Air Traffic Controller Ignores Emergency Call

Don’t you just hate prank calls? You would think that if an airline was in charge of a flight with hundreds of passengers, they’d run a tighter air traffic control. Alas, to add to the controllers’ bad reputation as “sleep on the job” workers, another folly has been made by the folks at the Denver International Airport.

Last week a United Express plane called in to request an emergency landing due to reported smoke in the cabin. Since calls can be faked by anyone in the area with a radio, the air traffic controller believed the call to be just another one of the pranks that have been plaguing the Denver airport for a while. Not until the second call, when the plane had landed and was requesting a fire truck, did the ATC believe the pilot. The firefighters extinguished a fire found in the instrument panel and one of the passengers was taken to the hospital. The call is being investigated by the FAA but you have to give the controller some credit. At least he was awake.