This blog is a collection random musings on the state of general aviation and some of the interesting stories that abound among pilots.
Wow. I infer that it was either IFR, dark, or both from something the controller said about 23R which may go a little bit towards explaining how United got so confused, but I can find NO excuse for that controller trying to bully the US Air flight into what would surely have been a massive accident reminiscent of Tenerife crash in 1977.The US Air pilot made a very, very good decision.
To follow DaveG:I'm really glad that USAir 2998 held firm. Since I'm not a pilot or Air Traffic Controller I can't count all the mistakes, but as a passenger I'm none too thrilled at the idea of several communication issues creating an issue. This is all edited, but I wondered if Fedex 1662 hadn't called back to report another plane that close to the active runway?
Some years ago closer to when this happened, I heard the entire unedited voice recordings. In complete context, the USAir Pilot was much more firm in holding despite pressure to take off and a certain tragedy was avoided. The controller's "bullying" actually comes across worse in the complete version.It's an interesting example of behavior - a general tendency to rationalize and reinforce bad decisions, even in the face of common sense (such as in the case of the USAir pilot).
Put ME in the club that thinks the controller was an idiot...with obvious confusion on the taxi and runways, they clear another plane for takeoff??!!Yes, yes, United shouldn't have taxied where they did. Throw your stones, you pilots who have never made a taxiing mistake. But the controller...unbelievable, except it's all too believable.
You won't see me criticizing the taxiing mistake. Not as long as I can remember how it felt to realize I was on short final on the wrong end of the runway once.