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SWA lands at wrong airport.

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SWA lands at wrong airport.

Old 13th Jan 2014, 22:21
  #81 (permalink)  
 
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Most of the cowboys who land at wrong airports are those over confident of their stick-rudder seat of pants type who are are so gungho about showing off their " superior manual flying " skills at the first opportunity once they have an airfield in sight.

I am an old school, old timer who flew thousands of visual missions; but I bloody made sure I had other confirmation before I committed to diving down for the runway. Once in Quang Tri, I headed for a strip which looked exactly like my intended destination. Just fresh green aviator in my early twenties, I was quick to make a split arse turn and dove for the field...only my peripheral catching of the heading which was about 20 degrees off saved the day. I pulled out pronto, fast enough to avoid the bullets and rpgs that almost peppered my arse.

Trust your manual skills, but do verify!
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Old 13th Jan 2014, 22:26
  #82 (permalink)  
 
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Yes, they made a bad mistake but don't crucify them, they only missed the airport by about 6 miles. I think it was back in Sept 1995 that a major airliine (US) landed not only at the wrong airport but in the wrong country, missing the intended destination (Frankfurt, Germany) by about 160 nm and landed on the right runway but in the wrong country (Brussells, Belgium). A combination of errors on the part of pilots and ATC.

"To err is human, to forgive devine."
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Old 13th Jan 2014, 22:41
  #83 (permalink)  
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"The engines are fully charged" "he has good speed" "flaps are fully deployed"

If ever there was a reason to to study, understand and minimize the occurrences of these events, its so no one has to listen to newsies giving the play by play of the subsequent takeoff.
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Old 13th Jan 2014, 22:56
  #84 (permalink)  
 
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OK, yes, the PIC is ultimately responsible, but..., what about the tower guys looking out the window to verify that the plane is in fact on final when they clear them to land, especially if the tower is non radar?
Seems ATC is always anxious to get rid of you by constantly asking if you have the "airport in sight?".
Just wondering, not throwing stones.
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Old 13th Jan 2014, 23:28
  #85 (permalink)  
 
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I know the one of which you speak. It's in here somewhere I believe.

KPAE Paine Field

Heck, you may even be there.
Thanks for posting this, terrific pictures.

Sad that I couldn't do the flyby that time and I appreciate the folks that take the great photographs.
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 01:00
  #86 (permalink)  
 
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CT.Yankee:

OK, yes, the PIC is ultimately responsible, but..., what about the tower guys looking out the window to verify that the plane is in fact on final when they clear them to land, especially if the tower is non radar?
Seems ATC is always anxious to get rid of you by constantly asking if you have the "airport in sight?".
Just wondering, not throwing stones.
The controller was required to advise him not in sight with the landing clearance.

With the NTSB in charge, we will find out if that call was made.

If not, that shifts about 1% of the blame to the FAA in my view.
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 01:21
  #87 (permalink)  
 
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Here's a similar incident from 1997, in a 737-500:

NTSB CO1760 Corpus Christi
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 01:37
  #88 (permalink)  
 
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I know the one of which you speak. It's in here somewhere I believe.

KPAE Paine Field

Heck, you may even be there.
Here's the link again. I pulled the earlier post after further consideration regarding past events.

KPAE Paine Field
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 06:11
  #89 (permalink)  
 
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A lot of this chat here is from US guys. Please help the rest of us here. ...This was a night incident, which I expect therefore to be dark. Some have said it was a -300 or -700. Both have MAPs and IRS, VNAV & LNAV. Thus, how can the magenta line take you to the wrong place? I assume the destination was programmed correctly before departure. If this was a visual diversion from the STAR....
Sure.

First, there is not, so far as I can see, a STAR for either of these airports. Not sure how SWA SOPs would program for that situation - direct to the airport itself?

(Second, and probably made irrelevant by point one, keep in mind that U.S. STARs are not usually, as with many EU STARs, to a specific runway, but to the general vicinity of the airport, from which point in space (or before reaching it) one is dependent on ATC instructions to join an approach (which may include "Cleared for the visual...".)

Between them, the two airports have only one ILS (KBBG 32), and that was not the runway favored by the winds (150/180).

According to a witness on avherald, the plane started to enter a visual downwind (heading ~320) for the correct runway at the correct airport, but than joined a downwind for the other airport. "Downwind" as in, how you visually land a Cessna: downwind - base - final. Only higher and faster.

Looking at the geometry of the airports, I can see where they'd end up with the wrong airport visible to the right seat at 1 o'clock, and the correct airport invisible to either pilot, behind them at about 7 o'clock.

As to why (perhaps) no RNAV approach - well, you're (so it appears) 5 hours late and have a choice of:

- a visual to an airport which seems to be clearly visible (and with passengers enroute to evening stage shows, with the curtains going up in an hour - what Branson is famous for), or

- wandering 15 miles out into the wilderness to set up and fly an RNAV back another 15 miles.

None of the above "justifies" the mistake, of course. If one is going to be casual about skipping the automation to save some time, one better bring one's "A" game for SA and all the other pilot skills.
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 07:05
  #90 (permalink)  
 
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Why not a display that is visible on the approach with bright lights showing: LGW (or whatever)?
Didnít Northolt/Heathrow do something similar years ago on a hangar roof to reduce chances of landing at the wrong airfield?

