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SWE-ATP
8th Jan 2006, 22:26
The media reported today that a SAS flight bound for Washington and a KLM flight bound for Germany was only 40 seconds away from hitting eachother over Norwegian airspace. The reports said that the pilots did not get the info that they where on the same track but thanks to the TCAS the separation could be restored.
What can we make of this? Is it acceptable?
Is it maybe a situation that occurs on a day to day basis, without the knowing of the media...?
/A

chiglet
8th Jan 2006, 23:39
Hmmm, 40secs at 8 miles per min [ish] is 5.5 miles...Standard Sparation methinks

INLAK
8th Jan 2006, 23:44
1st post on the username, fishing for info on practically a non-story,maybe has been watching some TV tonight;) ,........

Sounds like a journo looking for a story to me......

Techman
8th Jan 2006, 23:45
They were supposedly at the same level going in opposite directions. RA's issued, so hardly standard separation..................methinks.

Fokker-Jock
9th Jan 2006, 00:57
Hardly an RA was issued. RA is only issued when CPI is within 20-30 seconds. TA's are issued when the CPI is within 35-48 seconds, so this news is very overdramaticed by the media.

JanetFlight
9th Jan 2006, 03:59
It was a KLM Cityhopper F70 KL1174 from Trondheim to Amsterdam (82 pax + crew), and a SAS 330 from Copenhagen to Washington DC (268 aboard).
It seems that TCAS "Kicked on the Rocks", 330 up and F70 down...So, no Big Deal:D (Thank God, but maybe for the next Time Norwegian ATC must be more aware, me thinks...)

Doug E Style
9th Jan 2006, 08:18
Pardon my ignorance but why would a KLM flight going to Germany be in Norwegian airspace? Or is this an error in reporting?

Lon More
9th Jan 2006, 09:01
why would a KLM flight going to Germany be in Norwegian airspace?
Was wondering that myself. Of course it could be flow control:\ . In the past I've seen Amsterdam Manchester flights route via Copenhagen and Scottish airspace:*
Couldn't find anything on this with Google

heebeegb
9th Jan 2006, 09:07
A load of bobbins

cringe
9th Jan 2006, 09:42
The SAS plane was flying from Copenhagen to Washington, the KLM from Trondheim to Amsterdam. The incident happened over Kristiansand.

News article in English:

http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article1193363.ece

2beers
9th Jan 2006, 11:33
without the knowing of the media...?

Of course everything goes on without the knowing of the media because they have no knowledge about aviation.

/2beers

hobie
9th Jan 2006, 12:53
Thanks for that link cringe ....

I can't for the life of me think why the incident is being treated with so little respect in this thread .... :confused:

SLF3
9th Jan 2006, 12:54
The English version of Aftenposten is normally pretty accurate and not sensationalist. If you make a small allowance for the fact the head line writer is not using his/her first language the rest of the article seems quite factual and provides sensible context.

If the article is accurate, then to the lay reader this looks like an incident that should be taken seriously.

Voeni
9th Jan 2006, 13:19
INLAK: "1st post on the username, fishing for info on practically a non-story"
Instead of addressing the topic starter's thoughts, your comment was pure ignorance, as unfortunately often found at pprune. This is not a non-story by the way, and everyone has its first post sometimes - the amount of posts says absolutely nothing about the qualifications of the poster. (Sorry, but has to be said sometimes in here...)

Fokker-Jock: "Hardly an RA was issued"
I know this is a rumours forum but it doesn't say you should post anything. A RA was issued, fact!

I can't for the life of me think why the incident is being treated with so little respect in this thread .... - thanks hobie!

Techman
9th Jan 2006, 13:20
Right Fokker-Jock. So the aircraft took avoiding action based on TA's only then? Or are you saying the only true part of the story is the 40 seconds? And what's CPI?

Prince Buster
9th Jan 2006, 13:54
CPI=Closest Point of Impact or something like that.:zzz:

JanetFlight
9th Jan 2006, 17:45
Or could it be CPFW=Closest Point to FireWorks:D (just kiddin')

lordproteron
9th Jan 2006, 20:39
Is there any more out on this story.

