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Sunshine Coast Airport Jetstar Mess

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Sunshine Coast Airport Jetstar Mess

Old 10th Jun 2020, 01:27
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Sunshine Coast Airport Jetstar Mess

No investigation of Fatigue in the report (again). I wonder how much runway they had left.

The flight crew of VH-VQG recorded the aerodrome wind direction as 230° (Magnetic) when planning their approach. However, local aerodrome wind direction was reported as 329° (Magnetic).
On the morning of 4 November 2019, an Airbus A320-200 aircraft, registered VH-VQG (VQG), was operating a scheduled passenger flight from Sydney, New South Wales, to Sunshine Coast, Queensland (Qld). As the aircraft was on final approach to land, a proximity event occurred with an Aero Commander 500 aircraft, registered VH-UJS (UJS), which was departing Sunshine Coast Airport on the reciprocal runway. The two aircraft paths converged, until the pilot of UJS conducted a right turn and increased the separation between them. The flight crew of VQG continued the approach and UJS continued to Maryborough, Qld, without further incident. The time of the incident was outside the operating hours of Sunshine Coast Airport air traffic control tower and it was therefore operating as a non-controlled aerodrome.

What the ATSB found

The ATSB found that important radio broadcasts made on the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) were not heard by the flight crew of VQG and the pilot of UJS regarding each other’s position and intention. These included the inbound broadcasts made by VQG and the take-off broadcast made by UJS. In addition, the flight crew of VQG determined the most suitable runway based on the radio-transmitted aerodrome weather information service. However, this was either recorded incorrectly or heard incorrectly such that the chosen runway was the less favourable of the two options for the wind direction. This resulted in the aircraft approaching the opposite runway to other aircraft at the time. Finally, the pilot of the departing aircraft did not confirm the location and intention of the inbound aircraft prior to commencing take-off, as it was assumed the inbound aircraft would use the most suitable runway for the conditions.

Safety message

When operating in uncontrolled airspace and around non-towered aerodromes, it is important to ensure that the location and intention of surrounding traffic is well understood and communicated prior to commencing take-off or landing.

The ATSB SafetyWatch highlights the broad safety concerns that come out of our investigation findings and from the occurrence data reported to us by industry. One of the safety concerns is safety around non-controlled aerodromes. The ATSB SafetyWatch page provides information and resources about staying safe around non-controlled aerodromes. In addition, the ATSB booklet A pilot’s guide to staying safe in the vicinity of non-controlled aerodromes outlines many of the common problems that occur at non-controlled aerodromes, and offers useful strategies to keep yourself and other pilots safe.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has also produced a resource booklet ‘be heard, be seen, be safe’ which is in relation to radio procedures in uncontrolled airspace, and highlights that radios must always be used in conjunction with a safe ‘see-and-avoid’ procedure.
wheels_down is offline  
Old 10th Jun 2020, 01:41
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We are supposed to learn lessons from incidents, that is how the industry develop the excellent safety record we enjoy. Sadly, ATSB reports are substandard and this is another example of an incomplete investigation.
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Old 10th Jun 2020, 01:42
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It beggars belief that the report wouldn’t actually provide the correct AWIS!
I’d say it’s pretty crucial to the findings and actions. It briefly mentions the correct wind direction but nothing else. Why not?

It’s completely reasonable to assume that since “both” the JQ crew heard and recorded a completely wrong wind direction, there was absolutely no way they could acceptably then rely upon their recorded wind strength either.

Going into a very short strip for a 320, you really want to know the tail wind strength (which they had assumed was a headwind until late final).

So in recognition that they had recorded an incorrect AWIS, it shocks me that “However, they assessed it was safer to continue with the approach due to the other aircraft ... de-conflicted with, and although there was a tailwind, it was assessed as within tolerance.“

Did they eyeball a max tailwind of 10kts versus say, 13kts? Did they disregard their wind direction, but still rely on their wind strength? (Without now knowing the direction). Seems pretty risky for a strip that definitely doesn’t allow for mucking around.

If I know there’s wind blowing there, and other aircraft are using the reciprocal runway, no way I’d be landing a 60T jet into Maroochy without sourcing the correct wind information. Would not be happy if I were to learn I was on that flight.
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Old 10th Jun 2020, 02:00
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both” the JQ crew heard and recorded a completely wrong wind direction
Well we don’t know that exactly. The report doesn’t offer any confirmation they both heard the reading. Or if one relayed the heading misheard wrong, to the other, who then just assumed it was right, when it wasn’t. Just more detail apart of a wider range of detail missing from the report.

