5:15 PM

Lights were on,
but nobody was
home at Sea-tac

Imagine you’re hauling a gazillion pounds of Taiwanese stuff in a 747, happily talking to Seattle Center inbound to SEA. You get passed off to tower, but no matter how hard you try on your array of expensive airplane radios, you can’t get anyone to mutter “you are cleared to land”...easily a pilot’s favorite phrase.

What ya’ gonna do:

Airport officials and the FAA told Seattle television station KING-5 that a Taiwanese EVA 747-400 was on final approach to Sea-Tac around 3:15 am when it radioed the tower for landing clearance. When no one answered, the plane went around -- and remained airborne until a controller could be reached.
Aero News network and Associated Press are reporting that for 25 minutes in the early morning hours of April 11, the SEA tower was incommunicado to planes in the area. Seems now the FAA and SEA officials may be re-thinking their standard Ops procedure of having one guy run the tower in those late, low traffic hours.

Hmmm. Now maybe they might have thought of this before. Inbound heavies descending towards ONE GUY??? What happens if he has to, ummm, visit the “used food” department and relieve himself of a couple of massive Chile Verde burritos?

I guess now we know.

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