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FAA bans visual approaches by foreign airlines at San Francisco airport

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FAA bans visual approaches by foreign airlines at San Francisco airport

Old 30th Jul 2013, 16:27
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FAA bans visual approaches by foreign airlines at San Francisco airport

FAA bans visual approaches by foreign airlines at San Francisco airport


The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has banned foreign pilots from making visual approaches to San Francisco airport runways 28 left and right.

The move follows the crash of a Asiana Airlines Boeing 777-200ER that killed three people on 6 July, a low approach by an Eva Air 777-300ER on 23 July that prompted a go-around command by the airport tower, and several missed approaches by pilots of foreign airlines since 1 June.

In all of the recent incidents, the foreign pilots were making visual approaches to Runway 28 left or right. The glideslope indicator that enables a stabilised approach to the runways has been deactivated since 1 June, forcing pilots making certain approaches to fly the aircraft visually.

"Until that [stabilised] approach is again available in late August, the FAA is assigning alternate instrument approaches to all foreign carriers," the agency says. "The FAA took this action after noticing an increase in go-arounds at [San Francisco airport] by some foreign carriers that were flying visual approaches into the airport."

The probable cause of the Asiana 777 crash remains under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. It is known that the crew failed to keep the aircraft on the proper glidepath, coming in too low and slow and clipping the main landing gear on the seawall at the runway threshold.

The Eva 777 flight crew also was flying a visual approach on 23 July when the tower directed the crew to fly a go-around. The air traffic controller alerted the pilots that they were approaching the runway at a "lower than normal altitude", the FAA says.

"Go-arounds are important safety tools for both pilot sand air traffic controllers", the FAA says. "They are routine, standardised procedures and can occur once a day or more at busy airports for various reasons."

The glideslope indicator on Runway is deactivated until late August for the airport to complete a construction project at the other end of the runway. The construction is part of the FAA's runway safety area improvement programme.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 16:39
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It's started, one day in the near future.

XYZ bans manual landings. Glad I'm not starting in aviation.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 17:26
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Some time back in the mid 1980s I was on HKG approach frequency in the middle of a CC approach to 13 on a dirty night. A Pan Am (it may have been United, the memory fades...) was given a clearance for the CC approach behind us. A slow drawl from way south of the Mason-Dixon line said words to the effect "You want us to make an NDB approach? No sir we don't do those in wide body aircraft, we're going to Taipei"

And he did. We all thought he was a wise man and that he was following the then current trend to restrict non glide slope approaches in 747s for sound safety reasons.

The world did not learn, the bean counters won, and we eroded a little bit of air safety. Many people have died because of it, and many more will do. Sad really.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 17:49
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I'm sorry but just how is the FAA going to stop me, for example, from looking out of the window?
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 18:14
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The FAA has become a totalitarian body just like the other federal agencies in the US. Typical short sighted, broad brushed over reaction, wasn't it a southwest airlines 737 that landed on it's nose-gear the other day?!
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 19:23
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Does anyone really think this is a bad idea? They've just realised there's a difference between a short hop over the midwest in a 737 and a 13 hour trip over the Pacific in a widebody, landing at the wrong side of the clock, for someone whose native language isn't English.
I call it progress. Now, if they could just find time for a chat with JFK before they're forced to...
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 20:33
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Loop,

I agree. In my military years, single seat fighters were not allowed to do the overhead (which we did more than 90% of the time in normal ops) after an ocean crossing. Totally sensible in my mind.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 23:26
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Brilliant!!

We don't have to fly there when the ILS is u/s. What genius thought of that
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 23:41
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Moosp I remember that although I remember it as a United 747-400 in the early 90s. Could have been a separate event though.
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 23:46
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I remember it as United too
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Old 30th Jul 2013, 23:54
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Yep, there was a United late 80's/early90's, who when invited to partake of the CC procedure, expressed dismay with a comment along the lines of "Gee, is that a beacon approach?"
He asked how long the IGS was off for, which was only around 20-30 mins, so he said he'd hold until the IGS was back up.
Sensible man.
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 00:04
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The one I heard definately went to TPE. However if it was United's policy not to fly NDB approaches of any form then I think it would have happened every now and then that they rejected the approach.
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 01:31
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Do any of these guys who screwed up the visual realize that they can just do an LNAV/VNAV overlay?

Anyway, the FAA ban on visuals into SFO for foreigners is no different to their ban on LASHO operations for foreigners and no one seems to be complaining about that.
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 02:35
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I think it is a good decision.
A visual approach in these circumstances is an additional risk, period.
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 03:13
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swh

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Australia has not offered visual approaches to foreign carriers for years, and never LAHSO. A visual can still be requested, and granted.
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 05:15
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Australia has not offered visual approaches to foreign carriers for years
Errr, Sydney would beg to differ?
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 07:41
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swh

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They clear aircraft for the ILS, and then asked to report visual.
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 11:13
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Like swh, I was under the impression that foreign carriers would not even be offered visual approaches in Australia, but on my last trip to SYD I was toldthat I was being vectored for a visual approach!
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 12:06
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And at KA we still do circling approaches in wide bodies, with just as little practice at visual approaches as any other operator in the region, including our Korean friends. The majority of our new FOs with less than 200 hours to support an uncurrent guy. How long til we bend one guys? Oh, hang on, we have bent a couple (Zuhai, Okinawa etc). Whats the next question we need to ask, how long til someone dies, or has that been 'risk assessed' as part of doing business? Lets hope the risk assessors are on board when it happens.
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Old 31st Jul 2013, 12:16
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Looks like parallel ops are done too.
FAA Puts More Restrictions on Foreign Jets at SFO - ABC News
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