I wonder if Jetstar conduct their own internal in depth investigation compared to the ATSB reports which are constantly full of holes. I just can’t imagine this would sit well with the Training Department, just accepting what little detail the bureau offers and move on.

When did the crew last sign off, what rest did they have, ATIS?, how many passengers onboard, how heavy, how much runway left, crew interviews.....is what you just expect in a FAA report.
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Old 10th Jun 2020, 02:56
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RPT operations into CTAFs.

Im surprised we haven’t had more incidents let alone fatalities.
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Old 10th Jun 2020, 02:58
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I find it odd that the Aero Commander acknowledged an inbound jet 8 miles North East, and decided to take off to the North about one minute later.

Without a quick CTAF call to check on position before rolling ?
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Old 10th Jun 2020, 03:31
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It reads like a minimum effort report when there are a number of issues that could have seen an accident with an RPT jet. Mid-air, wrong runway direction on a shitty short runway, RPT into CTAF again, mis heard, mis understood radio calls, assumptions made (we have all been there). The headline result from the ATSB was people should listen to things. What about discussing what defences were absent to stop the multitude of holes lining up particularly when people have a mental model made that’s isn’t correct. How stable was the approach and what was the tailwind and performance figures for the landing?
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Old 10th Jun 2020, 03:54
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I find it odd that the Aero Commander acknowledged an inbound jet 8 miles North East, and decided to take off to the North about one minute later. Without a quick CTAF call to check on position before rolling ?
UJS made all the correct calls so did VQG for that matter. The problem was UJS rolling call was at the same time centre kept calling VQG so they didn't hear it as they would have been talking to centre. It took UJS 90 seconds from taxi call to airborne. In that time VQG was dealing with two other aircraft and talking to centre. My guess would be that VQG crew weren't expecting UJS to get airborne that quick
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Old 10th Jun 2020, 04:05
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Possibly confused when ATC said the jet was due “about 36” and also get their compass quadrants ass about?

Mistook this as using runway 36.

It wouldn’t be the first time a pilot has got their heads and tails confused.
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Old 10th Jun 2020, 04:09
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The AC500 wouldn't have been a 'gun runner' by any chance? They are observed to not hang around on the ground for very long after engine start!

CC
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Old 10th Jun 2020, 05:24
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Another crazy example of how badly stuffed up the Australian airspace and it's arbiter CASA has become!
  • Apparently, at MCY, CASA OAR carried out one of their safety assessments based on the fact that either PT traffic movements or pax had passed the arbitrary limits decided by the Minister, Mr MacCormack, in the Australian Airspace Policy Statement (https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2018L01386), and decided MCY should be a controlled airport.
  • CASA OAR then designates the aerodrome to be controlled, but ignores it's responsibility under the Airspace Regulations 2007 Paragraph 2d (https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/F2019C00278) to set the times the tower should be operating. It hands it over to Airservices, another agency managed by the Minister who no doubt offered to cover all the PT schedules. If, however, JQ says they do not want to have the tower on duty because (in the Australian system) they have to pay for it, the Federal Governemnt (CASA and Airservices) are happy to leave the JQ passengers in the lurch to save Alan Joyce a couple of dollars. It does this REGARDLESS of the safety assessment that was made in the first place!
  • OAR also has the option to impose Class E airspace when the Tower is not on duty, as occurs in advanced aviation nations. (you've heard that phrase "world's best practice", no doubt). There is no technical reason why Brisbane Centre should not also have an anomometer read-out from MCY so the correct wind could have been passed
  • Now that may not have mitigated this issue because it seems that the Commander was VFR, and could depart witha tail wind if the pilot thought it benficial, however there is also a regulation in Part 139, allowing a UNICOM to operate on the CTAF. This allows anybody with an AROC, including the airport owner or Jetstar, to provide a limited service on the frequency that may or may not have mitigated this incident.
I am appalled that ATSB should just accept that the Government mandated airspace model should be allowed to pass without comment. You should look after your Boss - if there had been a mid-air then it would have been Mr. MacCormack's fault. The buck stops on his desk......
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Old 10th Jun 2020, 05:32
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Originally Posted by wheels_down View Post
Well we don’t know that exactly. The report doesn’t offer any confirmation they both heard the reading.
Yeah, we do:

“Prior to commencing the descent, both flight crewmembers of VQG independently listened to the Aerodrome Weather Information Service (AWIS) for Sunshine Coast Airport. Both reported hearing that the wind was from 230° (Magnetic) at 6 or 7 kt”

