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llondel
24th Oct 2017, 05:21
This one (http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/FAA-Investigating-SFO-Incident-Involving-Another-Air-Canada-Plane-452657223.html) just came up on the local news feed.

Federal Aviation Administration officials are investigating an incident at San Francisco International Airport involving an Air Canada plane.
The incident occurred Sunday night when Air Canada flight 781, an Airbus A320, wan preparing to land at SFO.
FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said air traffic control cleared the flight to land on Runway 28R. The Air Canada crew acknowledged the instruction when they were about 6 miles away from the airport, Gregor said.
"The tower controller subsequently instructed the Air Canada crew multiple times to execute a go-around because he was not certain that a preceding arrival would be completely clear of the runway before the Air Canada jet reached the runway threshold," Gregor said, adding the crew onboard the plan did not acknowledge any of the controller's instructions.

A supervisor then resorted to using a red light gun to alert the Air Canada flight to go around. Gregor said flashing a light gun is standard protocol when an air crew is not responding to radio instructions.
Air Canada flight 781 landed on Runway 284 at 9:26 p.m. The Air Canada crew after landing told the tower they had a radio problem, according to Gregor.
"A radar replay showed the preceding arrival was in fact clear of the runway when Air Canada landed," Gregor said.

atakacs
24th Oct 2017, 05:57
Wow... That's a nasty one. Obviously CVR were not preserved?

fox niner
24th Oct 2017, 05:58
Air canada, SFO, 28R, go-around...
I thought here we go again, somebody who doesn’t regularly read pprune posts an old new thread about something that has happened months ago.
But no! This is Air Canada again, on the same runway, same airport, same same same doing something they shouldn’t have.
What are the chances of that happening?

Chesty Morgan
24th Oct 2017, 06:02
Hold on, who's in command of the aircraft? ATC or the commander? ATC only issue requests...

India Four Two
24th Oct 2017, 06:46
ATC recording here:

http://archive-server.liveatc.net/ksfo/KSFO-Twr-Oct-23-2017-0400Z.mp3

AC781 is cleared to land at 21.41. The first go-around is at 23.46.

This kind of incident is bound to happen occasionally if aircraft are being cleared to land before the aircraft ahead has cleared the runway.

DaveReidUK
24th Oct 2017, 07:46
The enthusiast-sourced ADS-B feed from SFO is pretty patchy and (as with last time around) the ACA A320 was a very early aircraft without GPS.

Notwithstanding that, it looks like the landing sequence was:

Southwest 3117 (28R)
Hawaiian 12 (28L)
Air Canada 781 (28R)

Again, subject to confirmation, it appears that the SWA 737-700 used the entire length of 28R before turning off at the far end. At the Bridge, it appeared to be about 1:20 ahead of the ACA (subject to the above caveats re the A320's ADS-B).

787PIC
24th Oct 2017, 07:53
Not good!
Going NORDO after landing clearance is issued is very sloppy piloting. Even if the radio quits, you have two other radios. In a busy environment like SFO, if I don't hear anything for more than 30 seconds, I do a radio check!
I am sure they did not ignore the instructions deliberately, but c'mon fellas, were you trying to outdo your buddy and land on top of another aircraft? :)

BRE
24th Oct 2017, 07:54
The enthusiast-sourced ADS-B feed from SFO is pretty patchy and (as with last time around) the ACA A320 was a very early aircraft without GPS.



Is not having GPS significant to the event?

And don't majors usually buy the enhancement package if they want to hold on to their older jets at all?

DaveReidUK
24th Oct 2017, 08:11
Is not having GPS significant to the event?

Not at all.

It just makes working out what happened without access to the FDR and radar tapes more difficult for PPRuNers. :O

jmvdb22
24th Oct 2017, 08:25
Hold on, who's in command of the aircraft? ATC or the commander? ATC only issue requests...

Having read just a few of your comments on here I am seriously doubting if you are here to contribute to any discussion or just here to troll the :mad: out of everyone

Reverserbucket
24th Oct 2017, 08:28
I believe that some of what you see on FR24 is EHS Mode S in any event; a number or our fleet aren't ADS-B equipped but you still see them on FR24.

Capn Bloggs
24th Oct 2017, 09:01
Even if the radio quits, you have two other radios.
One on 121.5 and the other on ACARS DATA? :{

GMC1500
24th Oct 2017, 09:06
showing once again that they are the finest in the land.

ManaAdaSystem
24th Oct 2017, 09:06
If they did have a radio failure, I can understand the decision to land in visual conditions. A go around in busy airspace without communication is no fun.
If they faked it, it was a very unprofessional and stupid decision, but why on earth would they do that?

Landflap
24th Oct 2017, 09:23
CHESTY trolling as usual. I recall, final approach into LHR, we were catching up the one ahead. Did all I could but still gaining, I prepared for a Go Around. ATC got in first and said "a/c call sign, Go Around, Go Around, I say again, Go Around". Didn't sound like a 'request' to me Chesty !

Neptune262
24th Oct 2017, 09:34
ATC recording here:

http://archive-server.liveatc.net/ksfo/KSFO-Twr-Oct-23-2017-0400Z.mp3

AC781 is cleared to land at 21.41. The first go-around is at 23.46.

This kind of incident is bound to happen occasionally if aircraft are being cleared to land before the aircraft ahead has cleared the runway.

Exactly :ok: about the way that the USA ATCOs issue / treat a landing clearance!

HEATHROW DIRECTOR
24th Oct 2017, 09:47
Landflap. I agree. I have always had respect for Chesty but disagree that ATC issues "requests"!! We all know that the pilot has the ultimate responsibility but ATC but ATC instructions are mandatory and if the pilot thinks otherwise then he'll be called to explain his actions later. Long ago I was up front on a 747 landing on 09L at Heathrow. We left the runway and ATC told us to take the "second left........" The captain said to the FO "take the first, it's easier". I suggested doing what ATC said as the crew didn't know if ATC might know something the crew didn't - like maybe a broken light fitting which could have burst tyres. They took the second intersection....

pax britanica
24th Oct 2017, 09:54
Only a humble SLF observation and I appreciate there is such a thing as a conditional clearance but giving someone clearance to land when the runway is occupied is typical of todays habits of using words with no meanings or ignoring the meaning of the words you actually use..

Surely 'You are cleared to land' means just that surely-ie there is nothing in front of you in the air or on the ground, no one is going to taxi or drive a vehicle across the runway -the way ahead is CLEAR. If any of those things are not true then you cannot be CLEAR to land for the simple reason that you are not , there are obstacles in the way so the whole issue becomes pretty pointless and an opening to have an accident at some point

ManaAdaSystem
24th Oct 2017, 10:06
Some airports take it a step forward, they give land behind clearances.
In this case: Radio failure or no radio failure? That’s the question.

Logging on to ACARS when on 6 miles final? I don’t think so.

Basil
24th Oct 2017, 10:08
pax, I agree.
In the RAF we were sometimes "Clear land - one on." but that was with the intention that two aircraft would simultaneously occupy the runway. In civil aviation that is not usually the case.

tescoapp
24th Oct 2017, 10:28
the way I took chesty's comment was we get many requests.

Such as expedite this expedite that and we have to just ignore you.

On the roll out if we put the power up even slightly after landing and the ground speed is above 30 knts (or some other value) it triggers a FDR SOP bust. ATC told us to go faster is no excuse. Being on the runway is no different to being on the taxiway or apron.

Only way round it is being told to roll to the end before landing then not using flight idle and leaving the power setting reduction until further down the runway.

