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NTSB to probe Fedex/Southwest close encounter at Austin

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NTSB to probe Fedex/Southwest close encounter at Austin

Old 4th Mar 2023, 01:24
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Originally Posted by MechEngr
I doubt it is from hiring policy changes and more to do with difficulty placing qualified people in a state like Texas. Who knows when one might freeze to death in sight of a disabled natural gas well field because the state government makes the industry an unregulated free-for-all? As far as "wokeness," Texas is certainly an outstanding example in that regard - the main reason for seceding from Mexico was that Mexico didn't tolerate slavery and the main reason for the attempt to secede from the US was the majority of the US was intolerant of slavery. After losing, Texans immediately passed laws supporting racial discrimination.
what are you talking about?


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Old 4th Mar 2023, 02:34
  #402 (permalink)  
 
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"difficulty placing qualified people"

It's subtle, but it's right there.

Also, what math screw up wrote that? -88,648 have left the state means 88,648 moved into New York. That's how double negatives work in math.

Was it Boebert or Greene?
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Old 4th Mar 2023, 09:56
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Link to the preliminary report: https://data.ntsb.gov/carol-repgen/a...ort/106680/pdf
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Old 4th Mar 2023, 12:59
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Originally Posted by fdr
If the system as it stands cannot take the activity rate, then that needs to be reduced
don't think activity rate was a factor
Originally Posted by prelim report
​​​​​​The Austin Airport Air Traffic Control Tower (AUS ATCT) Air Traffic Manager (ATM) stated at the time of the incident, there was an extremely low traffic volume and complexity at AUS
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Old 4th Mar 2023, 13:58
  #405 (permalink)  
 
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Seems odd that the Air Traffic Manager would characterize Low IFR, low visibility ops at an airport with no ASDE as “extremely low complexity.”
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Old 4th Mar 2023, 14:56
  #406 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by DIBO
don't think activity rate was a factor
I read the same statement in the report and question its validity, for an ATCO to clear an aircraft onto the runway in 1/4 m viz conditions, compromising the GP and LLZ protections, with the landing traffic below 1000'AGL would be what, incompetence or negligence or a failure of local procedures to comply with the FAR-AIM procedures? It seems more self serving than credible. The Boston & John Wayne cases, are not load related? If the traffic is not a factor, then they can start with giving clearances that actually mean "clearance". We can afford to give proper intervals, give proper RT standard phraseology per 4444 and actually have a system that functions as envisaged. That would be nice. Being given rational runways for the operation that is undertaken would be nice too.
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Old 5th Mar 2023, 19:17
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Given the meteorological conditions at the time of the near miss (mainly very low visibility, low ceiling) and the lack of ground radar, I think we all agree that ATC should not have cleared the WN flight for takeoff. Some folks have mentioned the WN pilots, but why did they accept the takeoff clearance? They knew (well, they were advised of this during the takeoff clearance) there was a FX heavy on three-mile final and there wasn't much of delay that could be made from the clearance to getting the aircraft going on its takeoff roll. From the preliminary report timeline, it appears that roughly a minute and a half passed between the takeoff clearance and the beginning of the takeoff roll. That's a significant amount of time given that an aircraft was on a three-mile final. From the report, the WN pilots seem to indicate there was no delay. Basically, they accepted the clearance, taxied onto the runway, lined up the aircraft, the captain gave control to the FO, and the takeoff roll began. I'm sure there was a lot more questions and answers during the interview, but that's all that's been released so far. But there *was* a delay, some of that possibly being attributed to what others have alluded to as a 20-30 second engine run-up for engine anti-icing.

It's possible that due to an intense workload, possible issues in the cockpit that needed to be resolved, very low visibility, etc, both pilots just flat out missed (or didn't process) the announcement by ATC that the clearance mentioned an aircraft on short final. Surely the NTSB asked them if they heard that communication. If the pilots answered 'yes' then the next question was why did they accept the clearance but yet took 1.5 minutes to begin the takeoff role?

Last edited by texashoser; 5th Mar 2023 at 22:43.
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 12:59
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Originally Posted by ATC Watcher
Dear Punkalouver
1) There is no need to go after individuals here who have a diverging view from your own .
2) if you want to put words in my mouth at least do it correctly , What you insinuate is not only incorrect but somewhat insulting . I do promote equity in recruitment , not quotas or measures that would decrease safety ! . An diversity is not a dirty word.
Now if you do not like to read my posts, there is a small tab called " ignore" on the user panel .
Whish you all the best
ATCW
Originally Posted by Lake1952
I think you would agree with my position.... strive for equal opportunity, not equal outcomes.

