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British Airways flight seconds away from mid-air disaster (Not!)

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British Airways flight seconds away from mid-air disaster (Not!)

Old 7th Nov 2007, 13:40
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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I'm normally one to complain about pilots' hysteria following a press report but this one takes the biscuit.

#1. As was mentioned earlier, following this brush with death the captain allegedly wiped the sweat from his brow and sallied off to calm the passengers? Unlikely I'd say, you might be thinking - locked cockpit, we can't do that - but no, in fact it's because of point #2..

#2. Which is that it was the captain that outmanoeuvred the pesky Argie jet. Now as we all well know, it's usually the pilot who does something. Given that a 747 (in addition to anything else that brings passengers moments from death in the sky) is a single pilot aircraft, who would've been minding the controls whilst our hero went down the back? Perhaps it could've been the CSD in the right seat that performed the RA?

#3. I have been a passenger on a Rome-Buenos Aires flight. I recall it heading south-west, in the general direction of South America. I'd be asking questions as to what the Aerolineas was doing around Marseilles. More than likely it was a conspiracy involving Argentina and France to bring down a British jet.

This paper really isn't fit to polish ones arse with. I'd send it back where it came from.
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 13:58
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Insiders said it had been "hushed up"
It's the Mail, they hate BA and so you can expect this sort of crap to appear if they get a chance.
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 14:54
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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in the event of an RA I don't think you have time to assess if the area you're turning into is clear, consider it as an option then carry it out.
IF the RA is the first you know of the intruder. You may well have been alerted by ATC, seen him as proximate traffic and had a TA and visual identification before it gets to RA time. Indeed, the procedure for following an RA is to follow it's vertical guidence only. My point is that we seem to now to be of a mindset that TCAS RA is the only avoidence tool we have.

As to "ässess if the area you're turning to is clear", well, the one thing you know is that which you're flying into isn't!

TCAS doesn't give any azimuth indications
BOLLOCKS!

It doesn't give you azimuth ADVISORIES and is not accurate laterally, but it gives you a very good idea about which direction to look!

Are we really saying that, knowing a conflict is about to happen, we sit and wait for the RA and pray the Russian in the other aircraft does the right thing, or do we try and not let it get that far?
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 15:18
  #24 (permalink)  
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What strikes me most is the title of said article:
British Airways flight seconds away from mid-air disaster

May I ask, what about the other flight.... was it not as well seconds away from mid-air disaster?

Yeah well, the other one was not a British flight with British citizens on board, so is probably classified as quantité négligable... a journalistic form of nationalism, politically correct today... not so

Rainboe, thanks


live 2 fly 2 live
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 15:37
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Love the article, 4 comments. 3 along the lines of 'heads should roll, we nearly died', one 'TCAS is there to protect and it works' wonder which of the 4 doesn't appear in the sample of comments.
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 16:10
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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because the procedures say you don't.
Topslide,

As I pointed out, the regulations MANDATE a turn if you are on a reciprocal heading at the same altitude!

The procedures FOR AN RA say not to turn, but no procedure UP TO THAT POINT prohibits an avoidence turn.

it concerns me that I might be unlucky enough to be flying above/below you when you respond to an RA and decide it appropriate to throw in a turn for good measure. God forbid I ever am.
I concerns me that YOU would watch a set of lights get bigger in your windscreen, determine it was at the same height as you by your TCAS target, think "Oh how jollÿ" when you get a TA, and then do something ONLY when you recieve an RA!

You can't possibly be a professional pilot.
777 Captain. You?
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 16:35
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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re Micky's post :
"Never turn, even if your visual with "the" traffic, because who tells you that the traffic you are looking at is the Traffic the RA is for?"

Many, many years ago, an Aer Lingus inbound Manch told Preston Airways he had the BEA aircraft opposite direction in sight and asked for descent maintaining VMC which was given. The BEA skipper said "Aer Lingus , how do you know the BEA aircraft you can see is me?". Quick as a flash, the Aer Lingus skipper said " BEA, how do you know the Aer Lingus that just descended through your level was me ?"
Get the idea ?
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 16:44
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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As I pointed out, the regulations MANDATE a turn if you are on a reciprocal heading at the same altitude!