DingerX
9th Jan 2006, 22:57
short version: ATC put two aircraft at 34000 feet, flying at 90 degrees to each other, on a course such that TCAS issued an RA. Nobody second-guessed the failsafe, and all were fine, except a terrified Norwegian vicar, who, when interviewed, recognized the distinct interference pattern A330 winglets leave in contrails at FL 340.
Norwegian Company Avinor was managing the sector, and apparently their employees have had some staffing issues lately. To make matters worse on the international scene, they have an "Acting Director" of safety at the moment. So, Norwegian ATCOs, this is your chance to shine for the Scandihoovian press, and maybe some international coverage as well. So don't be shy.
As for why people around here take this lightly, well, shucks, what do you expect people to say? The only proper answer is when the box says "CLIMB", cockpit-monkey pulls back. The ATCOs win one against management, and the aluminum tubes keep flying.

ATC Watcher
9th Jan 2006, 23:02
A bit of technical corrections :
If the report of the newspaper is correct ( they already got one type of A/c wong ) the RAs occurered at 34.000 ft with a/c crossing at 90 degr.

Above FL200 TA is 48 seconds and RA is 35 seconds before CPA ( closest point of approach )
At 90 degr crossing you are likely to be on the same semi circular, so at the same level.
So far no big thing. Unless you hear the tapes ( to check : was a clearance issued, was it a level bust? or an unexpected turn , or an oversight by ATCO, etc,) difficult to draw a conclusion.

For me it looks like the media hype about this is steered by someone on the ground that leaked the info to re-open the discussion on one controller per sector ( single man ops ) .But I am only guessing.

HON 1R
9th Jan 2006, 23:20
Was wondering that myself. Of course it could be flow control:\ . In the past I've seen Amsterdam Manchester flights route via Copenhagen and Scottish airspace:*
Couldn't find anything on this with Google
I've noticed this too. The KLM flights always seem to head North out of MAN. Weird... :ugh:

Dale

EFP058
10th Jan 2006, 06:45
Sorry for highjacking this thread, but:

In the past I've seen Amsterdam Manchester flights route via Copenhagen and Scottish airspace:

Are you serious? :eek:

Lon More
10th Jan 2006, 08:29
Are you serious?
Unfortunately, yes.
Due flow restrictions in the UK some years ago. Depart Amsterdam to the North , enter Copenhagen airspace at GREFI, then via DANDI across to SAB in Scotland, then via DCS south again to Manchester. It didn't happen often and we never worked out just who the restriction was protecting as the traffic ended up in the same airspace.

EFP058
10th Jan 2006, 09:42
/me is speechless...

Guess IŽll have to go ahead and hack it into the FMC tonight just to visualize that routing.

Avman
10th Jan 2006, 10:32
Much as I remember making Brussels - Birmingham flights via the North Sea and the blue way direction Manchester, then south to Brum. Added about 10-15 mins on the flight, depending on ATC shortcuts between OTR and Brum.

flapsforty
10th Jan 2006, 11:24
Norwegian Company Avinor was managing the sector, and apparently their employees have had some staffing issues lately.

Bit of background. Avinor's management has been a very big problem for a very long time here in Norway. Their people management is artrocious, their cost-saving measures are savage. The ATCO union has been fighting Avinor as well as they can, regularly disrupting Norwegian flying traffic.
The amount of leave owed to ARTOs is now so huge that it will be impossible to ever pay it back to them in the form of time off.
They are stretched beyond snapping point, it is affecting their home lives and appears to be affecting the quality of the ATC service they are able to provide. These guys & gals are desperate.
Avinor management is constantly changeing & floudering.

ATCwatcher might well be correct in his assumption as to why this has been leaked to the media, at the same time, the whole ATC question is such a hot potatoe here in Norway that even the general public has started to take a keen interest in anything ATC related.