Guaranteed, the usual crowd who would normally never give an inch on safety will give a mile for overriding political beliefs. Then predictably deny if there are tragic consequences.

New executive order will expand race preferences throughout the federal government (msn.com)

To quote from the article: "Unfortunately, a new executive order encourages federal agencies to focus on racial group identity rather than the character and qualifications of employees and contractors."

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Old 6th Mar 2023, 14:04
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Just for the record, the E.O. referenced was issued by Pres. Biden in June 2021. Perhaps not "new" in its usual meaning.
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 14:36
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Given the meteorological conditions at the time of the near miss (mainly very low visibility, low ceiling) and the lack of ground radar, I think we all agree that ATC should not have cleared the WN flight for takeoff. Some folks have mentioned the WN pilots, but why did they accept the takeoff clearance? They knew (well, they were advised of this during the takeoff clearance) there was a FX heavy on three-mile final and there wasn't much of delay that could be made from the clearance to getting the aircraft going on its takeoff roll. From the preliminary report timeline, it appears that roughly a minute and a half passed between the takeoff clearance and the beginning of the takeoff roll. That's a significant amount of time given that an aircraft was on a three-mile final. From the report, the WN pilots seem to indicate there was no delay. Basically, they accepted the clearance, taxied onto the runway, lined up the aircraft, the captain gave control to the FO, and the takeoff roll began. I'm sure there was a lot more questions and answers during the interview, but that's all that's been released so far. But there *was* a delay, some of that possibly being attributed to what others have alluded to as a 20-30 second engine run-up for engine anti-icing.

It's possible that due to an intense workload, possible issues in the cockpit that needed to be addressed/resolved, very low visibility, etc, both pilots just flat out missed (or didn't process) the part of the clearance that mentioned an aircraft on short final. Surely the NTSB asked them if they heard that portion of communication and if the pilots answered 'yes' then the next question was why the accepted the clearance but yet took 1.5 minutes to begin the takeoff role?
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 18:21
  #411 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by texashoser
....., both pilots just flat out missed (or didn't process) the part of the clearance that mentioned an aircraft on short final. Surely the NTSB asked them if they heard that portion of communication and if the pilots answered 'yes' then the next question was why the accepted the clearance but yet took 1.5 minutes to begin the takeoff role?
for info , the SW PNF acknowledged the part of the clearance about the 76 3 NM out as he replied “ copied the traffic”, indeed why they did not act on it and took over a ninute to start is the first question But why they did not advise the controller they needed more time than thought when accepting the line up claerance is another one.
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 18:27
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Wow, I guess we should pin a medal on the controller since it was all on those dumb plane drivers. Just imagine the effrontery of them accepting clearances. How dare they?
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 19:19
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Originally Posted by ethicalconundrum
Wow, I guess we should pin a medal on the controller since it was all on those dumb plane drivers. Just imagine the effrontery of them accepting clearances. How dare they?

Order JO 7110.65Z - Air Traffic Control

7110.65 Chapter 3. Airport Traffic Control - Terminal Section 7. Taxi and Ground Movement Procedures 3-7-5. PRECISION APPROACH CRITICAL AREA

a. ILS critical area dimensions are described in FAAO 6750.16, Siting Criteria for Instrument Landing Systems. Aircraft and vehicle access to the ILS/MLS critical area must be controlled to ensure the integrity of ILS/MLS course signals whenever conditions are less than reported ceiling 800 feet or visibility less than 2 miles. Do not authorize vehicles/aircraft to operate in or over the critical area, except as specified in subpara 
a1, whenever an arriving aircraft is inside the ILS outer marker (OM) or the fix used in lieu of the OM unless the arriving aircraft has reported the runway in sight or is circling to land on another runway.