The procedures FOR AN RA say not to turn, but no procedure UP TO THAT POINT prohibits an avoidence turn.
Wiz, EVERYONE else have been talking about RA's, we aren't talking about visual avoidance for fecks sake
You can bang on all you like about giving way to right, most of the rest of us trust the equipment, and the procedures inherent with that.
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 17:06
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Could've saved a tree or two.

Hundreds of passengers were left completely unaware that safe separation between their Johannesburg bound 747 and an Argentinian passenger jet was maintained following, it is believed, a minor error by air traffic controllers.

As the aircraft approached one another the BA 747's automated collision avoidance system was triggered, prompting the pilot to initiate a climb. The system triggers an audible alarm with instruction to climb or descend.

Once the aircraft were clear of one another the captain went into the cabin to stretch his legs.
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 17:15
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With respect to turning visually 'away' from another aircraft, perhaps you would consider the following? The aircraft is on the left, heading in a left - right direction. We turn right to avoid it 'visually'. However, all our manouvre achieves is to maintain a constant bearing with the other aircraft - it really does become a 'target'. I think I will stick with the 'up-down' procedure as taught and which is SOP.
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 17:28
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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I agree with all the stick to the RA comments.

You see the conflicting traffic and decide to turn right to avoid, what about the aircraft in your 5 o'clock on the same heading and level as you?

WIPEOUT!

Please Please follow TCAS RAs
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 17:28
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Monarch Man, to be fair, Wizofoz brought up TA's way back in post 7. He was speculating on why the BA aircraft may have turned.

I can't help thinking these threads would progress far more if posters would read others comments and try not to jump down each others throats or assume they're talking to sim pilots rather than aviation professionals.
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 17:50
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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And you would quite happily, under IFR radar control, in all likelyhood in RVSM airspace make a turn off your airway (presumably during a TA and before an RA is triggered) as you believed you were going to have a collision?
Topslide,

RVSM is reduced VERTICAL seperation- yet you bang on about the dangers of a LATERAL manouevre, whislt saying that relying on a VERTICAL manoeuver (the bit of seperation we've recently reduced) is OK?

The DHL pilots followed their TCAS. One of the JAL pilots did. The 738 pilots in Brazil no doubt had your faith in the equipement. That's around two hundred dead and another 350 on bonus days.

If it gets down to an RA you follow the SOP procedure. But you should be doing what ever it takes to not get to that point.

How's about pointing it out to ATC long before it becomes a TA.
GRAND idea. If they can co-ordinate seperation, jobs done. If they can't in a timely manner, YOU need to do something.

WTF are you talking about? If you are genuinely a 777 captain then you have obviously got the wrong end of the stick of this discussion, because that sounds to me like something a PPL would say.
It's been a question in the Air Law exam for all four of the ATPLs I hold...
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 18:47
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Of course, if there is absolutely no other option and you are about to collide your natural reaction would cause you to make an avoiding manouvre, but how would you EVER get in that situation?

can you think of any examples where this has happened?
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 19:22
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Topslide,
Firstly, your saftey quote is in regards to actions DURING AN RA. I have said several times that, if you get an RA you follow SOPs which includes not turning.

What if you're in IMC.
What if you're not? You know damn well we spend 95% of our time in clear air. (Actually, I'm in the Middle East so make that 99.5%!)

Do you just turn because of a TCAS contact?
No, you use it as a guide to make visual contact and confirm the targets relative height to you. If the TCAS says it's at your altitude and you visually confirm it has a constant relative bearing and is getting bigger, it WILL hit you. At this stage I would, time permitting, attempt to co-ordinate with ATC. If that wasn't happening in a timely manner, I would consider a turn, and I defy you to name an airway anywhere in the world where a 1/4 mile deviation would bring you into conflict with other traffic.

