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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, 06:25
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British Airways flight seconds away from mid-air disaster (Not!)

Hundreds of passengers watched in horror as their British Airways jumbo narrowly avoided a collision with another airliner over France.

The Johannesburg-bound flight from Heathrow was suddenly forced to climb to avoid an Argentinian passenger jet.
Aviation insiders said the planes had allegedly been put on to the same flight path by French air traffic controllers.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...EWS&ICL=TOPART
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 09:05
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Another quality piece from the Daily Mail!!! They are saying insiders said it was hushed up?!?! Yes it may not have been public but I am sure it was published in the internal safety briefs.

Chances are this happend in the dark. When approaching Heathrow at 0630 in the morning when it is dark the other aircraft approaching look a lot closer than they are when you are sitting down the back in economy as their lights are shining right at you as you turn onto finals and they are lining up behind.
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 09:08
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Ah well if it's in the Daily Mail it bound to be true, word for word and every little detail!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ok, so which bits are not true? Sounds like a pretty straight forward TCAS RA to me. No reports of panic or mayhem.
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 09:09
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If you read the Daily Mail article at the beginning of the piece it says the Aerolineas Argentinas a/c was a 747 then at the end, an Airbus A340. Tells you all you need to know about the standard of journalism here.
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 09:21
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"A long-haul aircraft such as a Boeing 747 would typically fly at around 37,000ft. Aircraft usually have to be five miles apart horizontally and with a 1,000ft difference in altitude to reduce the risk of a mid-air smash."

Didn't realise we had to have both 5 miles and a thousand feet. Better stand myself down!
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 09:35
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I highly doubt the BA aircraft "turned right" as we all know that's not a TCAS procedure.
It's not the procedure for an RA, however "When two aircraft are on a collision course, both shall alter heading to the right" is still enshrined in legislation.

As a happy result from an RA involves BOTH aircraft following their TCAS (And the DHL smash and JAL near miss both show this does not always happen) I would seriously consider a lateral manouvre if I believed it would aid in seperation. (Indeed, many manuals procedure for a TA invoke considering a lateral manouevre)
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 09:36
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Hi there,

If it was a BA 747-400 in French airspace enroute to Johannesburg would it not be closer to FL330 as it would need to burn of a few thousand Kgs of fuel before climbing to a higher level?
And it would have been an evening flight, normal departure time is either 7pm or 9pm local (or there abouts)


I wonder if anyone on board even realised anything out of the ordinary had happened?

Cheers Ant
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 09:36
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The captain probably just came down after the dinner service to stretch his legs...perfectly normal!!!
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 10:10
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TCAS is really inaccurate in azimuth and must not be used for lateral guidance. If you have the traffic visual then a turn to the right might work.
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 10:13
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Ohh man here we go again.....

This seems to be a two week returning item from the Daily Mail:

Seconds away from disaster , it was very close runnings , passengers saw the plane coming

Really this is all a waste of our time. It is obvious the 'journalist' is making it up as he/she goes. Not the RA but certainly the rest of the stuff. I personally love the phrase about a 'BA eye witnesses', which seems very unlike to me at 33000 feet unless it was superwoman flying by.....
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 10:18
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The following sections cut / pasted from a Boeing QRH (Quick Reference Handbook) wherein I've highlighted some sections in red for added emphasis...
ACTION IN THE EVENT OF A RESOLUTION ADVISORY (RA)
Accomplish recall procedure without delay. NEVER MANOEUVRE IN THE OPPOSITE SENSE because TCAS could be co-ordinating manoeuvres with other aircraft. It should be stressed that excessive pitch rates should not be made unless the approaching aircraft is seen and the situation requires such a response.

RA manoeuvres require only small pitch attitude changes that should be accomplished smoothly and without delay. Properly executed, the RA manoeuvre is mild and does not require large or abrupt control movements. Remember that the passengers and cabin crew may not all be seated during the manoeuvre and shouldn't be subjected to other than moderate accelerations ('g' forces).

Pilot Response :
General: Follow the instructions in the QRH. Do not turn. Note the specific instructions for a Climb RA in a landing configuration. Although RA manoeuvres require only small pitch attitude changes they must be accomplished smoothly and without delay.

Traffic Advisory (TA): The Handling Pilot should adjust the EHSI MAP range or the TCAS IVSI range so that the conflict is clearly visible. Look for traffic using the display as an aid. Call out any conflicting traffic. Do not manoeuvre unless visual contact confirms that separation is not adequate. An intruder is identified as one whose flight path brings it to within 20 to 48 seconds of closest point of approach.