OM equivalent fix is 3.3NM in KAUS, so FDX was inside, and it will always take a while to be out of the critical are when cleared for T/O before line up. And every 121 pilot in the US is (should be?) aware of this. So yes, both sets of pilots could have done better. SWA should have refused the T/O clearance, FDX should have questioned it. The whole cheese theory is that the multiple levels of safety only work if everyone is doing what they should after a mistake is made. Here, everyone sat back till the last moment. The controller gave SWA T/O in error considering the traffic on short final. SWA took accepted it, and sat on the runway for a while. FDX didn't GA until they saw SWA. Just because they didn't hit each other doesn't turn it into a success story.
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 19:50
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"Whole cheese theory." I like that. I recall, FDX did challenge it, yes? ATC confirmed back to FDX, yes? SWA should tell the controller he is ready, then when given the T/O clearance reject it, and go right back and tell the ATC he is not controlling his area ops right? I gotta get me some of dat cheese. Born in Oconomowoc so it'll be like old home week for me.
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 20:21
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ethicalconundrum great argumentation . If I unserstand you correctly y, one guy f..cked up , a hero saved he day , congratulations to the Fedex in the end ( litterally on the frequency) so problem solved . Are you a pilot ? Do you understand how safety procedures are made ?
Hans explained it already
But since you like cheese let's go back to it : first cheese layer the Controller made a (big) error in lining up the SW under LVP when the Fedex was inside the OM . But all the next cheese layers built into the sytem failed and the holes were aligned. SW accepting the clearance,and delayed the take off , Fedex not challenge the initial clearance , and then a few more holes afterwards also were aligned . .
I recall, FDX did challenge it, yes?
No he did not challenge the line up clerance, he accepted it , Listen to the R/T , he knew he was 3 NM out and got the traffic info on the SW. and continued CAT III. What he questionned later is if he was still clear to land. . A very different question , especially under LVP. Ops.
We build an ATC system that should be resilient to a single failure , but here all partners failed their bit after the first error was made. That is the whole point of this dicussion , we'll maybe know more later if the NTSB does its job correctly, which until recently they were...
I am not looking for assigning blames to individuals , just to understand why all layers failed. Also the first one.
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 20:37
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Originally Posted by ATC Watcher
ethicalconundrum great argumentation . If I unserstand you correctly y, one guy f..cked up , a hero saved he day , congratulations to the Fedex in the end ( litterally on the frequency) so problem solved . Are you a pilot ? Do you understand how safety procedures are made ?
Hans explained it already
But since you like cheese let's go back to it : first cheese layer the Controller made a (big) error in lining up the SW under LVP when the Fedex was inside the OM . But all the next cheese layers built into the sytem failed and the holes were aligned. SW accepting the clearance,and delayed the take off , Fedex not challenge the initial clearance , and then a few more holes afterwards also were aligned . .

No he did not challenge the line up clerance, he accepted it , Listen to the R/T , he knew he was 3 NM out and got the traffic info on the SW. and continued CAT III. What he questionned later is if he was still clear to land. . A very different question , especially under LVP. Ops.
We build an ATC system that should be resilient to a single failure , but here all partners failed their bit after the first error was made. That is the whole point of this dicussion , we'll maybe know more later if the NTSB does its job correctly, which until recently they were...
I am not looking for assigning blames to individuals , just to understand why all layers failed. Also the first one.
Is your back ok? I'm really concerned, you are carrying all this water for the controller. You might get a hernia. So, FDX did or did not challenge the landing clearance? I heard it the first time, and I heard it the second time, and I went back and heard it again. Did, or did not challenge landing clearance? Are you saying he should have rejected landing clearance initially? Even with no T/O clearance given to SWA? FDX should have just rejected a landing clearance - for no reason?

Yeah, this definitively has some cheese stench to it. Oh and please take a course in spelling, and grammar. I thought I was done with this ridiculous thread, but no, more evidence of "he's not heavy, he's my brother" every few pages. It gets - old. Anyway, all proceed without me from here. Consider that I have been beaten, that all others here are correct and I'm wrong. Equity(NOT equality) is good and fair, and my statements bear no value and all I contribute here is snark and lies(even though I always source my stuff completely).

Elvis - has left the building.
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 20:45
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I have read this thread, first post to last, along with the various others that collectively cover (and with no intent to assess blame and subject to investigative outcome):
- ATC error(s)
- Loss of situational awareness
- Runway incursion
- ATC initiated T/O clearance cancelled
- ATC initiated go-around
Without being unkind, all of these are either not trained at all, or if you are generous trained at the simplest level possible

I have worked in the flight training industry for 34 years, and for the past 19 years have been involved in developing a flight simulator capability known as SATCE - which stands for "Simulated ATC Environment". ALL of the scenarios that are represented in the Austin incident (per this thread) and the others (JFK runway incursion, Logan unauthorized take-off, Honolulu runway incursion...etc) can be trained with high fidelity using SATCE, in any class of flight simulator, from the simplest FTD to Level D FSS. SATCE off-loads the instructor from role-playing ATC and simulates both all ATC frequencies and other traffic aircraft interacting with ATC (and can cause both ATC errors and other traffic conflicts).

