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No landing clearance on short final

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No landing clearance on short final

Old 8th Dec 2009, 10:10
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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oh for the days when we had very (sp??) pistols and flares.... I liked the red ones best (and the bird scaring cartridges were excellent for stirring up RFS early on a sunday morning)
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Old 8th Dec 2009, 10:42
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Whilst I think most people would accept that the "book answer" is to go-around, in the real World the scenario is not always straightforward.

Would the answer be the same if a flight had been holding for 20mins on a gin clear day and in the event of a go-around (if communication could be re-established) a "pan" would have to be declared because of the fuel state? What if the flight had held for a bit longer and a "mayday" would be required in the event of a missed approach?

Would the flight do the same on a CAT3 day?

Would the answer change with the location of the airport? Geneva has a very long missed approach procedure and lots of terrain around. Would I want to commit myself to another 10-15 minutes flight with an as yet potentially undiagnosed problem? Would I feel the same if I could detect the meerest whiff of hot electrical components?

What about Madrid? The techniques and knowledge levels of the ATCOs there fall some way short of what we as pilots would like under normal conditions. Would it be safer to land on a long, apparently clear runway or to throw ourselves back into the sky without being able to tell them where we are going or why?

Having said all that. A simple blocked frequency on short final with no other complication should in my opinion result in a go-around.

G W-H
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Old 8th Dec 2009, 12:23
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Just to be the devil's advocate... You are on final with a "late landing clearance" due, no doubt to heavy traffic flow and lose comms. The problem with your landing clearance must be either the plane "line up and wait" or the one plane ahead who is either slow clearing or you are close behind. You watch the plane ahead lift or watch the guy ahead vacate the runway. There is little guidance as to how you would re-enter the busy traffic flow without comms. I'd think landing might be better than going around especially if doing so will result in a conflict in the case of the plane ahead taking off.

As the previous poster said, the real world is not so easy.

GF

This is a hardy perennial topic, too.
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Old 8th Dec 2009, 17:18
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Giles W-H, the answer to your postulations is as I suggested in an earlier response. If you have a problem, fuel shortage smell of hot electrics or whatever, then you are arguably "Compelled to land." In which case flash the landing lights or nav lights and land; but expect to be met by the fire service and be ready to fill in a form or two. Otherwise you got it right in your last sentence. We all know that the real world throws up conundrums which the "book" does not answer, that's why we not only learn from the book but also ( hopefully ) from experience.
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Old 8th Dec 2009, 17:39
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Heathrow Director
Tarq57.. Lucky you, still having Aldis lamps. Sadly, they were withdrawn from some major UK airports about 30 years ago.
Yip...that's probably where ours came from...they all look AT LEAST 30+ years old!!
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Old 8th Dec 2009, 19:08
  #26 (permalink)  
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Additional Risks

There also could be another airplane on short final above or behind you which has a clearance to land which may or may not have been intended for him. You also might be lined up on the wrong runway or going wrong-way on the runway. You also might be at the wrong airport and thats why no radio reception. And a few others.
 
Old 8th Dec 2009, 20:45
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by slackie
Yip...that's probably where ours came from...they all look AT LEAST 30+ years old!!
The one on our cab looks to be exactly the same as when I first used it, as a nerdy cadet. So it's probably at least that old.(They built stuff well, back then!) (If only some of the gear we use now was that well built.)
Originally Posted by zkpjm
oh for the days when we had very (sp??) pistols and flares.>
Yep. OSH has certainly knocked that one on the head! Probably just as well. I wouldn't have killed myself sooner or later...Ever try firing a shotgun cartridge out of a bird scaring pistol?
It can be spelt Very or Verey, according to Google and Biggles.
Originally Posted by galaxy flyer
..<As the previous poster said, the real world is not so easy.

GF

This is a hardy perennial topic, too.
It is. Probably as pertinent now as ever, since radio technology shows no sign of changing. Here's a similar thread from a year and a half ago. Still valid.
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Old 8th Dec 2009, 22:11
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Hey, we've still got Verey pistols, red & green flares AND signal lights!

