Air traffic control tower went silent as planes attempted to land in U.S. capital

An air control tower at Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C. went silent early on Wednesday morning prompting two passenger aircrafts to land on their own, the Washington Post reported.

An American Airlines Boeing-737 en route from Miami and a United Airlines Airbus-320, flying in from Chicago, had 97 and 68 people, including crew, on their boards respectively.

“The tower, which normally is staffed by one air-traffic controller from midnight to 6 a.m., did not respond to pilot requests for landing assistance or to phone calls from controllers elsewhere in the region, who also used a “shout line,” which pipes into a loudspeaker in the tower, internal records show,” the newspaper said.

Both planes landed safely at the airport as the pilots decided to take the matter in their own hands after unsuccessfully trying to get in touch with the air control tower.

The investigation into the incident is underway, but there is still no version, what caused the silence from the tower.

Shortly after the incident, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood ordered inspection of all airports in the country. He also ordered to have two, instead of a one, traffic controllers on duty at the control tower of the Reagan National Airport between midnight and 6 a.m.


WASHINGTON, March 24 (RIA Novosti)

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