Brake hard to try and make a intersection and still to fast to make it but over 30 kts we can't put the power up. Once at 30knts we can increase power again but can't go over 30kts. You can scream expedite all you like tell us aircraft at 2 miles final, not going to change a thing. It will be 30knts until we get to the next exit.

ManaAdaSystem
24th Oct 2017, 10:39
You can’t. I can. Different airlines, different policies.
So, who is in command, the airline or you?

tescoapp
24th Oct 2017, 10:53
Because I will be sacked for not complying with SOP's the airline when it comes to expediting.

I will as a matter of course get off a live runway as safely and quickly as I can inside company SOP's.

Apart from anything else going faster than 30knts on back track is counted as a low speed aborted departure. 10 mins for brake cooling in theory.

I agree its airline policy and obviously doesn't apply to Ryanair.

atakacs
24th Oct 2017, 11:04
Suprised no-one commenting about the visual (directed red light) cue not picked up by the crew.
Fairly unusual procedure I guess but still something the PF shouldn't miss (hopefully not confused with a laser attack...)

ManaAdaSystem
24th Oct 2017, 11:08
Iím not Ryanair.
Sounds like you are flying i China or ME.
If I need 40 kts on the runway, I will do so. If it raises questions, by ATC request will do.
It does explain why I get stuck behind some airlines taxiing at very low speeds. Madrid behind EZY is a nightmare.
Anyway, you have my sympathy. It must be stressful to be scared of loosing your job for a minor issue like a few kts.

ManaAdaSystem
24th Oct 2017, 11:12
Suprised no-one commenting about the visual (directed red light) cue not picked up by the crew.
Fairly unusual procedure I guess but still something the PF shouldn't miss (hopefully not confused with a laser attack...)

Because itís not a laser? You have to look the tower to see it. If you are in a lost comm situation and trying to resolve it at the same time as you are looking for other traffic, that may be the last thing you are thinking of.

RAT 5
24th Oct 2017, 11:46
"The tower controller subsequently instructed the Air Canada crew multiple times to execute a go-around because he was not certain that a preceding arrival would be completely clear of the runway before the Air Canada jet reached the runway threshold," Gregor said,

Is it still the common use e.g. LGW, where ATC would say, "XYZ continue approach, expect late landing clearance, One to vacate."? It certainly was common in the rush hour of a single runway op, and it would have reduced capacity hugely if not used. Equally, the, "XYZ continue approach, expect late landing clearance, one to depart." Squeezing a landing followed by a departure and another landing into 2 minutes was a great demonstration of teamwork and needed respect by the crews and strict adherence to speed, situational awareness and to vacate PDQ. There were far more successful late landings than GA's.
I remember decades ago, at LHR, where "cleared to land, one about to vacate." was the call. Is it not the case that the commander can land if visual with the preceding traffic and can be certain that they can stop well before the turnoff being used by the preceding? Or has that allowance be rescinded?
The debate about ATC instructions v requests is an interesting one. In USA you can be cleared to land No.5. I'm not sure if you have to be VMC. There you are sliding down the glide with the squadron ahead of you. I assume the philosophy is you are cleared to land if you consider it safe to do below whatever height you choose. EASA & FAA ATC hand-books will tell us. Other regions might have more draconian attitudes.
I remember a medium jet at LGW being given takeoff clearance behind a heavy. The captain was most critical of ATC that the clearance was given <2mins after the heavy. ATC replied that "they could take as long as they wanted; there was no traffic on finals. It was not an order, just a clearance." Similar "cleared to land" is not an order; however a GA is somewhat different. ATC might get a little trigger happy at some places, i.e. the opposite of LGW in rush hour, but I reckon your defence needs to be solid not to comply. If you think you are going to be able to land OK then a couple of "say again's" might delay the call and even reverse it. Ha!

tescoapp
24th Oct 2017, 11:50
It must be stressful to be scared of loosing your job for a minor issue like a few kts.


Not really in fact, I know the rules and you just ignore any expedite requests and go to those SOP limits or a speed which is safe for the conditions.

There is also maintence reasons as well. You go through less tyres and the steering maintence cost has dropped significantly.

Since they brought the SOP in they haven't had a single off road event. Its a medium sized EU operator. I believe it was due to an incident where it was a major factor.

After the initial getting used to it frustration its actually pretty sensible. The number of times I had my arse twitch with wondering if we were going to stay on the black stuff in previous jobs while trying to expedite to help out mostly in the RHS. I am quite happy to comply with the SOP. Its already saved my bacon once when the steering system decided to go on strike and give me a hard full right turn.

Managed to keep on the black stuff any faster, and I would have been reading about myself on pprune with a nose wheel in the muck at AMS.

Just thinking about the regular airports I operate into and if I know where the tower is....

FullWings
24th Oct 2017, 12:04
Suprised no-one commenting about the visual (directed red light) cue not picked up by the crew.
It would be interesting to work out how many steady red lights there are within the airport perimeter. Probably in the thousands.

Might have worked in the old days of signal squares, grass strips, Verey Pistols and two-storey towers next to them but with multiple miles-long runways and huge buildings, towers can be way off where youíre looking when on short finals.

underfire
24th Oct 2017, 12:35
It would be interesting to work out how many steady red lights there are within the airport perimeter.

Its a flashing red light.

AC had radio when they aknowledged landing clearance.

Aside from that, AC had no idea why tower was saying go around.

Hotel Tango
24th Oct 2017, 12:45
Its a flashing red light.

Same applies, how many red flashing lights are there at an airport? Answer: hundreds!

roving
24th Oct 2017, 13:03
ICAO Annex 2, Rule of the Air.
Ch. 3.6.5.2.1, pag. 3-8.

3.6.5.2
Communication failure. If a communication failure

precludes compliance with 3.6.5.1, the aircraft shall comply

with the voice communication failure procedures of Annex 10,

Volume II, and with such of the following procedures as are
appropriate. The aircraft shall attempt to establish communications
with the appropriate air traffic control unit using all other
available means. In addition, the aircraft, when forming part of
the aerodrome traffic at a controlled aerodrome, shall keep a
watch for such instructions as may be issued by visual signals.

ICAO Annex 2, Rule of the Air.
Ch. 3.6.5.2.1, pag. 3-8.

http://www.pprune.org/4062811-post6.html

tescoapp
24th Oct 2017, 13:07
Found this on youtube while thinking about the comments about the red lights from the towers.

It has some outside video of what the crew will have seen.

Loads of red lights. Seems like 3 flashing lights perm, wouldn't surprise me if one of them was a flashing red on top of the tower.

And I don't have a clue where the tower is.

https://youtu.be/O3LTYeZrzH8

Jet Jockey A4
24th Oct 2017, 13:51
Hope they can prove they really had comm issues.

Chesty Morgan
24th Oct 2017, 14:02
CHESTY trolling as usual. I recall, final approach into LHR, we were catching up the one ahead. Did all I could but still gaining, I prepared for a Go Around. ATC got in first and said "a/c call sign, Go Around, Go Around, I say again, Go Around". Didn't sound like a 'request' to me Chesty !

Lesson 1. Look for the little red devil :E

Lonewolf_50
24th Oct 2017, 14:08
Having read just a few of your comments on here I am seriously doubting if you are here to contribute to any discussion or just here to troll the :mad: out of everyone
Most likely the latter.

