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eirjet A320 LANDS AT WRONG AIRPORT!

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eirjet A320 LANDS AT WRONG AIRPORT!

Old 30th Mar 2006, 19:09
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I did hear from someone at airport Derry has only got capacity on its hover craft for eight at a time. Given lots of mudflats around the airport and the daily 140 seat aircraft coming in - can this be true?
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Old 30th Mar 2006, 19:24
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Who cares......the AFS are there to provide fire cover. If anyone ends up taking a swim, then its over to the coastguard.

I believe it's above and beyond the call of duty for the airfield to even have a hovercraft.
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Old 30th Mar 2006, 19:47
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I did a "Fam Flight" [remember them?] into 'Derry some years ago. Turning onto a long[ish] final, having ascertained that there wasn't a train due, the Skipper poined out an airfield on the nearside of the lough...and 'Derry on the other side......
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Old 30th Mar 2006, 20:12
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Originally Posted by Mariner9
Mr Atcham Tower, you are now famous. : )
No more than I was before! But I stand by my original comments. That runway is still in good condition; no white crosses on the thresholds. Way too easy to sucker even a wary pilot. Miniscule cautions on charts or buried in the AIP should be supported by a heads-up from ATC in certain conditions. I trust that Derry MATS Part 2 will be amended accordingly ...
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Old 30th Mar 2006, 20:29
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I have to admit to being a bit of a forum lurker up to now but had to have a go on this one. First off, I am a pilot, I am ex military and I have considerable experience of Ballykelly and Eglington/Derry. To say that reading posts from non pilots on a professional pilots site giving their ill informed opinions annoys me would be the understatement of the year. Also, if any of the stone throwing on here comes from other non puddle jumpers/pc pilots/wannabes/journos then just remember your words when Murphy visits you. Yes, it was a mistake and could have turned nasty but it didn't. I know I've dropped some monumental clangers in my time and lived to tell the tale (including landing in the wrong place in NI - more due to reading the task sheet wrong though).
Anyway, that all sounded a bit angry. Suffice it to say as long as the crew aren't renowned for such behaviour then I hope they get a good laughing at, buy some beer for the nice military men and carry on normal jogging.
Oh yeah, if the Captain's reading this - don't let it happen again!

Last edited by Regain; 30th Mar 2006 at 21:08.
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Old 30th Mar 2006, 20:58
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Seems no one bothered to read my thread I was at Eglinton when it happened. My report is accurate I guessed it was a case of wrong airfield before the pilot landed but I had no means of communicating with ATC who where pre occuppied with an Ils problem. This has happened many times before or nearly so.

Ballykelly is one of the best kept disused if you believe that airfields I know I recently flew in their. Zero fire cat.

This pilot experienced an Ils problem approaching the area of Ballykelly and as I do not have any knowledge of Airbus systems I guess one area were you loose signal is overhead.

I have almost 20 years of experience professionally in aviation in this area the pilot was rushed into an approach and made a mistake but the person with a lot of experience in this area did nothing to stop this happening.

Many have escaped before if only ATC were looking out and not the Pilots then the error chain could have been broken. I can not remember if the pilot had been cleared to land.
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Old 30th Mar 2006, 21:26
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I have read the whole tread with astonishment. I find that there are three kinds of people posting here.

The non-pilots who very often have absolutely no clue what they are talking about. To those I would like to say that it pisses the hell out of me. This is called a professional pilots network. I do no post on the website for disney lovers so donīt post here if you donīt belong here, unless you clearly indicate that you are not a pilot but have an opinion. I am saying this because some of your more then crazy words are quoted on TV as being Ļthe opinion of professional pilotsĻ. For pete sakeīs NO NO NO.

