An air traffic controller at Washington D.C.'s Reagan National Airport reportedly fell asleep on the job Wednesday night, leaving two jet pilots in the dark as they were trying to land their aircrafts. One pilot was able to communicate with a regional controller and pulled the jet from 400 feet to 1,000 feet, circling the airport before landing safely a few minutes past midnight. Around that time, another aircraft from Chicago was coming into range.
While the airport usually has two traffic controllers working during the day, only one controller works the overnight shift. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood ordered the Federal Aviation Administration to add a second controller to midnight traffic at Reagan. "It is not acceptable to have just one controller in the tower managing air traffic in this critical air space," he said. The incident at Reagan garnered national attention because it is located just a few miles from the Pentagon, the White House, and the U.S. Capitol.