Hmm: Landing clearance given, rather than "Air Canada, continue ..." then landing clearance revoked due to, it appears, the preceding traffic spending a bit longer on the runway than ATC anticipated.
That's my guess, would like to see how the decision chain in the cockpit went. Might be a good teaching tool in the future, and thankfully nobody got hurt. A chance to learn without tears, one hopes.

cappt
24th Oct 2017, 14:19
Again, subject to confirmation, it appears that the SWA 737-700 used the entire length of 28R before turning off at the far end.

According to the tape they used taxiway "T" just past midfield and after crossing the departure runways, which is normal ops.
Air Canada 781 also used taxiway tango and held behind the WN.
Yes a bad time to go NORDO, but of course this sort of thing could only happen in the States;)

Sepp
24th Oct 2017, 14:24
I'd be interested to know how controllers in a digital tower such as that about to grace LCY would be able to give light signals in similar circumstances (I'm thinking of loss of comms, rather than occupied runway). Chap/chapess in a little chequered box by the rwy, perhaps? That's progress!

golfyankeesierra
24th Oct 2017, 17:02
Thing I would worry about most with commfail on final 28 SFO is a departure off the 01ís. If thereís traffic slow in vacating your own runway, youíll see it; a departure off 01 is a surprise if youíre unaware.. (for those unfamiliar with SFO, most departures, except heavies, use 01 crossing between 2 landing aircraft on 28, an ATC challenge by itself ).
To be honest there is no real risk landing on a runway with preceding about to vacate, once you get there he is off the runway anyway. Now an encounter with somebody off 01 is something else (George Carlin used to call that ďnear missĒ 😳 ).

BTW, I canít believe someone with Atc is so naive to assume a pilot would see a red light signal at an International airport. Must be a desk-jockey.

JW411
24th Oct 2017, 17:08
On approach to CGN one night some years ago when it was very busy with night freight. We are using 14L, cloud base around 500 feet and sudenly the Tower Freq goes off the air (but we don't know that - why would we?).

Pop out of cloud, go visual and, lo and behold, there are the lights of an aircraft on the threshold waiting for take-off.

Go Around and contact Approach. Told that Tower had suffered an RT failure.

On subsequent contact with Tower, I am told that they had been flashing a red light at me from the Tower!

Red light from the Tower at 500 feet?

Get real!

For a start, where the hell is the Tower at CGN?

You will be astonished to learn that looking for a Red Light from the Tower was pretty low down in my list of priorities.

Incidentally, I actually saw Chesty Morgan in the Flyers Club in Gander in the 1970s. I can confirm that she was all "teeth and t+ts".

Ian W
24th Oct 2017, 17:18
I'd be interested to know how controllers in a digital tower such as that about to grace LCY would be able to give light signals in similar circumstances (I'm thinking of loss of comms, rather than occupied runway). Chap/chapess in a little chequered box by the rwy, perhaps? That's progress!

Having worked at very busy military units where 'Land - 3 on clearing' was not uncommon, we would have said 'runway controller' just off the threshold in a glass topped chequered box - aka the 'caravan'. The runway controller would fire a red flare that tended to get the pilot's attention in cases where a go around was required. Perhaps the remote towers should invest in a pyrotechnics box by the PAPIs for each runway.

FlyingCanuk
24th Oct 2017, 17:33
8 calls from SFO TWR telling them to go-around went unanswered.
Crew answered on the 9th call, after they were on the ground.
Hmmm, hard to figure this one out
One possible explanation is that once cleared to land @6 miles final, PM brought the GRND frequency up on com 1 standby, and inadvertently flipped the switch to GRND? After landing and seeing the red light from TWR, they realized the error and returned to TWR frequency?
One would assume they had 121.5 on com 2 and TWR would call on that frequency prior to firing up the light gun?

aterpster
24th Oct 2017, 20:52
Thing I would worry about most with commfail on final 28 SFO is a departure off the 01ís. If thereís traffic slow in vacating your own runway, youíll see it; a departure off 01 is a surprise if youíre unaware.. (for those unfamiliar with SFO, most departures, except heavies, use 01 crossing between 2 landing aircraft on 28, an ATC challenge by itself ).
To be honest there is no real risk landing on a runway with preceding about to vacate, once you get there he is off the runway anyway. Now an encounter with somebody off 01 is something else (George Carlin used to call that ďnear missĒ 😳 ).

BTW, I canít believe someone with Atc is so naive to assume a pilot would see a red light signal at an International airport. Must be a desk-jockey.

CYA. What else could they do?

aterpster
24th Oct 2017, 20:55
Hold on, who's in command of the aircraft? ATC or the commander? ATC only issue requests...

An ATC instruction must be complied with unless pilotís emergency authority is used (and subsequently justified.)

Banana4321
24th Oct 2017, 20:58
I'd be interested to know how controllers in a digital tower such as that about to grace LCY would be able to give light signals in similar circumstances (I'm thinking of loss of comms, rather than occupied runway). Chap/chapess in a little chequered box by the rwy, perhaps? That's progress!

Maybe they have a switch?

I seriously doubt it's beyond the wit of man.

Chesty Morgan
24th Oct 2017, 21:56
An ATC instruction must be complied with unless pilotís emergency authority is used (and subsequently justified.)

Of course.

FlyingCanuk
24th Oct 2017, 23:04
Hey there Chesty (Like your handle, by the way)

Hold on, who's in command of the aircraft? ATC or the commander? ATC only issue requests...


Air Traffic Control CLEARANCE: A clearance is an authorization that allows a pilot to do something.

Air Traffic Control INSTRUCTION: An instruction is an action to be executed without delay. There is a difference between an ATC clearance and an ATC instruction

The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft. (b) In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.

Capn Bloggs
24th Oct 2017, 23:59
Logging on to ACARS when on 6 miles final? I donít think so.
Obviously I'm not going to try to "log on" to ACARS on final. :rolleyes:

Our VHF 3 is on the ACARS DATA, and our VHF 2 is on 121.5. So unless ATC transmit on 121.5 (ATC can't do that here) and it is being monitored (see Tangoalpha's post above), the message isn't going to get through.

What's your radio setup, Mana?

FlyingCanuk
25th Oct 2017, 00:44
So unless ATC transmit on 121.5 (ATC can't do that here)

Curious Capn Bloggs, what do you mean by that?

PersonFromPorlock
25th Oct 2017, 00:58
Is there some reason why civil aviation radios don't monitor 121.5 continuously? Military UHF radios monitor 243.0 even if set to a different frequency, and have done so for fifty years that I know of.

MarkerInbound
25th Oct 2017, 02:42
Only a humble SLF observation and I appreciate there is such a thing as a conditional clearance but giving someone clearance to land when the runway is occupied is typical of todays habits of using words with no meanings or ignoring the meaning of the words you actually use..

Clearance - Official authorization for something to proceed or take place.

Surely 'You are cleared to land' means just that surely-ie there is nothing in front of you in the air or on the ground, no one is going to taxi or drive a vehicle across the runway -the way ahead is CLEAR. If any of those things are not true then you cannot be CLEAR to land for the simple reason that you are not , there are obstacles in the way so the whole issue becomes pretty pointless and an opening to have an accident at some point

Nope, just because CLEAR is in clearance does not mean that your path is clear, just that the powers that be have granted authorization to do whatever you are going to do.

"After the landing, line up and wait" seems like an invitation for problems to me.

vilas
25th Oct 2017, 05:52
" Mr. Bond they have a saying in Chicago, Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, third time is enemy action." Here third time will be an unmitigated disaster and Air Canada needs to seriously introspect on their procedures and work culture.

tescoapp
25th Oct 2017, 06:25
For the SLF reading there is a huge difference between they way they do things in the USA and how most of the rest of the world works.

