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CX SFO (main thread)

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CX SFO (main thread)

Old 13th Sep 2019, 03:26
  #41 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 1998
Posts: 5
boxjockey. I understand that you are protective of your homeland (your profile says you are in the US). Regardless, suggesting that LHR is anything other than the example of calm, professional and busy ATC is really doing yourself no favours. I understand that the big airports in the US are busy, and that the controllers are good at their jobs, but the comments regarding their attitude and demeanour (especially concerning their treatment of foreign carriers) is warranted. Obviously, it is not appropriate to belittle or respond sarcastically to a foreign carrier just because they have trouble with language or quirky non-standard procedures or terminology. Having said that, CX screwed up in LAX, and the ever lowering experience level in our cockpits will inevitably result in disaster.

Last edited by mngmt mole; 13th Sep 2019 at 07:19.
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 06:36
  #42 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: HK
Posts: 55
Since everyone has turned this into another cadet bashing thread why don't we talk about the American cargo plane a few years ago that almost crashed into Lantau even tho he was warned multiple times.... a two captain two FO flight and that happens, come on guys mistakes happen and since we don't know all the facts perhaps we should wait before jumping to conclusions. But being the Monday quarterback is what we all do best!
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 07:13
  #43 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 1998
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Don't see where this has turned into a "cadet bashing thread" (I think your subconscious was triggered...might want to ask yourself why). The FACT is that the experience level at CX has drastically reduced over the past 25 years. Why do you think CX banned visual approaches, circling approaches (something western carriers do every single day) and at one point had a 1500' stabilised approach criteria (only lowered due to the LHR situation). Even the most experienced airlines have incidents, but CX has willfully allowed their reputational basis of experience to become heavily diluted. That is a FACT. The outcome is not debatable. It will result in tragedy.
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 07:52
  #44 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
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Reading your response the only person that seems triggered is yourself, you mentioned circling approaches but CX banned them after the 747 debacle and what was the experience on that flight? let me guess it was the keyboard warriors that you have mentioned.
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 08:24
  #45 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Ok Firefly, the ever reducing experience level in CX is ok. Nothing to see here, move along (and actually, CX banned circling and visual approaches for the reasons MM elucidated).
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 10:26
  #46 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: australia
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Here we go!

Circling Approaches: No big deal, IF, you are well trained in them and maintain a recency which is more than just every 6 mths in the sim, otherwise will one day end in tears if you're going anywhere near a REAL circling approach (min wx), and not just a cloud break procedure onto another rwy.

Visual App: Grew up in an era where that was the everyday norm and used to wonder how incompetent pilots were who couldn't do a "simple" visual approach. Time showed me I was a conceited fool for thinking that. Today, most pilots' descent (especially long haul) is around stars joining up to an ILS. I see it today were those coming through need to have a WP to tie their descent profile off and don't seem to be able to consider DME and expected tracking to come up with an estimated descent profile and adjusting as you go along. Why, because they don't get the training to do that, their descent profile management training is all tied into VNAV descent via stars/ils etc with no practise on descent gates Vs expected DTG. My first jet training captain ('91) made sure I could use the VNAV and do a decent manual descent, and that was during a time if you touched the TLs or speed brake on the way down, you'd stuffed the descent up

I would never accept a visual going into the US, when I first went into LAX the training captain said DON'T accept a visual approach, especially at night! Only took one night arrival into LAX to see why. In my opinion you'd want to know the port intimately to do a visual approach, hugely embarrassing at a minimum if you stuff it up! Sighting a rwy and other traffic in a port not operated to frequently is asking for trouble.

US ATC: My ONLY complaint about ATC was they were willing to treat international flights as tho they had the same familiarity there as domestic crew, with little tolerance for language issues, even for those who have English as their first language. We may all speak same the same lingo, but boy, do accents sure make it difficult for two English speakers to understand each other. You are not local and have nowhere near the same familiarity as dom crew.

I think an airline restricting its operations is a sign of maturity in accepting the limitations its everyday flying has on their pilots. I didn't think like this 10 yrs ago, but going back to an operation where black-hole night approaches etc is no longer unusual (which, in an early day didn't faze me, but now has my FULL attention), I've had to eat some humble pie.
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 14:49
  #47 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Polar Route
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by exfocx View Post
Here we go!

