Airline Pilot Forums

Airline Pilot Forums was designed to be a community where working airline pilots can share ideas and information about the aviation field. In the forum you will find information about major and regional airline carriers, career training, interview and job seeker help, finance, and living the airline pilot lifestyle.




View Full Version : Las Vegas Controller Impaired


ImperialxRat
11-07-2018, 11:40 PM
Only one controller in the tower tonight, and she was clearly impaired, giving weird clearances, confusing instructions, making numerous mistakes about aircraft position on the airport, etc.

Anyone else there tonight hear it? I’ll be curious to see if there are any news articles tomorrow.


rickair7777
11-08-2018, 06:35 AM
File an ASAP?

JamesNoBrakes
11-08-2018, 07:07 AM
Only one controller in the tower tonight, and she was clearly impaired, giving weird clearances, confusing instructions, making numerous mistakes about aircraft position on the airport, etc.

Anyone else there tonight hear it? I’ll be curious to see if there are any news articles tomorrow.

Call Center and ask to speak to QC and report it there.


UAL T38 Phlyer
11-08-2018, 01:17 PM
:eek:

At first, I just thought “Pfft!! She just has a bad mic connection.”

But the slurred words?

Wow.

rickair7777
11-08-2018, 01:29 PM
http://archive-server.liveatc.net/klas/KLAS4-Twr-Both-Nov-08-2018-0730Z.mp3?fbclid=IwAR3NfsKOnoVr-07wBG2mEAPzwqUSv9AjYWRQmSEUNL8vr2B3sl6O-qkcjsk

Something going on. Might be a medical issue, or just tired, vice the obvious alternative.

hydrostream
11-08-2018, 01:56 PM
Bizarre :eek:

IDIOTPILOT
11-08-2018, 01:58 PM
I’m no expert but my impression was maybe the onset of a stroke. Hoping she got help to whatever it was.

MySaabStory
11-08-2018, 02:02 PM
I’m no expert but my impression was maybe the onset of a stroke. Hoping she got help to whatever it was.

This is Vegas. So with all the buffets and alcohol, it could be either....or both!

Super27
11-08-2018, 04:35 PM
Wow. Definitely sounded like a medical issue to me, but who knows. Hopefully she got some help sooner rather than later.

I'm also shocked that this hasn't made the news by now.

ImperialxRat
11-08-2018, 09:20 PM
Thanks for finding that rick, it was nice to be able to listen to it again in a different setting. Definitely seems like something medical since it came on so fast and hope she turns out to be okay.

dera
11-09-2018, 02:05 AM
With the slurring words, repeated "standby"'s and the coughing in the end with the hot mic, it does sound like a stroke. Hope she is OK (and I hope it's not the "obvious").

I'm surprised how long it took to find a replacement - did no-one call 911?

Tjamaica
11-09-2018, 04:29 AM
It sounded like she was crying at one point. Seemed like a medical issue to me and I really hope she is ok

Glenntilton
11-09-2018, 06:41 AM
It sounded like she was crying at one point. Seemed like a medical issue to me and I really hope she is ok

Heard the crying, maybe drinking after a breakup or another such personal problem/tragedy?

Super27
11-09-2018, 07:18 AM
Heard the crying, maybe drinking after a breakup or another such personal problem/tragedy?

That’s quite an assumption to be making with essentially no facts available. If you listen to earlier recordings from that night, she sounds fine. Whatever happened to her came on relatively quickly and obviously seriously incapacitated her. Unless you’re willing to assume that she was literally sitting in the tower pounding drinks to the point of alcohol poisoning, which I’m not, then logic would suggest a medical problem.

rickair7777
11-09-2018, 09:53 AM
That’s quite an assumption to be making with essentially no facts available. If you listen to earlier recordings from that night, she sounds fine. Whatever happened to her came on relatively quickly and obviously seriously incapacitated her. Unless you’re willing to assume that she was literally sitting in the tower pounding drinks to the point of alcohol poisoning, which I’m not, then logic would suggest a medical problem.

Yeah I noticed that too. Perfectly lucid one moment, then not so much seconds later.

Adlerdriver
11-09-2018, 10:13 AM
Would it be common, at LAS, for a tower controller to be alone at the time of the event? If not, it seems kind of odd that this went on as long as it did without someone noticing her issue.

UAL T38 Phlyer
11-09-2018, 10:54 AM
Would it be common, at LAS, for a tower controller to be alone at the time of the event? If not, it seems kind of odd that this went on as long as it did without someone noticing her issue.

Houston is often a “one-man show” after about 10:00pm. Not sure what time this event was at Vegas, but I’d guess something similar is possible late at night.

My guess is Approach Control realized something was amiss when coordinating on the landline, and they sent someone to investigate.

