Today pilots and controllers use (Pr Simple Active) radios to talk to one another.
“We are now descending (Pr Cont Active) to 190..”
The system depends (Pr Simple Active) on clear, precise language. Misunderstandings are (Pr Simple Active) common. And they’ve caused (Pr Perf Active) some of the most tragic air disasters in history. Mistakes can be made (Modal Passive) for a number of reasons. English is (Pr Simple Active) the international language of aviation. But pronunciation, accent and emotion alter (Pr Simple Active) the way any language is spoken (Pr Simple Passive). Maintaining clear radio communications can prove (Modal Active) challenging to controllers here. When pressure mounts (Pr Simple Active), small misunderstandings can have (Modal Active) enormous consequences.
25 January 1990. In the skies over New York, Avianca flight 52 is trying (Pr Cont Active) to land in New York, but a driving rain is delaying (Pr Cont Active) air traffic into and out of the area. The flight began (Past Simple Active) in Columbia. On its way to New York, it has been routed (Pr Perf Passive) through a series of holding patterns by air traffic controllers. They have used (Pr Perf Active) almost all of their fuel while waiting their turn. After more than an hour in holding patterns controllers finally give (Pr Simple Active) the pilots of the Avianca flight permission to land, but in this critical hand-off from one controller to another noone mentions (Pr Simple Active) that the plane is running out (Pr Cont Active) of fuel.
At JFK, only one runway is being used (Pr Cont Passive) for landings. Weather at the airport is making (Pr Cont Active) approaches difficult.
A dramatic change of winds throws (Pr Simple Active) the aircraft off its descend path as it makes (Pr Simple Active) its approach. The plane is thrown (Pr Simple Passive) towards the ground by the winds. The fuel tanks aboard Avianca 52 are (Pr Simple Active) all but empty, but the first officer neglects (Pr Simple Active) to use the word “emergency” in his radio transmissions to the tower. He only mentions (Pr Simple Active) that his fuel is (Pr Simple Active) low.
“It was (Past Simple Active) apparent from the voice recorder transcript and tape that the captain was not understanding (Past Cont Active) the first officer`s radio communications that were being made (Past Cont Passive) in English.”
The engines quit (Pr Simple Active) when they’ve finally starved (Pr Perf Active) on fuel. Without engine power Avianca flight 52 crashes (Pr Simple Active) into a residential neighborhood on Long Island.
The NTSB investigation reveals (Pr Simple Active) that controllers didn`t transmit (Past Simple Active Negative) vital information to one another. Radio communication, one of the most vital parts of air traffic control, failed (Past Simple Active) the passengers and crew.
1) What enables pilots and ATCs to communicate?
Radio enables pilots and ATCs to communicate.
2) Why are misunderstandings frequent?
Misunderstandings are frequent due to pronunciation, accent and emotions while communicating.
3) What factors made the approach of Flight 52 to New York especially difficult?
Driving rain and routing through a series of holding patterns made the approach of Flight 52 to New York especially difficult.
4) What did numerous delays lead to? What can be other possible reasons for delays? Can you give examples?
Numerous delays led to fuel shortage for Flight 52. There are several reasons for delays.
The first reason is weather. This is probably the most obvious, and most common cause for delayed flights. There are three areas where weather affects flight schedules: at the origin airport, in-flight, and at the destination airport.
The second reason is traffic. Many factors can cause air traffic, and all impact both flight arrival and departure times.
The third reason is go-Arounds. A go-around occurs when an aircraft is just about to land at an airport and the pilot decides it is not safe to land. So you will see (or feel) the plane suddenly increasing altitude, as if it were taking off again. Of course this affects the arrival time for that flight, as it could take up to 30 mins for the aircraft to return and land again.
The fourth reason is technical problems The bane of travelers and airlines alike, mechanical problems affect arrival schedules too.
The another reason is terroristic acts. Nowadays this threat can delay flights for a long time.
Passenger baggage identification may affect schedule as well.
5) Why was the Approach controller NOT aware of the low fuel level of Flight 52?
The Approach controller wasn’t aware of the low fuel of Flight 52 because the first officer neglected to use the word “emergency” in his radio transmissions to the tower.
6) What prevented Flight 52 from normal landing on the first attempt? What procedure did they perform?
A windshear prevented Flight 52 from normal landing on the first attempt. The crew performed a missed approach procedure.
7) Did the Fist Officer explain the situation to the ATC clearly? What was his main mistake?
No, the First Officer didn’t explain the situation to the ATC clearly. His main mistake was neglecting to use the word “emergency” for explanation.
8) Was the Captain fully aware of what the First Officer was saying? Why?
No, the Captain wasn’t fully aware of what the First Officer saying because the Captain was not understanding the First Officer’s radio communication that were being made in English.
9) What did the fuel starvation result in?
The fuel starvation resulted in engines stop.
10) According to the investigation, what was the main reason for the crash of Flight 52?
Controllers didn`t transmit vital information to one another. It was the main reason for the crash of Flight 52 according to the investigation.
11) In your opinion, why are all aviation specialists nowadays required to have good knowledge of English? What can poor level of general English or radiotelephony lead to?
In my opinion, nowadays all aviation specialists are required to have good knowledge of English to prevent misunderstanding and to ensure a good communication between flight crew and ATCs even in case when one of the crew member feels bad. Poor level of general English or radiotelephony can lead to misunderstanding and even traffic collisions.