It would seem in the above senerio that you would simply wait for the RA. Fine, but consider these points-

1)TCAS only gives RAs on TXP mode C targets, yet many light aircraft around the world, including Europe, only have mode A.
I use to be based in Liverpool and got almost daily TAs from mode A aircraft. The only way to deal with this was to try and aquire the aircraft visually and manoeuvre to aviod if necessary. What would you do? Concentrate on the PFD and wait for the RA that would never come?

2) RAs are only effective if BOTH pilots react to them, yet many pilots from many parts of the world won't. Russia and mainland China are still teaching their pilots to give precedence to ATC over TCAS,and, whilst taught correctly, many cultures have a cultural resistence to go against instructions from ATC.

Like I said, if it gets to an RA, strict adherence to SOPs is your best chance of avoidance. But it is a last ditch effort when every thing else has failed, and if you have let chances to avoid it getting that far go, one of the failures is yours.

Oh, and as long as we are quoting things, B777 QRH Traffic Avoidance Maneuver:-

Traffic Advisory:-

PNF- Look for traffic using Traffic Display as a guide.Call out any conflicting traffic

PF- If traffic is sighted, maneuver as required.

But you know that, right?

Last edited by Wizofoz; 8th Nov 2007 at 09:35.
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Old 8th Nov 2007, 10:30
  #36 (permalink)  


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I think Del Prado got it right with how confronational people are now -perhaps its because of how institutionalised we have all become. SOPs are there to be followed and with good reason; however, most are written for single event situations ie the system works & both crews carry out their instructions in a timely manner. What if they don't or the system is not working correctlty? The term airmanship seems to have become lost but it is synonomous with Situational Awareness. I would desperately hope that a crew would be aware of traffic around them during most of their flight regime. (difficult admittedly with GA traffic - Sanford for example) There is the lead up to the RA, the actual RA and what is done about it at what stage. IMC - no brainer but mostly we will be VMC and will be searching for a visual way before the RA happens, ideally steps would taken early to minimise any conflict but if it develops into an RA, and I have actioned the instructions, and have aquired the visual, then if visually the situation warrants I may well break the collision with a turn, and I am not talking about a 160degree turn to conflict with the guy at my 5 oclock x miles behind! All that is required is 5 or 10 degrees - to break the collision and ONLY if required. TCAS is not infallible technically or operationally and as always we are the last slice of cheese - the guy you are going to hit is the one remaining static in your field of view, make him move one way or the other and you won't connect. Furthermore any turn would not be in any defined direction - it would be as the collision required and please don't tell me that a SMALL turn will fly me straight into someone else - We are not flying in close formation here and these are not violent aerobatic reactions. As always when the event is over resume course and level assigned. We all have many tools in our box - when only one is avaliable use it, if others are there be prepared to use them as well if required.

Fly safe the sky is not as big as it once was.
and PS Don't believe the press
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Old 8th Nov 2007, 11:16
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Topslide6

far be it from me wanting this thread to go further down the pan, but may I suggest you read del prados post properly and his amplifying one?

He is saying that pilots should not initiate turns based on TCAS because the information given in the azimuth plain are very inaccurate. This inaccuracy is the same reason I would politely tell you to do your own job if you pointed out to me that based on TCAS azimuth info, you thought you might have traffic to affect you in the near future... from your post number 38 on this thread - I quote
How's about pointing it out to ATC long before it becomes a TA. You know what the solid white diamond means right?
You would be forever nagging me in the London TMA due to the multitude of tracks . If you think your A/C is in danger pipe up - otherwise leave the ATC to ATCOs and don't try to interperet a piece of equipment for use it is not designed!
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Old 8th Nov 2007, 11:20
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RA's only give vertical guidance and we are required to adhere to them. If the conflicting AC can be seen and a turn would increase separation why on earth would you not do so? If you had no TCAS and just saw the situation you would use both vertical and lateral means to minimize the possibility of a midair. Common sense should always prevail over standard procedure.
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Old 8th Nov 2007, 18:35
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Common sense should always prevail over standard procedure
Amen to that. It should be an SOP.
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Old 9th Nov 2007, 10:51
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This will blow your mind:

What if you get an RA in a turn?
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