Beemer....not to talk business but

I know you are a center controller, but can you answer a couple of questions about landing operations.

  1. If a small plane such as a Cirrus had been cleared by the controller to land and a Delta jet (you are Atlanta after all) calls in just after that, can the controller tell the Cirrus to go around instead of the Delta jet? Would the Cirrus be able to tell them “unable”? I only ask because in a conversation elsewhere I was told that “kerosene always has priority”, but in the FAR’s, landings are "first come/first served.

A pilot can never unable a controller unless he has declared an emergency. In the case of Atlanta, they have 5 runways and there is one favored for general aviation use so theyd get him down. First come first served is how we generally do it but the mission is ‘safe, orderly, and efficient flow of air traffic’. It’s not efficient to have an airliner do donuts in the sky so a cirrus can land, so we’d break him out and slide him behind the airliner.

Thanks. the discussion was about a Cirrus at HOuston Hobby that was told to go around because a 737 was behind her. Had they sent the 737 around, he would have been back around and landed. As it was, the poor girl, who was originally landing on runway 4 was sent around and redirected to runway 35, which had a 15kt crosswind as well as a quartering tailwind. She missed that approach, was sent around again…too high for that one, initially sequenced back to runway 4 but that was stopped because of another 737, lined up again with 35 and still too high, then instructed to go BACK to runway 4, and told to keep her turn tight. It was tight enough that she dropped a wing and crashed. This guy said that "kerosene always has priority’, but if that were the case, there would never be any slower aircraft landing at “larger” airports.

My guess is the controller screwed up, there is a way to sequence a cirrus behind a 737. Although during an arrival push, there may not be a hole to put a prop plane in with jets. There is no way any controller will put 5 737s into hold to get a cirrus on the ground unless it’s an emergency.

Houston Hobby is pretty much just Southwest. Atlanta has more movements in an hour than Hobby has all day. Even in the video, all during the time, only one other jet and a twin prop landed. It was hard to listen to the audio…the pilot was so nice and accommodating (which may have been her downfall).

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