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CX SFO (main thread)

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CX SFO (main thread)

Old 4th Sep 2019, 02:25
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CX SFO (main thread)

Cathay messy in SFO

Interesting chat re CX in SFO (when?) Fatigue and cockpit experience being highlighted amongst other things. (A350)
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Old 6th Sep 2019, 03:57
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Visual

Cant you just hear and see the “deer in the headlights” look?
“Cleared for the visual...”. Oh. Dear.

What to do?!?! “Maintain visual separation.” Oh. Dear.

What to do?!?!!’

My take after listening to the tape, and hearing the confusion and twice repeated, “say again,” and no, I wasn’t there, is that some pilots of big fancy planes with lots of pretty screens have simply forgotten how to fly.

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Old 6th Sep 2019, 04:32
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The only valid thing you said is that "you weren't there". There's a million possible situations they could have been dealing with that we don't know about and ATC was no help putting them into that situation. Not to mention it's at the end of a 12 hour flight. I'm sure they can fly just fine.
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Old 6th Sep 2019, 09:12
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Originally Posted by claraball View Post
The only valid thing you said is that "you weren't there". There's a million possible situations they could have been dealing with that we don't know about and ATC was no help putting them into that situation. Not to mention it's at the end of a 12 hour flight. I'm sure they can fly just fine.

oh now come on, don’t inject reason and logic into the topic......
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Old 6th Sep 2019, 19:16
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Not to mention they found themselves at 2000' between a United Jet and a hard place experiencing an RA. Never mind they maybe contributed to the problem they flew theirselves out of it into a go around and another successful approach. All a bit harder than in your C-152. So take a holiday from the judgemental train and try and recall something other than your glory days because I'm sure all of your failures and errors you're repressing are hiding down there somewhere.
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Old 7th Sep 2019, 15:05
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Originally Posted by plainpilot11 View Post
Cant you just hear and see the “deer in the headlights” look?
“Cleared for the visual...”. Oh. Dear.

What to do?!?! “Maintain visual separation.” Oh. Dear.

What to do?!?!!’

My take after listening to the tape, and hearing the confusion and twice repeated, “say again,” and no, I wasn’t there, is that some pilots of big fancy planes with lots of pretty screens have simply forgotten how to fly.

probably a newish product of Adelaide.
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Old 7th Sep 2019, 15:23
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The unwillingness of CX pilots (as a group) to disconnect the AP and AT before fully configured on the LOC / GS final is appalling. Some don’t even feel comfortable not being in VNAV all the time. “Children of the magenta” couldn’t be more true. Many who once knew how to fly have allowed themselves to become similarly enslaved to automation. Such is the world of FDAP and a collective fear of going around. Bring back the handling sims...
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Old 7th Sep 2019, 18:08
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The Truth

Originally Posted by cxorcist View Post
The unwillingness of CX pilots (as a group) to disconnect the AP and AT before fully configured on the LOC / GS final is appalling. Some don’t even feel comfortable not being in VNAV all the time. “Children of the magenta” couldn’t be more true. Many who once knew how to fly have allowed themselves to become similarly enslaved to automation. Such is the world of FDAP and a collective fear of going around. Bring back the handling sims...
Done, dead, gone !!! Look who they appointed as executives to HK Express. Training costs money...
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Old 7th Sep 2019, 19:46
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The bottom line is that a ‘maintain visual separation’ clearance was accepted (which places the burden for separation on the pilot accepting it) and later violated (to the extent of causing an RA). In an extremely busy operating environment with multiple arrivals and departures happening on intersecting runways.

The controllers at SFO do an outstanding job of moving traffic given a difficult puzzle and it’s a place where you really need to be at the top of your game. You’ve got parallel arrivals (and departures) to runways which intersect other departures around midfield — I’m not sure I’d want the job of timing and deconflicting there and my hat’s off to them.

