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DAB Controllers’ Teamwork Prevents Serious Event from Occurring

On Jan. 14, Daytona Beach ATCT (DAB) members Richard Smith and Rene Mieschke noticed an airport fire truck attempting to cross a runway with an aircraft departing. 

The vehicle was performing routine driving training and had requested to reposition from the fire station to the southeast ramp. Smith, in the ground control position, provided instructions for the vehicle to proceed and hold short of Runway 7R. 

All vehicles and aircraft operating on the airfield must receive specific instructions to cross a runway. There is a buffer zone between the hold short line (yellow lines painted on the taxiway) and the edge of the runway (designated by a white line). The vehicle read back the instructions and, after proceeding as instructed, was observed holding short of Runway 7R.

However, between the time of that transmission and Smith’s communication with an aircraft, the vehicle began to move forward, crossing the hold short line and into the runway safety area. Being aware and engaged in the operation, Smith gave immediate instruction to the vehicle to stop, and the vehicle did, well short of the runway edge line. While this runway incursion was taking place, there was another aircraft utilizing Runway 7R for traffic pattern work. This aircraft had just touched down on Runway 7R, executing a touch-and-go to depart again. 
Mieschke, the local 2 controller, recognized what had happened with the vehicle and immediately instructed the aircraft to stop. Mieschke’s awareness of the movement of vehicles and aircraft on the airfield was key in being able to quickly issue instructions and safely stop the aircraft well short of the intersection with the vehicle. 

The awareness and quick actions of both controllers prevented a significant and potentially serious event from occurring.

“This was a great example of the tower team working exactly as they should,” said DAB FacRep Mike Driscoll. “The ground controller immediately recognized the situation and acted. The controller-in-charge jumped into action and told the local controller to stop the departing aircraft. This situation highlights the professionalism and skill of the controllers here and is another example of why our airspace is the safest in the world.”

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