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Controller faulted in Hudson midair collision

WASHINGTON — Errors by an air traffic controller distracted by a personal phone call set the stage for a midair collision last year over the Hudson River between a tour helicopter and a small plane that claimed nine lives, a federal safety panel said Tuesday. ( More...

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Chris Murray 0
Sorry for saying, but even though I don't condone the inappropriate behavior by the controller, I don't place one ounce of blame on the controller. The airplane and helicopter were BOTH VFR. The controller has no LEGAL obligation to provide traffic alerts.
Jim Rezo 0
True. However, the FAA should put a reg in effect that bans the use of any cellular activity while on duty. Approach, Departure, Center, Tower. We all know things happen very quickly and the only time cell phones should be allowed is while on break. Never while on duty. Scenario: Girl friend texts boyfriend tells him I am having an affair or I am leaving or anything for that matter that is distracting right? My 1st point. Had the reg been in place, the ATC Controller would not have been distracted and could have possibly saved 9 lives. My last point. Thanks for the thread.
AccessAir 0
The FAA and their coffin mentality....9 Lives lost/One new Reg on the books......Typical....
Why doesnt the FAA seem to have the foresight to place a rule about this before people die????
Jeff Lawson 0
Although a rule against cellphones while on duty would clarify their position, I'm sure there is already the expectation that controllers not become distracted while on duty. One could easily go out of control trying to create rules against every possible type of distraction... no talking to co-workers, no coffee mugs or drinks, no doodling, no wearing of shoes with shoelaces that could become untied, etc.
Damian Lopez 0
Everyone is focused on the wrong focal points... Anyone who has ever flown the Hudson Corridor knows that its VFR procedures are highly regulated under its terms of being a special use airspace. There are distinct altitudes that fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft are supposed to operate at as well as highly structured call-out procedures on the rivers own CTAF. Having flown it countless times myself I can tell you that the helo pilots are highly responsible and very professional... The fixed wing aircraft in the corridor are typically more of the "Weekend Warrior" type private pilots that fly the corridor with no respect for the procedures that are in place...
The controllers only have ANY authority about 1500msl and those controllers EXPECT the pilots in the corridor to be proficient on the procudures... Lastly, the controllers that do exercise authority above the corridor are also controlling Newark International and New York's Laguardia Airport... do the math -
John MacLaren 0
This is typical, someone writing & giving their opinion on something they know nothing about. This was a misadventure and nothing more. How many times have you pulled out of parking space & didn't see another car, pedestrian, or light post. Sometimes you catch it, sometimes you don't. Sure, the controller was doing something he wasn't supposed to & that can't be allowed, but that is not what caused the accident. The both pilots chose to fly VFR (most in this country do) & therefore the controller has no obligation to advise of traffic. They do so as a courtesy. The helicopter was not even talking to a controller nor in radar contact (there's nothing wrong with that) & both aircraft were not in this controller's airspace.

1 collision in 49 years, as unfortunate as it maybe, is a very good safety record if you ask me. Like I said, A MISADVENTURE.
Jim Rezo 0
John the only comment I have is your comment "the controller was doing something he wasn't supposed to". End of the conversation. I was not implying the controller was at fault only that it could have been prevented. Not just on the controller's part. You have to shut off your cell phone before the door closes on commercial for "interference reasons". Why should ATC be allowed to have a phone on during their watch. Thanks for your comment. However you are very wrong about my knowledge. BLOG BLOG BLOG
John MacLaren 0
Jim, I was commenting on the article, not on you comments.
VFR is VFR. See and be seen. Not much a controller could do to make pilots look where they are going. The cell phone in the controllers work area is right at stupid. Where was the supervisor and why did s/he allow the cell phone in the room in the first place??
rmchambers 0
If you're not looking you're not seeing and if you're not seeing you're not avoiding.

The controller is being scapegoated.

The pilot wasn't looking although it appeared in one video that the chopper climbed up into his path, the chopper pilot wasn't paying attention nor listening to the radio as his buddy at the helipad warned him of the traffic alert with no response.

Commercial sightseeing flights need 2 crew, one to fly and radios, the other as the tour guide. Giving it all to one person is asking for things to get missed.
Thomas Moore 0
FAA is a Joke.. Case closed


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