Have to say though, to use the pistol you need to grab it & a handful of flares, run down the stairs, out of the door, up some stairs, along a balcony (leaning sideways as you go past the VCR), down another flight of stairs & out onto the big balcony before you even get to load!

ap
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Old 9th Dec 2009, 09:31
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Yep. OSH has certainly knocked that one on the head! Probably just as well. I wouldn't have killed myself sooner or later...Ever try firing a shotgun cartridge out of a bird scaring pistol?
It can be spelt Very or Verey, according to Google and Biggles.
Since when were you every nerdy????
Yup I have but not as effective as firing a lamson tube holder out of the nozzle of a CO2 fire extinguiser eh????? And you would know all about that wouldn't ya

ps. sorry about the thread creep.....
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Old 9th Dec 2009, 11:14
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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I once spent an enjoyable afternoon with a verey pistol and a box of flares at one of the remoter northern outposts of Britain. We had been supplied with the pistol and ammo but discovered that the ammo was somewhat elderly and perhaps beyond it's use by date. Being so far from places like the coastguard or military who might safely have disposed of same, our illustrious leader decided it should all be fired off. Some worked, some partially misfired by which I mean the flare exited the muzzle at rather less than the desired velocity and some didn't work at all. The latter of course now provided a rather more immediate problem. This problem was rather smartly passed on to the fire service, who had no more clue what to do with misfires than we in ATC did.
Incidentally did you know that french and british verey pistols are of very slightly different calibre, I think 11/2 inch and 38mm. Close but enough to cause a jam if the discrepancy is the wrong way round. I discovered this in the Condominium of the New Hebrides as when I was there the the pistol was supplied by one colonial power and the ammo by the other.
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Old 9th Dec 2009, 12:22
  #31 (permalink)  
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If I werre 100% sure it was clear, I'd land.

Sort it out later. Probably ATC's fault anyway!
 
Old 9th Dec 2009, 14:07
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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It might make sense if LHR, FRA and probably a few others would "see the light" and do like the French at CDG who have now for a few years issued landing clearances on first contact with the tower, USA style. Works well.

Getting landing clearances below 500 (or even below 200) is just ridiculous and adds to workload for the flight crew and increased stress level, totally unjustified, especially when you have a dedicated landing runway (LHR normally).
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Old 9th Dec 2009, 20:16
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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It might make sense if LHR, FRA and probably a few others would "see the light" and do like the French at CDG who have now for a few years issued landing clearances on first contact with the tower, USA style. Works well.
Not exactly fail safe though.
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Old 9th Dec 2009, 21:00
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by oceancrosser
Getting landing clearances below 500 (or even below 200) is just ridiculous and adds to workload for the flight crew and increased stress level, totally unjustified, especially when you have a dedicated landing runway (LHR normally)
I sure don't speak for London, but in general ATC terms. Would you rather have an extra 30 min in a holding pattern, or on the ground at departure aerodrome, in order that you could be guaranteed a landing clearance at, say, 1000' or above?
Because, simply, that's the choice at a busy place.
A/c lands. Next one is 3 or 4 miles behind. A/c #1 vacates. Next a/c cleared to land, at ~1 nm final. (300').
Of course, if the airlines demand it, or the regulator requires it, we can space them out ~6nm apart on final, to ensure you get your landing clearance at a reasonable height.
Which will mean fewer aeroplanes per hour, thus extra holding. Maybe a lot of extra holding.
You choose.
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Old 9th Dec 2009, 21:55
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by zkpjm
Since when were you every nerdy????
I can do nerdy. (Now.)
When I was a cadet I don't seriously think I was cool enough to qualify as nerdy.
Have you ever hear the phrase "The geek shall inherit the Earth"?

Of course, the truly nerdish use Linux, or Ubuntu. I am barely fluent in Windows.

Lamson tubes launched from the nozzle of a CO2 extinguisher? Wouldn't know what you're talking about.:
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Old 9th Dec 2009, 22:25
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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I'm struggling to believe this discussion has lasted more than 3 or 4 replies... it's quite straight forward. No landing clearance = do not land. Simple as.

If I haven't managed to get a landing clearance in on the R/T due to being too busy, I'd consider that my fault for not adequately prioritising, or not grabbing some verbose pilot and tellign them to standby, in no uncertain terms. If Mr D Umbass started giving me a life story on a busy frequency resulting in me missing a chance to give a landing clearance, I'd make Mr Umbass very aware of this fact.

