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Continental 757 Lands on Taxiway at EWR

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Continental 757 Lands on Taxiway at EWR

Old 1st Nov 2006, 18:11
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Originally Posted by ChristiaanJ
It said sunset 5.58 pm and touchdown 6.31 pm.
At about half an hour after sunset, down to what altitude would they still have had the sun in their eyes?
Evening civil twilight ended at 18:26L, so it was effectively full dark if the touchdown time from that site is correct.
I fly in and around EWR's airspace twice a day, and while RJs and smaller AC use 11/29 quite frequently (Im forced to work around them as they come down final), I do believe its fairly rare for heavier eqp such as a 757 to use 29.
For your entertainment-I live under the left base for 29, and a couple years ago on a windy day similar to the past weekend, scores of nervous twits called the newspaper to complain about "low flying jets that might have been hijacked".

http://aa.usno.navy.mil/data/docs/RS_OneDay.html

Last edited by FlyVMO; 1st Nov 2006 at 18:12. Reason: added link
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Old 1st Nov 2006, 18:52
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Some 12yrs ago an aircraft landed on a taxiway in Gatwick. As in this case there were no injuries or fatalities as luckily there was no other aircraft on the taxiway. The initial reaction by many people was to call the said pilots incompetent etc. etc. The subsequent AAIB report reached the conclusion that one of the main contributing factors was that with the ILS off the air on the main landing runway, the crew were asked to land on the other runway (Rwy08L) which has no ILS. The lighting etc. was confusing to the crew and they landed on the taxiway to the left of 08L.

Dunno what happened in this case, but before some people with profound knowledge of what goes on in a cockpit comment they'd better wait to see what led to this happening.
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Old 1st Nov 2006, 20:06
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FLCH

so, tell us the scoop...what is the truth...of course you can wait until after the investigation into your friend's mistake.

I also published my thoughts on how easily this could have happened.

And I have circled to land 29 from both sides (4 apch and 22 apch).

no one wants to chastise anyone, but by the same token no one wants pilots out there frequently making mistakes.

to be sure, circling to 29 at night, when full night vision has not been achieved is not a piece of cake.
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Old 1st Nov 2006, 20:27
  #44 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by worldpilot
My rating on Cessna 150/172 does not reflect my aviation knowledge. I pretty much have a profound understanding of aviation and the workload involved in the cockpit.
Well your knowledge obiously does not include Human factors. May I suggest for a start Proffessor S. De Dekker excellent articles ( do a search on Google) where you will learn that errors are extremely rarely done by individuals alone.


Nerik, very valid point, you may also add that the central taxi way they landed on in EGKK was also marked as an emergency runway , and it was an error waiting to happen.
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Old 1st Nov 2006, 20:43
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Somebody else's post about sunset time, hence lighting conditions, just got deleted, no idea why.

Anyway, we're all speculating, until some kind of preliminary report comes out.

All that's clear from this topic, is that it's been done before, and it will be done again.

Only, if some lessons can be learned this time, maybe it will happen one or two times less often?
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Old 1st Nov 2006, 21:11
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info I have was sunset time was 5:50 pm local, landing time 6:31 pm local.

one must recall that while aloft, there may be more light, and as you descend your eyes are not yet accustomed to handle night vision.

I also indicated that PAPI was on the right hand side of 29...all the other runways have it on the left...hmmm
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Old 1st Nov 2006, 22:15
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Somebody else's post about sunset time, hence lighting conditions, just got deleted, no idea why.
It was probably mine. I had thought the incident was a couple of days later than it actually occured. My cogent analysis was somewhat flawed since EWR went from UTC-4 to UTC-5 over the weekend with the end of daylight savings time.
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Old 1st Nov 2006, 23:22
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It was indeed your message that disappeared, Airbubba.
I'm sure the time change will help to confuse the enquiry a bit more....
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Old 1st Nov 2006, 23:35
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We used to land DC10'S and Classic 747's on 29 and I still see 777's and 744's land on it not infrequently.