In Europe they won't give a landing clearance until much later on, in fact until the runway is clear. We do have a "land after" call in the UK but generally they don't use it with commercial aircraft.

Steve6443
25th Oct 2017, 06:45
"The tower controller subsequently instructed the Air Canada crew multiple times to execute a go-around because he was not certain that a preceding arrival would be completely clear of the runway before the Air Canada jet reached the runway threshold," Gregor said,

Is it still the common use e.g. LGW, where ATC would say, "XYZ continue approach, expect late landing clearance, One to vacate."?

The only problem is that ATC can then forget to give the final clearance. Happened to me heading into Barcelona El Prat - expect late landing clearance, the controller then omitted to give us the actual clearance to land.

Go around was called because although we called to ask for our clearance to land, we didn't get a response before it was too late and we were forced to go around....

Neptune262
25th Oct 2017, 06:54
Clearance - Official authorization for something to proceed or take place.



Nope, just because CLEAR is in clearance does not mean that your path is clear, just that the powers that be have granted authorization to do whatever you are going to do.

"After the landing, line up and wait" seems like an invitation for problems to me.

The understanding and usage of the words "cleared to land" is different in the USA compared to almost every other ICAO member state that I know.

The USA has their own justification for how and why they do it in this unusual way, but it does lay open the possibility of this actual occurrence, due to the specific way landing clearance is issued in the USA.

The words "reasonable assurance" have a lot to do with this, as I understand it. For those interested, delve into ICAO Doc 4444 7.10.1, 7.10.2 and also look at Figure 7-3 including wording "cleared to cross the threshold of the runway-in-use".

There are some words in 7.10.2 which I believe the USA does not follow - they even have "shall not" in with those words - so I don't know if that is a filed difference by the USA from ICAO, or maybe they are following those. A question to the USA ATCOs regarding this - can you clear an aircraft to land when another one is on the approach ahead and that aircraft has not yet crossed the threshold of the landing runway?

Apologies for getting a bit ATC specific here.

The crew radio procedures and the usage / observation of the light from the tower are two different items concerned in this occurrence, which are other areas for discussion, as some of you all are!

Muddassir
25th Oct 2017, 07:29
.................. Not something a crew would be doing short final to land unless they were having legitimate radio issues and even then PF would be eyes on the runway/instruments with PM perhaps distracted flicking switches and forgetting to maybe look at the tower but in their mind if they were cleared well they were cleared... why look for a light signal? ..................
You are right, especially on a large airport like SFO, Tower may be at a big angle from pilots' line of sight.
A suggestion, why can't we have the red flare thing installed at the threshold for active runways. If needed, could be triggered remotely from tower for the required runway?

Jet Jockey A4
25th Oct 2017, 07:31
Not to excuse the Air Canada pilots in this incident but the tower using the light to tell them not too land was perhaps a long shot in this instance.

When the pilots of an aircraft know they are NORDO, then they will look for and expect the proper lights from the tower. However in this case they did not know they had comms problems so they were not inclined to look for or even expect the lights from the control tower.

Jet Jockey A4
25th Oct 2017, 07:37
You are right, especially on a large airport like SFO, Tower may be at a big angle from pilots' line of sight.
A suggestion, why can't we have the red flare thing installed at the threshold for active runways. If needed, could be triggered remotely from tower for the required runway?

Perhaps a flare type system could be a solution but what if the problem is tower related, how many flares would be required to warn multiple aircrafts?

I was thinking perhaps a low powered L.A.S.E.R. that could be aimed at the aircraft could replace the spotlights we have today that can be easily lost at major airports with the sea of lights in and around the airports.

krautland
25th Oct 2017, 07:51
I presume briefly switching off the runway lights after having denied them landing clearance multiple times would be unacceptable?

PT6Driver
25th Oct 2017, 07:55
At CDG you could be cleared to land with one on the runway and two or three ahead of you on approach!

I suppose the logic is that if the twr frequency is busy and the controller cannot get a word in to issue a landing clearance, the landing aircraft already has the clearance.
Default to land.
Drawback is that if something goes wrong and a go arround is required, if the controller cannot get a word in, the default is land instead of the safer option of GA.
No need for flares approach or runway lights that can be turned red if GA required.

Jet Jockey A4
25th Oct 2017, 07:55
I presume briefly switching off the runway lights after having denied them landing clearance multiple times would be unacceptable?

Actually that would also be a very good idea.

Perhaps flashing them ON and OFF several times to get their attention and then turning them OFF for a prolonged time would work.

tescoapp
25th Oct 2017, 08:19
light board next to the PAPI's would be better...

It wouldn't be to long before flares set the airfield grass on fire during a dry period.

golfyankeesierra
25th Oct 2017, 09:16
BTW, I canít believe someone with Atc is so naive to assume a pilot would see a red light signal at an International airport. Must be a desk-jockey.
CYA. What else could they do?
A call on 121.5 is a better shot I guess. But itís used here as an argument and I think itís very weak.

EGPFlyer
25th Oct 2017, 09:53
For the SLF reading there is a huge difference between they way they do things in the USA and how most of the rest of the world works.

In Europe they won't give a landing clearance until much later on, in fact until the runway is clear. We do have a "land after" call in the UK but generally they don't use it with commercial aircraft.

Not true. As stated a few posts back, in CDG they give you landing clearance when you check in with tower, even if there are aircraft ahead of you. It makes sense at places that have landing only runways (AMS is the other where it would probably work well but they donít do it yet)

tescoapp
25th Oct 2017, 10:33
I stand corrected, thankfully I don't have to operate into CDG and their screwed up mixture of French and English.

But hey if a load of pilots don't know what the other aircraft are doing most of the time there is no issue with landing clearances being issued without the runway being safe.

aterpster
25th Oct 2017, 13:00
Sounds like they had the wrong frequency dialed in for the tower but then switched to the correct ground control frequency after landing. Does anyone know whether the crew checked on with the tower?

MATELO
25th Oct 2017, 13:29
Not to excuse the Air Canada pilots in this incident but the tower using the light to tell them not too land was perhaps a long shot in this instance.


A long shot yes, but in an inquiry, the tower would be safe in the knowledge they tried every available means at hand.

underfire
25th Oct 2017, 14:21
Does anyone know whether the crew checked on with the tower?

There was a previous post that stated the crew called tower once on the ground.

Probably the same crew as the last incident. This time, they were so happy to have actually found an actual runway, they missed the 8 calls to GA from tower.

Perhaps flashing them ON and OFF several times to get their attention and then turning them OFF for a prolonged time would work.

This is AC we are talking about here, if you turned off the lights, they would just land on the taxiway....

Siblini
25th Oct 2017, 14:35
How where they able to communicate to tower once they were on the ground so quickly? Did they realize they had a radio failure on roll-out and then decide to use the second radio?

The pilot monitoring could surely switch the radios even on short final in visual conditions.

I'm interested to see what comes from this.

Greek God
25th Oct 2017, 14:36
So.... eight calls to GA and still they landed safely with the previous vacated. Little premature on the GA instruction maybe? What was wrong with continue expect late landing clearance. I can normally tell whether a runway I'm about to land on is clear or not in VFR
Heard one the other day where tower instructed a GA due to a plastic bag blowing across the runway - really?

underfire
25th Oct 2017, 14:49
So.... eight calls to GA and still they landed safely with the previous vacated. Little premature on the GA instruction maybe?

Tower said GA. Tower did not give a reason.

The aircraft had no idea why they were being told to GA.