Jack
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 07:35
  #91 (permalink)  
 
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...the "LH" and big arrow pointing towards Heathrow is still painted on the side of the gasholder by Southall Railway Station.
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 07:41
  #92 (permalink)  
 
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I fly the 737 NG across Europe. A simple solution to prevent this from happening again is this...

We cannot approach an airport with a 3800 ft runway, because such an airport is not loaded in our FMS nav database. Therefore the TAWS will start yelling TOO LOW TERRAIN when below a certain radio altitude ( unless terrain inhibit is selected)
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 08:03
  #93 (permalink)  
 
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Northolt/Heathrow

Apperntly there were two gasometers. One with NO, and one with LH and arrow on the side.

The LH one is still there.

From: [OT] Mysteries seen from the air - Page 2 - London Banter

LH Bing Maps


Southall Gas Tower | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
On the train to Slough | Flickr - Photo Sharing!
The Tower | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Last edited by jimjim1; 15th Jan 2014 at 04:04.
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 09:32
  #94 (permalink)  
 
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pattern is full makes some good points and I guess you are saying that they landed on runway 14.

The reason this happened is that some pilots (and not just with southwest) are always looking for shortcuts.

It is faster and therefore cheaper (except in this case) to fly a visual pattern than to fly a full instrument approach. So, you see what you want to see and you take the shortcut and OOOPS.


In older planes you could get the back course of the localizer, even if not published, at least on short final , to confirm the right airport. So we tuned up the front course ILS and the needle centered up or OOOPS. Not sure about this plane (involved)

IF you can screw it up, you will screw it up, so you must always be sure with all means. INCLUDING asking RADAR are we on five mile final to the correct airport? OR asking tower to increase the intensity of the runway lights momentarily also providing a confirmation.

I've been in the copilot seat and the captain went off towards the wrong place. It is almost always at night, so be alert even more so then.
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 12:23
  #95 (permalink)  
 
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FOX NINER, it's very unlikely that this airport was in the NDB on this SWA flight. I can't explain what they were looking at but it probably was nothing that had been pulled up.
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 13:10
  #96 (permalink)  
 
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ATC at KOSH has it right: "Blue and yellow biplane, rock your wings"
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 14:52
  #98 (permalink)  
 
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First, there is not, so far as I can see, a STAR for either of these airports. Not sure how SWA SOPs would program for that situation - direct to the airport itself?
The routing given by flightaware.com is ACITO ADELL AKMIE ARLYN STL MAP DGD.

https://flightaware.com/live/flight/...145Z/KMDW/KBBG

I would certainly at least terminate it with KBBG in the box with a discontinuity for a mileage and fuel crosscheck but some folks leave the endpoint out until the actual runway and approach is known. And others would omit the discontinuity and have DGD direct KBBG as the last leg in the FMS.

These different ways of programming the box are considered to be in the realm of technique where I work, at some places they may be overridden by SOP.

And, there are subtle differences in the ancient cryptic user interface on different models of FMS I've flown with over the years. Rather than simplify the user interface, many training hours are spent with wacky route mods and tricks that work on some boxes but are gotchas on others. Many 'modern' aircraft still have FMS's with memory measured in megs, not gigs, and databases will be missing some waypoints and approaches to get a region to fit into the limited memory.

Once I figured out that we would probably be landing on 14, I'd select the RNAV (GPS) Rwy 14 approach in the box even if I planned vectors to a visual. It would give advisory path guidance for the night approach with no PAPI's or VASI.

As Huck speculated, one possible scenario is that the crew were set up for the ILS 32 and switched to the visual 14 late and decided not to mess with the FMS down low. Seems like years ago places like Air Canada had a policy that you wouldn't change anything in the box below 10,000 feet and instead rely on raw data if you had a runway change. Unfortunately, these RNAV (GPS) approaches don't have a lot of raw data.

Southwest certainly has a traditional reputation as a raw data, round dial, hand flying, no VNAV, visual approach airline. Kinda like Piedmont back in the day with the V1, Rotate taxi speeds.
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 15:26
  #99 (permalink)  
 
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Airbubba:


Southwest certainly has a traditional reputation as a raw data, round dial, hand flying, no VNAV, visual approach airline.
Seeing as how the crews are long since all trained to fly RNP AR approaches, they are at least trained to know better.

Doesn't seen like it would have been difficult at all for the PNF to retrieve the RNAV Runway 14 approach and used it as a back up to the visual.
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Old 14th Jan 2014, 15:31
  #100 (permalink)  
 
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OK we get it... "Airmanship".

Thank the lord that in these days of PC BS it has not been translated into
'airpersonship'.

Interesting to hear the various speculative theories about this incident, and to hear the NTSB/FAA is making an investigation. Their conclusion will be interesting; especially in light of the generally well received and supported "Children of the Magenta Line" video. I agree with the philosophy of that presentation, but as it says, use the tools wisely. A slave to one does not mean gung-ho is the opposite. A careful measured use of what is needed, from Mk.1 eyeball to triple autopilot, is the name of the game. Having the judgement to decide is sometimes what is missing.
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