Circling Approaches: No big deal, IF, you are well trained in them and maintain a recency which is more than just every 6 mths in the sim, otherwise will one day end in tears if you're going anywhere near a REAL circling approach (min wx), and not just a cloud break procedure onto another rwy.

Visual App: Grew up in an era where that was the everyday norm and used to wonder how incompetent pilots were who couldn't do a "simple" visual approach. Time showed me I was a conceited fool for thinking that. Today, most pilots' descent (especially long haul) is around stars joining up to an ILS. I see it today were those coming through need to have a WP to tie their descent profile off and don't seem to be able to consider DME and expected tracking to come up with an estimated descent profile and adjusting as you go along. Why, because they don't get the training to do that, their descent profile management training is all tied into VNAV descent via stars/ils etc with no practise on descent gates Vs expected DTG. My first jet training captain ('91) made sure I could use the VNAV and do a decent manual descent, and that was during a time if you touched the TLs or speed brake on the way down, you'd stuffed the descent up

I would never accept a visual going into the US, when I first went into LAX the training captain said DON'T accept a visual approach, especially at night! Only took one night arrival into LAX to see why. In my opinion you'd want to know the port intimately to do a visual approach, hugely embarrassing at a minimum if you stuff it up! Sighting a rwy and other traffic in a port not operated to frequently is asking for trouble.

US ATC: My ONLY complaint about ATC was they were willing to treat international flights as tho they had the same familiarity there as domestic crew, with little tolerance for language issues, even for those who have English as their first language. We may all speak same the same lingo, but boy, do accents sure make it difficult for two English speakers to understand each other. You are not local and have nowhere near the same familiarity as dom crew.

I think an airline restricting its operations is a sign of maturity in accepting the limitations its everyday flying has on their pilots. I didn't think like this 10 yrs ago, but going back to an operation where black-hole night approaches etc is no longer unusual (which, in an early day didn't faze me, but now has my FULL attention), I've had to eat some humble pie.
A very reasonable and balanced post! I am quick to accept visuals in places the crew is familiar with because it actually makes our workload lesser. In unfamiliar places and especially at night, I’m more hesitant because you just never know what can bite you. To me, that’s just basic airmanship and good CRM.
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Old 13th Sep 2019, 20:33
  #48 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: The Twain
Posts: 135
I am reminded of a highly experienced military and civil Flight Operations inspector for a well respected CAA advising me as a junior captain that visual approaches should never be accepted by a wide bodied aircraft.

At the time I thought him a wuss, as I was in my late thirties as a 747 captain flying international routes to half the world. I was at the top of my game and thought myself both confident and capable.

After another 5,000 hours on the 747 I realised he was right. Perhaps I am a slow learner. Thankfully I never stuffed up badly enough to get into PPRuNe, but it was close sometimes.

From my position now I would never accept a visual approach to anything other than my home base, and then only in near perfect conditions. Anything that reduces safety margins even by a few percent is incompatible with the expectations of the societal, professional and legal systems under which we now fly.

Why do we accept visuals?

Because ATC ask, and they are pressed for performance figures. (Some ATCs in the world are deducted salary if they do not get their performance targets). A pilot feels pressurised to accept what is assertively offered.

Because it is fun. It reminds us of why we became a pilot. We feel the satisfaction of a job well done, using our full skill set which was taught into us.

And because there is always a commercial pressure to get the job done in the shortest possible time. Sometimes this is more perceived than actual, but in certain airlines it is a job breaker.

Visual approaches on wide-bodies are for those who seek professional acceptance by their peers over reduced safety margins.

Go for it if you know and fully accept the risks. But you are out on a legal limb, and you must know the exact air laws under which you are flying, into the jurisdiction into which you are flying.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 02:09
  #49 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Krug departure, Merlot transition
Posts: 558
Whoah there, three reasonable and balanced posts in a row!

Please excuse the technical glitch, we will be back to our usual programming of US ATCO/cadet/Aussie/Cathay-bashing and “Monday morning quarterbacking “ shortly.
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Old 14th Sep 2019, 11:40
  #50 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Location Location
Posts: 100
Originally Posted by main_dog View Post
Whoah there, three reasonable and balanced posts in a row!