Resolution Advisory (RA): Disconnect the autopilot and authothrust, ignore existing Flight Director pitch demands and respond to the RA by referring to the IVSI or the EHSI as appropriate. Maintain the pre-existing IAS.

TCAS IVSIs presentation:- The “safe” vertical speed band is indicated in green. An initial RA assumed that the PF will respond within 5 seconds using a smooth manoeuvre to enter and maintain the green arc. If a subsequent corrective RA is given, the assumed manoeuvre time is 2.5 seconds.

TCAS EHSI presentation:- The aircraft/s pitch must be adjusted to fly the aeroplane symbol just out of the red region on the EADI. There is no green “safe” area.
One suspects that understanding the simple concepts contained within the instructions above are wayyyy beyond the comprehension of a Daily Mail journo!
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 10:31
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Sometimes I worry about what I read on here!

TCAS doesn't give any azimuth indications only Climb or Descend with possible instructions to increase/decrease vertical speeds, but being ATC you would know that of course.

Insiders said it had been "hushed up"
Ohhh it must be a conspiracy! Maybe the men in black will invade the CAA to take away the ASR and then use the flashy pen things on the SRG who gather data on near collisions.

I tried using the Daily Mail as loo paper but it chafes....guess it really is good for nothing!
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 10:39
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Love this bit

'A BA eye-witness told colleagues...'

Standard Jurno get out clause for "I'm going to make something up here, I have no factual evidence of it ever happening and I haven't spoken to anyone concerned; however to make sound like it has any substance at all I will use the company name and pretend that I was informed by an employee..."

Believe it is covered in Chapter 6, Section 15 of the 'Jurno's Guide to writing Bull****'
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 10:58
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Wow, this place isn't as friendly as it used to be!

TCAS does display traffic around you though doesn't it? I was trying to get across that these are only diplayed in 12 'sectors' of 30 degrees so it is quite possible that traffic showing on your display at half past 11 could easily be half past 12 and a turn to the right would be a bad thing.

I do know even if you are visual you should still follow the RA but it must be very tempting to make a turn to avoid. Hence the "turn to the right might work" quote.

It's a shame this forum has turned into the place it has. I've learnt so much from it in the past but now it seems posters would much rather flame others than give them the benefit of the doubt.
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 11:16
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TCAS RA's

Hi there,
Last months safety information from my company was about TCAS and RA's, so I would like to ad a couple of facts to the things which were stated there.
1. 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.
2. Acting incorrect or even opposite towards an RA leads to a situation were the the distance between the conflicting traffics is sometimes even less then if none of them had reacted at all.

Blue Sky's everyone...

Micky
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 11:38
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It's a shame this forum has turned into the place it has. I've learnt so much from it in the past but now it seems posters would much rather flame others than give them the benefit of the doubt.
The reason flaming goes on is frustration that so many totally uninformed people like MS Sim flyers and others invade these technical sections and start giving opinions! People forget these technical sections are for aviation professionals only. If they stick their heads in here with idiocy, who can help flaming them?
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 11:56
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Yeah a turn to the right might work or it could bury your wingtip into the wing-root of the other aircraft OR maybe even cause a CFIT (admittedly, that is unlikely @33000' but possible at lower altitudes), best just to follow the correct procedure and live. We all remember what happened last time an RA was ignored don't we?!

TCAS III may be able to give headings when developed but until then its climbs and descents only.
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 12:36
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Hi, Rainbow. As an avid MS flyer myself and ex PPL, I can only agree with your post about ignorant people posting on this forum. As a retired person, I find it a HUGE source of interest and learning, but would not dream of posting something I patently knew nothing about. MS has it's own forums, without pretend pilots being on this one. Be like me, MS guys, read, learn, but DONT intervene!!!!
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 13:21
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The reason some aircraft preclude turning as part of an RA is because of performance. The RA climb performance might be more marginal in some circumstances if the aircraft isn't turning.
But apart from that, in general terms, there is no inherent reason why you shouldn't be turning just as long as you aren't doing so based on looking at your traffic display.
Still plenty of scope for non TCAS encounters, either by MEL or interaction with non equipped aircraft, so turning for collision avoidance should not be automatically labelled 'never do this'.
pb

p.s.

We all remember what happened last time an RA was ignored don't we?!
Well, we know what happened when a manoeuvre opposite the RA was flown, but that's something different.
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Old 7th Nov 2007, 13:39
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Could ATC have instructed the right turn for avoidance before the TCAS RA came??
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