What if it was FOD from the previous landing?

EDIT: I just listened to the ATC recording again. I think I figured it out, not once in the 8 times tower said GA, was there a "please".....

after all ATC only issues 'requests'....:\

FAA investigates another Air Canada landing mix-up at SFO (http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/10/23/again-faa-investigates-another-air-canada-runway-mix-up-at-sfo/)

The official Air Canada twitter account initially sent a tweet to this reporter after a story about the incident first appeared online, appearing confused about what had happened.

AC twitter reads PPRUNE!

Sailvi767
25th Oct 2017, 15:25
Hold on, who's in command of the aircraft? ATC or the commander? ATC only issue requests...

Which the aircraft commander is expected to comply with unless he has a greater emergency.

tescoapp
25th Oct 2017, 15:43
Nope if you say expedite and I am already at my max SOP speed I ain't going any faster.

underfire
25th Oct 2017, 16:34
Nope if you say expedite and I am already at my max SOP speed I ain't going any faster.

I saw a 744 get put back in the pattern for refusing to speed up.

JW411
25th Oct 2017, 17:00
Which reminds me of the Sin Bin at ORD.

aterpster
25th Oct 2017, 17:23
(b) is particularly pertinent to this case:

ß 91.123 Compliance with ATC clearances and instructions.

(a) When an ATC clearance has been obtained, no pilot in command may deviate from that clearance unless an amended clearance is obtained, an emergency exists, or the deviation is in response to a traffic alert and collision avoidance system resolution advisory. However, except in Class A airspace, a pilot may cancel an IFR flight plan if the operation is being conducted in VFR weather conditions. When a pilot is uncertain of an ATC clearance, that pilot shall immediately request clarification from ATC.

(b) Except in an emergency, no person may operate an aircraft contrary to an ATC instruction in an area in which air traffic control is exercised.

(c) Each pilot in command who, in an emergency, or in response to a traffic alert and collision avoidance system resolution advisory, deviates from an ATC clearance or instruction shall notify ATC of that deviation as soon as possible.

(d) Each pilot in command who (though not deviating from a rule of this subpart) is given priority by ATC in an emergency, shall submit a detailed report of that emergency within 48 hours to the manager of that ATC facility, if requested by ATC.

(e) Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, no person operating an aircraft may operate that aircraft according to any clearance or instruction that has been issued to the pilot of another aircraft for radar air traffic control purposes.

testpanel
25th Oct 2017, 17:46
When an ATC clearance has been obtained, no pilot in command may deviate from that clearance unless an amended clearance is obtained, an emergency exists, or the deviation is in response to a traffic alert and collision avoidance system resolution advisory.

Yeah Yeah Yeah....

Looks good on paper, sure some expensive people in some office thought it all through:ugh:

But,
they are no pilots, with real experience.

Try following the above quote somewhere over Africa...

Or even over europe or the usa, if i see a cb in front of me, and all the lcc`s and others asking for different levels, I donīt declare emergency, if the freq. is too busy...........

i will just turn! and tell/explain atc later what i am doing.

Too much abuse of RT nowadays....

TP

gasbag1
25th Oct 2017, 17:49
Obviously these 2 pilots were on the proper frequency to receive their landing clearance initially, then either a transceiver failed, the #1 transceiver was changed to a incorrect freq. or the #1 transceiver volume was turned off.

If a transceiver was changed to a improper frequency most pilots would realize they might be on the wrong frequency with either departure/approach type of instructions or radio silence on a busy Tower Frequency. Then again these guys had another working transceiver that was most likely on a company frequency.

Another example of poor awareness of another AC crew.

lomapaseo
25th Oct 2017, 18:03
I'm bothered by hints in the discussion that there are so many escape paths without obvious correctable faults that could lead to such a landing accident.

If I imagine that the next similar combination will lead to an accident with loss of life, I ask myself what corrective actions would we seek?

would it be

"flashing red strobe lights or flares on the runway approach surface?

commanded ATC activation of lights or horn in the cockpit?

mandatory pilot fault with consequences ?

others?

tescoapp
25th Oct 2017, 19:11
When an ATC clearance has been obtained, no pilot in command may deviate from that clearance

the key is obtained and acknowledged.

If a clearance is given and then a reply of "unable " is given. Then its not been obtained.

ATC have zero clue if I have Anti skid in the mel or any of the other items which can make high speed taxing interesting.

To be honest on a roll out at 90 knts getting told to expedite my priority is the aviating not the communicating. I won't hit the brakes I won't reduce the power any further but I won't be increasing it until I am at 30 knts.

You can stick me in the sin bin if you like, fact is if I go off road and the accident investigation lot pull the FDR and declare I was taxing faster than the SOP's even if what happen is not my fault I will be hung drawn and quartered. Then I have a incident on my record and basically become unemployable if I wish to move company's.

Why should put my career at risk for a ATCO's screw up?

golfyankeesierra
25th Oct 2017, 20:20
Regarding a quick fix for light signals in a commfail situation, a lot of places in the states now have runway status lights. Why not add a manual switch for those on the tower?
Donít have my charts here, but I believe SFO has them?

aterpster
25th Oct 2017, 23:10
As I said previously, the issue was an ATC instruction rather than a clearance.

Deviating around a TRW because you can't get a word in is deviating from a clearance, and can be justified.

"Go around Acme 999," is an instruction, not a clearance.

As to suits that don't understand flying having written this stuff, well, I think they understood it all quite well. I can only speak about my company; we took it quite seriously. I am speaking of an FAA FAR in the U.S., not in a primitive ATC system in Backwater, Africa.

galaxy flyer
26th Oct 2017, 00:16
Don’t know the ‘Bus, but is it possible the crew accidentally selected the last frequency by flipping the active to standby switch. If Airbii have that radio switch. That’d explain it and it’s been done before.

aterpster
26th Oct 2017, 00:57
Seems like that is down the probability list. But, who knows in our speculative world here :)

787PIC
26th Oct 2017, 04:36
Perhaps Transport Canada should look at crew rest issues a bit more closer!

Fatigued PM sets the Ground freq. on the STBY head, but inadvertently flips the switch.
Tired pilots fail to recognize the absence of any transmissions from the Tower for the next several minutes, nor they see Southwest still on the runway, or that annoying Laser like red light shining from the Tower!
When they go to flip the switch to 121.8, they realize they have been there all along.
Not that I have ever done a stupid thing like that, except once!
(5AM, JFK, after a 14 hour flight.)

jack11111
26th Oct 2017, 04:50
I'm enjoying NOT, all the mental gymnastics and contortions to explain what in all probability was the ignoring of eight pleadings of the local controller to GO-AROUND.

Sorry.

"Fatigued PM sets the Ground freq. on the STBY head, but inadvertently flips the switch."

You can't sit on ground frequency at SFO at that time of night and not know you are on ground, I believe.

n5296s
26th Oct 2017, 05:22
I'm with jack111111. They didn't want to go around, they were sure the runway would clear in time, so they just watched carefully and landed. Then they invented some random story about radio problems. Why would they be fiddling with radios on short final?

As for the red light, have you ever actually seen one of these things even when you're trying, even when you know exactly where the tower is and you're staring at it? I confess that on the one occasion when I landed nordo, after a total electrical failure on take off, I completely failed to look for a green (or red) light. Bit busy aviating, getting the gear down with the manual pump, etc etc.

Elephant and Castle
26th Oct 2017, 06:29
Since you where not there to see what happened it is extremely disrespectful to fellow professionals to essentially call them liars with NO evidence whatsoever.

