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Logan Airport: Complaints about air safety arise

Aviation safety database shows concerns from pilots, tower controllers. Logan officials say they have fixed some issues in response to feedback.

With the shocking footage of a Boston flight being hit by a jumbo jet at Kennedy Airport, news of a plane at Logan Airport being clipped by a truck and air traffic controllers falling asleep at their posts, there is renewed concern about operations and safety at airports across the country.

And, according to a Metro review of an aviation safety database called the Aviation Safety Reporting System, Logan is not immune to the problems plaguing other airports.

Metro reviewed nearly two dozen reports dated back to the start of 2010.

Many of the problems involve human factors such as communications breakdowns or miscommunications between pilots and controllers. Another reported issue was the maneuverability of planes as they taxi.

The reporting system, run by NASA, said it is the “world’s largest repository of voluntary, confidential safety information provided by aviation's frontline personnel, including pilots, controllers, mechanics, flight attendants, and dispatchers.”

The data is used to establish possible patterns that need to be addressed.

Officials at Logan said the data is “important.”

“We fixed a lot of them … in response to pilot feedback,” Flavio Leo of aviation planning at Logan.

Scary stuff

» November 2010
Situation: The captain of an A320 reported that they did not select the engine bleeds off for takeoff because as the first officer was starting an engine, they were dealing with complex taxi requirements and experiencing fatigue.
Narrative report: “Taxiing from our gate … involved crossing 3 runways and a taxi route that I was not very familiar with.”

» September 2010
Situation: Following an alert from the first officer, the captain made an emergency stop to avoid a commuter aircraft exiting the runway across his path. Nighttime and poor lighting contributed.
Narrative report: “I looked right and saw a commuter aircraft … on a collision course towards us. I stopped the aircraft just short … and the commuter kept coming.”

» September 2010
Situation: An airplane on departure from Boston described its taxi clearance from controllers as in error with regard to crossing the runway.
Narrative report: “This is a runway incursion waiting to happen …”

 
 
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