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Another Attempt To Takeoff From TWY A

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Another Attempt To Takeoff From TWY A

Old 29th Nov 2010, 23:22
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Another Attempt To Takeoff From TWY A

Several days ago, a well established European carrier attempted to take off from TWY A during night operation. It was stopped by the duty controller. HKA was not alone.
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Old 30th Nov 2010, 01:13
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....but HKA WAS first
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Old 30th Nov 2010, 01:17
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...that's what you get for giving a HKA guy the jumpseat
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Old 30th Nov 2010, 02:24
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Did the management at the European carrier force the pilots to write their reports to deflect blame away from HKA managers, like at HKA?
Were both pilots sacked, like at HKA?
Will the European carrier have a runway incursion after their attempted T/O on twy A, like HKA?
One difference though - HKG is not based in Europe, it's based in HKG!
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Old 30th Nov 2010, 03:53
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HKA was not the first, there were two before them!
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Old 30th Nov 2010, 14:29
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Yeh, but HKA do it cheaper
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Old 1st Dec 2010, 16:08
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Aircraft was a Finnair A340; they went to hel afterwards.
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Old 2nd Dec 2010, 12:53
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I don't understand why HKATC doesn't just start taxiing aircraft to the hold on 07L via taxiway A. Why do they insist on turning them on B.

I understand that the pilots were wrong, but sometimes you design the system to remove even the occasional brain-fart.

New airport design has taxiways like W and V that force you to make a 90 degree turn before reaching the runway. It was recognized long ago that it was just smart design.

How about making the head of the runway accessible by only one path. There is not that much traffic in HKG that they need A and B at the same time. 07L is only used late at night for departures when 07R is closed for maintenance.
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Old 2nd Dec 2010, 13:39
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Fair enough Bedder...

but what's your thoughts if a controller wandered away from their position after clearing someone for take-off approaching a known hot spot?
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Old 2nd Dec 2010, 22:58
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should I go on??
Please do.

Having visited the Tower I was surprised how "heads down" it was compared to other towers I've visited.
The North controller hardly ever looked at the aircraft on final and mostly looked at the radar screen even tho the weather was pretty good for Hong Kong.
I know the guys explained that the design was pretty crap but doesn't seem much excuse for not watching the aircraft! What's their job, after all??
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Old 2nd Dec 2010, 23:37
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It amazes me that 07L is probably used for less than 5% of all night time departures here in HK, and yet there has been 4 serious "twy A attempted take-offs". To my knowledge, this has never happened on either 07R or 25L. Go figure!
Perhaps that very statistic is trying to say something.
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Old 3rd Dec 2010, 00:17
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07C the long forecast third runway!

Take a large can of white paint, print some ILS PRM plates that will never be used, pay a consulting team a few Billion HK$ and voila, we have the new third runway at HKIA!

Wait one month and then it is time for the much vaunted IPO of the Airport Authority!

Problem solved!
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Old 3rd Dec 2010, 01:36
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Agree with you ''Cafe''. Visited Tower more then one time. See controller not watch airplaane taxying,using the radar to move them .Velly bad plactice.
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Old 3rd Dec 2010, 06:07
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Perhaps that very statistic is trying to say something.
Good point. Normally used late at night when everyone is a bit tired.


Bedder:

So, "not that much traffic in Hkg..." at that time eh? I'd like to sit you in the tower on a night shift and ask you your thoughts at 7 the next morning....maybe you wouldn't be quite so quick to give advice! Just remember my friend, that what you are hearing on the air is only a small percentage of our workload, and considering our reduced staffing levels (haven't you noticed the combined tower positions?) on Nights, they're not much fun!
You are right Bedder, it is quite busy late at night. Especially when I hear one radar controller for departures and arrivals - and they are routing everybody over the same spot, BEKOL Europe departures and all the arrivals from the East. I often wondered why the ELATO arrivals don't go further south over the water to get them below the departures. Having everyone go over TD is very dangerous in my opinion. The fact that departures are leveling at 9000 when they are climbing pretty fast (min clean or 250) is just screaming for a TCAS RA. Not to mention many crews are lazy / unaware and do not reduce their climb rate below 1500 FPM. At the very least they should have two controllers, one for arrivals and one for departures - bare minimum.

But I digress. What I meant is that it is not as busy as during the earlier night period. It sounds like what makes it very busy is the way they choose to staff the tower. Sounds like it is quite busy for the controller, but not so busy traffic wise. One guy working CLNC, GRND and TWR is just not enough for such a big airport. Honestly, you would think an airport of HKG's stature would have the funds for such requirements.

Overall, my point is that we need to re-think our strategy. If it has happened so many times recently then there must be a better way to do it. Saying that we should just do our job properly is not good enough. Maybe a simple restriction that you don't give TO clearance until the aircraft is holding short, or maybe don't turn the red stop bars off until the aircraft is really close to them.

I know this probably adds to the task-load of the tower controller but it seems that it will prevent disaster at some stage. All these incidents were prevented because the ATC was not distracted. Throw a little distraction into the mix and you have all the holes in the swiss cheese lining up perfectly.
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Old 3rd Dec 2010, 08:36
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Bedder

Your descriptions of ACTUAL conditions in the tower are much appreciated. I have visited the tower both at Kai Tak and CLK and think you guys do a great job under difficult conditions.

Having the luxury of operating in and out of VHHH since day one, I find it inconceivable that anyone can line up on taxiway A or J at any time of the day or night.

Why would you prefer to taxi out on A or J after looking at the Mandarin MD11 arrival! On that occasion a CX 777 got out of the way in the nick of time onto J6.

VHHH is not a difficult airport. If you are new to the place look at the layout map before you push back.

You ARE appreciated.
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Old 3rd Dec 2010, 15:22
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Now about a north/south red stop bar line at the entrance to taxiway A that is almost permanently lit at night? That way as you turn to face north from taxiway B, you get the red line of lights on your right and surely that would prevent traffic from lining up on taxiway A?
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Old 3rd Dec 2010, 19:19
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you get the red line of lights on your right and surely that would prevent traffic from lining up on taxiway A?
Only if you look out of the windscreen and notice it!

That's the problem. In a digital age you expect to get a horn or an alarm if something is amiss. Unfortunately airports are still analogue, so you need to train crews not to depend upon a digital warning but to be aware of the analogue reality of the real world outside the comfort of the flight-deck window.

It doesn't matter how many horns and klaxons you stick in the cockpit, the reality is outside. And if crews don't look there when they are operating in the analogue airport environment then they are never ever going to see the blatantly obvious (see quote above).

You can only build so many fail-safes into a system but "the blind idiots" are always going to beat you. All you can do is weed them out to make life safer for everyone else.

Harsh - yes

True - you decide
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Old 4th Dec 2010, 04:43
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Sure, no single solution will stop 100% of incidents but having a red stop bar at the start of taxiway 'A' would surely cut it down hugely? Most of us tend to be hesitant about crossing red stop bars without asking first. As for looking out the window, I would like to think that most pilots taxying round a 90 degree turn would at least glance out of the window a little bit!
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Old 4th Dec 2010, 09:39
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The AMC (Aerodrome controller) is in addition to running the runway, dealing with special VFR helicopters, updating ATIS, dealing with techs working on various bits of equipment, clearing vehicles on and off the runway, dealing with the radar controllers...fixing mistakes by pilots...should I go on??
Sounds very busy. All happening at the same time eh?
Or are you over-valuing your profession?
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