Then there are our straight ace pilotīs who never make a mistaken and always do everything by the book. First of all, I donīt believe that you make a mistake, but maybe have a good way of covering it up and secondly if you really make no mistake I would like to congratulate you on reaching the status of Mr. Data from Star Trek. But seriously, we all make mistakes. I just did six days of work and made various mistakes almost every day. Fortunately maybe minor things, or things which were caught by my collegue, but one day my fortune may change, and I could be on the wrong strip of asphalt (or hopefully doing that balked landing, if ATC tells me that I messed up). Also those that seem to suggest that the FMS should be the answer and should have told them where they were... well I was though by some very good pilots that if the work load is high, the last thing you want to do is start going inside for the computers. It is just not done, they were on a visual circuit and should be looking outside for visual clues and other traffic. To suggest that they should be working GPS coordinates or have an AIP on there lap is just nutty. I havenīt done any of those things on board a plane ever! Let a lone on a visual.

And then there seems to be some people with some sense, which know what can happen if you start loosing your orientation, is the big picture is getting lost, if workload starts to increase. Thank you that there are at least some of you out there.

How often do we pilots do a go-around? I guess I do about 10 in a year, and every time I can feel the workload going up very quickly in a few seconds. So now we have to make an unprepaired circuit. No big deal in itself, but remember we are also making configuration changes, doing checklist, talking to atc, trying to find out what happened to that darn ILS, maybe making a speech to the passengers (I agree, probably not the best time, but some companies demand it these days), keeping an eye on the runway, other traffic, etc..etc.. Yes, we should be able to do this and we are trained for it, but if this is the forth landing on a long day or maybe the first of the last workday after already 50 hours of duty that week, it gets more hard already.

Bottom line is that we do not know what actually happened but I can imagine it was pretty busy in the cockpit and those two airports look awfully alike to me. Maybe not perfectly aligned but close enough on a bad day.

So causes of the incident (yes incident, accident is qualified as a event where there is death/serious injuries to persons or loss/serious damage to the airplane), are not only pilot error, but so many more things. Letīs remember the old chain of effents leading up to the incident please (it is mandatory lecture for the CRM training).

By the way regain I would love to have a laugh and a beer with these guys over it and I know this it good custom in the army. Unfortunately the life of an airline pilot is slightly more complicated and unless you are in a good outfit the end result is likely to be the pink slip.

(sorry about all this, my wife complains to I talk to much too )
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Old 30th Mar 2006, 21:42
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erjet A320 lands at wrong airport

Following this thread with great intrest, non pilot,member of the fare paying public, would fly eirjet any time. Rome and back very recently from Liverpool.We are all human and humans by nature make mistakes,as an ex LGV driver I`ve made many a wrong turn even when I`ve known where I`m going.I hold great respect for you guys up front, and so long as I get on terra firma in one piece then good job done.First ever post,expect to get slagged off for comparing 44 tonne petrol tanker vehicle with A320
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Old 30th Mar 2006, 21:44
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I'm just a humble low hours PPL but I have a question which someone may be able to answer. Namely at what stage was the first approach "thrown away"?

I can't find any mention of where the go around was initiated, but it occurs to me that unless it was from (literally) miles away, then any such manouvre on final would have been from over the water. So a "gross error check" (one of my instructors favourite sayings!) on the second approach may have raised the issue "where's the water gone?" Notwithstanding that a go around + tight visual circuit = higher workload, the picture would have been entirely different.

Of course if the train issue caused the go around/circuit to be initiated at a much earlier stage then my point is specious and I apologise for sticking my oar in.

Duncan
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Old 30th Mar 2006, 21:52
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Fortuna,
How often do we pilots do a go-around? I guess I do about 10 in a year
Blimey, you have had the sh*t end of the stick mate!!!! Don't think i've managed that many in 16years!!!
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Old 30th Mar 2006, 21:55
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Dear 'arewenearlythereyet',

This is in relation to some of your earlier comments. Ignorant/rude comments bring down the quality of this forum. I fully agree with the sentiments of 'fortuna76'.

>"Can we puleeze get some professional pilots on here instead of armchair PC sim amateurs.
I am a fully licensed advanced aerobatics pilot with 2500 hours. No, I may not be as skilled as you, but I might know enough about flying to offer an opinion.

>"The aircraft was exactly where it should have been."
No, it wasn't.