Supposedly has been reported up-channel....we’ll see if we hear anything.

ImperialxRat
11-09-2018, 11:00 AM
Houston is often a “one-man show” after about 10:00pm. Not sure what time this event was at Vegas, but I’d guess something similar is possible late at night.

It was a little before midnight.

IDIOTPILOT
11-09-2018, 03:06 PM
FAA makes staffing policy changes after Vegas controller found incapacitated | Air Traffic Management content from ATWOnline (http://m.atwonline.com/air-traffic-management/faa-makes-staffing-policy-changes-after-vegas-controller-found-incapacitated)

The FAA did not specify how the employee became incapacitated. The FAA released a statement about the incident.

"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."

Hawker445
11-09-2018, 05:54 PM
This is pretty insane. What I’m absolutely stunned by is It took nearly half an hour for these dumb pilots to recognize something was wrong. One even said ‘is there someone who knows what they’re doing up there?”

CX500T
11-09-2018, 07:19 PM
She didn't sound that bad when I landed.

Sent from my 2PYB2 using Tapatalk

badflaps
11-09-2018, 08:15 PM
Boy, you listen to those tapes, glad she wasn't working Tracon.:eek:

DrJekyll MrHyde
11-10-2018, 09:41 AM
This could have been really ugly. Midnight shift, working two frequencies, and she was barely coherent. Not blaming her for having a stroke, but the lack of fail safes in this situation is disturbing.

https://youtu.be/Jv1kmuFOhWk

AncientAliens
11-10-2018, 09:44 AM
This could have been really ugly. Midnight shift, working two frequencies, and she was barely coherent. Not blaming her for having a stroke, but the lack of fail safes in this situation is disturbing.

https://youtu.be/Jv1kmuFOhWk

How are there not two people up there at any one time? Remember this when they try and go single pilot ops.

ReserveCA
11-10-2018, 12:43 PM
Wow.....thankfully no accidents occured.....

Andy
11-11-2018, 12:08 AM
From what I've read, the second controller was on break. He returned at the end of the tape.

Disturbing.

SideFlare
11-12-2018, 09:03 PM
Based on current news, it sounds like it wasn’t a stroke... She is no longer employed.

Andy
11-13-2018, 04:40 AM
Update: https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/incapacitated-las-vegas-air-traffic-controller-no-longer-with-faa-1525525/

Doesn't say if she was fired or medically retired. My completely uninformed guess is the latter.

French3Holer
11-13-2018, 09:57 AM
Update: https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/incapacitated-las-vegas-air-traffic-controller-no-longer-with-faa-1525525/

Doesn't say if she was fired or medically retired. My completely uninformed guess is the latter.


My source indicates she blew a .32 and that there was no stroke or medical condition.

tomgoodman
11-13-2018, 10:59 AM
My source indicates she blew a .32 and that there was no stroke or medical condition.

Your source is either making it up or violating legal/medical ethics. Remember the rush to judgement of the Alaska Captain?

DrJekyll MrHyde
11-13-2018, 11:00 AM
My source indicates she blew a .32 and that there was no stroke or medical condition.

So that sound at the end of the audio clip is the sound of her choking on her own alcohol induced vomit? I don’t know man, it sure sounds a lot more like a stroke.

EasternATC
11-13-2018, 01:05 PM
Based on current news, it sounds like it wasn’t a stroke... She is no longer employed.


Where did you get this news?

ImperialxRat
11-14-2018, 12:15 PM
http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/news/20181113_ap_df54ff697720403885210b4acea24924.html? mobi=true

French3Holer
11-14-2018, 01:26 PM
Your source is either making it up or violating legal/medical ethics. Remember the rush to judgement of the Alaska Captain?

https://www.apnews.com/df54ff697720403885210b4acea24924

So she had a stroke and resigned? Time will prove me (and my source) correct...

SonicFlyer
11-14-2018, 02:00 PM
My source indicates she blew a .32 and that there was no stroke or medical condition.

That seems unlikely.

0.3 = Alcohol poisoning. Loss of consciousness.

AncientAliens
11-14-2018, 02:13 PM
I’ve been around a fair number of drunk people in my life and that didn’t sound like alcohol impairment to me. I’m sure their LTD is better than ours is going to be. Good luck to her getting healthy again.

Yabadaba
11-14-2018, 05:43 PM
That seems unlikely.

0.3 = Alcohol poisoning. Loss of consciousness.

Tough to go from coherent to .32 in the time your coworker is gone for a break.

pangolin
11-14-2018, 06:21 PM
http://archive-server.liveatc.net/klas/KLAS4-Twr-Both-Nov-08-2018-0730Z.mp3?fbclid=IwAR3NfsKOnoVr-07wBG2mEAPzwqUSv9AjYWRQmSEUNL8vr2B3sl6O-qkcjsk

Something going on. Might be a medical issue, or just tired, vice the obvious alternative.

