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Old 18th Oct 2012, 17:20   #1 (permalink)
 
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Another Air France incident

Incident: Air France A319 at Sofia on Oct 16th 2012, rejected takeoff from taxiway

Rejected takeoff from twy.
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Old 18th Oct 2012, 17:58   #2 (permalink)
 
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Surely not!!
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Old 18th Oct 2012, 18:04   #3 (permalink)
 
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Well done to Sofia Tower for being alert to stop it happening.
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Old 18th Oct 2012, 18:08   #4 (permalink)
 
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I found the overhead picture of Sofia's airport to be of interest. My initial impression was "well, it is as wide as a runway ... easy mistake to make ... "

This post a bit further down by one of the commenters there cleared up some of my confusion.

Quote:
Absolutely correct. Before the airport expansion completed in 2007, the Taxiway H used to be the runway. After building the new runway 09, it became the taxiway. However, up to now there have been no accidents of this kind for the last 5 years or so and Sofia Airport sees quite a lot of aircraft daily
What crossed my mind is the question of how often this crew had been to Sofia, and what went on during the pre-flight and pre-taxing crew briefings, what NAV/Chart data they had to hand, etcetera. I envision a less than joyful "tea and biscuits" session on return to home base.

On a more positive note, the alert controller caught them in time to avert anything worse than a red face or two. Well done.

EDIT: looks like firefly bob got ahead of me in the kudos department.

Last edited by Lonewolf_50; 19th Oct 2012 at 20:04.
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Old 18th Oct 2012, 18:49   #5 (permalink)
 
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If you really want to stop incidents/accidents such as this you close as many holes in the cheese as possible, not just blame one party.

Given an "unusual" taxiway / runway width / layout as here, one step would be not to issue a takeoff clearance until an aircraft has crossed H?
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Old 18th Oct 2012, 19:03   #6 (permalink)
 
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It would be interesting to see the AF checklists and what the line up checks include. Some kind of FMS and navaid integrity cross check would almost definitely be included(?) to cross check departure position.

That said, the failure to verify visual cues (runway intersection holding point signage etc) is rather worrying.
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Old 18th Oct 2012, 20:43   #7 (permalink)
 
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The markings are quite clearly those of a taxiway and not a runway which, since it was CAVOK, makes you wonder what was going on in that FD? Amazing!
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Old 18th Oct 2012, 20:53   #8 (permalink)
 
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Somebody must have spiked their claret
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Old 18th Oct 2012, 21:09   #9 (permalink)
 
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N.O.D. Yes, that is a very. good. point.

But it would some require some kind of secondary cross-check to ensure the crews didn't just give it lip service...
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Old 18th Oct 2012, 21:12   #10 (permalink)
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But it would some require some kind of secondary cross-check to ensure the crews didn't just give it lip service...
Isn't that what professionalism is about?
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Old 18th Oct 2012, 21:26   #11 (permalink)
 
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The layout is not that unusual, a lot of airports have done the same reconstruction. Nice, for example, and they should be familiar with that one.
Toulouse and Lyon also have wide parallel taxiways, and runways without centerline lighting. Charles de gaulle is not a very structured airport, you really have to pay attention with all the K1 K3 and so on.
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Old 18th Oct 2012, 22:01   #12 (permalink)
 
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Well, we have paphos, on the last years is not unusual to land on the taxiway.
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Old 18th Oct 2012, 22:05   #13 (permalink)
 
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Airbus check:make sure the a/c symbol on the ND (Nav Display) is joining the runway on lining up. If not: wrong runway, taxiway or map shift.
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Old 18th Oct 2012, 22:30   #14 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
The layout is not that unusual, a lot of airports have done the same reconstruction. Nice, for example, and they should be familiar with that one
Exactly. And how many (attempted) to take-off / land on the wrong runway? The answer is not "none" We certainly had specific airfield notes warning against it. And why have NCE invested in the world's largest flashing 'X', that you can see from 20K'
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Old 18th Oct 2012, 23:09   #15 (permalink)
 
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Whether or not Taxiway H used to be a runway is irrelevant in this incident. The visibility was at 4000m so that's another excuse out the window. Runway 09 is equipped with HIRL and CL. There would be no trace of those on H. Never mind the fact that all the crew would see is a yellow line with (perhaps?) green taxi lights instead of a plethora bright HIALS cross bar lights due to a significantly displaced threshold on RW09.

What most likely happened is crew fatigue, complacency or just plain not paying attention. Perhaps they had more pressing matters to discuss? I know I'm certainly not holier than thou when it comes to that, especially with crews I'm very familiar and comfortable with.

You can blame the airport layout, ATC or invent MAP cross-check SOP's.
Or you could properly picture what exactly you should be seeing on line-up and then look out the window to verify that.
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Old 18th Oct 2012, 23:44   #16 (permalink)
 
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Just in from pub so usual caveats but -
Now that there has been an incident, what measures should be taken to ensure that this strip is clearly and unmistakably marked as a taxiway.
Would there have been a problem if they'd continued takeoff on the taxiway?
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Old 18th Oct 2012, 23:58   #17 (permalink)
 
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Potentially this type of incident could happen to any airline - as long as humans are involved there is a capacity for error. Fortunately in this case the error was picked up by ATC.

Of course we should continually seek ways to prevent future incidents such as lighting, signage etc and even better or more relevant training.

I would ask the question "Are you perfect?" - I suspect the honest answer would be "No" - then who are you to judge imperfection?

Am in no way making excuses for this crew. I am sure they are mortified by such an error.

I see this type of incident as a "system failure". Who are we to judge when we do not have any facts about what was going on at the time?

Rather than damning any airline or individuals we need to ask how we can prevent these incidents from ever occurring again?
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Old 19th Oct 2012, 00:59   #18 (permalink)
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Fench says it all...one language in the cockpit, English on the R/T with ATC, and looking forward to that split of wine with the crew meal...
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Old 19th Oct 2012, 08:24   #19 (permalink)
 
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Sofia airport is VEEEERY confusing. I, myself, felt very incline to taking off from this very same area only a while ago. It took my colleague's clear mind to get me back on the right path.
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Old 19th Oct 2012, 09:20   #20 (permalink)
 
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TWY H at Sofia is clearly marked as a taxyway, yellow centerline line, blue lamps and IIRR a green centerline lighting.

The way it got done was really the only way to build a proper new runway at the time, as any other upgrading / renewal of the old runway would have meant to close the airport for a few months.
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