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No landing clearance on short final

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No landing clearance on short final

Old 13th Dec 2009, 21:13
  #61 (permalink)  
BarbiesBoyfriend
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Com

If you were 100% sure it was clear, and you landed, you have demonstrated good airmanship. At least IMHO.

Go around, into a rats nest of no comms, no seperation guidance, maybe no squawk and no TCAS.

Who knows the outcome?

Got a clear runway in front of you?

Land.

Game over.
 
Old 13th Dec 2009, 21:31
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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The third directive for Air Traffic Controllers is to expedite and maintain a safe, orderly and efficient flow of air traffic. The first two are something about preventing collisions.

We are going to know you are on the way, and of course, a high percentage of the time the runway will be solely available to you, comms or no comms, by the time you get to short final. That's what an orderly flow is all about.
A very small percentage of the time something unexpected will occur, like previous vacating aircraft having a steering or brake problem, or previous departing aircraft aborting from close to V1. Or rescue vehicles having to cross the runway at short notice. Or the tower misjudging the space available, cutting it a bit fine.
This sort of thing maybe requires a go round from an aircraft on short final, heck, I don't know, maybe 0.05% of the time? 0.01? Say 1 in three thousand. Seems to happen about once or twice a week. In the case of rescue vehicles making a short notice emergency cross, probably less than once a month. (I chose that case last, because that is the one you are least likely to perceive until it's too late; the one that is most likely to kill you. An aircraft slow to vacate, you should see and take appropriate action. An aircraft aborting...hard to discern what's happening straight away, but you should still see what is happening in time.)

Would you spend, say, $200 for a one in nine thousand chance of winning enough money in a lottery to keep you and loved ones in a state of luxury till the end of your days? I would. I bet you would, too.

Take those odds-admittedly arbitrary- and apply them to the reverse circumstance, where if that one in nine thousand number comes up, you die.

You can argue the AIP contents and interpretation from both sides, successfully, I reckon. Not even going to go there. If you want to, to prove a point, go for it. We need more regulation to plug any perceived loopholes or grey areas, and that is probably what will happen, in the absence of good airmanship.

Last edited by Tarq57; 13th Dec 2009 at 21:52.
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Old 13th Dec 2009, 21:43
  #63 (permalink)  
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Tarq

Quite a good post until that last catty line.

I could be equally catty and point out that the worst thing that could happen to you, would be for you to spill your coffee. Whereas......

Personally, I rue the day that the mandatory PPL for ATCers was withdrawn.
 
Old 13th Dec 2009, 21:52
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Tarq

Quite a good post until that last catty line.
This is true. I shall remove it. It was a knee-jerk response to your earlier post, and inappropriate.
Personally, I rue the day that the mandatory PPL for ATCers was withdrawn
So do I. I was on the 2nd last course to get the full 60hr training. I've done about 450hr since then, as PIC or dual training.
Lots of controllers still fly. Could be more, though.
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Old 13th Dec 2009, 21:58
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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Barbie,

The worst thing that can happen to a controller, far from spilling their coffee, is being knifed to death by an irate parent of a child killed in accident attributed (right or wrongly) to an ATC error! So far, THAT has happened twice.

If you were 100% sure it was clear, and you landed, you have demonstrated good airmanship
So how, exactly, can you determine that it's 100% clear and there's nothing about to enter the runway?

Are you seriously suggesting that, if you couldn't recieve landing clearance because of a blocked frequency, you would just land anyway?

I'm afraid your attitude towards ATC leaves a lot to be desired....maybe you think we'd be better off just looking after ourselves?
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Old 13th Dec 2009, 21:58
  #66 (permalink)  
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Tarq

Rog.
 
Old 13th Dec 2009, 22:11
  #67 (permalink)  
BarbiesBoyfriend
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Com!

Yup.

Com. Use your eyes! It's either clear or it isn't! If there is no fecker near the runway or looking like they might infringe it, LAND FFS!

Re spilled coffee.
I agree. And even before I typed that post I could hear( in advance) your reply re the DHL accident.

