Entries in Denver International Airport (2)


Pilot Requests Emergency Landing, Tower Calls ‘B.S.’

ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Safety experts are stunned after the pilot of a passenger jet filled with smoke called the Denver International Airport control tower for help and the air traffic controller dismissed the call, saying it was “B.S.”

The April 3 flight from Peoria, Ill., was scheduled to land in Denver. Everything was going according to plan until smoke filled the plane.  The pilot of the United plane called the control tower to request an emergency landing.

“This is 5912.  Emergency, smoke in cockpit, roll trucks, please,” said the pilot.

But the control tower did not know who was calling.

“And who was that?” the controller replied.

“5912,” the pilot said, but the control tower apparently heard “United 12.”

“United 12, what’s your position?” the controller asked.

The pilot did not respond, and the controller decided it was a hoax.

“Did you hear that?” the controller asked another controller. “I know that’s BS. I know it is.”

“United 12. You, you know of United 12 anywhere?” he added.

“And, ah, I apologize. If you probably heard there, that’s not real what we’re hearing on the frequency,” the controller announced to his coworkers.

The plane prepared for an emergency landing believing that fire crews had been dispatched and were ready to assit.

When the plane landed, the pilots called the control tower again in a panic.

“We’re on the runway!  We’ve been evacuating! We’ve been evacuating!  34 right!” the pilot screamed.

But even with the plane on the ground, the controllers still didn’t believe the emergency was real.

“12 verify that wasn’t you,” said the controller.


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Prank calls to control towers are not that uncommon and the controllers may have thought this was one.

But longtime pilot and aviation expert Kevin Hiatt says lives were hanging in the balance at a time when seconds mattered.

“This is a very serious situation and could have had a very disastrous result,” said Hiatt.

“I think it’s very troubling. An air traffic controller should never assume or jump to a conclusion at any time,” Hiatt added.

Aviation experts say that the pilot was wrong in initially identifying himself as only as “5912.” He should have identified himself as “United Airlines 5912.”

Luckily the pilots landed and evacuated the plane safely,  without help from the control tower.

The FAA has yet to comment on the incident.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Woman Sexually Assaulted at Denver International Airport

George Rose/Getty Images(DENVER) -- Officials at Denver International Airport, the nation's fifth-busiest, are reviewing whether their employees did enough to help stop an alleged sexual assault on a female passenger that took place in plain sight inside an airport concourse.

A 22-year-old Oregon woman traveling from Portland said that she missed her connecting to flight to Illinois Monday night. With no money for a hotel, she decided to stay overnight in the concourse.

The woman said she went to an airport restaurant bar and struck up a conversation with a man who told her he was also from Portland. When the restaurant closed, the woman says she left to find a seat. The man, she said, followed her and sat down beside her.

"I sit up and he's leaned in and he asks, 'Can I kiss you?' And when I tell him that's too forward, before I could finish my statement, he had already pulled me in to kiss him. And he forcefully held me there," the woman told ABC affiliate KMGH-TV.

"I couldn't talk. I couldn't say anything," the victim said. "He grabbed me and held my neck to the ground. I started to stress out, and I couldn't breathe very well. I started to tense up and I started to get an asthma attack."

The victim said the man sexually assaulted her for ten minutes, just after midnight in the deserted terminal, but that two airport janitors passed by during the attack and did not stop to help.

"Another employee walked by, a female, and she looked and she walked away and kept walking. I was just so upset that I couldn't focus on what was going on. I just kept getting my head thrown down," the woman said.

Eventually a private security guard intervened and called for police help, who arrived and arrested 26-year-old Noel Alexander Bertrand of Portland, Ore.

"He was trying to tell them that we were just having sex. It was a lover's quarrel," she said. "A woman getting beaten on the ground is not a lover's quarrel."

The woman, who was on her way to Illinois to interview for a job at a convent, also suffered cuts and bruises.

A woman who said she is Bertrand's grandmother told KMGH that he is a former U.S. Marine.

A Denver police spokesman said Bertrand is in custody on suspicion of assault and felony sexual assault. He appeared in a Denver court this morning, where a judge set a $50,000 bond. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio