SNA ATC down?

I opened iTunes about an hour ago and again just a few minutes ago to listen to the live ATC feed from SNA - John Wayne Airport - but instead of the normal chatter there is a recorded voice issuing instructions for arriving and departing flights. Can anyone inform me of what might be happening?

Here’s a link to the feed (it opens in iTunes):

East Coast ATC was down for a few hours this afternoon.

I heard about that but this is in Southern California, and wasn’t the East Coast problem fixed hours ago?

Sounds like the scanner that feeds liveatc has been reset to ATIS instead of tower freq. Nothing unusual in the ATIS and I don’t see any NOTAMS for SNA.

I was on a United flight some time ago and was listening to ATC through the headphones. Along the way, when we were handed off between centers. The pilots tuned to the frequency given by the controller and it was an ATIS broadcast. Then the pilots called the previous controller back and alerted him to the error.

Now that I recall that, I seem to remember that the controller made several small errors like that during our time with him. He promised to give us direct XXX VOR “in 5 minutes” - then about 10 minutes later our pilot called the controller asking if we could get direct to XXX now. The poor guy sounded kinda flustered. Granted it was airspace just outside of Chicago, but it happened after midnight. There was other traffic on the frequency, but it didn’t seem THAT busy… Maybe a newbie controller on his first night on the job.

This recording sounds identical to what we hear on a late night approach into KSBP… The tower closes after a set time and basically turns a computer and recording on for the ATIS which is what you hear here…–like jhwenger said-- All traffic reports on the CTAF and it’s see and avoid- every man for himself- until daybreak. Not uncommon for class D towers. I suppose it’s a little wierd to be getting the ATIS on LiveATC though- Maybe they thought the traffic would be too quiet and boring at 3 am…?

I’m pretty sure SNA shuts the tower down after 11pm and halts all commercial flights at that time as well. However, the first time I noticed the recording was at about 4pm and again at 5pm. It just seems really weird for the 24th busiest airport in the nation. … rportType=

Good point!

What you hear on LiveATC is just a feed provided by an individual’s scanner. IF they bump the wrong button something, then that’s what you hear. It is not a direct/official feed from SNA.

how do you know the controller wasnt busy? were you sitting next to him?just because you dont hear much on the radio dosnt mean their wasnt any thing going on,did you ever think the NAS computer was down and the controller was passing flightplans and doing coordination that you dont hear on the radio, may be he was working all alone with no help and had a lot to do.

The controllers, during periods of slow traffic, combine sectors. This means the controller may have been handling planes across a much larger swath of airspace than during normal business hours. He may have been also handling aircraft on different frequencies, which might mean that you in your United plane could not listen in to things he was saying on another frequency.

I doubt it was a “newbie controller on his first night on the job.”

Not trying to be an apologist for the controller, though. He may have been real in a real mess and just way behind the power curve.