>"The only error was in the pilots head and any one of us could have made that mistake."
I agree with you here. To quote from the British Airline Pilots Association submission to the Cairus Commitee on Accident Investigation, 1961; "Every pilot is a human being and therefore fallible."

>"There are obviously some right plonkers posting on here if they think that doing a tight visual circuit in any medium jet, >one of the crew is going to start checking GPS co->ordinates against a plotting chart."
I understand what you mean here, but evidently the normal routine did not work. I believe that pilots should know where they are at all times. I have not flown large passenger jets, but I would expect that the first officer could check the GPS-derived coordinates before actually landing. Obviously, something fundamental like this needs to be done, even if it is simply a visual reference outside as a final confirmation that the airport observed is, in fact, the correct airport. It appears that the some of the most basic of navigational techniques, dead reckoning, was lost in this event. Perhaps people could make suggestions here?
As I said before, it was very fortunate that the event was not worse. The investigation will hopefully shed some light on what went wrong, and we can all learn from it.

>"The Eirjet crew will no doubt be feeling bad enough about this incident without some of the amateurs pontificating on here >about what they should have done."
While I sympathise with the crew, at the same time it was a very fundamental error made and, as such, the event should be analysed in an attempt to prevent a similar event from occuring. It appears as though a loss of situational awareness was the cause and it would be useful to find why this occured, especially since there were two pilots. It should not suffice to say it was due to 'pilot error'.

>"...but on all systems I have used it is possible to view basic GPS coordinates."
I said this in response to what 'Faire d'income' said: "an error of 5 miles doesn't even register as a failure on the FMGC". I found it hard to believe that an A320 guidance computer could not register 5nm off. As I am not familiar with the FMGC of the A320, feel free to enlighten me. I am not an expert and, hence, I am asking questions. I, just like everyone else here, want to know what happened so that a similar occurance cannot happen. So let's not be rude and instead hear educated suggestions and opinions.

Will.
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Old 30th Mar 2006, 22:30
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Well about those go-arounds... I guess that because we operate a lot in London City about half of those come from there... the rest might be because we also come a lot in places where the weather reporting is not as good as you would like it to be (say few 2900 and finding yourself fully imc at MDA 1000 feet, in the go-around.....).

About that GPS, FMS, etc... help story. Donīt forget that if you have Londonderry in the FMS as destination and you abandon the programmed approach to fly a visual circuit, there is NO warning if you land in the wrong place. Some people seem to think that there will be a big red warning light flashing in front of you as you are about to land 5 nm away from destination. Not so. In fact, probably the only indication these guys would have had from the fms was a small yellow message saying Ļapproaching last waypointĻ as they finished flying their missed approach. In any case any message from the fms should be ignored at this stage since we are now flying a visual and fms has no place in there. Sure enough it would be great to program some sort of approach but that would use up valuable time and brain capacity. In reality if somebody would try and use the highest level of automation at this stage in the flight, I would like to have some tea and biscuits with them and talk it over, itīs not a good idea.

Offcourse that does not mean that you can not rever to it if you feel you are loosing your orientation, but the fact of the matter is that they probably never got that feeling. They were busy, one flying the plane, the other going through procedures. They had the runway in sight and were happy enough to land there. The feeling of disorientation would have set in quite a bit later I guess.

It is easy enough for us to think now, why didnīt they see that distance reading on the fms, or distance to a vor, or whatever (Sorry donīt know if there is any there), but ask yourself next time you are on downwind for a visual how many times in the last minute have I looked at all that? It is just to darn easy to condem somebody from the back seat. If you donīt believe me, tape your next sim ride and have a real good look at it afterwards from that comfy seat back home. You will be amazed of all the little mistakes you make, or the little thinks you did not too. (and that may actually have been a very nice sim ride).

I hope the chief in their company feels the same and will take a real good look with the crew about the incident. Maybe we can all get a good lesson from it in the next safety bulletin.
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Old 30th Mar 2006, 22:47
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Sven Sixtoo (a couple of pages ago)

"Non-critical" errors??

Landing at the wrong field seems fairly "critical" to me. As far as i understand it, the crew lost the ILS (localiser) signal and subsequently positioned visually for entirely the wrong the airfield.