Listen to the 1/2 hour before that one. It's slowly coming on even then. Giggling and misspoken words etc...

http://archive-server.liveatc.net/klas/KLAS4-Twr-Both-Nov-08-2018-0700Z.mp3

Even the 1/2 hour before that there was clearly some impairment. Sad situation.

AntiPeter
11-15-2018, 06:35 AM
Listen to the 1/2 hour before that one. It's slowly coming on even then. Giggling and misspoken words etc...

http://archive-server.liveatc.net/klas/KLAS4-Twr-Both-Nov-08-2018-0700Z.mp3

Even the 1/2 hour before that there was clearly some impairment. Sad situation.

It's interesting listening to that with hindsight being 20/20. We all mix up callsigns and runways, especially in the middle of the night. But, it is the repeated behavior that went unnoticed as her decline progressed. Since pilots only stay on a frequency for short period of time it's easy to see how her condition would go unnoticed. Dangerous stuff.

Hopefully this event will lead to more controllers on duty and more transparency dealing with "medical" issues.

4V14T0R
11-15-2018, 08:32 AM
What medical condition would require one to resign so quickly? Are we sure this wasn’t substance induced? Honest questions.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

USMCFLYR
11-15-2018, 08:34 AM
What medical condition would require one to resign so quickly? Are we sure this wasn’t substance induced? Honest questions.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

No.....we are not.

4V14T0R
11-15-2018, 10:10 AM
No.....we are not.



Ok. I’ve just had a hard time following how a medical issue would spark such a quick resignation.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

AntiPeter
11-15-2018, 10:32 AM
Ok. I’ve just had a hard time following how a medical issue would spark such a quick resignation.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Substance abuse and addiction are a "medical" issue. Both are a disease.

4V14T0R
11-15-2018, 10:37 AM
Substance abuse and addiction are a "medical" issue. Both are a disease.



You’re right. I wasn’t thinking from that aspect. I was envisioning more from the stand point of a stroke like others were speculating. I don’t know how it works for ATC, would EAP have been a possibility?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

PotatoChip
11-15-2018, 10:51 AM
That was a rough listen.

MySaabStory
11-15-2018, 11:01 AM
The reports are different depending on where you read about it. Some say “administrative leave” others say “quit” others say “fired”. Obviously no one has their facts straight.

USMCFLYR
11-15-2018, 12:06 PM
Ok. I’ve just had a hard time following how a medical issue would spark such a quick resignation.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I think you got that I am agreeing with you that it wasn’t a medical issue (e.g. stroke out of no where).

I’m do not know and don’t have some of the contacts that I imagine our fellow APC’ers who are controllers have; but I saw something, that if accurate and not photoshopped’, tells me it wasn’t a health problem like most thought it was (and I was one of them).

rickair7777
11-15-2018, 03:31 PM
Substance abuse and addiction are a "medical" issue. Both are a disease.

Addiction is considered a medical condition.

Abuse? Maybe, maybe not.

rickair7777
11-15-2018, 03:39 PM
Ok. I’ve just had a hard time following how a medical issue would spark such a quick resignation.


If it involved substance use...

A civil servant could typically drag it out for a while, but would have to participate in the investigation. Refusal to cooperate in the investigation could get you fired.

Cooperating with the investigation could generate evidence which could be used in criminal proceedings. Lying might set you up for perjury.

If they didn't get any hard evidence of a crime (ie BAC test), might be better for her to cut her losses and run.

They might have tried to have her tested, but she may have correctly concluded that it was better to get fired/resign for DOT refusal than give evidence that could land her in jail.

4V14T0R
11-16-2018, 04:14 AM
If it involved substance use...



A civil servant could typically drag it out for a while, but would have to participate in the investigation. Refusal to cooperate in the investigation could get you fired.



Cooperating with the investigation could generate evidence which could be used in criminal proceedings. Lying might set you up for perjury.



If they didn't get any hard evidence of a crime (ie BAC test), might be better for her to cut her losses and run.



They might have tried to have her tested, but she may have correctly concluded that it was better to get fired/resign for DOT refusal than give evidence that could land her in jail.



All that makes sense. When I used the word “medical” I was not considering substance abuse as a disease and therefore medical. I was thinking more along the lines of a stroke or something similar.

Thank you for the info though.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Mooneyguy
11-16-2018, 07:52 AM
I was on the ground in las when this happened. She went from coherent to incompacitated in 30 minutes.
Obviously I was not up there in the tower but it did not sound like an alcohol thing.
There are lots of rumors floating around on the net, that’s all they are. Rumors.

deltajuliet
11-17-2018, 12:02 AM
Man, that was really hard to listen to. Hope she’ll be okay and hope she’s got decent LTD. If she’s able at some point, it’d be nice if they could get her back in a non-safety sensitive position.

