NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman’s recent testimony before congress concerning the mid-air collision over the Hudson raises more questions than it answers. She stated that the Teterboro controller instructed the Piper pilot to switch to frequency 127.85 to contact the Newark controller. But before leaving the Teterboro frequency, according to Hersman, the pilot read back to the controller “127.87,” which was wrong. Thereafter, the pilot was in contact with neither Teterboro nor Newark, and so neither facility could warn him of the impending collision. Hersman’s remarks are here.
Hersman’s implication is that the Teterboro controller failed to correct the pilot, and so the controller contributed to the pilot’s getting “lost in the hertz” (out of radio contact) at a crucial moment. However, the animation that the NTSB released on the same day that Hersman testified does not appear to back Hersman up. It just doesn’t sound as though the pilot read back “127.87” as Hersman states. You can listen to the audio yourself beginning at minute 2:25.