Please excuse the technical glitch, we will be back to our usual programming of US ATCO/cadet/Aussie/Cathay-bashing and “Monday morning quarterbacking and lazy witless one-liner rejoinders“ shortly.
Fixed it for ya....
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Old 22nd Sep 2019, 04:05
  #51 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 195
Originally Posted by Apple Tree Yard View Post
With the odd notable exception, I sadly have to agree with that description. Most of them need to be seconded to LHR ATC for 6 months to obtain an understanding of how professionals do that job (and to learn a few manners).
LHR doesn't even fall into the top 10 busiest airports in terms of aircraft movements. On the other hand, 7 of the top 8 busiest are U.S. airports (Beijing ranking #5). So what will the those "amateur" 3rd-wordly controllers at ATL, ORD, LAX, DFW, DIA, CLT, LAS learn from the steely eyed-yet-oh-so-courteous Supercontrollers at LHR (when they're not yawning)? More importantly, after 6 the months, will they be issued a cape?
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Old 22nd Sep 2019, 12:08
  #52 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Greener Pastures
Posts: 56
Originally Posted by PukinDog View Post
LHR doesn't even fall into the top 10 busiest airports in terms of aircraft movements. On the other hand, 7 of the top 8 busiest are U.S. airports (Beijing ranking #5). So what will the those "amateur" 3rd-wordly controllers at ATL, ORD, LAX, DFW, DIA, CLT, LAS learn from the steely eyed-yet-oh-so-courteous Supercontrollers at LHR (when they're not yawning)? More importantly, after 6 the months, will they be issued a cape?
Yawn.

Professional Pilots Rumour Network?

More like professional idiots rumour network.

Reading this thread its no wonder the general public think we are a bunch of overpaid morons
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Old 22nd Sep 2019, 12:36
  #53 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: hk
Posts: 22
Clowns,

BA pilots went on a 2 day strike last week, standing up for themselves and here we are moaning about who has the best ATC, absolutely pathetic.

4 years in CC and a TB, pathetic.

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Old 22nd Sep 2019, 13:28
  #54 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Greener Pastures
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Originally Posted by illtellyouhowitis View Post
Clowns,

BA pilots went on a 2 day strike last week, standing up for themselves and here we are moaning about who has the best ATC, absolutely pathetic.

4 years in CC and a TB, pathetic.

Yes - exactly this.

Well done to the BA lads and lasses for having the collective balls to do something about their situation.
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Old 22nd Sep 2019, 19:13
  #55 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 195
Originally Posted by Bleve View Post
I've had both 'report the runway in sight' and 'report the traffic in sight'. The motive of ATC in either case is to reduce their workload by shifting the burden of ensuring separation to you. But my job is to fly the aircraft, their job is to ensure separation. Why would I want to increase my workload and hence operational risk by doing their job for them (particularly when jetlagged after a long flight [into SFO!])? You could do the dance of reporting field/traffic in sight, then declining the visual approach clearance, but that just adds unnecessary R/T clutter to the airways. Much simpler to not report visual or field/traffic in sight in the first place (even if you are).
Those motives (to shift responsibility) don't apply to this case. The issuance of a visual approach by ATC if traffic ahead is reported in sight is true if that traffic is on approach to the same runway as you are. The controller can't assign a visual approach to a runway based only on having traffic in sight that's on approach to another, which was the situation here; UAL was on approach for 28R. You'll notice that ATC didn't clear Cathay for a visual approach when he confirmed he had visual contact with UAL. Cathay's clearance remained to fly a 310 heading to intercept the LOC for 28L and was never amended until much later when the offer for a visual approach came after the intercept was blown and it had all gone pear-shaped. The controller retained responsibility for the in-trail separation for the aircraft to their respective runways.

After confirming they had the traffic in sight, the "maintain visual separation" instruction Cathay received and acknowledged is an instruction that reiterates the US regulation that applies to both IFR and VFR traffic in VMC conditions, even under positive control, to see and avoid other traffic at all times. Obviously, this is critical at SFO with converging vectors to intercept the final courses of simultaneous approaches separated laterally by only 750'. Cathay's burden of responsibility was to intercept the LOC and to maintain visual separation from the parallel traffic. By regulation, even if that traffic hadn't been pointed out or Cathay hadn't spotted them and confirmed, in those VMC conditions and despite being on an IFR flight plan under positive control, looking-for and avoiding other traffic is a pilot responsibility that can't be shifted to the controller.