And there is very little training or proficiency maintained in hand flying the aircraft or operating to visual approaches in such an environment. How many of us routinely practice true visuals while hand flying or S-turning the aircraft to maintain proper spacing ?

if you want to operate pax service to places like this you have to be up to the task of so doing. And be sure your operating crews maintain proficiency.

Anyone can get task saturated or make a mistake. But IMHO we don’t much practice to skills which can be required with parallel approaches and reduced separation instead deferring these skills to automation and controllers. So you see stuff like this from time to time.

Last edited by Slasher1; 7th Sep 2019 at 20:04.
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Old 7th Sep 2019, 22:25
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Originally Posted by ACMS View Post



oh now come on, don’t inject reason and logic into the topic......
reason and logic would dictate that the question has to be answered, “How did CX that was cleared for the visual 28L end up UNDERNEATH United that was cleared for 28R.” Taking into account the facts that they missed actually turning the airplane when they were supposed to, means yes they were distracted. Why? Maybe because they were trying to set up the box for a visual 28L, instead of leaving the ILS 28L and flying it as such? Regardless, they were heads down when they should have been heads up. Flying through the LOC in SFO for 28’s is asking for an in-flight, a tragedy that would have made Asiana’s look minor.
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Old 8th Sep 2019, 10:08
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Originally Posted by plainpilot11 View Post

reason and logic would dictate that the question has to be answered, “How did CX that was cleared for the visual 28L end up UNDERNEATH United that was cleared for 28R.” Taking into account the facts that they missed actually turning the airplane when they were supposed to, means yes they were distracted. Why? Maybe because they were trying to set up the box for a visual 28L, instead of leaving the ILS 28L and flying it as such? Regardless, they were heads down when they should have been heads up. Flying through the LOC in SFO for 28’s is asking for an in-flight, a tragedy that would have made Asiana’s look minor.

yes agree, now factor in that:-

The CX crew were not in “their own backyard”
The CX crew had flown 12 hours through their night time and were arriving at a circadian low period.
The CX crew may only do 2 to 3 PF sectors a month.
The CX crew have to deal with many many different ATC systems all over the World and cannot be expected to be familiar or current on SFO’s quirky procedures that they may only be exposed to once every six months.

The UA crew are exactly the opposite, flying a LOT of sectors in their own backyard and probably frequently into SFO.

This is exactly why SFO ATC should NEVER use this type of visual approach with foreign Long Haul carriers....... ever.

Some countries ATC will not allow visual approaches by foreign Carriers into their Airports following previous incidents for exactly the above reasons I mention above.
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Old 8th Sep 2019, 10:16
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Originally Posted by cxorcist View Post
The unwillingness of CX pilots (as a group) to disconnect the AP and AT before fully configured on the LOC / GS final is appalling. Some don’t even feel comfortable not being in VNAV all the time. “Children of the magenta” couldn’t be more true. Many who once knew how to fly have allowed themselves to become similarly enslaved to automation. Such is the world of FDAP and a collective fear of going around. Bring back the handling sims...

ummmm we do mate, in the RT.
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Old 8th Sep 2019, 10:45
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Originally Posted by ACMS View Post


yes agree, now factor in that:-

The CX crew were not in “their own backyard”
The CX crew had flown 12 hours through their night time and were arriving at a circadian low period.
The CX crew may only do 2 to 3 PF sectors a month.
The CX crew have to deal with many many different ATC systems all over the World and cannot be expected to be familiar or current on SFO’s quirky procedures that they may only be exposed to once every six months.

The UA crew are exactly the opposite, flying a LOT of sectors in their own backyard and probably frequently into SFO.

This is exactly why SFO ATC should NEVER use this type of visual approach with foreign Long Haul carriers....... ever.

Some countries ATC will not allow visual approaches by foreign Carriers into their Airports following previous incidents for exactly the above reasons I mention above.
Except the initial clearance wasn't for a visual approach...First clearance is to intercept the LOC 28L from a 310 hdg. If that had been done correctly it would have resulted in a subsequent clearance for the whole ILS28L. The LOC was overshot and CX was ASKED if they were able to continue visually, cx said yes, atc gave the clearance for the visual. Clearly autopilot was never disconnected and the cx pilot was turning knobs fixating in getting a clearance for an ILS (cx asking if they cleared for the ils, pilot asking has a different accent from the one who did the radio up until then).