Lon More
10th Jan 2006, 12:31
Flaps As you said, this has been going on for a long time. Avinor make Serco and others appear positively benign. How can any ATC provider attempt to justify manning a sector with only one controller with present traffic levels. Have the lessons of Uberlingen been forgotten so quickly?? Myself and others were very quick to attack Sky TV for their simplistic approach to aviation safety last week, however a mid-air could occur anywhere. The second controller on a sector, call him/her a Planner, Co-ordinator, Assistant, whatever, is a vital safety back-up and monitor. I have sometimes seen three, or more, of us on one really busy sector; one talking, one co-ordinating and one just watching, ready to warn of any problems.
A bit more understanding and subsequent airing of the problems would not come amiss, especially from the airspace users who are in a position to exert considerable pressure on the provider.

Apologies for Rant, but this is an intolerable situation

Beanbag
10th Jan 2006, 17:34
Pardon my ignorance but why would a KLM flight going to Germany be in Norwegian airspace? Or is this an error in reporting?
Trondheim is in Norway, not Germany, which probably explains it

Capvermell
10th Jan 2006, 18:15
Trondheim is in Norway, not Germany, which probably explains it

And Amsterdam is in Holland whilst Copenhagen is in Denmark and Washington DC is in the USA. I assume the incident may possibly have occurred in German air space since either flight might have had to cross Germany to reach its intended destination.

Trondheim is not my favourite place as some Norwegian Trolls are still pursuing me in the UK for for a 4 Euro road toll that they claim was due at open tollbooths on the E6 at 4am in the morning. The only reason I was still driving at 4am was because hotels in Trondheim turned out to cost about 140 Euros a night upwards. They claim that these road tolls are enforceable in the uk county court through some weird treaty Norway has signed even though it isn't even part of the EU. By the way Nordkap at the top of Norway was great with perfect midnight sun when I finally got there.

I imagine that these days pilots are much better about following TCAS instructions to the letter, especially as that Air Crash Investigation program involving the DHL and Russian aircraft over Switzerland have made it rather clear what can happen if pilots simply go with their own hunch and/or blindly follow air traffic controller instructions.

cwatters
10th Jan 2006, 23:12
Isn't it worth 4 euro to get them off your back? If they did manage to get a county court judgement the costs could suddenly be 400-800 euro quite easily.

EFP058
11th Jan 2006, 01:23
/me is speechless...
Guess IŽll have to go ahead and hack it into the FMC tonight just to visualize that routing.
Well, I entered the waypoints Lon More gave me (no SID, STAR, airways and all that of course), and it sure does look nice (apologies for the lack of sharpness):

http://img457.imageshack.us/img457/5072/fmc0ua.jpg

Quite a detour IŽd say... :uhoh:

Fokker-Jock
11th Jan 2006, 07:26
CPI or CPA is closest point of impact or approach. If an RA was issued then the CPA was less than the previous mentioned "seconds from disaster". What I'm saying is that the media has a tendency to hype up events regarding aviation and that a "close to collision" isn't really as close as one would think. I've had several TA's and RA's myself, and looking at it objectivly there is really no reason for panic. Of course you follow the RA as it comes. But to blow up an RA in the media as a close to collision event is to overdramatize it all, especially if we're talking 40 seconds away. I could finish my lunch in that time :)

Conan The Barber
11th Jan 2006, 09:55
It seems like it's not only the press who have problems getting the terms and facts correct. CPI? Must be some dialect I presume.

M609
11th Jan 2006, 10:56
The facts, as released:

1. SAS vs KLM
2. FL340 close to SVA (Svensheia) VOR/DME, which is in Sector West at Oslo ATCC
3. Planner is not used at Oslo, at any enroute sectors, due to lack of personell. Stavanger ATCC has started to use planners, but due to lack of personell, they might have to go back to only ATSAs.
4. STCA might have malfunctioned. (According to Avinor)

Ahh, and yes.....


.....all but one of Norways 22 ATC units are short of controllers. Some very short. I only got 3 of 5 weeks holiday last year, and that's normal.