Reckon it’s a case or “fk, lets just say we both heard it, and the other aircraft must have been wrong”?
Why else would you tell an investigation you both independently listened, and came up with the same, wrong answer?
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Old 10th Jun 2020, 07:23
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Originally Posted by TimmyTee View Post
Yeah, we do:

“Prior to commencing the descent, both flight crewmembers of VQG independently listened to the Aerodrome Weather Information Service (AWIS) for Sunshine Coast Airport. Both reported hearing that the wind was from 230° (Magnetic) at 6 or 7 kt”

Reckon it’s a case or “fk, lets just say we both heard it, and the other aircraft must have been wrong”?
Why else would you tell an investigation you both independently listened, and came up with the same, wrong answer?
Its SOP at JQ for both pilots to independently listen to the AWIS to confirm its information. And if you've ever heard the MCY AWIS, it can sometimes not be the clearest when enunciating. Knowing the crew, I find it highly unlikely they just 'made it up' for the investigators, but either made a mistake or the AWIS had failed in some way.

We shouldn't be flying 320's into CTAFs, period.
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Old 10th Jun 2020, 07:48
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Won't be the first time the AWIS is nowhere near the actual wind indication. The wind may also have changed just as they were listening to it as well. Probably should have double checked the actual wind when it was not near the forecast though.
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Old 10th Jun 2020, 08:07
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Originally Posted by das Uber Soldat View Post
Knowing the crew, I find it highly unlikely they just 'made it up' for the investigators, but either made a mistake or the AWIS had failed in some way.

We shouldn't be flying 320's into CTAFs, period.
An incorrect AWIS that services RPT jets into a short strip is a pretty big threat.
And if they alternatively made a mistake, then how did they have any confidence to continue with no idea of wind conditions on the ground (and having just witnessed an aircraft departing in the opposite direction?)

Why was this not questioned and examined in the investigation and report? Seems like a very simple and obvious question that I’m sure would have been asked...
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Old 10th Jun 2020, 15:28
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Mr Approach, the Aero Commander was IFR and that makes no difference as to whether the pilot may make use of a tailwind (Flight manual max 10 kts) for departure or arrival in the same manner as that quoted for the A320.
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Old 11th Jun 2020, 00:09
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Originally Posted by TimmyTee View Post
Why was this not questioned and examined in the investigation and report? Seems like a very simple and obvious question that I’m sure would have been asked...
You would think so wouldn't you. But from another ATSB report into a recent train derailment, the crew were operating at 80kph, though they were supposed to be limited to 60kph due to 'paperwork'. There was no question asked about why the crew were 20kph over the limit, or what they thought the limiting speed was. The ATSB simply said they were 20kph over - presumably because they don't want to rock the boat with ARTC - another federal body...
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Old 11th Jun 2020, 00:48
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The double standard has been around for a while now.

Read over some of the Tiger reports from early last decade. Detail was high with charts, speeds etc included. They were essentially taken to the cleaners and rightly so.
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Old 11th Jun 2020, 01:27
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A landing aircraft has priority over one taking off.

Its not practicable to overfly and look at a windsock on a jet. So you use the AWIS and your onboard instruments with a wind vector.

If the tailwind exceeds your landing capability you get out of there.

As for the aero commander, taking off into the path of an incoming jet who’s been making appropriate radio calls. Along with the AFRU. Sounds like just another GA pilot in a rush who messed up and passed the buck.
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Old 11th Jun 2020, 01:49
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Originally Posted by Blueskymine View Post
A landing aircraft has priority over one taking off.

Its not practicable to overfly and look at a windsock on a jet. So you use the AWIS and your onboard instruments with a wind vector.
If the tailwind exceeds your landing capability you get out of there.
As for the aero commander, taking off into the path of an incoming jet who’s been making appropriate radio calls. Along with the AFRU. Sounds like just another GA pilot in a rush who messed up and passed the buck.
Pretty big call right there...

The Aero Commander took off using the most prudent runway, and indeed the runway other aircraft had been using. From the ATSB report, JQ landed on the least prudent runway for the conditions. It wasn't the GA pilot who screwed up the AWIS reception. It was BOTH Jetstar pilots. It wasn't the GA pilot who landed on a comparatively short runway when it was obvious they had no real idea of the wind direction after recognising they had screwed it up. It was BOTH Jetstar pilots. It wasn't the Aero Commanded who advised BN CTR they were "aware" of the AC500 when asked, it was the Jetstar crew. The AC500 pilot made a taxiing and a rolling call for RWY36, neither of which were responded to indicating a potential conflict by the (two) Jetstar pilots. IT wasn't until they turned onto the 5NM final that they sought to confirm the position of the AC500, showing they had no idea what was going on either.
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