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QF near miss over Great Australian Bight

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QF near miss over Great Australian Bight

Old 20th Sep 2013, 05:21
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QF near miss over Great Australian Bight

ABC News Radio reporting a 'near miss' with 'evasive action' being required between two QF flights SY-PH and PH-SY about midday (presumably AEST) today.

Flight aware shows what looks like TCAS climb from QF576 at about 10.41 but I can't immediately find anything which looks like it was conflicting?

UTR

Last edited by UnderneathTheRadar; 20th Sep 2013 at 05:45.
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Old 20th Sep 2013, 05:29
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I wonder if Scott was driving. Through no fault of his own he seems to attract a lot of "incomming"...or is that me
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Old 20th Sep 2013, 05:43
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QF near miss over Great Australian Bight

Perhaps a RR-powered non-ADSB B767 was the other... won't be seen on Flight Aware and other such sites
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Old 20th Sep 2013, 06:11
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Qantas planes in 'near-miss' over Great Australian Bight - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

"I sort of thought, I presumed, an airpocket - but it really wasn't bumpy like an airpocket, it was a smoother sort of drop.Apart from that, no, we had a beautiful landing and the crew were all fine and we certainly didn't think of anything else."
bbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb
mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

Last edited by TWT; 20th Sep 2013 at 06:26.
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Old 20th Sep 2013, 07:24
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Afternoon news seems to suggest that it was an RA that was triggered after one aircraft was given a climb clearance. Crew took appropriate action. Pax being interviewed at airport said didn't really notice anything but saw other aircraft pass. No hysterics, no "I thought I was gonna die" stuff, lots of file footage of A380s' landing and taking off. Usual media guff. Lets move on to next story.
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Old 20th Sep 2013, 08:18
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I can't believe the continuing resistance from just about all quarters to mandatory offset tracking. It's not as though there haven't been well-publicised tragedies - (Saudia out of Delhi, Luftwaffe/USAF(?) pax flights off the west African coast, the Brazilian 'incident') - all of which would not have occurred if offsetting was encouraged or even better, mandated.

How many times a day do airline crew see opposite direction traffic pass EXACTLY over or under them? Before INS/GPS, we were all over the sky. (On the way back from Perth, I can remember one night seeing the TAA 727 supposedly on the same track as us approaching Mt Hope at almost 90 degrees to our track.)

Today, everyone is EXACTLY on track. We rabbit on about "the Swiss cheese model" in CRM and everything else in aviation, but with navigation, we daily allow all the 'holes' to be super-accurately lined up and rely upon the very last 'piece of cheese' - TCAS (forget about the human eye - without movement, you probably won't see the other aircraft until it's too late).

Standing by to be told (as I have been before when ranting about this topic) that I don't know what I'm talking about.
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Old 20th Sep 2013, 08:25
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so funny qantas put out a statement "passengers where not at risk" the planes crossed 200m apart at what point are they at risk? a tcas ra?
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Old 20th Sep 2013, 08:53
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so funny qantas put out a statement "passengers where not at risk" the planes crossed 200m apart at what point are they at risk? a tcas ra?
I would be more amused if Qantas put out a statement saying that passengers came within seconds of a mid-air.

Had to laugh at the news tonight, one pax knew something was wrong when the seat belt sign went on 30 minutes before landing in Perth. Must have been a fast flight.
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Old 20th Sep 2013, 08:57
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I just thank "All Mighty" that we still have Avionic guys at QF (all be it for the moment) looking after TCAS system that just saved 500 souls from oblivion over the Bite.
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Old 20th Sep 2013, 09:12
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Strange, the ABC have just reported that the TCAS in one was NOT operational or NOT working correctly.
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Old 20th Sep 2013, 09:24
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Investigation: AO-2013-161 - Loss of separation between Airbus A330 VH-EBO and Airbus A330 VH-EBS near Adelaide SA on 20 September 2013

The flight crew of EBS received a resolution advisory alert[3] from their aircraft’s traffic collision avoidance system.
No mention of an RA alert being received on EBO
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Old 20th Sep 2013, 09:28
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TCAS U/S? Surely not. Oh well, the aircraft with the allegedly busted hardware couldn't have been an A380, they are part of the new age "don't require maintenance and don't break aircraft" aren't they?
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Old 20th Sep 2013, 09:29
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Thumbs up

Here here Andu!!!

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Old 20th Sep 2013, 09:50
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I guess Andu that if mandatory offset tracking were to be implemented, that airspace in Aus (and indeed the world) would have to be completely redesigned starting with the terminals. A lot of the airspace where I work is designed around aircraft being on track give or take 1/2 a mile, and the resulting off track scenario means that separation standards may not be provided.

Thats no reason not to implement it, but did anyone ask if either of these aircraft were track shortened any length? if they were then they may have not been on an air route and offset wouldnt matter at all. *generally* if things are kept on the rails, these types of things tend not to happen (having no idea the lead up to the incident).

