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Another Aircraft off the Runway at BRS?

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Another Aircraft off the Runway at BRS?

Old 6th Jan 2007, 17:38
  #181 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by 11K-AVML
Well, it's definatly in the tabloids now. ITV National news (terrestrial) have just had it as one of their headlines!
(Saturday 6th Jan '07, 17:30)
Now on Channel 4 News (another National outlet). Third Item of the evening. Soon everyone will know!

The guy (supposed pax) with the white beard in a blue raincoat like jacket must have been waiting for his flight for quite sometime now...I've seen him being interview on three different channels now - including once yesterday evening and once today! (See the earlier post with the link to the BBC PointWest item broadcast on Friday - he's in there too!)

From the Channel 4 Interview with Skippy
Skippy says regarding the difference between 'incidents' and 'skidding'
"One caused by fog"...
"Another caused by 90 degree winds"

He said that the runway resurfacing was being carried out in the same manner as at other airports.

Regarding compensation:
"We're investigating"..."are issues can we can deal with after we've got the runway resurfaced"

Regarding some airlines cancelling flights and other continuing,
"Weather has caused the runway to fall below the standard for some of the airlines, but not others."

6th Jan '07, 18:45

I've just noticed there is a big article in todays times...or at least the local takeaways copy of the Times

Last edited by 11K-AVML; 6th Jan 2007 at 19:40.
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Old 6th Jan 2007, 17:42
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Outoftheblue22 you are right but why are Continental, for example, still flying and why don't the idiots running Bristol explain to the media what is going on instead of saying they are working with the airlines? Most of the airlines are running away as fast as they can
Already explained that.
The airport is still officially open. As CO are based in the states they dont know what is going on as BIA are not communicating. Its communication between airlines that have caused everyone to pull out.
BIA are going the wrong way about....as previously said, announce that the airport is closed until further, and sort the issue....dont let rumours and speculation continue!!!
The bad handling of this scenario will leave ripples that are going to remain for a long while...
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Old 6th Jan 2007, 17:57
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You're correct. As someone said elsewhere on the thread, it's not whats correct that's important now, its what's said and done by BIA from now on that will influence the outcome.

The only sensible thing to do is bite the bullet- shut the airfield- do the rwy properly- reopen.

Street cred regained. press happy. etc etc.

But will they?........ They haven't got the balls!
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Old 6th Jan 2007, 18:06
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Just seen PPrune being quoted on Sky News. Few of theses posts actually shown. Some of you now have 5 minutes of username fame!!
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Old 6th Jan 2007, 18:09
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Pprune has also been quoted on channel 5 news .
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Old 6th Jan 2007, 18:09
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Originally Posted by Windshear
The airport is still officially open. As CO are based in the states they dont know what is going on as BIA are not communicating. Its communication between airlines that have caused everyone to pull out.
Exactly right, but interesting to see this mornings Balkan Holidays from Plovdiv diverted to Exeter. Was this due to the runway issues as well? wonder how they came to know about it? Or was it a split BRS/EXT flight that just went into EXT instead? I know Balkan do that often in lower season.
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Old 6th Jan 2007, 18:12
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Just a lucky guess!! This might come as a big surprise to some people but I think you will find that most airlines do know what is happening at Bristol even if they are not based in the UK. Someone from ATC might be able to confirm this but I think the CO had to use 09 today

Last edited by flyerboy; 6th Jan 2007 at 18:52.
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Old 6th Jan 2007, 18:29
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I'm sitting here somewhat shamefaced because I've been waiting for somebody else to come up with an explanation as to how this is just a way of Easy putting one over on BIA and gaining some commercial advantage (cos I've had a good go and can't think of any).
As no such explanation has appeared I'm being forced to admit that even in this modern world there are admirable organisations who are prepared to take a stand (and one can only imagine the problems this is cauing for them).
Well done easy and the others.
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Old 6th Jan 2007, 19:41
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Originally Posted by Marra123
I work for servisair at NCL handling the flights for easyjet, I would just like to say how some of the passengers attitudes towards this is terrible. The amount of people who are travelling on the BRS flights and are wanting complaint letters and are wanting to argue about being diverted to CWL is amazing! How do people not understand its for there own safety and that EZY could quite easily cancel this service and leave them to find there own transport
Marra, before you re-appear to bleat further about the attitude of PAX here , let me explain to you exactly why they get so p!ssed off.

My mother was due to fly from BRS last Friday. Before leaving home she did all the right things and checked the BIA website for any problems or last minute advice. All she saw was a vague announcement about EasyJet cancelling flights. She was flying with Thomson so no problem there then?

Only when she got the BRS did she discover that she would be bussed to Brum. The only word of explanation she received was "the runway is wet". Now maybe I'm wrong, but I would suggest that even the most non-aviation minded person would not ordinarily view a wet runway as sufficient explanation for the inconvenience of a 2 hour bus trip to BHX.

She was then directed to a point where "someone" would "meet" her. Of course there was nobody there other than a load of other bewildered passengers. After a further 40 minutes of standing in the rain without so much as a sniff of anyone 'official' she finally managed to track someone down and got put on a bus.