If in U.S. it's a mistake to believe that just because one is on an IFR flight plan and/or equipped with TCAS there is no burden of responsibility to maintain a visual traffic watch when prevailing conditions permit. It rested with Cathay as they were blowing through the LOC to wind up underneath UAL, one they had previously acknowledged after having them in sight, and not linked in any way to the the issuance of a visual approach. The visual approach clearance came later in an effort to salvage their arrival and only after Cathay was asked if they could proceed using one, they weren't assigned one as you describe or for the reason you've stated. The motive behind ATC's visual approach offer to Cathay was to allow them to sidestep back over to the runway 28L if they were able, at that point the only approach option left.

I'm wondering from the statements in your post, when you're flying into SFO in a similar situation and conditions as the Cathay flight in question, vectored to intercept the LOC 28L, when parallel traffic on approach for 28R is pointed out to you do you claim they aren't sight even when they are because you're fearful doing so will illicit a visual approach clearance? Or is everyone heads-down eyes inside, believing there's no responsibility to visually acquire traffic pointed out that will be soon be in very close proximity when everyone is lined-up correctly, and to avoid if necessary, banking solely on ATC and TCAS? I'm asking because at SFO this parallel approach situation separated by less than 1000' is routine and I was assuming that everyone involved during those ops was being super-vigilant looking-for and maintaining visual contact with the parallel traffic. I operate frequently into SFO long-haul from points in Asia and Europe on those approaches, and never found myself too tired or overloaded to look outside for traffic or the runway.

If the attitude that seeks to abrogate responsibility is part of a corporate culture and there's a misunderstanding of SFO ops/US regs it may serve to explain to a degree how this crew may have ended up underneath UAL despite the clearances to intercept a LOC and maintain visual separation were acknowledged and read back, but not followed.

Last edited by PukinDog; 22nd Sep 2019 at 20:20.
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Old 22nd Sep 2019, 20:21
  #56 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
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Originally Posted by PukinDog View Post
Those motives (to shift responsibility) don't apply to this case. The issuance of a visual approach by ATC if traffic ahead is reported in sight is true if that traffic is on approach to the same runway as you are. The controller can't assign a visual approach to a runway based only on having traffic in sight that's on approach to another, which was the situation here; UAL was on approach for 28R. You'll notice that ATC didn't clear Cathay for a visual approach when he confirmed he had visual contact with UAL. Cathay's clearance remained to fly a 310 heading to intercept the LOC for 28L and was never amended until much later when the offer for a visual approach came after the intercept was blown and it had all gone pear-shaped. The controller retained responsibility for the in-trail separation for the aircraft to their respective runways.

After confirming they had the traffic in sight, the "maintain visual separation" instruction Cathay received and acknowledged is an instruction that reiterates the US regulation that applies to both IFR and VFR traffic in VMC conditions, even under positive control, to see and avoid other traffic at all times, critical at SFO with converging vectors to intercept the final courses conducting simultaneous approaches in close proximity, separated laterally by only 750'. Cathay's burden of responsibility was to intercept the LOC and to maintain visual separation from the parallel traffic. By regulation, even if that traffic hadn't been pointed out or Cathay hadn't spotted them and confirmed, in those VMC conditions and despite being on an IFR flight plan under positive control, "See and Avoid" is a pilot responsibility that can't be shifted to the controller.

If in U.S. it's a mistake to believe that just because one is on an IFR flight plan and/or equipped with TCAS there is no burden of responsibility to maintain a visual traffic watch when prevailing conditions permit. It rested with Cathay as they were blowing through the LOC, one they had previously acknowledged with regards to specific traffic pointed out for them, and not linked in any way to the the issuance of visual approach. The visual approach clearance came later in an effort to salvage their arrival and only after Cathay was asked if they could proceed using one, they weren't assigned one as you describe or for the reason you've stated. The motive behind ATC's visual approach offer to Cathay was to allow them to sidestep back over to the runway 28L if they were able, at that point the only approach option left.
While all traffic has a duty to see and avoid when able to do so, a "maintain visual separation" clearance is a specific one where the pilots are required to do so if accepting it, and advise ATC if unable. It deletes the responsibility of the controller to provide separation IFR to IFR (or in some cases IFR to VFR) and places the responsibility wholly on the pilot.

To the other bloviators about miscellaneous stuff, I think the point was concern over the deterioration of basic piloting skills of people to the point they can't safely execute visual approaches anymore. This is a training and proficiency issue; the problem is that when playing in the US, this is a skill that pilots are expected to have--due largely to the extreme business of the airports and that the controllers use a variety of techniques (which are plenty safe when folks do what they're supposed to) to make it the most efficient ATC system in the world. To the extent of clearing airplanes for takeoff and landing when there is reasonable belief deconfliction has been achieved. So if you want to play there, you have to be up to the rules of the game there.

