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Air controller mistakes mayday call for prank

April 13, 2012, 10:24 amYahoo! New Zealand

An air traffic controller who mistook a genuine request for an emergency landing for a "BS" prank is now the subject of an investigation.

Air controller mistakes mayday call for prank
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An air traffic controller who mistook a genuine request for an emergency landing for a "BS" prank is now the subject of an investigation.

The flight crew on a United Express plane made the request to air traffic control at Denver International Airport last week after they found smoke in the cabin, the Associated Press reports.

But a controller dismissed the call, thinking it was a prank.

Air traffic control only realised the plea was genuine when the aircraft landed and evacuated the passengers on the runway.

The flight crew then made another request for assistance from firefighters to extinguish a fire in the instrument panel.

Colorado television channel KUSA-TV obtained the recorded communication between the cockpit and the tower.

A pilot is heard saying: “Emergency, smoke in the cockpit, roll trucks please,” as the plane made its approach.

The controller then asked: "Who was that?" to which the voice replied with the flight number "5912".

The controller apparently misheard the number and responded after 10 seconds with: "United 12, what's your position?"

When there was no reply, the controller is heard saying: "Did you hear that? I know that's BS. I know it is."

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the incident.

One of the passengers on board was taken to hospital.


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6 Comments

  1. Ian06:18am Monday 16th April 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    When you have serious trouble the correct broadcast is a MAYDAY call.

    Reply
  2. Nardoo Burns05:27pm Friday 13th April 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Another reason not to go to america all fukken psychos !!

    Reply
  3. Debbie04:43pm Friday 13th April 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    @godfrey - standard procedure is it not????? I've had to squark 7600 before now and transmit blind.

    Reply
  4. godfrey03:50pm Friday 13th April 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    They should set the transpondrer to 7700 then there would be no doubt.

    Reply
  5. Ali03:24pm Friday 13th April 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Typical Yahoo reporting. They obviously don't care as long as the headline gets attention.

    Reply
  6. ANDREW02:44pm Friday 13th April 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Try as they might they cannot control the air. They can control air traffic, which is why they air called Air Traffic Controllers, not Air Controllers. Get it right!

    1 Reply