Sleeping air traffic supervisor inves...

Sleeping air traffic supervisor investigated

There are 2 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Mar 23, 2011, titled Sleeping air traffic supervisor investigated. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

Two airliners landed at Reagan National Airport near Washington without control tower clearance because the air traffic supervisor was sleeping, safety and aviation officials said Wednesday.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at TwinCities.com.

Mark Winshel

El Cerrito, CA

#1 Mar 23, 2011
Myself having worked midnight shift at various facilities of various types, I can state that the amount of sleeping that goes on during the midnight shift by employees who are supposedly on duty is beyond belief.

And I have even known of midnight shift employees who have brought alarm clocks to work to wake them up before the supervisors show up at seven or eight AM.

And I worked in one crew in which one of the midnight shift employees lived with his wife in one unit of a three flat, his mother in law, and who owned the three flat, lived in another uinit of the three flat, and his brother in law and sister in law lived in the third unit in the three flat. So all day long they would play cards, and therefore he would not sleep during the day, and then when he would come to work on the midnight shift, and to supposedly watch and monitor the equipment, that is when he would get his sleep.

That is one the major reasons incidents such as Chernobyl occur.
Ron Langevin

Spring Hill, FL

#2 Mar 24, 2011
Being an air traffic controller I have a comment that is on point. Supervisors RARELY actually control traffic. The regular controllers do the controlling. At Reagan National, on the night shift, there were probably at least one controller, plus a supervisor in the tower, and one supervisor in the radar room plus 3 or 4 controllers. In a facility of that size there should have been a watch supervisor, one is in charge of the entire facility.

It doesn't sound right to me that only one person was sleeping?????????? Perhaps someone got "sick" at the last moment and they were not able to find a replacement for that shift, and just one person was running the tower positions.

I was a controller at Indianapolis, which is comparable with Minneapolis tower and was NEVER the only one in the tower cab on the midnight shift and NEVER seen anyone sleeping.

Working in air traffic control, in the tower, is all kinds of different than working a shift at a factory so Winshels comment is not close to being on point.

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