There are many ways in which this can happen. I give you another one:

The radio volume is selected on and off by a press switch but it is overridden to on if the transmit button is selected in the comms panel. VHF 1 radio volume is off but as the panel is on transmit on VHF1 the sound from that radio can be heard. After the cleared to land the pilot presses the PA transmit button to make the "CC take you seats for landing" (or what ever AC equivalent call) then forgets to go back to VHF1 transmit. The VHF1 volume will then be off and the GA instruction can no be heard. After landing they look down and oops, realises the error. Presses VHF1 transmit again and they are back in the loop.

roving
26th Oct 2017, 09:52
E&C, which do you think is of greater concern?

1. That the crew deliberately ignored the g.a. instruction.

2. In error the crew disables the VHF preventing the ATC communicating with them on short finals.

bpp
26th Oct 2017, 13:30
How about available red centerline lights controlled by the tower for both day and night?

Elephant and Castle
26th Oct 2017, 14:03
People jumping to conclusions without any knowledge of the facts concern me the most

underfire
26th Oct 2017, 16:41
Actually, there are plenty of facts available. To state jumping to conclusions without any knowledge of facts is an erroneous statement itself.

Just like trying to land on the taxiway, on radio one minute and on radio immediately on landing, but the crew stated "there is something going on with the radio" that prevented them hearing GA...does one always call tower once on the ground to report radio problems?....more stories that dont add up.

Then there is the CVR issue....

but there is nothing to suggest they weren't looking at the runway ensuring it remained clear and safe to land.

based on? ATC was telling them to GA, and they did not give a reason. What if the previous aircraft was taking long to vacate because of a blown tire on landing? In your visual, can you see FOD on the runway, at night?

EDIT: For those of you looking at flashing lights, flares, and other scenarios, there is the FAROS system being tested by the FAA. I beleive it is installed at DFW...

Final Approach Runway Occupancy Signal (FAROS) is an FAA-sponsored concept, which is now being deployed for operational evaluation in the USA, as part of the overall enhancement of safety nets designed to reduce Runway Incursion hazards.
It works by providing a visual signal to aircraft on final approach to land that the runway ahead is occupied by another aircraft or a vehicle. This is done by adapting the PAPI or VASI system to alter from steady lights to flashing mode whilst the identified hazard remains. Externally, the PAPI or VASI system is unaltered and continues to function normally in its primary role as an angle of approach awareness indicator whether or not a FAROS input has temporarily caused the flashing mode to activate.

aterpster
26th Oct 2017, 18:25
As for the red light, have you ever actually seen one of these things even when you're trying, even when you know exactly where the tower is and you're staring at it?
The red light was simply the controller (correctly) trying to fill in all the squares so he would have a bottle of water at the hearing. Can't blame him a bit. He probably had little expectation that it would be seen by the flight crew.

hans brinker
26th Oct 2017, 22:16
Since you where not there to see what happened it is extremely disrespectful to fellow professionals to essentially call them liars with NO evidence whatsoever.

There are many ways in which this can happen. I give you another one:

The radio volume is selected on and off by a press switch but it is overridden to on if the transmit button is selected in the comms panel. VHF 1 radio volume is off but as the panel is on transmit on VHF1 the sound from that radio can be heard. After the cleared to land the pilot presses the PA transmit button to make the "CC take you seats for landing" (or what ever AC equivalent call) then forgets to go back to VHF1 transmit. The VHF1 volume will then be off and the GA instruction can no be heard. After landing they look down and oops, realises the error. Presses VHF1 transmit again and they are back in the loop.

On the A320 the transmit and receive are separated controls. Both pilots would have VHF1 receive selected, transmitting on any other position (including PA) doesnít change that.

Three Thousand Rule
26th Oct 2017, 22:28
As for the red light, have you ever actually seen one of these things even when you're trying, even when you know exactly where the tower is and you're staring at it? I confess that on the one occasion when I landed nordo, after a total electrical failure on take off, I completely failed to look for a green (or red) light. Bit busy aviating, getting the gear down with the manual pump, etc etc.

Though I'm not a professional pilot, my experience of having a radio failure in the pattern and landing at a large, but relatively quiet, international airport was that I selected 7600 and then very carefully flew base, final and landed.

On reporting in person, the ATCO said well done for observing the green light and not flying around the tower flashing landing lights etc.

Except I didn't see the light, so a fail on my part :rolleyes: - and that was when I knew COM1/COM2 was non-functional.

So, there were 2 professional pilots onboard AC, with a much higher level of training and experience, but I can empathise - they were cleared to land and were focused on that - had they been under a 'continue approach, expect late landing clearance' conditional clearance, then I'd have less sympathy.

Vessbot
27th Oct 2017, 04:38
I'm enjoying NOT, all the mental gymnastics and contortions to explain what in all probability was the ignoring of eight pleadings of the local controller to GO-AROUND.

Sorry, of all the hypotheses posted, this is the really dumb one.

Here's another, they got a stuck mic on the readback of the landing clearance.

jack11111
27th Oct 2017, 05:33
Vessbot wrote:
"Here's another, they got a stuck mic on the readback of the landing clearance."

A stuck mic would have resulted in a blocked frequency, which it clearly was not.

paradoxbox
27th Oct 2017, 14:26
SFO sure seems to have its fair share of incidents these days.

While in this case it looks like it is probably the fault of the aircraft or pilots, is there something about SFO's operation style that is inherently unsafe or prone to accidents? Not casting any stones here but do think it is worth some investigation as to whether or not procedures there are partly responsible for the relatively high incidence of dangerous incidents or accidents at SFO.

aterpster
28th Oct 2017, 13:28
The configuration of the airport is lousy. There was a great plan to fix it, but it was voted down. Perhaps 10 years ago or so.

fleigle
28th Oct 2017, 17:11
The configuration may be "lousy" but it hasn't radically changed recently.
It appears from recent events that the people having problems with it have not been on top of their game.
It will be a very difficult job to separate the current distances between 28L and 28R, given the position of the airport.
A great majority of those users every day have not had problems, just AC recently with two.
Who do you blame?, the airport and its handlers?, or the aircrews, or their training?

underfire
28th Oct 2017, 17:47
Isnt that a bit short sighted?

There were landings every few minutes for years on the Quiet bridge visual. How many incidents were there with having 28L closed, or at night?
So AC with an aged aircraft, decides they will land on a taxiway full of aircraft. Do you punish the ac crew? It appears that everyone was punished, as visuals are no longer allowed at night? Problem solved?

Another AC aged aircraft decides to ignore tower instructions to GA. The crew has radio and confirms clear to land, and suddenly, cant figure out out to use the radio until on the ground.
How to prevent it from happening again? Add more complexity to a system? How many others have had this problem?

Why do refuse to sanction the crew?

seagull967
28th Oct 2017, 18:55
I would argue two reasons.

First, it does not accomplish anything. The crew did not intentionally do this. I think the only time it makes sense is if the person willfully ignored procedures without a valid reason. It is important to apply local rationality, "why did it make sense for the person to do what they had done at the time".

Second, this is clearly a system issue. Missing the radio call was almost certainly due to some inadvertent action on the part of the pilot or something in the equipment design. Humans work around these issues constantly, but sometimes we are not able to for various reasons. This is a highlight of a design issue for either the equipment or the system as a whole, or, more likely, both.

The fact that others have been able to compensate for it does not mean that a failure won't happen eventually. One of the aspects that led to the AS 261 accident was that the service panel for the jack screw was too small to see in when your hand was in the hole to service it, so you had to do it by feel. Eventually that led to an accident, but for many years people were able to adapt to the poor design.