BeatNavy
11-17-2018, 07:09 AM
Man, that was really hard to listen to. Hope she’ll be okay and hope she’s got decent LTD. If she’s able at some point, it’d be nice if they could get her back in a non-safety sensitive position.

You don’t get LTD if you resign. The fact that she resigned is not internet rumor. You also don’t resign if you have a stroke or other medical issue and you need to continue employment (or at least continue to receive benefits). If you have any ATC friends who may know people in LAS, ask around and find out the truth.

Deathwish
11-17-2018, 07:18 AM
They also don’t post flyers up around FAA facilities in the region with a mug shot and vehicle information informing all other employees you are prohibited from entering the property if you suffered from a medical condition.

sqwkvfr
11-17-2018, 07:22 AM
That seems unlikely.

0.3 = Alcohol poisoning. Loss of consciousness.

Actually, it’s all about tolerance. A regular drunk can actually still reasonably functional at .32.

B757200ER
11-17-2018, 08:31 AM
Terrible occurence. I can't help but wonder why busy airports don't have more than (1) controller working at night. When 1 controller works Approach, Tower & Ground (or any combination thereof), depending on which frequency you're on, you're missing transmissions by other aircraft that reduce your SA.

dera
11-17-2018, 10:36 PM
They also don’t post flyers up around FAA facilities in the region with a mug shot and vehicle information informing all other employees you are prohibited from entering the property if you suffered from a medical condition.

She must have been shooting meth or something then if that's really the case. Going from just fine to halfway unconscious because of substance abuse sounds like drug O/D.

A Squared
11-18-2018, 11:56 PM
The reports are different depending on where you read about it. Some say “administrative leave” others say “quit” others say “fired”. Obviously no one has their facts straight.


Read a couple of articles. The ones with more detailed reporting are reporting that on Friday the FAA released an official statement when said that she was on administrative leave and was not performing air traffic control duties and that on Sunday, an FAA spokesman has said that she was no longer employed by the FAA.

ATCBob
12-15-2018, 05:35 PM
You don’t get LTD if you resign. The fact that she resigned is not internet rumor. You also don’t resign if you have a stroke or other medical issue and you need to continue employment (or at least continue to receive benefits). If you have any ATC friends who may know people in LAS, ask around and find out the truth.I don't know anybody at LAS, but I would certainly resign if I were still 20 years away from retirement, had a stroke, told I'm prone to strokes because of some condition and will never regain my medical, so at best would only get to work in a crappy FAA office job for the rest of my career. Especially if I had a spouse with a decent career who wanted out of the Nevada desert.

Terrible occurence. I can't help but wonder why busy airports don't have more than (1) controller working at night. When 1 controller works Approach, Tower & Ground (or any combination thereof), depending on which frequency you're on, you're missing transmissions by other aircraft that reduce your SA.
When positions are combined, we get all the frequencies in our ear and transmit on all simultaneously.

They also don’t post flyers up around FAA facilities in the region with a mug shot and vehicle information informing all other employees you are prohibited from entering the property if you suffered from a medical condition.
Where did you read this? If someone resigns, they turn in their badge and every facility has armed guards on entry that check for badges. If someone is fired and doesn't turn in their badge, the door codes are changed and guards check names on badges more closely on entry. There's never a need to post "mug shots and vehicle information" because they'll be caught by the guards, and if not won't know the new door codes.

UAL T38 Phlyer
12-16-2018, 05:23 AM
?....Where did you read this? If someone resigns, they turn in their badge and every facility has armed guards on entry that check for badges. If someone is fired and doesn't turn in their badge, the door codes are changed and guards check names on badges more closely on entry. There's never a need to post "mug shots and vehicle information" because they'll be caught by the guards, and if not won't know the new door codes.

Bob:

I saw the pic of the post...it appeared legit. Had her pic, name blurred out.

Essence was: fired. Known to have firearms. Driving an unknown vehicle. If you see her, contact FAA or other authorities.

It made me wonder if she didn’t turn in her badge. I’d guess it was being posted at non-traffic-control facilities, ie, FAA Offices, (Flight Service Stations? Yeah, I know they are contract now).

My overall impression was the FAA was unsure of her mental state, her whereabouts were unknown, and they were worried about retaliation.

Possible hoax? Of course....but again, it looked legit to me.

costalpilot
01-15-2019, 12:44 PM
Substance abuse and addiction are a "medical" issue. Both are a disease.

you arent going to retire if you were discovered at work with the measels, imo.



Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1