The problem is clear, how fixated we are in automation, how every approach needs to come down to an ILS or an RNAV RNP because God forbid we can't identify a glide slope fluctuation and manually correct it. Too many people flying without confidence in their own skills and this is the result.

Fatigue?No sorry, usually this flt is a 2 FO's set up, with a proper relief crew. Unless they had a different crew complement....
Visual approach too complicated? All ATC asks in SFO is to maintain visual separation with a preceding traffic. We don't fly the Tip Toe or Quiet Bridge visuals, they clear us for an ILS "and please don't overtake the plane in front". ATC has done all the separation beforehand, all the pilot has to do is to maintain it.

Majority of the airports in the US are always at capacity. Asking to have a 5 nm separation on the ILS and be the only one in the area only cause we are a foreign carrier is naive and makes us look bad.

There are different levels of automation, and sometimes we gotta bring it down a notch, but crews are too scared to do it.

That being said, I would expect the UA pilot to get some flak for not responding to an RA, that's just bad. As far as I know, according to the FAA, an RA requires immediate notification to the NTSB, so at some point in the future we may read something official about this

Last edited by run-a-way; 8th Sep 2019 at 10:49. Reason: added the UA bit at the end
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Old 8th Sep 2019, 11:46
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Without trying to be a "Monday Morning Quarterback" (look it up), there are certain basic essential skills in this job (especially as a Captain). One of them is not infringing a parallel localizer in an airport such as SFO. Although the UA should also be held to account, we cannot be making errors like this. Needless to say, the prior post correctly identifies the main problem, one that will steadily get worse. When you replace experience, judgement and confidence with low time and rote learned computer warriors, you are simply counting down the days to disaster. Not this time, but soon enough. One day our senior management (and all their predecessors since about 1994) will have the blood of hundreds on their eternal consciences. There is no doubt on that point. Tick tock....
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Old 8th Sep 2019, 15:04
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Originally Posted by run-a-way View Post
Except the initial clearance wasn't for a visual approach...First clearance is to intercept the LOC 28L from a 310 hdg. If that had been done correctly it would have resulted in a subsequent clearance for the whole ILS28L. The LOC was overshot and CX was ASKED if they were able to continue visually, cx said yes, atc gave the clearance for the visual. Clearly autopilot was never disconnected and the cx pilot was turning knobs fixating in getting a clearance for an ILS (cx asking if they cleared for the ils, pilot asking has a different accent from the one who did the radio up until then).

The problem is clear, how fixated we are in automation, how every approach needs to come down to an ILS or an RNAV RNP because God forbid we can't identify a glide slope fluctuation and manually correct it. Too many people flying without confidence in their own skills and this is the result.

Fatigue?No sorry, usually this flt is a 2 FO's set up, with a proper relief crew. Unless they had a different crew complement....
Visual approach too complicated? All ATC asks in SFO is to maintain visual separation with a preceding traffic. We don't fly the Tip Toe or Quiet Bridge visuals, they clear us for an ILS "and please don't overtake the plane in front". ATC has done all the separation beforehand, all the pilot has to do is to maintain it.

Majority of the airports in the US are always at capacity. Asking to have a 5 nm separation on the ILS and be the only one in the area only cause we are a foreign carrier is naive and makes us look bad.

There are different levels of automation, and sometimes we gotta bring it down a notch, but crews are too scared to do it.