Uplinker
29th Oct 2017, 11:43
Just thinking about the regular airports I operate into and if I know where the tower is...

The position of the Tower is marked on Jepps, and I would assume, AERADS?

I am wondering to myself whether visual signals might be worth a very quick mention during my approach brief? "On final approach, the tower will be to our right/left. If we lose radios during short finals, a flashing red from the tower means go-around".

Only useful with a decent cloudbase though. I like the idea of a simple red strobe as part of the threshold lights.

Capn Bloggs
29th Oct 2017, 12:12
For goodness sake, uplinker... Just don't land on a runway that's got an aeroplane on it! You will never get airborne if you start briefing that stuff.

seagull967
29th Oct 2017, 13:12
I think it important fo note that the runway was clear by the time they were over a mile from touchdown.

HighSpeedAluminum
29th Oct 2017, 13:33
Is it possible that they didn't ignore the transmissions but rather had already selected their next frequency (ground)?

slack
29th Oct 2017, 14:51
If ground inadvertently selected chatter on said freq. would be almost constant. 2 minutes of silence on sfo ground does not happen. Hint that something not right.

n5296s
29th Oct 2017, 16:18
2 minutes of silence on sfo ground does not happen
Excellent point, because the same is true for SFO Tower. The biggest problem is getting a word in edgeways. I don't think I've ever heard it silent for more than 10 seconds.

ExXB
29th Oct 2017, 17:07
NacCan report

TSB Report#A17F0261: C-GPWG, an Airbus 320 aircraft operated by Air Canada, was conducting flight ACA781 from Montreal, QC (CYUL) to San Francisco, CA (KSFO) with 5 crew members and 144 passengers on board. After having received the proper clearance to land on Runway 28R at KSFO, the flight crew continued their approach and landed uneventfully. Following the landing and after the flight was handed over to ground control, ATC requested that the flight crew contact them by phone once the flight was secure. Subsequently, the flight crew was informed that the tower had unsuccessfully attempted to contact them while on final approach. The flight crew advised that they had not heard any calls after receiving their clearance to land. The operator is investigating the incident.

seagull967
29th Oct 2017, 18:54
Excellent point, because the same is true for SFO Tower. The biggest problem is getting a word in edgeways. I don't think I've ever heard it silent for more than 10 seconds.

You need to fly more at night!

Rapid D
29th Oct 2017, 19:31
Anyone know if there is a tower option to transmit on all their frequencies (tower and ground) at the same time?

seagull967
29th Oct 2017, 23:20
There is, late at night/early morning one controller often works both, yes, at SFO also!

Rapid D
30th Oct 2017, 02:10
Good point. Is this a simple flip of a switch I wonder in a situation like this or some heads down console work?

fatbus
30th Oct 2017, 05:59
I would say the PNF made a switch without realizing it, pre selected ground( wrong ground freq) and inadvertently selected a dead frequency.

lurkio
30th Oct 2017, 12:51
I've accidentally caught the on/off switch once or twice. Never actually turned the box off but I would imagine it can be done.
Frequency transfer pushbutton at no. 2, the on/off switch is at no. 9.

Uplinker
30th Oct 2017, 13:51
Capn Bloggs

For goodness sake, uplinker... Just don't land on a runway that's got an aeroplane on it! You will never get airborne if you start briefing that stuff.

Thanks for the tip, Capn, I will try to remember that !

During the approach brief (clue: you're already airborne); would you rather have someone droning on for 5 mins about all the things you can both read on the approach plate, (and have flown hundreds of times), or would a better use of time be to think about the unlikely stuff: baulked landings, brake failure, discontinued approaches, Comms failures etc.?

Having had to remind more than one chap over the years what certain ground marshalling signals mean, I tend towards the latter.:ok:

underfire
30th Oct 2017, 18:36
I think it important fo note that the runway was clear by the time they were over a mile from touchdown.

No it is not. Tower told them to GA, they did not give a reason. In addition, this was AC, which just tried to land on a taxiway full of aircraft, so the decision to land is not based on a runway, taxiway, or anything being clear of aircraft, animals, or ground vehicles.

What if the reason the previous ac went long was for a blown tire and there was FOD on the runway?

Again, when told to GA, (8 times) you dont try to guess what the reason is, you just do it.


No worries, the CVR will show what really happened...oh wait, this is AC.

seagull967
30th Oct 2017, 19:54
Actually, SWA was well clear of the runway by the time AC was between 2 and 1.5 miles from the approach end, let alone the touchdown target. Not particularly unusual spacing.

Pilots are terrible at succumbing to fundamental attribution error, I must say.

aterpster
31st Oct 2017, 00:46
No worries, the CVR will show what really happened...oh wait, this is AC.

Unlike last July, I don't believe this incident required that the crew pull the C.B. on the CVR. (Alas)

aterpster
31st Oct 2017, 00:53
I've accidentally caught the on/off switch once or twice. Never actually turned the box off but I would imagine it can be done.
Frequency transfer pushbutton at no. 2, the on/off switch is at no. 9.
Early in my career we didn't have those dual tuning heads. When we got them (and were so pleased with them) fingers stayed away from them, not unlike a lot of flight deck discipline, like not shutting off the fuel to an engine. Those levers/switches are there for the very careless.

Capn Bloggs
31st Oct 2017, 06:15
During the approach brief (clue: you're already airborne) would you rather have someone droning on for 5 mins about all the things you can both read on the approach plate, (and have flown hundreds of times), or would a better use of time be to think about the unlikely stuff: baulked landings, brake failure, discontinued approaches, Comms failures etc.?
None of it! :ok: OK, I'll grant you ONE of the latter list. Otherwise we'll talk ourselves to an early grave.

PS: I note you didn't mention any of the really important stuff: unique characteristics of that airport/approach that might get might get you into strife or MEL considerations.

galaxy flyer
31st Oct 2017, 13:17
underfire,

I don’t think anyone is arguing that they HEARD the tower instruction and ignored. The issue is how did they NOT hear it? I cannot conceive of a crew hearing that transmission eight times and just landing.

Jet Jockey A4
31st Oct 2017, 13:34
I have to agree with this.

DaveReidUK
31st Oct 2017, 16:08
I donít think anyone is arguing that they HEARD the tower instruction and ignored.

Well hardly anyone:

what in all probability was the ignoring of eight pleadings of the local controller to GO-AROUND..

India Four Two
4th Nov 2017, 03:21
Regardless of how the crew failed to hear the go-around instructions, occasional incidents like this are inevitable, if US ATC persists in giving landing clearances, before the runway is clear!

paradoxbox
4th Nov 2017, 08:43
Agree with that completely India.

I do not understand why the rules regarding that are not changed. It is dangerous. Just because it has worked until now doesn't mean it's a good idea.

While we are at it we should also change rules regarding runway crossing clearances to avoid incursion incidents due to radio failures and morons who don't pay attention.

Mom always told me look both ways before crossing the street, you'd think people would do the same before landing or entering a runway but...

ussatlantis
4th Nov 2017, 12:54
There is nothing wrong with giving landing clearance before the runway is clear. Any competent pilots would scan the runway on short final before landing.

Also, I have many captains taxing onto runway without ever bothering to check the final.

PaxBritannica
4th Nov 2017, 13:06
Mere SLF here, but surely there's more to having a safe runway ahead than a lack of aircraft? If the preceding a/c left a contaminated runway, or there's a vehicle about to make a runway incursion, there is no way for pilots to know this visually.

