View Full Version : Saudi B747 in Manila

5th Jun 2002, 05:32
ILA, 5 June — A Saudi Arabian Airlines plane overshot a runway of the Manila airport yesterday, but did not cause injuries or damages.

Edgardo Manda, general manager of Ninoy Aquino International Airport, said the Boeing 747-200, which came from Riyadh with 382 passengers and 19 crew members on board, encountered "hydraulic problems" while landing.

The aircraft’s nose gear plowed into a grassy area of the runway, after it swerved to the right when the pilot lost control. "The pilot suffered a steering problem upon landing, resulting to the swerving, which forced him to apply sudden braking action," an airport statement said.

The plane was immediately removed from the runway to avoid disrupting operations at the busy airport, it added.

8th Jun 2002, 02:37
Some people should not fly, look at their record, and the list of excuses continues, but never pilot error.

8th Jun 2002, 05:02
Could you elaborate please ijp?

I didn't think Saudia had such a bad record.

9th Jun 2002, 04:16
This incident is at least the 2nd case of an uncommanded body gear steering actuator.

The first case (different airline approx one month ago) resulted in the left body gear giving a full right turn at around 50 knots on landing. The PF was able to keep the airplane on the runway by applying maximum braking, however the nose wheel ended up just off the runway, but fortunately on a taxiway.

I believe the manufacturer is looking at a particular batch of body gear actuators.

9th Jun 2002, 04:20
I was there yesterday and asked a few questions and the excuse I think is just that. I was told they simply tried to exit at excessive speed and simply lost it. The skid marks and the location seem to bear that out.

have a nice day

9th Jun 2002, 07:01
Rabbit - an uncommanded body gear steering actuator isn't quite the same as trying to exit at excessive speed and 'losing' it!

One is a mechanical failure and the other pilot error.

A B747 can exit on a high speed turn-off, quite comfortably, at 45Knots, (reducing).:)

Semaphore Sam
9th Jun 2002, 23:39
"Some people should not fly, look at their record, and the list of excuses continues, but never pilot error."

Questions derived from your statement:

1. 'Who' should not fly?

2. Look at whose record? Saudia's? Over the last 20 years or so, not the best, but definately not the worst. In fact, quite good. Standards of training are quite high, ask those who know.

3. "list of excuses?" Just what the hell are you implying? Saudia pilots, Saudi as well as non-Saudis, have paid for errors with their careers (1 strike & yur OUT!), as opposed to other 'professionals' (doctors, lawyers, etc, whose mistakes are covered up, or explained away). Saudia has its faults, as do all airlines, but its record does not justify the claim of 'whitewash' of 'Pilot Error'. Put up, or SHUT UP; I challenge you to justify your claims of inapporpriate 'excuses', covering up 'Pilot Error'.

Let's wait for results of the investigation.

10th Jun 2002, 13:55
Can't recall any cases of un-commanded body steering with the body gear "locked".

Perhaps if the switch is left in the un-locked position, then of course the body gear would move with the nose wheel.
That would get your immediate attention in a high speed turn off situation.


10th Jun 2002, 23:29

I aggree with what you say providing you are talking about using a high speed exit. In this case they were not. E5 is a 90 degree exit with small fillets and should not be taken above 10 knots approximately even if requested be ATC to do so as in this case.

As I said before, the excuse is just that - an excuse.

Have a nice day

11th Jun 2002, 00:05

What's wrong with a company that assume technical problems before hanging the crew.

I know I would like to work for a co. that operates that way.

We'll all see what actually happened when all facts on hand.

Thanx for the word.

11th Jun 2002, 03:13

The first thing that they will do is hang the crew. IF this was an incident the crew would have flown home as passengers and probably spent the next 6 months on paid leave. Then depending on the severity of the incident they would either get fired, retrained or promoted to higher management :)

But in this case the crew probably went off to drink some SanMigs and enjoy the rest of their layover. The aircraft operated the return sector around 2 hours behind schedule.

All of this leads me to believe that the newspaper article was B.S in the first place. :)

I think that Rabbits "eyewitness", would make a great news reporter, after all they don’t need facts!.

As for all of the above suggestions on what might have happened, they are ALL WRONG.

Finally, concerning IJP’s statement, please remember that although this is a rumour network, statements such as yours will never go unchallenged, so as Sam has already stated, Put Up or Shut Up~!

Have a good day.


11th Jun 2002, 21:49
Blue Eagle and Mutt,

Ever work at Saudia? I have . Lots of things happen there that you don't hear about. The only way we (crew) would hear about incidents is from each other, the company would tell you nothing. As for major accidents, losing a Tri Star and Jumbo with all on board due to incompetence should be considered. Granted some problems there are small , like 2 kids going out the bottom of a Tri Star because wrong wheels were installed, and exploded over Bahrain. I could go on an on....As for blame, they are very careful to protect locals, in articles about SV162, it only mentioned 2 crewmembers, I quote " The crew consisted of an American F/E and British F/A" How do you suppose the public would interpit that line ?
Is this putting up, if so, who should shut up?