You have to put it down in the touch down zone but with very strong Westerly winds it makes more sense sometimes to use the crosswind runway.
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Old 2nd Nov 2006, 00:17
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Why didn't alarm bells ring?

I understand the difficulties of approaches into the sun and I brief this when expected. It just so happens that today I made an approach into BFS/EGAA on RWY 25 as the sun was sitting on the horizon. By 500ft RA I could not see the runway markings, but shortly after I could see all markings well enough to continue to landing.

Why did the pilots continue to land when there was no clear indication of WHERE they were landing?
If they had not seen the touch down markings, then you could assume the rest of the runway would not have been visible. The next question should naturally be 'How much of the 6800ft is left?'. Don't know! Well I wouldn't want to hang around when I have no idea at what point I touched-down.

Did the pilots review the airport diagram, so that they may have a good idea of what to expect? If the aircraft was able to make a visual approach then tarmac and airport structures should have been visible enough to orientate one's self.

Did the pilots suffer from 'Get-home-titis' after a long flight?
Was Confirmation Bias playing its usual role? (Confirmation Bias is when the brain manipulates facts, or ignores them, to achieve the desired conclusion.)
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Old 2nd Nov 2006, 01:06
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Originally Posted by Touch'n'oops
I understand the difficulties of approaches into the sun ....
So far, it seems as if the sun was down for at least half an hour. And from the CNN video, the taxyway didn't look very much like a live runway.

So I would think it's time to stop guessing what went on, and wait for some more concrete information (no pun intended).

We all know about people landing in places where they did not intend to land (Northolt, anybody?).

Until we know what happened and why, and what lessons are to be learned from that, let's give it a rest, maybe?
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Old 2nd Nov 2006, 01:30
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I think it is important to talk about all possible aspects of this amazing incident...while we could wait for ONE YEAR while NTSB gives us the real story (as they see it), what is to say that just by chatting here someone will have gleaned enough info to be more careful with his/her own flying.

I would like to point out that there have been accidents within an hour of sunset or sunrise...does anyone recall the LAX cleared to land on top of another plane...pilots staring into the sun for hours on a transcon flight...and descending into the dark?

or the recent comair crash in kentucky, just before sunrise


these times of day demand special attention from pilots...and CONTROLLERS
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Old 2nd Nov 2006, 01:49
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Originally Posted by stilton
There is an approach to 29, it is an RNAV/VNAV aaproach that places you
on a nice stabilized final to 29, it can be accessed from the database on the 757 in question.
Atc, though does not like us using this as it place us too far out on the base leg for their taste, however cutting inside the course is quite feasible ( you have to be visual anyway)
29 is not 'rarely used', it is used quite commonly, especially with strong winds out of the northwest.
There is no excuse for leaving garbage on your nav display. Radar vectors, be it to an ILS, Rnav or visual approach should always mean that the PM pulls up an approach to that runway and "draws a line" from the runway to the OM. Coupla key strokes and you're done. If the visual turns you inside the OM make it the "from" point...again two or three key strokes. You then have an electronic referance to back you up. Too often we throw away the magic and go visual too soon.
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Old 2nd Nov 2006, 02:02
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If the visual turns you inside the OM make it the "from" point...again two or three key strokes.
Depends on the airline. Air Canada, for example, doesn't allow route mods in the Boeing below 10,000 feet from what I'm told.

And, using the primitive text based user interface in the 75, do you really want the PNF punching buttons inside the marker? Maybe the PNF was heads down trying to do what you suggested when the miscue occurred.

A non-GPS 75 probably wouldn't be able to accurately tell you were lined up on the taxiway instead of the runway until it was too late, especially with the course up display in a crosswind. You have to mentally rotate the picture on the HSI to try to make it match what you see out the window with a crosswind component. The dotted line would have enough error from map shift to make you disregard a minor displacement I would think.

Last edited by Airbubba; 2nd Nov 2006 at 02:59.
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Old 2nd Nov 2006, 02:20
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Nerik, very good statement. the Captain of the EGKK 1-11 is a very fine pilot and instructor. He eventually became Chief Pilot of a UK airline, and I am one of those who benefited from his teaching some years ago (after the incident as it happens.)