OldLurker
4th Nov 2017, 18:31
Well, but this incident happened at night – 9.26pm, according to post #1.

Often at a busy airport the following a/c lands very soon after the preceding a/c enters the high speed exit. If the preceding a/c unexpectedly leaves contamination behind it at night, then unless its crew knows something's fallen off and calls the tower instantly, neither ATC nor the following crew can be aware of the contamination anyway. OTOH, if the preceding crew know beforehand that their a/c is likely to cause contamination, they'll have said so long before landing, and there'll be an emergency in effect. Although it seems this AC crew wasn't hearing the tower frequency, so if either of the above had happened, they wouldn't have known ...

If there's a vehicle about to make a runway incursion at night then (a) it'd have visible lights, (b) before entering a runway, IMHO any sensible vehicle driver (or pilot) should routinely look for traffic on the runway and up the approach.

cactusbusdrvr
4th Nov 2017, 22:16
Regardless of how the crew failed to hear the go-around instructions, occasional incidents like this are inevitable, if US ATC persists in giving landing clearances, before the runway is clear!

It happens in many countries. We also don't ever get a "behind arriving traffic, line up and wait" in the US.

It also moves traffic. The USA has a heck of a lot more traffic to move than Europe. The controllers use anticipated separation to make the calls. Good controllers will move traffic like a maestro conducting an orchestra. You go to ORD, LAX, JFK or ATL and everyone is moving in synch, from approach all the way to the local controller.

The Air Canada crew made an error. They missed calls. It wasn't serious this time and it could have been a simple switching error but it was an error. They don't deserve to get hung but someone needs to figure out just what happened. You can't learn from your mistakes if you don't know the mistake you made.

cossack
4th Nov 2017, 23:35
If there's a vehicle about to make a runway incursion at night then (a) it'd have visible lights, (b) before entering a runway, IMHO any sensible vehicle driver (or pilot) should routinely look for traffic on the runway and up the approach.
An AC flight was instructed to go around at close to midnight when the ASDE alarm sounded for a runway conflict. They heard the call but didn't think it was for them and landed. The alarm was caused by a driverless vehicle rolling off the ramp and onto the threshold of the runway when the aircraft was on very short final. It had lights on (beacon allegedly sub-standard) but was not seen by the crew. A fortuitous outcome.

marie paire
5th Nov 2017, 07:32
Hold on, who's in command of the aircraft? ATC or the commander? ATC only issue requests...

I would look at it from a different perspective: Who is in charge of the runway?

atr-drivr
5th Nov 2017, 13:54
Regardless of how the crew failed to hear the go-around instructions, occasional incidents like this are inevitable, if US ATC persists in giving landing clearances, before the runway is clear!

As a former controller for 17 years, it is called anticipated separation. ďNumber 3 following traffic ahead, cleared to landĒ....all day everyday...:cool:

marie paire
5th Nov 2017, 16:02
Not an ICAO procedure, is it? Canada follows ICAO..

cossack
5th Nov 2017, 18:00
Ever been to Toronto? We use it all the time with some modifications from our friends to the south. Arrivals can be cleared to land when not number one but we cannot put a departure in between and use multiple landing clearances.

NiclasB
6th Nov 2017, 11:56
If the visualization by VASAviation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cXNWwKx9c1o is anything to go by, it looks like the situation started when the previous aircraft, SWA3117, exited via TANGO instead of DELTA. Since UAL2065 was already on TANGO, holding short of the also active 28L, I guess the controller was concerned that the tail of SWA3117 would be too close to 28R. When AC781 failed to acknowledge the go-around, the controller solved the problem by a) asking UAL2065 to - without delay - cross 28L despite company on 2 mile final and b) asking SWA3117 to pull all the way up to the 28L hold line. Both instructions in a rather hurried voice... So, some quick thinking by ATC meant that the runway was clear when AC781 touched down.

hr2pilot
9th Nov 2017, 02:45
A lesson to all Airbus pilots:

This is what could happen to you when you’re not careful while using remote tuning on your radio management panels. (...and good old Murphy happens to be riding the jump seat )

poldek77
9th Nov 2017, 17:32
Ever been to Toronto? We use it all the time with some modifications from our friends to the south. Arrivals can be cleared to land when not number one but we cannot put a departure in between and use multiple landing clearances.

I saw the same at CDG, unless LVP in progress

2016parks
10th Nov 2017, 21:28
New video available including tower communications of six requests to go around. Sorry can't post url.

smith
11th Nov 2017, 03:47
Interestingly the Air Canada in front contacted the tower 3 times before even being acknowledged for Landon clearance

India Four Two
14th Nov 2017, 02:35
As a former controller for 17 years, it is called anticipated separation. “Number 3 following traffic ahead, cleared to land”....all day everyday...

atr-drivr,

I’m aware that this is “all day everyday”. I’ve received clearances like this every time, on the few occasions I’ve flown into a towered US airfield. I must admit the first time, I was really surprised.

I’m genuinely interested to know why this procedure is considered operationally desirable. I would have thought that a simple “Cleared to land”, when the runway really is clear, would use less air-time, is completely unambiguous and has the added benefit of priming the flight crew, before receiving the clearance, to be prepared to go around.

EstorilM
14th Nov 2017, 14:07
Wouldn't the net result of what you're proposing be a large number of aircraft all over the country lined up on a short final without an actual landing clearance?

In addition to making things stressful for the flight crew, wouldn't it also put a large amount of stress on the controller, who now needs to issue landing clearances in a short / timely manner regardless of whatever else he is doing or who is is talking to, as soon as the ground aircraft are clear.

I would think it's just easier to do on the initial call - short, sweet, efficient, aircraft calls and he's taken care of one transmission later.

Works fine 99.9% of the time, for the other .1% they can issue a go-around.

..which is also another interesting point, as presumably the aircraft would have been on short final anyways, even if the controller used the method you described. Controller wouldn't have issued a landing clearance - the net result would be the same, issued a go-around, aircraft didn't hear/listen, landed anyways. Would certainly be a little more paperwork for the pilot though. ;)

arketip
14th Nov 2017, 14:58
If they did not have a landing clearance they would have to go-around, I believe

J.O.
14th Nov 2017, 15:54
I've never liked the idea of a landing clearance for a runway that wasn't truly mine. But I also understand that US airports routinely see traffic volumes that are far and away heavier than the rest of the world. LHR's really the only one that comes close.

EstorilM
14th Nov 2017, 16:24
If they did not have a landing clearance they would have to go-around, I believe

You're right - never mind that part of my response, if that was indeed the procedure that was being used instead of the current one, they wouldn't have been able to "tune-out" or whatever they did, as they'd still be waiting for the clearance. :)

tubby linton
20th Nov 2017, 17:10
SFO just keeps generating incidents.
NTSB investigating separate safety incidents at San Francisco International Airport | abc7news.com (http://abc7news.com/travel/ntsb-investigating-separate-safety-incidents-at-sfo/2672484/?sf173716769=1)

Prober
20th Nov 2017, 17:35
In answer to Estoril M (#150), try LHR. On a clear night you will see lines of aircraft going back 20 miles. Having been based there for 25 years, it was always with a warm feeling that one threw oneself into the welcoming arms of ‘Heathrow Director’, confident that spacing would be such that, when your turn actually arrived, no matter how close to touch down it might seem, 99.9% of the time, ‘Clear to Land’ would be forthcoming from the tower - and that really meant "Clear to Land" :D- not "Hope it will be OK when you get there"!