So, "do people not understand its for there own safety" - no, not necessarily, not unless someone has taken the time to explain the situation properly. My experience is that, generally, folk are much more cooperative if their intelligence is not insulted and adequate, truthful explanations behind decisions are communicated to them.

Oh, and some semblance of organisation to make the alternative arrangements work wouldn't go amiss either.
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Old 6th Jan 2007, 19:57
  #190 (permalink)  
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and now she knows that the runway is slippery when wet, is she still upset that she was flown from an alternative airport?
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Old 6th Jan 2007, 20:09
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Originally Posted by flyingbug
and now she knows that the runway is slippery when wet, is she still upset that she was flown from an alternative airport?
She wasn't especially upset in the first place because my father (ex-RAF) dropped her off at BRS and suspected the reason for it.

But, she's not the slightest bit upset now because she KNOWS the reason for it - which is exactly my point.
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Old 6th Jan 2007, 20:19
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landed there today, the atis gave damp wet damp, i think it was supposed to say damp, ice,damp, wouldnt want to even attempt a landing at BRS if there was a cross wind in excess of 5 kts........dangerous stuff
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Old 6th Jan 2007, 21:00
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Belgium radio

Its even on Belgium radio now!! 10pm news, Q-Music!!

Also, at LPL, just resurfaced, slippy as hell until grooved. You could feel it & see it, but only after impact!!
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Old 6th Jan 2007, 21:07
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10 Airlines now listed as not operating BRS.
May be CO still flying because the B757 has a better stopping distance than B737 & A319, only a guess though?
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Old 6th Jan 2007, 21:11
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This is a PR disaster for BRS and gets worse at every news bulletin.

It does not take great intelligence to realise that the public are going to be more inclined to trust our reservations about the runway state than accept reassurance with mealy mouthed ambiguous assertions by Skip and his apologists that all is fine and dandy and that, by implication, the problem lies with us pilots.

BRS stands to lose a great deal of long term business and the situation will only get worse until the realisation finaly dawns that the only course of action avilable is to quickly shut the airport and finish the runway in one hit.

To continue with the current stand off will be ruinous for the airport, and a great inconvenience for those of us who rely on it for our work and travel.

As a pilot I am very annoyed that the CAA has not put up a spokesman to explain the issues clearly to the press.
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Old 6th Jan 2007, 21:36
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Originally Posted by gabbai
There is obviously a safety issue at Bristol so why are
Air South West
Aer Arran
Austrain Airlines
still flying in and out?
I can't speak for the others, but KLM are still operating in and out of BRS albeit with strict restrictions when the runway is wet (crosswind limit and no deficiencies affecting stopping performance allowed). KLM have been monitoring the situation very carefully all weekend and have responded with the restrictions very quickly. One flight today had to divert to CWL.
The F100 and F70 that both operate into BRS at various times of the day are much lighter than B737's and A319's (40T and 36T MLW respectively) and are pretty good at stopping hence less restrictions in force than the larger aircraft.
This is a fluid situation and may well change at short notice.
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Old 6th Jan 2007, 21:56
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Anybody had any experience with Exeter? Runway resurfaced just after the 26 threshold to just short of Twy C. 1 yr+ and still not grooved. Last year when a bit icy, the whole of the resurfaced area was covered with "ice mushrooms". Normally we dont start braking until about the end of the area, and landing on 08, we're down to taxi speed before we reach it. However, there was a point mid 06 when if you couldn't make C, you had to go to the end instead of doing a 180.

It'd be interesting to hear from any operator that had to use the brakes in anger on this section. I've always wanted to ask ATC why it hasn't been grooved, but as it hasn't been an issue for us/me personally I've never got around to it. After the problems at BRS, I wonder if I should.
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Old 6th Jan 2007, 23:04
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Pinkman raised the question about the reported mu-meter results. When I saw them, I was also a little surprised that they did not accord with the pilot reports of poor braking in wet weather. The friction testers (mu meter, grip tester and the like) are very useful machines, but they do need to be calibrated and precisely operated. There have been problems with achieving repeatable results with these machines, and quite a lot of work has been done internationally over the last 5 years to improve measurements. This has given us a better understanding of the potential variability and how it can be better controlled. I imagine that someone has asked for another machine/crew to go to BRS and do some check-runs with the existing machine to check the calibration. I do not know if the BRS machine was sent to any of the international fly-in calibration sessions such as NASA's Wallops Flight Facility or had recently been recalibrated by the manufacturer, but that seems to be increasingly common practice for individual airports to do.

Leaving aside calibration, a more fundamental issue should be considered. It was already posted above by HundredPercentPlease that "these vehicles operate at much lower speeds and weights than an aircraft." They do, and most tests are at 65 kph and 95 kph (the green pages in ICAO Annex 14, Vol 1, Attachment A, Table A-1). This is rather less than aircraft takeoff speeds of say 100-125 knots (180Ė225 kph), but gives generally reasonable results on runways which conform to ICAO requirements for macrotexture. This is because the loss of friction with speed on runways with good macrotexture (i.e. grooved or porous) generally flattens out by 95 kph. If the computer picture thingy works, the first graph below will show this. Even though wet friction does reduce with speed, there is enough friction to allow light-medium braking. [note: I have deliberately used skid number rather than mu to prevent people making possibly erroneous comparisons].