There but for the grace, etc, but........it's an enormous f*ck up isn't it.

At the end of the day, hope they both still have jobs.
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Old 30th Mar 2006, 22:49
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Some posts have suggested Ballykelly runway is 'disused' It is not. A quick 'Google' shows it remains a military airfield (Army) operating mainly helicopters eg Chinooks. The RAF flew a C130 there in 2004 to assist with the rescue of that Canadian sub. My empathy for the pilots.

Many years ago I was at the BAE Woodford Air Show A USAF jet assured us he was heading in to start his display. After several minutes no show, the tower asked where he was. "Heading home after completing my display over your airport" - Manchester Airport!
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Old 30th Mar 2006, 23:04
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same guy involved in an incident in snandic airports some time ago for the the same carrier!!! ex aircorps or how the hell they call them!!!!!!
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Old 30th Mar 2006, 23:06
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eirjet A320

Just a quick pointer. Not too sure about where and when the Go Around began, but on the 320 if the approach mode isn't reactivated in the system shortly after a G/A commences then the computer may "dump" any destination data (runway/approach aid) ientered into the FMGC.
Very much specualtion here but if the FMGC did dump everything and the guys flew a tight visual circuit without the N/D displaying relevant info then you can see where the problem may have arisen. This coupled with x-lists, ATC, missing ILS'...life can get confusing.
Better to learn from this, admit that we all make mistakes and put it in the back of our minds for the day we find ourselves in the same position.
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Old 30th Mar 2006, 23:38
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Devil

Sorry ZICODIAN but you are well out of order with your last and previous posts.
I am a fully licensed advanced aerobatics pilot with 2500 hours. No, I may not be as skilled as you, but I might know enough about flying to offer an opinion.
Thay is precisely why some of us get rather angry with people like you. Just because you hold a basic licence doesn't give you the right to pontificate your opinions on here. I have no experience flying aerobatics and therefore don't presume to offer opinions about it.

I believe that pilots should know where they are at all times. I have not flown large passenger jets, but I would expect that the first officer could check the GPS-derived coordinates before actually landing. Obviously, something fundamental like this needs to be done, even if it is simply a visual reference outside as a final confirmation that the airport observed is, in fact, the correct airport. It appears that the some of the most basic of navigational techniques, dead reckoning, was lost in this event.
Well, that just about sums up your lack of appreciation of the difference between flying a modern jet aircraft and whatever it is that you fly for your aerobatics. I won't even begin to go into the differences but your shoot yourself in the foot with the opener "I have not flown large passenger jets" and then go on to tell us what you would expect the F/O to be doing. I bet you haven't even flown 'small passenger jets' or even 'small jets' or even 'jets'.

Please, do us all a favour, go and find yourself an enthusiasts site where your 'aerobatic' experience will be taken as gospel proof that you know what you are talking about and leave this site for those of us who do know what it is like and what we can and can't do when flying our heavy metal. If you want to offer an 'opinion' rather than ask a question, then go and do the training, take the exams, get some experience and then come back here and we may then actually listen to you. For the time being, I have you and a few others posting on here down to a 'T', enthusiastic amateurs with a wannabe attitude but with nothing to back it up.
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Old 31st Mar 2006, 03:29
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I have no comment re the incident as I have been very close to doing the same thing myself very late at night years ago ...

.. however, just thought that you might be interested to know that the event scored a paragraph in one of the daily papers over here (Melbourne, Australia) today ...
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Old 31st Mar 2006, 06:37
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eirjet

tmax......I hear he's not an army chap, but a 320 pilot from a national carrier on contract to eirjet...could that be possible?
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Old 31st Mar 2006, 07:06
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ZICODIAN - I agree with arewenearlythereyet - unlike yourself, I AM a A320 captain and I can assure you that you're out of your depth....

but I would expect that the first officer could check the GPS-derived coordinates before actually landing.
are you kidding? Sorry mate, you have no idea. As a wise man once said "Best to remain silent and be considered an idiot, than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt"
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