Can I ask has ANYONE reading this even heard of SATCE? Yes, I know you won't have it installed on your simulators (yet), because the system I am involved with is the industry leader, and to date, we have delivered just over 100 systems, many to the US military/services.

I am frustrated, as I feel, we, as an industry, are one bad radio call or decision away from a very bad accident, and it doesn't have to be this way - more and better training using NEW capabilities can mitigate the likelihood this sort of incident would develop to the point it becomes an incident.
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 21:37
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Originally Posted by hans brinker
OM equivalent fix is 3.3NM in KAUS, so FDX was inside, and it will always take a while to be out of the critical are when cleared for T/O before line up. And every 121 pilot in the US is (should be?) aware of this. So yes, both sets of pilots could have done better. SWA should have refused the T/O clearance, FDX should have questioned it. The whole cheese theory is that the multiple levels of safety only work if everyone is doing what they should after a mistake is made. Here, everyone sat back till the last moment. The controller gave SWA T/O in error considering the traffic on short final. SWA took accepted it, and sat on the runway for a while. FDX didn't GA until they saw SWA. Just because they didn't hit each other doesn't turn it into a success story.
Exactly. While ATC began the unfortunate chain of events others had the opportunity to break them and didn't.

Last edited by texashoser; 6th Mar 2023 at 22:12.
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 22:02
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Originally Posted by ethicalconundrum
"Whole cheese theory." I like that. I recall, FDX did challenge it, yes? ATC confirmed back to FDX, yes? SWA should tell the controller he is ready, then when given the T/O clearance reject it, and go right back and tell the ATC he is not controlling his area ops right? I gotta get me some of dat cheese. Born in Oconomowoc so it'll be like old home week for me.
From your silly comments, I'll just assume you're not a licensed pilot.

1. No, the FX pilots never challenged the takeoff clearance given to the WN pilots. The FX pilots did query the tower to confirm they were still cleared to land some amount of time after the WN clearance.

2. When the WN pilots requested takeoff clearance it's probable they didn't know an FX heavy was on a short, three-mile final. And that's fine. When a pilot is ready to go and holding short of the runway you request takeoff clearance, even if you know it won't be immediately granted. But when the WN pilots did get a clearance *and* were informed that there was traffic on a three-mile final that should have set off some mental alarms especially if the pilots knew there would be a delay to the takeoff roll due to needing to run up the engines due to potential ice fog, freezing temps, etc. Given that, any pilot is free to reject an ATC clearance or instruction if the deem that clearance or instruction would jeopardize the safety of their aircraft or occupants and/or their aircraft couldn't execute said instruction.

What would you have done (if you were actually a licensed pilot)? What if you were holding short of an active runway, there was an aircraft lined up and waiting, you asked for a takeoff clearance, and were mistakenly granted clearance? Are you telling me you would have accepted that clearance, taxied onto the runway, taxied clear and in front of the aircraft holding, and then began your takeoff roll? Of course not. You would have promptly rejected the takeoff clearance and informed the tower you could not comply because there was already an aircraft lined up and waiting on the runway they should cleared you for.

I'm not at all absolving the controller for the mistakes he made and for starting the chain of events. But that doesn't mean errors in judgement weren't also made by other stakeholders (the FX and WN pilots).
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Old 6th Mar 2023, 22:39
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Originally Posted by ATC Watcher
No he did not challenge the line up clerance, he accepted it , Listen to the R/T , he knew he was 3 NM out and got the traffic info on the SW. and continued CAT III. What he questionned later is if he was still clear to land. . A very different question , especially under LVP. Ops.
The preliminary NTSB report makes clear that the FDX pilot’s cleared-to-land query was “because he was concerned about the Southwest traffic.” That query was transmitted after WN708 received its takeoff clearance. One lesson to be learned from this incident for both pilots and controllers is to be as clear and concise as possible with communications. If the FDX pilot’s concern was separation from the departing 737, he should have stated that in his query. Yes, that’s implied in a cleared-to-land query, but there’s no guarantee how the LC will interpret that query. In this incident, the LC took no apparent immediate action to verify separation based on the FDX cleared-to-land query. It wasn’t until approximately 40 seconds later that the LC queried WN708’s status.
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