Myth busters department

Wed, Jan 30, 2008 — David Evans


The “cause another aircraft to abort” myth is confirmed. Filed under the heading of “flight crew human performance,” this from an ASRS (Aviation Safety Reporting System) report from a B737 captain at Las Vegas International Airport:

“Synopsis: B737 crew had a takeoff warning horn sound at the same time their radio com mike was keyed. An aircraft on takeoff roll may have aborted takeoff after hearing the warning on their radio headsets.

“Narrative: While holding #1 for takeoff at taxiway B for runway 25L at Las Vegas, tower cleared company flight Y for takeoff on runway 25L (they were position and hold runway 25L). After company flight Y answered tower, we (flight X) were cleared position and hold runway 25L. Before I realized my parking brake was set, I received 1 or 2 beeps before the brakes were released. This occurred at the same time my FO [First Officer] repeated position and hold on tower frequency. Company flight Y, which had started their takeoff roll, aborted due to a takeoff warning horn. Was this coincidence or did they abort after hearing a beep on tower frequency during our position and hold read back? This I don’t know, but it’s possible this was the cause. Ensuring the brakes are released next time would prevent this.

“If, in fact, the other aircraft aborted for a horn beep over the radio, the only way to prevent this in future would be for all company warning horn checks to be done prior to depressing the mike switch.” (ASRS Report No. 598632)

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