If we had 'revoked his licence' as suggested happens to this crew, the UK aviation industry would have lost a very good trainer - and nothing would have been gained, other than revenge. Let's hope the US industry is as enlightened.

We learn from other's mistakes as well as our own.
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Old 2nd Nov 2006, 05:12
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Maybe color blindness was a factor.

I've seen myself an executive jet pilot fail a color blindness test in the US and the FAA inspector passed him anyway.
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Old 2nd Nov 2006, 05:58
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Lightbulb

The topic now is whether and how severe their punishment should be?
Many years ago, according to his book, world-famous (WW2 fighter pilot) aerobatic expert Bob Hoover took off in his Twin Commander with a few passengers. The fueler had somehow put jet fuel into his (recip.) plane, which caused a dual engine failure, at night.

Mr. Hoover made a good dead-stick landing.
He was told that the fueler was history (would be fired). Bob said no, keep the humiliated guy. The fueler would now be the safest, most careful fueler around.

These two CO pilots will probably be some of the safest pilots-until this incident, they might have already been quite careful. Suddenly they have a major 'glitch' on their record. They probably have no more 'room', from a career perspective, for a major mistake.
The actual danger might now still lurk inside the hundreds or thousands of superior ("Weltflieger" usw) , professional pilots-Pprune fans or otherwise-who feel that they could never make this type of serious mistake.

Years ago being fairly new on the 757 on the visual approach into Orlando (MCO), a Captain asked me to quickly build him an artificial, let's just say "won ton" glidepath. I was slow doing it, having very little time. I could have missed a mistake on his part. Possibly something in the 757's automation at EWR, or a last-minute landing checklist, prevented one of the pilots from catching a trend or normal maneuver, which was missed by the flying pilot. Also, pilots mostly have the HSI in MAP display, instead of VOR, which would give you a normal on- or off-course "localizer" indication, to supplement the flight director. Were the localizer and VASI or PAPI in operation?
The amateurs who read Pprune might not realize how hazardous a visual approach can be, not just with rough, turbulent strong winds which can be quite a challenge, even in a DC-9 or a 757. The 757 often increases your workload, despite some automation, because they take longer to slow to the required max gear and flap extension speeds, as you are constantly descending. Flying a C-172 etc into a large airport can not begin to compare.

Last edited by Ignition Override; 3rd Nov 2006 at 04:52.
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Old 2nd Nov 2006, 06:31
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while I don't know the particular nav equipment aboard this particular 757, I do know that when making a circling apch to rw 29 in the past, I have used the back course of the ILS 11 localizer to assure line up on centerline.

a 757 pilot friend indicates that selecting this would be no problem.

thoughts?

jon
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Old 2nd Nov 2006, 09:19
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Originally Posted by flown-it
There is no excuse for leaving garbage on your nav display. Radar vectors, be it to an ILS, Rnav or visual approach should always mean that the PM pulls up an approach to that runway and "draws a line" from the runway to the OM. Coupla key strokes and you're done. If the visual turns you inside the OM make it the "from" point...again two or three key strokes. You then have an electronic referance to back you up. Too often we throw away the magic and go visual too soon.
That makes sense - we call it "cleaning up the map". Three button pushes. It will tell you you're coming from the right direction and even if you're going to land on the right runway but you'd need a magnifying glass to see that you were lined up on a parallel taxiway, even when on the lowest map range...
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Old 2nd Nov 2006, 14:43
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In another one of those 'amazing things that you can find on the internet', go to the following site:

http://www4.passur.com/ewr.html

Input the date as October 28 and the time as 18:30. Then CLICK on START. It takes a few seconds to load.You will see the approach of the aircraft in question, and it appears to make a last minute correction toward Taxiway Z. If you click on the blue plane, it will give you ID and altitude, etc.

Note that the next plane landing appears to be a FeDex D10 landing on 22L, followed by multiple flights landing on 29.

Last edited by PlatinumFlyer; 2nd Nov 2006 at 14:56. Reason: Added the instruction to click on START
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