View Full Version : UA2864 HKG CFIT incident

24th Nov 2021, 02:44
I’m actually surprised that I didn’t read about it here on Pprune first:

On Monday 15th earlier this week, a Boeing 777, operated by United Airlines, departed Hong Kong International Airport with an unapproved early turn towards the mountainous terrain of Lan Tau Island.

The flight, which was operated by United Airlines, was a Boeing 777-322ER with a cargo configuration with the callsign UA2864. Cleared for an OCEAN 2A Standard Instrument Departure(SID)[1], the flight took off from Runway 07R at 4:05 pm local time as instructed initially, until it made an unapproved right turn towards the mountains of Lan Tau Island promptly after liftoff. The aircraft flew overhead the locally famous country trail Lo Fu Tau at 3764ft, where the highest point of Lan Tau Island stands at 3068ft. It was reported by local media that Hong Kong tower immediately issued a warning and assigned a corrective heading for the 777 to follow. The flight departed Hong Kong to Tokyo without further reported incidents.

Eerily similar to the Atlas incident mentioned in the article.

Source: https://travelradar.aero/united-airlines-boeing-777-near-cfit-hong-kong/amp/

24th Nov 2021, 07:22
There is very little variety in the early part of the 07R departures out of HKG, direct to PORPA below 5000' is the first stage of each one so it's not as if the wrong SID would have done it. Even if a 07L departure was inserted by mistake it would turn the aircraft to the left, not the right.

Is something in the software causing aircraft to not overfly the initial waypoint properly ?

24th Nov 2021, 07:34
That sounds a lot more dramatic than it actually was. Looking a google maps, the highest point of the trail less than 1500ft, so they were above it by more than 2200 ft. Glideslope interception is often lower than that...

24th Nov 2021, 07:40
Still a bit of a :bored: though….I don’t remember much these days but one thing I do remember was that whenever I briefed before departing HKG off of 07 R my “bullet” point” was that if we had any problem immediately after takeoff, or even no problem at all, we had to make sure we didn’t swing right early, we had go to PORPA…be interesting to see the factors that led to the reported UA incident.

Capt Fathom
24th Nov 2021, 08:30
Glideslope interception is often lower than that...

Except they weren’t following a glide slope. They were fortunate in out-climbing rising terrain.

24th Nov 2021, 11:16
Happened to a BA jumbo a fair few years ago. They had to reprogram the departure, put 'PORPA' into the box with the necessary restrictions but forgot to make it an overfly waypoint.

The aircraft turned before the waypoint in order to intercept the outbound track to the next point and gave them an EGPWS pull up!

Often briefed when departing HKG.

24th Nov 2021, 15:35
Didn't actually CFIT though, did it - thankfully!

Some years ago I was duty SAR crew and waiting to depart in an SK-76 from Kai Tak airport, under a solid and very well defined cloud base of about 650 - 700 feet. I was holding for a B747 on the RWY 13 IGS and was watching for it to come out of the cloud and hopefully land. They didn't appear as expected; instead they called "Going around" and just as they did, I saw the port wing and the number one engine come out of the cloud - instead of turning right to the south over the low ground and the harbour, they were turning LEFT towards the 1800 foot high hills, only 2nms to the north of the "Chequer Board". Thankfully, ATC called them, telling them to immediately turn to the south. After what was probably a short pause, but what seemed a long one, they acknowledged and the aircraft came right over us on the north side, back in cloud. My heart was in my mouth for a couple of minutes (and no doubt ATC were the same) but I never saw any written reports about that particular incident.