Air Traffic Controller Error Causes Plane Carrying First Lady Michelle Obama to Abort Landing


How many incidents of air traffic controllers errors, sleeping and watching movies are going to have to occur before the FAA really does something about safety of the friendly skies?

Another day and another air traffic controller incident. This time the incident included the plane carrying First Lady Michelle Obama that had to abort its landing at Andrews Air Force Base due to a controller mistake. Although the FAA said that the first lady was never in danger; however, they classified the incident as an “A,” the most serious type. The air traffic controller allowed the Boeing 737 carrying Michelle Obama and Jill Biden to follow a  C-17 military transport too closely. The landing was aborted and the 737 carrying was instructed to circle Andrews.

A White House plane carrying Michelle Obama came dangerously close to a 200-ton military cargo jet and had to abort its landing at Andrews Air Force Base on Monday as the result of an air traffic controller’s mistake, according to federal officials familiar with the incident.

Ultimately, controllers at Andrews feared that the cargo jet was not moving quickly enough to clear the runway in time for the White House plane to land, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak for their agencies.

How many screw ups by air traffic controllers are going to occur before some one is going to seriously get hurt. It would appear that the FAA has systemic issues that have been ignored for quite some time.

UPDATE I: Safety Officials Say Michelle Obama’s Plane Flew Less Than 3 Miles to Military Jet.

The close call on Monday night left 2.94 miles of distance between the Obama plane and the 200-ton C-17 jet as they both approached landing at Andrews Air Force base just outside of Washington. Air traffic controllers at Andrews directed Obama’s plane to abort a landing, the board said in a statement Friday.

Posted April 20, 2011 by
FAA, Michelle Obama, WTF | 2 comments

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  • Comments

    2 Responses to “Air Traffic Controller Error Causes Plane Carrying First Lady Michelle Obama to Abort Landing”

    1. A Texas Grandfather on April 20th, 2011 9:43 am

      This is not something new. Air traffic controllers are often required to instruct a pilot flying a faster aircraft to either drop out of the pattern or slow down to keep from overrunning a slower aircraft.

      The fact that the C-17 can fly slower than a 737 is the primary reason for this action. It didn’t matter who was on board the 737.

    2. Teresa on April 20th, 2011 12:43 pm

      well we know that person just lost their job over this! I’m sure the clown in charge got someone fired on this and they are now un-employed! Accidents do happen…I know not an excuse… but you know he probably didn’t even get a warning; just fired!

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