Good thing: We have managed to oust the old Avinor management (the one that startet a crazy cost cutting program 3 years ago) Things are looking better, but the staffing situation is going to get worse before it gets better. They stopped traning in 2003, next class to reach production is january 2008 (est)

Work in Norway anyone? :E

kontrolor
15th Jan 2006, 11:31
I would say that your assumption is in right direction.

AIH849
15th Jan 2006, 11:51
Hi There The Sep Distance Between The Two A/c Was Acceptable I Think It Works Out At Just Over 5 Miles If Im Correct So There Was Plenty Of Time For Both Pilots And The Atc'r To Sort Out The Problem

Tarq57
16th Jan 2006, 08:56
Sorry to disagree, here, but where I learned to control 5nm was the minimum, and that being a monitored controlled event. In terminal airspace with the appropriate radar systems, that reduces to 3, in control zones that may be further reduced by visual observation. If the TCAS produces an RA, either someone is not where they are supposed to be, the air traffic services have failed, or it is a false alarm.
To suggest there was plenty of "seperation" because TCAS maybe saved the day is irresponsible.
There are times TCAS doesn't work as intended.Earlier versions had a 1:50 chance of actually causing a collision.(better odds than no protection, still) My more "techy" colleagues may know more about this.
As a controller a lot of what I get paid for involves making sure it doesn't go off, or if it is likely to -common in an aerodrome environment - pre warn the crew of nearby traffic.
I really feel for you lot in Norway.

ATC Watcher
16th Jan 2006, 09:27
. If the TCAS produces an RA, either someone is not where they are supposed to be, the air traffic services have failed, or it is a false alarm.


Not necessarily true : the 3 cases you mention are of course correct, but for instance, many RAs currently are caused by pilots keeping a very high vertical rate in the last 1000 ft of their clearance. ( ATC provides separation, but TCAS asumes that a/c will not stop where it is cleared to and issue an RA )

Another problem for instance, is that at high altitude CPAs are such that RAs will start with distances over 6NM , affecting among other perfectly separated aircrfat with 5NM.
In BRNAV and RVSM airspace those 2 cases for instance are causing may RAs that are not falling into your 3 categories. These are not false alarms .

And this is part of the problem surrounding TCAS : not every RA is a " real " one and some people, both ATCOS and Pilots, are tempted to select which one they like.

Back to the topic : with " 40 seconds to disaster" ( that should be 35 seconds to be correct ) with 90 degree angle, those 2 a/c could have been 5 NM appart, so no big deal. What would be interesing to know is what would have been the separation if both a/c had followed the ATC clearances they received . Then you can debate.

Articsky
16th Jan 2006, 10:07
The facts, as released:
2. FL340 close to SVA (Svensheia) VOR/DME, which is in Sector West at Oslo
not correct, sva is in an adjecent sector to sector west at oslo control :)


4. STCA might have malfunctioned. (According to Avinor)

appears it didn't, volume on the audible alarm is the thing in question right now, as a precautionary(?) act they (avinor) have set scta audible alarm at max

Tarq57
16th Jan 2006, 11:16
ATC watcher,
Absolutely true. I neglected to add those additional cases to the TCAS alerts. I have found in practice that pilots tend to moderate descent rate at the TA, or following the controller's advice of nearby traffic. That usually prevents the RA from occurring. At least in our patch of sky.
As to what the clearance to the pilots was, and what would have been the result had they continue to fly those clearances...does anybody know that yet?
My point is that had the clearances been to continue toward each other at 90 degrees/same level, the fact that TCAS provided the space does not a seperation make, as seem to be implied by some posts.

Tarq57
16th Jan 2006, 20:30
PS I am quite surprised to hear that RA's happen in the enroute phase with standard seperation in place. How common is this?

KLMer
17th Jan 2006, 14:52
God you guys like to have a pop at each other dont you.

Janetflight is spot on with the info in what happened. Nice to see pilots following TCAS for a change rather than ignoring it and doing there own thing! well done guys after all thats what GOOD training is all about.