As usual, you are right.

See my comment to Towerdog, same applies!

12th Jun 2002, 00:54
ijp Yes, obviously a lot does happen in Saudia that the rest of the world don't hear about, sorry to hear that such is the case though.

12th Jun 2002, 01:31
Would have to agree with ijp...spent a fair number of years there myself. But OTOH, most just carried on...and collected the cash.
After one lost a sense of humor, it's goodby time.:D

12th Jun 2002, 04:03

A Kakistan Ill76 descends through its assigned level and crashes into a Saudi B747, how can you claim that this is due to Saudi incompetence?

I guess that I have you at a disadvantage, while you can talk of the Saudia of yesterday, I'm talking about the present airline. I guess that you might find that Sam is as well.

A lot has changed since the L1011 days, both in the airline and the country. You probably wouldn’t recognize either. Did you ever think that you would see the day when a FO called Al-Saud was found guilty of PILOT ERROR and sent back for further training? Did you ever think that you would see the day when they had no Expat pilots? (That’s coming soon..)

The newspaper article which I started this topic with is pure BS, I knew this before I posted it because I read the Captains report written by an EXPATRIATE.

Blue Eagle, a lot happens in EVERY airline that the rest of the world doesn’t hear about......... so I fail to see your point!

Saudia doesn’t have all the answers, but their present day record doesn’t deserve this Some people should not fly, look at their record, and the list of excuses continues, but never pilot error.



12th Jun 2002, 05:33
Wasn't really making a point, as you put it Mutt.

It is a sad day for aviation safety worldwide when incidents don't get shared so that we can all benefit, I am aware that incidents in all carriers don't always make it to the daylight though.
I always thought Saudi had a fairly good record and was surprised at some of the incidents that ijp mentioned.
Do you have a problem with that?

12th Jun 2002, 06:05

I think the policies in SV started to change just a little when a 737, after having diverted to Taif, was landed on 34C with a "slight" tailwind, ref +40, and ran off the end, thru the localizer antenna. As I recall, the F/O was the first out of the aeroplane, thru the left rear door. The Saudi Captain was immediately suspended...and remained so by the time I had left in 1990.

I think management started to look inward at that time, to try to find out..."what is wrong?"

12th Jun 2002, 11:54

The incidents mentioned by ijp happened in the 80's....... :) A lot has changed since then.


12th Jun 2002, 15:48
I won't argue the Karachi crash, however there is controversy about that crash. The Kakistan flt was painted a 14,500, 500 below the assigned flt lvl, granted, but the SV flt was assigned 140....They were both warned about trafic. I only know rumors about this whole incident so I can only give an opinion.
However, something to consider,SV's accident rate is 1.67, not bad when compared to Korean or other Asian airlines, but Europe and the USA combined only have 4 airlines with worse records...Olympic, Turkish, Value Jet,and Midwest. I make the same statement about them as well.
I would recognise Saudi Arabia as I was there on the Haj. It is considerably worse than the it was in the 70s. I have watched this decline( decline thru western eyes) for years. I was attached to the US Embassy for the worst 6 mos of my life.
We were told that there would be no expats in 5 to 10 years also, (except for Sam Bigler) That was in the 70s But there will always be a need for expats as long as they, and others need someone around to blame.
Also,Expats can make up excuses with the best of them.

12th Jun 2002, 18:57

I hate to leave a topic hanging, but I’m about to disappear for the next two weeks. Drop in for a beer if you are here for Hadj 2003.



12th Jun 2002, 19:53

Saudia always had excellent training AVAILABLE. It had a great training center with, some really good people.Also sim right there. Your points were well taken The standards for expats was very, very high. Especially for the ex BA guys. For some reason they were put thru the ringer.

I will email you the next time I am in town, for that Pepsi.


bugg smasher
13th Jun 2002, 03:40
Mutt, not really sure whose horn you are blowing at the moment, although I am reasonably certain of the origin of your passport.

According to some triple seven skipper friends of mine who work there, Saudia continues to be an exercise in upgrade nepotism, a Kwaji hell on earth, and an embarrassment to the broader aviation community in general.

The list of incidents/accidents in the last few years, although not generally public, is a damning indictment of the flying club culture that continues to hold sway at Jeddah Ops.

Your defense of same is laudable, but not really in line with the whole picture.

Semaphore Sam
13th Jun 2002, 05:46
As Mutt has said, Saudia is undergoing great changes at present; currently non-Saudis are being eliminated, and at present rates, will probably be totally gone in about 2-3 years.

The biggest change I've noticed at Saudia (AND the Saudi press & society in general; those who read Arab News & Saudi Gazette will confirm this) is the trend to openness and honesty. Now, as you previous employees can attest, these were never attributes anyone would ever use to describe Saudi society, the Saudi press, or Saudia. Their attitude was to hide everything. That has changed a great deal; incidents are reported honestly now, to all crewmembers, in depth. Do they have a long way to go? Damned right! But, they've come further in 25 years than they have in the previous 1500!

This isn't to cover up problems, only to acknowledge improvement (and encourage more!). Sam.