Saddest thing I've seen in air transport.

So. I give way on that one. That is the worst thing that could happen.

Now, on your other q.

I'm no better than the next guy, I've got about 10000 hrs. Al of it on regional ops, so prolly 10000 landings and about the same number of takeoffs.

Been all 'round Europe and started off with Loganair in Scotland.

Flown in the shittiest of wx to lots of shitty wee airfields with the least navaids. Done loads of proc VORs, NDBs and DME arcs with no autos or flight directors or FA.

Still think a visual is the best approach of all.

If I can see the runway, and see it's clear. I'm landing.

If I cant, or it isn't..I'm going around.

If I'm not sure....I'm going around.

And that, I can assure you, is that.


What do you mean by 'looking after yourselves'?

What purpose do you have apart from looking after us?

Get your Social Worker to look after you!

Mine says I'm special.

Last edited by BarbiesBoyfriend; 13th Dec 2009 at 23:10.
 
Old 13th Dec 2009, 23:34
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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The correct procedure would be to conduct a missed approach when a landing clearance is not available due to a blocked frequency. Continuing to land would be a violation (a deliberate mistake), which would be the cause of an accident/incident if there was a reason to withhold a landing clearance.

It's so easy for the more experienced practitioners of aviation to become complacent or not keep up with the rules. I am always so impressed to meet people who have been in the game for ages who combine the many advantages of experience with a healthy respect for the rules and regs.
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Old 14th Dec 2009, 00:33
  #69 (permalink)  
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Pera

Yup. And it's so easy for the Rules to get in the way of the thing they were trying to regulate.

Personally, I rely on Airmanship and the books.

In that order.

Last edited by BarbiesBoyfriend; 14th Dec 2009 at 00:56.
 
Old 14th Dec 2009, 06:44
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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I think it is worth reminding ourselves that the original post effectively contained 2 questions. One concerned a blocked frequency and the other alluded to a communication failure. The answers to the 2 questions need not necessarily be the same.


loubylou, I wasn't suggesting comm failure had occured en-route, I was trying to demonstrate that the comm failure procedure allows me to land. If that reference was open to argument, may I offer:

4.2.4.1 A flight experiencing communication failure in IMC shall:


(d) (i) Arrange the flight to arrive over the appropriate designated landing aid serving the destination aerodrome as closely as
possible to the ETA last acknowledged by ATC. If no such ETA has been acknowledged, the pilot should use an ETA
derived from the last acknowledged position report and the flight-planned times for the subsequent sections of the flight.

Since I only pass position reports over the Atlantic/Africa, if I was coming into Heathrow from a European destination (as I believe would be the case for the person who posted the question) then I would use my take off time plus the summed leg times to provide my ETA at (say) LAM. 10 minutes holding can reasonably be expected (no EAT given) and it takes around 10 minutes to get from the hold to short final. We then have...

(f) ...if possible, land
within 30 minutes of the EAT or the calculated ETA.

Having used up 20 of my 30 minutes already and since it is possible to land as the runway is ahead of me and appears clear, I would suggest that the rules permit a landing. Furthermore, a go-around followed by the full procedure could well take more than 10 minutes.

There is no specific entry in the AIP for what to do if we lose comm on final having been told to expect a late landing clearance. The best we can do is to adhere to the communication failure procedure as closely as possible. As far as I can see, that would permit a landing. It is noteable that I can find nowhere in the AIP that specifies I must/should fly a missed approach.

Tarq57

You raise some pertinent points. I would suggest that an RTO or an aircraft slow to vacate would probably be visible from my seat and therefore I could react appropriately. For the case on the emergency vehicles wanting to cross the runway, I seems to me that good "controllership" would not let you allow them on to a runway upon which an aeroplane is clearly trying to land. Since I was told to expect a late landing clearance, I must be very close to landing, so I will not be a conflict to your vehicles for long.

