Two pilots at Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C. were forced to land their passenger airliners without direction early Wednesday morning after the control tower at Reagan International went silent—possibly because its only graveyard-shift employee fell asleep. The pilots of the two planes, which carried a total of 165 passengers, tried to make contact but received no reply; other controllers in the area also did not receive any reply, even when they used a “shout line,” which activates a loudspeaker. The pilots were able to land by broadcasting their movements to each other and communicating with air-traffic controllers in the region who do not handle landings. The FAA is now investigating.
Scary Cliff Owen / AP Photo