|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : den|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Controlling Facilities||tower : den|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : local|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Experience||controller radar : 9|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||oversight : supervisor|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
|Primary Problem||ATC Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Inter Facility Coordination Failure|
Landing runway 7 at den, wind 350 degrees at 5 KTS. Thunderstorm in the area causing a significant wind shift. Wind now 220 degrees at 20 KTS with a windshear alert of -20 KTS. On 1 mi final controller broke out first 2 arrs. The third arrival, a BE02, called tower on 10 mi final and was then advised on the wind and windshear. While the pilot said he could accept the wind and landed safety, he should not have been put in that situation. The den TRACON answered with 'we had to get them on the ground, we just had too many airplanes,' leading me to believe that they could not handle the traffic which in turn compromised the safety of that aircraft and created a potentially hazardous incident. I have been at this airport since opening and have seen this on more than this incident. In noise abatement confign landing runway 17R, departing runway 8. Thunderstorm off departure end of runway 8. A B757 taxied out (wind 190 degrees at 13 KTS). ASR-9 WX radar is OTS. However, we still got returns off the radar showing that the thunderstorm had level 6 cells in it. Supervisor was advised by local controller that he was taking the B757 to runway 17R. Supervisor then asked if the pilot said it was operational necessity. When the controller responded that he was doing it because of the level 6 thunderstorm, the supervisor then said to take him to runway 8. He then called the controller over to the supervisor's desk to look at the doppler radar and stated, 'see, that's not a level 6, that's windshear!' while in the noise abatement agreement it states you can deviate from the procedures due to wind, WX, etc, the supervisor had to show that 'he was in charge' and you will do what I say attitude. Compromising the safety of that aircraft and making that aircraft depart in an area of known windshear activity. As it turned out, as the aircraft departed, he requested an immediate right turn to avoid the thunderstorm. This is again a daily occurrence with supervisors. Landing north runways 35L/right at den, thunderstorm in the area, windshear alerts started showing up for runway 35L/right. Aircraft on final were going missed approach. Tmc in den TRACON called up to tower to ask for runway 34 for their arrs which was approved due to no windshear alerts for runway 34. Local controller was also working departures off runway 34. Windshears now disappeared on runway 35L which was now being used once again for arrs. The first arrival for runway 35L went missed approach and turned to the east, climbing to 9000 ft as per the LOA. Aircraft were also departing runway 34, turning east, climbing to 10000 ft. Coordination was completed by the east/west local controllers to ensure separation of their aircraft. Then the east local controller noticed aircraft on downwind to runway 35L at 8000 ft and 9000 ft without any pointouts or coordination, clearly in tower airspace. A B727 and B757 cleared each other by 200 ft and 2.5 mi. No action taken by TRACON and no explanation as to why the aircraft were in tower airspace without pointouts. Another dangerous situation blown under the table. The next arrival for runway 35L was approaching the marker. The east side local controller called the aircraft 3 times from the marker to a 1 mi final without response. The aircraft then called the west side controller on 1/2 mi final stating he was going missed approach. Aircraft was given wrong frequency from den TRACON. Tower supervisor then called TRACON supervisor to tell them to get the aircraft on the right frequency. The next 2 arrs, 1 for runway 34 and 1 for runway 35L were both again on the wrong frequency. They were also tagged for the wrong runway (ie, aircraft lined up for runway 35L tagged for runway 34 and 34 arrival tagged for runway 35L). No action taken. Supervisors/management at this facility are concerned only for themselves and TRACON tmc's don't want to speak of runway changes until their aircraft are on the ground, regardless of wind or WX. A dangerous combination that could end in conflict. Why are the only people at this facility (controllers/tower) interested in safety? I thought that's what we were hired for!
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: CTLR AT ATCT COMPLAINS ABOUT SUPVR AND TRACON PROCS BEING UTILIZED DURING LEVEL 1 THROUGH LEVEL 6 TSTM ACTIVITY.