G W-H
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Old 14th Dec 2009, 08:02
  #71 (permalink)  
 
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No landing clearance - don't land unless you have an emergency which prevents you from going around. Follow the relevant procedures, those which are published so that everyone involved knows what is going on.
You can't 'know' the runway is clear unless you are told by ATC that you are cleared to land. You might think you can see it's clear, and sure enough you have a great view usually allowing you to see there are no aircraft/vehicles etc on it.
But, you don't know about the large bit of metal that a ground vehicle has just spotted, or the three kids who've just jumped the perimeter fence and are heading for the runway, or the drunk on a bike who's approaching from behind a stationary vehicle, or the inexperienced pilot who's just got lost on a nearby taxiway not answering the radio, or the fact that your landing gear isn't down... need i go on? And before you ask, yes i have seen all those things happen, thankfully so far none of them combined with a radio failure aircraft which appears, despite the rules and all my expectations of what should happen, to be landing anyway!
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Old 14th Dec 2009, 08:27
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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Because I often fly in the USA ... at a "towerless" field, with a common traffic frequency on which I and the others make "blind calls" then all of the possible consequences of the things outlined by possibleconsequences are out there waiting for me.

But because I am following the "relevant proceedure" which is (effectively) see and be seen, then they are part of the risk and are accepted and I have to be that bit more vigilant and aware.

However .. If I was at a controlled airfield and for whatever reason did not get landing clearance I would not land - simple as that.

I am really surprised this thread has lasted so long.
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Old 14th Dec 2009, 09:06
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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possibleconsequences

HEATHROW DIRECTOR has pointed out that EGLL no longer has an Aldis lamp and therefore cannot give a clearance to land if the aircraft has suffered a comm failure. We can't stay up there all day!

Can you show me the rule in the comm failure procedure which says that I must go-around if I lose the radio on short final on a day when I can see the runway and said runway is clear?

Perhaps it would be useful for the discussion to consider making the scenario more specific?

Lets suppose we are landing at EGLL/LHR 27R at 1455Z on a December day. We picked up info A before the descent giving: A 1350Z 27R 280/8 7km OVC009 1010. The flight plan ETA for LAM was 1435. INT N told up to expect 10-15mins delay and at 1447 we were told to complete the pattern and leave on a heading of 280 degrees. Normal vectoring applies. Listening to the R/T we note that we are following a BA callsign.

We are passed to TWR still in cloud at about 6dme and he tells us to continue approach. The weather is as forecast and just after 1000' we become visual with the runway and the aircraft ahead which is a 319. The traffic is cleared to land and in the next transmission we are told to expect a late landing clearance. (Maybe the A319 has a Vapp of 121kts and load factors are good on our PPRuNe Airways 757(?) so we are catching him up). The preceding traffic lands and makes for A9E. At 200' in accordance with PPRuNe Airways SOP the P2 says "decide", P1 says "land" and takes control. No landing clearance yet received, preceeding just vacating and noone OBVIOUSLY jumping the fence, screaming towards the runway with blue lights flashing etc.

P2 immediately calls TWR for clearance - no reply. I admit to not knowing enough about radios to know how a failure might present itself. Let us suppose that the intercom still works, but when we transmit on box 1, no side tone is heard. Looking at box 2 we see that it is still tuned to 121.5 and we are still monitoring it (though this is not required and the pilot in question normally deselects it on approach). Nothing has been heard on 121.5. P2 attempts to call both TWR frequencies on box 2 very quickly - no reply. We are now at 50' and the runway is still clear. The time is 1457Z. The TWR have no Aldis lamps.

Would considering this scenario be of any help to further the discussion?

G W-H
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Old 14th Dec 2009, 09:55
  #74 (permalink)  
 
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As a reply to the previous scenario:

In our airport this kind of situation is described so, that if no landing clearance is recieved on final approach until decision point, a/c commences go-around, proceeds via publised missed approach route, joins holding, tries to establish communication with ATC by all possible means, i mean cell phones, other freqs and so on, and after 1 holding pattern a/c is coming to land. That takes approx. 10 minutes or smthing like that, so TWR has the time to figure out what is going on, and take all appropriate measures to ensure that RWY WILL BE FREE when a/c touches down. Also EMER services are informed to ensure safety, because no-one on the ground knows why a/c commenced go-around, so we are prepared for the worse scenario...

