when the fog lifted.
 
2013-10-29 11:21:29 PM

wxboy: Starshines: Is it just me, or does that article never bother to mention the name of the airport this happened at?

The article only alludes to "Nashville" generally, but the sidebar says it was Nashville International Airport.


Nice to see they are only teaching the four w's at journalism school these days.
 
2013-10-29 11:23:41 PM

Gyrfalcon: Beerguy: whistleridge: It was dark, the pilot likely wasn't local, and those little planes can be damn near impossible to spot on radar. If he didn't try to contact the tower or had radio issues...yeah, you could easily get such a plane down at that time of night without being seen.

Now if the plane burned after it crashed, that's a different story. Flames on the ground should be seen immediately.

Aren't ALL aircraft equipped with a "distress radiobeacon" that activates upon a crash?

No.

Small planes can and often do land wherever they like--it's a big headache for large metro airports, since little planes can enter the glide path unannounced, and if the pilot doesn't contact the tower, he may not be spotted on radar before he reaches the runway. This is how small planes--even commuter jets--get squashed by airliners while taxiing, when the pilots assume they've gotten clearance and actually havent.

As to the idea that the tower "should have seen" a crash or flames; yeah, not so much. Go visit a large metropolitan airport at night. Can you even see the tower? Guess what: towers don't have an unobstructed view of the tarmac anymore, and if the crash was near the end of the runway, it was over two miles from the tower and a "fiery crash" would easily be lost in the glare of city lights, floodlights, and runway signal lights.

Most likely, this pilot came in, never made contact with the tower, crashed beyond the view of anyone in the tower at the time, and burned to the ground. Weird, but entirely possible without negligence on anyone's part.


C'mon now. The tower can see most if not all of the tarmac. 1 mile from the field, probably not at all airports.
 
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