Recent Incident in Las Vegas

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Recent Incident in Las Vegas

#1 Post by fin » Tue Nov 13, 2018 4:26 am

On another aviation forum there is a current thread concerning a controller who basically became incapacitated while working solo in the wee hours at a fairly busy airport.

In the thread are several recordings of the event, and they are chilling to hear.

What is of interest to me, is that due to privacy concerns, pilots and others involved may never be told the truth about what happened.

Those same privacy concerns allowed a plane to be flown into the Alps because the pilot's doctor could not tell the airline his findings.

When should the public good overcome an individual's privacy?
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Re: Recent Incident in Las Vegas

#2 Post by Cacophonix » Tue Nov 13, 2018 3:58 pm

Hadn't heard of this so I went looking for some of the context.
LAS VEGAS - The Las Vegas air traffic controller at McCarran International Airport who was reported to be incapacitated while on duty is no longer with the FAA, according to sources.
The incident, which was reported by the FAA, occurred on Wed., Nov. 7 between 11:09 p.m. and 11:50 p.m.

8 News Now has obtained audio of the air traffic between the air traffic controller and pilots that night in which the air traffic controller seemed confused.

Following the incident, the FAA released a statement the following statement:

"The FAA is deeply concerned by the incident, is thoroughly investigating what occurred, and is taking immediate steps to modify its overnight shift staffing policies. No safety events occurred during this incident. The controller is being placed on administrative leave and restricted from working air traffic."

"We have thoroughly reviewed the incident and confirmed that no safety events or losses of required separation between aircraft occurred, and there were no conflicts between aircraft on the airfield. However, the FAA is very concerned about this incident and what occurred is not acceptable."

"Our safety system is very interdependent and includes multiple layers of redundancies, so there is no single point of failure. When one component fails, the risk increases but there are other processes and procedures in place to prevent an accident from occurring. For instance, pilots are highly trained and will not land unless they have a landing clearance and are comfortable with it.

In this instance, some pilots opted not to depart or communicated with other aircraft on the common radio frequency. Aircraft on the ground either held their position or proceeded cautiously while questioning the controller and communicating with each other."

Since the release of this statement the air traffic controller is no longer with the FAA.

James Bergquists is an ex Air Force traffic control specialist. He gave 8 News NOW a perspective on what pilots are going through as they wait to take off and land.

"You start out talking to ground control, you taxi out, you talk to local control, he clears you for takeoff, you contact control radar -- approach control -- you climb out, and that's an area of maybe 20 miles around and then you go to the center for high altitude. There are 13 centers and you go from center to center to center," Bergquist said.

Bergquist says the relationship between a pilot and a traffic controller has to be a very strong one as pilots strongly depend on them.

"You can't do anything without them," said Bergquist. "You know you can't leave for ground without a clearance for takeoff. You have to receive your flight plan. You file and you get a clearance from the FAA. Everything is handled by a traffic controller.

No other details have been released about the incident involving the air traffic controller at McCarran International Airport.


Was she inebriated, drug intoxicated, ill, stroke or even the effects diabetes can make a person sound and behave like this? Hard to know without the FAA telling us more.

https://www.lasvegasnow.com/news/local- ... 1591527943



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Re: Recent Incident in Las Vegas

#3 Post by fin » Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:40 pm

If you read the other thread, the first dozen or so posts all seem to be recent graduates of PC Sensitivity training, one even going so far as to declare that inappropriate laughing and crying are signs of a stroke, which was news to me so I looked it up and didn't find this listed. Occom's razor would suggest she was drunk or high, but so far this has not been confirmed. There are oblique references to an employee program of some kind or another, but the TRUTH seems determined to be withheld from the public. Hence the high regard with which so many people hold their government.
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Re: Recent Incident in Las Vegas

#4 Post by G-CPTN » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:23 pm

Tired and emotional, obviously . . .

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Re: Recent Incident in Las Vegas

#5 Post by Cacophonix » Wed Nov 14, 2018 8:02 pm

fin wrote:
Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:40 pm
If you read the other thread, the first dozen or so posts all seem to be recent graduates of PC Sensitivity training, one even going so far as to declare that inappropriate laughing and crying are signs of a stroke, which was news to me so I looked it up and didn't find this listed. Occom's razor would suggest she was drunk or high, but so far this has not been confirmed. There are oblique references to an employee program of some kind or another, but the TRUTH seems determined to be withheld from the public. Hence the high regard with which so many people hold their government.
I would agree with you in this case but must caution people that there have been tragic cases here in the UK and elsewhere in the world where people have been having a stroke and assumed to be drunk by people such as the police who should have known better...

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... drunk.html

Never assume that somebody who is slurring or showing mobility problems is drunk until it is proven and even then, whatever you may think, they may also be in a the throes of a, self induced, medical crisis.

A damaged brain can result in all sorts of odd behaviour including incoherent verbal outbursts, including lassitude and even aggression. Hypoglycemia can have similar symptoms and a severe case can show emotional symptoms such as inappropriate laugher and/or tears. People can die if not clearly diagnosed and treated.

https://www.everydayhealth.com/type-2-d ... ood-sugar/

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Re: Recent Incident in Las Vegas

#6 Post by fin » Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:22 pm

I absolutely agree Caco. My point was that SO much effort seemed to have been made 'over there' NOT to mention what seemed obvious from listening to the tape, that it got silly, such as when one person stated categorically (and I suspect totally erroneously) that inappropriate crying and laughing were characteristics of a stroke.


What I think in hindsight might have happened, is that ALL the non PC (but as it happens correct) posts were deleted by a website obsessed with being sued. The odds of ALL the posters there ignoring what seemed to me to be an obvious (and terrifying) reality are slim, especially given the character of many posting there.
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Re: Recent Incident in Las Vegas

#7 Post by Cacophonix » Thu Nov 15, 2018 6:30 pm

fin wrote:
Thu Nov 15, 2018 4:22 pm
I absolutely agree Caco. My point was that SO much effort seemed to have been made 'over there' NOT to mention what seemed obvious from listening to the tape, that it got silly, such as when one person stated categorically (and I suspect totally erroneously) that inappropriate crying and laughing were characteristics of a stroke.

What I think in hindsight might have happened, is that ALL the non PC (but as it happens correct) posts were deleted by a website obsessed with being sued. The odds of ALL the posters there ignoring what seemed to me to be an obvious (and terrifying) reality are slim, especially given the character of many posting there.
I take your point fin and also agree that being PC is not an option when dealing with a problem of this kind and that hard truths must be faced by all concerned. I do, however, hope that this lady gets the help that she so plainly needs and that she is able to get her life and mental equilibrium back, even if she doesn't get her ATC ticket back. Quite extraordinary to think that somebody that impaired was able to make it into the hot seat of a control tower!

I am also not a fan of censorship of any kind and therefore deleting posts or messages is generally wrong in my opinion although I suppose in extremis offending posts should be noted as having been removed and good reasons given for having done so.

Dare I say it, one of the reasons I like this site where this policy seems to pertain and contrary voices can be heard.

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