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What You Should Know / March 31, 2011 -- On the evening of March 23 the air-traffic control tower at Reagan National Airport went dead. Two commercial airliners approaching Reagan National were unable to reach anyone inside the control tower and landed without its help. When a third commercial airliner approaching Reagan National was informed about the control-tower silence (by a controller 38 miles to the west in rural Virginia), the pilot sounded dumbstruck. "Is there a reason it's not manned?" he asked. "Well, I'm going to take a guess and say that the control got locked out," the distant controller answered. "I've heard of this happening before."

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