Controllers Prevent Damage, Injury at Little Rock
Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Sharp eyes and quick, professional action by two Little Rock NATCA members working the midnight shift last week led to the extinguishing of a trash fire near the Hawker Beechcraft hangars at Little Rock National Airport. Potential serious damage and injuries were averted.
 
Shortly after 11 p.m. CDT on May 10, air traffic controllers Terri Kubisty and Bob Goodman – who have over 40 years of combined experience – spotted the smoke and embers of the fire, which turned out to be in a large dumpster behind the Hawker Beechcraft building west of the control tower. The dumpster is close to flammable materials such as paint inside the hangar and jet fuel.
 
“It was great work because the dumpster was behind the building and not visible from the tower because of the large aircraft hangars in the way,” said James Keith, Little Rock facility representative for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. “Terri and Bob only saw the flashes of light caused by the fire, which was difficult to spot. They really had to scan and be alert to notice something like that.”
 
While Kubisty called the Hawker Beechcraft building to alert them of the fire, Goodman called the airport fire department, which responded quickly and extinguished the blaze.
 
“They said the fire had jumped over to another trash receptacle,” Keith said. “If Terri and Bob hadn’t taken action, it could have gotten out of control. No aircraft were in close proximity, but some were parked on the ramp.”