|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : mgm.airport|
|Altitude||agl single value : 0|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : combined local|
|Qualification||controller : non radar|
|Experience||controller radar : 19|
controller time certified in position1 : 2.5
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|Airport||other physical facility|
procedure or policy : mgm.airport
I was working all tower functions combined when I was advised of an inbound medical emergency diverting into mgm. I picked up the red 'crash phone' which is supposed to be answered by the airport fire department and airport police and also be monitored by several other entities on the field. Only the airport police answered and I relayed the information on the inbound emergency. I then hung up the crash phone and picked up the commercial telephone and dialed the number for the airport fire department and asked if they were aware of the emergency. They were not. I repeated the information for them and they initiated their response. The 'crash phone' system provided by the airport is apparently not very reliable. From my vantage point; it appears that if one entity (police) answers the phone; then it stops ringing at the other location (fire); similar to the bedroom phone stopping when someone picks up the extension in the kitchen. This has happened before. Luckily; we usually have a lot of lead time to notify them of an inbound emergency; so we can work around the poorly designed emergency system. An actual on-airport accident would not offer this lead time.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: MGM TWR CTLR EXPRESSED CONCERN REGARDING THE RELIABILITY OF THE EMER PHONE EQUIP.
Narrative: I WAS WORKING ALL TOWER FUNCTIONS COMBINED WHEN I WAS ADVISED OF AN INBOUND MEDICAL EMERGENCY DIVERTING INTO MGM. I PICKED UP THE RED 'CRASH PHONE' WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO BE ANSWERED BY THE AIRPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT AND AIRPORT POLICE AND ALSO BE MONITORED BY SEVERAL OTHER ENTITIES ON THE FIELD. ONLY THE AIRPORT POLICE ANSWERED AND I RELAYED THE INFORMATION ON THE INBOUND EMERGENCY. I THEN HUNG UP THE CRASH PHONE AND PICKED UP THE COMMERCIAL TELEPHONE AND DIALED THE NUMBER FOR THE AIRPORT FIRE DEPARTMENT AND ASKED IF THEY WERE AWARE OF THE EMERGENCY. THEY WERE NOT. I REPEATED THE INFORMATION FOR THEM AND THEY INITIATED THEIR RESPONSE. THE 'CRASH PHONE' SYSTEM PROVIDED BY THE AIRPORT IS APPARENTLY NOT VERY RELIABLE. FROM MY VANTAGE POINT; IT APPEARS THAT IF ONE ENTITY (POLICE) ANSWERS THE PHONE; THEN IT STOPS RINGING AT THE OTHER LOCATION (FIRE); SIMILAR TO THE BEDROOM PHONE STOPPING WHEN SOMEONE PICKS UP THE EXTENSION IN THE KITCHEN. THIS HAS HAPPENED BEFORE. LUCKILY; WE USUALLY HAVE A LOT OF LEAD TIME TO NOTIFY THEM OF AN INBOUND EMERGENCY; SO WE CAN WORK AROUND THE POORLY DESIGNED EMERGENCY SYSTEM. AN ACTUAL ON-AIRPORT ACCIDENT WOULD NOT OFFER THIS LEAD TIME.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of January 2009 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.