Were the aircraft within surveillance coverage or was this a procedural error? There is a lot to consider before people start getting their pitchforks out.
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Old 20th Sep 2013, 10:06
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Another thing about offset tracking is that it only helps on two way routes, which are pretty rare in my part of the world, and something to be avoided if possible.

Edited to add:10W of AD, I would imagine they were on radar.

Re TCAS maybe EBS received a RA to climb, while EBO just got "continue descending"? Is it possible for one TCAS to generate a RA while the other gives a TA?

Last edited by Nautilus Blue; 20th Sep 2013 at 10:16.
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Old 20th Sep 2013, 10:11
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TCAS U/S? Surely not. Oh well, the aircraft with the allegedly busted hardware couldn't have been an A380, they are part of the new age "don't require maintenance and don't break aircraft" aren't they?
And don't require Avionics technicians either. No compromise on safety at all.
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Old 20th Sep 2013, 10:24
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The "incident" was just after 02:10 UTC over the Gulf of St Vincent.
This report in The Australian seems to be about as accurate as any I have heard or seen.
Cookies must be enabled. | The Australian
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Old 20th Sep 2013, 11:08
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My suggestion is that it be used above FL200. I know it doesn't help with crossing traffic, but with crossing traffic, you have to be really unlucky - to have the fatal encounter at that exact moment the two aircraft cross tracks. With opposite direction traffic, you're both there on exactly the same track for hours on end.

Australian ATC have assured me that they would have to completely re-draw the airways to implement it, but elsewhere in the world, ATC aren't too bothered by it. Crossing the Atlantic using NATS tracking, possibly one of the busiest and most critical areas of airspace in the world, allows up to 2NM right of track without informing ATC (but rest assured, they can see you're doing it). It's just that so very few pilots use it.

My last 20 years of flying was mostly outside Australia, and flights in Europe, Asia and North and South America quite frequently operate on the same route in both directions. It was my habit, particularly on climb and descent, to kick in a right offset the moment ATC informed me of opposite direction traffic (that I had to sight/pass before being allowed to continue the climb or descent). This not only gave an added safety factor, but assisted in seeing the opposite direction traffic because of the relative movement, which was minimal to zero if the traffic was coming right at you.

The tracking tolerances of enroute airways are such that 1NM offset if used by any GPS-equipped aircraft would not put the aircraft off airways. I am not advocating the use of offset in terminal areas or if direct tracking.

But as I say, there seems to be enormous resistance to it.

Change of subject: someone can (will) correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that this particular incident was caused by one aircraft being cleared to climb to 2000' below the opposite direction traffic's cruising altitude. However,the PiC of the aircraft cleared to climb did so in VNAV or FLCH, resulting in such a high rate of closure with the other aircraft that the TCAS quite correctly saw the rate of closure as being inside its RA parameters and gave the correct warning to stop the climb. Offset tracking would, in most (but not all) cases prevent this, but an even better fix (and one that simply had to be used in Heathrow airspace) is to use VS mode with a lower rate of climb inserted to give the TCAS vertical mode a set of figures that would not result in an RA.

The purists worry about the use of VS in case someone forgets they're in a degraded level of automation and leaves it in in a situation where the VS the pilot has inserted is greater than the RoC that VNAV or FLCH is demanding. My reply to that is that, while I understand that flight departments have to write SOPS to cover a worst case situation, if they don't allow a pilot the latitude to use his aircraft to best advantage, they're doing themselves and their pilots no favours. I have some sympathy for the poor buggers writing the SOPS, particularly since today we have lawyers lining up to find fault at every step, but the use of VS in these circumstances has a lot of advantages - advantages that I think override the "maximum level of automation at all times" argument.

I think the use of VS in an all-engine overshoot/missed approach (after the initial climb is established) has similar advantages - it slows down to a manageable rate what for many pilots is a very busy (and all too often one they screw up) procedure. The recent Air France incident at JFK comes immediately to mind.
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Old 20th Sep 2013, 12:18
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Nautilus

Re TCAS maybe EBS received a RA to climb, while EBO just got "continue descending"? Is it possible for one TCAS to generate a RA while the other gives a TA?

Yes. TCAS can generate different commands in different aircraft if the situation is line ball proximate/conflict.
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Old 20th Sep 2013, 12:34
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LiveATC archive has a couple of snippets from the pilots. Sounds like TCAS working on both at the time - 581 reported RA, 576 reported clear of conflict returning to FL390.

I was working 576 a couple of hours later on descent into PH and had been told TCAS US by that time... Perhaps they're a one use item?

Originally Posted by Andu
someone can (will) correct me if I'm wrong, but I understand that this particular incident was caused by one aircraft being cleared to climb to 2000' below the opposite direction traffic's cruising altitude
ATSB bulletin (supported by the snippets available on LiveATC) says that 576 was level at FL390, 581 at FL380 requested FL400 which was immediately issued, then cancelled a few seconds later. 581 responded to RA whilst on descent back to FL380. Climb re-issued some minutes later.

Last edited by TrenShadow; 20th Sep 2013 at 12:38. Reason: reply to Andu
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