Las Vegas ATC incident

A lone AIr traffic Controller became incoherent and incapacitated at McCarran International Airport during a busy time at night, resulting in concerned and confused pilots opening chat to try and get someone up to the tower to manage flights and check on the incapacitated Air Traffic Controller. The incident lasted for around 40 minutes and the controller was in contact with around 29 aircraft during the incident.

This is why there should never be just one controller in a major airport tower at a time. Even in the hours where traffic is not busy, there should be two ATC in the tower in the event one becomes suddenly incapacitated. While controllers are required to have Class 2 medicals that have health checks to evaluate for any health problems that could result in being suddenly incapacitated, no one is ever 100% guaranteed to never become suddenly incapacitated for various reasons. Just as there is required to be two pilots in the cockpit at a time, ATC needs to have two controllers in the tower at a time during all hours of operation by the airport.

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Here’s an audio recording of the incident as well. Hopefully the controller is ok.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jv1kmuFOhWk

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Man I had to stop the recording after listening for a minute. You could tell something was wrong. That’s extremely sad for that controller. Haven flown in and around Vegas several times that’s tear jerking to listen too.

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It really is, I wish she could have received help sooner, hoping for the best and a full recovery. Took too long for the supervisor to notice in my opinion.

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Oh god that’s terrible. I couldn’t finish the video, gut wrenching.

I watched that VASAviation video this morning. Very upsetting, I hope the controller is ok.

Can’t believe it took them that long to realize she wasn’t well, at least they did though before something terrible happened.

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Sending get well soon vibes for the ATC person . I always thought major airports usually have more than one ATC person. Glad nothing else bad happened but I feel for her :(

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Even though I didn’t read anywhere that anyone crashed, I was still wincing when I heard permissions to cross, land and takeoff.

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I agree that the video was hard to watch. Especially near the end where you hear the incapacitated ATC in the background.

I’m just surprised that the controller never realized anything is wrong, I mean they sound pretty bad…

I was watching this video before you posted it.

As someone who flies in the Vegas valley multiple times a week, this is pretty scary.
Ive used this controller a few times and I hope that she is okay and has a speedy recovery.
That being said, she should not have been alone in that room. Very curious as to where the supervisior was during this.

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Tower, American 1084, You need any help?

🙏 thoughts and prayers to the McCarran ATC. May you have a speedy recovery!

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Honesty safety aside, I’m suprised they would put the whole workload of a major airport like that on one controller…

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Listened to the audio clips earlier today on VASAviation. You can just hear the helplessness in her voice towards the end of the video. It’s hard to listen to.

Possible plot twist?

Sounds medical though.

Then why is she no longer employed? If it would be medical it seems strange to me that she lost her job so fast. If she knew about her condition and never reported it, than it’s understandable. Let’s see what the investigation will turn up.

Listening to the ATC conversation it sounds like she was having a stroke. If so, there was way to much time until she got medical help. A stroke needs to be treated immediately.

Anyway, it’s unacceptable that there was only one controller present.

Where did you see that she lost her job?
She’s been placed on administrative leave, as of the most recent reporting

In the source @Trio provided it is said during the interview that the controller is “no longer employed”.

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“The FAA said the woman was put on administrative leave, and the agency ordered two controllers to be in the tower during busy hours.”

I can’t find any sentence about her being fired