Narrative: LNDG RWY 7 AT DEN, WIND 350 DEGS AT 5 KTS. TSTM IN THE AREA CAUSING A SIGNIFICANT WIND SHIFT. WIND NOW 220 DEGS AT 20 KTS WITH A WINDSHEAR ALERT OF -20 KTS. ON 1 MI FINAL CTLR BROKE OUT FIRST 2 ARRS. THE THIRD ARR, A BE02, CALLED TWR ON 10 MI FINAL AND WAS THEN ADVISED ON THE WIND AND WINDSHEAR. WHILE THE PLT SAID HE COULD ACCEPT THE WIND AND LANDED SAFETY, HE SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN PUT IN THAT SIT. THE DEN TRACON ANSWERED WITH 'WE HAD TO GET THEM ON THE GND, WE JUST HAD TOO MANY AIRPLANES,' LEADING ME TO BELIEVE THAT THEY COULD NOT HANDLE THE TFC WHICH IN TURN COMPROMISED THE SAFETY OF THAT ACFT AND CREATED A POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS INCIDENT. I HAVE BEEN AT THIS ARPT SINCE OPENING AND HAVE SEEN THIS ON MORE THAN THIS INCIDENT. IN NOISE ABATEMENT CONFIGN LNDG RWY 17R, DEPARTING RWY 8. TSTM OFF DEP END OF RWY 8. A B757 TAXIED OUT (WIND 190 DEGS AT 13 KTS). ASR-9 WX RADAR IS OTS. HOWEVER, WE STILL GOT RETURNS OFF THE RADAR SHOWING THAT THE TSTM HAD LEVEL 6 CELLS IN IT. SUPVR WAS ADVISED BY LCL CTLR THAT HE WAS TAKING THE B757 TO RWY 17R. SUPVR THEN ASKED IF THE PLT SAID IT WAS OPERATIONAL NECESSITY. WHEN THE CTLR RESPONDED THAT HE WAS DOING IT BECAUSE OF THE LEVEL 6 TSTM, THE SUPVR THEN SAID TO TAKE HIM TO RWY 8. HE THEN CALLED THE CTLR OVER TO THE SUPVR'S DESK TO LOOK AT THE DOPPLER RADAR AND STATED, 'SEE, THAT'S NOT A LEVEL 6, THAT'S WINDSHEAR!' WHILE IN THE NOISE ABATEMENT AGREEMENT IT STATES YOU CAN DEVIATE FROM THE PROCS DUE TO WIND, WX, ETC, THE SUPVR HAD TO SHOW THAT 'HE WAS IN CHARGE' AND YOU WILL DO WHAT I SAY ATTITUDE. COMPROMISING THE SAFETY OF THAT ACFT AND MAKING THAT ACFT DEPART IN AN AREA OF KNOWN WINDSHEAR ACTIVITY. AS IT TURNED OUT, AS THE ACFT DEPARTED, HE REQUESTED AN IMMEDIATE R TURN TO AVOID THE TSTM. THIS IS AGAIN A DAILY OCCURRENCE WITH SUPVRS. LNDG N RWYS 35L/R AT DEN, TSTM IN THE AREA, WINDSHEAR ALERTS STARTED SHOWING UP FOR RWY 35L/R. ACFT ON FINAL WERE GOING MISSED APCH. TMC IN DEN TRACON CALLED UP TO TWR TO ASK FOR RWY 34 FOR THEIR ARRS WHICH WAS APPROVED DUE TO NO WINDSHEAR ALERTS FOR RWY 34. LCL CTLR WAS ALSO WORKING DEPS OFF RWY 34. WINDSHEARS NOW DISAPPEARED ON RWY 35L WHICH WAS NOW BEING USED ONCE AGAIN FOR ARRS. THE FIRST ARR FOR RWY 35L WENT MISSED APCH AND TURNED TO THE E, CLBING TO 9000 FT AS PER THE LOA. ACFT WERE ALSO DEPARTING RWY 34, TURNING E, CLBING TO 10000 FT. COORD WAS COMPLETED BY THE E/W LCL CTLRS TO ENSURE SEPARATION OF THEIR ACFT. THEN THE E LCL CTLR NOTICED ACFT ON DOWNWIND TO RWY 35L AT 8000 FT AND 9000 FT WITHOUT ANY POINTOUTS OR COORD, CLRLY IN TWR AIRSPACE. A B727 AND B757 CLRED EACH OTHER BY 200 FT AND 2.5 MI. NO ACTION TAKEN BY TRACON AND NO EXPLANATION AS TO WHY THE ACFT WERE IN TWR AIRSPACE WITHOUT POINTOUTS. ANOTHER DANGEROUS SIT BLOWN UNDER THE TABLE. THE NEXT ARR FOR RWY 35L WAS APCHING THE MARKER. THE E SIDE LCL CTLR CALLED THE ACFT 3 TIMES FROM THE MARKER TO A 1 MI FINAL WITHOUT RESPONSE. THE ACFT THEN CALLED THE W SIDE CTLR ON 1/2 MI FINAL STATING HE WAS GOING MISSED APCH. ACFT WAS GIVEN WRONG FREQ FROM DEN TRACON. TWR SUPVR THEN CALLED TRACON SUPVR TO TELL THEM TO GET THE ACFT ON THE RIGHT FREQ. THE NEXT 2 ARRS, 1 FOR RWY 34 AND 1 FOR RWY 35L WERE BOTH AGAIN ON THE WRONG FREQ. THEY WERE ALSO TAGGED FOR THE WRONG RWY (IE, ACFT LINED UP FOR RWY 35L TAGGED FOR RWY 34 AND 34 ARR TAGGED FOR RWY 35L). NO ACTION TAKEN. SUPVRS/MGMNT AT THIS FACILITY ARE CONCERNED ONLY FOR THEMSELVES AND TRACON TMC'S DON'T WANT TO SPEAK OF RWY CHANGES UNTIL THEIR ACFT ARE ON THE GND, REGARDLESS OF WIND OR WX. A DANGEROUS COMBINATION THAT COULD END IN CONFLICT. WHY ARE THE ONLY PEOPLE AT THIS FACILITY (CTLRS/TWR) INTERESTED IN SAFETY? I THOUGHT THAT'S WHAT WE WERE HIRED FOR!
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.