In a slightly different case, consider aircraft 1 on VHF and aircraft 2 on UHF. Aircraft 1 is at 3 miles final with a clear runway ahead, however not yet with clearance. Aircraft 2 is at 6 miles and declares a mayday. Aircraft one, being VHF has no idea what is happening behind. However, if I have aircraft 2 declaring a mayday I'm going to be busy straight away, most likely alerting the crash vehicles. If I do not have time to tell aircraft 1 to go around, I expect them to do exactly that in the absence of a clearance. Should this aircraft subsequently land without clearance, the Captain is to expect major paperwork, and possibly a large jet with no brakes crashing into his ar$e.

As for 'assuring yourself that the runway is clear' - well, if that was the case there would be no need for ATC. If there is a fire on an aircraft on the other side of the runway to the fire section, I would be giving the crash crews priority over pretty much any aircraft to use the runway. If bandboxing gnd and twr, then obviously my main effort would be acknowledging and dealing with the emergency on gnd.

If you are arriving with an emergency, on the other hand, then I have no issues with the pilot doing what they consider best in order to maintain the safety of those on the aircraft and on the ground. That's why they get paid the mega-bucks.

My point is this - ATC knows what is happening on the runway/s at all times - if they do not give you clearance to use the runway, there is most likely a good reason, and you are to go around. We all make mistakes, but neglecting to give a landing clearance in the absence of a good reason is nearly unforgiveable.

I realise that I hold a very direct view on the subject, but as with a number of things in aviation, these rules are in place for the safety of all concerned. Breaking these rules as you see fit is not only unacceptable, but dangerous.

My 2c.

GBOACdave
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Old 9th Dec 2009, 22:50
  #37 (permalink)  
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Nice to read that some of you understand that my question was (even if sounded stupid) was not for a normal situation. (We can remove the temp block freq from the discussion). I just think it will probably be a more interesting day for the controller having an aircraft with no radio making a go-around in his/her busy airspace not knowing exactly what the next intentions of the pilots are, (except for airports like AMS with specific local procedure) instead of an aircraft following the normal traffic flow and land. (If the runway is clear of course).
Regarding the issue if the runway is clear or not, I don't think the controller would allow anything out on the runway when there is an aircraft on short final with no com (or with com if that matters) or I'm I wrong? So this leaves us the option that something is still occupying the runway or entering without clearance, and for this occasion I think the ATC and the pilots have probably equal view of the situation.

Does it matter how far out the aircraft is on approach when losing communication? If we go as far as en-route, then you are expected to land (without a landing clearance) and not execute a go-around.
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Old 10th Dec 2009, 08:26
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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how does the controller know for sure there is nothing on the runway.
Management of runway occupancy has been the very raison d'etre of an 'ATCO' since the day that more than one aircraft wished to operate from the same runway.
'The Runway' is THE most highly sought-after piece of 'airspace'.
In Air Traffic Control runway occupancy is managed to the highest possible degree because there is no margin for error. Or even DIY landing clearances.

I don't think the controller would allow anything out on the runway when there is an aircraft on short final with no com (or with com if that matters) or I'm I wrong?
Which would also include ANOTHER aircraft on short final with no com! There is always, at least, the risk of an incursion, an emergency runway crossing requirement, a late report of a broken pit-cover etc.
The captain of the aircraft on final without the landing clearance (for whatever reason) CANNOT know the full picture and DOES NOT have complete information. To land would be reckless.

As BOAC has written:
No landing clearance = do not land. Simple as.
Why is this difficult to understand?
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Old 10th Dec 2009, 10:50
  #39 (permalink)  
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Talkdown man.

'Why is this so difficult to understand?' Well, it's not.

So lets say you go around. still no clearance the next time. Go around again. Then what? Another GA?

You've got to land. So land!

They pay the money for the pilot to make the call. A go around is not risk free. or cost free.

OK you might have a B-52 up yer arse. with no brakes. on UHF. And ATC are keeping it a secret.

More likely ATC forgot to call you!

Edit to add. This obsession with going around is going to get folk killed in the end. You problems don't end if you GA. Obviously there are plenty problems that a GA will cure, but there are some that will be made a lot worse. Look at that RYR that tried a GA after losing an engine on short final.

I accept that is a different arguament from this thread.
 
Old 10th Dec 2009, 11:03
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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I would consider to land for the reasons stated by Barbie.
Read your lost coms procedure: eventually you land at an airport, without specific clearance. So why add risk by going around, back into IMC, flying through busy airspace without radio, disrupting the whole ATC system, just to follow the lost comms procedure which ends in an uncleared landing anyway? Whilst you see a perfectly clear runway ahead of you?

You are the PIC, you look outside, you decide.
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