Control tower tapes show why plane trying to land in Cleveland had to go back up in air

I-Team

CLEVELAND (WJW) — The FOX 8 I-Team has obtained internal emails and air traffic control recordings to uncover what happened when a passenger plane started to land in Cleveland, but suddenly went back into the air.

It happened Tuesday at Hopkins Airport as Frontier flight 1042 flew in from Orlando.

A passenger on board said the crew announced it couldn’t land due to an airport vehicle on the runway.

But, the air traffic recordings tell a different story.

Jen Herold told the I-Team she was on that flight.

She said, “Everyone was bracing to land, bracing for impact that last second. Then, all of a sudden, we just went back up. Then, we started circling back around Cleveland.”

The recordings show as the plane was approaching, the control tower did, in fact, warn an airport vehicle on the runway.

image from FOX 8 viewer

The tower said:

 “24 right. We have another arrival…be on the ground in about 5 minutes…plan to exit.”
And, a person in the car responded,
“We’ll plan on exiting as needed. Car 4.”
The recordings then show the car left the runway.

The driver reported:
“Ground car 4 is off runway 24.”

And, then, the tower cleared flight 1042 to land, and the pilot acknowledged that.

He said,  “Cleared to land. 24 right.”
But, the recordings also reveal the pilot decided to pull up and go around the airport again for another reason.

The pilot radioed in,
“…we’re going around.”
He added,
“Just, ah, we weren’t stabilized.”

Jen Herold said, “I think a lot of passengers were kind of confused because we were no longer descending.”
Airport emails show, “CAR 4….was not near the active runway…after Flt. 1042 was give the ‘clear to land…’”

And, “go-around procedures” are considered “common practice” when a flight crew is not completely ready to land.

Flight 1042 did go around the airport, and then the plane landed safely.

But, the memos and recordings answer questions about that airport car.

You might wonder why had a vehicle even  been on a runway? Turns out, just part of normal airport operations. A worker had been out inspecting the runways.  That’s something done multiple times a day.

All of this sheds new light on what happens during a landing you might never consider. Jen Herold said,
“Whatever it takes to keep the crew and passengers safe. So, all was well after that.”

We also reached out multiple time to Frontier Airlines for comment.

The company sent us an email acknowledging our request, but, as of late Friday, we had not received a statement.

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