In all cases - go around - even if you are 101% sure there's no-one on the RWY... If something still happens, it will be Your head that flies through the air, not Your aircraft...
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Old 14th Dec 2009, 11:19
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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hmm i'm a "go-arounder" by nature but i'm not a machine either, but in GW-H's scenario i would probably land. sometimes you just have to make that command decision that youre being paid to make having reviewed the facts available (albeit quickly).
a visually clear runway vs a circuit height cloud base at an airfeild busy enough to have radar etc.. and all the other stuff thats just waiting for you out there, i'll take my chances with the landing and argue that the radio silence slightly favours my systems being u/s and if i have to take the rap for it i will.

having said that if i land and some cheeky sod say "xxx your were not cleared to land, telephone tower once parked on bay" (have heard it happen before) then i think i will lose my temper before i lose anything else.

oh and its happened that on a decent day (wx) i've gone around at 50ft due to the app/control finding it more important to give aerodrome info to some chap 200miles out. the report writing isnt fun on that either.

my legislation says that nothing removes my right to deviate from the rules of the air and co. in the interests of safety of the a/c and so forth.
so, its decision time.
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Old 15th Dec 2009, 03:50
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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HEATHROW DIRECTOR says that the green Aldis lamp at Heathrow disappeared long ago but do they still have the red flare gun in case the 747 without clearance and without a working radio in G W-H's scenario above has also not spotted a 2 foot deep trench across the runway where a drain has just caved in ?

Or is there some other means to warn off impending disaster ?
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Old 16th Dec 2009, 16:35
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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To all the 'landers' What if the late landing clearance is because tower is aware of an emergency following you and he is waiting for a decision as to the a/cs intentions.The reason for a late landing clearance isn't always obvious to the pilot even though they think they have the whole picture. If you dont have a landing clearance by DH and don't have an emergency, then follow the missed app procedure.
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Old 16th Dec 2009, 18:36
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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Gunky Tom
If you dont have a landing clearance by DH and don't have an emergency, then follow the missed app procedure.
You've obviously never operated out of somewhere like LHR, where I would estimate 1 time in 20 you don't landing clearance until below 200ft, and sometimes not until literally in the flare.

As I said before, I think the US system of cleared to land as number 6 has some merits.
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Old 18th Dec 2009, 00:01
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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You've obviously never operated out of somewhere like LHR, where I would estimate 1 time in 20 you don't landing clearance until below 200ft, and sometimes not until literally in the flare.

As I said before, I think the US system of cleared to land as number 6 has some merits.
Exactly, if the Americans and the French can do it, and make it work, why can't the Brits? Or in VMC conditions use the term "land after"?

Once landing at LHR the tower controller asked the preceding to clear asap, then came on the frequency and asked us to continue for a very late landing clearance and said slowly: "I am going to keep the frequency blocked until the traffic is clear, no readback required, xxxair you are now cleared to land"

We were probably at about 20 feet at that time. Now, again which is better?
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Old 18th Dec 2009, 07:37
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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Once landing at LHR the tower controller asked the preceding to clear asap, then came on the frequency and asked us to continue for a very late landing clearance and said slowly: "I am going to keep the frequency blocked until the traffic is clear, no readback required, xxxair you are now cleared to land"

We were probably at about 20 feet at that time. Now, again which is better?
Not ideal, I agree, but the reason for the late landing clearance in this instance was obvious to the following crew, It is the pilots decision if he wants to go around so if you aren't happy,you can exercise that option. Re 'land after' , there is a distance criteria which must be met before this can be issued so if the preceeding a/c hasn't passed that point then it can't be used. Rules are rules. Common sense isn't an option anymore as if it doesn't work out, you will be hung out to dry

Last edited by GunkyTom; 19th Dec 2009 at 08:17. Reason: spelling
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