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Land without clearance

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Land without clearance

Old 9th Oct 2016, 11:19
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Land without clearance

Without going into too many specifics: Large international A/P - parallel runways (2), 1 for departures, 1 for arrivals (at the time - arrivals not busy), separate tower freqs., inbound airplane switched to tower as instructed but missed contacting tower. Landed no clearance. For sure crew dropped the ball, but what about tower (no contact)?


Your thoughts?
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Old 9th Oct 2016, 11:31
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If the inbound could not establish contact with the tower he should have reverted to the previous frequency. Not eminently sensible to land without clearance.
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Old 9th Oct 2016, 11:36
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Further explanation - airplane DID NOT attempt to contact tower - as in 'overlooked', 'forgot'.......
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Old 9th Oct 2016, 11:54
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Once landed at EWR without landing clearance it was 3.00am and the approach guy was as surprised as we were that it happened no repercussions ....happily
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Old 9th Oct 2016, 14:08
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Done it once, in the sandbox after an all-nighter, daylight and good viz.
Forgot to switch, no jail time, no nothing.
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Old 9th Oct 2016, 14:53
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Happens fairly regularly for various reasons. Risk is if ATC think that if no comms then the aircraft will definitely go-around. It might not.
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Old 9th Oct 2016, 16:13
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Was in the F/D of BAW B757 at AMS many moons ago when we took off without ATC clearance. Informed by ATC after take-off. Embarrassed apologies to the tower to which he replied, "I was monitoring you and would soon have stopped you if I would have had to". Slightly different scenario since we were of course on the correct frequency. I would assume that in this particular case the TWR would have been monitoring the arrival and, failing to have contact, ensured a clear runway.
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Old 9th Oct 2016, 16:38
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First - it's not a good thing. But we are all human and we can all screw up occasionally.

There's a big difference between a well-controlled environment where someone gets distracted and forgets to check in on frequency or to issue the clearance, or the frequency is too busy to get in, and an aircraft popping up without any prior warning and landing.

Different situations make the wisdom of deliberately continuing to land a better or worse option. As Daysleeper points out, if an aircraft has a radio failure, even if only temporarily, it can never be assured who will do what. A competent pilot or controller will have a plan B ready for relatively common situations like this.
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Old 9th Oct 2016, 19:27
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This happened to me with a BEA Viscount at Aberdeen in the 70s. I was on Tower, the BEA was transferred to me by APP at the ADN. I know that it was because the controller (Procedural) was sitting next to me. The pilot did not call me & I was intrigued to see when he would. There was no traffic to affect the a/c, so I didn't say anything & let it run.The pilot landed without a clearance to do so & made its first call to me clearing the r/w. I informed him of what had happened & he apologized. I reassured him that there was no real "incident" involved & safety had not been compromised. My concern was that he had learnt from the situation & would not let it happen again. I did not consider that anything was to be gained, in this case, from an official investigation.
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Old 10th Oct 2016, 09:37
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So, in case like this: not intentional, no loss of comm, on proper freq., should / could / would one expect the tower to speak up and try to contact the inbound?


Not trying to place blame, just trying to better understand from a ground perspective.


And no, also not a 'huge deal', no one hurt, nothing damaged, no 'close call' - similar - notified after landing initial call up of 'no clearance.....' Drat!


Again, thanks for inputs!
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Old 10th Oct 2016, 10:55
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There's always the possibility the pilot has some sort of problem and a call would distract the crew who are preparing for a 'dodgy' landing so provided safety is not compromised, I tend not to say anything until they actually land
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Old 10th Oct 2016, 12:49
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Originally Posted by slowto280 View Post
So, in case like this: not intentional, no loss of comm, on proper freq., should / could / would one expect the tower to speak up and try to contact the inbound?


Not trying to place blame, just trying to better understand from a ground perspective.


And no, also not a 'huge deal', no one hurt, nothing damaged, no 'close call' - similar - notified after landing initial call up of 'no clearance.....' Drat!


Again, thanks for inputs!
Although I did not say anything until after the landing, this was largely due to my curiosity as to what the pilot would do & to see when he would call me. The longer this went on, the more I was reluctant to call him - although I could have, at any time, called him with a landing clearance. I suppose that would have been the more professional thing to do but, as chevvron says, there was the thought that something may have happened on the a/c & "interference" from the ground would have exacerbated the situation. Anyway, I took the view that to say nothing & see what developed was what I would do (as there was no traffic to adversely affect the a/c). As far as I know , "everybody lived happily ever after!" In general, nowadays, I would expect the TWR to attempt to contact the a/c with a landing clearance - if the pilot had not solicited one.
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Old 10th Oct 2016, 14:19
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Controllers duty to show green lights and make blind transmission to land.period.
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Old 10th Oct 2016, 14:37
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Originally Posted by veloo maniam View Post
Controllers duty to show green lights and make blind transmission to land.period.
Fair point.
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Old 10th Oct 2016, 14:52
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<<Controllers duty to show green lights>>

I suspect that at many airfields green lights are things of the distant past.
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Old 10th Oct 2016, 16:51
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Green lights!!!! As the large A380 configures itself onto the ILS and the pilots continue to go through their landing checklist, they look out at the large 2 runway international airport, and see approach lights, taxiway lights, runway lights, strobes from taxiing aircraft, beacons flashing on the many ground vehicles moving around, headlights, not to mention street lights as the airport is surrounded by houses, and car headlights on the roads below.

But despite these many distractions our 2 super eagles eyed pilots spot a tiny steady green pin head of a light pointing directly towards them.

I guess we are cleared to land they say!!!!

It's another success story for ATC!!!
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Old 10th Oct 2016, 16:52
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I wonder whether the ATIS message at EGPF is included 'just in case the aerodrome controller is busy vectoring stuff on the ATM', or is that just me being cynical?
Curious as to why it's included though.
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Old 10th Oct 2016, 16:58
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Maybe only at Civilian ones.

Red and Green Aldis lamps and Verey flares still used by the Military!
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Old 10th Oct 2016, 17:12
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As a tower controller I would transmit blind, instruct a colleague to use Aldis lamp (however insignificant that might be!) and also contact approach to get him/her to transmit blind the landing clearance. Would also prep the operations dept to have a "follow me" vehicle on standby to lead aircraft to stand.
If runway not usable, for whatever reason, I would consider turning off the runway & approach lights in order to dissuade pilot from landing...
(+transmitting blind, red Aldis lamp, getting approach to transmit blind)
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Old 10th Oct 2016, 17:17
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Oh, and whilst the Aldis lamp has a lovely little target aiming sight I'm pretty sure it's not pinpoint accurate...you could always ask (if you're really bored!) on approach to get Tower to shine it at you...I'd be quite interested if it is obvious (or not) to you
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