Perhaps rather than concentrating on stump the chump esoteric questions about minutia, or constructing scenarios of low probability failures, this training time would be better served by doing a bazillion visuals (with traffic and at airports we use) — with and without the magic (especially without) — to hone basic flying skills that might be needed.

Last edited by Slasher1; 22nd Sep 2019 at 20:33.
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Old 22nd Sep 2019, 21:03
  #57 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 195
Originally Posted by Slasher1 View Post
While all traffic has a duty to see and avoid when able to do so, a "maintain visual separation" clearance is a specific one where the pilots are required to do so if accepting it, and advise ATC if unable. It deletes the responsibility of the controller to provide separation IFR to IFR (or in some cases IFR to VFR) and places the responsibility wholly on the pilot.

To the other bloviators I think the point was concern over the deterioration of basic piloting skills of people to the point they can't safely execute visual approaches anymore. This is a training and proficiency issue; the problem is that when playing in the US, this is a skill that pilots are expected to have--due largely to the extreme business of the airports and that the controllers use a variety of techniques (which are plenty safe when folks do what they're supposed to) to make it the most efficient ATC system in the world. To the extent of clearing airplanes for takeoff and landing when there is reasonable belief deconfliction has been achieved. So if you want to play there, you have to be up to the rules of the game there.
The post I was responding to stated the motives and reasons why not to call traffic in sight, and don't apply to this incident. As was seen, doing so did not prompt the issuance of a visual approach to Cathay despite being VFR conditions.

At SFO it's this instruction and acceptance to maintain visual separation with parallel traffic that allows the approaches spaced so closely to occur simultaneously in the first place because ATC can't do it, not because they just don't want to do it.

If everyone refused to accept the responsibility to maintain visual separation even when VMC as the poster advocates by pretending they don't have parallel traffic in sight, then it may as well be IMC with the resultant sharp drop in traffic flow because that's how it'll have to be handled. Essentially, he's advocating not being bothered to look outside, and yet, the regulation to see and avoid still exists. How does one do both, or is lying to ATC controllers a professional attribute? What's next, lying about being unable to maintain speeds merely because slower is easier?

Last edited by PukinDog; 22nd Sep 2019 at 21:13.
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Old 22nd Sep 2019, 23:07
  #58 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: No where
Posts: 1
Let's distill this down to the basic facts. 1) the CX crew screwed it up, big time (and possibly the UA, but CX was the instigator of the entire mess). and 2) this is the consequence of a company management that long ago abrogated any concern for experience and judgement in the cockpit. We are becoming largely an airline of cadet pilots who have known no other working environment, and who's ability to deal with these sort of situations is compromised by rote learning and checking. Ultimately, there is just nothing like the experience you get in the military, or bug smashing your way around the bush for a few years. CX will feature more and more in such events until the inevitable front page headline. Tick tock...
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Old 23rd Sep 2019, 00:21
  #59 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Polar Route
Posts: 4
Originally Posted by Air Profit View Post
Let's distill this down to the basic facts. 1) the CX crew screwed it up, big time (and possibly the UA, but CX was the instigator of the entire mess). and 2) this is the consequence of a company management that long ago abrogated any concern for experience and judgement in the cockpit. We are becoming largely an airline of cadet pilots who have known no other working environment, and who's ability to deal with these sort of situations is compromised by rote learning and checking. Ultimately, there is just nothing like the experience you get in the military, or bug smashing your way around the bush for a few years. CX will feature more and more in such events until the inevitable front page headline. Tick tock...
Indeed! This is the bottom line. It’s all well and good to have an academic discussion and Monday morning quarterback, but at the end of the day, CX crews are sometimes not up to the task. This is a byproduct of hiring low or no experience pilots and then compounding that with fatigue from long haul flying and other CMP induced treats. No, none of us are perfect and all are capable of mistakes, but that doesn’t excuse the piss poor experience levels and abysmal quality of CX’s hiring in the last 5-10 years. It has gotten progressively worse and appears that will continue to be the case. It’s pure CX arrogance that thinks it can continue to do this and get away with it indefinitely. Watch this space...
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Old 25th Sep 2019, 02:32
  #60 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: CYYZ
Posts: 69
When did the event happen?
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