However if the runway has poor macrotexture (is flush or smooth), wet friction continues to be lost with increasing speed, and the 65/95 measurements donít fully pick this up. Friction may drop to the point where there is simply not enough friction to allow for even light braking and so the aircraft feels like it is sliding when the brakes are applied. Some of earlier posters have mentioned this, and the second graph shows why.

High speed wet friction can be checked, and in most parts of the world it was normal to also test runways at 80 mph (128 kph). All the machines are built to that standard and rated for that speed. Indeed, the need to adjust speed for macrotexture is clearly set out in clause 7.8 of the green pages referred to above. I saw a photo of one of the old British friction machines using a Jaguar (XK140?) to tow at high speed. We used race-tuned V8 engined vehicles with brakes and gearbox from the racing department (as well as roll-bar and crash helmets) to tow our mu-meter, and that was really really good fun. The third graph shows how the higher test speed can pick up the loss of friction if the runway is flush.

The practice of testing at 80 mph (128 kph) has dropped away in some countries, partly because the 95 kph tests give reasonable results on textured runways, partly because it was difficult to get to speed quickly enough for the touchdown areas (or to stop at the other end), and partly I suspect because management thought that the ultra-high performance tow vehicles were (a) nicer than their own company cars and (b) looked out of place in the airport works yard.

It would be very interesting to see the BRS runway 80 mph (128 kph) test results and see how much they explain of the apparent low friction. A word of warning, and I hesitate to write this because those readers who are being used to punting 75 tonnes of metal, passengers and fuel down the runway at 200 kph in rain, cloud and all sorts, will laugh at this, but high speed testing is risky and does need to be done with care.
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Old 6th Jan 2007, 23:09
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Would/Could this be enough?

Part of a revised statement on the BIA website tonight at 22:30.

"Since Friday morning (January 5) Bristol International has been liaising with the Civil Aviation Authority and all airlines operating from the airport. With the approval of the CAA, last night (Friday January 5), a test strip was added to the area of runway currently under modification which involved the grooving of the temporary area under construction. The effect of these grooves in the test strip will be reviewed today (Saturday) and tomorrow (Sunday) by the airport, the airlines and the CAA. If it is found to be successful, we will continue to groove each temporary section as we continue to resurface the rest of the runway. This could allow the progressive resumption of normal operations at Bristol International from Monday morning, and all future stages of the resurfacing would follow the same process. "

Would/Could this be enough to sort out the problem , but what about the perception problem?
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Old 7th Jan 2007, 04:33
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More publicity for the airport boss to savour

Airline pilots reject 'danger' runway

After touchdown skids were reported at Bristol, flights are cancelled and thousands face delays

Anushka Asthana
Sunday January 7, 2007
The Observer

Thousands of people faced travel chaos this weekend after nine airlines cancelled flights at Bristol International Airport over claims that planes were skidding on the runway and having difficulty braking in heavy rain.
Easyjet, British Airways, Thomas Cook and First Choice were among those refusing to use the recently resurfaced landing strip after pilots described it as 'unsafe' and 'too smooth'. Despite reports that four planes have skidded across it, the airport and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) insisted the runway was safe.

Tony Horwood, aviation director at the airport, said 32 flights had landed and taken off yesterday: 'We know that the runway is safe to operate. The CAA have also reassured us that it is safe.'
The airlines disagreed, and 98 flights were diverted to other airports yesterday while 28 were cancelled. Easyjet, the airport's biggest operator, cancelled all of its 68 flights on Friday and 40 flights over the weekend, affecting more than 10,000 customers. They also diverted 76 flights to Cardiff International Airport, transporting passengers there by coach.

Samantha Day, a spokeswoman for the airline, said: 'The fact is that over the last two weeks there have been four incidents where airliners have had longer braking distances than is acceptable. The surfacing is causing concern in wet conditions. Safety is our number one priority and we are working closely with Bristol to find a solution.'

According to Easyjet, the new runway, currently undergoing a £17m resurfacing programme, has not yet had grooves cut into the surface, affecting braking distances and leaving pilots unconfident about landing in wet weather. One of the four planes said to have been involved in an incident was an Excel flight that apparently overshot the tarmac on Thursday night. In December an Easyjet flight from Malaga and an Aurigny flight from Guernsey were both reported to have skidded, the latter on to the grass. The situation first came to light when pilots aired their concerns on an internet forum, www.pprune.org. One pilot who logged on as 'ezydays' wrote: 'The middle point of the runway definitely seems dodgy. Having landed there several times with this ungrooved bit, I'm not entirely happy any more. Let's get this sorted before something worse happens.'

Thousands queued in the rain yesterday for coaches to take them to other airports. Julian Johnston, his wife and four children travelled from Swansea to Bristol to catch a flight to Tenerife. 'We've all worked over Christmas and this holiday was going to be a special present for us all,' he said. 'We haven't a clue what time we're going to finally reach our hotel.'
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