Bottom line: wait for the investigators, then let fly! Sam.

13th Jun 2002, 18:47

I can tell you exactly why the ex-BA guys had/have a hard time.

During a layover in CDG years ago, met up with an SV (Saudi) Captain at Harry's New York Bar (IBF headquarters)...and during our discussions over one or three, discovered that he was a co-pilot on DC-6's at about the same time that I was, different companies.
His opinion was....the BA guys come down here and try to tell us how to run our airline. We know how to run it, all we ask is for these guys is to fly the plane, OUR way. But no, all they have to say is...."well at BA, we did it this way....".

Have to say, after spending 10 years+ there...more or less, have to agree.

14th Jun 2002, 05:31

I am reluctant to say this as it my bring the ceiling down, and I don't want to defend my statement. It is only my opinion, I really don't want to argue it.

I firmly believe that you are 100% correct. The Poms really talked down to the Saudis, and went on and on about perfect BA. Well I believe that they would hire ex BA guys just to humiliate and fire them. I know it sounds crazy, but after some training flights and Sim sessions, they (the Saudis) would have some of these guys talking to themselves. Some made it thru, granted, but we Americans never put up with some of the crap that the Brits did. And as I stated, there was always one that busted something and was on his way home. Sometimes they would use the "Hatchet Man" RH, an American with TWA to do it. It was a nightmare to ride with him.
I also saw the same thing at Air Lanka. They chopped some good Capts (ex BA, just because of arrogance) There policy seemed to be , better a marginal Yank (me) than a hot shot ex BA smart ass. When I was hired there, my sim mate was an ex BA instructor, later Gulf Air Chief Instructor. I made it , he didn't, and he forgot more about the airplane than I knew. His problem was that they hired him as an instructor and he thought they were serious. They didn't want to hear about BA.
You know you really sound familiar to me, were you a collegue with now retired FAA Inspector Grady Smith? Flying for JAL when everyone was fired?

14th Jun 2002, 15:11

You've about summed it up. And, RH, well now he had it it for the Brits, no doubt at all. They were sure happy to see him return to TWA...but don't think the TWA guys were.

No, not JAL, but was at UL for 5 years, and the Brits talked down to them as well. Oddly enough, only the ex-BA guys, those that flew for the independents, no problem at all.
Smith issued my type in the L10, up at Al-Wedj, and the Saudi instructor, MK, told him to ..."keep your hands OFF the circuit breakers, period, unless you tell me first". When he arrived later as DirSafety, he was given an office upstairs and a nice IBM typewriter, but no plug on the end of the cord. When he mentioned this to me, I told him to "smile at your bankbook and don't make waves". Quite a nice guy.

catch 22
14th Jun 2002, 15:28
I've never heard of an "uncommanded" body gear failure before, although I suspect from the sketchy details I know It may be that Body gear steering was armed too early in the landing roll. I do remember ( and have a few extra white hairs to prove it) that the last 1000 feet of R/W 24 is VERY slippery when wet. The turn off is at the end of the runway.

14th Jun 2002, 15:36

For somebody who demonstrates arrogance and an 'I know best attitude' in virtually every asinine posting you make most of what you have posted above is rich to say the least.

14th Jun 2002, 16:04
But unfortunately, M.Mouse, all quite true. Unless you have worked for SV (and smiled at you bankbook), you certainly would have NO idea.
The yanks got along at SV because we did not talk down to the Saudi's...and they could clearly notice. Also, suspect the Brits did not like the idea that they had to have an FAA license to work there. All most could do is whinge, constantly. Not all of course, say half.

14th Jun 2002, 16:24
We must know each other, I'll keep guessing. I am always being accussed the same as mentioned by M. Mouse.

I guess when you push aiplanes around the sky for about 40 years, it is hard to relate to some people who think of experience and age as a handicap. Too bad, how do you think we got this old? I started some s... once before by telling this kid that I had more time waiting for fuel than he did in aviation.

14th Jun 2002, 16:36
catch 22

The end of 24 use to be so but the runway has recently been resurfaced and not a bad job too. As you hinted, it could be a case of the body gear being armed too soon. I suspect though that as is often the case there that they were asked to expedite and were doing so a little faster than they should have. The exit they attempted to use was E5 which is a 90 degree narrow taxiway with small fillets that required some care with large aircraft. As a result of being a little too fast the tail simply tried to pass the nose and they exited slightly unexpectedly adjacent to where they intended.

Have a nice day

bugg smasher
14th Jun 2002, 22:49

Gotta hand it to you friend, in the face of abusive onslaught you appear to remain remarkably unruffled. Good stuff for a pilot to be sure, I just hope you’re able to crack a smile every now and again.

I do agree with you on one thing, despite my secret blushing affection for Brits in general, the boys and girls over at Superior Airways seem to have an uncanny knack for holding their beaks well above ground effect.

At the risk of asking an extremely leading question, do you think they know something we don’t?

15th Jun 2002, 01:44
Well bugg smasher, if they do, they sure don't mind letting the rest of us know...:D