Mark McClure’s 6/14/2011 email to Tony Ferrante, Regarding the KCMA OE Investigation

Below is a copy of the 6/14/2011 McClure email to Ferrante, rendered in HTML. Key statements removed while whitewashing this report into the 8/2/11 final report (by Bebble) are marked with red strike-through. A JPEG of the original email (as received years later, on 8/8/2014, as part of Discovery for the FOIA civil action filed in June 2013, 3:13-CV-0992-HZ) is displayed at the bottom of this webpage.


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Mr. Ferrante,

Dianne requested l send you a brief update re the results from yesterday’s CMA visit. All interviews were completed as planned, and all conducted face to face. I requested to conduct the interviews solo, just myself, the interviewee and the interviewee’s representative (if requested), AJS, QCG and LA District voiced no objection to this.

Mr. Hiebert had no new information. He did ask if the AOV report regarding this investigation will be available under the Freedom of Information Act. I advised him I was not an expert in FOIA but generally believed that it was “FOIA-ble.” I assured him that AOV is committed to providing all parties appropriate feedback.

Mr. Michael Marcotte, the Ground Controller, confirmed the loss of separation. He stated that:

  • when he looked up, the Cub was airborne at approximately 40 to 50 feet AGL and the Cessna was still on the runway between taxiways Bravo and Charlie,
  • he believed all three of them. the Ground Controller, Local Controller and the CIC (FLM) became aware of the situation simultaneously,
  • when the Local Controller attempted to cancel the Cub’s take off clearance, both he and the CIC told the Local Controller, “that’s a bad idea” or words to that effect,
  • the fear was that the Cub would actually re-land and, due to its speed, catch up and overtake the taxing Cessna,
  • the Cub did not overfly the Cessna but actually made an early right turn out (to the North) prior to reaching the Cessna’s position,
  • and that he did not file an ATSAP report because he believed management was immediately aware of the incident.

Mr. Nielsen, the Local Controller, requested the CMA NATCA Local Representative accompany him during the interview. Mr. Nielsen stated that:

  • he could not recall any of the events of 7/25/2010,
  • it was his voice on the audio recording, (which I played for him),
  • he could not remember why he issued the cancel take off clearance but speculated that perhaps it was because the Cessna was still on the runway between taxiways Bravo and Charlie,
  • he had no explanation as to how the Cub subsequently became airborne after the cancel takeoff clearance,
  • and that he has previously filed an ATSAP report (but did not offer to disclose what that ATSAP report concerned.)

The NATCA Representative made no comments concerning the investigation before, during or after the interview.

Mr. Pruitt, the CIC (FLM), stated that:

  • he could not recall any of the events of 7/25/2010,
  • he did not disagree with the facility records which showed him at work, manning the CIC position, at the time of the event,
  • he never leaves the operating quarters when he is signed on a position,
  • his current understanding of the ATSAP program, vis·a-vis his responsibilities under 7210.56, is the same understanding he had in July, 2010 (to wit – an FLM must report via 7210.56 even if an employee advises he/she is filing an ATSAP report)
  • even though he can not recall the events of 7/25/2010, he is certain that an operational error did not occur because, if it had, he would have reported it,
  • and that he has no explanation for Mr. Marcotte’s statements (which I quoted to him.)

I provided a verbal outline of this information to the LA District Manager, Sherry Avery and to the AJS/QCG representatives, Douglas Ware and Emilio Chaviano, during the out-brief.

I will complete and forward the draft Report of Investigation by the end of this week.
As a side note – I advised, and emphasized, to all four individuals that it was not required of them to have AOV credentials in their immediate possession but asked. if they did. All four were able to immediately produce their credentials and l was able to confirm their credentials matched the data in AOV’s database.

Best regards,
Mark
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Mark McClure, ATSI
Air Traffic Safety Oversight Service, AOV-210
1601 Lind Ave., SW
Renton, WA 98057
mark.mcclure@faa.gov
(425)-917-6765

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