That being said, I would expect the UA pilot to get some flak for not responding to an RA, that's just bad. As far as I know, according to the FAA, an RA requires immediate notification to the NTSB, so at some point in the future we may read something official about this

Considering the management believes that Airbus's are not designed to be hand flown probably says alot right there.
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Old 8th Sep 2019, 15:23
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Originally Posted by mngmt mole View Post
Without trying to be a "Monday Morning Quarterback" (look it up), there are certain basic essential skills in this job (especially as a Captain). One of them is not infringing a parallel localizer in an airport such as SFO. Although the UA should also be held to account, we cannot be making errors like this. Needless to say, the prior post correctly identifies the main problem, one that will steadily get worse. When you replace experience, judgement and confidence with low time and rote learned computer warriors, you are simply counting down the days to disaster. Not this time, but soon enough. One day our senior management (and all their predecessors since about 1994) will have the blood of hundreds on their eternal consciences. There is no doubt on that point. Tick tock....
This is undoubtedly true. If it was simply forgetting to arm the LOC. Fine, it happens, although arguably someone in a four man crew ought to pick that up. However, allowing the aircraft to fly through the final track and onto the path for 28R whilst simultaneous visuals are in progress is a no-no!!! The aircraft needs to be disconnected and hand flown to ensure separation. Yes, UA needs to avoid CX as the following traffic, but I bet they were surprised to see CX blow through the LOC. In that case, they have no choice but to climb and perhaps turn to keep CX insight.

The infrastructure at SFO is not ideal, but it isn’t changing anytime soon due to environmental regulations. Airlines have operated safely there for decades using simultaneous parallel visuals and departures off the ones. CX and other Asian carriers are almost always given the easier assignment, which is straight in while domestic carriers get the visual following traffic. Par usual, CX makes mountains outta molehills.
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Old 9th Sep 2019, 03:56
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All they did was forget to arm LOC
And really? All this pussy footing around? Grow a pair.. they’re supposed to be international jet big boys
nearly puked listening to those bs excuses.
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Old 9th Sep 2019, 04:50
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I am with blunderbus....i heard the atc video, my take is they just didnt arm loc...doesnt matter visual, tired or any other bs blah blah excuse. United should get a kick in the ass for ignoring a RA.

The brief for sfo is high threat close parallel ops....i.e dont fly thru the runway....jesus just try seattle with 3 runways and they cross you high across two northern runways and then ditch you capture from above maintain visual separation.....”u visual cathay?”......



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Old 9th Sep 2019, 05:51
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Originally Posted by Scoreboard View Post
I am with blunderbus....i heard the atc video, my take is they just didnt arm loc...doesnt matter visual, tired or any other bs blah blah excuse. United should get a kick in the ass for ignoring a RA.

The brief for sfo is high threat close parallel ops....i.e dont fly thru the runway....jesus just try seattle with 3 runways and they cross you high across two northern runways and then ditch you capture from above maintain visual separation.....”u visual cathay?”......




Higher likelihood is these guys did not understand what maintain visual separation meant and someone thought they were clear the visual approach, even worse thinking to follow united. These guys rarely hear a visual approach clearance, let alone brief it.

OZ Skipper probably yelling “ask him again” and making it all worse.

Probably complaining that the atc is at fault and not using OZ phraseology. Remember this is an A50, the 4th man cant see anything and the 3rd man is half asleep from flying all night.
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Old 9th Sep 2019, 08:35
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I think it’s great how everyone seems able to offer solutions as to how they would have done things better, despite not being there. I also think it’s great that everyone here seems to think they are far better pilots and something like this couldn't happen to them, due to their 'sky-god' like abilities.

Until a report is released that details all the facts, we sadly won't be able to learn much from this as it stands. I bet every single pilot who has ever taken to the skies has made numerous mistakes/slips/errors call them what you like, for all manner of reasons.

Just like the Air France crash - I always say ‘there but for the grace of god go I’. People say, ‘oh well all they had to do was disconnect the AP and push forward and recover the stall’. None of us can imagine the panic and confusion that was occurring in that cockpit. The fact is that there are errors we have made and know about and there are errors that we haven't even thought about waiting to happen. Slating other pilots and colleagues doesn't help to prevent accidents and mistakes from happening.
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